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Frederick Judd Waugh was born in Bordentown, New Jersey on September 13, 1861. He was the youngest of five children. His father, Samuel Bell Waugh, was an accomplished portrait painter.
At nineteen, Waugh attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art for three years, studying under Thomas Eakins and Thomas Anschutz. Upon his graduation, Frederick sought further study in Paris at the Academie Julian under Adolphe William Bouguereau and Robert Fleury.
In 1892, Waugh married Clara Eugenie Bunn, a fellow art student from the Pennsylvania Academy. In 1893, the couple moved to the Island of Sark in the English Channel where they stayed for two years. It was on this island Waugh began his study of the sea. According to the artist, the island was a model for most of the conditions the marine painter needed to study.
In 1899, the Waugh’s moved to Hendon, eight miles outside of London. Waugh began working as an illustrator to support his growing family of four. In 1907, he entered two pieces into the Royal Academy show. They were both rejected, so Waugh decided to return to America.
Waugh and his family settled in Montclair Heights, New Jersey. He found a studio nearby in Montclair. It was the former studio of Gorge Inness Jr. and could accommodate the large paintings Waugh had planned to paint. The artist bartered his rent for one painting a year.
In 1910, Waugh won the Thomas B. Clark Prize at the National Academy of Design show. Over the next seven years, he established himself as the most popular marine painter in the country. Waugh was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design. He continued to paint the sea in all its moods and glory, winning many awards in his lifetime.
Waugh always painted from direct observation, but these studies were not for sale. Instead, Waugh used the studies, along with his memory of the experience to create finished paintings in the studio. His large studio paintings have a power and majesty rarely captured by most marine painters.
Frederick Waugh died in Provincetown, Massachusetts on Sept 10, 1940, at the age of seventy-nine.
Frederick Judd Waugh,
American Marine painterGeorge R. Havens
University of Maine Press 1969
QuoteI say if you can do so, grab the whole thing in one continuous period of time. Your work will have the vitality and snap it needs to convey its full significance.
~Frederick Judd Waugh