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John A. Noble
Tug Procession, Four Generations of Tugs off Staten Island

1949

$1,100

About

John A. Noble, 'Tug Procession', also titled 'Four Generations of Tugs off Staten Island', lithograph, 1949, edition 200, Urban 15. Signed and titled in pencil. A fine, richly-inked impression, on off-white, wove paper, with full margins ( 1 1/8 to 1 7/8 inches), in excellent condition. Matted to museum standards, unframed. An impression of this work is included in The Noble Maritime Collection. ABOUT THE ARTIST Born in Paris, John A. Noble was the son of the noted American painter, John 'Wichita Bill' Noble. He spent his early years in the studios of his father and his father's contemporaries, innovative artists and writers of the early 20th century. He moved with his family to the US in 1919, a year that had great significance to him and foreshadowed his life's work. 'It was the greatest wooden ship launching year in the history of the world,' he wrote. 'About 1929... in the wintertime, while still going to school, I was a permanent fixture on the old McCarren line tugs, which had the monopoly on the schooner towing in New York Harbor. In the summertime, I would go to sea.' A graduate of the Friends Seminary in New York City, Noble returned to France in 1931, where he studied for one year at the The University of Grenoble. Returning to New York, he studied for another year at the National Academy of Design. From 1928 through 1945, Noble worked as a seaman on schooners and in marine salvage. In 1928, while on a schooner that was towing out down the Kill van Kull, the waterway that separates Staten Island from New Jersey, he saw the old Port Johnston coal docks for the first time. It was a sight, he later asserted, which affected him for life. Port Johnston was 'the largest graveyard of wooden sailing vessels in the world.' Filled with new but obsolete ships, the Coalport had become a great boneyard. In 1941, Noble began to build his floating studio there, out of parts of vessels he salvaged, and from 1946 on, he worked as a full-time artist, setting off from his studio in a rowboat to explore the Harbor. These explorations resulted in a unique and exacting record of Harbor history in which its rarely documented characters, industries, and vessels are faithfully recorded. Later in his life, Noble recalled his first compelling views of New York Harbor. 'I was crossing the 134th Street Bridge on the Harlem River on a spring day in 1928, and I was so shocked—it changed my life. I was frozen on that bridge because both east and west of the bridge were sailing vessels. And I thought sailing vessels were gone... I was so excited.' By the time of his death in the spring of 1983, the sailing vessels he loved were all gone, and the maritime industry in the Harbor had diminished significantly. But Noble's enthralling interest in the sea had not lessened. Although he regretted the passing of obsolete vessels, he was 'just as interested in drawing the building of a great modern tanker, the working of a modern dredge, as in the shifting of topsails.' He wrote, 'Anywhere men work or build on the water is of interest to me... My life's work is to make a rounded picture of American maritime endeavor of modern times.' —edited from the introductory copy to The Noble Maritime Museum

Details

  • Artist
    John A. Noble (1913 - 1983, American)
  • Creation Year
    1949
  • Dimensions
    Height: 11.63 in. (29.55 cm)Width: 16.00 in. (40.64 cm)Depth: .01 in. (0.26 mm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 1024981stDibs: LU53234501241

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
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Established in 1995
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72 sales on 1stDibs
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