Frederick Waugh was one of the greatest marine artists of the early twentieth century. He was considered the successor to Winslow Homer and his pictures were often compared with those of Homer, but, through circumstance, he may never have seen a Homer painting until after the latter's death.
Waugh was born in Bordentown, New Jersey, studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and, in 1882, went to study at the Academie Julien in Paris. Thereinafter he spent most of his time in England and France, taking up residence as a painter on the Channel Island of Sark. In 1908 he returned to the United States as a mature and fully trained painter. Waugh settled into a house in Montclair Heights, New Jersey where the lack of a studio precluded much painting. He therefore was forced to travel into New York where he worked for a time painting in the Budworth shipping loft. In April of 1909 the prominent collector, William T. Evans, who lived in Montclair, offered Waugh a splendid studio which was located on his estate, Waugh accepted and began to occupy the space by May; the rent was one painting per year.
Waugh was hardly settled in his new studio when he and his family accepted the offer of his half-sister, Ida Waugh, to take a cottage on her property at Bailey Island, Maine for the summer. The offer proved a boon for the painter, since it brought the seacoast to his front window for those summer months. Although it is said that he did not paint canvases larger than 25 by 30 inches at the cottage, the summer work provided him with studies for the next year.
Frederick Waugh also maintained a studio in Provincetown, Massachusetts where he lived during the last part of his life. Waugh is also well known for his instruction books on how to paint the sea, including, Painting by the Sea and Seascape Painting, Step by Step.
Waugh’s paintings are found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Currier Museum of Art, among many other fine institutions.