Under a Stiff Breeze: The Art of Wind and Water
Exhibition opened: October 18, 2019
Sails and the wind drove humankind around the watery globe. The wind drove maritime commerce. It drove cultures. It raised up nations and destroyed them. It brought fortunes, heartbreak, exhilaration, and tragedy. It furthered science, and it furthered fine art. To this day few sights compare to that of a full-rigged ship in a gale of wind, and marine artists captured that very scene over centuries. In “Under a Stiff Breeze,” some of the more tempestuous works of marine painting in the collection are put on view along with a selection of Matthew Fontaine Maury’s Wind and Current Charts. Maury, an American hydrographer in the U.S. Navy in the 1850s studied and mapped the winds and currents through the cooperation of his compatriot seafarers; whalers, merchant captains, and Naval voyages. His accomplishments charting the winds and currents changed the way humankind came to know the oceans of the world, and changed seafaring forever.
Caption: William Edward Norton, Bark Concordia Outward Bound. Oil on canvas, c. 1868. NBWM Collection, 1959.17.