Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

British State Barge (vessel built around 1700)

British State Barge (vessel built around 1700)
model made 1990, scale 1:96
Donald McNarry (born London, England, 1921)
wood, paper, metal, acrylic
model: 6.0 x 13.0 x 3.5 cm
The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario

The Thomson Collection of Ship Models Audio Tour

‹ Previous | Track #15 | Next ›

Download: 1:13 min / 496 KB MP3

Simon Stephens: We’ve got a group of very interesting models here by a living model maker or artist, Donald McNarry.

It’s very difficult to work at this sort of scale and produce this accuracy and quality of craftsmanship, bearing in mind that some of these models are only several inches long. And that they are rigged as well. That in itself is a feat. There aren't many people alive today that can work to this scale and to this quality.

We’re very fortunate that McNarry has produced models of this quality and detail ranging from sailing yachts to ceremonial barges to even royal yachts.

These models illustrate a very interesting combination between model making as well as modeling as an artist would. McNarry combines the skill of model making with the skill of painting. They are mounted on carved wooden sea bases, which have then been painted.

He gives real life to these models. The sails are mounted in such a way that they are full of wind. It’s almost like a diorama and gives a realistic feel to the model, almost an artistic feel to the model.

I’m sure that’s probably what intrigued Ken Thomson to collect these models as a group.

(Also discussed: British Royal Yacht, “Caroline (?)” (vessel built 1670); British 18 Gun Schooner Yacht, “Transport Royal” (vessel built 1695))

Share and Enjoy: