Marc Castelli: The Art of the Waterman at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

    This exhibit features 23 paintings by renowned Chesapeake artist Marc Castelli, 17 of which were donated to the Museum from the Diane Simison collection. The remaining images are from the artist’s personal collection. Castelli paints in watercolor on paper, working from photographs that he takes himself. This allows him not only to get the proportions and details exactly right, but it allows him to capture action and attitude that painting from life would not permit. Castelli goes out at times in awful weather–cold, wind, rain, even snow–conditions in which no one could paint.  He then photographs the watermen’s work in the full variety of conditions that they work in and takes those pictures back to paint in his home studio. Diane Simison began collecting Castelli’s work in 2004.

    “Diane quite deliberately built this cohesive collection of Marc’s paintings of Chesapeake watermen because she was captivated by the aesthetic value,” commented CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “But she was also drawn in by Castelli’s approach and message: going out on the boats with the watermen to capture aspects of their work and the hardships they face. Her chosen location for retirement on Tilghman Island, with its large community of watermen, certainly must have played a role in attracting her to this subject matter.”

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