United States | 2021
Lighter, Stronger, Faster: The Herreshoff Legacy celebrates the spirit of innovation by examining the impact on marine design and engineering by Nathanael Greene Herreshoff and the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. The exhibition discusses various aspects of maritime design and boat construction processes. As told through original sketches, half hull models, mechanical drawings, scale presentation models, boat hardware, and machinery, the design poses relationships between part and whole, engineering, and artistic sculptural form. The intricacy of the design to the most detailed level has a palpable effect on every visitor who understands the amount of interactive study that each boat requires. Even those with limited or no experience sailing or boating are drawn into the science and creativity of this family, who dominated the world of boat racing for decades. The installation takes cues from maritime form and the feeling of movement on the seas, utilizing bold, reductive forms and graphics to create an immersive environment for inspiration and study. Using an innovative media interface that allows visitors to access an enormous archive of materials with ease while interacting face-to-face with numerous boat models and their technical drawings, we avoid literal references. At the center of the gallery, a rigid steel armature with cutout windows for half hulls allows the visitor to see boat forms simultaneously with the in-scale relationship be-tween the different sailing vessels. The use of technical drawings alongside the abstract forms in-creases the effectiveness of the display. The show's dynamic, angled forms allude to the feeling of consecutive boat prows lined up in the harbor. White-washed plywood serves as the surface for displays. The fabricated structural ele-ments' supporting artifacts float in space if caught between the night sky and the luminescent dark sea. The illusion is due to contrast against the existing polished black floor and black-painted infra-structure and ceiling plane. At the entry to the exhibition gallery, an image of a sailing boat's bow cruising full-speed is projected onto a 25-foot long scrim printed with a scene of the open seas. This inviting gesture welcomes every visitor into the ever-changing and challenging world of engineering and discovery.
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