John Haskell Kemble Maritime Art Collection: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Charla DelaCuadra.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Prints and Ephemera
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
© February 2019
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Overview of the Collection

Title: John Haskell Kemble maritime art collection
Dates (inclusive): 1828-1981
Bulk dates: 1880-1920
Collection Number: artJHK
Collector: Kemble, John Haskell, 1912-1990.
Extent: 125 items
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Abstract: This collection forms part of the John Haskell Kemble maritime collection compiled by American maritime historian John Haskell Kemble (1912-1990). The collection contains 125 artworks pertaining to and/or depicting maritime vessels, including both commercial and military ships.
Language: English.


Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Access Information

RESTRICTED. Available with curatorial approval. Requires extended retrieval and delivery time.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. John Haskell Kemble maritime art collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


Gift of John Haskell Kemble, 1960s-1990s.

Processing/Project Information

Collection processed 1999 to 2006 by Mario M. Einaudi. Finding aid encoded by Charla DelaCuadra in 2019.

Biographical Note

John Haskell Kemble (1912-1990), Jack to his family and friends, was born June 17, 1912, in Marshalltown, Iowa. He was the only child of Ira Oscar Kemble and Caroline Haskell Kemble. His father owned and operated several greenhouses which grew flowers for the florist trade. In the late teens, Jack's father sold most of his greenhouses and in 1921, the family moved to California. The Kemble family first lived in Eagle Rock, then Pasadena. Jack graduated from Pasadena High School in 1930, and went to Pasadena Junior College in 1931, before transferring to Stanford, where he earned his B.A. in 1933. He then crossed the Bay and studied under Prof. Herbert Eugene Bolton at the University of California, Berkeley, earning his M.A. in 1934, and his Ph.D. in 1937. Through the contacts made by Bolton and Henry Wagner, Kemble joined the Pomona College faculty in 1936 as a Professor of History. He retired from Pomona 41 years later, in 1977. During World War II Kemble served in the U.S. Navy, from 1942-1946, in the Office of Chief of Naval Operations and on the Staff of Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas. In October 1945 he received a Commendation Ribbon from Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor. Kemble rose from Ensign to Lieutenant Commander during the war, remained active in the US Naval Reserve after the war, and retired as Commander, USNR, in 1960.
In peacetime Kemble was also busy outside of his professorial duties at Pomona. He was a Visiting Professor, at the Naval War College, Newport, R.I., 1952-1953; was on the faculty of the Munson Institute of American Maritime History, Mystic, Conn., teaching during Summers from 1955-1981; served on the Secretary of the Navy's Advisory Committee on Naval History from 1961-1980; and on the California State Historical Resources Commission from 1976-1979 and again from 1985-1990 (Chairman, 1987-1988).
His PhD thesis, The Panama Route, 1848-1869, was first published by the Univ. of California Press in 1943, and remains one of the principle resources on that pivotal time in US and Pacific Maritime history. He also wrote San Francisco Bay: a pictorial maritime history, published by the Cornell Maritime Press in 1957 and was the editor for a definitive edition of Two years before the mast by Richard Henry Dana, Jr., published by Ward Ritchie Press in 1964; he also edited To California and the South Seas: the diary of Albert G. Osbun, 1849-1851, published by the Huntington Library in 1966.
Kemble was an active member of the Zamorano Club, as well as other organizations and groups including: the California Historical Society; E Clampus Vitus; and the Los Angeles Corral of the Westerners. In February of 1990 Kemble was on his fourth round the World cruise on the P&O liner Canberra when, between New Zealand and Australia, he passed away, asleep in a deck chair.

