Saturday, April 7, 2012

Artist's rendering of the attempt to find survivors of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

This week, I received an email from Doris Sampson, an artist/photographer from Duluth, Minn., who read my stories about Capt. Donald Erickson and his subsequent passing. As you may recall, Capt. Erickson and his crew of the William Clay Ford were the first responders to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Sampson told me she believes she is the only person to accurately paint the search for the Fitzgerald, which was conducted by the William Clay Ford and the Arthur Anderson.
Here is a portion of the story Sampson told me.
After interviewing Capt. Erickson at the Dossin Marine Museum, (in Detroit) in the William Clay Ford pilot house, on March 15, 1999, in September she proceeded to do the painting based on Don's personal description of the night.
Doris Sampson's artwork.

She then met with Don in Toledo on the way to Dayton, Ohio, in April, 2000, to have the painting printed into a limited edition; and he confirmed that everything in the painting was accurate.
On the return trip, she met with him again on April 10 at the Old Mariners' Church in Detroit, where they both signed the Artist Proof Series of the edition.
“He will be sorely missed because of what a wonderful person he was, and because of his willing contributions to Great Lakes freighter history in the sharing of his story to many, including myself,” Sampson said.
On this page your will see a couple of Doris Sampson’s photographs of the painting and of Capt. Erickson signing the painting.
Capt. Donald Erickson and Doris Sampson signing the Artist Proof Series of the illustration.

Doris Sampson’s other work can be viewed at

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