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 William Howard Yorke  (1847 - 1921)

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Lived/Active: New Brunswick / United Kingdom/England/Canada      Known for: ship portrait and coastal view painting

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William Howard York is primarily known as William Howard Yorke

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Ad Code: 3
William Howard Yorke
from Auction House Records.
The Ship Ericsson, Capt. Nathaniel Matthews
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
William Howard Yorke grew up fast under the tutelage of his artist-father William Gay Yorke in the Port of Liverpool. Born in Canada, he came to the port city as a child in 1855 with his family, where he remained the rest of his career and life. Yorke’s earliest known painting, a ship portrait of BENARES in the Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum collection, is dated 1858, making the child an artist at eleven! While it is known that his father left for America in 1871, the son stayed behind.

A serious devotion to his profession made Yorke a success, especially among the captains and working sailors from the ships he portrayed, with many of his paintings traveling home with them to America, and other ports abroad. His finely detailed ship portraits would be precise enough to earn their admiration, and artistic enough to appeal to a broad audience in Liverpool.
As a technical sign of Yorke’s paintings, he employed a translucent quality to the bow wave of each ship, and sent forth a reflection of the bow and stern onto his seas. Where his ships were spot on, he often carried a primitive folk art character to his people shown onboard. He continued for many years, becoming one of the most prominent ship portrait painters in Liverpool and all of the United Kingdom.

William Howard Yorke’s Ship Portraits are in the Collections of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England; San Francisco Bar Pilots Association, San Francisco, CA; Sausalito Historical Society, Sausalito; California Merchant's Exchange (Union Bank), San Francisco, California


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The son of painter William Gay Yorke, William Howard Yorke was born November 4th, 1847 in St. John's, New Brunswick. In the 1850's, the family moved to Liverpool, where William worked in competition with Samuel Walters and Joseph Heard.

He remained in England and was active from 1858 until 1913 and in Liverpool, from 1858-1909. He painted well executed ship portraits showing an accurate view of the ship with all nautical details, often with local background. A trait of his later paintings are hull reflections at bow and stern in the sea.

Yorke was quite prolific, although he only worked for local patrons, receiving painting commissions from many senior merchant seamen and ship owners. There are ten examples of this artist's work in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England as well as paintings in the collections of the Manx Museum, the Mystic Seaport Museum, the Peabody Museum of Salem and the Maritime Museums in San Francisco and Liverpool.

European Art Gallery
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

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