Sailing into the Gilded Age

ArtArts and CultureMuseumsGilded Age

You can see an exquisite, rare replica of the America's Cup along with four other lavish trophies and artifacts at a new yachting exhibit opening in Palm Beach on Tuesday.

"Capturing the Cup: Yacht Racing During the Guided Age," on view at the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, covers the early history of the yachts and their champions on Florida's shores during the golden age of the sport.

The show explains how the schooner yacht "America," owned by the New York Yacht Club, seized the namesake cup after winning the competition in 1851. A half model of her hull and a fragment of sail are on display.

"Visitors to this exhibition will see things that they will not likely ever see again," says John Blades, the museum's executive director. "The exhibition includes a fascinating variety of objects and images that tell the story of the first truly international sport and greatest sports competition of the 19th century."

The exhibit also features historic films and artifacts owned by railroad magnate Henry Flagler, including a rare painting of the "Columbia" by maritime artist William G. Yorke. Flagler owned the famous schooner after it won the cup in 1871.

Rounding things out is a look at Sir Thomas Lipton, who lost five challenges beginning in 1899, and features the tea magnate's Lipton Presentation Cup, made by Tiffany & Co., awarded after Lipton's final attempt to capture the trophy failed in 1930.

The show is on view through Jan. 6 at 1 Whitehall Way in Palm Beach. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $18 for adults, $10 for kids ages 13-17, $3 for 6-12, under 6 are free. 561-655-2833 or FlaglerMuseum.us.

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