James Walter Folger (1851-1918) was a Nantucket artisan who was largely self-taught. In 1869, he worked briefly as journeyman to a wood carver in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Upon his return to Nantucket, Folger specialized in carved animal heads, historic dioramas, and other ornamental carvings (lot 415).
As evidenced by the present lot, Folger was equally adept as a painter, both in oil and watercolor. An 1887 advertisement indicates that his studio was located at the corner of Main and Union Streets in Nantucket. He is particular known for his views of local Nantucket scenes, and the exhibition of his paintings were frequently reported in The Inquiry Mirror, a Nantucket newspaper.