Arthur Beaumont 
The Smelly Yellow Whang-Po, U.S.S. HELENA
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American (1890-1978)

Watercolor on Paper Dated 1948
15 x 20 Inches 27¼ x 29¾ Inches Framed
Signed LR: Arthur Beaumont  
   

Arthur Beaumont 
 
American (1890-1978)
 
The Smelly Yellow Whang-Po, U.S.S. HELENA
⚈ Sold

Watercolor on Paper Dated 1948
15 x 20 Inches 27¼ x 29¾ Inches Framed
Signed LR: Arthur Beaumont  
   

Joyously composed, Beaumont is celebrating with the sailors of U.S.S. HELENA their preparations for the return voyage to American after more than a year in the foreign waters of China in 1947. The active waterway is laddened with Oriental Junks and a large merchant cargo ship, in this post-war return to normal commerce and safety on the seas. An excellent work in watercolor, colors swirl and draw a viewer in a circling route around the ship, especially highlighted by the red, white and blue “Homeward Bound Pennant” flown high off the radar tower array.

U.S.S. HELENA (the third naval vessel named after the capital of Montana) launched on October 24, 1945 out of the Bethlehem Steel Company Yards in Quincy, Mass. and joined the ongoing naval victory celebration in New York Harbor. She came to be a symbol of America’s victory in the Far East, with training deployments and maneuvers. She was one of the first ships put into action in response to the communist action in Korea, beginning battle on August 7, 1950 off Tanchon. She would earn four battle stars in the years of conflict, and would serve the navy in many capacities, including pilot rescues, until retired in 1963.

Beaumont, as he often did, added the historic context with his own titles and descriptions, increasing the appreciation of his already outstanding artistic ability. This work is in excellent condition, and the vibrancy of the color makes that all the more special. He purposely makes the water realistically unappealing, with words as well as tone, while the reflective shadows on HELENA’s hull show her size and indomitable strength.


Provenance: Vice Admiral Walter Delany.