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18th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists

Special Exhibition Extended Through November 9

Good Things Come, oil, © Lisa Egeli, F/ASMA

The American Society of Marine Artists, the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit organization dedicated to marine art and history, opened its 18th National Exhibition at Jamestown Settlement on March 7 and has been extended through November 9, 2020.

Since its founding more than 40 years ago, the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) has presented its prestigious National Exhibition every three years in museums across the country, highlighting the works of artists representing the best in American marine art by juried competition.

Visitors to Jamestown Settlement can view 110 works of marine art, including paintings, sculptures and scrimshaw carvings.

The majority of the artwork are paintings executed in a variety of media, including oil on canvas, pastel, watercolor on paper and mixed media. Five sculptures cast in bronze, a limestone sculpture and two scrimshaw carvings round out the national exhibition.

Watch a video of the 18th National Exhibition.


Show Opened With Plein-Air Event at Jamestown Settlement Ships’ Pier and Two Public Lectures
March 7 - April 26 -- 18th National Exhibition of the Society of Marine Artists Special Exhibition at Jamestown Settlement

The special exhibition opened March 7 with a plein-air event featuring members of the American Society of Marine Artists at the Jamestown Settlement ships’ pier. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo.

On March 7, the special exhibition opened with a plein-air event or “paint out” at the Jamestown Settlement ships’ pier, where re-creations of the three 1607 ships – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery – are moored for visitors to board and explore throughout the year. The plein-air event, held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., featured ASMA members painting scenes along the James River waterfront with the ships as a focal point.

Jamestown Settlement’s ships, designated as “the official fleet of the Commonwealth,” are full-size, square-rigged vessels that serve as floating classrooms for visitors and students alike to learn about the 1607 voyage to Virginia, life aboard the ship, piloting and navigation. One of the three ships sails periodically to other ports as an ambassador for community and educational programs.

Following the plein-air event, two public lectures from ASMA artists took place on Saturday, March 7, at Jamestown Settlement. The lectures were included with museum admission.

“Duel of the Ironclads,” oil. © Patrick O’Brien, ASMA.

“Duel of the Ironclads,” oil. © Patrick O’Brien, ASMA.

March 7: “Painting History” by Patrick O’Brien, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

In this illustrated lecture, Patrick O’Brien described the thorough research behind his paintings, and talked about his studies of the Civil War duel of the ironclads in Hampton Roads. O’Brien is an award-winning artist whose striking paintings depict the classic age of sail, with honors including The National Maritime Historical Society’s Distinguished Service Award, the prestigious Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition, and the U. S. Naval Academy Museum, which mounted an exhibition in 2010 featuring 28 of his oil paintings.

March 7: “The Marine Paintings of John Singer Sargent” by Sarah Cash, 3-4 p.m.
“Setting out to Fish,” oil, 1878, John Singer Sargent. Corcoran Collection, National Gallery of Art

“Setting out to Fish,” oil, 1878, John Singer Sargent. Corcoran Collection, National Gallery of Art.

A lecture by Sarah Cash, co-author of the book “John Singer Sargent and the Sea” with Richard Ormond, focused on Sargent’s marine oils and watercolors. The painter had a lifelong passion for the sea, an interest that manifested itself in a remarkable but relatively little-known body of work dating from his very early years to late in his life. Cash is associate curator of American and British Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and previously served as curator of American art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, director of the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and assistant curator at the Amon Carter Museum.

The 18th Exhibition was scheduled to tour museums across the United States through its conclusion at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, Minnesota, in September 2021. Other museums include the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, Maryland, the Gulfquest Maritime Museum in Mobile, Alabama, and the Burroughs-Chapin Museum of Art in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

About Jamestown Settlement

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg and features expansive exhibition galleries and films that connect visitors with the lives of the Powhatan, English and west central African cultures that converged at 17th-century Jamestown, and historical interpretation in outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 English ships and colonial fort. Admission is $17.50 for adults and $8.25 for ages 6-12, and free for children under 6. Parking is free. For more information, call (757) 253-4838.

Jamestown Settlement is anticipated to reopen on Wednesday, June 24, with adjustments to operations and access to outdoor living-history areas and gallery exhibits so visitors can enjoy the museum experience while following new safety protocols and social-distancing procedures. To learn more, visit

Jamestown Settlement is administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.