Art Showcase

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The Art of Mort Künstler / The American Spirit / A New Nation

Here you will find a pictorial chronicle of the drama and excitement of American History. These paintings give the viewer an insight into the tumultuous life of this young nation that mere words cannot achieve.



Boston Tea Party
December 16, 1773

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Original Painting

Historical Information:


Instead of working to calm the colonists and reduce tensions, Parliament made a bad situation worse in 1773 by passing the Tea Act. This act allowed the British East India Company to ship tea directly to the colonies, simultaneously bypassing American middlemen and forcing the colonists to pay taxes on British tea. Once again, tempers flared. Colonists cried, “No taxation without representation!” In Boston, angry mobs tarred and feathered British customs agents—a painful and sometimes fatal process for those who endured it. The arrival in Boston of British ships loaded with tea finally drove the protesters past the tipping point.

On December 16, Samuel Adams assembled a meeting of colonists at the Old South Meeting House. Whether spontaneously or at a prearranged signal, dozens of angry Americans, some of them dressed as Mohawk Indians, poured out of the meeting house and clambered aboard the British ships. In a trice, they dumped overboard all the crates of tea, which brewed in the chilly harbor water. Sixteen-year-old Joshua Wyeth described the scene: “As [the tea crates] were hauled on deck others knocked them open with axes, and others raised them to the railings and discharged their contents overboard. . . . We were merry, in an undertone, at the idea of making so large a cup of tea for the fishes but we used not more words than absolutely necessary. I never worked harder in my life.” The festive spirits of the patriots could not conceal the grim meaning of the pace of events: war was not far away.


Date Created: 2013

Medium: oil on canvas

Image Size: 16" x 12"

Signature Location: Signed lower left

 

 
All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2017. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.