Past Exhibitions

Ship Paintings

Two years ago this gallery was devoted to a selection of our ship models. The following year’s exhibition was drawn from our holdings of maritime paintings – specifically paintings depicting particular vessels. These works – ship portraits – were usually commissioned by the owners or captains. Sometimes they were meant to celebrate a recently launched ship, other times to commemorate the end of someone’s association with the particular vessel.

Many of the ship portraits in the OHS collection are of vessels owned or captained by Orient men. (State Street in Orient had so many ship captains, it became known as Skipper’s Lane, the name it retains to this day.) A selection of those ship paintings is on view in this gallery; more are displayed in Webb House in Poquatuck Park across the street. Other vessels have a less specific connection to Orient or East Marion, or perhaps the connection has yet to be discovered, for example the large and impressive painting of the Joseph Pulitzer.

Two paintings in the exhibition – as well as two in the staircase hall – are by one of America’s most famous marine artists, the Danish-born Antonio Jacobsen. Several were painted by, or attributed to, W. P. Stubbs; one is by Orient native William T. Conklin; and the watercolor of the Louisa is by a noted French marine artist Honore Pellegrin. The remainder were painted by anonymous artists.

A variety of vessels are portrayed. Most are schooners (two-masted and threemasted). Two of those schooners are pilot boats. There is one bark depicted, a whaler, (captained on at least one voyage by an Orient man). The J. L. Hasbrouck is a barkentine, and the Asia is a steamship. The Frederick E. Ives is a tugboat. Paintings of two more steamships, the side wheelers Shelter Island and Francis are hanging just outside the gallery in the staircase hall. Both were painted by Antonio Jacobsen. Four of the paintings on view have been recently conserved, thanks to the generosity of OHS members who contributed to our Maritime Collection Conservation Fund.

Exhibit Items

Sign-up for our newsletter