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A shipyard seen from a big crane

BONE, David Muirhead (1876 - 1953)

A shipyard seen from a big crane - Muirhead Bone

A shipyard seen from a big crane - Muirhead Bone

A shipyard seen from a big crane

Date: 1917

Media: lithograph on paper

Acquired: 1919; Presented by Ministry of Information

Accession Number: NWM A 13184

Collection: The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals

The drawing for this print was made from the top of a great ‘hammer-headed’ crane, which can be seen in the print A fitting-out basin.  This view gives an idea of the huge scale of ship building.  In Wales, both Pembroke Dockyard and the National Shipyard at Chepstow were used for ship building, although not on this scale. 

Muirhead Bone was the first appointed official war artist.  As one of Britain’s leading draughtsmen, he was renowned for the almost photographic detail he achieved in his drawings.  As well as recording the war on the Front, Bone spent time on the Clyde in Scotland, documenting shipbuilding. He sketched with a notebook strapped to his hand.  These prints show different stages in the building, as well as views of the yard, one from the top of crane. One journalist wrote that his series, ‘delights in the intricacies of scaffolding and mechanical contrivances’.  These images were also published in a War Office publication, The Western Front, vol II, 1917.

Bone was born in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow School of Art.  He settled in London in 1901. He was an official war artist in 1916-1918, and the official Admiralty artist in 1939-1946. Bone was knighted in 1937.

This work forms part of the portfolio The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals, a series of 66 lithographic prints commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1917. The series provide a broad and fascinating representation of Britain’s war objectives, military activities and effort on the Home Front.
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