Sailor Made Talk by Dr. Nicole Williams: 'With loving care he wrought:' Maritime America, Nostalgia, and the Arts and Crafts Movement, 1900-1940
Nicole Williams specializes in American art, material culture, and design of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her research interests include craftsmanship in the age of industry, intersections between art and the law, the politics of monumental sculpture, and representations of women and gender. Nicole is curator of the exhibit Global Vistas: American Art and Internationalism in the Gilded Age, which opened at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in August 2020. Nicole received her BA from Harvard University and her PhD from Yale University in 2019. Her presentation will explore how artists, writers, and museum designers of the early twentieth century shaped a lasting image of the American whaling industry as a preindustrial craft practice, informed by the international Arts and Crafts movement and by the social and environmental consequences of rapid industrialization in New England. She will also examine how their vision of sailors as free and happy artisans who carved scrimshaw, tied knots, and sewed sails, obscured whaling’s proto-industrial character.