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James Edward Buttersworth

(1817-1894)

Alias: James Edward Butterworth

Painter, Water colorist

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Biography

(b Middlesex, England, 1817; d West Hoboken, NJ, 1894) British/American Painter. Born in England to a family of marine painters, James Buttersworth traveled to New York in 1847 and had settled there permanently by the following year. At the time of Buttersworth's arrival, New York was primarily a maritime city and the largest center of transportation in the nation, affording the artist plenty of subject matter in the clipper ships and steamers that came in and out of the surrounding ports. Over the next few decades, however, as new innovations abounded and the shipping industry was restructured, New York's harbors became markedly less active. Richard B. Grassby writes, "Paradoxically, as American shipping declined and steam edged out sail, interest in recreational sailing boomed. Buttersworth was very much aware of this, and from the 1870s on he focused his attention on yachting, and expression of the ambitions, industry, and competitive pleasures in nineteenth-century America. (Credit: Sotheby’s, New York, American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, May 18, 2005, Lot 112)

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