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Article

Margot Gayle and Carol Gayle

(b Catskill, NY, March 14, 1800; d New York, April 13, 1874).

American inventor, engineer, designer and manufacturer. He trained as a watchmaker’s apprentice in Catskill, NY, worked as an engraver in Savannah, GA and again in Catskill. About 1830 he moved to New York City to promote his inventions. He secured many patents for various devices, including clocks, an eversharp pencil, a dry gas meter and a meter for measuring fluids. His most remunerative invention was a widely useful grinding mill (first patented 1832), which provided steady income throughout his life. During years spent in England (1836–40) he was granted an English patent for a postage device and won £100 in a competition with his proposal for a pre-paid postal system. He also observed the extensive use of iron in the construction of British factories, bridges and large buildings. After a trip to Italy, he conceived the idea of erecting prefabricated multi-storey structures with cast-iron exterior walls that reproduced Classical and Renaissance architectural styles. Returning to New York in ...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 6 November 1856, in Pennsylvania; died 1931.

Painter. Genre scenes, figures.

Jefferson David Chalfant was a pupil of Bourgereau, Robert-Fleury and Lefebvre in Paris. He exhibited The Old Watchmaker at the National Academy of Design of New York in 1898...

Article

Marcus Whiffen

Late 19th-century style of American architecture and furniture. It owed its name to the furniture designs of Charles Locke Eastlake (see Eastlake family, §3), which became widely known because of his book Hints on Household Taste in Furniture, Upholstery and Other Details, first published in London in 1868 and in Boston, MA, in 1872. The book was an immediate success in the USA, and six more American editions appeared in the next eleven years. In the preface to the fourth English edition (1878), Eastlake wrote of his dismay at finding ‘American tradesmen continually advertising what they are pleased to call “Eastlake” furniture …for the taste of which I should be very sorry to be considered responsible’. Eastlake-style furniture of the 1870s by such firms as Mason & Hamlin was decorated profusely with heavily carved Gothic ornament, whereas Eastlake’s own furniture had decoration that was simpler and more sparingly applied to emphasize function....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1930, in Bellingham (Washington State).

Engraver, lithographer, installation artist, sculptor.

Conceptual Art.

David Ireland studied industrial design and printmaking at the Californian College of Arts and Crafts, graduating in 1953. He worked as an architectural draughtsman, a carpenter and an African safari guide before returning to art education in the 1970s. In ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

American jewellers and silversmiths founded in Philadelphia in 1839, when James Emott Caldwell, a watchmaker from Poughkeepsie, opened a workshop and retail outlet on Chestnut Street. The company’s fourth Chestnut Street shop was the Widener Building, which it occupied for 87 years until it closed in 2003; it now operates in six suburban locations. In the 19th century the company made silver plate, but in the 20th century it became primarily a retail outlet....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1855; d 1931).

American furniture designer and architect, active in England. He worked in the early 1880s for Philip Webb, and thereafter as the chief furniture designer for William Morris §3. His furniture for Morris & Co. in the 1880s and 1890s often uses historical decorative techniques, and is typically decorated with foliage patterns repeated in mirror images and so resembling a Morris textile design (e.g. secrétaire cabinet, ...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Died 1879, in Greenfield (Connecticut).

Painter, fresco artist. History painting, portraits, landscapes.

Mark was probably a painter of signs. It is also known that he produced freehand decorations on furniture. Although a naive painter, at times he endowed his compositions with an element of fantasy....

Article

Hana Myslivečková

(b Světec u Bíliny, July 31, 1873; d Dachau, June 11, 1944).

Czech printmaker, designer, illustrator, painter, and teacher, active also in the USA. From 1892 he studied at the School of Applied Industrial Art in Prague (in Friedrich Ohmann’s Decorative Architecture workshop). In 1897 he left for Paris, where in 1898 he worked for Alphonse Mucha, familiarized himself with graphic techniques, worked in applied graphics, and experimented with lettering and design, and photography. His early, Secessionist, work was influenced by Japanese art and Symbolism. After his return to Prague in 1903 he devoted himself to illustration, publishing an album, Coloured Etchings in the Graphic Art Atelier at Vinohrady, Prague (New York, 1906), and the book Barevný lept a barevná rytina [Coloured etching and coloured engraving], and founding the periodical Česká grafika. Preissig lived in the USA from 1910, gaining a reputation as an innovator in the field of book and advertising graphic design, typography, and illustration, in which fields he introduced the linocut and other special graphic techniques. He taught at art schools in New York, and from ...

