As usual, The Wife received some tickets from an out of town source to go to the Real Pirates exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota. With member prices being $12 and non-member prices being +$25 it should be a fairly good exhibit that I wouldn’t want to miss, especially with the low count of students and other guests giving me adequate time to read and see all the features.
The Real Pirates exhibit covers the real life adventure of the English gally Whydah from creation and use as a Slave ship until it was taken as a prize by the pirate Sam Bellamy and his crew. The exhibit features some of the treasure found at the Whydah and some of the relics from the ship such as the bell (pictured).
Like most exhibits I go to in the Twin Cities, I found this one no different in the aspect of it’s presentation with a biased view of the subject at hand. It could have been me, but I do believe it’s National Geographic’s presentation of the material that seemed misleading. Throughout, the pirates were represented as fair, democratic, and out right nice people. They were simply doing what they needed to do to “survive”. With the real criminals being portrayed as the navy ships that hunted them, or the merchant ships that underplayed and mistreated their workers. There was a noticeable sadness and unfairness presented when pirates were captured.
Roughly 1/5th of the exhibit consisted of the Whydah and it’s use in the slave trade before being commandeered as a pirate ship, but any mention of Spanish galleons returning with all of the treasures from South America was noticeably missing. I would have thought they would have included more information about where all these Spanish coins were coming from.
Overall, I would say it’s probably worth the $12 (pending you are a member) and you can make it there when it isn’t busy. It was quite difficult to read about the artifacts with even a handful of people. With most of the information presented in paragraph form and very few hands one activities this one is more geared toward adults.
Have you been to this exhibit or other exhibits at the Science Museum? Do you think they do the subject justice or are more constructed to display artifacts?