About the Models...
To be back in the Hudson Valley of New York State, continuing the legacy that was first introduced by the late Van Loon Ryder relative to the steamboat is a privilege. I first viewed his model of MARY POWELL while studying at the Albany Institute of History and Art at the age of twelve. This honor made me the youngest and first youth of color to become not just an artist, but also a model-making prodigy of the Capital Region.
As a student I was intrigued by the Ryder model and learned it was later housed in the Governor's Mansion during the 80s. That fact inspired me to pursue research and plan making of both Hudson River and the American steamboat -ultimately becoming the living forerunner, which now expand three decades.
Model making did not rest solely with steamboats. Since the age of nine I developed to become a prolific artisan of sailing ships building my first model of Henry Hudson's HALF MOON Two decades later I was commissioned by the New Netherlands Festival to build an exacting HALF MOON replica to the original built on our Albany shore in 1987. A few years prior, the Albany Institute of History and Art curator commissioned a model for his much-anticipated book on the region's Dutch heritage. Other models, among others, such as miniature fishing schooners and ADMIRALTY pieces were commissioned. Most recently, Captain James Cook's bark ENDEAVOR c.1768.
The work shown is representative of my diverse model making skills. It is not my criteria to compete in this competitive market, but to deliver excellence in this field by way of passion. To this end, we are 'the few'. The true passion rest in the workmanship, as all my models are painstakingly produced in wood using very few tools. And because these are handcrafted pieces, these models are the hallmark of fine woodworking.
Some samples are featured and will occasionally change as they are produced. I do accept custom commissions and can restore damaged models on a first come first serve basis, or in the order that the assignments are received. My models also come with display cases. These are brass-cornered glass, finished with select pine and beautifully stained.
I am privileged to serve you as a fine model maker and hope that a continued relationship will exist upon viewing this site. Thank you for considering Rex Stewart Originals.