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James Gale Tyler

 (1855 - 1931)
James Gale Tyler was active/lived in Connecticut, New York.  James Tyler is known for sailboat and other marine painting, illustration.

James Gale Tyler

Biography from the Archives of askART

A maritime painter and illustrator, who became very well known during his lifetime, James G. Tyler was born in Oswego, New York. Underscoring his success and prominence is that fact that his signature appeared on at least 100 forged paintings. Later, at the height of his career, he successfully took legal action against forgers through the District Attorney of New York City.

His interest in marine subjects began early, as by age 15 he was showing fascination with the ocean and seagoing vessels. He moved to New York City where, studying with A. Cary Smith, he took his only formal art lessons. Tyler's signature painting became known for the emphasis on mood and impression rather than for detailed realism.

About his career, it was written that "No aspect of maritime life escaped Tyler's attention. In addition to painting all types of boats-from old sloops to clipper ships-he painted a variety of seamen, coastal scenes and seascapes."

He got much of his subject matter from his yearly travels between 1900 and 1930 to Newport, Rhode Island to paint scenes from the America's Cup Race. Many important illustration commissions as well as painting requests came his way during his lifetime.  mong his illustration clients were publishers of Harper's, Century and Literary Digest.

James Tyler was primarily a resident of Greenwich, Connecticut, but the year he died, 1931, he moved to Pelham, New York.

American Art Analog, Volume II, compiled by Michael David Zellman in association with American Art Analog, 1986, p. 513

Biography from Adelaide Fine Art
James Gale Tyler (American, 1855­-1931)

James Gale Tyler was born in Oswego, NY in 1855, of a long line of sea captain ancestors. His interest in maritime subjects began as a young child, living on Lake Ontario. He moved to New York City at the age of 15, and studied marine painting under Archibald Cary Smith (1837-1911), one of the great marine artists of his day. This was the only formal art training he ever received.

He painted ships, seascapes, and yachting scenes, and quickly gained recognition among art collectors and yachtsmen. Additionally, Tyler worked as an illustrator and contributing writer to publications including Harper’s, Century, and Literary Digest.

In 1892, an exhibition of 67 paintings by Tyler was held at Fifth Avenue Art Galleries in New York City. (At that time, Tyler maintained a studio in New York.) The following year, Tyler’s monumental oil, painted in 1888, Norman’s Woe, of the famously treacherous reef off Gloucester, MA, was exhibited at the World's Columbian Exhibition, held in Chicago in 1893. The painting traveled from Chicago by rail car to the Art Palace, San Francisco, where it was exhibited at the Midwinter Fair, 1894.

Among Tyler’s most coveted paintings are his yachting scenes, of which he painted a very limited number. These include several compositions devoted to America’s Cup challenge races.

Towards the end of Tyler’s career, he moved to Greenwich, CT and for several years painted a series of oils of clipper ships sailing by moonlight, all very similar in subject matter and style. These dark pictures, however, pale in comparison to his earlier works.

James Gale Tyler moved to Pelham, NY in 1931, where he died later that year.

Tyler’s paintings are in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Omaha Museum of Art, Mariner’s Museum, Peabody-Essex Museum, and the New York Historical Society, and others.

Researched, written, and submitted by Ann Marenakos, ASA, Adelaide Fine Art

Biography from Pierce Galleries, Inc.
James Gale Tyler (American, 1855-1931)

James Gale Tyler was a marine painter and illustrator who was born in Oswego, New York in 1855. He maintained studios in New York City from 1882 through 1899 and in Greenwich, Connecticut from the mid-1870s until his death in Pelham, New York in 1931, and in Providence (mid-1880s). Although he studied in 1870 with Archibald C. Smith in New York City, he basically was self-taught.

He was a member of the Brooklyn Art Club; the Salmagundi Club (1893); Artists Fund Society and the Greenwich Society of Artists. He exhibited extensively at the National Academy, the Providence Art Club, the Boston Art Club and the Brooklyn Art Association and the PAFA. His work is in permanent collections at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC; Tokyo Museum; Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT; Omaha Museum of Art, NB; Mariner's Museum, N.Y. Historical Society and elsewhere.

Tyler painted every America's Cup race since 1900 and his illustrations of ships sailing off Newport were reproduced in Literary Digest, Harper's and Century magazines. Late in life (1930) he painted the Shamrock and Enterprise off Newport and exhibited them at the Union League Club. His marine paintings were so popular during his lifetime that even his night views of boats coming home in the dark sold-out.

Biography from Karen L. North, Private Art Dealer
One of America's foremost marine artists, James Gale Tyler captured on canvas a variety of ships, yachts, seamen and coastal scenes.  Born in Oswego, New York in 1855, Tyler was mostly a self-taught artist, but in 1870, studied briefly with marine artist Archibald Cary Smith (1837-1911).

Tyler worked in New York and Providence, Rhode, Island in the mid 1880s-1890s, but it was Connecticut where he primarily worked and lived from 1870 until his death in 1931 at Pelham, New York.  In addition to other marine scenes, Tyler painted every America's cup race from 1900 to 1930. 

The artist was a member of the Brooklyn Art Club, Artists Fund Society, Greenwich Society of Artists and the Salmagundi Club.  He regularly exhibited at the National Academy, Boston Art Club, Brooklyn Art Association, and other prominent venues. His works are held in many museums and private collections.  Tyler's paintings are effused with subtle effects of light, vibrant color, and careful detail.  It is for these reasons that Tyler's paintings were extremely popular during his lifetime and continue to be popular today.

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About  James Gale Tyler

Born:  1855 - Oswego, New York
Died:   1931 - Pelham, New York
Known for:  sailboat and other marine painting, illustration