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James Edward Buttersworth

James Edward Buttersworth was a British maritime artist who painted marine scenes, mostly of romanticized sailing ships in the New York Harbor. He was born in Middlesex County, Great Britain in 1817 to Thomas Buttersworth (1768-1842), who was also a well-known English maritime painter. He studied with his father before immigrating to the United States in 1845. Buttersworth settled in West Hobokin, NJ and began his career by providing subjects for Currier & Ives who produced lithographs of his illustrations. By 1850, he established his reputation with his detailed maritime paintings.

Buttersworth’s paintings depicted finely detailed sailing ships, often with elongated sails and bow to show the boat in motion. The romanticized scenes were usually set in the New York Harbor with turbulent water and dramatic skies. He produced many paintings and illustrations in magazines and newspapers for yachting events and chronicled a twenty-four year period (1870-1893) of America’s Cup racing. James Edward Buttersworth completed these paintings nearly right up until his death in 1894, creating a complete chronicle of the America Cup racing until the first successful photograph took over.

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