James Milton Sessions - "St Thomas"

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James Milton Sessions (1882-1962) American Notable Marine Artist
" St Thomas1948
  • Site: 7" x 5 1/4"
  • Unframed
  • Full Margins- never framed
  • Achival stored
  • Condition: Excellent
  • One a few known watercolors existing 
  • on his trip to the Virgin Islands.
  • Most James Session pictures were destroyed by him.
  • Rare watercolor

Birth place: Rome, NY
Profession: Marine painter, illustrator

Studied: AIC, 1903-06.Exhibited: MMA; AIC; CMA; Milwaukee AM; Campanile Gal., Chicago, 1982

Work: Chicago Tribune Collection; J.P. Speed Mus.; Great Lakes Naval Training Inst.; NY Graphic Soc.,
"American Masters Collection"; Borg-Warner Collection, Chicago.

Comments: He was a master watercolorist, with a style similar to that of John Whorf, Ogden Pleissner, A. Lassell Ripley, and Sears Gallagher. However, his bouts with alcohol and his self-imposed high standards for finished works led him to destroy many of his watercolors.His love of the sea began as a wheelsman aboard Great Lakes ships from 1906-14. He joined the Illinois Naval Reserve during World War I, and later became a commercial illustrator, primarily with Vogue-Wright Studios in Chicago.

In 1933 he began to focus on watercolor. During World War II he was a "brush reporter" of the Pacific Theatre. He also made a 60-painting documentary of jeeps in World War II action for Willys Overland Co. His World War II scenes were the subject of a book, and were exhibited at the MMA. Later, he produced calendars for Brown & Bigelow Co., St. Paul, and many of his hunting and marine watercolors were reproduced by the NY Graphic Society. Sessions traveled extensively around the U.S., painting in Cape Ann (MA), Nova Scotia, the Caribbean, and the Southwest. Signature note: His signature style, with the two flourishing "S's" was consistent. Sources: Falk, James Sessions (unpub. ms)

He developed a love of the sea and is probably best known as a painter of marine subjects. Sessions painted images of numerous locations, from the Bahamas to New England's busy fishing harbors. He was born 1882 in Rome and died in NY, 1962. He studied at the AIC, 1903-06, and exhibited at: MMA, AIC, CMA, Milwaukee AM, and Campanile Gal., Chicago 1982. James Sessions is the only American artist who, during his lifetime was awarded a show of his painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He was a master watercolorist of marine, sporting, and military WW II scenes. He was very prolific in the style of John Whorf and Ogden Pleissner, he unfortunately destroyed much of his own work during his lifetime. He traveled around the US painting in Cape Ann (MA), Nova Scotia, the Caribbean, and the Southwest