Monthly Archives: July 2018

When next in Lower Manhattan a “must see” is the South Street Seaport Museum – and we encourage you to take time to wander around the Seaport which is one New York’s most historic areas.

The restoration and development of such historic places does not just happen and the story behind South Street Seaport Museum is just that.  There would be no South Street Seaport Museum were it not for two visionaries - Jakob Isbrandtsen, founding chairman of the South Street Seaport Museum and founding president Peter Standford, together they  envisioned so much of what is today’s wonderful South Street Seaport Museum.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, outdoor and indoorThe sad news of Isbrandsten’s passing last week brough to the ASF’s attention not only what he did for Lower Manhattan and New York – but for Scotland too.

One of Isbrandtsen’s great loves was the restoration of the windjammer Wavertree which was has deep roots to Scotland and the Jute trade.

As Captain Boulware, CEO of the South Street Seaport Museum notes… “He financed the purchase of the ship when she might have otherwise gone to scrap, bringing to New York a windjammer of the age of sail suitable for the task of representing her thousands of sisters.”.

The Wavertree was built in Southampton, England in 1885 and was one of the last large sailing ships built of wrought iron. She was built for the Liverpool company R.W. Leyland & Company, and is named after the Wavertree district of that city.

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

The ship was first used to carry jute between eastern India and Scotland. In 1947 Wavertree was converted into a sand barge at Buenos Aires, Argentina, This ship was discovered in 1967 by an American working on a sand barge and acquired by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968.

After restoration at the the Arsenal Naval Buenos Aires the ship was towed to New York in 1969.

As well as being a visionary, Isbrandtsen was a tireless volunteer, inspiring others as Capt. Boulware continues …. “After his career in commercial shipping, he shifted to volunteerism and led by example, mucking bilges in the hold of Wavertree and all manner of dirty, difficult, and dangerous tasks. He was the first person aboard the ship in the morning and the last to leave. It was all for the ship and all for the people in her. His advertisement for volunteers: “Long hours, dirty work, no pay” was just the right way to engage people in the ship, and the work done under his leadership kept Wavertree afloat for decades, allowing the restoration and care that continues today.”

RARE PERSIAN GARDEN CARPET FROM THE BURRELL COLLECTION, GLASGOW, goes on display for the first time outside Great Britain at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The Wagner Garden Carpet – a late 17th-century Persian carpet never before seen in the United States – will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art  now through October 7, 2018.See the source imageStaff from Glasgow Museums with the Wagner Garden Carpet. The Burrell Collection. ©    CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Titled Eternal Springtime: A Persian Garden Carpet from the Burrell Collection, the collaboration between the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, and The Metropolitan Museum, New York, will provide a rare opportunity for members of the public to see the earliest example of a garden carpet outside of Asia.

A detail from the Wagner Garden Carpet (Glasgow Museums/PA)
Detail of the Wagner Garden Carpet. The Burrell Collection. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

The Wagner Garden Carpet is considered to be one of only three early surviving Persian garden carpets in the world. The design of this particular carpet is unique and no other examples resembling it or using part of its base-pattern have yet been identified. Measuring 5309 mm (17.5 ft) in height and 4318 mm (14.2 ft) in width, Wagner Garden has rarely been seen on display and has spent most of its time in storage at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow.

Named after an early 20th century owner, the carpet is a 17th century Persian Kirman pile carpet with a formal garden layout. Unusual for this type of garden carpet, it almost invokes a heavenly walled menagerie that immerses the person sitting on it in its natural but well-ordered world.  The design was inspired by both the pre-Islamic Persian Paradise and the descriptions of the Garden of Heaven in the Qur’an.

Eternal Springtime will be displayed in the Metropolitans suite of 15 galleries and takes place whilst the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, undergoes an estimated £66 million refurbishment of its building and redisplay of its extensive Collection.

When the Burrell Collection reopens in late 2020, The Wagner Garden Carpet will be focal object of a three-carpet display that explores heavenly gardens in Islamic art as depicted on Persian carpets.

Director of Burrell Renaissance, James Robinson, says, “Expanding our international reach, reputation and impact is core to the Burrell Collection’s vision that will enable the Collection to engage with the world in new and more meaningful ways. Our collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum demonstrates the Burrell’s reach, in geography and material culture, which will see the collection regarded rightly as a global resource.”