A message from Museum Curator Raynell Smith:
Smoke was still rising from the ruins of the Deltaville Maritime Museum last July when offers of help began flooding in. One such call came from my old friend and one of Chesapeake Bay’s most renowned maritime artists, John Barber. John and his wife Kathy have long time ties to Deltaville and were horrified by the loss of our museum building and its contents.
Immediately after the fire, John was concerned about any of his prints that might have been lost in the fire. Subsequently he replaced our copy of “Moonlight Run” which had been severely damaged. When the true extent of the museum’s lost became apparent, John called back with an amazing offer. He would create an original painting on any subject of our choosing and allow us to make prints to raise funds to replace our lost exhibits.
Selecting a worthy subject for the main focus of the new painting was simple. To date the most ambitious project untaken by the Museum has been the restoration of the log bottom buyboat, the F.D. Crockett. From a rotting hulk (We have a picture of a tree growing out of her deck), the boat was transformed by John England and his crew of Crocketteers into one of the loveliest buyboats on Chesapeake Bay. Deciding on the other elements to be included was also straightforward. We wanted to locate the Crockett in Middlesex waters and what better way than to include a portrait of Stingray Point Lighthouse? The third subject of the painting, the steamer Piankatank, completes the painting’s connection to our area. The Piankatank, a coal burning steamer, was a well-known sight in Middlesex-instantly recognizable even from a distance by her long trail of smoke.
All winter John worked on the details, sending sketches out periodically for any editing and for our approval. The material John sent was exciting, but the full scope of his creation wasn’t apparent until he sent the finished image to us in full color. You must see the print in person to fully appreciate its vibrant colors and John’s marvelous attention to detail,- and you will have your chance on Memorial Day weekend.
On Saturday, May 25th, at 10 AM John and Kathy Barber will unveil, at the Deltaville Maritime Museum, the original painting- “F.D. Crockett and the Steamer Piankatank off Stingray Point” circa 1930-Chesapeake Bay. The public is cordially invited to come see the original painting and, at that time, to purchase a print in support of the museum rebuild. From 10-2, John will be at the Museum to meet and greet the public and to personalize Crockett prints.
Until the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, prints will be on sale at Nauti Nell’s. If, by some chance, you cannot attend the Memorial Day event, but want to have John personalize your Crockett print, I can arrange this on that day. Prices for the prints are: on paper, $195.00; remarqued on paper, $695.00 (Only a few remaining); and on canvas, $495.00. 5% sales tax must be added to the above amounts. A check made out to the Deltaville Maritime Museum is the preferred method of payment. All profits from the sale of these prints will go to replace the museum exhibits.
Once again I would like to express our gratitude to John Barber for his unprecedented donation to help our museum.