Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam at Nauticus
View an original sleeping station with graffiti-inscribed canvases, and learn the personal stories of young Americans traveling to the Vietnam War in Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam, a new exhibit opening at Nauticus January 15 and running through May 31, 2010. Organized by The Vietnam Graffiti Project of Keswick, VA, the exhibit features artifacts from the troopship General Nelson M. Walker.
Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam includes a cache of Vietnam War soldier art of striking importance and poignancy. The project began in 1997 when military historian Art Beltrone found graffiti-inscribed berthing unit canvases from the former troop ship USNS General Nelson M. Walker, which at the time was part of the Ghost Fleet in Virginia's lower James River. Men wrote their name and hometown, recorded the date they expected to leave the service, and kept day-by-day calendars to mark the progress of the voyage. Included in the exhibit is an original eight-person berthing (bunk) unit recovered from the ship when it was scrapped in 2005. Also included are personal items left behind by the men, including rosaries, books and playing cards, as well as issues of the ship's newspaper, which add to the personal stories of each of the men bound for Vietnam in 1967.
As a tie-in to the military experience, the exhibit will also display photo images of graffiti found aboard the USS Wisconsin. Marking Time is included in regular Nauticus admission. For more information, call (757) 664-1000.