In Newport News, Virginia, the cylindrical turret of the Civil War ironclad U.S.S. Monitor has been carefully preserved in fresh water for nine years since its discovery.
But now the water has been drained away, and conservators are chipping off the concretions, revealing the original iron surface, where they can see the evidence of dents from the close fire cannonade of the C.S.S. Virginia on March 9, 1862. Nineteen men had to operate alongside two guns inside a cramped space that was only 20 feet in diameter.
Read more about the remarkable design of the Monitor and the efforts at rehabilitating it in yesterday’s New York Times article by John Tierney.
The painting is a detail of an illustration I did for National Geographic about five years ago. It appears in Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist. The original is currently on view at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News. The photo is by Steve Earley from the Virginian-Pilot.
Previously: Cumberland Art