Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Flying the Colors

Flying the Colors is Mystic Seaport's newest book about the unseen treasures of nineteenth-century American Marine Art.

America has a long and distinguished history of notable marine art and artists such as James Buttersworth, Robert Salmon, and Fitz Henry Lane, whose special genius was to put down on canvas truly memorable representations of such marine themes as the sailing ships and yachts that plied oceanic waters. Often some of the best of these paintings have not been readily accessible to the general public. Now a compendium of those marvelous paintings have been compiled in "Flying The Colors: The Unseen Treasures Of Nineteenth-Century American Marine Art" by the team of Alan Granby and Janice Hyland. Beautiful images flawless reproduced in full color are enhanced with an informative essay by Stuart M. Frank. Readers are also provided with succinct biographical descriptions of the artists whose works are represented. The result is a coffee-table art book that is a pure delight to browse through and which is unrestrainedly recommended for personal, academic, and community library American Art History reference collections.

Midwest Book Reviews

New Book on J.E. Buttersworth

Mystic Seaport recently published a 2nd edition of Rudolph J. Schaefer's comprehensive book, J. E. Buttersworth: 19th-Century Marine Painter. With the advice of Janet Schaefer, the new volume includes the details of Buttersworth's life, full-color reproductions of more than 150 works, and a listing of nearly 1,200 known Buttersworth paintings.

The son of a British marine painter, James E. Buttersworth (1817-1894) was among the most prolific marine artists of the nineteenth century. His clipper ship views many of which were published as popular lithographs by N. Currier and his America's Cup race paintings are widely respected for their combination of artistic and documentary qualities. Like his contemporary "luminist" and Hudson River School artists, Buttersworth excelled in the dramatic renderings of sea and sky, elevating the precisely detailed renderings of ships beyond document to art. The completely revised image section, with new or augmented captions, contains more than 200 examples of Buttersworth's work illustrated in full color, more than half of which were not included in the first edition.

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