Titanic Artifact Exhibition Docks Safely in San Diego

Titanic Exhibit in San DiegoOn April 15, 1912 the unsinkable wonder ship, RMS Titanic, sank to the bottom of the freezing North Atlantic ocean taking with it over 1,500 souls.

One hundred years later, over 75,000 artifacts have been brought to the surface, restored, and distributed in six separate traveling exhibits to coincide with the anniversary of the tragic events a century ago.

Approximately 200 pieces from the ill-fated maiden voyage of the world’s grandest ship of its time are currently on display for a limited time in Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the San Diego Natural History Museum from February 10th to September 9th, 2012.

From the ship’s custom-made china  for first-class passengers, to crystal vases, and even a half-full champagne bottle are encased and preserved for visitors to see. Other items collected from the depths of the sea after the wreckage was discovered in 1985 are clothes, jewelry, lamps, chandeliers, and incredibly, paper objects like US dollar bills, post cards, journals, sheet music, and other personal possesions survived their owners preserved inside leather cases which withstood destruction thanks to the tanning process of that time.

The exquisite presentation is accompanied by informative videos  and photographs showing where many of the items were located at the bottom of the ocean when they were discovered. One eerie image is a collection of about 50 gratin dishes found laying perfectly aligned in the sand, like dominoes, as they were likely protected by the now-disintegrated wood cabinet which use to housed them. Children can also touch an ice-cold iceberg while adults marvel at the elegance of a first-class state room.

The Titanic artifacts are displayed in honor of those who lost their lives when the ship sank after it hit an iceberg in the middle of the night. At the start of the exhibit, visitors are handed a replica White Star Line boarding pass with a passenger’s name and age, traveling class, and a passenger fact. At the end of the exhibit, museum-goers can check the name on the ticket against the lists posted on the wall to find out if the passenger listed survived or perished in this historical but tragic event one hundred years ago.

I was a guest of theNAT  for the Titanic exhibit, and I curiously investigated the passenger’s name on my ticket  againsts the lists. Happily I found out she survived the  sinking having been one of the lucky ones aboard the few lifeboats which only carried 700 passengers to safety; she was a newlywed and was pregnant. However, her husband died. Digging a bit further, I also found out she passed away in 1970!

This is a timed exhibit with entrance allowed on the half hour. But be sure to have time to wait in line to both purchase tickets and then to enter the exhibit at your designated time. We went on the busy President’s Day weekend and by noon tickets were sold out until 2 PM. Once inside, I also recommend purchasing the audio tour for an additional $5.

Tip: Pick up a FREE Museum Pass at any Macy’s and get 50% off your ticket. This offer is valid only during February’s Museum Month!

For dates, times, and ticket prices please visit the San Diego Natural History Museum website http://www.sdnhm.org/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/titanic-the-artifact-exhibition/ticketing-information/#tickets

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to this exhibit. The opinions expressed in this article are mine.

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