“His art appeared on book and magazine covers, in ads, on movie posters such as King Kong, Star Wars and the Towering Inferno, and on U.S. postage stamps, most memorably, the Santa Claus Christmas Stamp in 1983 and again in 1991. He painted beautiful women of all ages, cars…classic and innovative, disaster scenes, landscapes, seascapes, sporting events, festivals, airplanes, monorails …whatever he was asked to do. With his ability to see things from a different perspective, John’s illustrations depicted the full spectrum of life-past , present, and future. This quiet, contemplative genius will not soon be forgotten.” – on John Berkey
“Draper was commissioned as a Lieutenant JG in the Naval Reserve in June 1942. His first assignment was with the Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Boston. He transferred to the Art Section in Washington DC and shortly thereafter was sent to Alaska where he spent over five months in the Aleutian Island Chain Painting a series of 42 oils including Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Umnak, Adak and Amchitka. He was present at the initial occupation and also the Japanese attack on Amchitka Island. He depicted the attack with bombs bursting and shells flying within close range of his foxhole. In making this series of paintings he ran into difficulties peculiar to the climate of the Aleutian such as eccentric winds blowing his canvas into the air like a kite and conditions of arctic weather that made painting only possible by wearing gloves to keep his hands from freezing.”
“In 1837, at the age of fourteen, Cropsey won a diploma at the Mechanics Institute Fair of the City of New York for a model house that he built. That same year he was apprenticed to the architect Joseph Trench for a five year period. After eighteen months, Cropsey, who had shown an early proficiency in drawing, found himself responsible for nearly all of the office’s finished renderings. Impressed with his talents, his employer provided him with paints, canvas, and a space in which to study and perfect his artistic skills. During this period Cropsey took lessons in watercolor from an Englishman, Edward Maury, and was encouraged and advised by American genre painters William T. Ranney (1813-1857) and William Sidney Mount (1807-1868).”
“Hiroshige’s artistic life may be characterized in several stages. The first was his student period, from about 1811 to 1830, when he largely followed the work of his elders in the field of figure prints—girls, actors, and samurai, or warriors. The second was his first landscape period, from 1830 to about 1844, when he created his own romantic ideal of landscape design and bird-and-flower prints and brought them to full fruition with his famed Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō and other series of prints depicting landscape vistas in Japan. His last stage was his later period of landscape and figure-with-landscape designs, from 1844 to 1858, during which overpopularity and overproduction tended to diminish the quality of his work.”
Images from the Navy Art Collection will soon be on the set of the hit TV show, NCIS, starring Mark Harmon. The images featured are reproductions of Morgan Ian Wilbur works: “USS Cornado Rides A Sparkling Sea”, “Naval Air Over Korea”, “Steam For Speed”, and “Turnin’ & Burnin’”.
The episode will be shot from March 7th through March 18th. Keep an eye out for the upcoming season that will feature these pieces as set props!