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Fine Art/Sessions 31 watercolor


i recently purchased a watercolor from an antiques shop for just a few dollars, but when i got it home and began to really look at it i noticed a signature in the lower right corner "sessions 31" think. it is of old time seamen on a ship in what looks to be rough seas, it shows sails and rigging and possibly the captain with pipe in hand. it appears to have been in the same frame for a very long time. how do i find out if it is an original. thank you, Lynn

I don't mean to discourage but if you purchased the picture for a few dollars, that is probably what it is worth.  Not too many antique dealers will let some original art picture signed by a listed artist slip by.  

Now for more interesting news.  Your print (and I challenge you to visit a local print shop or gallery to verify on your own whether it is a print or original watercolor) is almost certainly by the artist James M. Sessions (1882-1962) a noted American watercolorist who painted very masculine, sporting pictures...hunting, sailing, fishing...your picture would be something in his repetoire.  

If you would like, please send me digital snapshots of (1) the entire picture, (2) up close of the signature and (3) the entire backside of the picture.  Let me know what the dimensions of the picture itself (not including any frame)are.  Let me know what major city you are near, and I should be able to direct you to a nearby dealer or auction house.


Here is a little bio:
James Milton Sessions, born on September 20, 1882 in Rome, NY, received his initial exposure to art from his mother, who was an accomplished artist. He trained at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1903-1906 and initially supported himself as a wheelsman aboard Great Lakes ships from 1906-1914, later serving in the Illinois Naval Reserve during World War I. He also worked as a commercial illustrator.

He was a master watercolorist of marine, sporting, and military World War II scenes. He developed a love of the sea and is probably best known as a painter of marine subjects. Sessions painted images of numerous locations, from the Bahamas to New England's busy fishing harbors, north to the raw fishing grounds of Nova Scotia, and ultimately to the Navajo reservations in New Mexico.

Sessions was married in Chicago, Illinois in 1946 to Chrysanthy G. Deamanthopulos. Although very prolific in the style of John Whorf and Ogden Pleissner, he unfortunately destroyed much of his own work. He died on November 14, 1962 in Chicago at the age of 80. Selected Museum Exhibitions and Collections: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Art, Milwaukee, The Museum of Fine Art, Cleveland.  

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Stuart Cartwright


American Fine Art Paintings.
Oils, Watercolors, Sketches. Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. Hudson River School, Pennsylvania Academy, Cape Ann artists, Ash Can, Woodstock, Florida Indian River, American Impressionists, etc. I can provide some background about artists and perhaps a rough appraisal or guidance towards obtaining a value. I am acquainted with many of the best American art dealers and auction houses. Original works only, I do not follow the print market. I do NOT field questions about prints.

Important to know
I am not expert in European art. I encourage you to send questions on European artists to other experts on this service. NO PRINTS:I encourage you to seek help on prints elsewhere. Two sites come to mind: and


I have been collecting original American Fine Art for over 20 years. I have curated art shows, and I have served as a dealer, providing appraisals and guidance for the last 8 years.

Bachelor of Arts Master of Business Administration

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