[Bristol, RI – May 3, 2023] – The Herreshoff Marine Museum is thrilled to announce the opening of its newest exhibit, “Challengers, Defenders, and Contenders: The Hodgdon Collection of America’s Cup Models – 1851-1937.” Opening its doors to the public on Thursday May 4th, 2023, this captivating exhibit promises to take visitors on a fascinating journey through the early history of the America’s Cup.
Spanning over eight decades of the prestigious sailing competition, the “Challengers, Defenders, and Contenders” exhibit features a remarkable collection of meticulously crafted America’s Cup models carved by the late George I. (Sonny) Hodgdon. The Hodgdon Collection showcases the evolution of yacht design, engineering, and innovation, highlighting the early vessels that competed for the oldest trophy in international sports.
Visitors will have the opportunity to marvel at more than 30 models representing the evolution of America’s Cup history. From the iconic schooner AMERICA, winner of the inaugural race in 1851, to the sleek J-class yachts that dominated the competition in the early 20th century, the exhibit offers a comprehensive exploration of the evolving technology and design that shaped these legendary vessels.
“The ‘Challengers, Defenders, and Contenders’ exhibit is a testament to the rich heritage and enduring legacy of the America’s Cup,” said Bill Lynn, Executive Director of the Herreshoff Marine Museum. “We are thrilled to have an opportunity to showcase these magnificent models – some of which have never been on exhibit before – and educate visitors about the incredible feats of engineering and seamanship achieved throughout the Cup’s history.”
In addition to the models themselves, the exhibit interpretation features historic photos from HMM’s archive, including several previously unpublished photos from the John C. Hemment collection, as well as facsimiles of prints, paintings and historic photos from partner institutions. Several recently acquired artifacts – for example, one of 1903 Cup defender RELIANCE’s two wheels, acquired by HMM in 2019 – are on display for the first time, accompanied by engaging narratives that bring the stories of these extraordinary yachts and their intrepid sailors to life. Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of the immense challenges, fierce rivalries, and triumphs that have characterized the America’s Cup for over 170 years.
The “Challengers, Defenders, and Contenders” exhibit at the Herreshoff Marine Museum promises an entertaining and educational experience for enthusiasts of maritime history, sailing, and engineering. It is a must-visit for anyone captivated by the stories of perseverance, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence.
For more information about the exhibit and the Herreshoff Marine Museum, please visit www.herreshoff.org.
About the Herreshoff Marine Museum:
The Herreshoff Marine Museum, located in Bristol, Rhode Island, is dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and the achievements of its founders, John Brown Herreshoff and Nathanael Greene Herreshoff. The museum offers a diverse range of exhibits, educational programs, and events that celebrate the rich maritime heritage of the region and inspire future generations of sailors, engineers, and innovators.