Custom House Maritime Museum A View of the Museum from Water St.


Crossing the Bar - Portraits of Ships at Sea

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January 2, 2018 – June 1, 2018
Crossing the Bar - Portraits of Ships at Sea




Crossing the Bar

Portraits of Ships at Sea



Every picture tells a story, and in the maritime tradition of ship paintings, the portrait of a ship at sea embodies not only the vessel, but serves as a portal to the narrative of its owners, captain, passengers and journeys, connections and encounters – perhaps even moments of history.

Ship Elisha DennisonWithin portraits of Donald McKay's spectacular Flying Cloud, painted by Newburyport Art Association founder Sam Sargent, a mystical rendering of the Anna F. Schmidt before her capture and burning by the infamous CSS Alabama – or ship Medora, where aboard a 16-year old crew member on his first voyage to sea would be carried to Asia before he had ever seen Boston, and Brig Charlotte, the very first vessel to leave Newburyport for the California Gold Rush – are harbored stories that embody the essence of past Newburyport life, culture and experience.

Crossing the Bar – Portraits of Ships at Sea, through two dozen specially selected works of art from the museum’s own collection (including several never previously displayed), explores and inspires a deeper understanding and appreciation of maritime artistry, coupled with the individuals, engagements and adventures connected to majestic vessels from the age of sail.

Ship Anna F. Schmidt

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