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 Gerald (Jerry) Levey  (1930 - )

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Lived/Active: Connecticut      Known for: marine, coastal/seascape

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Gerald (Jerry) Levey
An example of work by Gerald (Jerry) Levey
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography is from the artist:

Gerald Levey was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1930. He grew up in Brighton Beach, overlooking the entrance to New York harbor and began drawing passing ships and watercraft at an early age. He developed his watercolor skills in high-school art classes, and painted scenes of the Brooklyn and Manhattan waterfronts.

In 1947, on his seventeenth birthday, he joined the Navy and spent the next four years as an enlisted man, serving in two Pacific fleet ships. In 1951, he won a fleet appointment to the Midshipman college program, graduated from Columbia University in 1955, and was commissioned as an Ensign in the regular Navy. After a year of service in a minesweeper, he volunteered for submarine duty. He served in both diesel and nuclear submarines during the height of the cold war and made more than a dozen patrols and deployments in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Levey commanded the attack diesel submarine USS Sablefish in 1968 and 1969.

Levey retired from the Navy as a full Commander in 1971, but as a civilian consultant, continued to work closely with nuclear submarines and their crews developing new search and attack tactics against threat submarines. In 1982, he was awarded the Navy Distinguished Public Service Medal for his work in this field.

While engaged in submarine work by day, Levey continued painting marine watercolors in his spare time. During this period, he studied with Lou Bonamarte, a nationally known watercolor painter. He also became an artist member of the American Society of Marine Artists and of the Salmagundi Club in New York City.

In 1985, Levey left the world of submarines and devoted himself fully to a career as a marine painter. He attended the Lyme Academy of Fine Art in Connecticut and studied anatomy and figure painting with Dean Keller.

For the past fifteen years, Levey has worked in the marine watercolor genre, specializing in paintings of merchant ships, water craft, and naval vessels of the Twentieth Century. Much of his work depicts scenes around the port of New York's rivers, bays and wharves during the period when the harbor was the busiest in the world.

Levey's works have been exhibited widely in galleries and museums on both coasts. He has had several solo shows, including a one-man show at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut. His work has appeared in national exhibits of the American Society of Marine Artists held at the Mariners Museum at Newport News, Virginia, and at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore, Maryland.

He has been an exhibiting artist at the Maritime Gallery at the Mystic Seaport Museum since 1980, and has been in more than forty major shows mounted by the gallery. His paintings received the prestigious Rudolph Schaefer Award in the Mystic International Exhibit in 1985, and the Mystic Seaport Purchase Award in the 1991 International Show. He has also exhibited in exhibitions in museums and galleries in Seattle, Annapolis, Newport, New York, and Connecticut.

Levey has been designated a Navy and Coast Guard artist and is listed in the "Dictionary of Sea Painters of Europe and America," the authoritative compilation of marine artist of the 15th through 20th centuries.

"The Dictionary of Sea Painters of Europe and America" by E.H.H. Archibald.
"Contemporary Marine Art" by P. Egeli.

"Naval History Magazine," 'Gerald Levey, Steaming on the Gray Line' December 1999.

"Journal of the Steamboat Historical Society of America" by Robert J Russell, 'SS Normandy/USS Lafayette, Death and Dismantling,"'Spring 1995.

"The Log of Mystic Seaport" by Andrew German, 'On Board the Flying Clipper,' Autumn 1998.

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