History whispers at MMAM Titanic exhibit

“Clump, tap, tap.” Pause. “Clomp, tap, tap.”

The steady moving of shoed feet can be heard within the empty halls of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. 

“Clomp, tap, tap.” Pause. Memories of Titanic, a temporary showcasing of the RMS Titanic sits in one of the exhibition spaces. A glance to the right reveals an original chair from the deck of the ship, preserved beautifully despite passing generations. A small, detailed star is carved into the upper portion of the furniture, a symbol of Joseph Bruce Ismay’s White Star Line. 

James Flood, American, b. 1941, “Titanic Sunrise” on oil canvas can be seen in the background. (Courtesy of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum)

Sometimes, the items in museums whisper to you.

On Wednesday, May 5,  I visited the Memories of Titanic exhibition at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum with high hopes, and did not leave disappointed. Several paintings, letters, postcards, telegrams, a personal diary, a ship model, and a real chair from one of the decks are on display until June 6, 2021.

In 5th grade, I read Voyage on the Great Titanic, The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady by Ellen Emerson White, which included a fictional experience of boarding and surviving the unfortunate demise of the seemingly unsinkable ship. Since then, I have had a unique interest in the event.

Laura Mae Cribb, date unknown. (Courtesy of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum)

This particular exhibit felt personal to me, especially a letter written by a young survivor, Laura Mae Cribb. She recalled her experience surrounding the accident, losing her father, and the difficult months of recovery following. Raw, painful emotion bleeds through each delicate stroke of the old black ink.

If you have time before the summer gets too busy, I highly suggest venturing out to the Minnesota Marine Art Museum to witness this incredible exhibit. 

More information is on their website https://www.mmam.org/