The American Neptune

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Pictorial Supplement 20

Marine Paintings of William Henry Luscomb and Benjamin Franklin West of Salem

William Henry Luscomb's birth date is uncertain, but he .appears to have died in the late 1860's. For twenty-odd years previously he had worked in Salem as a 'sign and fancy painter.' Benjamin Franklin West, who was similarly employed in Salem, was born there on 15 June 1818 and died in California on 11 April 1854. Many of the vessels they painted were engaged in the lucrative East and West African trade which sustained Salem's reduced overseas commerce at mid century. Because of the similarity of their work and the many attributions to one or the other, their joint efforts, as reflected by the Peabody Museum's marine picture collection, have been pooled here. The arrangement is first by signed and then by attributed works, followed by rig (ship, bark, brig, schooner) and the names of the vessels alphabetically arranged within these categories.

Bark Star

Bark Star of Salem, circa 1845, built 1838, Scituate, Massachusetts, 212 tons, flying the house flag of Salem merchant John Bertram. Attributed to Benjamin F. West.

Last updated March 19, 1997