This painting from a late mid-century master is an excellent example of primitive Americana folk art, comparable to Grandma Moses. Erwin Neusch (b. 1892), like his father before him, was a wood carver who started his work by doing church pews. After an illness in 1943, he was no longer able to continue in this work and he opened an antique shop, where he also did painting restoration, in New York City. At the age of 72, he began to paint! He continued his activity until his death at 100 in 1993.
Neusch was interested in early American life and so his style is reminiscent of those painters from the 19th C. His scenes often depict rural life in the new nation. This particular painting, however, showcases a clipper ship, giving a unique maritime twist on his classic themes. The triple mast boat sails on the seas as early Americans watch from a wooden boardwalk shore. The tall masts of the main ship are matched by the lovely clouds that glisten in the golden sunlight. An American flag hangs from its uppermost point. Two smaller vessels appear on the right side of the painting. Neusch's signature can be detected just below them - on the boardwalk next to a couple and their dog. The canvas truly captures the American spirit and celebrates its mastery at sea. The reddish-brown frame is sturdy and complements the artwork beautifully. Such a painting would make a wonderful addition to any collection of American art.
16 in. x 12 in.
"Clipper Ship" by Erwin J. Neusch