Article

Jean A. Follett

(b Boston, MA, 1842; d Boston, MA, 1910).

American architect, stained-glass designer, furniture designer, and photographer. Preston was the son of Jonathan Preston (1801–88), a successful builder in Boston. William completed a year’s study at the Lawrence Scientific School in Cambridge, MA (later incorporated into Harvard University), and then went to Paris where he enrolled briefly in the Atelier Douillard. He returned to Boston in 1861 to work with his father, with whom he remained in partnership until the latter’s death. William then practised independently until his own death.

Preston was a prolific architect, designing over 740 buildings in the course of a career spanning 50 years. His early work was in the French Renaissance style, as seen in his Boston Society of Natural History building (1861–4), a tripartite structure with its floor levels arranged to equate with the proportions of the base, shaft, and capital of a Classical column. It has monumental Corinthian columns and pilasters and a central pediment flanked by a balustraded parapet. He worked in a typically eclectic manner during the 1870s and became an extremely fine designer in the Queen Anne Revival style in the 1880s and early 1890s. The varied massing, stained-glass windows, terracotta, moulded brick, and carved-wood detail of the John D. Sturtevant House (...

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Brocton, NY, March 3, 1831; d Chicago, Oct 19, 1897).

American industrial designer and philanthropist. His father was a skilled house builder living in Albion, NY, on the Erie Canal. When the canal was widened, Pullman worked with his father, moving houses that were too near the new canal banks. He moved in 1855 to Chicago, then a small, fast-growing city built on mud-flats only slightly above the level of Lake Michigan. There were severe drainage problems, and the city authorities undertook to elevate existing buildings and build higher streets. In 1855 this work had just begun, and Pullman brought with him the expertise needed to move buildings. Within a year he had established a thriving business.

During the winter, Pullman returned to his family in Albion, experiencing first-hand the rigours involved in long-distance rail travel, and he therefore formed a partnership in 1858 to build railway sleeping-cars. The early models enjoyed modest success and encouraged him to produce a larger, more luxurious version. Built during the winter of ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born c. 1900, in Detroit (Michigan); died 1990.

Painter.

Symbolism.

Edna Reindel worked in New York. After graduating in 1923 she undertook book illustration and commercial artwork. She then took a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, after which she several painted murals for Stamford Housing Project, Connecticut, and for Swainsboro post office, Georgia, for the Treasury Department. Reindel held her first solo show in New York (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b New York City, 1853; d Buffalo, NY, 1936).

American furniture designer . He began as a designer of cast-iron stoves, but abandoned his profession for the stage; his career as an actor in Boston was terminated as a condition of marriage imposed by his future father-in-law. Rohlfs turned to furniture design in the mid-1880s, and in 1898 opened a workshop in Buffalo, where he built oak furniture. He is rightly regarded as a leading exponent of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in that his furniture typically had solid forms and exposed joints, but his decoration was carved in an Art Nouveau idiom. His commissions included a set of chairs for Buckingham Palace....

Article

Janet Marstine

(b Woodstown, NJ, Nov 6, 1876; d New York, May 1, 1953).

American painter, illustrator, designer, playwright, and film director. He studied industrial design at the Spring Garden School in Philadelphia from 1888 to 1890. In 1893 he became an illustrator at the Philadelphia Press. Simultaneously he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he met Robert Henri, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and George Luks. Their style of urban realism prompted him to depict the bleak aspects of city life. In 1897 Shinn moved to New York and produced illustrations for several newspapers and magazines, for example Mark Twain (March 1900; see Perlman, p. 80), a frontispiece for The Critic. He also drew sketches for a novel by William Dean Howells on New York; although the novel was not published, Shinn’s drawings brought him national recognition.

