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Article

Matico Josephson

American multi-ethnic arts organization based in New York’s Chinatown. The Asian American Arts Centre (AAAC) and its predecessors, the Asian American Dance Theatre (1974–93) and the Asian Arts Institute (1981–8), emerged from the milieu of the Basement Workshop, the first working group of the Asian American Movement on the East Coast, whose mouthpiece was the journal Bridge (1970–81). After the closing of the Basement Workshop in 1987, the Dance Theatre and the Asian Arts Institute were consolidated as the AAAC.

Directed by Eleanor S. Yung, the Dance Theatre was at the core of the organization’s activities from the 1970s through the early 1990s, performing traditional dances from several Asian cultures alongside modern and postmodern forms. In the early 1980s, the Asian Arts Institute began to hold exhibitions and collect slides of artists’ work and documentation of their activities, working primarily with artists involved in the downtown art scene. Early programs included open studio events for artists working in Chinatown and exhibitions of the work of Arlan Huang (...

Article

Giles Waterfield

(bapt London, Jan 1, 1606; d London, Dec 17, 1686).

English actor and collector. He was the son of an actor who was a friend of Edward Alleyn, founder of Dulwich College. He was himself first recorded on the stage in Norwich in 1635, but when the theatres closed down during the Commonwealth period he seems to have made his living as a bookseller in London. In 1658 he apparently published Actor’s Vindication, a version of Thomas Heywood’s Apology for Actors. With the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 he returned to the stage as a member of the refounded King’s Company, in which he played a prominent part as both actor and shareholder.

Cartwright was a keen collector, especially of pictures, and he bequeathed to Dulwich College his collection of 239 paintings, together with an inventory in his own hand. Only about 75 of these paintings survive in Dulwich Picture Gallery, the remainder having been stolen by his servants or subsequently lost. They constitute a remarkably important survival, from a late 17th-century collection made by a person of adequate but not great means. The surviving pictures include works by ...

Article

Linda Whiteley

[Coquelin Cadet]

(b Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, 1848; d Suresnes, Hauts-de-Seine, 1909).

French actor and collector. He was the son of a well-known baker in Boulogne-sur-Mer and from an early age a friend of the painter Jean-Charles Cazin, who painted a view of the Coquelin bakery (1879; Samer, Mus. Cazin). Ernest and his brother Constant Coquelin went to Paris and established careers as actors. From 1878 to 1909 Ernest was a member of the Comédie-Française and was known for his delivery of drawing-room monologues. He was a frequent visitor to the home of the wealthy socialite Nina de Callias (1844–84), whose portrait (c. 1874; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay) was painted by Manet. Coquelin met Manet and Cézanne at her salon, which was frequented by poets and painters. During the 1870s he began to collect Impressionist paintings and in 1879 loaned one of Degas’s paintings of laundresses (England, priv. col.) to the fourth Impressionist exhibition. His friendship with Cazin must have encouraged his interest in painting, and probably formed his taste, and 20 landscapes by ...

Article

Jane Lee

(b Chatou, nr Paris, June 17, 1880; d Garches, Sept 8, 1954).

French painter, sculptor, illustrator, stage designer and collector. He was a leading exponent of Fauvism. In early 1908 he destroyed most of his work to concentrate on tightly constructed landscape paintings, which were a subtle investigation of the work of Cézanne. After World War I his work became more classical, influenced by the work of such artists as Camille Corot. In his sculpture he drew upon his knowledge and collection of non-Western art.

Derain abandoned his engineering studies in 1898 to become a painter and attended the Académie Carrière. He also sketched in the Musée du Louvre and painted on the banks of the Seine. On a visit to the Louvre in 1899 he met the painter Georges Florentin Linaret (1878–1905), who had been his companion at school, and who was copying Uccello in an extraordinary manner; he was studying under Gustave Moreau and later introduced Derain to a fellow pupil, Henri Matisse. Derain’s painting was already influenced by the work of Cézanne, and in ...

