John Mecray is active/lives in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania. John Mecray is known for contemporary marine, racing yacht portraits.
Biography from Adelaide Fine Art
Artist John Mecray was born February 13, 1937 in Cape May, New Jersey. He showed considerable talent and won numerous awards in High School, and thereafter studied at the Philadelphia College of Art, now known as the University of the Arts.
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Under Henry Pitz and Joe Krush, he studied illustration. His formal art education was interrupted while he fulfilled his military obligation in the U.S. Army, where he was
stationed in Germany. There, he designed leaflets and posters for a number of divisions of the Seventh Army. While abroad, he visited art museums, which greatly influenced him thereafter.
After his return from his tour of duty, he completed his undergraduate degree and graduated. He sought corporate commissions, and was immediately successful. His clients included: such Smith Kline & French Pharmaceuticals, General Electric, and the Franklin Mint, among others. To supplement his growing income as an artist, he also taught drawing at his college alma mater.
In the 1970’s, Mecray moved his young family to Newport, R.I. to devote himself full‐time to his passion for sailing and painting marine art. In 1977, his painting of the J‐Class yacht Rainbow, was featured as a two‐page spread in Yachting Magazine’s America’s Cup issue.
Catching the attention of yachtsman Ted Turner, Mecray was commissioned by Turner to paint several versions of his yacht COURAGEOUS, the 1977 America’s Cup winner (one of which is in the collection of the New York Yacht Club). Gary Jobson, famed COURAGEOUS tactician and yachtsman, also bought paintings from Mecray that year.
In 1978, Mecray’s partnership with the Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT) began, publishing Mecray’s first limited edition chromolithograph of the Seaport’s wooden boat, the L.A. DUNTON. The following year, John Mecray founded the Museum of Yachting in Newport, RI.
The market for Mecray’s original paintings grew exponentially when he befriended Marguerite Reardon of Stonington, CT, whom became his agent exclusively. Through her, and his connection with the Mystic Seaport, Mecray met Rudolph Schaefer (also a Stonington, CT resident), and together they planned the commissioned commemorative painting of the Larchmont Yacht Club in 1980.
In 1993, John Mecray founded the International Yacht Restoration School, in Newport, RI. He has not ceased his efforts to restore, preserve, exhibit, and sail classic yachts of America’s past, engaging generations to support conservation efforts of wooden yachts, and to study yacht design and history. John Mecray is considered one of the world’s leading living marine painters.
Researched and submitted by Ann Marenakos, ASA, Adelaide Fine Art
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