U.S. Revenue Cutter, the U.S. "Morris"Made in United States, North and Central America
H. A. Roath, American, active 19th century
Oil on canvas
Currently not on view
1967-268-3The Collection of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, 1967
LabelShip portraiture, a novelty in the late eighteenth century, gained popularity in the United States as pride in the country's naval and commercial power grew. Professional, amateur, and part-time artists, including many self-taught sailor-painters (perhaps including the unknown H. A. Roath), commemorated their favorite vessels. A print in the weekly periodical Ballou’s Pictorial in 1855 inspired this painting of the revenue cutter Morris, which was used by the United States Coast Guard to enforce customs regulations and combat smugglers, pirates, and privateers. Built in 1831 at the New York Navy Yard, the Morris was active until 1846, when a hurricane drove her ashore near Key West, Florida.