Events at The National Maritime Museum Cornwall

    NMMC, Falmouth

    Kurt Jackson: RNLI Cornwall

    The RNLI is the focus of this exhibition by internationally renowned contemporary artist Kurt Jackson.

    RNLI Cornwall documents the important role of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Cornwall and celebrates their vital work within the coastal community.

    Jackson’s RNLI Cornwall paintings vary in scale from postcard sized pieces up to massive canvasses measured in metres that capture the charity’s iconic blue and orange lifeboats nestled into Cornish harbours and breaking through mountainous waves. Closer to shore are paintings featuring lifeguards at the centre of Cornish beach life at locations including Sennen, Gwithian, Porthtowan and Trebarwith.

    RNLI Cornwall also features a selection of paintings created inside Mousehole’s old Penlee Lifeboat Station where Jackson was given special access to capture it as it was left following the tragic disaster that resulted in the loss of 16 souls. A poignant tribute to the sacrifice made by the RNLI’s brave volunteer crews.

    We’re delighted to bring this exhibition to the Museum as part of the RNLI’s bicentenary. Forming in 1824, the charity is celebrating the amazing milestone of 200 years, during which time it has saved more than 144,000 lives.

    Running from Friday 15 March to Sunday 3 November
    NMMC, Falmouth

    Small Boats, Big Stories

    From 19th April 2024

    Small Boats, Big Stories is a new permanent installation that highlights the important role that small boats play in shaping the world we live in. The museum, home to the National Small Boat Collection, will display eleven small boats as part of the exhibition, bringing together noteworthy boats from Cornish, UK and global history.

    Highlights from the exhibition include the display of several small boats that tell compelling maritime stories. This includes the smallest ever boat to cross the Atlantic (measuring in at just 5 ft 4”), an Olympic Gold Medal-winning boat used by Sir Ben Ainslie and the Ednamair, a small dinghy which saved the lives of the Robertson family in 1972 after they became shipwrecked for more than a month in the Pacific Ocean, following a killer whale attack.

    The exhibition will also platform small boats that are shaping contemporary history. In what is believed to be the first ever display of a boat of this kind by a UK museum, NMMC will present a small Zodiac dinghy, recently acquired for the National Small Boat Collection directly from UK Border Force. The inflatable boat was intercepted by a passing tanker in the English Channel in November 2018, with its five occupants later brought to Falmouth. The Zodiac will be exhibited alongside several lifejackets, also acquired from UK Border Force, as a symbol of one of the most significant and socially relevant issues of our times.

    Together, the boats paint a rich picture of how small boats can not only play a pivotal role in fishing, transport, sport, science and migration but also tell some of the most powerful stories of our times.

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