Shinn’s work changed radically when, on a trip to Paris in 1901, he was inspired by the theatre scenes of Manet, Degas, and Jean-Louis Forain. He began to paint performers in action, from unusual vantage points, as in ...

Article

Ilene Susan Fort

(b Lock Haven, PA, Aug 2, 1871; d Hanover, NH, Sept 7, 1951).

American painter, printmaker and draughtsman. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with Thomas Pollock Anshutz from 1892 to 1894 and worked as a commercial artist, first with the newspaper the Philadelphia Inquirer (1892–5) and then the Philadelphia Press (1895–1903). He first gained national recognition for his illustrations in the turn-of-the-century poster style, for example Atlantic City Beach (Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 Aug 1894). He earned his living through magazine illustrations until 1916.

Through his association with Robert Henri and the group of young Philadelphia artists around him, Sloan began c. 1897 to paint in oil and became interested in depicting city life. In 1904, he followed Henri to New York, where he stayed for the rest of his life. In 1908, he participated with seven other artists in an exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery to protest the conservative taste of the National Academy of Design. The group was dubbed ...

Article

Nancy Halverson Schless

(b Philadelphia, PA, 1788; d Nashville, TN, April 6, 1854).

American architect, engineer and painter. Among the first generation of native-born architects, he was an influential designer in the Greek Revival style. Over a period of almost 50 years he executed more than 70 commissions, many of them in Philadelphia. His last major building was the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, built from 1845.

Through his father, a master carpenter who had worked on Latrobe’s Bank of Pennsylvania, Strickland was apprenticed to Benjamin Henry Latrobe in 1803, remaining in his office for about four years. During his apprenticeship he studied Latrobe’s folios of Greek antiquities, including James Stuart’s and Nicholas Revett’s Antiquities of Athens, 4 vols (1762–1816), as well as publications by the Society of Dilettanti. By 1807 he was in New York with his father, working as a painter of stage scenery. The following year he returned to Philadelphia, where he received his first major commission: a design for the city’s Masonic Hall (...

Article

Jean Stern

(b Bentzen, Feb 20, 1865; d Laguna Beach, CA, Dec 29, 1946).

American painter of German birth. He came to the USA in 1880, settling in Chicago, where he worked in a commercial art firm. Essentially self-taught, he attended evening classes at the Art Institute of Chicago for only a brief period. Dissatisfied with figure studies, he preferred painting landscapes and quickly became an active exhibitor in various Chicago art shows, winning the Second Yerkes Prize at the Chicago Society of Artists exhibition in 1893. Wendt and Gardner Symons (1862–1930) made a number of trips to California between 1896 and 1904 and, in 1898, to the art colony at St Ives in Cornwall, England. In 1906 Wendt settled in Los Angeles with his wife, sculptor Julia Bracken. He became a leading member in the art community and was a founder-member of the California Art Club in 1909. In 1912 he moved his home and studio to the art colony at Laguna Beach, the same year that he was elected to the National Academy of Design. He was a founder-member of the Laguna Beach Art Association in ...

Article

Margaret Rose Vendryes

(b Mayfield, KY, April 30, 1899; d New York, NY, Jan 1, 1977).

American painter. Wilson worked as graphic artist in Chicago for five years after completing the four-year commercial art program at the Art Institute of Chicago School in 1923. He became an adept colorist with a particular interest in still life composition. Wilson hoped to grow as a painter after moving to Harlem, New York in 1928 where he worked odd jobs for wages. Three years later, he permanently relocated to Greenwich Village. He exhibited with the Harmon Foundation, at the Detroit Museum, the Contemporary Arts and Roko Galleries in New York City, and at most of the large historically black universities and colleges. Wilson socialized with important members of the New Negro arts movement such as Aaron Douglas and Jacob Lawrence whose abbreviated figurative works tempered his academic realist style ( see New Negro Movement ). His skill with linear gestures, affinity with nature, and ability to strike a coherent balance between them identify this best work. With two years of Guggenheim fellowships, he spent time with the African Americans living on South Carolina’s Sea Islands in ...