Historical USS Constitution exhibit at TFAC March 7

Published 7:11pm Thursday, February 27, 2014

Old Ironsides and the War of 1812, an educational exhibit of the Great Ship USS Constitution, will be on exhibit at Tryon Fine Arts Center on Friday, March 7 – Saturday, April 19, with an opening reception on March 7 from 5-8 p.m.

The exhibit consists of lithographs of the Constitution by Tom Freeman, oil paintings by Briton Michael Haywood, pen and ink drawings by John Charles Roach, as well as artifacts and personal memorabilia from the collection of Tryon resident, renowned Naval historian, award-winning author and former captain of Old Ironsides, Tyrone Martin.

Martin served in the Navy for more than a quarter century, and was the first captain of “Old Ironsides” since 1815 to be decorated for his command.

He was in charge of the ship’s major restoration prior to the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976. Following his retirement from the Navy, Martin wrote Constitution’s award-winning biography, “A Most Fortunate Ship,” as well as five other works on the subject.

He also created a database of information on the ship called The Captains Clerk, which is a part of the Library of Congress’ permanent online archives.

For almost four decades he has been researching every aspect of the ship’s history, and is considered by many to be the authority on the subject.

He is the recipient of the USS Constitution Museum’s Samuel Eliot Morrison Award and the Robert G. Albion Award of the National Maritime History Society.

He was named 1997 Naval Historian of the Year by the U.S. Naval Institute. He served as a consultant to Time-Life Books and for the History Channel’s “The Great Ships” series.

Through documentation, lithographs, drawings and blueprints, visitors to the exhibit will learn how this legendary ship was designed and constructed, the major battles she fought against the British in the War of 1812, and come to understand how she became and has remained a point of pride for the United States.

The exhibit is the first developed and executed by Tryon Fine Arts Center’s newly assembled Exhibits Committee. Chaired by Tryon native Julia Calhoun Williams, the committee consisting of Jean Pettigrew, Wyndy Morehead and Marybeth Trunk is planning a series of exhibits that will focus on the various art forms and artists related to the area, as well as the important influences on the area.

“The emphasis for the exhibits at Tryon Fine Arts Center will be ‘Local Treasures,’” said Williams. “We want to celebrate and perpetuate the people and work, which make up the artistic history as well as the developmental history of our area.”

Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC) is a nonprofit organization that operates and programs a 300-seat performance venue and a 150-seat amphitheater for music, opera, theatre, film and dance on Melrose Avenue in Tryon.

Programming includes performing and visual arts events In addition to presenting a variety of programming, TFAC also makes the arts accessible to local students young and old through its education and outreach programs in music, dance, theater, opera as well as visual and literary arts. Open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

For information, call 828-859-8322, email info@tryonarts.org or visit www.tryonarts.org.

– article submitted
by Marianne Carruth

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