Custom House Maritime Museum A View of the Museum from Water St.


A MERRIMACK MOTIF - From Forty Perspectives

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September 3, 2011 – November 13, 2011
A MERRIMACK MOTIF - From Forty Perspectives

Extended to November 13 


The Fall 2011 Exhibition Explores


An historic icon through the prism of artistic splendor


It is the only suspension bridge in the state of Massachusetts, and known endearingly, if not somewhat intractably, by a name now more than a century out of date.  With a history befitting its graceful and enduring stature, in a setting as serene as nature is inclined to shape, above mighty waters that delivered the resources to fuel a glorious maritime past, this inimitable Merrimack crossing has provided Newburyport far more than simply access to neighboring Amesbury and beyond.

A Merrimack Motif

This exhibition is proudly sponsored by

Institution For Savings

From its original 1792 arched timber trusses, to the iconic wrought iron chain by which it has been known for over 200 years, to its present 20th century industrial age steel form that very nearly required a masquerading sheath, the Chain Bridge has inspired more than its share of rendering tributes.  An allure so formidable neither a 40-year period of toll-required passage, nor horror of a bitter winter dead-of-night collapse under stress of a heavily laden ox cart, could mar.

Discover its special character.  Wonder how so steadfastly functional a structure wound its way into the hearts of so many for so long.  In collaboration with the Amesbury Cultural Council, its generous loan of their Chain Bridge Collection, and supported by sponsorship from the Institution for Savings, our autumn exhibition explores and renews this fascination with the venerable Chain Bridge through forty inspired oil and watercolor paintings and crafted works of art. 

Revisit our own Merrimack Motif that so heartwarmingly bridges us to generations of ancestors and mariners alike.  See whether you are able to detect through these artistic perspectives, the seemingly universal emotive experience connected to this beloved icon’s charm.

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