Inspired by tradition, John Stobart serves as our historian and guide to life on the water. To the viewer, it seems as if Stobart stood centuries ago along the ports and harbors he recreates for us. We can almost feel the effects of the weather and time of day as we learn about our history and heritage through his wonderfully descriptive visual narratives, which have been compared to stories by Mark Twain and Joseph Conrad.
It was as a young art student that Stobart first experienced the work of John Constable and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Constable’s oil sketches motivated Stobart to focus on simplicity and clarity in his work while Corot’s paintings of outdoor subjects and architecture inspired Stobart to experience outdoor painting. In those masters’ work, Stobart also found a quality of light he had never before seen. The work of these artists deeply affected Stobart and prompted him to define his own artistic style.
Stobart’s paintings have been included in selected collections at the Old Royal Naval College (Greenwich, England), the Maritime Museum of Upper Canada (Toronto), the Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA), The Burrichter/Kierlin Marine Art Collection at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (Winona, MN), The Jack Warner Collection of the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art (Tuscaloosa, AL), the Channel Islands Maritime Museum (Ventura, CA), and the Portland Museum (Portland, ME), among others. His efforts to bring his artistic ideals to a wider audience have been achieved through his limited-edition prints, the educational WorldScape I and WorldScape II PBS television series, and through his several books on his maritime paintings.
Stobart has received numerous honors and awards throughout his esteemed career, including Elected Academician from the National Academy of Western Art; the Robert G. Albion/James Monroe Award and Distinguished Services Award from the National Maritime Historical Society; and an Honorary Degree from the University of Derby in England. He will be presented with a Living Legend Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 American Masters exhibition at the Salmagundi Club.
In 1988, Stobart established The Stobart Foundation, a non-profit chartable trust that provides financial assistance to the art-major graduate transitioning from student to professional artist.