Sea History 122 - Spring 2008

Page 34

Marit1e Art News: Uisaster Strikes at Marit1e 0-allery


kipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery, a maritime antiques and fine art gallery located in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia, was damaged and subsequently demolished afte r an early morning fire broke out in a nearby church. On 20 December 2007, the historic 142-yearold Zion Baptist Church was completely destroyed after a fire that started in the main sanctuary quickly spread to the adjacent building, located next to Skipjack Nautical Wares. An explosion caused by a buildup of trapped heat and gas blew up the neighboring community center and caused damage to the second floor residence of Skipjack owners Joe and Alison Elder. Later that same day, the City of Portsmouth condemned the building and demolished the structure out of concern for public safety. Nearly the entire collection of maritime antiques and marine art in the showroom was destroyed in the demolition, as well as all of the owners' personal belongings-the building housed the owners' residence above their place of business. Skipjack Naurical Wares & Marine Gallery represenred over 35 conremporary marine artists wo rking in various media including paintings, etchings and prinr, sculpture, photography, scrimshaw, sailor art, folk art, wood carvings, ship models, custom furniture and furnishings. Artists that have lost works in the disaster include: Bill Allen, Susan and Mike Bade, George Bell, Eric Peter Black, David Boone, Jim Campbell, Richard Carpenter, Gentry Childress, Constance Fahey, Bud Fisher, Greg Fortner, Michael Goodwin, Allen Graves,

Skipjack Nautical Wtires & Marine Gallery


Steve Hutchinson, Dorothy Hudgins, Jae & Patricia Johnson, Capt. Peter Labyak, Sam McDowell, Joe McNelis, Richard C. Moore, Fran Morey, Erick Marshall Murray, Donna Lee Nyzio, Patrick O 'Brien, Will iam Barth Osmundsen, Norris Padgett Jr., Norris Padgett III, Everett Peterson , Pauli ne Ross, Stella Schreiber, David Timm, David M. Weiss, and Jim Boll and. A small number of antiques and artist's works were recovered from the debris. Few items chat were located in the Eider's residence survived. The future of the gallery is still in question at chis time, but you can stay up to date by visiting You can read articles concerning the disaster and make financial contributions by visiting www:// Sea Histo ry readers will recognize the damaged painting (bottom left) , from the cover of the autumn 2007 issue, no. 120. According to its creator, Patrick O'Brien: "My solo exhibition 'The Civil Wtir at Sea' had ended three weeks before the fire, so many of my paintin gs, which depicted a tragic era in our nation's hisrory, narrowly avoided a tragic Artist Patrick O'Brien carries this surviving fate of their own. I did lose painting back to the safety ofhis studio. some paintings, but, thankfully, someone managed to rescue my favorite, 'Charleston Harbor Under the Blockade,' (in photo above right) just before the demolition . This painting has taken on a special meaning to me as a lone su rvivor, plucked at the last minute from sure destruction." j:,


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.