This past Thursday I finally had a chance to visit the Real Pirates exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota, and I thought I'd post comments.
First and foremost, I was pleased by the exhibit. This probably doesn't come as a surprise, given that I really like pirates, but I wasn't taking it for granted that I would be. Granted, because the exhibit features items actually reclaimed from the wreck of the Whydah, there isn't a huge amount of physical material. There were a variety of weapons, utensils, jewelry, some clothing items and other goods, though, along with an impressive display of recovered coinage. All of it was put together with very informative printed materials and a solid audio tour, creating a surprisingly intimate look at life aboard one ship. Real Pirates also did a good job of telling the pirates' stories, including the vicious storm that eventually claimed the vessel. Although there was a fair amount of information that was already familiar to me, it still took me a solid ninety minutes to look at everything, and I came out of it feeling like I'd learned a good deal about how life aboard a pirate ship would have been.