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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Painting: 20th century: The Wreck
The Wreck

The Wreck
Harrington Fitzgerald
oil on wood
26 3/4 x 41 in. (68.1 x 104.0 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist

The Wreck shows a lifeboat pulling away from a sinking ship, with a storm approaching from the left. Although steamships in the nineteenth century made sea travel more predictable, the sheer power and vastness of the ocean remained a source of fascination for many artists. This piece evokes adventure and danger as the men struggle to escape the doomed ship.

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