Drifting in Light Wind

February 2021
Written By: 
Grand Strand Magazine Staff
Photographs by: 
courtesy oF the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum

Oil on Panel, 24” x 36” by William R. Davis

Marine art depicts maritime activities, naval scenes, ship portraits, inshore and harbor scenes, waterscapes and marine wildlife. The genre took root during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, a time when artists began to make careers of specializing in trade and naval ship portraits and scenes. During the 1900s Romantic period, the popularity of seascapes began and made waterscapes absent of vessels common for the first time. The genre became further established when European marine artists came to America’s port cities like New York, Boston and Salem.

The American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA), founded in 1978, is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting maritime history and marine art, focusing on education and the exchange of ideas. The ASMA presents a prestigious national exhibit biennially, and this year it will make a stop at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. The exhibit features 110 paintings, drawings and sculptures, including William R. Davis’ Drifting in Light Wind, pictured above. The piece depicts a schooner with a view of the Nantucket Sound along Cape Cod. The American Society of Marine Artists 18th National Exhibition, which opened in January, will run through April 17.