Article

Mercedes Agueda

(b Andria, Puglia, Jan 24, 1705; d Bologna, Sept 16, 1782).

Italian singer, choreographer and collector. He was castrated as the result of an accident at an early age, following which he dedicated himself to singing, studying with the great teacher Nicola Antonio Porpora (1686–1766), who took him to Rome in 1722. He enjoyed a series of triumphs in the musical circles of Naples and Bologna and at the courts of Vienna and London.

In 1737 he went to the Spanish court in Madrid, where he was warmly welcomed by Philip V and the queen, Isabel Farnese, and his success there continued under Ferdinand VI, from whom he received the title of Royal Servant (Criado Real), an annual salary of 1500 English guineas and in 1750 was further honoured with the Order of Calatrava. He was an influential and cultivated figure in court circles; the King, who was prone to hypochondria, found relief only in Farinelli’s singing. His privileged position enabled him to help the impoverished family of the Italian architect ...

Article

Shearer West

(b Hereford, Feb 19, 1717; d London, Jan 20, 1779).

English actor-manager, patron and collector. He began his acting career in London in 1737, and managed Drury Lane theatre from 1747 to 1776. His increasing fortune inspired him to patronise the arts both as a means of self-advertisement and to enhance his status. In 1755 he bought Fuller House at Hampton, near London, employing Robert Adam to make improvements to the house and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to design the gardens. Garrick later commissioned Johan Zoffany to paint conversation pieces showing his new estate, such as Mr and Mrs Garrick by the Shakespeare Temple at Hampton (c. 1762; priv. col., see 1975 exh. cat., no. 83). Zoffany also painted for Garrick a series of theatrical conversation pieces showing the actor in his best roles, including Mr Garrick in the Character of the Farmer Returned from London (exh. London, Soc. Artists GB 1762; priv. col., see 1975 exh. cat., no. 21) and ...

Article

(b Paris, Feb 11, 1795; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, April 28, 1878).

French collector. He was the son of the writer Charles-Antoine-Hyacinthe His, and grew up in the sophisticated Parisian society of his mother, Hélène de Nervo, a talented musician. He attended military school and in 1815 served Louis XVIII at Ghent. He left the military in 1826 to accompany his ailing mother to Italy, where she died. His de la Salle began collecting prints and lithographs, especially military subjects by Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet and Théodore Gericault, while he was still in the army. His knowledge and taste grew more sophisticated through his travels and informal study in Italy, Germany, Holland and France, and his frequent visits to auction rooms and art dealers in Paris. After his return to Paris, he was closely associated with the collectors Louis Lacaze and Frédéric Reiset, the conservator at the Musée du Louvre. Like them, he emphasized quality over quantity in collecting. The strength of his collection lay in drawings by early Italian masters, including ...

Article

Ruth Bass

(b Buffalo, NY, July 8, 1896; d New York, Nov 23, 1989).

American dealer, collector, and writer. He first worked as a professional ballroom dancer, aeronautical mechanic, and businessman. During business trips to New York he began visiting museums and art galleries in the 57th Street area. He moved to New York in 1924, married Harriet Grossman (1898–1963) in 1925 and in 1926 founded the M’Lord Shirt Company. He began collecting art in 1926, acquiring one of the finest collections of the Ecole de Paris in the USA. On successive trips to Europe, he met Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Duchamp, and other major European artists. After acquiring The Dream by Henri Rousseau (New York, MOMA) he became interested in American naive painters, including Grandma Moses and Morris Hirshfield, on whom he published a study in 1942.

Having dissolved his business in 1939 to devote himself full-time to writing and lecturing on art, in 1949 Janis opened the ...

Article

Richard H. Randall

(b Akkerman, Bessarabia [now Belgorod Dnestrovskiy, Ukraine], 1893; d Newport, RI, Dec 20, 1963).

