John A. Noble (1913-83)
Gleaner on the Flats
Mast and Man #3
Lithograph, Edition 300, 1968
Framing by the Noble Maritime Collection

John A. Noble (1913-83)
Coal Pirate
Lithograph, Edition 290, 1979
Framing by the Noble Maritime Collection

John A. Noble (1913-83)
Wood, Mud and Water
Lithograph, Edition 290, 1982
Gift of James M. Scott

John A. Noble (1913-83) is one of America’s most distinguished marine artists. Born in Paris in 1913, he is the son of the noted painter, John "Wichita Bill" Noble. He moved to this country in 1919, a year which had great significance to him and foreshadowed his life’s work. “It was the greatest wooden ship launching year in the history of the world,” he often said. A graduate of the Friends Seminary in New York City, Noble returned to France in 1931 to study at the University of Grenoble; when he returned to New York, he studied at the National Academy of Design. From 1928 until 1945, he worked as a seaman on schooners and in marine salvage. In 1928, while on a schooner on the Kill van Kull, he saw the boneyard at Port Johnston in Bayonne for the first time. It was a sight, he later asserted, which affected him for life. Filled with new but obsolete ships, the great coal port had become a great boneyard. In 1939, Noble began to build his floating studio there, out of parts of vessels he salvaged. From 1946 on, he worked as a full-time artist. An Academician of the National Academy of Design, he received its most prestigious awards, including two Henry LeGrand Cannon Prizes and the Samuel Finley Breese Morse Medal. His work is included in the permanent collections of institutions in this country and abroad.