American, 1861–1940

Frederick Judd Waugh

Best known as a painter of seascapes, Frederick Judd Waugh was born in Bordentown, New Jersey. The young artist was raised in Philadelphia, where he attended public schools and later a military academy. His family was an artistic one—his father was the portrait and landscape painter Samuel Bell Waugh (1841–1885), his mother, Mary Eliza Young Waugh, was a miniaturist, and his half-sister Ida Waugh (d. 1919) was a figure painter. Undoubtedly he received his first artistic training at home. In 1880, at the age of nineteen, he entered the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied for three years under Thomas Eakins (1844–1916) and Thomas Anshutz (1851–1912). There he met Clara Eugenie Bunn, who later became his wife. He made his first trip to Europe in the summer of 1882 with Henry Rankin Poore (1859–1940). They visited Paris and spent some time in the French countryside. At this period, Waugh was painting landscapes and some seascapes. Little, however, is known about this early work.

In 1883 Waugh again went to Paris, where he continued his studies at the Académie Julian under the direction of William Bouguereau (1825–1905) and Tony Robert-Fleury (1837–1912). The following year he exhibited at the Paris Salon and, while abroad, he continued to send his paintings to major annuals at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the National Academy of Design, and the Art Institute of Chicago. In the summer he painted at Grez-sur-Loing, a popular artists’ colony near Fontainebleau, and in Brittany, where he met Alexander Harrison (1853–1930), a well-known admirer of the French peasant painter Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884). Waugh’s paintings also show the influence of Bastien-Lepage’s plein-air realism. Called back to Philadelphia because of his father’s death in 1885, he spent the next seven years there, doing commercial work and some portraits.

When Waugh married in 1892 he took a honeymoon trip to Europe. After traveling in Scotland and England, he settled in a studio in Paris and painted Consider the Lilies, 1893 (now untraced), which he presented to St. Luke’s Church on the rue de la Grande Chaumiére. In return, the rector of the church helped finance his trip to Sark in the Channel Islands, where Waugh lived from 1893 until 1895. There he began to paint marine subjects like La Grande Greve (now untraced), which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1894. The following year he moved to England and worked in St. Ives, Cornwall, for about nine months. He shared a studio with Hayley Lever (1876–1958) and probably met a number of painters who frequented this popular artists’ colony, among them the marine painter Julius Olsson (1864–1942) and others of the “Newlyn School” of plein-air painters, who, like Waugh, had been strongly influenced by Bastien-Lepage. In 1896 he moved to Bedfordshire, and then in 1899 to Hendon, outside of London. He supported himself by illustrating articles for Hamsworth Magazine and the Graphic. In 1901 he moved his family to London, where he lived until 1907. Throughout this period, Waugh maintained a studio at St. Ives where he painted seascapes influenced by the English painter Henry Moore. In 1907 Waugh, who had been a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy, had some paintings refused for an exhibition. That rejection and the memory of a pleasant visit home two years earlier prompted his return to the United States.

He stayed first with relatives in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and then settled near Montclair. There he enjoyed the patronage of the art collector William T. Evans. Waugh was able to give up illustrating and to concentrate on his seascapes, which were often views of waves and sky uncomplicated by shoreline or vessels. This direction in his career was affirmed by George A. Hearn’s purchase and presentation to the Metropolitan Museum of The Roaring Forties, 1908. Public recognition soon followed. In 1909 he was elected an associate member of the National Academy of Design and two years later a full member. His first one-man show, an exhibition of paintings inspired by the summers he spent at Bailey Island, Maine, in 1908 and 1909, was held at the Macbeth Gallery in 1910. That same year his ambitious figure painting The Buccaneers (Public Library, Brockton, Mass.) won the Thomas B. Clarke prize at the National Academy.

Waugh moved to Kent, Connecticut, in 1915, and made his home there until 1927. He was a frequent visitor to Monhegan Island, Maine, which provided him with the inspiration for his only book, The Clan of the Munes (1916). During World War I he participated in a government project for camouflaging ocean-going vessels. Throughout the next decade, he traveled in search of fresh material for his seascapes: in 1920, he visited the Caribbean and in 1922 he made a trip to British Columbia. His last years were spent close to the ocean at Provincetown, Massachusetts, near his son, Coulton Waugh (1896–1973), who was also a painter. Continued commercial, critical, and popular success marked this period. Waugh won the Carnegie Institute’s popular prize an unprecedented five times beginning in 1934. Major collections of his work can be seen at the Edwin A. Ulrich Museum, Hyde Park, New York, and the Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Kansas.

(Burke, Doreen Bolger, American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vol. III, A Catalogue of Works by Art and Artists Born between 1846 and 1864, 1980).

Museum Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME
Brockton Public Library, Brockton, MA
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH
Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME
Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa
Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Maier Museum of Art, Lynchburg, VA
McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
National Academy of Design Museum, New York, NY
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
Orland Museum of Art, Orlando, FL
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
San Antonio Art League Museum, San Antonio, TX
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

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Frederick Judd Waugh Paintings Previously Sold

FREDERICK JUDD WAUGH    Boats on the Thames near London Bridge   Oil on canvas 18 x 23 inches (45.7 x 58.4 cm)  SOLD

Boats on the Thames near London Bridge
Oil on canvas
18 x 23 inches (45.7 x 58.4 cm)