South Street Seaport Museum Bowne & Co. Letterpress Demonstrations Begin June 11 on Fri & Sat Through October 2021
Where: South Street Seaport Museum
12 Fulton St.
212-748-8600 Price: Free
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South Street Seaport Museum announces that as part of the 2021 Season of Seaport Museum Open Days, Bowne & Co. will host FREE, outdoor letterpress printing demonstrations from June 11 to October 10, 2021 on Fridays and Saturdays, plus entry to 1885 Tall Ship Wavertree And Outdoor Exhibition on Pier 16 Fri-Sun Through October 2021. https://southstreetseaportmuseum.org/.
The printers will set up a selection of historic presses outdoors on the steps of 209-211 Water Street. Demonstrations will take place every hour on the hour between 11am-5pm and each will run from five to seven minutes long, illustrating the 19th century printing process with a variety of presses and equipment from the Museum’s Printing History Collection. Items printed throughout the day will be given away as tangible reminders of the experience. Bowne & Co. public programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Alongside demonstrations, new products are now available for purchase from Bowne & Co., Stationers in the online shop at bowne.co, including new lines of letterpress-made postcards, broadsides, and boxed notecard sets. Grab a broadside to support your favorite New York City borough or to celebrate the woodtype characters the Bowne & Co. team used previously as part of the #36DaysofType project. Items purchased online can be shipped anywhere in the country or scheduled for in-person pick up at 209-211 Water Street on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Visit https://www.bowne.co/ to browse and purchase.
Seaport Museum Open Days also include free entry to 1885 tall ship Wavertree, now through October 2021 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with timed tickets, from 11am-5pm at Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets). Entry is FREE and includes access to the ship’s main deck and raised rear deck, as well as the cargo hold. To learn more and reserve tickets, visit seaportmuseum.org/visitwavertree.
Wavertree is designated on the National Register of Historic Places and represents the thousands of ships that docked along New York’s waterfront over the centuries. Guests will visit the traditional sailing ship docked at Pier 16. Gaze up at the towering masts and miles of rigging. Learn how people worked and lived aboard a 19th century cargo sailing vessel, from the captain to the ship’s officers, cooks, and crew. Then visit the cargo hold and stand atop our new viewing platform where you can take in the massive main cargo area. Climb up onto the quarterdeck and pose for a photo at the ship’s wheel, and enjoy the view as you look out across New York Harbor and see the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights. Or look landward and see the skyline of the Financial District, which flourished because of ships like Wavertreewhich brought in the goods that helped businesses thrive.
Visits will be self-guided along a set route. The Museum will allow no more than 150 guests on board the ship at any time to encourage social distancing from different households. All guests above the age of two will be required to wear a face covering and to sanitize their hands at all times aboard Wavertree and at the Museum’s pop-up gift shop.
Last year’s attendees said:
My son was really enamored with the ship. Your staff were all great — friendly and informative. Felt very safe COVID-wise.
We loved the social distancing measures and enjoyed the visit a lot!
I have visited the ship before, but was very happy with the printing demonstration at Bowne.
All four of us asked questions of various staff members during our visit. Everyone we spoke to was welcoming, friendly and highly informed. Even the teenager with us was impressed!
The Seaport Museum is also offering a FREE outdoor exhibition on Pier 16, which will provide the opportunity to discover this chapter of New York City’s history. This series of panels and window graphics will celebrate the people of all backgrounds who lived and worked in the South Street Seaport Historic District, and the many businesses that created the foundations for New York to thrive and become the business and culture mecca it is today. Using historic photographs, prints, lithographs, and paintings, the exhibition highlights some of the Seaport Museum’s collection of more than 28,000 artifacts and works of art, and over 55,000 historic records.
Seaport Museum Memberships start at $50 and help support Museum’s exhibitions, preserve the ships and the collections, grow public programs, and serve over 12,000 students through education initiatives. To join the Museum as a Member, visit seaportmuseum.org/membership.
Additional activities for Wavertree Open Days, such as tours of the 1907 lightship Ambrose and sailing excursions, will be announced throughout the summer. The South Street Seaport Museum’s indoor spaces are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wavertree is permanently moored at Pier 16 and does not sail the harbor. Access to Wavertreerequires climbing a small set of ladder-type stairs and an angled gangway. Wavertree Open Days are subject to cancellation in the event of severe weather. More information on the history of the Wavertree can be found at seaportmuseum.org/wavertree.
About Bowne & Co.
Bowne & Co. was established by Robert Bowne in 1775 and is New York’s oldest operating business under the same name. By 1900, New York City boasted over 700 printing offices. Most were located in Lower Manhattan and the South Street Seaport Historic District to facilitate shipping, trade, and finance. Maritime trade industries-growing each year as their goods reached the entire country through the Erie Canal-found themselves in need of a flurry of printed materials for conducting business, causing the demand for stationery, invoices, advertisements, and other printed materials. In 1975, Bowne & Co. Inc. partnered with the Seaport Museum to open a 19th-century-style print shop at 211 Water Street in the South Street Seaport Historic District. Today, in addition to the letterpress printing collection, Bowne & Co. embodies the spirit of a turn-of-the-century store that is unique, eclectic and like none other in the city. bowne.co
The 130-year-old Wavertree, built of riveted wrought iron, is an archetype of the sailing ships of the latter half of the 19th century that, during the “age of sail,” lined South Street by the dozens, creating a forest of masts from the Battery to the Brooklyn Bridge. Built in Southampton, Great Britain, she circled the globe four times in her career, carrying a wide variety of cargoes. The ship called on New York in 1896, no doubt one of hundreds like her berthed in the city. In 1910, after thirty-five years of sailing, she was caught in a Cape Horn storm that tore down her masts and ended her career as a cargo ship. She was salvaged and used as a floating warehouse and then a sand barge in South America, where the waterfront workers referred to her as “el gran Valero,” the great sailing ship. She was saved by the Seaport Museum in 1968 and towed to New York to become the iconic centerpiece of the “Street of Ships” at South Street two years later. From 2015-2016, Wavertree underwent a $13 million restoration generously funded by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs with support from the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, and Manhattan Borough President and managed by the Department of Design and Construction.
About the South Street Seaport Museum
The South Street Seaport Museum, located in the heart of the South Street Seaport Historic District in New York City, preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Founded in 1967, the Museum houses an extensive collection of works of art and artifacts, a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, working nineteenth century print shops, and an active fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.” www.southstreetseaportmuseum.org
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