The Schooner Mary E

On the last day of Semester 60, Sophie Wanzer was presented with a wonderful invitation from Maine Maritime Museum: contribute a copy of a block print of the schooner Mary E, an artwork Sophie created as part of her HEC project titled “Sailing With a purpose in New England.” The print will be displayed at the museum this summer in an exhibit called “Workaday to Holiday: Schooners Along the Maine Coast.” The new exhibit is part of a celebration recommissioning the Mary E on June 9th.

Sophie Wanzer displays a copy of her Mary E block print with Christopher Timm, Curator of Exhibits at Maine Maritime

The museum is nearing the end of a multi-year project to restore the Mary E, a classic Maine fishing schooner first launched in 1906 from a boatyard on the Kennebec. The site of the original boatyard is now occupied by Bath Iron Works, a naval shipyard. 

Left to right: Tamar Wolfson, Sophie Wanzer and Bea Mace

Sophie was drawn to the Mary E for several reasons, but she speaks best in her introduction to her HEC project:

The sweep of the hull, the spray of the water, the snap and power of the sails. The beauty of a sailboat is hard to capture but the essence of the many purposes of a sailboat is deeply ingrained in its image. Sailboats communicate the value of connection, work, and understanding of the natural world. To work a sloop effectively, you have to physically connect with the boat and understand the environment. In this way, sailboats can act as teaching tools to more deeply interact with those aspects. Block prints are one way that these important connections can be seen by people. Artwork can display the most beautiful aspects of sailing and intrigue a deeper inquiry into the ideals it represents. Block printing is an effective medium because it is replicable in the most genuine way, you only need new ink and paper! Artwork is such a fast way to reach people, and the themes I’m exploring have to do with the beauty of sailing.”

The Schooner Mary E (left) sits ready for a formal re-commissioning ceremony on May 9th at Maine Maritime Museum

Congratulations to Sophie for joining this exhibit with her artwork! We encourage alumni traveling the Maine coast this summer to stop in and enjoy the Mary E at Maine Maritime Museum.

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