After James Bard, The Paddle Steamer ‘Morrisania’

After James Bard, The Paddle Steamer ‘Morrisania’

A naive early-20th-century depiction of the American paddle steamer ’Morrisania’. It’s after the original by 19th-century folk artist, James Bard.

The Morrisania was one of three passenger boats owned by The Morrisania Steamboat Company of New York. This ran between 1871 and 1880 with routes to Harlem and Coney Island. At the time, steamboat travel was popular as the Bronx consisted of many rural villages. Wealthier residents would often take the boat to Lower Manhattan for shopping while others used it to commute to work.

In around 1875, James Bard painted the Morrisania along with another of the fleet known as ‘Shady Side’. Bard was a prolific marine artist and painted/drew over 3,000 vessels during his lifetime.

The painting is housed within a wooden frame that’s probably its original.

Oil on canvas
Size including frame
18” x 12” / 46cm x 30cm
Year of creation
c. 1930
Craquelure throughout but the paint layer is stable. Frame with age-related wear.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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