Sail Loft

Sail Loft #2, watercolor, 29″ x 10.5″

Have you ever walked into a room and could sense what had happened there previously?  Like the whisper of last night’s symphony in a concert hall, this corner of the Sail Loft holds the remembrances of daily individual practice sessions as well as echoes of the U.S. Navy Band, which rehearses at the other end of the hall.

The Sail Loft, originally constructed for the laying-out and sewing together of sails for Navy ships, is located on the Navy Yard in southeast Washington, D.C.  The U.S. Capitol can be seen from this window, albeit farther away than I have depicted.  Artist Howard Chandler Christy used this room to paint his famous picture “Signing of the Constitution” (1940) since the large north-facing windows provided good light and the space was big enough to accommodate his 18’ x 26’ canvas.

5 thoughts on “Sail Loft

  1. Lots of different fabrics appeared in this room. I could use a big floor like that for cutting out patterns when I sew!
    Yes, I know what you mean about sensing the past in a location, like a whisper. And my daughter, when she visited Romania, lived in a building that had held freedom fighters and that had the roof patched from holes hatcheted during the revolution. Desperate historical times she could feel when she passed her hand over the stair rails and opened the hundreds-years-old windows and looked out over all the patched roofs.

    • Although this room was built for making sails, it was never used for such. My husband and I toyed with the idea of coming in on weekends when he worked here and putting together a sail for our boat, just so that the room would have fulfilled its original purpose once, but the time passed and we didn’t do it.

      • Ahh! Too bad. Perhaps everyone down through history was short on time? 🙂

  2. Very nice. The reflection on the shiny, hardwood floor captures the pristine environment and feeling of care given to the facility. And the “hint” of the Capital in the background…well done.

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