Artist Bio

Back to Artist Listings

Mecray, John

John Mecray (b. 1937) is one of America's best-known contemporary realist painters of marine subjects. He grew up in Cape May, New Jersey and  attended the Philadelphia School of Art. He spent two-and-a-half years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, where he eventually became a set and graphic designer form the 7th Army Symphony Orchestra. He was also an illustrator for the Seventh Army Headquarters' Psychological Warfare Company in Stuttgart. After his return to the U.S. and graduation from art college, Mecray began a career as a freelance illustrator in the Philadelphia area. He gave up this career to become a fulltime marine painter in 1976, when he moved to Newport, Rhode Island and established a studio on Thames Street near the historic harbor. In 1977 his work was featured in the America's Cup issue of "Yachting Magazine." Shortly thereafter, Mecray was commissioned by Ted Turner to paint the "Courageous"; subsequent commissions followed. By "getting in close" to his subject matter, Mecray portrays the sense of power, speed, and movement of the classic sailing yachts. In the late 1970s Mecray became involved with the founding of the Museum of Yachting; he later became active with the International Yacht Restoration School. Mecray's original paintings were represented by Marguerite Riordan of Stonington, Connecticut from 1981 to 2008. He began creating limited edition prints and giclees of his oil paintings, which were first published by the Mystic Seaport Museum store in 1978. In 1987 he took over the publication of these prints, of which 46 limited editions and and six open editions have been published. The painting of the "Westward" is one of his early acclaimed oil paintings.

Title: White Cliffs of Dover
Medium: Oil/canvas; SLL & dated 1868 14" x 24" sight