Ann Schmitt, lead curator of the Peoria Riverfront Museum, has a few theories on the enduring fascination with the Titanic. The human interest in those that perished with the sinking ship continues, bolstered by the cinematic depiction in the blockbuster 1997 film of the same name. Schmitt also noted a Romantic idea of the ship has formed in the resulting century, coupled with an ongoing obsession with large-scale disasters. Whatever cocktail of psychology lies behind the fascination, it hasn’t been enough to satiate our appetite for more information about the Titanic. Schmitt would know best. “I’ve seen four different Titanic exhibits, and I’d see another one if it came to Chicago,” Schmitt said.
Source: New Riverfront Museum exhibit explores the enduring fascination of the Titanic (Journal Star,9 Nov 2016)
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition will be at the Peoria Riverfront Museum from 12 November 2016-12 March 2017. It is strongly encouraged you purchase tickets online. For details about hours,purchasing tickets,and other information go to www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org.
The Titanic and Bodies exhibitions at the former Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, California is closing for good on 3 Jan 2016. The location has been sold and will host a butterfly and hummingbird atrium that will open in 2017. Meanwhile the search for a new location continues. The new location not only must have room for the exhibits but also for a gift shop. Premier is hoping to find a location in Southern California as attendance at Buena Park was one of the highest for U.S. locations.
When Michael Sweeney walked through the door, the 25-year-old found out he was visitor 2 million. He is quoted as saying “I feel like the king of the world!” This milestone is being celebrated as proof of the enduring attraction of Titanic Belfast. Titanic Belfast CEO Tim Husbands said:
It seems like only yesterday that Titanic Belfast opened and helped turn the city into a major player in the global tourism market. We are three months short of our third birthday and already we are celebrating our two-millionth visitor. This is a tremendous achievement.
That snark who recently maligned Belfast by saying the iceberg did them a favor is probably choking on his shepherd’s pie right about now.
1. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition will be at Dubuque, Iowa, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium from 23 May-7 Sep 2014. Details are still being finalized as to admission costs. Further information can be found at their website.
Source: Titanic Exhibit Coming To Dubuque’s River Museum(25 Sep 2014,Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
2. Finding the Northwest Passage has been the dream of many explorers. At one time, some believed there was a navigable path between east and west just above Canada. In 1845 an expedition led by Captain Sir John Franklin with two ships–H.M.S. Erebus and the H.M.S. Terror–set off to traverse one of the last unnavigated sections. They were last seen in Greenland in late July, 1845 and later in Baffin Bay by whalers. After that they were never seen again. Later expeditions found relics and heard stories from the Inuit. It was learned thirty-five had died of starvation heading south. It was suspected some died of poisoning from eating from tinned cans. Darker talk of cannibalism also were said and much later confirmed by examining remains. Many of the remains confirmed that lead poisoning probably contributed to the death. Their ships though remained lost until recently when a Canadian search team appears to have found one. It is not known whether it is the Erebus or Terror that has been found. A great deal of mythology and popular storytelling has grown up around this ill-fated expedition. Perhaps this find will lay some of them too rest.
1. The Franklin Ship Myth, Verified(24 Sep 2014,The New Yorker)
2. Franklin’s Lost Expedition (Wikipedia)
Reverend Robert J. Bateman, age 51, had been in Bristol, England visiting relatives when he made his return trip on Titanic in 1912. Accompanying him was his sister-in-law Mrs Ada Balls. They travelled in second class. When disaster struck, he helped Ada into lifeboat 10 and said to her “If I don’t meet you again in this world, I will in the next.” He handed his Bible over to her along with his overcoat and tie. His body was recovered by Mackay-Bennett and interred at Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida.
Ada gave the Bible to her sister Emily, his wife. She gave the Bible upon death to Dr. Harry Upperman from the Baxter Seminary in Baxter, Tennessee. The Upper Room Museum purchased the Bible and now it is on loan to Titanic Pigeon Forge through August 2014.
According to Atlanta Business Chronicle, Premier Exhibitions (which owns RMS Titanic, Inc and Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition), reported in a regulatory filing that the board of directors approved a review of “strategic alternatives.”
“The board of directors is working to pursue all appropriate actions to enhance the value of the company for its shareholders,” said Mark A. Sellers, chairman of the board of Premier Exhibitions. “To that end, we have determined that a broad evaluation of strategic alternatives led by a top tier investment bank should be the next step in that process and we are very excited to have engaged a prominent, New York based investment bank as our adviser.”
That sounds like they are preparing to sell the company or perhaps parts of it to other interested parties. With the Titanic artifact sale up in limbo at this point (a consortium backed out since it could not raise the money) and likely no deal in the immediate future, it probably means they would prefer someone else have that headache. Do not be surprised if a sale ends up being done either to a gulf state business or to a Chinese company. Both areas been making moves to capitalize on the Titanic tourist trade.