Historian Michael P. Dyer will speak on June 22 about his upcoming book, The Art of the Yankee Whale Hunt. The talk will focus on whalemen’s perceptions of the hunt as recorded pictorially in their manuscript logbooks, journals, and certain types of scrimshaw. Specifically Dyer will emphasize the underpinnings and context of the maritime culture that enabled the art form to flourish in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Why were certain types of maritime documents illustrated? Why were geographical illustrations so common? Why were ship portraits so common? Why did whalemen paint and draw pictures of whaling? How are these different types of illustration similar and where do they diverge? How did that tradition develop, evolve, and, by the end of the nineteenth century, eventually pass away completely?