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M. Sue Kendall

Term used to describe scenes of typical American life painted in a naturalistic vein from c. 1920 until the early 1940s. It applies to both Regionalism and Social Realism in American painting, but its specific boundaries remain ambiguous. The phrase probably derived from Henry James’s collection of essays and impressions, ...

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M. Sue Kendall

Term first used by Holger Cahill and Alfred H(amilton) Barr in Art in America (New York, 1934) and loosely applied to American urban realist painters. In particular it referred to those members of Eight, the who shortly after 1900 began to portray ordinary aspects of city life in their paintings, for example ...

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Camara Dia Holloway

African American photographer. Ball’s parents, William and Susan Ball, were freeborn Americans of African descent. J. P. Ball learned how to make daguerreotypes from a black Bostonian, John P. Bailey. He opened his first photographic enterprise in Cincinnati, OH, in 1845. Black-owned businesses seemed viable in this abolitionist stronghold and key conduit to the West. After a failed first venture and time as an itinerant photographer, he returned and opened Ball’s Great Daguerrean Gallery of the West in ...

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M. Sue Kendall

American painter and lithographer. He was the son of George Bellows, an architect and building contractor. He displayed a talent for drawing and for athletics at an early age. In 1901 he entered Ohio State University, where he contributed drawings to the school yearbook and played on both the basketball and the baseball teams. In the spring of his third year he withdrew from university to play semi-professional baseball until the end of summer ...

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Henry Adams

American painter, illustrator, and lithographer. One of the most controversial personalities in American art, both in his lifetime and today, Thomas Hart Benton was a key figure in the American Regionalist movement of the 1930s, when he focused on working-class American subject-matter and was outspoken in his denunciation of European modern painting. Today he is best remembered for this phase of his life, and much criticized because of it. But Benton’s long career is not easily reduced to a single moment or achievement: his legacy was more complex. As a young struggling artist in Paris and New York, he was a leading American modernist and abstractionist, and in his early maturity he became the teacher and lifelong father figure for Jackson Pollock, the most famous of the Abstract Expressionists. He was also a major American writer, who wrote on art and whose autobiography of ...

Article

Martin H. Bush

American painter, draughtsman and etcher. Bishop moved to New York in 1918 to study at the New York School of Applied Design for Women and from 1920 at the Art Students League under Guy Pène du Bois and Kenneth Hayes Miller. During these years she developed lifelong friendships with Reginald Marsh, Edwin Dickinson and other figurative painters who lived and worked on 14th Street, assimilating these influences with those of Dutch and Flemish painters such as Adriaen Brouwer and Peter Paul Rubens, whose work she saw in Europe in ...

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John I. H. Baur

American painter. At five Burchfield moved with his family to Salem, OH, where he spent his youth. From 1912 to 1916 he studied at the Cleveland School of Art, OH. He was awarded a scholarship to the National Academy of Design, New York, where he went in ...

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Andrea Kann

American painter. Cone began his career painting still-lifes, landscapes, clouds, and barns, and later explored circuses, deserted interiors, and abstractions. Cone is often labelled a Regionalist (see Regionalism), but did not use this term to describe his own work. He was familiar with artistic developments in both America and Europe, yet his trajectory of themes remained distinctly his own. Cone’s compositions evolved over time, gradually distilling representation into hidden complexity....

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M. Sue Kendall

American painter and illustrator. As one of the ‘Regionalist triumvirate’, with Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, he has been most often characterized as a faithful chronicler of rural life in Kansas. From 1916 to 1918 he was at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In ...

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Charlotte Moser

American painter and illustrator. He first trained as an architectural draughtsman at the Academy of Design, Chicago (1878). After studying briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, he went to New York, where he attended the Gotham School and the Art Students League (...

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Cécile Whiting

American painter and printmaker (see fig.). He was born into an artistic family: his parents studied with Thomas Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and his father was the art editor at the Philadelphia Press, a newspaper that included among its employees the Robert Henri circle of artist–reporters. Davis studied art under ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

American printmaker and illustrator. Among the pioneer generation of women printmakers in America, she was known for her humorous satires of the American scene. Raised in New Orleans, she moved to San Francisco where she studied art at the Hopkins Institute (c. 1896–7) and joined the Sketch Club (a professional organization that offered exhibition and collaboration opportunities for women)....

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Janet Marstine

Group of eight American painters who joined forces in 1907 to promote stylistic diversity and to liberalize the exclusive exhibition system in the USA. They first exhibited together at Robert Henri’s instigation at the Macbeth Galleries, New York, in February 1908, following the rejection of works by George Luks, Everett Shinn, William J. Glackens and others at the National Academy of Design’s spring show in ...

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Constance W. Glenn

American photographer and writer. He grew up in Kenilworth, a suburb of Chicago, but moved to New York with his mother after his parents separated. Primarily interested in literature, he sat in on lectures at the Sorbonne in Paris (1926–7), visited museums and bookshops, and thought of becoming a writer. In ...

Article

M. Sue Kendall

American painter and illustrator. He graduated in 1889 from Central High School, Philadelphia, where he had known Albert C. Barnes, who later became a noted collector of modern art. He became a reporter–illustrator for the Philadelphia Record in 1891 and later for the Philadelphia Press...

Article

M. Sue Kendall

American painter and teacher (see fig.). He changed his name in 1883 after his father killed someone; in honour of his French ancestry, Henri adopted his own middle name as a surname, taking the French spelling but insisting all his life that it be pronounced in the American vernacular. After living with his family in Denver, CO, and New York, in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1910, in Philadelphia; died 1981, in New York.

Painter (gouache), watercolourist. Figures, nudes, genre scenes.

Social Realism.

At the age of seventeen, Joseph Hirsch won a scholarship to attend the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art and later went on to study privately under Henry Hensche in Provincetown and George Luks in New York. In the 1930s he undertook several commissions for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Philadelphia, notably for the city's Municipal Court. During World War II he was employed in the war effort and sent to Pensacola Naval Air Station to document naval aviation training. He followed the Navy to the South Pacific where he recorded the efforts of the medical corps before being posted to the Italian front and North Africa with the Army. After the war he taught at the Chicago Art Institute, the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York. He won many awards, including a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (...

Article

Gail Levin

American painter, printmaker, and illustrator. He was brought up in a town on the Hudson River, where he developed an enduring love of nautical life (see fig.). When he graduated from Nyack Union High School in 1899, his parents, although supportive of his artistic aspirations, implored him to study commercial illustration rather than pursue an economically uncertain career in fine art. He studied with the Correspondence School of Illustrating in New York City (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1909, in St Louis; died 1963, in Morristown (New Jersey).

Painter, watercolourist, printmaker. Landscapes, still-lifes.

Social Realism.

Joe Jones's worked as a house painter from the age of 14 and received no formal artistic training. He joined the Communist party in the 1930s and left St Louis where his Social Realist paintings of Midwestern farm labourers and industrial workers were at odds with the conservative status quo. Jones settled in New York where he worked for the Public Works of Art Project. In ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1912, in Baltimore; died 1994, in Provincetown.

Painter.

Social Realism.

Mervin Jules studied at Baltimore City College, the Maryland Institute of Fine and Applied Arts and under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League in New York. He taught at Smith College ...