Photo by Ashley Cowan

Art Imitates Life in Foundry

Published February 1, 2022

The Mariners’ Museum and Park is exploring Newport News Shipbuilding’s Foundry in the latest edition of a monthly video series that delves into stories behind paintings in the museum’s collection.

The February edition of “Beyond the Frame” focuses on a painting by Thomas Skinner of shipbuilders conducting a large pour in the Foundry in the 1930s. Skinner came to Newport News at the request of his brother-in-law, influential former NNS President Homer L. Ferguson, to serve as the staff artist for the newly established museum.

At NNS, Skinner was responsible for paintings to document daily life and products at the shipyard. To draw a connection between Skinner’s art and the work shipbuilders do today in the Foundry, museum employees visited NNS in early January. They captured footage of shipbuilders and a pour for Virginia-class submarines Tang (SSN 805), Wahoo (SSN 806), Silversides (SSN 807) and yet-to-be-named SSN 808.

“We talk a lot about how we are connected to each other through the world’s waters, and there’s no better magnitude to display that than here at the shipyard seeing these shipbuilders at work,” said Jenna Dill, marketing and digital content manager for The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

The “Beyond the Frame” episode focused on Skinner’s Foundry painting is set to premiere Friday, Feb. 4. The episode will be available on The Mariners’ Museum and Park’s social media channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Watch a video of the pour and learn more about “Beyond the Frame” on MyNNS.