Noble Maritime Collection - Ship Room

The Noble Maritime Collection

The Noble Maritime Collection, located at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island, is dedicated to preserving the maritime art and artifacts of John A. Noble. This museum plays a crucial role in maintaining the historical and cultural heritage of New York Harbor.

Founded in Noble’s Staten Island home in 1986 and moved to its current location in 1992, the museum houses extensive collections that include Noble’s houseboat studio and various maritime artifacts​.

The museum’s significance lies in its efforts to celebrate the history and traditions of the working waterfront. It not only showcases Noble’s art but also interprets the history of Sailors’ Snug Harbor and Robbins Reef Lighthouse, making it a vital cultural resource for the community and visitors.

Mission and Legacy

The mission of the Noble Maritime Collection is to preserve and interpret the art, writings, and historical maritime artifacts of John A. Noble. The museum also focuses on celebrating the people and traditions of the working waterfront of New York Harbor through its collections, exhibitions, and programs​​.

John A. Noble’s legacy is central to the museum’s identity. As a distinguished marine artist, Noble’s work captures the essence of maritime life. His dedication to documenting the maritime industry has left a lasting impact on the preservation of this unique cultural heritage​.

In addition to Noble’s contributions, the museum plays a crucial role in the preservation efforts for Sailors’ Snug Harbor and Robbins Reef Lighthouse. Sailors’ Snug Harbor, once a retirement home for mariners, and Robbins Reef Lighthouse are both significant historical sites. The museum’s stewardship of these sites helps to maintain and interpret their historical importance for the public​.

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Exhibitions

The Noble Maritime Collection hosts several key exhibitions that highlight its rich maritime heritage.

One of the standout exhibitions is “Treasures of Sailors’ Snug Harbor”, which showcases artifacts and stories from the historic Sailors’ Snug Harbor, a former retirement home for mariners. This exhibit provides insights into the lives of the sailors who lived there and the history of the institution itself​.

Another prominent exhibition is “Robbins Reef Lighthouse: A Home in the Harbor.” This display focuses on the history and significance of the Robbins Reef Lighthouse, including the personal stories of its keepers, such as Kate Walker, who famously tended the lighthouse for over three decades​​.

Ship Model Gallery at the Noble Maritime Collection

Additionally, the museum features other notable exhibits like the Houseboat Studio, where visitors can explore John A. Noble’s restored 19th-century houseboat studio. The Ship Model Gallery displays intricately crafted models of various ships, reflecting the craftsmanship and maritime history of the area.

Programs and Events

The Noble Maritime Collection offers a range of educational programs tailored for schools and students. These programs, which align with Common Core Learning Standards, cover various subjects including visual and performing arts, social studies, math, science, and language arts. Students can participate in character-based programs like “Young Jack’s Voyage” and “Lady Liberty,” as well as hands-on printmaking and watercolor classes​​.

For the community, the museum hosts engaging programs such as the Sea Shanty Sessions and CloseKnit. The Sea Shanty Sessions are monthly sing-alongs led by the Folk Music Society of New York, attracting musicians and folk music enthusiasts of all ages. CloseKnit is a free knitting group that meets monthly to create hats and scarves for those in need, fostering a sense of community and volunteerism​.

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Additionally, the museum organizes special events and lecture series throughout the year. These events include informative talks, family-friendly concerts, and various cultural activities that further the museum’s mission of celebrating maritime history and culture​.

Visitor Information

Operational hours for the Noble Maritime Collection are Thursday through Sunday, from 12 PM to 5 PM. Admission is by donation, making it accessible to everyone. Members, children under 10, and care partners are admitted free of charge.​

How to Get There:

  • Driving: The Noble Maritime Collection is located at 1000 Richmond Terrace, Building D, Staten Island, NY 10301. There is ample free parking available, including handicapped parking spaces. The museum is accessible via gates on both the east and west sides of the Snug Harbor campus. Visitors should follow the signs directing them to the Noble Maritime Collection once on the premises​.
  • Public Transportation: From the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, take the S40 bus via Ramp D for two miles and exit at Snug Harbor. From Manhattan, take the Staten Island Ferry from the Whitehall Terminal and then the S40 bus to Snug Harbor. Various Staten Island bus routes also serve the terminal​​.
  • Biking: Cyclists can ride up the Staten Island Ferry Terminal ramp and turn right onto Richmond Terrace, following the bike lane for two miles to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center campus. There are steps at the North Gate, but cyclists can use the East Gate on Lafayette Avenue to avoid them​​.

Amenities and Services Available at the Museum:

The museum offers a range of amenities to ensure a comfortable visit. All public areas, including galleries, pathways, and restrooms, are wheelchair accessible. The museum provides wheelchairs, walkers, and seating, and service animals are welcome. Additionally, every floor has an elevator, and the museum staff is available to assist visitors as needed.

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Conclusion

The Noble Maritime Collection plays a vital role in preserving and celebrating the maritime heritage of New York Harbor. By showcasing the art and artifacts of John A. Noble and interpreting the history of Sailors’ Snug Harbor and Robbins Reef Lighthouse, the museum provides invaluable insights into the region’s rich nautical traditions​​.

The museum’s commitment to accessibility and its diverse range of educational and community programs make it a welcoming and inclusive space for all visitors. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a student, or someone looking to engage with the local culture, the Noble Maritime Collection offers something for everyone​​.

Readers are encouraged to visit the museum to explore its fascinating exhibits and participate in its enriching programs. Supporting the Noble Maritime Collection through visits, donations, or volunteer efforts helps sustain this important cultural institution and ensures that the legacy of New York Harbor’s maritime history continues to be shared with future generations​.

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