The Heritage ~ from the artist’s personal collection!

As some of you might know, we have decided to move to an art destination, Charleston, SC. We’re going through the process of minimizing our belongings, knowing that we’d like to downscale a little to an open concept, cottage style house.  Parting with things that we’ve welcomed into our home, enjoyed, collected, valued, and in some cases treasured (as in family heirlooms) can be a difficult process, but finding the right home for them can also be uplifting!

In our dealings with a variety of collectors we’ve been asked one common question, “What is the provenance?” Whether it is an old book, WWII memorabilia, antique furniture, or a painting, all of the collectors want to know the history behind the item for sale.  

Knowing the “provenance” behind a collectible or antique makes an item all that more interesting to a collector.   

For years now, I’ve been writing short “back-stories” about each one of my paintings.  I started because a number of collectors interested in my paintings wanted to know more about the subject matter in a particular painting, or how I painted it, or what inspired me to paint it.  

One of my paintings, The Heritage, has been in our personal collection from the beginning. It has never been for sale until now.

The Heritage by William R. Beebe, oil on canvas, 36 x 24, framed, $15,000

The Heritage by William R. Beebe, oil on canvas, 36 x 24, framed, $15,000

In order to help find it a new home, I thought I’d write a little about its provenance.  

While building our new home in Williamsburg back in 2002, we decided we wanted to have one of my ship paintings over what would be our new mantel in our family room to remind us of Maine (where we had just moved from).  The wall space above the mantel was going to be 15+ feet tall so we knew the work needed to be a strong vertical piece.  

I wanted to paint something specifically for our new space.  I had designed the mantel and surrounding bookcases and cabinets, so why not create a painting that would finish off the room and make us feel at home?

The Heritage schooner sails out of Rockland Harbor, in Rockland, Maine.  It was built in 1983 but was designed with many of the classic elements and lines of the historic Maine schooners in mind.  It is a grand looking schooner, one of the most beautiful sailing ships on the Penobscot Bay sailing today.  

I had painted it a number of times already, including one painting entitled On the Wind, in which I spent countless hours painting the ship’s bow from close-up, racing toward the viewer.  

Since our wall required a strong vertical piece, I thought why not this time paint the entire ship from the top of the Heritage flagpole down to the waterline of the ship?

I also wanted to capture the Maine waters, and include two other favorite Maine schooners, the J. & E. Riggin and the American Eagle.  

Upon completion of the 36”x 24” oil painting we decided to go all out with the frame.  We wanted to pick a frame that would add to the grandness of the ship, and help create a strong focal point in our family room, drawing one into the room.  

At the time, Williamsburg had a master framer, one who specialized in high-end frames.  With his help we picked out a hand carved wooden liner with roping and added that to an already substantial ornate frame. The frame combination worked perfectly with the colors in the water and with our room’s décor.  

Close-up of frame on The Heritage by William R. Beebe

Close-up of frame on The Heritage by William R. Beebe

For years now we have enjoyed having The Heritage hanging over our mantel.  It reminds us every day of our wonderful time spent living in Maine and being out on the Bay.  It reminds us of the salty sea air and the coast of Maine. 

We’ve decided to now make it available for sale through our website at the framed price of $15,000.  It is one of my most significant Maritime works, and one that I am very proud of. The painting will be included in my upcoming show of Birds and Boats, at Governor’s Land/Two Rivers Country Club during the month of March, if it hasn’t sold before.  

I always say when one of my paintings sell, that it is the greatest form of flattery for an artist to have someone “have to have it”.  So, even though The Heritage will be hard to part with it will also be “uplifting” to have it find a new home.

Thanks as always for reading my journal, for your interest in my art and my photography.  I’m excited about the journey ahead, with new adventures and new discoveries providing renewed inspiration!  


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe