Lady of Salem” Maritime Public Art Exhibition is on display June-October, celebrating the “Golden Age of Sail “ in New Englands original port of culture, Salem Massachusetts. The Salem Beautification Committee sponsored project began in 2012. Lady of Salem features over 17 figureheads created by local artists. The “Ladies” can be found adorning lampposts along the Essex St. pedestrian mall. The Lady of Salem” exhibition is a public-private collaboration which pairs local artists with school, civic organization or business sponsors. Artists paint and embellish a 33 inch fiber molded form. Each figurehead embodies various aspects of Salem’s Golden Age of Sail.
Figureheads are ornamental carvings which graced the bowsprit of sailing ships and helped to identify the vessel. During the late 1790’s Salem was the richest city in America with over 50 wharves. Spices, textiles and other riches were brought to Salem from Asia and the Caribbean. Locally crafted products and commodities were traded around the world.
Salem’s City motto, “To the farthest ports of the rich East” celebrates this illustrious period in our history! The “Ladies” pay homage to our maritime glory.
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