5 East 57th Street, 8th floor, New York, NY 10022
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Antonio Jacobsen (1850 - 1921)

Antonio Jacobsen, America's folk art hero recognized for his unsurpassed contributions to America's maritime history, recorded domestic and international ships as they passed through the age of sail to steam.  He was a prolific painter and throughout his life painted an estimated 6000 paintings.

Jacobsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2 November 1850, where, for generations his family had been violin makers. His father encouraged him to practice a similar craft.  At an early age he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Design in Copenhagen, however, reversed family fortunes forced him to withdraw.  At the age 18 it was compulsory for him to join the Danish military forces, he decided instead, to sail for America.

He left his family behind and arrived in New York in the early 1870's.  Like many other immigrants, he went to New York City's Battery Park looking for work.  He passed his days sketching the ships that sailed in and out of the harbor.  Not before long a representative from Marvin Safe Company noticed his drawings and offered him a job decorating safes.  His ability as an artist was further recognized as he began to receive commissions from sea captains and ship owners and eventually Steamship companies, to record their entire fleet.   The Old Dominion Line, The Fall River Line and The White Star Line are some of the steamship companies that commissioned him to paint portraits of all the ship in their respective fleets.

In addition, the Clyde Line, the Black Ball Line and the Mallory Line, the Anchor Line and Red Star Lines also sought his services.  The notoriety that Jacobsen received from all these commissions helped establish him as the foremost chronicler of American shipping in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In 1878, he married Mary Melania Schmidt. The couple established residence, combining their working and living space, in New York City at 257 Eight Ave.  Three children were born to the couple: Carl Ferdinand, Helen and Alphonse.  Both of Jacobsen's sons were competent painters.

In 1880, with Jacobsen's increasing prosperity, the couple was able to move to a beautiful house in Hoboken, New Jersey.  This home became a mecca for seafarers and artists as well.  On Sun­days, Jacobsen would arrange concerts, at his house, of he and his friends playing chamber music or string quartets. Several of the artists that visited include Fred Pansing (well?known ship painter at the time), James Buttersworth (painter of delightful yacht pictures), F.  Bishop (marine artist from New Haven) and Frederick Cozzens (Staten Island artist, who specialized in harbor scenes).

Jacobsen's work was sought after in his day, and if he was short of funds, he had no trouble finding commissions.  At a time when a certified public accountant was earning forty or fifty dollars a week, Jacobsen earned $150 to $200 with little effort.  When lithographs became popular, however, orders for Jacobsen's paint­ings dwindled and he refused any attempt to commercialize his paintings.

As the years passed, Jacobsen's style became more progressive, he depended less on commissions and more on his own creativity.  His rigid style softened and he painted imaginative marine works ? including racing scenes, shipwrecks and some ocean views.

Works by Jacobsen can be seen in most major collections of marit­ime art including the: Peabody Museum, Salem, MA.; The Mariners Museum, Newport News, VA.; Seaman's Bank for Savings, etc.

Reference: Antonio Jacobsen, Marine Artist, Staten Island His­torian XXII #2, April ? June 1961, pp. 9 ?12.

 
Browse by Artist
AVAILABLE & SOLD WORKS
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
Off Sandy Hook
SOLD
Oil on board
14 x 22 inches
Signed and dated 1917
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The ALASKA
SOLD
Oil on canvas
12 x 20 inches
Signed and dated 1881
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The AMINTA
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed; c. 1879
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The ARGUS
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1886
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The BRITISH CROWN
SOLD
Oil on canvas
30 x 50 inches
Signed and dated 1881
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Cerea
SOLD
Oil on canvas
15 x 31 inches
Signed and dated 1909
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The CITY OF CHESTER
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1880
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The CITY OF NEW BEDFORD
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1877
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Clara
SOLD
Oil on board
15 x 27 inches
Signed and dated 1908
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Concord
SOLD
Oil on board
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1912
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Extreme Clipper Ship Young America
SOLD
Oil on board
27 x 46 inches
Signed and dated 1916
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The FORTEVIOT
SOLD
Oil on canvas
30 x 50 inches
Signed and dated 1896
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Jeremiah Thornton
SOLD
Oil on board
26 x 48 inches
Signed and dated 1916
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The KAISER WILHELM II
SOLD
Oil on canvas
30 x 50 inches
Signed and dated 1889
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Larchmont
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed, inscribed and dated 1905
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The MERIONETHSHIRE
SOLD
Oil on canvas
24 x 42 inches
Signed and dated 1883
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The NECKAR
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1879
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The NIAGARA
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1877
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Oceana
SOLD
Oil on board
22 x36 inches
Signed, inscribed and dated 1915
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The OLYMPIA
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1898
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Orleanian
SOLD
Oil on board
24 x 42 inches
Signed and dated 1906
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Pennsylvania
SOLD
Oil on board
32 x 60 inches
Signed, inscribed and dated 1907
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Pilot Boat New Jersey
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x36 inches
Signed and dated 1903
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The PRINZ ALBERT
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1897
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The PURITAN
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1886
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The PURITAN
SOLD
Oil on canvas
32 x 60 inches
Signed and dated 1896
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The RADNORSHIRE
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1880
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Rescue of the Gate City
SOLD
Oil on canvas
18 x 30 inches
Signed and dated 1902
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The STATE OF MAINE
SOLD
Oil on canvas
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1892
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The U.S. Battleship MASSACHUSETTS
SOLD
Oil on canvas
14 x 20 inches
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Zeeland
SOLD
Oil on board
22 x 36 inches
Signed and dated 1910
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
Yacht Race
SOLD
Oil on board
8 x 16 inches
Signed and dated 1906
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Miami
SOLD
Oil on canvas
30 x 50 inches
Signed, inscribed and dated 1897
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The Nathaniel Blake
SOLD
Oil on canvas
20 3/4 x 35 1/4 inches
Signed, inscribed and dated 1878
Antonio Jacobsen
(1850 - 1921)
The SS BUNKER HILL
SOLD
Oil on board
22 x 36 inches
Signed, inscribed and dated 1914