South Street Seaport Museum expands digital galleries in collections online portal

South Street Seaport Museum
Photo courtesy of South Street Seaport Museum

The Collections Online Portal is South Street Seaport Museum’s new platform featuring nearly 3,000 pieces on virtual display highlighting four distinct sets. Digital visitors will explore New York City’s past through the archives, artifacts and photographs of the museum. The online portal will include over 900 digitized works of art and objects covering a variety of mediums, historical subjects and themes relating to the growth and changing city. 

This gallery will highlight the history of NYC as a port city and world capital witnessing global cultures and forms of art from the 17th century to the mid-20th century. This online database is free and accessible for all viewers. They hope to allow digital visitors to “explore the collection from the comforts of home.”

The four highlighted sets of the new digital gallery include ceramics, drawings and watercolor paintings, lithographs and prints and the Wendell Lorang Maritime Postcard collection. The pieces may be from other countries brought to the seaports of New York or artistic documentations of sailors’ experiences at sea. Many photographs depict NYC’s harbor landscapes and buildings throughout the ages. The postcard collection contains 20th-century postcards donated by Wendell Lorang and depicts ocean liners, lake steamers, coastal steamers and fairies, United States Navy ships and Navy ports. 

The Seaport Museum’s collection consists of more than 28,500 works of art and artifacts and over 55,000 historic records documenting the rise of New York as a port city and its role in the economy and business of the U.S. through social and architectural landscapes. 

Located in the heart of the South Street Seaport Historic District in NYC, the South Street Seaport Museum works to preserve and interpret the history of this port city. Including their collection, the museum also houses a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, functional nineteenth-century print shops and a fleet of historic vessels. 

Through accessible material, the museum focuses on telling the story of where New York begins.