The longest campaign of the Second World War took place from 1939 to 1945 across the length and breadth of the North Atlantic ocean. Convoys of merchant ships loaded with vital supplies and war materiel sailed every few days from east coast North American ports to Britain. They became the critical factor to sustain the fight against Nazi Germany. The convoy battles were fought primarily between German submarines, U-boats, and Allied naval and air force convoy escorts. Eric Riordon, before the war a successful landscape artist from Montreal, joined the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve and served in convoy escorts. His experiences led him to paint a series of 34 paintings illustrating the ships and events of a typical convoy travelling from St. John's Newfoundland to Great Britain. He died young in 1948 and in 1950 his widow Mollie and others staged an exhibition in Montreal of these paintings called North Atlantic Convoy. The exhibition subsequently travelled across Canada until October of 1952 and was then broken up, being sold piecemeal and otherwise dispersed.
This website was created to tell the story of that exhibition and Eric Riordon's artistic and naval careers. The locations of twenty of the thirty-four paintings are known and images of an additional seven have been found. It is hoped that visitors to this website with knowledge of the whereabouts and/or images of missing pictures will contact us and add them to this collection. The ultimate goal is to recreate, if only virtually, the 1950 exhibition. Shown below are all the located paintings as well as known images and/or descriptions of those that are missing. The frames and versos can be seen under the "Addtional Artworks" tab.
Also unknown are the locations of nine of the ten convoy themed paintings created for the book Canada's War At Sea. Their images can be seen under the eponymous tab.