In 2006 the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History commissioned the gallery to construct a custom 1:64 scale model of a modern day fishing trawler for their up-coming exhibit, On the Water: Stories of Maritime America, which would open in the spring of 2009.
Marine model artist Erik Ronnberg was chosen to construct a model of the Alaska Ocean, a 376’ at-sea fish processing ship, which sailed out of Seattle for the Glacier Fish Company catching Alaskan Pollock. The result is a complex, nearly six foot cut-away model featuring a raised weather deck to allow visitors to view into the factory deck and lower freezer hold. The model demonstrates the state-of-the-art methods of a purpose-built ship design, in which every aspect of the vessel provides areas of automated or manual processing tasks from initial sorting, filet, roe accumulation, surimi production, to flash freezing.
The new exhibition is now open to the public and their website (www.si.edu) is most informative.