Hull Maritime Museum
© Hull Museums
- Founded in 1912 the Maritime Museum moved to the old Dock Offices in 1974. The Dock Offices were formerly the home of the Hull Dock Company until 1893, when North Eastern Railway took over the running of the docks. The shareholders' Court Room, now used for temporary exhibitions, is a highly decorated piece of Victorian architecture. The room has a frieze of cherubs displaying the coats of arms of the European cities that Hull traded with. Hull dominated the Arctic whaling trade in the early nineteenth century and there is an outstanding collection of whaling artefacts. This includes skeletons of the whales themselves, the tools and weapons, as well as personalia, journals and logbooks. There are fine contemporary paintings of the ships and the largest collection of scrimshaw (the folk art of the whaler) on this side of the Atlantic. The museum also tells the story of the city's involvement in fishing, initially in the North Sea and then out to Norway, Iceland and Greenland, with models ranging from small cobles and smacks to the huge modern stern trawlers. From the Middle Ages the core of Hull's trade was with the Baltic and Scandinavia. The Wilson Line, founded in 1831, began trading by importing iron ore from Sweden but by 1903 was the biggest privately-owned shipping company in the world. The transition from sail to steam is exemplified by models and decorative arts (glass, pottery and silver). Throughout there are examples of the paintings by outstanding local marine artists such as John Ward and Henry Redmore. Part of the Designated Collections of national importance relating to the city and region of Kingston upon Hull are on display here.