Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hampton Roads Sesquicentennial

150 years ago today, a strange looking vessel steamed out of the harbor at Norfolk, Virginia. It was the CSS Virginia, an ironclad with sloping sides, built over the burnt hull of the Merrimack (or Merrimac).

Thus began a famous naval battle of the Civil War, highlighted by the sinking of the USS Cumberland. The Cumberland went down bow-first after being rammed by the Virginia's 1500 pound ram.


On the second day of the battle, the two famous ironclads, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia, clashed with each other. They shot at each other at close range in the waterway near Newport News called Hampton Roads.

My original paintings of the ironclad cutaways above and the sinking of the Cumberland are all currently on view at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News. The museum is hosting sesquicentennial events tomorrow from 10:00 to 4:00.

You can read on this blog about the making of the Cumberland painting:

4 comments:

Tami T. said...

How utterly cool! I live an hour or so from the Museum and have been there several times on field trips with my kids. It's a fantastic place to visit. We Virginians are quite into our history and this event has been in the news for two weeks. I had no idea you were the artist responsible for the great cutaways and such. I just didn't put two and two together.

Maggie Maggio said...

My husband and I are in TN this week visiting Civil War battlefields. He is a history buff and the 150th anniversaries called us here from Oregon. Yesterday we visited Lookout Mountain. As we stood in front of Walker's huge - 13' x 33' - painting he said he wished paintings of battles were more accurate and detailed. I said I wished the paintings showed more of the horrors of war instead of glorifying it. Your painting does exactly what we both wished for. Thank you.

Meera Rao said...

Oh Wow! Thats in my neck of the woods --will definitely go check it out in person :) USS Monitor is big around here -- there is even a Monitor-Merrimac tunnel. I learned about USS Monitor when my son did a yearlong project on it in HS! Its a fantastic museum and I have spent many hours there over the years.

The Surfin' Squid said...

I was always fascinated by the ironclads and your paintings do an excellent job of detailing them. If only I lived on the other side of the country, I'd love to check out that museum.