Sea History 090 - Autumn 1999

Page 30

MARINE ART NEWS USS Constitution Museum Acquires Portrait

Marine Art Events

The USS Constitution Museum recently acquired a portrait of Commodore William Bainbridge, ninth in command of USS Constitution, painted by renowned portrait artist Gilbert Stuart. T he portrait, originally commissioned by the people ofNew York in the spring of 1813 to celebrate USS Constitution's victory over HMS Java during the War of 1812, was unveiled at a special ceremony at the museum over the July Fourth weekend. The portrait was accompanied by a collection of memorabilia honoring Bainbridge's victory. "This Stuart portrait of William Bainbridge demonstrates the importance of USS Constitution to the early republic," said Curator Anne Grimes Rand. Disagreements between the artist and Stuart's portrait of USS Constitution's ninth his subject, the root of which are lost to commanding officer, William Bainbridge (Cour- the course of history, caused Stuart to tesy USS Constitution Museum, Bostonljanet lose his commiss ion for a series of porStearns) traits for New York City's "Gallery of Portraits." Commodore Bainbridge acquired the painting, and it remained in his family ~ntil the 1920s. Th; portrait h~s b ~en displayed extensively and was included in the N ano nal Gallery,~f Art s 1967 exh1bmon "Gilbert Stuart: Portraits of the Young Republic, 1755-1828. (USS CM, Box 1812, Boston MA 02129; 617 426-1812;

Oldest Gondola Returns to Mariners' Museum The Mariners' Museum is celebrating the homecoming of a mid-19th-century gondola to rejoin the museum's collection of 125 smal'. craft from around the wo1:ld. The 38-foot gondola has a remarkable pedigree. It was built. b~ Dom~n1co Tramonn.n, at the famed Venetian T ramontin Boatyard, for a noble family 111 Vemce. Pen Brown111g, son of poet Robert Browning, bought the gondola and used it with his father. In 1890 the gondola was sold to American landscape artist Thomas Moran for use on his New York estate. Upon Moran's death, it was given to the East Hampton Free Library an~ was finally donated to The Mariners' Museum in 1950. It is the oldest known gondola 111 the world. The Mariners' Museum returned the gon- The newly restored gondola took its place ofhonor this summer dola to the Tramontin in The Mariners' Museum's exhibit ''To Venice and Back." Boatyard in Venice for res- (Courtesy The Mariners' Museum/Sergio Sutto) toration. Using traditional techniques and materials, Tramontin artisans replaced inaccurate fastenings and wood, regilded decorative elements, and repainted the craft using an approximation of the original paint. (TMM, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News VA 23606-3759; 757 5962222;



• Cinemar-Festival Internacional de Imagen es de Mar de Barcelona, Spain: May 2000 (Cinernar, Diagonal 465, pral 2a A, 08036 Barcelona, Spain; 34 934 108 383; fax: 34 933 221 836; email:

New Exhibits • Door County Maritime Museum: from 9 July 1999: "Sweat and Steel: Photographs of Bay Shipbuilding" and "Maritime Art by Charles Peterson" (PO Box 246, Sturgeon Bay WI 54235; 920 743-5958; web site: http://dcmm .org) • Independence Seaport Museum: 13 September 1999-September 2000, "Life ofa Sailor: A Collector's Vision" (Penn's Landing at 211 South Columbus Blvd. & Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19106-3199; 215 925-5439; web site: • Mystic Maritime Gallery: from 25 September, 20th International Marine Art Exhibition; from 14 November, Featured Artist Exhibition 0une Carey, Fritz Goosen, William Ryan, Susan Van Winkle) and Annual Small Works Exhibition (47 Greenmanville Avenue, PO Box 6000, Mystic CT 063550990; 860 572-5388; web site: www •New Bedford Whaling Museum: from 21May1999, "A Wind from the North: The Turn of the Last Century through the Eyes of Clifford W. Ashley"; from 23 September 1999, "Whalers Go West: The Lure of Gold" (18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford MA 027406398; 508 997-0046; web site: www • TawesMuseumoftheCrisfieldHeritage Foundation: 11 J une-3 1 October 1999, "Woolies: Embroidered Ship Portraits, the Maritime Artwork of the Past from the Collection of Donald Berezoski" (3 Ninth Street, Crisfield MD 21817; 410 968-2501) • Ventura County Maritime Museum: 1 November-31December1999, 'The Work of Bert Wright, President, Royal Society of Marine Artists" (at Channel Islands Harbor, 2731 South Victoria Avenue, Oxnard CA 93035; 805 9846260; fax: 805 984-5970)


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