N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)They Took Their Wives with Them on Their Cruisesca. 1937Oil on hardboard (Renaissance Panel), 35 x 25 in. (88.8 x 63.4 cm)Peabody Essex Museum
They Took Their Wives with Them on Their Cruises
oil on hardboard (Renaissance Panel)
Lower right: N C WYETH (underlined) / TO KEN AND NANCY / WITH AFFECTION AND GRATITUDE FROM CONVERS - FEB. 28, 1942; adhered to reverse, Renaissance Panel label dated 9/24/37, numbered 586.
The artist to 1942; Dr. Kenneth Scott and Nancy Bockius Scott; Private collection; (Sotheby's, New York, NY, May 24, 2006, no. 101; did not sell)
Portland, ME, 1938; Rockland, Maine, Farnsworth Art Museum, "Trending Into Maine: The Illustrations of N. C. Wyeth," May 2001-December 2002
color illustration f. p. 114, Kenneth Roberts, Trending Into Maine (Little, Brown and Company, 1938)
"The Romance That Is Maine's," The Boston Herald, June 19, 1938, Rotogravure Section, unpaginated; Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr., N. C. Wyeth, The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals (New York, Crown Publishers, 1972), p. 216; Beverly F. Stoughton, "Women at Sea," American History Illustrated, vol. XV, no. 3 (June 1980), illustration in color, p. 8; Christine B. Podmaniczky, N. C. Wyeth, A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings (London: Scala, 2008), I.1224, p. 556
Wyeth's attention to detail in this type of painting was remarkable. In preparation for this painting, he had written to Kenneth Roberts in early September 1937 asking what kind of a chair the captain's wife would have used. Roberts must have supplied the information, for Wyeth wrote to him on Sept. 21, "I had a splendid talk with Capt. Jim Creighton of Thomaston and incidentally he made me an elevation drawing of a ships carpenters deck chair, which is exactly as you describe it. His other advice regarding the position of the chair on deck...tallied with yours exactly" (NCW to Kenneth Roberts, Sept. 21, 1937, Kenneth Roberts Papers, Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library).
The Brandywine River Museum holds a lantern slide made from the charcoal composition drawing of this painting (NCWS.95.1825.128), used in the transfer of the design from paper to panel. At least until 2006, the painting retained its original frame, a plain off-white molding.