The painting by Pictou artist David MacIntosh shows the 90-ton iron-hull schooner James William, built in New Glasgow 109 years ago, only to run aground near Richibucto in New Brunswick on Oct. 14, 1913.
“It’s significant because it’s a depiction of the history of New Glasgow and shipbuilding is a very important part of our history, so what a beautiful depiction,” said Dicks.
During its short life, the James William was reportedly the only ship of its kind built on Canada’s east coast, before its final journey from Digby to Annapolis.
The painting itself shows the James William sailing along the East River straight through its hometown.
MacIntosh himself was commissioned by the town for his new paintings after previously creating a series of historical paintings as part of the Downtown Revitalization Plan.
“David met with us several months ago and we discussed a commemorative painting that reflects the shipbuilding history of our town,” said Dicks.
A self-taught artist, Macintosh’s main inspiration is the early work of European artists, with a focus on romantic realism.
His work has been featured on three Canadian Wildlife Conservation stamps, but he typically focuses on landscapes, seascapes and portraits. His paintings are displayed in museums and government buildings including inside the Town of New Glasgow offices.
“He has work in numerous private and corporate collections across North America,” said Dicks.
The town partnered with the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee to receive $30,000 from the province for the Canada 150 celebrations in 2017.
MacIntosh himself was unable to make it to the unveiling due to a family commitment.