A special portrait, the American clipper FOREST QUEEN cresting a mid-Atlantic Ocean swell makes a remarkable painting by the well-known 20th Century marine artist, Montague Dawson. The vertical portrayal does exactly what the artist chose, it illustrates the power of the sea and the strength of the ships and men that sailed as a career. Bright and bold colors make the sea, sky and ship come alive in frozen action on the canvas.
FOREST QUEEN was built by Thomas Jefferson Southard in Richmond, Maine in 1849, assisted by builder Alexander Stanwood. At 886 Tons, 158'5"L x 35'B x 17'6"D, she was one of Maine’s earliest true clippers. From his first vessels launched in the 1830s, the four Southard shipyards built between 75 and 100 ships up through the 1890s. Southard himself would become the principle founder of Richmond, owning numerous businesses, becoming postmaster, and then serving as a representative and senator to the Maine Legislature. He built the clipper for owner Rufus K. Page, whose namesake clipper built by Southard later became important to Juneau, Alaska, where a street today carries his name. Sailing for years, the FOREST QUEEN was involved in cross-Atlantic business out of New York for more than a decade, and kept away from service in the California Trade. Dawson garnered inspiration for this excellent work from those who knew the ship firsthand.
Verso: Original Frost & Reed Label, #7143, with title; Arthur Ackermann Gallery Labels(2); the Northern Pump Company, small label and Notice of Loan
to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Museum Acquisition Label.
Provenance: Frost & Reed, London; Arthur Ackermann & Son, Inc., Chicago;
Northern Pump Company, Minneapolis, Minn.; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota; Private New York Collection.
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