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Thursday
Feb162012

New illustration by Joe Barsin, "Baltimore: By the Dawn's Early Light," commemorates the War in 1812: Bicentennial Celebration

The poster celebrates the rich history that Baltimore and Maryland played in the War of 1812. Joe Barsin captures the patriotic energy that was part of Francis Scott Key's writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor. "O! say can you see, by the dawn's early light ... that our flag was still there." Thirty five stars and 200 years later, Old Glory is still flying over Baltimore! This is Joe's second poster in his Mid-Atlantic series. You can see his other work at BarsinArt.com.

 
Joe Barsin provided the following thoughts on his inspiration:

 

In this poster, I wanted to represent Baltimore's Bicentennial history through the USS Frigate Constellation and Fort McHenry but, at the same time, celebrate today's Baltimore through its dynamic skyline. Also, I am hoping to clear up some confusion in regards to the USS Constellation which I explain below.

 

The theme is grand and patriotic in this poster but it is also very personal to me. I try to convey this perspective here.

My wife, Eva, and I moved from Kent, Ohio to Baltimore in 1992 and we immediately fell in love with the city and its history. While researching for this poster, my family and I have visited these great landmarks. I am using this blog to show some photos and movies we took over the past recent years 

Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry is a beautiful place to visit and the museum is very informative. It is hard to believe the nightmare that must have been taking place here 200 years ago when the British bombarded this fort. Hopefully, many of you can make it here to take part in the Bicentennial celebrations that will be going on through 2015. Learn more here.

 

 

USS Constellation

USS Sloop-of-War ConstellationUSS Frigate Constitution (Old Ironsides)The main ship in this poster is the USS Frigate Constellation which fought in the War of 1812. It was built in Baltimore in 1797 and some of her timbers survive today inside the USS Sloop-of-War Constellation which served during the Civil War. I did come across some confusion with whether the ship docked at Baltimore's Inner Harbor saw service during the War of 1812 but I think this is due to the USS Constitution (a.k.a. Old Ironsides) which is docked in Boston harbor. The original Constellation was built in the same year as "Old Ironsides" (1797) and had the same design (Learn more here: Constitution;  Constellation).

I have fond memories as a boy traveling with my family to Boston to see "Old Ironsides". My Dad was researching for his labor of love, to build a wooden replica of the ship. I remember many holiday vacations watching him steaming the miniature hull boards in which he could bend them around the frame and then rigging the sails. For this reason, it gave me great joy to illustrate this ship. Granted, it is suppose to be the Constellation but since the Constitution was her sister ship, I feel safe in pleading artistic license.

3 a.m. - Night watch on the ConstellationAs my father did for me, I hope to instill the love of these old sailing ships to my two boys. These pictures and movies show the great time we had spending the night with our Cub Scout pack aboard the USS Sloop-of-War Constellation which is docked in Baltimore's Inner harbor. In the poster, you can see it as part of the modern day Baltimore skyline. What a great experience we had from running out the guns, eating hard tack, sleeping in canvas hammocks to turning the capstan. My highlight was taking part in the 3 a.m. night watch aboard the old ship. This ship was impressive yet silent while modern day Baltimore was alive with lights and sound.

I hope you enjoy the poster. Sincerely, Joe

You can see more of my work at BarsinArt.com.

 

 

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