The first room showcases the Isle of Wight as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and situates the museum at the heart of British maritime history from the 16th Century onwards, including a large spectacular reproduction of the Cowdray engraving of the sinking of the Mary Rose in 1545.
“Joe Carstairs – the Fastest woman on water” tells the story of this extraordinary powerboating pioneer through a collection of her trophies, photos and film footage.
The large exhibition room displays the museum’s collection of maritime artefacts, featuring Colliwobble as a centrepiece. Showing the human element and the social history of the Island, we exhibit Thomas Rowlandson’s 18th Century unique drawings of Island life, on loan from the collections of the Isle of Wight Heritage Service.
Our special exhibition ‘Heritage Highlights of the America’s Cup’ tells the story of this extraordinary race – the ‘Formula 1’ of yacht racing.
The 1960’s pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein designed the painted hull and spinnaker for the America’s Cup boat, Young America, donating his fee to charity. A photo of the hull, renamed Mermaid, is also on display, the only example of an America’s Cup boat elevated to the status of an artwork.