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January 1932. Right Whale Stranding. North Sea, Germany
Block Print, Unique
20" x 24"

A number of years ago I was present at a mass stranding of whales on Cape Cod. My research into the history of such strandings uncovered a historical record of strandings in both the U.S. and abroad. For Cape Cod the history can be traced back to the early 1600s, and certain areas – the Outer Cape in particular, has a very high incidence of strandings and “drivings” (when whales were driven ashore intentionally).

In this series of unique block prints, each piece takes its title from the date and place of a particular stranding from the historical record. The number of repetitions of the whale image accurately reflects the number of animals that came ashore, although not all were necessarily lost. I have made a number of different blocks so that there is considerable variation in the whales portrayed in each piece.

The imagery is based partly on the journals kept aboard whaling vessels in the 19th century when hand carved wood blocks were used to indicate whales taken, as well as those which escaped (fluke only). These logs were usually kept by the ship’s Captain.

Each work in this series is a unique piece. Most 20"x24"" sheet size.
Daniel Ranalli: Whale Stranding   is currently a solo exhibition at:
The New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, MA through February 5, 2024.  It is accompanied by a 70-page fully illustrated catalog with essays by the artist and others associated with whale strandings. ore information here:   https://www.whalingmuseum.org/exhibition/whale-strandings-daniel-ranalli/