Freighters, East Boston Waterfront is a compelling example of Ripley’s non-sporting work, demonstrating his talent for elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary. The painting was exhibited at the American Water Color Society in 1952, where it won the Harriet Sanford Stuart Memorial Purchase Prize, and was also featured in the January 1953 issue of American Artist magazine and in the 1955 book Watercolor Methods.
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Ripley studied at the Fenway School of Illustration and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts under Philip Leslie Hale. Showing great promise, he was awarded the Paige Traveling Scholarship, the school’s most prestigious prize, and spent the years of 1924 and 1925 touring France, North Africa, Italy, and Holland. While not trained in watercolor, Ripley took up the medium during his trip abroad for he felt it was more practical and easier to transport. Upon his return to Massachusetts, he settled in Lexington and was once again caught up in the local scenery.
Ripley’s achievements as an artist were widely recognized by museums and associations alike. He continued to exhibit his foreign landscapes and also painted scenes of Boston and the surrounding communities, but as an avid outdoorsman he became best known for his watercolors depicting sporting themes.
Ripley received numerous prizes during his lifetime and exhibited works at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the National Academy of Design in New York. In addition to the Guild of Boston Artists, he showed his watercolors locally at the Boston Art Club and the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as annually at Vose Galleries as part of the Boston Society of Watercolor Painters from 1928 to 1935. Ripley’s work can be found in several museum collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming.
Collection of Mr. L. K. Stuart, Jr., Newark, New York, 1952
By descent to private collection, Newark, New York, circa 1968
Gifted to private collection, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 1999
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 35417, 2009
To private collection, Tavares, Florida, June 2017 to present
- Verso of sheet in pencil: Freighters
- On old paper backing (now gone): “Freighters” / © A. Lassell Ripley / 400.00
- Watercolor Methods, edited by Norman Kent, 1955, p. 47 (illus.)
- American Artist magazine, January 1953, “The Watercolor Series: A. Lassell Ripley,” illus. p. 47.
Eighty-Fifth Annual Exhibition, American Water Color Society, New York, New York, February 21 – March 9, 1952