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Pansing, Fred

Fred Pansing was born in Bremen, Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1865, after spending five years as a sailor. He settled in New York, working for a time in his brother’s grocery, but always sketching ships and interested in becoming an artist. There is no record of whether Pansing had any formal art training, but there has been speculation that he was inspired by painter James Bard, his neighbor in New York City. He married in 1872, settling in Hoboken, New Jersey and in Jersey City in 1890. Prints of ships were greatly in demand as the era of sail made its transition to the age of steam travel, and Pansing became a successful printmaker for the American Lithographic Company and Knapp & Co. With his technical understanding and artistic skill, he was able to create portraits of steamships, sailing ships, tugs, and paddlewheelers which were widely reproduced as chromolithographs. He also created marine illustrations for Harper’s Weekly, and collaborated with Charles Parsons and Milton Burns, two of America’s foremost marine illustrators and printers. Pansing painted ships of the Fall River and other steamboat lines, his most famous being a series of eighteen portraits of the fleet of the Nantasket Beach Steamboat Company. He occasionally painted in oils, but his oil paintings are rare. Pansing was manager of the Arts Club of Jersey City from 1910 to 1911 and a member of the Hoboken Sketch Club. His works are in the collections of the Mystic Seaport Museum, the Mariners’ Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, and the New York Historical Society. No items found.