Steamboat Paintings, Page 3


J.M. WHITE - SPEED & ELEGANCE ON THE MISSISSIPPI by Oscar E. Berninghaus (who painted the St. Louis levee for Budweiser).
Print made from the painting in the Collection of the Boatmen's National Bank in St. Louis. Picture area seen here measures 9 x 14.40 inches.


Rucker's jazz boat's pilot house looks like the one on the ED. J. GAY

The pilot house in Rucker's moonlit jazz band painting looks like the one on the EDWARD J. GAY so it would be a safe bet to tentatively identify the boat by that name.

Sidewheel Packet
A splendid boat with a grand pilot house. Way's Packet Directory 1724 Built in 1878 at Cincinnati, Ohio Her machinery was from the GOVERNOR ALLEN. She was completed at the Cincinnati Marine Railway Company in July 1878 and towed south by the new J.M. WHITE. Ran her trials at New Orleans that October. Designed for the New Orleans-Bayou Sara trade.

She carried U.S. Mail under contract until January 1880. Her roof bell came from the BRILLIANT that was built in 1850. Burned at First Street in New Orleans then laid up July 30, 1888.

The 8 African American Jazz musicians playing in the moonlight on the texas cabin room with the pilot house behind them is called JAZZ BOAT II by Robert Rucker on the back of a 1994 calendar in the attached file.

I'm surprised at how plentiful my collection has become and I haven't scanned or photographed lots of stuff that is sometimes awkward to handle without studio lights and other professional equipment.


"LULU" by P. Betelsen

Quaint and curious 1950's (?) whimsical spin on a riverboat that artist "P. Betelsen" named LULU. Painted on 9 x 12 textured medium brown board with poster paint.


Watercolor by Paul N. Norton of the GORDON C. GREENE

Scan of a 14 x 19 inch reproduction on watercolor paper of Paul N. Norton's painting of the GORDON C. GREENE. The last "E" in GREENE was missing from the names on the bow so I replaced them in Photoshop.

Paul N. Norton (February 15, 1909 in Moline, Illinois - 1984) was an American artist who painted more than 500 watercolors in his career.

He primarily painted subjects near and dear to himself and the fellow residents of the Midwestern Quad Cities, five cities in northwest Illinois and southeastern Iowa: Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline in Illinois - local historic landmarks, churches, schools, and parks. His greatest gift was in capturing the essence of life in communities on the Mississippi River, and his legacy lives on in his art that is enjoyed throughout the world to this day. Norton's most popular works include paintings of the passenger steamboat DELTA QUEEN, the towboat LONE STAR and the ferry W.J. QUINLAN.


Paul N. Norton's 1954 watercolor painting of the ferry W.J. QUINLAN

Print of Paul N. Norton's watercolor painting of the ferry W.J. QUINLAN.Caption edited from Davenport Library's Special Collections blog from 2009

Riverboats We Have Known: The W.J. Quinlan

Posted on June 1, 2009
by Special Collections blogger
Public Library

When one thinks of past Davenport ferryboats, the one that usually comes to mind is the W. J. QUINLAN. This beautiful steam-powered stern wheeler, built in 1904 by the Kahlke boat works in Rock Island, Illinois, was originally named the DAVENPORT.

In 1925, William J. Quinlan bought the boat, refurbished her, and renamed her after himself. The QUINLAN carried businessmen, shoppers, sightseers, and children between Rock Island and Davenport during the day, and offered night tours of the river—plus the use of its dance floor and casino—to couples and gamblers.

After decades of active service, never venturing more than two miles from where she was built, the QUINLAN developed structural problems in her hull, and retired to the Kahlke yard in 1946. The QUINLAN was lost in a dry dock fire in April of 1967.


Jack Meyers painting of steamboats at New Orleans

The color inset upper left is of a lithograph dated 1974 of a Jack Meyers painting entitled "Loading Cotton" 17 1/4 inches by 14 1/4 inches. Signed by the artist and numbered 257/1500 and dated 1974 sold at auction some years ago.

