Destroyers in Wet Basin at Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company, South Kearny, N.J. / U.S.S. Radford, Quick, Mervine - 1942 by John Taylor Arms

Destroyers in Wet Basin at Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company, South Kearny, N.J. / U.S.S. Radford, Quick, Mervine - 1942 by John Taylor Arms

Destroyers in Wet Basin at Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company, South Kearny, N.J. / U.S.S. Radford, Quick, Mervine - 1942

John Taylor Arms

Title

Destroyers in Wet Basin at Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company, South Kearny, N.J. / U.S.S. Radford, Quick, Mervine - 1942

 
Artist
Year
1943  
Technique
etching 
Image Size
10 x 17 5/16" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
unnumbered, from an edition of 875 plus proofs. 
Annotations
pencil dated 1943 after signature; pencil numbered III in lower left (state number) 
Reference
Fletcher 377; Navy Series #2; NYPL 86; Arms 388 
Paper
white wove 
State
iii/iii 
Publisher
Commission of Bureau of Ships, Washington, D.C. 
Inventory ID
22251 
Price
$700.00 
Description

The ultimate precisionist, Arms' mastery of etching is on full display in this depiction of three destroyers resting on the glassy surface of the Hackensack River. Not one minute detail was overlooked, down to the pristinely mirrored reflections. The unforgiving angles of the steel structures are offset with great effectiveness by soft banners of clouds and gentle ripples on the water.

The destroyer was named for Rear Admiral William Radford and was built by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company at Kearny, New Jersey and launched on May 3, 1942 during World War II. The ship also saw action during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The ship was removed from service in 1969 and sold for scrap in 1970.

Arms wanted to help the Navy during WWII, after he was denied reinlistment due to his age. Though both his sons were serving he felt compelled to do more. He created a series of etchings of four ships at US shipbuilding sites. The then donated 500 impressions of each etching to the Navy to be sold for $5.00 apiece.

The series included images of "Destroyers (this image of the U.S.S. Radford), "U.S.S. Alabama" (done in 1943), the "U.S.S. Columbia" (1945) and the "U.S.S. Haddo" (1947). The potential income for the U.S. Navy was $10,000.00, the equivelent of around $146,000.00 in 2018 dollars.