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George SILK

New Zealand 1916 – Norwalk, Connecticut, United States of America 2004

  • Australia 1939-1945
  • United States of America from 1945

"Gretel" and "Weatherly", off Newport, America's Cup trials, 1962 [Twin hulls, "Gretel" and "Wetherly", off Newport, America's Cup trials, 1962] 1962 Materials & Technique: photographs, dye transfer colour photographs Place Published: Not published in Life?

Dimensions: image 67.4 h x 99.2 w cm sheet 77.8 h x 101.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1999
Accession No: NGA 99.103

In 1962 Gretel was the first Australian yacht to challenge the New York Yacht Club for the famed America's Cup. The defenders in Weatherly won the Cup. George Silk's image of the two boats captures the audacity and excitement of the 1962 Cup, but also makes the boats appear abstract and magical as in a children's book illustration.

This picture, although a personal favourite of the photographer, was not amongst the images reproduced in Silk's award-winning story on the America's Cup, 'Cutting the Waves for a Classic Cup', published in Life in August 1962, for which Silk wrote the text. The Life story was included in the definitive exhibition, The Photo Essay, at the Museum of Modern Art in 1966. The 1962 America's Cup essay established Silk as a photographer with the ability to sweep the viewer into the heart of the action and to share the passion of the 'yachties'.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra