As a lifelong nerd about all things pirate, complete with skull-and-crossbones motif decorating my apartment, I was thrilled to hear about the Real Pirates exhibit that opened at the Science Museum of Minnesota in February. I put on some skull paraphernalia, gathered up some friends, and headed over to St. Paul to check it out.
Real Pirates tells the story of the Whydah, a ship discovered off the coast of Cape Cod in 1984. After an introductory movie, you follow the Whydah on her journey from slave ship to pirate ship to sinking ship in a 1717 storm. As you walk through and learn about the ship and crew’s history, there are many quality artifacts to be seen; cannons, swords, and a whole room of pirate treasure are just some of the highlights. There are hands on exhibits as well where you get to hoist the Jolly Roger, learn to tie knots, and look through a spyglass. And to add extra fun, there are actors portraying pirates wandering around. The moment I saw a young woman posing as legendary pirate Anne Bonny sitting on the floor tying a noose, I knew I was truly among my people. At the end of the exhibit you can learn about the process of recovering artifacts from the sunken Whydah, which continues to this day.
Real Pirates is a great experience for kids, adults, and pirate-nerds alike. If you enjoy adding some high seas adventure to your history, I’d highly recommend visiting before it closes September 3.
About the Author: Sarah Howard is a freelance writer and pirate enthusiast living in Minneapolis.
Viewfinder posts are your opportunity to “show & tell” about the everyday arts happenings, interesting sights and sounds made or as seen by Minnesota artists, because art is where you find it. Submit your own informal, first-person responses to the art around you to katie(at)mnartists.org, and we may well publish your piece here on the blog. (Guidelines: 300 words or less, not about your own event/work, and please include an image, media, video, or audio file, and one sentence about yourself.)