The larger black and white image is from a 1975 States-Item newspaper article about the artist and the painting by Lura Glade in the Vincent Mann Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Jack Meyers was an African-American artist best known for his self-taught, "naïve" paintings based on sketches and photographs of Louisiana—especially rural farms and Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. For example, his painting Catfish and Cotton depicts a little boy and dog running towards a farmhouse away from the viewer, as a scene of cotton fields and rural life spread out before them. His paintings utilized a sophisticated palate, featuring nuanced colors and delicate brushwork to describe each scene in carefully observed detail. Born in 1930 in New Orleans, LA, Meyer studied at Southeastern Louisiana University and he later worked as a sales representative. Meyers died in 1994 in New Orleans, LA.


Carsten Wieland: Devil's Bayou

Pleasant discovery made during a Google image search . . .
Steamboats are the subject of several other paintings by Wieland;
this is my favorite of his that can be seen online.


Watercolors and drawings by Carsten Wieland

posted April 4, 2017

Carsten Wieland 'Devil's Bayou II'

092_2017 Watercolor
Hahnemühle Anniversary Edition
15.70 x 11.80 inches
Painted with a Lukas Aquarell 1862 watercolor set, ideal for traveling artists
Carsten Wieland is a watercolor artist from Essen, Germany.
During his journeys to the United States he fell in love with abandoned buildings,
and after he spent some time drawing them, decided to paint them in watercolor.

Frederic Mizen steamboat illustration

The Lynxville painting was done by Chicago artist Frederic Mizen (1888-1964). Mizen specialized in portraits and landscapes with an emphasis on the American Indian.

Lynxville, Wisconsin was first known as Haney's Landing, when two brothers, John and James Haney, purchased land from the government. They started a trading post to deal in wood and furs with the Indians and built the first log cabin. In 1857 a group of men hired Pizarro Cook to survey the land and the village was laid out. Mr. Cook settled here in Crawford County and became the County Surveyor. He served in the army during the Civil War, taking part in a number of important events, such as the Siege of Atlanta and Sherman's march to the sea. Lynxville was incorporated in 1889 with a census population of 313.

The name Lynxville was taken from the steamboat "Lynx" which brought surveyors to the village. Lynxville had the ideal harbor - the channel of the river made a bend into the land at the point called "The Devil's Elbow" and the water good depth enabling boats, large and small, to come in for supplies and to carry on trade. Lynxville became one of the stopping places for big boats traveling from St. Paul to St. Louis.


Painting by Gerrit Sammer of the SEGWUN's Engine Room entitled "Full Steam Ahead"



Muskoka Limited Edition Art Print of the Engine Room of Historic Steamboat Segwun

Limited Edition Art Print by Gerrit Sammer of a printing of 100 called "Full Steam Ahead". .

The print is 13 x 15 inches with a 2 inch white border.Sammer was commissioned by the Historical Society to paint the SEGWUN's Engine room for a fundraiser.

It is a sold out edition and was painted in the finest detail in this Artist's Proof.

Muskoka Steamship & Historical Society
185 Cherokee Lane
Gravenhurst ONTARIO
P1P 1Z9


Pen and ink with watercolor of the steamboat ROB'T E. LEE

Pen and ink with watercolor wash of the steamboat ROB'T E. LEE by an artist with a name that could be interpreted as "la Spic" (or something similar to that, it's hard to tell) in the lower right corner which was the featured illustration in one of 2 versions of the 1954 Cheerios cereal promotional album that included 9 reproductions of Confederate currency circa 1864 in the following denominations: $1.00, $2.00, $5.00, ,$10.00, $20.00, $50.00, $100.00, $500.00 and $1,000.00. It was an interesting choice to feature an illustration of the celebrated steamboat (best known for winning the race against the steamboat NATCHEZ in 1870 that began in New Orleans and ended in St. Louis. The caption under the steamboat illustration claims incorrectly that the ROB'T E. LEE "steamed up and down the Mississippi during the 1860's when the Confederate Government was formed."

