A Shipwright Documented
Time & Location
About the Event
Harold A. Burnham: Master Shipwright is a short film featuring master wooden boat builder Harold A. Burnham. Shot both in the Burnham shipyard and on the water, the film touches on shipbuilding in Essex, the Burnham family, learning from old-time boat builders, designing boats using half models, milling lumber, lofting, framing, community involvement, navigating on the water, maintaining a wooden boat, and rehabilitating a historic schooner. Part of the interest and challenge for videographer Daniel Jacobs was doing multiple shoots with Burnham when he wasn’t under commission to build a boat.
The film is part of the Folk Arts & Heritage Program’s effort to promote individual craftspeople carrying on deeply rooted traditions while highlighting the support the Agency provides to help sustain these cultural traditions, including Artist Fellowships and Apprenticeships. (Harold Burnham is the recipient of a 2020 Artist Fellowship in the Traditional Arts Fellowship and is the current recipient of a 2021 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship with Katherine Dench.)
About the Panelists
Harold A. Burnham is a local shipbuilder and schooner owner/operator. A 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellow, Harold has helped keep Essex’s defining industry of shipbuilding alive through the rehabilitation of historic ships and the design and construction of new, indigenous, traditional vessels for cultural tourism. The presence of his vessels in Gloucester and Mass Bay serves as a constant reminder of the important roles fishing and maritime commerce play in our culture.
Maggie Holtberg is the Co-Director and Interviewer for this film. She is Program Manager, Folk Arts & Heritage, Mass Cultural Council (1999 to the present) works closely with traditional artists through documentary field research, grants management, exhibit, and festival curation, and archive management. She is the author of Keepers of Tradition: Art and Folk Heritage in Massachusetts (2008); The Lost World of the Craft Printer (1992) and co-director/producer of the documentary film Gandy Dancers (1994).
Daniel Jacobs is the Co-Director and Cinematographer/Editor for this film. He is a filmmaker who works in a variety of genres from documentaries to dramatic fiction, corporate videos to dance performances, music concerts, and art movies. His cultural immersion experience in a variety of countries, a lifelong fascination with the visual arts, literature, and poetry, and his experience as a musician and abstract painter offer a special lyricism to his film and video work.
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