James Gale Tyler (1855-1931)

James Gale Tyler (1855-1931)

James G. Tyler was one of the most notable maritime painters and illustrators of his day.  Much of his fame can be attributed to his paintings of the annual America's Cup Race, which he attended every year from 1900 to 1930, a year before his death. These paintings were widely exhibited and critically acclaimed, and he received a number of important commissions. In addition, he was a regular contributing writer and illustrator for some of the major publications of the time, including Harper's, Century and Literary Digest.

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Tyler’s popularity can be gauged by the fact that his works were often forged. It is estimated that in New York City in 1918, more than 100 works falsely carried the artist's name. When Tyler became aware of the forgeries, he complained to the district attorney and was able to successfully pursue several civil action suits.

Born in Oswego, New York, Tyler maintained studios in New York City from 1882 through 1899, in Greenwich, Connecticut, from the mid-1870s onward, and in Providence from the mid-1880s. Except for a brief period in 1870 with marine painter Archibald C. Smith in New York City, he basically was self-taught.

Tyler was a member of the Brooklyn Art Club, the Salmagundi Club (1893), the Artists Fund Society and the Greenwich Society of Artists. He exhibited extensively at the National Academy of Design, the Providence Art Club, the Boston Art Club, the Brooklyn Art Association and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His work is in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery, the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut, the Omaha Museum of Art, the Mariner’s Museum, the New York Historical Society, the Tokyo Museum and elsewhere.

References: Falk, Who Was Who in American Art (1999).

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