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Sydney Harbour August 22nd 1908

Date: 1908
Overall: 315 x 610 x 20 mm, 1485 g
Medium: Watercolour on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00042674
Related Place:Sydney, Sydney Harbour,

User Terms

    In 1908 noted Australian artist Julian Ashton was inspired by the US Fleet anchored on Sydney Harbour and captured this view from the North Shore near Mosman two days after the fleet had steamed through the Heads. The fleet’s arrival in Sydney generated great public interest and public ceremony with parades, naval reviews and banquets being held in their honour.
    SignificanceThis is the only original painting by noted Australian artist Julian Ashton in the Australian National Maritime Museum's Collection. It records one of the most anticipated naval events in 20th century Australian history and was painted two days after the arrival of the American Fleet during the height of the public’s interest.
    HistoryIn December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent the Atlantic Battle Fleet of sixteen battleships on a fourteen month goodwill cruise. The fleet set out from Newport News, Virginia, in December 1907 visiting six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports. It carried 614 officers, 13,504 other crew and consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition. It was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation.

    Left off the original itinerary, the Fleet came to Australia at the direct invitation of Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. As well as providing great excitement the visit fueled support for the creation of Australia's own Navy. It arrived in Sydney on the 20 August 1908 and entered Sydney Heads to be greeted by crowds lining the foreshore and bands playing on the headlands.

    One quarter of the Australian population saw the Great White Fleet during its three week stay in Sydney, Melbourne and Albany.In Sydney, and a few days later in Melbourne, crowds of between 400,000 and 600,000 turned out to welcome the ships. Streets were decorated and special events were planned throughout the week. A five-story copy of the Statue of Liberty was built on top of the offices of The Daily Telegraph. Public holidays were declared, enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades with a vast array of souvenirs being produced for a population caught up in the euphoria of the visit.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Great White Fleet on Sydney Harbour

    Primary title: Sydney Harbour August 22nd 1908

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