Frederick J. Waugh (1861-1940)

Frederick J. Waugh (1861-1940)

“I spend part of each year studying the sea. I both paint it and watch it carefully, and the latter method of studying I am sure is invaluable. In that way I fix certain forms clearly in my memory and learn the why and how of the grand old ocean. Acquire the habit of constant observation…get at the heart of things…If you really love Nature she will love you and teach you.”

                                                                                                                                -- Frederick Judd Waugh [1]

[1] An American Marine Painter: F. J. Waugh, by A. Seaton Smith

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The son of two well-known artists, Frederick Waugh entered the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at age eighteen, where he studied under Thomas Eakins. He continued his training at the Académie Julian from 1882 to 1883, and established himself as a portrait painter upon returning to New York. After marrying in 1892, Waugh left the United States and went to the Channel Islands in England, where he developed a bolder style and became known for his ability to depict the turbulent ocean.  His works relied on what Waugh described as “eye memory,” composing paintings from memory, concentrating on form, color and the mood of the scene. While abroad, Waugh became a member of the British Academy, and exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. He also worked as an illustrator for the London Graphic, where he covered the Boer War. Like his sister, Ida Waugh, he illustrated several children’s books.

After fifteen years in England, Waugh returned to the United States, first settling in Kent, Connecticut, and later moving to Provincetown, Massachusetts. He was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1911, and exhibited paintings regularly at the Pennsylvania Academy, the National Academy, the Corcoran Gallery and the Boston Art Club.  

References: See Who Was Who in American Art (1986); Martin Sheppard, “Waugh, Painter of American Marines, Arts and Decoration (January, 1911), pp. 111-113.  

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