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Iconic Images of American Yacht Races

Posted by Lori Cohen, Gallery Director on




Frederic Schiller Cozzens (American, 1846-1928) was a prominent maritime artist known for his illustrations of sailing ships, yachts and marine scenes. In particular his famous American Yachts, Their Clubs and Races. Like nearly every other great marine artist, he was thoroughly acquainted with every aspect of ship construction and the art of sailing. He is best known for his paintings of great American yachts of the latter half of the 19th century, which were commissioned by many of New York's leading yachtsmen. He was for the most part a self-taught artist, working primarily in watercolor, pen, ink, and gouache, contributing illustrations and yacht portraits for many magazines, most notably Harper's Weekly. 

Cozzens started his career in the 1860's as a maritime artist always painting in watercolor. In 1880 the New York Yacht Club commissioned a set of six watercolors which still hang in the club today. By 1883, Cozzens was a well established marine illustrator, and decided to turn his watercolors into prints to expand the availability to the public. His training and technique in watercolor lent itself to the medium of lithography. The first publication was American Yachts, Their Clubs and Races, which contained 26 chromolithographs, on wove paper. These views are considered to be Cozzens' finest work, vividly conveying the atmosphere and thrill of the regattas they depict. Published by New York based Charles Scribner's & Son, the series of prints was accompanied by a separate text written by Lieutenant James Douglas Jerrold Kelley, which describes in detail each scene represented. 

This collection of lithographs includes portraits of more than one-hundred craft, including sloops, steamers, schooners and ice-boats. The scenes depict some of yachting's most memorable images of regattas. 

For additional information or questions, please contact Gallery Director Lori Cohen at (215) 735-8811.

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