In actuality, the boat was built in 1866 at New Albany, in the state of Indiana which remained loyal to the Union throughout the Civil War and the ROB'T E. LEE was on the Lower Mississippi River during only the last 4 years of the 1860's, from 1866 to 1869. 1866 was the year after namesake Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9th, 1865 at Appomattox Court House, Virginia which brought the Civil War (that had begun on April 12, 1861 when Confederate artillery opened fire on Union troops who occupied Fort Sumter which was on an island in Charleston harbor in South Carolina) to a close.

Another interesting detail in the illustration is that no African Americans are represented in the foreground group of 24 men, women and children at the steamboat landing as the ROB'T E. LEE steams along out in the middle of the river. However, 2 dogs and a horse are depicted.


ISLAND QUEEN starboard elevation painted by John Fryant

John Fryant painted this starboard elevation of the ISLAND QUEEN in 1994.

Text below has been edited from the following: Wikipedia

The preceding Island Queen ISLAND QUEEN was built in 1896 and lost due to a fire in 1922. This second Island Queen was built in parts beginning in 1923.

Midland Barge Company of Midland, Pennsylvania built its steel hull, designed as a matched pair with the CINCINNATI for the Louisville & Cincinnati Packet Company and John W. Hubbard. After taking delivery on the hull and naming it LOUISVILLE the owner instead resold it to the Coney Island Company. Coney Island Company finished the boat in Cincinnati on April 18, 1925. The ISLAND QUEEN measured 285-feet long and could carry 4,000 people. The 1000-ton sidewheeler was powered by oil-burning steam engines with six boilers. It was fully completed and christened in Cincinnati by the Coney Island Company on April 18, 1925.

Like her predecessor that had the same name, this ISLAND QUEEN was used for excursions to Coney Island amusement park and tramping between New Orleans, and as far upstream as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Coney Island Company hired musicians to entertain the passengers. Sidney Desvigne, a cornet player from New Orleans, recruited musicians from his hometown to perform on excursions for the Cincinnati market. In 1929, his band included Henry Julian, Ransom Knowling, Walter "Fats" Pinchon, Percy Servier, and Gene Ware.

While in Pittsburgh, on September 9, 1947, her chief engineer struck her fuel tank with a welding torch, causing a fire and a series of explosions that eventually reduced ISLAND QUEEN to her steel structure, and killed 19 crew members. No passengers were aboard at the time of the fire, but about 40 members of the crew were aboard. Force from the explosions could be felt throughout downtown Pittsburgh, shattering windows in nearby buildings. There were even reports of people being knocked down on streets close to the dock.


Watercolor of the VIRGINIA from a Hartford poster

Detail from a John Hartford concert poster - a watercolor by Matthews of the VIRGINIA circa 1898.


Wonderful keelboat painting on a Wild River

This is the best painting I've ever seen of the "before steam era" on the Inland Waterways accomplished by Harvey W. Johnson. Some years back I bought a large limited edition print from Johnson's son of his father's depiction of keelboat navigation Out West entitled WHITEWATER with eight rivermen taking an exhilarating ride on a fast moving wild river Out West.

The following short career biography is excerpted from:

Harvey W. Johnson's father was a noted sculptor, and his mother was an accomplished painter. Following in their footsteps, after World War II, Johnson studied at the Art Students League in New York City. He worked for many advertising studios and as an illustrator (often of frontier life) for many pulp magazines. For nineteen years, he was an instructor at the Famous Artists School in Connecticut (where he became friends with one of his artistic idols, Harold Von Schmidt). Finally, he devoted his artistic talents to interpreting the historic West, especially the era of the mountain men and the fur trade. Born in 1921, he passed on in 2005. Other examples of Johnson's paintings and the prices they fetched at auction at this link:


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*