Wesley Webber (1841 - 1914)
Off the Maine Coast, n.d.
Oil on canvas
12 1/4 x 18 1/4 inches
Signed at lower left: W. Webber.
Wesley Webber was born in Gardiner, Maine and died in Wollaston, Massachusetts in 1914. After being discharged from Civil War service in 1865 he opened a studio in Gardiner, Maine, where he became a carriage painter. Thereafter, Webber earned a fine reputation as a marine and landscape painter.
He lived in Boston from 1870 to 1890 and in New York City from 1892. In Boston he shared a studio with marine painter William P. Stubbs. Every summer he went to Conway, New Hampshire to paint with artists John J. Enneking, Frank Shapleigh and others. He also painted in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Nova Scotia and in Canada.
Webber was self-taught and his work is reminiscent of the Hudson River School in style and manner. He was married twice, the first marriage ending due to his problem with alcohol.
Webber exhibited frequently at the Boston Art Club, the New England Manufacturers and Mechanics Institute, Boston, and at the National Academy of Design, New York, and the Brooklyn Academy, Brooklyn, and the Peabody Museum, Salem, and the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine.
Two of his most famous paintings are Kennebec River, Maine Boat Shop and Unidentified Vessels Ice-bound at Gloucester (both at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts). He is also represented in the permanent collections of the Boston Athenaeum; New York Public Library; the Brooklyn Museum; Portland Museum of Art (Maine) and elsewhere.