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Christopher A. D. Murphy
c. 1942
pastel on paper
Image (Sight): 15 1/8 × 19 1/2 inches (38.4 × 49.5 cm)Image: 16 × 20 inches (40.6 × 50.8 cm)Framed: 27 3/4 × 31 3/8 inches (70.5 × 79.7 cm)
Credit Line
Bequest of the James McKenna Estate.
Accession Number
The Savannah River was a key location of activity on the homefront during the Second World War. Security was vital given the presence of German U-Boats off the Atlantic coast, and the Savannah waterfront became a restricted area from 1942 until the close of the war. Activities on the river included exchanges at the port with Great Britain, and production of “victory ships” at shipyards located just east of the city. Elsewhere on the river naval personnel were stationed on active duty on Cockspur Island. This wartime image by Christopher Murphy Jr. was drawn from the vantage point of a River Street balcony, perhaps from an artist’s studio overlooking the river. A British vessel flying the Royal Navy White Ensign flag on the stern is shown on the left moving upriver. To the right a U.S. military ship, perhaps a Coast Guard vessel is docked. In patriotic gesture, the artist has included a flag flying from one the flagpoles that dotted balcony windows along the riverfront. Civilians are shown on river Street, indicating that this undated work may reflect a time just prior to the restriction of waterfront activities or to the end of the war.