Sea History 074 - Summer 1995

Page 30

MARINE ART NEWS Bard Alive and Well

dramatic renderings. In typ ica l Buttersworth style he wo uld alter the proportions of hi s vessels, elongate their sails and raise bows above sterns and ex periment with different anglesan approaching bow , a receding stem or a threeq uarter view. Antonio Jacobsen ( 1850-1921 ) was another Cup painter, al- Antonio Jacobsen's "Yachts Puritan and Genesta Racing for the though his realism could Second America's Cup, 1885," 22 by361!2 ," oil on canvas ( 1886). se ldom approach Buttersworth ' s flair. Maranakos prai ses ( 1798), and two nautilus shells engraved Jacobsen's "Yachts Puritan and Genes ta with Brunel 's ships are a few of the Racing for the second America's Cup, hundreds of items illustrated in the new 1885 ," however (shown above), as a rare National Maritime Museum book, A Celdi splay of Jacobsen's talent for narrati ve ebration of the Sea. This treasury of the painting with perspective. London museum 's decorative art collecMaren akos ' s Quester Gallery in tions is a nautical collector's "must have." Stonington, Connecticut, is currentl y fea- The museum has a vast assortment of turing a numberofButtersworth 's yacht- popular art, including items of pottery, ing paintings and America's Cup paint- silver, glass, furniture, heraldic objects ings by two modem artists: and sailors' handicrafts, all embellished " 1934 Challenge for the with representations of Britain 's ships America's Cup, Endea- and seamen, great voyages, victories , vour vs. Rainbow," by Brit- di sasters and shipwrecks, and this book ish reali st William Bishop by NMM curator Rina Prentice shows (RSMA ) and " Sappho the best. A Celebration ofthe Sea is good Leading Livonia 1871: 2nd armchair admiral reading, appreciated Series America's Cup more if taken with brandy in a engraved Challenge R ace ," by nauti cal s nifter . (Ava ilable from Anglo-American Ro y UNIPUB, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Cross. Also in Stonington, Lanham MD 20706, 120pp, cloth, $49 .95) the Marguerite Riordan Gallery will show in Au- Art Notes gusttherecentworkofclas- Illustrating a children's book she wrote "Martha," steam tug, American, 1862- 1867, is one of the s ic yacht painter John for publi sher HarperCollins, marine artmany James Bard paintings held by The Marin ers' Museum. Mecray. Mecray 's new ist Loretta Krupinski found out someworks include "Columbia thing that some of her contemporaries America's Cup on Canvas & Shamrock, 1889" and a rendering of already knew. The book, entitled The new Buttersworth book produced "Puritan & Genesta , 1885." Bluewater J ournal and based on authenWho then is settling down to paint the tic logs , journals and letters , is the story by South Street Seaport Museum chimes in with the recent contest for the successful 1995 challenge? Destined to of a small boy 's voyage on a clipper ship America ' s Cup and raises the question the task surely is arti st A. D. Blake, from Boston to Honolulu. " I now have a of who has painted races for the vener- brother of victorious New Zealand skip- special appreciation for my fellow maable trophy. Buttersworth (1817-1894) per Peter Blake. Tony Blake has been rine artists who have chosen to paint was probably one of the first, but many painting and ex hibiting in the US for the clipper ships," wrote Krupinski in ASMA have followed . Buttersworth painted the last few years and in 1994 was com- News. "Iwouldneverhavebelievedhow schooner yacht America's cha I lenge that mi ss ioned to paint the New York Yacht complicated the rigging is on a clipper turned the lOO Guinea Cup into the Club's official l 50th anniversary print , ship . . . . In truth , for the sake of artistic America's Cup, and seven subsequent "The First Regatta. " license (and sanity), I left a lot of it out, with apologies to my contemporaries." challenges. As Jim Marenakos points Even her forebears would have sympaout in Quester News, nearly ha lf of A Collector's Treasury Butters worth ' s approximately 1,000 Two fabulously ornate chairs made from thized . Buttersworth was sometimes paintings are of yachts and hi s spec ialty timber salvaged from the wreck of HMS wanting on rigging detail, but a look at was small pane l pictures, often hung in Royal George, a go ld City of London the work of living artists Tom Wells and the staterooms of yachts. Hi s America ' s Freedom box presented to Captain Ed- Mark Myers, the former a deep sea merCup paintings remain some of the most ward Berry after the Battle of the Nile chant sa ilor , show s it all-shroud, Eyebrows were raised and pockets li ghtened at Sotheby ' s auction house in Janu ary when a series of oils by James Bard ( l 815-1897), recently deaccess ioned by the New-York Historical Society, went under the hammer. On the block for $60,000, but selling for a whopping $200,500, was Bard 's Hudson River steamboatCh1ystenah, and the same price was fetched for the sailing ship Emma Hendrix. Surprised but philosophical about the final high bids was art apprai ser Anthony J. Peluso, author of J. & J. Bard: Picture Painters ( 1977), who te ll s the story of Francis Palmer 's lithographs on pp. 24-26 of thi s Sea History . Peluso, who first saw a Bard painting in 1952, remembers that Bards were "always at least a year's sa lary" for the well-compensated , "about $2,500 in those days." Peluso is now working on a major traveling exhibit of the Greenwich Village-based artist scheduled to open in October 1996 at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia.