Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Sea Ways

  • Artist:

    Mattson, Henry E.

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1887–1971

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Oil on canvas

  • Dimensions:

    23 3/4 x 34 1/2 in.

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Roland P. Murdock Collection

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

In their emotional content the seascapes of Mattson recall those of Ryder. However, Mattson’s shapes—the rocks and waves—tend to be more angular. Though his paintings are usually constructed of composite images, they somehow suggest an identifiable coastline. The mystery and intrigue of the sea has been well described by the artist: “I am always more interested in the elemental forces of nature, concerning weight and content, rather than the pictorial side. I love and fear the everlasting pounding of the sea. I think Sea Ways expresses some of it.”1

Mattson was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, and came to the United States as a young man. In 1916 he spent three months in Woodstock, New York, studying landscape painting under John Carlson and attending evening classes in a nearby art school.

1. Letter from Mattson to Elizabeth S. Navas, October 17, 1940.