Friday, May 11, 2018

W. A. Coulter, 87. Marine Artist of Note Passes Away -- May 11, 2018

Sausalito News, 20-March-1936

William Alexander Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call. I usually feature one of his drawings each month, but this month I though I would post his obituary.  You'd think the obituary of an artist would have included an illustration.  

W. A. Coulter, 87. Marine Artist of Note Passes Away

William Alexander Coulter, 87, known the world over for his marine paintings, died at his home, 121 Third street, last Friday night. He had been a resident of Sausalito for forty-six j years during which time, from his studios here as well as in San Francisco, he turned out pictures that will forever keep his name before art admirers everywhere.

Members of the shipping fraternity have constantly before them the murals in the marine department of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce on the ground floor of the Merchants Exchange building at 465 California street.

Buried at Fernwood

Final tribute was paid to the distinguished artist, who had been working on a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge until quite recently when his health did not permit his carrying on, last Monday morning with requiem mass the repose of his soul at the Star of the Sea Church. He was laid to rest in Fernwood cemetery.

Coulter was born in Glenarm county, Ireland, March 7, 1849, and as soon as he was old enough to go to sea he shipped on a sailer and for a number of years saw the ports of the world. His artistic talent prevailed, however, and when a young man of 24 he settled in San Francisco and took up the studies that later brought him public acclaim.

Many newspaper readers recall his drawings on the old San Francisco Morning Call, especially his covers on the Sunday supplements which invariably concerned ships and the sea. His clipper ships were among the favorites.

Gate Picture on Stamp

In 1922 when the Post-office Department wanted to commemorate the Golden Gate by printing a picture of it on the 20-cent stamps it was a painting of Coulter’s that was selected above the many submitted, and this stamp is cherished by many collectors. In fact, the "Voice of Stamps” is due to tell about this incident over radio station KSFO at 6:15 o'clock tomorrow (Saturday) evening.

In addition to his widow, Mrs. Harriet A. Coulter, he is survived by two sons, Stuart A. of Charter Oak, and James V. Coulter of Oakland, and a daughter, Mrs. T. C. Hough of Petaluma.

2 comments:

nick kibre said...

I've been enjoying the ship drawings of his that you've been posting.

The obituary suggests a few things that'd be interesting to track down.

Here is 121 Third St, Sausalito: https://goo.gl/maps/uYk6b4Jo9av -- but I doubt that's his house.

Here's some pictures of the 20 stamp he designed: https://www.google.com/search?q=golden+gate+20+cent+stamp+1922&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&biw=1280&bih=635

Those two murals sound worth tracking down in person.

Joe Thompson said...

Hi Nick. I'm glad you like Coulter's drawings. When the Maritime Museum reopens fully I hope they'll have some of his paintings on display. I've been trying to figure out how to get in to see the murals. I agree about the house. Either it has been wildly remodeled or this is a replacement. I had seen that stamp before, but I didn't know it was based on his work.