Scope and Content

This collection forms part of the John Haskell Kemble maritime collection compiled by American maritime historian John Haskell Kemble (1912-1990). The collection contains 125 artworks dating from 1828 to 1981, with subjects pertaining to and/or depicting maritime vessels, including commercial and military ships. Most are oil paintings, with some watercolors also included.
The collection is divided into three series: Commercial, General, and Military. Over two dozen companies are represented in the Commercial series, including Northern Pacific Steamship, Occidental and Oriental, Pacific Mail Steamship, and White Star Line. General artworks include costal and waterfront views as well as a variety of vessels. The Military series contains mainly American naval vessels, but also includes a Peruvian man-of-war schooner and a British Royal Navy frigate.

Related Materials in the Huntington Library

Related collection of maritime books from Kemble's library is fully cataloged and may be searched under individual titles in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.   The collection may also be accessed as a whole by searching TITLE -- "John Haskell Kemble maritime collection", or AUTHOR -- " Kemble, John Haskell, 1912-1990, donor."


The collection is arranged in the following three series:
  • Series I. Commercial
  • Series II. General
  • Series III. Military
Artwork is arranged numerically by call number and described in the following format:
  • Item call number
  • Title of artwork. Date
  • Artist(s) (when known).

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


Steamboat lines.


Drawings (visual works)
Paintings (visual works)

Collection Contents


Series I. Commercial approximately 1840-1981 (bulk 1880-1920)

Physical Description: 87 items
artJHK 001

[Korea] undated

artJHK 002

RMS Ormuz. undated

artJHK 005

[Oceanic] approximately 1875-1895

artJHK 006

[Chippewa] undated

artJHK 007

[Unidentified paddlewheel ferry] 1884

Artists: Peters, C. R.
artJHK 009

Glenogle. approximately 1899-1903

artJHK 010

Batavia. undated

artJHK 011

[Keweenaw] undated

artJHK 012

[Occidental and Oriental vessel at sea.] before 1900

artJHK 013

Tacoma. approximately 1892-1904

artJHK 014

Steamer Fulton in tow of Dispatch. 1904

Artists: Coulter, William A., 1849-1936
artJHK 016

[Greyhound] undated

artJHK 017

[Belgic] approximately 1875-1883

artJHK 018

Bridge of R.M.S.P. Loch Loyal sketched between and Seattle and U.K. Summer 1959. 1960

Artists: Thomson, Lu
artJHK 019

The Old Rimutaka, Captain Greenstreet, October 1890. 1890

Artists: Burnett, C.
artJHK 020

[Puritan] 1960

Artists: Randall, Wallace
artJHK 021

The S. S. Wauchope crossing Bass Straits. 1913

Artists: Gregory, A. V.
artJHK 022

[The Cintra passing the Maranoa at sea] 1903

Artists: Hughes, Daniel
artJHK 023

S.S. Mongolia. undated

artJHK 024

[C. H. Northam] undated

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 025

[Shinyo Maru] undated

artJHK 026

Steam ship Golden Gate : U.S. mail carrier. approximately 1851-1862

Artists: Parsons, Charles, 1821-1910
artJHK 027

[Edgemont] approximately 1904-1915

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 028

[Unidentified steamer, possibly the Hudson, at sea] undated

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 029

[Cosmopolis] undated

Artists: Graves
artJHK 030

[Newport] 1882

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 031

[Peru] undated

artJHK 032

[State of California] 1880

Artists: Yorke, W. H.
artJHK 033

Northern Pacific Steamship Company's S S 'Victoria'. undated

artJHK 034

[Olympic] undated

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 035

[Cornelia] undated

artJHK 036

[Antilia] 1895

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 037

[Zealandia] approximately 1914-1917

Artists: Roberts, G.
artJHK 038

S S Herodot. undated

Artists: Roberts, G.
artJHK 039

[City of New York] approximately 1885

artJHK 041

S.S. Bandon, S.F. approximately 1908

artJHK 042

[Mexico] 1907

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 043

[Rio Grande] undated

artJHK 044

[Larchmont] 190[4]

