NEW BOOK! American Eagle: The Bold Art and Brash Life of John H. Bellamy by James A. Craig

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The Portsmouth Marine Society Press announces the release of their latest title by James A. Craig

On sale at the Discover Portsmouth Museum Shop April 1st.

Order the book online

March 28, 2014 New York Times article

Craig’s colorful account of Bellamy’s life and career vigorously argues for a man with a vision for his art. Creating a body of work that was ambitious both in scale and sheer volume, Bellamy translated his skills as shipcarver into a populist decorative form that was potently infused with his nautical upbringing and surroundings. Craig’s work offers tremendous depth to our appreciation of Bellamy’s quintessentially American sculptures. — Daniel Finamore, Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, Peabody Essex Museum

An independent curator and lecturer specializing in American marine art, author James A. Craig became enamored with New England’s maritime saga while studying Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts. Having by his own admission “fallen” into the world of fine art, Craig was first employed at the House of the Seven Gables Museum in nearby Salem, Massachusetts, where he served as a curatorial assistant and museum educator. He went on to serve as Associate Curator for Collections at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he published an award winning biography on the great American marine painter Fitz Henry Lane. Besides Fitz H. Lane: An Artist’s Voyage through Nineteenth-Century America (The History Press, 2006) he has published 100 Essex Road: an American Treasure about the George Cabot Lee estate in Newton, Massachusetts (2008) and Frank Vining Smith: Maritime Painting in the 20th Century (Hard Press Editions, 2010).

In 2011 he contributed to the Portsmouth Historical Society’s Maritime Portsmouth: The Sawtelle Collection, describing the artistic relationship of George S. Wasson and John Haley Bellamy based on his research for American Eagle: The Bold Art and Brash Life of John Haley Bellamy. When not working as an independent consultant to fine art collectors, antique dealers, and museums, he can be found along the granite shores of the ancient fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he resides with his wife Katie, their two cats, and that irascible scoundrel, George the Turtle.