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View of the USS KENTUCKY in Hong Kong Harbour

Date: c 1901
Dimensions:
Display dimensions: 560 × 815 × 35 mm
Medium: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00050470
Related Place:Hong Kong,

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    Description
    A framed painting depicting a Chinese School view of USS KENTUCKY in Hong Kong Harbour.
    The KENTUCKY spent two years calling on the ports of China and Japan before returning home. It then joined President "Teddy" Roosevelt's famous Great White Fleet, circumnavigating the world 1907 to 1909 to demonstrate America's goodwill - and its growing strength.
    SignificanceThe USS Kentucky was one of 16 US Navy battleships which visited Australia in 1908 as part of the Great White Fleet.
    HistoryThe USS KENTUCKY (BB-6) was the first iron battleship built in Newport News, Virginia, and only the sixth built in America. Launched in 1899, she was a kearsarge-class pre-dreadnought batleship designed for coastal patrol and defence. After her commission in May 1900 for the US Navy, she sailed to the Far East via Gibraltar and the Suez Canal a year later, reaching Hong Kong in 1901, where she became flagship of the Southern Squadron under Rear Admiral Louis Kempff.
    From 1904 - 1907 KENTUCKY served in the Atlantic and from 1907 - 1909 was part of the historic Great White Fleet voyage. During the period of WW1, KENTUCKY was based off the Mexican coast and became a training ship until 1920. In 1923, like many other older vessels of the US Navy, she was scrapped as part of the Washington Naval Treaty.
    This style of painting, known as the Chinese School of painting, covered the period of around 1775 - 1900 and was a response of local Chinese artists to the international traders arriving in China. As the demand for decorative arts from China increased, these local artists catered more and more to the Western market. Paintings of Western ships in the exotic ports of the Far East were popular with both ships crews, captains and to buyers at home.
    China trade paintings, often depicting harbour views with moored ships, used both Western techniques and subject matters in addition to tradtional Chinese brushwork and methods. It was a unique combination of styles that produced distinctive and accurate portraits and landscapes.


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