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 045

[Pilot Boat New York] 1898

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 046

[Kate Carroll] undated

Artists: Challoner, William Lindsay
artJHK 047

[Montclair] 1904

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 048

The C & NZ mail steamship Nebraska, 2644 tons, Capt[ain]Harding, off Sydney Heads. approximately 1871-1873

artJHK 049

Steam Ship Northerner, Capt. Budd. approximately 1847-1850

Artists: Pemberton, T.P.
artJHK 050

[Senator] approximately 1945

Artists: Ludke, Paul
artJHK 051

[Siberia] approximately 1903-1916

Artists: Kwon, A.
artJHK 052

[Repeat] 1899

Artists: Volquards, C.
artJHK 053

[Mariposa] undated

Artists: Challoner, William Lindsay
artJHK 054

Golden Age. approximately 1870

Artists: O-Chi-Yai
artJHK 055

[China] undated

artJHK 056

S.S. Newcastle 1259 Tons. 1885

Artists: Forster, W.
artJHK 057

[Steamship, possibly the Robert Lowe, at anchor in Hong Kong Harbor] undated

artJHK 058

[Steamship, possibly the Robert Lowe, off the Chinese coast] undated

artJHK 059

[Ne-Shan-Nock] undated

artJHK 060

[Massachusetts] 1893

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 061

[Collins Line Steamship Pacific] approximately 1850-1856

artJHK 062

[Unidentified river paddlewheel steamboat built by Thomas Collyer] 1853

Artists: Bard, James, 1815-1895.
artJHK 063

Medina with H.M. The King en route to India escorted by Cockrane, Defence, Argyll and Natal. 1912

Artists: Wyllie, W. L.
artJHK 064

[Cabrillo] 1981

Artists: Ewen, William H.
artJHK 069

Pacific coast steamship San Rosa, 1884. approximately 1895

Artists: Stanton, Samuel Ward
artJHK 070

[Pilgrim] 1973

Artists: Leavitt, John F.
artJHK 071

Nevada. approximately 1875

artJHK 072

[Iroquois] 1910

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 073

S.S. Virginia San Francisco. 1933

artJHK 076

[Persia] 1915

Artists: Robinson, R. H.
artJHK 077

[Cambria] undated

artJHK 080

Off St. Catherine's Point, I[sle] of W[ight]. 1920

Artists: Birchall, W.M.
artJHK 083

Old ships at Antioch, California. undated

Artists: Patterson, Charles Robert, 1878-1958.
artJHK 085

[Yale] 1908

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 086

[Steamship Ajax] undated

artJHK 087

[Bristol] undated

Artists: Miles, George
artJHK 088

Valparaiso Chile 1840. approximately 1840-1852

artJHK 089

[Concordia] approximately 1870

Artists: Newell, John Perry
artJHK 092

[Kaaterskill] 1882

Artists: Bard, James, 1815-1895.
artJHK 093

[Harlem] 1878

Artists: Bard, James, 1815-1895.
artJHK 095

White Star liner Celtic. 1889

Artists: Greenwood, George Parker
artJHK 096

[Harvard] 1908

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 097

[Roanoke] 1883

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 098

[Favorite] approximately 1908-1912

Artists: Jacobsen, Antonio (1849-1921)
artJHK 099

Los Angeles Steamship Co. liner 'Yale' (1907) entering the Golden Gate. 1977

Artists: Muller, William G.
artJHK 101

Wreck of the Aquila. 1863

Artists: Bugbee, C.L.
artJHK 102

[Hildebrand] 1960

Artists: Dickinson, George
artJHK 104

Brig Pilgrim. before 1959

Artists: Gleason, J. Duncan (Joe Duncan), 1881-1959.
artJHK 108

Ship Florence. 1915

Artists: Patterson, Charles Robert, 1878-1958.
artJHK 115

Souvenir du Borysthène. approximately 1866

Artists: Girard, E.
artJHK 116

[Chichibu Maru] approximately 1935

artJHK 119

S.S. Persia. approximately 1933

Artists: Valley, J.

