The selection of art represents some of the most important 19th-century marine painters and American fine art collections. Many images are drawn from logbooks, journals and scrimshaw belonging to mid-19th century whaler-artists. Rare photographs depict the port of New Bedford, whaling ships, life at sea, whaling methods, and items involved inthe business of whaling, which Melville researched and described in full detail.
The pictures in "Moby Dick: A Picture Voyage" are accompanied by short captions and compendia that feature quotes from the novel, information about the artwork, reflections of Melville's real-life whaling experiences, and biographical anecdotes. The majority of images chosen for the book were obtained from the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the museum's new Kendall Institute, the largest repository of whaling prints and artifacts in the world. Images were also obtained from private collections, rare books, old films and libraries.
"Moby-Dick: A Picture Voyage" will be the first version of the American classic to give readers a colorful look inside the real world of whaling as it was so eloquently described in Melville's own words. Noted Melville historian Laurie Robertson-Lorant, author of Melville: A Biography, has written the Introduction to the book. Editorial consultants include staff and curators at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Kendall Institute.