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James M. Heseldin [1887-1969]



[From the catalogue-in-progress for “Landscapes & Livestock”, a loan exhibition for Agincourt Homecoming in the Fall of 2015]

HESELDIN, James Marshall [1887-1969]

“St Paul’s Chapel (Fulton Street on Broadway)”


watercolor on paper / 19 inches by 13.25 inches

Born in England, James Heseldin arrived in the United States just prior to World War I. He used his artistic skills to support the war effort, working as a camoufleur in World War I. When the war ended, Heseldin served an apprentice in a New York architectural firm, and his subsequent paintings reveal his skill as a master draftsman. His watercolors depict New York monuments built at a triumphant moment in our nation’s economic and architectural history, serving as a beautiful rendition of the city’s grandeur. Heseldin eventually became an American citizen, although he returned to England at the end of his life.

The Heseldin becomes more interesting when paired with Edward Weise’s “Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, London” of 1917, another architectural study. This watercolor was once owned by Lucy Tennant Tabor, older sister of architect Anson Tennant, purchased by her after he was thought to have disappeared with RMS Lusitania in 1915.

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