Thomas Hoyne


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Thomas Hoyne served his naval career in the Pacific Theater as a gunnery officer on the L. S. T. 48. This experience was undoubtedly crucial to the development of his superior knowledge and feel for the sea. Not only did Mr. Hoyne possess a thorough understanding of the anatomy of oceans — of currents, waves, wind, and the enormous weight of water; he also had an instinctive sense of the poetry of the sea. His point of view was quite unlike that of any other marine painter, and he developed a distinctive, recognizable style and identity all his own.

Mr. Hoyne’s interest in the romance of the great sailing and fishing vessels began during his childhood when he spent summers at his grandmother’s cottage in Ogunquit on the southeast coast of Maine. He became familiar with the Cape Ann/Gloucester area of Massachusetts, and in 1938, he saw the movie “Captains Courageous.” The subject of the film was the Gloucester fishing fleet, and he was enthralled. He became immersed in the lore and traditions of the New England fishing industry, and began drawing the schooners and building models of fishing boats.

This intense interest in the history and romance of these ships took him up and down the East Coast, visiting historical societies, museums and shipyards. He befriended shipbuilders, captains, crew members and historians. His travels aboard ships furnished him with invaluable research, and imbued his paintings with depth and incredible accuracy.

Early in his painting career, he was introduced by his grandmother to the legendary American marine painter Gordon Grant. He visited Grant’s studios in Gloucester and New York, and was greatly impressed by his work and his knowledge of ships. Once out of the navy, Mr. Hoyne returned home and began working as an illustrator in Chicago. He specialized in landscapes, antique airplanes and cars and vintage ships. His work also included portraits of 16 American winners of the Nobel Prize for Science.

Eventually he turned his attention exclusively to sailing vessels. In 1983 he was awarded the Rudolph J. Schaefer Award at the Mystic International, an honor given to the artist whose work best documents our maritime heritage. Several of his dramatic paintings were made into prints, and most editions have sold out. Occasionally, a print comes on to the secondary market; any rare Hoyne print is eagerly sought by collectors.