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 Thomas H. Willis  (1850 - 1925)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut      Known for: marine, ship portrait

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Ad Code: 3
Thomas H Willis
from Auction House Records.
America's Cup race for 1889(?)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Connecticut, Thomas Willis died in New York City. His work is in the Mariner's Museum, the Mystic Seaport Museum and the Peabody Museum. He used silk or satin for the sails in his ships, and his trademark signature was a "T" over a "W".

Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"
Note from Robert Willis, great grandson of the artist:

I found your site quite informative - you are the only site, in my opinion, that have the dates for his life correctly listed. All other sites I have found list him as dying well short of 1925. Most bracket his life from 1850 to 1910, which I am sure is not correct because I own one of his signed ship portraits dated 1920. It was given to my grandfather who was the son of the artist.

Some other facts surrounding Thomas are rather confusing. He is listed in a number of places as Thomas Willes and as originally from Denmark. His relationship with Antonio Jacobson who was from Denmark makes me wonder.

My Grandfather was his only son from his last wife and I believe his life as an artist was at its very end when the piece I have was made. I have reason to believe this was his last piece of art and was given to my grandfather the year my father was born. In fact the German Barque that is depicted flies a flag with the name Louise (my grandmothers name ). The ship depicted is, I believe, a replica of an earlier work. Of course this is all conjecture on my part.

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