Partner exhibits bring offshore and distant sanctuaries to life. In 2017 and 2018, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary partnered with the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and artist Wayne White to create a mixed media exhibit. The Monitorium depicted the people of the historic USS Monitor, a Civil War-era ironclad that changed naval warfare forever.
The Monitorium exhibit opens with art depicting Monitor's Confederate foe, the CSS Virginia, and the Union ship USS Congress during the Battle of Hampton Roads.
Visitors to the Monitorium experienced props and puppets depicting the story of Monitor and its crew. The exhibit brought viewers to Lincoln's Navy secretary, Gideon Wells, nicknamed "Neptune," as well as Captain John Worden and many of Monitor's crew members. At the exhibit's end, visitors watched Monitor sink during a storm in 1862. Survivors of Monitor's demise described its red lantern as the last thing they saw of the sinking vessel.
Photos: Kate Thompson/NOAA and Dayna Rignanese/NOAA