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FLYING CLOUD painted for the frontispiece of Arthur C Clark's book 'The Clipper Ship Era'

Date: 1909
Dimensions:
Overall: 405 x 662 mm
Medium: Watercolour paint on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00009073
Place Manufactured:United States

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    Description
    This ship portrait depicts the American three-masted clipper ship FLYING CLOUD from the starboard side, fully rigged and flying an American flag from its stern. It was painted as the frontispiece for the Arthur H Clark book, titled 'The Clipper Ship Era'. This painting belonged to Captain Clark and then the Boston Yacht designer, Francis Herreshof.
    SignificanceThis watercolour represents 20th century ship portraits and the FLYING CLOUD, an important clipper ship involved in the Australian wool trade.
    HistoryThe era of the clipper ships was dominated by a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. These sleek and graceful ships were a symbol of American modernity and fundamental to the expanding global economy. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity, a great benefit to shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly.

    FLYING CLOUD was the most famous clipper ship to be built by renowned shipbuilder Donald McKay. It was launched in 1851 at East Boston, Massachusetts and helped establish McKay's career and his shipbuilding expectations for the future.

    FLYING CLOUD's launch coincided with the Californian gold rush. Ships making the passage to the gold fields between New York and San Francisco took an average of two hundred days, while FLYING CLOUD took a groundbreaking eighty-nine. In its later years the vessel transported tea from China to London, making the journey in one hundred and twenty-three days. Eventually the growing prevalence of steam powered ships diminished the use of FLYING CLOUD and its companion clipper ships. In 1874 the ship became grounded and was used for scrap metal after it was condemned.


    Additional Titles

    Primary title: "FLYING CLOUD", PAINTED TO BE THE FRONTISPIECE FOR 'THE CLIPPER SHIP ERA', ARTHUR C CLARK

    Web title: FLYING CLOUD painted for the frontispiece of Arthur C Clark's book 'The Clipper Ship Era'

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