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John Mecray’s paintings and limited edition prints have earned him an international reputation for excellence. He is firmly established as one of the world’s finest marine painters. Mecray grew up in Cape May, New Jersey, a block away from the Atlantic Ocean. Upon completing high school, he was accepted at the Philadelphia College of Art where he majored in illustration and painting. He began a career as a freelance illustrator even before graduating in 1961. The next year he was asked back to his alma mater to teach a weekly drawing class.
In 1976, after his third offshore sailing trip to the Virgin Islands, he gave up his successful Philadelphia based illustration career and moved to Newport, Rhode Island to fully devote himself to marine painting. Offshore yacht deliveries between New England, Bermuda and the Caribbean have given the artist a personal knowledge of the effects of wind, sea and light on a variety of sailing vessels. His masterful paintings of classic racing yachts clearly convey their power and grace. Experience, perspective and love-of- subject set his work apart in an art field rich in tradition.
A deep interest in yachts and yachting history led Mecray to establish The Museum of Yachting and the museum’s annual Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport. He went on to become a founder and trustee of the International Yacht Restoration School, where his major focus is the restoration of the nation’s most historic yacht, the Schooner Yacht Coronet. He is also a member of Mystic Seaport Museum’s Yachting Committee, the New York Yacht Club, the Fort Worth Boat Club, the National Maritime Historical Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Herreshoff Marine Museum.Since 1976 John Mecray’s limited edition prints have set very high standards. Most of the editions published since then are now sold out and have appreciated greatly on the secondary market. His powerful images have given us a new perspective and greater appreciation of the classic racing yachts that are his trademark.