Blue Sail Fleet Returns

  • Earl Cunningham, Blue Sail Fleet Returns, after 1949, oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Mennello, 1988.64

Earl Cunningham painted more than four hundred images of the sea, based on his memories of voyages up and down the East Coast. Blue Sail Fleet Returns does not show an actual location, but rather a combination of real and imaginary elements. He created a fantasy world with purple water, orange trees, and birds as large as a house, and may have included himself as one of the tiny fishermen on the pier. The sea represented freedom to Cunningham, and one of his dreams was to own a houseboat so he could live permanently on the water (“Earl Cunningham’s American Eden,” Gary Schwan, The Palm Beach Post, 1994, Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, 1990 – 1999, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution).

Blue Sail Fleet Returns
after 1949
16 1236 14 in. (41.892.1 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Mennello

Mediums Description
oil on fiberboard
  • Animal – bird
  • Waterscape – time – sunset
  • Architecture – boat – sailing ship
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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