John Alexander Noble (1913 - 1983)
John Alexander Noble (1913 – 1983)
Artist and lithographer John A. Noble was born in Paris, the son of American painter, John ("Wichita Bill") Noble, and spent his early years immersed in the company of his father and his peers. The family moved to New York in 1919, where attended the Friends Seminary in Manhattan. While there spent much of his free time on the tugboats of the McCarren Line, which towed wooden-hulled ships in New York Harbor, and during the summers between school years, Noble went to sea.
Following his graduation in 1931, Noble returned to France and studied at the University of Grenoble and upon his return studied for a year at the National Academy of Design. Until 1945, Noble worked as a seaman on schooners and in marine salvage and it was this experience that exposed him to the hulks of wooden ships scattered throughout the harbor, including the largest graveyard of wooden sailing ships in the world at the Port Johnston coal docks in Bayonne, New Jersey. He spent the remainder of his life portraying these vessels and documenting the working life of New York Harbor, working in a floating studio that Noble constructed from parts of a number of the abandoned vessels. His masterful lithographs document the passing of the age of sail and the gritty working life of the great harbor. He died at Staten Island.
Import (Stevedores, Brocklebank Line Pier, Brooklyn)
Lithograph, 1951; edition of 50. Image size 15-13/16” x 11-11/16”; sheet size 17¼” x 13”. A beautiful impression in near-fine overall condition, with minor losses at edge of sheet, well away from sight area. This lithograph was commissioned by John T. Clark & Son, New York, which provided stevedore and operation services for Brocklebank Line, an English firm whose charter was granted by George III. Shown docked at the pier is its freighter Markhor. This print is in the Pennell Collection of the Library of Congress and the Mariners' Museum, New York. Titled and signed by the artist in the lower margin. Urban #21, Ames #21.
Lithograph, 1951; edition of 200. Image size 15-5/8” x 12-1/16”; sheet size 17-3/4” x 14-5/8”. A beautiful impression in near-fine overall condition, commissioned by John T. Clark & Son, New York. It is based on Noble's original drawing made from the roof of the Bush Terminal pier at which the Ellerman Wilson Line's Consuelo was loading. This print is in the collection of The Mariners' Museum, New York. Urban #22, Ames #22. Titled and signed in pencil by the artist in the lower margin.