But there’s a new way to get a glimpse into the bygone age of sail in New York—at the American Folk Art Museum, which currently has an exhibition of the marine landscapes of Thomas Chambers.
The American Folk Art Museum generally focuses on the work of naïve, untrained artists. Although the subjects of Chamber’s are formal, the folk art connection is clear. While his older brother George was a more respected painter of marine landscapes, Thomas was more of a craftsman and a salesman than fine artist, painting popular subjects (shipwrecks, landmarks, and famous ships and battles) and copying other paintings—whatever he thought would sell best. So the amazing landscapes he painted would be more likely found in a home than in any museum.
You can read more about the exhibition in the NY Times review. But make sure you see it, too! Chambers art was a joy for me to come upon, I highly recommend that you check it out as well.
Tip for a Friday night: If you are out on a Friday night, the American Folk Art Museum has free Fridays like the MOMA next door. You might even enjoy it more. Not only do they have live music and a lively café/bar, but this smaller museum is less crowded, with no line for coat check!
This blog post was contributed by Adam Schwartz, who regularly leads tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. You can find out more about him and his work for Urban Oyster here, or write him directly at email@example.com.