Robert Bruckshaw (1916 – 1994)

Bruckshaw’s unquestionable talent in the art is traced to his early days as a school boy.  But his love for the sea and the ships could not have survived had it not been for the movies and the local library.  Living in southern Iowa is about as far from the sea as one can get. A family trip, for a month, to Nianamo, Vancouver Island, BC deeply entrenched the love for the sea.  Spending his days in and out of boat shops and an old fort, deepened his interest in nautical lore.

Like most artists who have centered all of their talent to building models of ships, Bruckshaw was self taught.  Except for the schooling in drafting, the other trades as watch and cabinetmaker, gun and blacksmithing, foundry and millwright were not accredited.  Bruckshaw brought to his work the most accurate possible interpretation of each ship digging into archives, meeting with curators of various nautical museums, writing endlessly to descendants of shipbuilders who may have noted something about the ship they were building.  The search never ends; only stops for a rest.

It was his adamant attitude to detail and accuracy that has earned Bruckshaw renown among marine museums, nautical and leisure publications, in addition to a host of institutions throughout the United States and Europe such as the Naval Division of the Smithsonian Institute, the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England, the Coughlin Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, a loan exhibit to the U.S. Navy Exhibit Hall, the Ohio Historical Society and Firelands Historical Museum.

Mr. Bruckshaw spent forty years as both an amateur and professional model builder.  He lectured and the following models are on display in various museums: HMS BRITANNIA1720 100-gun ship,, HMS SERAPIS 1779 44-gun ship, as well as several other model CS RALEIGH c.1776 32-gun ship; while the HMS FALKLAND c.1720 52-gun ship,CONFEDERACY 1778 32-gun ship, and BOSTON c. 1748 24-gun ship are on display at the Smithsonian.

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