The New Bedford Whaling Museum held its famous annual Moby Dick marathon this weekend. It’s the world’s best-known readathon of Herman Melville’s literary masterpiece: a nonstop reading commemorating the anniversary of the departure of the ship Acushnet from the whaling port of New Bedford with 21-year-old Herman Melville aboard. (He spent 19 months at sea on the Acushnet.) Special guests included Gene Scheer, librettist for the Moby-Dick Opera, Melville Scholar Dr. Robert Wallace of Northern Kentucky University, and newly re-elected Mayor Jon Mitchell (whose grandfather’s name is inscribed at the Seaman’s Bethel among other local fisherman lost to the sea).
In the gallery visitors can ooh and ahh over artist-in-residency Peter Michael Martin’s exhibition of large scale paper cuts inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. He developed the work after attending a museum lecture given by Dr. Wallace. For those who have never read this holy grail of American literature, there is always the deeply satisfying dip into Chapter 42 – The Whiteness of the Whale.