John B. Moll (1909-1999) Chesapeake Bay Skipjack Schooner under Sail. Watercolor on paper, 15 x 11 1/2 inches, signed on lower right: ‘John Moll’; conservation-matted within glazed frame. John B. Moll was born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, where a high school interest in art led to further studies at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia following graduation. He transferred to the Wilmington Academy of Art, where he studied painting under Brandywine School stalwarts Gayle Hoskins, Frank Schoonover, and N.C. Wyeth, all former students of Howard Pyle. A schoolmate later recalled that Moll modeled for artists for extra funds, allowing him to escape to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in his free moments to draw fishing shacks, wharves, and boats. During the Great Depression, he worked for the Delaware Federal Writers Project of the WPA, preparing drawings and paintings illustrating Delaware and its history for publications such as Delaware: A Guide to the First State, and prepared watercolors for The Index of American Design. In 1946, Moll moved with his wife from Middletown, Delaware to Oxford, Maryland, where he spent the rest of his life working as a freelance artist. Although he is most famous for his marine art of the Chesapeake Bay, including detailed renderings of skipjacks and wooden canoes, he also did landscapes and book illustration work, as well as murals for various buildings on the Eastern Shore. He worked in oil, watercolor, pastel, pencil, and stone lithography; sometimes producing limited edition prints of his own original works. Major exhibits of Moll’s work have been mounted by the Historical Society of Talbot County, the Chesapeake Maritime Museum, and the Oxford Museum, all in Maryland. His works are represented in the collections of the above institutions, as well as the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of American Art, the Biggs Museum of American Art, and the Maryland Historical Society.
Provenance: purchased from the artist in 1976 at Oxford, Maryland, by the late Colonel and Mrs. Walter W. Plummer of Frederick, Maryland.