On the Water: A Century of Iconic Maritime Photography from the Rosenfeld Collection

The golden age of sailing and boating comes alive in this selection of photographs curated from the unparalleled archive of this great American sport.

The Rosenfelds’ photographs of competition sailboats, billowing spinnakers, and graceful motor yachts not only document the most glamorous era of sailing and boating but also celebrate and capture the power, drama, and beauty of the maritime experience. These beautifully reproduced prints will transport the reader to the decks of daysailers, sleek America’s Cup racing boats, vintage Chris-Craft runabouts, and elegant motor yachts from a bygone era.

Morris Rosenfeld and his sons defined maritime photography in the first half of the twentieth century—the dynamic balance of sky and water, the perspective that emphasizes the boat, and the moment that captures its nature.

Each timeless image comes to life both through its story and in beautiful reproduction on the oversized pages. This is a celebration of the traditions of the nautical lifestyle and a siren song to the American pursuit of going to sea.

About The Author

Nick Voulgaris III is an avid sailor and the author of Hinckley Yachts: An American Icon and Chris-Craft: An American Classic. The Mystic Seaport Museum acquired the Rosenfeld Collection in 1984. It is one of the largest archives of maritime photographs in the United States, with nearly one million pieces from 1881 to the present. Robert Iger is CEO of the Walt Disney Company and a passionate yachtsman. Dennis Conner became known as “Mr. America’s Cup” after winning four America’s Cups. Ted Turner captained the 1977 America’s Cup winner.

  • Publish Date: September 12, 2023
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Transportation - Ships & Shipbuilding - Pictorial
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 11 x 11
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $85.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-7346-3


Mind-expanding books for Christmas 2023. This compendium of Morris Rosenfeld’s black-and-white maritime photography brings to life America’s golden age of yachting in all its salty-spume and billowing-sails glory. These were the early days of photography and of sailing for leisure, and Rosenfeld brought the two together, apparently able to capture motion itself: the clean shapes of the glorious yachts, their pristine sails catching the wind to speed man through the ocean, leaving frothy tumult in their wake. Rosenfeld’s work (and that of his sons) inspired later generations to sail, including this book’s author, Nick Voulgaris III, Ted Turner (a self-appointed Ocean Elder) and the Disney chief executive Robert Iger, who offer their musings. But the main attractions here are the images: of sailing boats, motorboats and healthy all-American men, muscles taut as they heave ropes and balance on the edge of mahogany hulls that cleave the sparkling sea. Man and nature in harmony and at play.” — The Times (UK)

“In this stunning book, Nick Voulgaris has chronicled the extraordinary beauty of the golden age of sailing as seen through the photographic images in the Rosenfeld Collection of maritime photography. The Rosenfelds had an unparalleled eye for the light, motion, and drama of sailing, elegantly presented in this exquisite book.” — Dr. Margaret L. Andersen Rosenfeld, author of On Land and On Sea: A Century of Women in the Rosenfeld Collection; Professor Emerita, University of Delaware

Author Bookshelf: Nick Voulgaris III

Author Bookshelf: Ted Turner