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Clement Drew    Click Images to Enlarge

Clement Drew
Ship Passing Boston Light, 1877

Oil on canvas mounted to wooden panel
25 x 30 ¾ inches

Oscar Adler

(American, 1806-1889)

Born in 1806 in Kingston, Massachusetts, Clement Drew settled in Boston and Gloucester, Massachusetts and became a marine painter of harbor scenes and vessels at sea, especially in rough oceans. Most of his marine paintings were done between 1838 and 1886, and his earliest paintings were views of Boston's south shore. He later traveled extensively, from Maine to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, to Cape Horn and then San Francisco, but he specialized in New England coastal views from Gloucester to Scituate, MA and often depicted ships near lighthouses.

He held many jobs besides that of artist and began working in Boston in a dry goods store in 1827. He also worked in a library, sold carpets, and had his own store to do framing and sell art supplies. He became a printmaker, etcher, photographer and painter. He was also an abolitionist joining forces with William Lloyd Garrison in the fight to end slavery. His dramatic marine views gleaned from his travels up and down the New England coast were well received and continue to be sought after by collectors and maritime museums. The Peabody Museum, Salem, owns 40 of his works, many of which show Gloucester’s Eastern Point Light as it looked prior to being rebuilt in 1890. By the time of his 1890 death in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Drew was a popular sought-after marine painter.

Clement Drew’s work is represented at the Mariner’s Museum in VA; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY; Oakland Museum, CA; Shelburne Museum, VT, the Corcoran Gallery and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and elsewhere.