Series II. General approximately 1870-approximately 1965

Physical Description: 27 items
artJHK 004

Sketch of an American Ship. undated

Artists: Patterson, Charles Robert, 1878-1958.
artJHK 008

Ships at San Francisco in 1849 drawn from Hiram Gerard. undated

artJHK 015

[View from Cabaña Fortress, Havana, Cuba] approximately 1923

Artists: Patterson, Charles Robert, 1878-1958.
artJHK 040

Great Steamboat War for control of rich New England trade. approximately 1907

Artists: Stanton, Samuel Ward, 1870-1912
artJHK 066

[American bark at sea under sail] undated

Artists: Perceval, Don
artJHK 067

Catalina Island : unfinished sketch. undated

Artists: Gleason, J. Duncan (Joe Duncan), 1881-1959.
artJHK 068

Freighter in Thames Estuary. approximately 1942

Artists: Perceval, Don
artJHK 074

Sketch : New York Waterfront. undated

Artists: Gleason, J. Duncan (Joe Duncan), 1881-1959.
artJHK 078

Salt Meadows : Alameda, California. undated

Artists: Gleason, J. Duncan (Joe Duncan), 1881-1959.
artJHK 079

Ashtabula Ohio Bridge. undated

Artists: Shaylor, H. W.
artJHK 081

[Scene of a bay or estuary] undated

artJHK 082

[Reef at Honolulu] undated

artJHK 094

Portsmouth Harbour. 1902

Artists: Dixon, Charles, 1872-1934
artJHK 100

Transferring survivors of the Titanic from Titanic lifeboats to the Carpathia. approximately 1912

Artists: Wood, Worden
artJHK 105

Omena-Traverse Yacht Club, Omena, Michigan. 1968

Artists: Craker
artJHK 106

Visit of Queen Victoria to Liverpool, May [2nd?] 1886. 1886

Artists: Wyllie, W. L.
artJHK 107

Passing Southsea ; Along side South Jetty. 1906 November 13

Artists: Dixon, Charles, 1872-1934
artJHK 109

Haiku Oahu Hawaii. 1945

Artists: IK or ILK
artJHK 110

Mazatlan in the morning. approximately 1941

Artists: Wheeler, Warren S.
artJHK 111

Jack : He was like a father to Nimitz. 1946

Artists: Blake
artJHK 113

In remembrance of my cruise in China, Japan, & Philippine Water. approximately 1900

artJHK 114

[Sketch of a harbor with a steam vessel and bark] undated

artJHK 117

[Fishing boat, dockside, in a harbor.] before 1965

Artists: Thomson, Lu
artJHK 120

In the trades. undated

Artists: Spurg
artJHK 122

[Penang Junk] approximately 1965

Artists: Ierahim, A.B.
artJHK 124

[Kweo, the Wolf Kachina] 1920

Artists: Sequaftewa , Rex
artJHK 125

Hong Kong. approximately 1870


Series III. Military 1828-1973

Physical Description: 11 items
artJHK 003

Sketch of U.S. Navy vessel. undated

Artists: Patterson, Charles Robert, 1878-1958.
artJHK 065

U.S. Army Transport Wright. 1901

Artists: Esposito, Gaetano
artJHK 075

[Engine room of USS New Mexico] undated

Artists: Patterson, Charles Robert, 1878-1958.
artJHK 084

U.S.S. Quiros. approximately 1900-1923

artJHK 090

Crusader. approximately 1860

Artists: Kendall, G.
artJHK 091

H. M. Frigate Dublin 50 Guns in Valparaiso Bay 1832. undated

artJHK 103

United States Revenue Cutter McCulloch. 1898

Artists: Hudson, W.L.
artJHK 112

A Peruvian man of war schooner 16 guns : the Guyaquilania drawn at Valpariso. 1828

Artists: E.D.
artJHK 118

U.S. Frigate Constitution. 1931

Artists: Guhlé, C. W. M.
artJHK 121

[American frigate at sea.] undated

artJHK 123

Arethusa. 1973

Artists: Nelson, K. E.