“The dim, shadowy forms of vessels riding at anchor in the night” by Howard Pyle (1889)
If only. In the correspondence of Howard Pyle’s students there are some intriguing hints of things that, unfortunately, never came to be. Allen Tupper True’s letter of July 29, 1902 (now at the Archives of American Art), describes a plan that was later scuttled:
What do you think is the latest thing that his brain has evolved? He is already making arrangements for having the school afloat next summer. We are going to charter a steamer - or rather a schooner and with part of the vessel for Mr. Pyle and his family and part for the school we are going to float all summer. There will be a bully chance to paint marines and if things pan out right the whole expense will be borne by this scheme. Mr. Pyle is to write an article or two which we shall illustrate and the proceeds are calculated to be enough to pay our expenses. This is the nucleus of the plan and Mr. Pyle’s plans usually go through. If next summer’s cruise is successful we will the next year go to the West Indies etc. etc. Do you wonder why we like Mr. Pyle?
[Note: The above picture comes from Part One of “Jamaica, New and Old” by Howard Pyle in Harper’s Monthly, January 1890. The original - whereabouts unknown - is in blue watercolor or ink on paper or Bristol board.]