American singer and collector. Trained as a tenor and actor in Odessa, he immigrated to America in 1922. In 1928 he married Martha Codman (d 1948) of Boston, heiress of Elias Hasket Derby (1739–99), the Salem merchant and patron of the architect and wood-carver Samuel McIntire. Following a tradition begun by Mrs Karolik in 1923 of giving family treasures to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mr and Mrs Karolik formed a collection, of great artistic quality, of American portraits, furniture, and decorative art of the late 18th century, which they presented to the Museum in 1939. Included were eight portraits and nineteen drawings by John Singleton Copley and documented furniture by Edmund Towsend of Newport, RI, Benjamin Randolph of Philadelphia, and the Derby furniture by McIntire and John and Thomas Seymour of Boston.

The Karoliks’ enthusiasm for American art led them to form a second collection of American painting dating from ...

Article

Diane Tepfer

(b Rochester, NY, May 4, 1907; d New York, Jan 5, 1996).

American patron and writer. Best known for bringing the dancer and choreographer George Balanchine to the USA in 1933 and founding the School of the American Ballet and the New York City Ballet, he was also a poet and novelist and devoted his life to fostering dance, literature, and the visual arts. He grew up in Boston with wealthy parents whose fortune came from successful department stores. He spent summers abroad and among the experiences that influenced him was his attendance at a performance of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. As an undergraduate at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, he co-founded and co-edited the influential avant-garde literary journal Hound and Horn (1927–34) and participated in the founding of the Harvard Society for Contemporary Art, a precursor of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1942 he founded Dance Index Magazine, which he edited until 1948; he brought to it the same artistic ideals that governed his work at the New York City Ballet. His attraction to the grace and vitality of the human body in dance was extended to his admiration for the figurative sculpture of Elie Nadelman and Gaston Lachaise, which he expressed by writing eloquent books and essays on their work, for example ...

Article

Christina Lodder

(Vasil’yevich)

(b Nizhny Novgorod, 1861; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Oct 14, 1934).

Russian painter, patron, musician, writer and publisher. He pursued a highly original line of artistic thought and practice and developed an organic perception of the world, deriving his inspiration from nature rather than machines, unlike many of his Russian Constructivist contemporaries.

Matyushin trained initially as a musician at the Moscow Conservatory (1878–81) and played the violin in the Court orchestra in St Petersburg from 1881 to 1913. In 1889 he began to attend the School of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in St Petersburg, where he studied painting with Yan Tsionglinsky (d 1914). In Tsionglinsky’s studio he met the artist and writer Yelena Guro, whom he married. Later (1906–8) he studied with the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) painters Léon Bakst and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky at the Zvantseva School of Art in St Petersburg.

In 1909 Matyushin briefly joined the circle around Nikolay Kul’bin and the following year he founded the ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

A. S. Ciechanowiecki

(b 1728; d Warsaw, Jan 31, 1800).

Grand Hetman of Lithuania, Polish politician, amateur painter, musician and patron. He instigated and financed the ‘Ogiński canal’, which joined the confluents of the Baltic with those of the Black Sea, and he was responsible for some of the most important highways in eastern Poland. He reconstructed and redecorated the castle of Nieborów near Warsaw (1766–74) and in 1775 moved to the palace at Słonim, which he totally rebuilt creating an artistic court, known as the ‘Athens of Polesia’. In 1780 Innocenzo Maraino (fl 1770–96) added a famous theatre and opera house, which seated 2000. At Słonim and at his summer residences of Telechany and Honoratówka he had gardens laid out and follies erected, and he was instrumental in the reconstruction of his wife’s palatial residence in Siedlce. He established two major artistic manufactories on his properties. The first in Telechany (1780) made maiolica in the international late Baroque style, but after Orgiński’s visit to England in ...

Article

Alain Gruber

(b Besançon, Oct 25, 1745; d Besançon, Aug 1, 1819).

