Phil Shumaker Information and Inventory

Phil Shumaker

(1921 - 1967)

Phil Shumaker 


My earliest exposure to Cape Ann and its contemporary artists occurred in 1965, when I was transferred to the region in a sales training capacity by my employer. The most impressive experience was entering the imposing octagonal granite gallery of the dedicated marine painter Phil Shumaker. His paintings were big, powerful, and dramatically displayed, with one painting on each wall surface. The man himself projected the same strength, dignity, and deep respect for the sea, as did his pictures. I was, at age twenty-five, very impressed by and quite honored to meet and talk with Phil. My father, who shared many of the same qualities, met Phil and the two truly seemed to connect. My father acquired a large dramatic example, entitled Dancing Reflections, directly from the artist in 1965, about a year before I departed on my first overseas transfer to Bombay, India. Within several months of my arrival in Bombay, I received word that Phil Shumaker had tragically died of a stroke at age 46. I dedicated the first exhibition I ever organized at the Jahingir Art Gallery in Bombay to Phil Shumaker. I recall a story my father told me about an event he witnessed while visiting with Phil when a rather obnoxious fat tourist in short pants and eating an ice cream cone wandered into his gallery, and after a brief pause, exclaimed, “you only know how to paint waves.” Saying nothing, Phil firmly grasped the back of his neck and physically escorted him out of the gallery into the street, whereupon he returned to the conversation. Many years later, in 1995, I found a second large dramatic marine, most likely painted on Monhegan Island, that was privately owned. I gladly bought it. One can never predict with certainty what a fully realized life will produce, but Phil Shumaker’s life was cut short at its absolute prime as an artist—that statement is certain. 

Phil Shumaker Gallery

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