antique-boat-museum.JPGClayton, N.Y. - The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America's premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, New York, announced today the details of its new exhibit opening and reception. Join the Antique Boat Museum on Friday, May 24 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. inside the Haxall Building, located at 750 Mary Street in Clayton, for a reception to celebrate the opening of the new exhibitions on display in the Homer Dodge Gallery and the Passageways Gallery. All are welcome to attend. "Long Journeys in Small Boats" can be found inside the Homer Dodge Gallery on the first floor of the Haxall Building. This exhibition features ten journeys totaling more than 30,000 miles traveled in small boats, many of which are on display. Four of those boats have been borrowed from various museums, including two from Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut, as well as one from the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario, and one from the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, NY. A total of eight boats are on display. "Long Journeys in Small Boats" was curated by Museum Curator Emmett Smith. The well documented journeys of the boats within the exhibit span the years 1865 to 1982, and cover all parts of the globe, from the St. Lawrence River to Europe and the South Seas. The stories told by the voyagers reveal something essential about the human need to explore and discover, and they have had a great cultural impact. The voyages on display have resulted in best-selling books and Oscar winning films, and shaped our cultural understanding of boating. This exhibit explores not only the journeys themselves, but the impact they have had by encouraging people to get out on the water. "Developing this exhibit has certainly made me want to take something of a long journey on the water, by canoe or skiff. I hope some visitors are inspired to do the same," said Smith. The exhibition space has been brightly painted to create an engaging and immersive gallery. Design work was performed by Réunion of Seattle, Washington, and illustrations were done by local artist Robin McDowell. The gallery also features original video footage related to some of the journeys and includes numerous interactive components. Interactive components such as a "passbook" of stamps for young visitors and a lending library of books on voyaging will be added as the season progresses. One of the most interesting long journey adventures on display involves a Canadian father and son who set out from Winnipeg, Manitoba in the early 1980s and paddled to the Amazon River, more than 12,000 miles away. Their canoe Orellana is on display, along with pictures and video from the trip. Along with the Homer Dodge Gallery exhibit, the ABM also boasts another new exhibit. Curatorial Assistant Claire Wakefield has carefully sifted through what is considered to be one of the most complete boatbuilder records within the United States. The massive historic collection of the Matthews Boat Company arrived at the ABM in the fall of 2012. This collection contains over 12,000 items, which include an estimated 1,100 glass plate negatives, 2,000 original construction contracts, 5,000 plans and drawings, hull cards, brochures, and more. After closing, the Company business and build records were stored until they sold at public auction to the Matthews Boat Owners Association (MBOA) in 1990. The collection had been maintained by the MBOA for more than 20 years until it was donated to the Museum's permanent collection. "It is uncommon for museums to immediately display recently acquired collections, so it is a rare treat that we are able to share this with the public so quickly. The Matthews Collection is now the most complete boat company archive the ABM owns and we look forward to utilizing this large source of information for further research and future exhibitions" Wakefield explained. Located on the St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands, the Antique Boat Museum features a collection of over 300 antique and classic boats among thousands of recreational boating artifacts. For more information please visit the Museum's website at


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