French architect and stage designer. He was the son of Pierre-François Pâris, a master builder turned architect. He was brought up in the modest court of the Prince-Bishop of Basle at Porrentruy in Switzerland, where from 1750 his father was official architect and topographer. He went to Paris probably in 1760 to study under the architect Louis-François Trouard, and after three unsuccessful attempts at the Prix de Rome in 1766, 1768 and 1769, he obtained the support of the Marquis de Marigny and the Duc d’Aumont with his project for entertainments at the wedding of the Dauphin and Marie-Antoinette, planned for 1770. He then went to the Académie de France in Rome as tutor to Trouard’s young son. During his five years there he associated with Cardinal de Bernis, Charles de Wailly, Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Bergeret de Grancourt and contributed to the Abbé de Saint-Non’s Voyage pittoresque with drawings of antique monuments at Pompeii, Paestum, Herculaneum and elsewhere. He also travelled through Italy, from Sicily to Venice and the Piedmont, and kept travel journals of considerable interest. His many portfolios of architectural drawings were highly successful on his return to Paris and brought him employment: improvements to the Duc d’Aumont’s residence on the Place Louis XV (...

Article

(b Boston, MA, March 1, 1823; d Windsor, VT, Aug 25, 1886).

American art historian, musician and patron. He came from a wealthy and cultivated family. After completing his studies at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1843, he travelled to Europe. While studying drawing and painting in Rome, he commissioned the marble group Hebe and Ganymede (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) from his friend the sculptor Thomas Crawford. In 1846 he entered Ary Scheffer’s studio in Paris and in 1851 travelled to Leipzig to study the piano with Ignaz Moscheles. When he returned to Boston in 1854, his future was still undecided, his wealth and multiplicity of talents making it difficult for him to choose a direction; it was not until June 1857, after his series of lectures on art at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, had met with great success, that he renounced music as a profession. From 1857 to 1869 he was in Europe, gathering material for his study Tuscan Sculptors, which appeared in ...

Article

Werner Wilhelm Schnabel

(b Dresden, Nov 3, 1744; d Dresden, April 10, 1818).

German courtier, composer, collector and writer. He served from 1761 in the army of Frederick-Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, and subsequently occupied various positions at the Saxon court. As Directeur des Plaisirs he was in charge of the orchestra and theatre at Dresden. He was also a member of various learned societies, including the Akademie der Künste und mechanischen Wissenschaften in Berlin. As a courtier enjoying the special favour of the elector, Racknitz wielded great influence in promoting musical and artistic life in Dresden. His own activities included musical composition and the natural sciences, but he was especially interested in mineralogy and mechanics, and he established a renowned collection of minerals and plants. In addition to this he published several books on the history of civilization and art. Early works are concerned with general themes, but in his later years he was particularly interested in painting in Saxony. In his varied interests, Racknitz viewed questions from a practical as well as a theoretical point of view. He was thus a typical representative of the versatile late Enlightenment and the ‘age of Goethe’....

Article

Naomi Sawelson-Gorse

[Goldenberg, Emanuel]

(b Bucharest, Romania, Dec 12, 1893; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 26, 1973).

American actor and collector of Romanian birth. He began collecting in the 1920s but could afford only etchings and lithographs, and occasionally paintings by American artists such as John Twachtman and Ralph Albert Blakelock. In the 1930s, as a result of a vastly improved financial situation, he bought French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including works by Bonnard, Degas, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Rouault, Utrillo and Vuillard.

Although Robinson did acquire some American paintings and Pre-Columbian and African objects, he excluded from his collection any avant-garde or abstract works. Still-lifes and portraits dominated the collection. By 1940 it was so large that he commissioned Samuel A. Marx to remodel his home in Los Angeles to include a gallery (completed Nov 1941), which was open to the public on specific days. Through generous loans to local exhibitions, and his participation in various organizations, he confirmed his commitment, expressed through numerous interviews and articles, to the public display and promotion of modern art....