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Arts & Culture

Mystic Seaport Shifts Focus With New Rebranding Effort

Andy Price
Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport announced earlier this week that they will now be known as Mystic Seaport Museum. The name change is just part of a major rebrand and a new advertising campaign aimed at attracting new visitors, and establishing the maritime museum as a year-round attraction.

The rebrand is a key element of the maritime museum's strategic plan. Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport said that over the last decade or so, the museum has shifted focus from the shipbuilding efforts that culminated in the restoration of the 19th century whaling vessel the Charles W. Morgan, to exhibitions celebrating maritime life.

With the addition of the Thompson Exhibition Building in 2016 and the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle, White said adding “museum” to their name better aligns with who the organization is at this moment in time.

“We believe now that the work that we've done at the museum brings front and center the scholarship within our curatorial department, and our connection to other maritime communities,” said White. “We didn't want there to be any mistake about it - Mystic Seaport at its core is a museum.”

Along with the name change, the museum has introduced a new logo in nautical orange, and a new tagline - "Radical craft. Get into it."

“It's about innovation,” White explained, “and it may be innovation with respect to a watercraft, or innovation with how a shipsmith works with iron. The tagline is an invitation to folks to come to Mystic Seaport, get into it, experience maritime heritage in a way that you can’t anywhere else.”

White says the goal of the rebrand is to attract more people to the museum by broadening it's reach.

“We want folks who aren't naturally connected to the sea to understand that their stories are part of the sea,” said White. “We're reaching out to new audiences in a way that we haven't been as deliberate about in the past. I think this will help increase attendance, help increase awareness, and accentuate the fact that we are a museum for all seasons.”

Mystic Seaport Museum will debut a new advertising campaign reflecting the rebrand later this month.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series “Where Art Thou?” Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of “Morning Edition”, and later of “All Things Considered.”

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