Charles Raskob Robinson
Born in 1940 and raised in the Brandywine Valley of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Charles Raskob Robinson was exposed at an early age to the art and influence of Howard Pyle, the Wyeth’s and others of the Brandywine School. His bent for marine subjects can be traced to the summers he spent on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and in the waters of the Maine Coast. In high school he saw his share of river life, rowing 2,000 miles down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico and venturing alone 4,500 miles up the Amazon and its tributaries. While attending Haverford, a Quaker college, he learned metal working skills that led to the founding of Colonial Arms Foundry a company that manufactured model operational reproductions of U.S.Naval cannon of the 1812 vintage. Sold across the country through Niemann Marcus, Abercrombie & Fitch and other fine stores, these cannon appear in the permanent collections of the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, PA and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD.
During his early years as a banker with Bankers Trust Company in New York City, he signed up for a course meant for secretaries at the bank: “Learn to Paint” – a weekly course taught at night in the bank’s cafeteria by a “real live artist.” The only male and the only officer in this program, he continued these studies until he had enough confidence to enroll in night courses at the Art Students’ League located nearby in midtown Manhattan. Five years there at night were followed by time across the street in the Carnegie Hall Studios. He studied under Daniel Greene, John Howard Sanden, the late Robert Beverly Hale and the late Robert Brackman, among others. Eventually, after nearly twenty years in corporate finance and painting religiously at five every morning before going to work, he resigned from the bank to spend more time painting. Since then he has exhibited in one-man shows and national and international contemporary marine art exhibitions. His works are in a number of institutional, private and museum collections.
Robinson is a Fellow and Charter Member in the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA). For over twenty years he has written about artists in the Society in his column, “Notes from Brush Hill,” that appears in the Society’s quarterly, the ASMA News & Journal and is collected by the Smithsonian Museum Library in Washington, D.C. and the Library of Congress because they document the lives of contemporary artists.
In 1997 the artist sailed a yawl across the Atlantic in order to do studies at sea. In 2013 he directed the Naval War of 1812 Illustrated, a video documentary by the American Society of Marine Artists in conjunction with the U.S. Navy and dozens of museums. In 2015 he published a book based on the video, The Naval War of 1812-1815: Foundation of American’s Maritime Might, now also available as an e-book and an audio book. In 2017 he published Lake Waramaug Observed, featuring thirty-five paintings and broad history perspective of one of New England’s most enchanting lakes.