U.S. Revenue Cutter, the U.S. "Morris"

H. A. Roath, American, active 19th century

Made in United States, North and Central America

After 1855

Oil on canvas

15 1/2 x 21 inches (39.4 x 53.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Collection of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, 1967

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boat [x]   marine painting [x]   nhd 1815 to 1860 maritime [x]   ocean [x]   ship [x]   ship painting [x]   ship portrait [x]  

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Ship 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.