The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) paid tribute to East Boston's ship building legacy and to fine artistry when it recently installed a painting of a clipper ship in Piers Park. Medford artist Henry Lachance's painting, the Flying Cloud, the great American clipper ship, was designed and built by East Boston's proud father and local ship builder Donald McKay.
LeChance's Flying Cloud is an acrylic portrait of McKay's most famous clipper ship. It expertly depicts her beautiful lines and the intricate details of this high-speed merchant vessel. The Piers Park display features a printed replica of Lachance's original, encased in a glass unit under the Noddle Island pavilion. The original painting measures 24' x 36' and is currently on loan to a Wellesley art gallery.
The clipper ship era began in the United States after the discovery of gold in California in 1948 inspired shipbuilders to create a new class of vessels built for speed and durability. McKay's Flying Cloud was launched in East Boston in 1851