George C. Wales

American , 1868 - 1940

George Canning Wales was born in Boston in 1868. He studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1885 to 1888. His first job was with the architects Peabody and Stearns and he founded his own architectural firm in Boston in 1893. He studied etching in 1917 with William M. Paxton and produced his first etchings that same year. He studied and mastered lithography in 1923.

Wales’ passion was for ships and the sea. In his youth, he spent time around the wharves in Boston before the steam ships replaced the romantic sailing vessels. In his own words, he obsessively sketched the ships that arrived in the Boston area, recording the ships and their riggings. His early love of ships and the sea is present in his etchings and lithographs.

His first exhibition was held at Goodspeed’s Book Shop in 1921. The venerable, but now closed Boston gallery and bookstore published a catalogue raisonne of the artist’s prints in 1927.
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