William G. Yorke 
American Schooner COLUMBIA Before Block Island
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Anglo-American (1817-1892)

Oil on Canvas Circa 1881
26 x 36 Inches 33¼ x 43¼ Inches Framed
Not Signed  
   

William G. Yorke 
 
Anglo-American (1817-1892)
 
American Schooner COLUMBIA Before Block Island
⚈ Sold

Oil on Canvas Circa 1881
26 x 36 Inches 33¼ x 43¼ Inches Framed
Not Signed  
   

A view of the American Racing Yacht COLUMBIA passing the important Block Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island. COLUMBIA belongs to the elite class of big schooners built in the decade following the end of the American Civil War. She launched in 1871 out of designer Joseph Van Deusen’s Chester, Pennsylvania Yard for Franklin Osgood of the New York Yacht Club. Osgood sold the racing schooner to New York Society figure and author J.L. Wallack in 1881, under whose personal pennant she here flies.

An impressive scale and composition by Yorke, the painting holds the subject ship centrally while adding values with the island’s southeast lighthouse with its first-order fresnel lens to aid incoming ships at a great distance out on the Atlantic Ocean. The working fishermen looking on enviously at her speed and size, and sailing mates onboard a cutter sloop on the turn before her. After her racing career and a brief duty as a houseboat in 1908, COLUMBIA was refitted as a successful Gloucester Fisherman.

COLUMBIA was part of the American team that successfully defended the America’s Cup from challenger LIVONIA in 1871, winning the first two bouts and being complemented in the victory by SAPPHO. She participated in match races and cruising regattas with the N.Y.Y.C. for her three listed owners, Osgood, Wallack, and Henry M. Flagler, the important railroad patriarch of St. Augustine, Miami and Palm Beach, Florida who started Standard Oil with John Rockefeller and Samuel Andrews. Flagler bought the yacht from Wallack in 1885, and retired her only in 1890 when his 171' steel steam yacht ALICIA was completed by Harland & Hollingsworth.