Sea History 166 - Spring 2019

Page 16

National M aritime Awards Dinner

Washington Invitational Marine Art Exhibition

by Patrick O’Brien orks by some of the best marine artists in the country will be on display and for sale at the 2019 National Maritime Awards Dinner in Washington, DC, this May. I have collaborated with the National Maritime Historical Society to invite a select group of artists from the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) to participate in this special event. We present here a preview of the exhibition and an exclusive opportunity to purchase an original painting before they are exhibited during the event. As a marine artist, I try to capture the glory and the grandeur of the Age of Sail. I combine my extensive historical and nautical research, and my knowledge of color, light and form to create compelling images that bring history to life. I have two audiences in mind when I create my paintings: both the knowledgeable viewer who looks for accuracy and precision in the depiction of events and vessels, as well as the art lover who has no nautical expertise but appreciates paintings on aesthetic terms. All of the artists in this special exhibition are dedicated to their craft and passionate in their desire to make maritime history and the seas come to life. I hope you can join me and my ASMA colleagues at this special exhibition during the 2019 National Maritime Awards Dinner on May 2nd for this one-night-only event that offers Patrick O’Brien at his easel. NMHS members and guests a chance to meet some of the artists, learn more about their artwork, and perhaps purchase a favorite. While we would enjoy seeing you at the event, you need not be present to participate. If you see a painting here or on the NMHS website ( that you’d like to purchase, contact the National Maritime Historical Society via email at or by calling NMHS headquarters at 914 7377878, ext. 0. Paintings sold in advance will be displayed as “Sold” at the event. Check back as the date approaches for additional works that will be posted as they become available. One quarter of the proceeds (25%) will benefit the National Maritime Historical Society and the National Coast Guard Museum Association, and is tax deductible.


This painting (below) presents a view of Charleston’s bustling waterfront in the Age of Sail and Steam. The steeple of St. Michael’s Church is at right, and the Old Exchange building is in the center. Also in the center, a small steam launch carries sightseers, perhaps to tour nearby Fort Sumter. Along the wharves are a steam tug, a sidewheel steamer, and a brig hanging her sails to dry. A lateenrigged fishing boat, unusual for this area, is at left. Its sail is stained red because it has been soaked in tannins from tree bark called tanbark. This treatment extends the life of a sail by making it resistant to rot and mildew. As a final touch, I depicted my own dog catching a ride in the small boat in the foreground. The Charleston skyline looks much the same to this day, but the wharves have since been filled in and buildings have been constructed on the landfill, so the Old Exchange Building is no longer directly on the waterfront. The viewpoint of the painting is now on dry land, in a spot close to the current day Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park. On the Waterfront: Charleston in 1890 by Patrick O’Brien, oil on canvas • 24 x 36 inches • $15,000 14


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