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Then & Now: Nantucket Lightship

Sean Murray

A PHOTOGRAPHY SERIES THAT CONTRASTS THE LIFE'S WORK OF JAMES F. & GEORGE F. MURRAY. 

NantucketLightship

Nantucket lightships were often the first point of contact immigrants had with the United States. It's ironic that one now floats within eyesight of the Statue of Liberty. 

James F. Murray didn't have to go far to find one of these ships out of maritime history—and neither did we. A resident of Boston, James drew what appears to be Nantucket Lightship LV-112 in Boston Harbor sometime around the midcentury. Imagine our shock when coming across LV-612 in our own backyard in downtown Manhattan.

This is perhaps the starkest contrast in our photo series to date. What was once an important navigational beacon, this ship now hosts luxury dinner parties with the World Trade Center as its backdrop—a far departure from what James drew over half a century ago. 

Nantucket Lightship
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This print was originally drawn by James F. Murray, printed by his son George and the frame was hand painted red and distressed by grandson Sean. This can be purchased exclusively from JF Murray & Sons.

 

Photographed by Sean A. Murray on January 7, 2015