Within the artistic output of Duncan Gleason, works depicting U.S.S. CONSTITUTION from her Pacific Ocean voyages in 1933-1934 as part of grand tour of the United States are extremely sought after. Sketches, illustrations and postcards exist of some of these paintings, and in this case, a smaller sized oil painting was performed by the artist after the largest and most renown of all his CONSTITUTION scenes. The owner of both paintings, Gleason’s family doctor, Homer Franklin Bailey, had the artist over to his home, and in an evening session, had him paint this work after the original so Dr. Bailey would have one for his office. Dr. Bailey had a Sunset Boulevard practice and was the chief surgical instructor at UCLA Medical Center for years.
The oldest commissioned warship in the American Navy, “Old Ironsides” survived 42 battles. Her 21-inch thick wood walls were never pierced by enemy shot and the only enemy combatants that set foot on her were prisoners. On her grand tour of the United States after four years of restoration, the warship visited at least one port in every coastal state from Maine to Washington, twice transiting the Panama Canal, from July 1931 to June 1934.
Some of Gleason’s works of CONSTITUTION were purchased by the captain and crew to keep onboard and to give to mayors of cities visited, and one was reproduced as a postcard by the hotel San Diego for its farewell voyage from California. While others exist, this oil is directly after the painting that Gleason himself considered his finest work, according to Homer Bailey Jr., the last owner of the works. It is an excellent artistic work of one of the most historic of maritime subjects.
Original Artist's Label with Title Verso.
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