WILLIAMSBURG, Va., February 21, 2020 — The American Society of Marine Artists, the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit organization dedicated to marine art and history, will open its 18th National Exhibition at Jamestown Settlement on March 7 through April 26, 2020.
Since its founding more than 40 years ago, the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) has presented its prestigious National Exhibition every three years in museums across the country, highlighting the works of artists representing the best in American marine art by juried competition.
Visitors to Jamestown Settlement, a living-history museum of 17th-century Virginia, can view 110 works of marine art, including paintings, sculptures and scrimshaw carvings. The majority of the artwork are paintings executed in a variety of media, including oil on canvas, pastel, watercolor on paper and mixed media. Five sculptures cast in bronze, a limestone sculpture and two scrimshaw carvings round out the national exhibition.
Show Opens With Plein-Air Event at Jamestown Settlement Ships’ Pier and Two Public Lectures
On March 7, the special exhibition will open with a plein-air event or “paint out” at the Jamestown Settlement ships’ pier, where re-creations of the three 1607 ships – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery – are moored for visitors to board and explore throughout the year. The plein-air event, held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will feature ASMA members painting scenes along the James River waterfront with the ships as a focal point. The event is weather dependent.
Jamestown Settlement’s ships, designated as “the official fleet of the Commonwealth,” are full-size, square-rigged vessels that serve as floating classrooms for visitors and students alike to learn about the 1607 voyage to Virginia, life aboard the ship, piloting and navigation. One of the three ships sails periodically to other ports as an ambassador for community and educational programs.
Following the plein-air event, two public lectures from ASMA artists will take place on Saturday, March 7, at Jamestown Settlement. The lectures are included with museum admission.
March 7: “Painting History” by Patrick O’Brien, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
In this illustrated lecture, Patrick O’Brien will describe the thorough research behind his paintings, and talk about his studies of the Civil War duel of the ironclads in Hampton Roads. O’Brien is an award-winning artist whose striking paintings depict the classic age of sail, with honors including The National Maritime Historical Society’s Distinguished Service Award, the prestigious Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition, and the U. S. Naval Academy Museum, which mounted an exhibition in 2010 featuring 28 of his oil paintings.
March 7: “The Marine Paintings of John Singer Sargent” by Sarah Cash, 3-4 p.m.
A lecture by Sarah Cash, co-author of the book “John Singer Sargent and the Sea” with Richard Ormond, will focus on Sargent’s marine oils and watercolors. The painter had a lifelong passion for the sea, an interest that manifested itself in a remarkable but relatively little-known body of work dating from his very early years to late in his life. Cash is associate curator of American and British Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and previously served as curator of American art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, director of the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and assistant curator at the Amon Carter Museum.
Jamestown Settlement, administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is honored to serve as the debut venue for the 18th National Exhibition, which will tour museums across the United States through its conclusion at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, Minnesota, in September 2021. Other museums include the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, Maryland, the Gulfquest Maritime Museum in Mobile, Alabama, and the Burroughs-Chapin Museum of Art in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Jamestown Settlement, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, is located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg. Parking is free. The special exhibition is included with museum admission: $17.50 for adults and $8.25 for ages 6-12, and free for children under 6. For more information, call toll-free (888) 593-4682 or visit historyisfun.org.