Ropeworks: Exploring the Nets and Knots of the Industry

New Bedford, MA – The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is pleased to announce the opening of Ropeworks: Exploring the Nets and Knots of the Industry. An opening reception will take place on April 13th at 6:30 p.m. during AHA.  The exhibit will run through May 28, 2017.

From the days of manila and hemp to the synthetic fibers in use on today’s boats, rope has been central to the workings of the fishing industry.  While nets and knots can be utilitarian, there is often a thin line (no pun intended) between occupational skill and maritime art.  Some fishermen apply the skills they used in their work on the boats to create decorative pieces such as knot boards, lanyards, and even purses.

The exhibit features the model nets of Tor Bendiksen; fenders and marlinspike artistry of Barbara Merry, Erika Hamer, and Gilman Hamer; Irish knitting of Ann Horkan and Norwegian knitting of Ingebjorg Hildur Bendiksen; and decorative ropework of Manny Vinagre and Ole Andersen. In addition, poetry by fisherpoets Dave Densmore and Geno Leech as well as quotes from oral history interviews show the importance of rope in the life of commercial fishermen.

This exhibit is made possible by R & W Rope and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Center is open Thursday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Located in the heart of the National Park at 38 Bethel Street, the Center is wheelchair accessible and has free off-street parking. Free admission.

The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the commercial fishing industry past, present, and future through archives, exhibits, and programs. For more information, please contact the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center at or call (508) 993-8894.