Until 1926, Palmer Cole Hayden was a predominately unknown and mostly self-taught, southern artist. After years of traveling for employment and his enlistment in the United States Army, Hayden returned to New York in 1920 where he began to paint actively, surround himself with fellow artists and further develop his folk-like style. At the suggestion of a friend, Hayden entered the first-annual William E. Harmon Awards competition in 1926 and was awarded the first prize for one of his waterfront paintings. This success propelled his career forward and aroused interest from other African-Americans throughout New York. In 1927, shortly after this triumph, Hayden left New York for Paris where he would study and paint until 1932. While in Paris, the artist sustained himself by sending paintings back to the Harmon Foundation in New York where the works were exhibited and sold. The waterfront subject of the present work was a constant theme revisited throughout the artists career. From his formative surroundings in Virginia, the harbors of New York and the French coastline, this subject dominates some of Haydens most successful paintings.