Marine Art

Schooner Elizabeth

George Wasson, from a Brooksville family of shipbuilders and seafarers, painted and wrote about coastal Maine and the Penobscot Bay in the last decades of the 19th century and the early 20th. The Museum owns his last boat,Wave Crest,  built in Brewer in 1916. This painting's donor's father, Percival Cushman, worked on Wave Crest with Wasson and cruised with him. When Wasson died Cushman inherited the boat and sailed out of Sorrento until boat was given to Frank Hatch who gave it to the Museum.  

Carver Yard with the John Carver on the Ways

The John Carver was a bark built at the Carver yard in 1841, well before Waldo Pierce was born. Until 1870 she was Searsport owned then sold to New Bedford as a whaler. This painting does give the artist's impression of what the Searsport shore looked like, and shows the cords of wood in the foreground needed to heat houses in winter.

Oil painting

Bank Sign

Like many ship portrait painters, Belfast's Percy Sanborn took commissions for signs and other decorative work. This sign was painted for the Belfast National Bank, established in 1879. It is signed by Sanborn, as are his paintings. Oil on board.

Schooner Augusta E. Herrick

The Augusta E. Herrick was built in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1877 for William P. Herrick, a highly successful Swans Island, Maine, mackerel fisherman. Modeled and built by Daniel Poland, Herrick wanted a yacht-like vessel. He also wanted a fast vessel, and he got one that was fast both reaching and running. The bow was relatively long and fine. She was the only centerboard schooner built for the Banks fisheries; Herrick wanted the centerboard in order to be able to work in and out of some shallow Maine ports. Herrick sailed her until he sold her to Boston in 1891.

Schooner Alfred Brabrook

One of seven 3-masted schooners built by Bath's Goss & Sawyer yard in 1873. This one was for a Taunton, Massachusetts captain, J.M. Phillips, who sailed with a few breaks until 1886. After his death about 1898, his wife continued to own the vessel. These 3-masted schooners were the most common schooners in the coasting trades.

Oil on canvas.

Ship Senator Weber

Senator Weber was built in Boston in 1853 as the ship Wellfleet. She sailed for Enoch Train’s Boston Liverpool Line of packets in 1854, then transferred to the Regular Line, sailing in the Boston-New Orleans cotton packet trade. The Civil War idled ships like the Wellfleet, and she was sold to Hamburg, Germany in 1863. There she was renamed Senator Weber and flew the flag of Hamburg. This painting was done when she was still the Wellfleet. It descended in the family of the American captain, Henry S.

USS President & HMS Endymion

The Endymion was a 40-gun British frigate of 1277 tons and 159 feet in length. She had a crew of 320 men when launched on the Thames in 1797. The President was a 44-gun American frigate built in New York City in 1800. This vessel fired the first shot of the war (of 1812) during a skirmish with the British frigate Belvidera on the evening of June 23, 1812.

HMS Monarch in Portsmouth

In 1869, American George Peabody died in his adopted country: Britain. Here his body is being loaded on the HMS Monarch, Britain's newest warship, for the trip back to the United States for burial. Peabody’s London to Portsmouth funeral train is in the background.


Even though much of the wealth of Bristol and Liverpool merchants came from the slave trade, in 1807 the British Parliament outlawed it. This was at the height of the Napoleonic war, two years after Trafalgar. The Royal Navy was fully committed against the French. The Admiralty sent two warships to West Africa on anti-slavery patrol despite the fact that the war with France and then the United States demanded most of the Navy’s ships.

Barkentine Mannie Swan

“Dodging the Pilots off Sandy Hook, August 11, 1893”

Antonio Jacobsen, signed, 1893

This must have been an interesting day. Captain Higgins of the barkentine Mannie Swan had years of experience sailing from New York, his home port. He wanted to save a little money by not using a pilot.

There are three pilot boats trying to get close to the Swan. Higgins is passing the Scotland lightship off Sandy Hook marking the shoal named for the 1866 wreck of the steamer Scotland.


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