Image of painting titled Clam Gatherers


“All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River."   Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Throughout history, people have gravitated to waterways.  Creeks, lagoons, lakes, rivers and the sea provide sustenance, convenience, strategic location, and great beauty.  Depictions of these vistas can be fierce and foreboding or calm and serene.  Scenes of rocky coastlines and sandy beaches or vessels at sea have long been a popular subject for artists.  The many ways humans relate to bodies of water for recreation, industry, development, and warfare have provided artists with inspiration and a wide range of subjects to commit to canvas.

Although landscape paintings were extremely popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, waterscapes or marine paintings also had great fascination for art collectors.  At this time, wealthy families regularly traveled domestically. They often journeyed to cooler climates during the hot and humid summers, with mountain resorts and the seaside as frequent destinations.  Many built summer homes where they would spend several months every year.  These homes were filled with decorative and fine arts, including ones of marine subjects.

Nostalgia for youthful and languid summers at the beach, lakeside idylls, and transatlantic journeys fueled the collecting of maritime paintings. Works that depicted aquatic scenes were considered the appropriate decorating choices for less formal and more relaxed viewing.


Image of painting titled Rocky Coast Scene

Image of painting titled Fishing Boats at Sunset