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Art Exhibit of Original Naval Paintings Traveling to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in December!

Where: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara
When: December 3, 2020-May 30, 2021
Sponsored by: George H. & Olive J. Griffiths Charitable Foundation, Mimi Michaelis, Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation, and Wood-Claeyssens Foundation

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is delighted to announce that Arthur Beaumont: Art of the Sea–an  exhibit of 53 paintings chronicling the accomplishments of the US Navy, from the USS Constitution to atomic bomb tests and expeditions to the North and South Poles—will be at the Museum for just six months, the last show on the West Coast before it leaves for the East Coast. Beaumont used Impressionist techniques in painting the stunning images in this exhibit and in capturing the majesty of the oceans and the vessels that sail them.

(Arthur Beaumont, Chinese Junk Boat, 1962, watercolor, Robert Dreibelbis Collection)

In addition to Beaumont’s paintings, the show will be accompanied by a book of his life and art, also entitled Arthur Beaumont: Art of the Sea, written by Beaumont’s son Geoffrey Campbell Beaumont and published by The Irvine Museum in Irvine, California. Then, on April 15, 2021, the author will offer a presentation about the exhibit and his father’s life as part of SBMM’s distinguished lecture series (recording here).

Arthur Beaumont (1890-1978) was born in Norfolk County, England and came to the US in 1908 to study art at Berkeley, before moving to Los Angeles and opening his first commercial art studio in 1917. After studying further with other artists in the US and Europe and teaching art and watercolor painting, Beaumont received a commission as a lieutenant in the Navy and became the “Artist of the Fleet” by 1933. His earliest paintings showed naval vessels in various settings and states of preparedness, but following Pearl Harbor, his work supported the US war effort and reflected dramatic life or death struggles in the Pacific and, in 1944, he was given the official title of War Correspondent.

(Arthur Beaumont, USS Glacier and USS Arneb, Antarctica, 1973, watercolor, Courtesy of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum )  

Following the end of World War II, Beaumont became the official artist for Operation Crossroads, documenting the Navy’s first tests of the nuclear bomb, and continued to travel with and paint for the US Navy on missions to China and Japan. In addition to his work during the Korean War, in the production of movies, in private commissions and personal painting, Beaumont accepted three assignments from the Navy in the 1950s and 60s to paint frozen landscapes in Alaska and Antarctica. Over the remaining years of his life, he painted the RMS Queen Mary as it arrived in Los Angeles, a series of Revolutionary War-era sailing vessels, portraits of prominent naval officers, and operations along the Mekong River during the Vietnam War.

Learn more about the exhibit from Geoffrey Campbell Beaumont, Arthur Beaumont’s son

Contact: Curatorial Department (805) 456-8745 /email

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Maybe there's a happy little waterfall happening over here. A little happy sunlight shining through there. Take your time. Speed will come later. God gave you this gift of imagination. Use it. Once you learn the technique, ohhh! Turn you loose on the world; you become a tiger. Work on one thing at a time.