"Clipper Ship, Sea Witch" by Hunter Wood
(American, 1908 - 1948)
Watercolor and gouache on paper, 10 ¼ x 14 ½ inches (sight), 15 ¼ x 19 ½ inches (frame), signed and dated lower right, hand-carved metal leaf original frame (probably made by Newcomb-Macklin), verso: Harry F. Marks, Inc. gallery label from New York City including title, artist and type of work.
Hunter Wood is the son of famous marine painter Worden George Wood (who served in the Spanish-American War and World War I) and great grandson to John L. Worden (Commander of the Monitor in the Civil War).
Hunter Wood was born in 1908 in Babylon, Long Island, New York . His love of sailing and talent for painting can be traced back in his family to his great grandfather, John L. Worden. He was commander of the Monitor in its battle against the Merrimac in the Civil War. Hunter's own father was a successful marine painter and sailor. Worden George Wood served aboard the clipper Yankee in the Spanish-American War and also in World War I. His father, Worden Wood's, artwork touched the lives of many due to its wide circulation. His paintings were on postcards, his pen & ink drawings were on magazine covers such as Yachting, and some were used as children's book illustrations. Worden Wood married a silent movie star (one of the Florodora girls). They divorced in 1911 when Hunter was very young and he grew up emulating his father; something which would prove to be detrimental. After a brief formal education and at the age of seventeen Hunter Wood left school and joined the New York Merchant Marines. He tra ined aboard a ship called the Newport before earning the rating of coxswain of the Captain's personal boat. His maritime career was dappled with tales of heroism, all of which demonstrated his adept sailing skills. Once at high sea he had to rescue a man during a storm from a British freighter one thousand miles north of the Canaries. By the age of 25 Hunter Wood was sailing as quartermaster for several large shipping companies. Hunter's father had been spending more time drinking and less time at sea. He died in 1943 and one documented story said, "As I hear it [Hunter] Wood's father died of alcohol and Hunter inherited the tendency. [At] Coast Guard Headquarters Wood kept the urn on his desk to the discomfiture of his associates. In time he was persuaded to keep the urn in the office safe. Occasionally he would take 'dad' out for a drink at O'Donnell's (New London) depositing dad on the bar. Apparently there were complaints and Hunter was convinced dad would like a burial at sea. A cutter was used for the purpose quite illegally." Something good came from Hunter's father, the artistic talent that he passed on to his son. Hunter Wood was a marine illustrator for several firms, including the United States Lines, the French Line, the Macmillian Company and the former United States Shipping Board. He was also on the staff of The World and The New York Herald in New York and The Boston Herald. He was a member of the 7th Regiment N. Y. N. G. Making sure that rigging and proportions were accurate was very important to the artist. He died in 1948, shortly after his father.
Comprehensive biographical information about the artist available upon request