With three degrees as a foundation in the fine arts and art education, artist Henry Musser had a long career as a professor of art history and drawing and painting at Adirondack College in upstate New York. His many years as a watercolor painter and student of 18th and 19th century American history have provided a useful background for model shipbuilding.
The ships featured on this website have all required extensive historical research of the early American shipbuilding industry. As he developed his skill in building replicas of the early ships over the past 25 years, the historical research has provided an understanding of the function and design of the various components of the early sailing vessels.
Subscribing to the words of Mark Twain— “A good thing is no better for being done quickly,” Henry works like many other craftspersons, disregarding the amount of time required to complete a task. A majority of these models are the result of a 1 to 2-year commitment. Planking the hulls and decks of the vessel, sail-making, and accurate rigging all require time on task to result in the satisfactory completion of each model.
Over the years a subsidiary business of model cleaning and restoration has developed. Visitors to Henry’s studio have brought to him a variety of ships in various conditions as a result of typical household mishaps; they express a desire to have their family keepsake restored. The challenges of these restoration projects have expanded the artist’s knowledge and skills. The customer’s joy at having the family ship model “brought back to life” has been quite rewarding to Henry. For restoration work on fine models, please enquire here.
In addition to the ships represented here, a new model of the Enterprise is on the way. With an interesting history during the War of 1812, it certainly will be a challenge for the artist. To learn more, and see photos of the Enterprise under construction, visit Henry’s blog.