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Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...


Eliza A. Butler

(b Philadelphia, PA, Aug 28, 1916; d New York, March 2, 2001).

American photographer. Faurer studied design at the School of Commercial Art and Lettering in Philadelphia in the late 1930s and subsequently worked as a civilian photographic technician for the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II. He was hired by Lillian Bassman for a photography position at Junior Bazaar magazine where he met and began a close friendship with American photographer Robert Frank. Faurer moved to New York permanently in 1947 and attended Alexey Brodovitch’s Design Laboratory sporadically between 1947 and 1951. Splitting his time between New York and Europe, he continued to work for Harper’s Bazaar through to the 1960s and early 1970s. His work was also featured in the magazines Flair, Glamour, Look, Seventeen, and Vogue.

Faurer’s editorial work was prolific and well received; however, it was his independent art photography for which he became best known. In the 1950s and 1960s he exhibited in a handful of New York galleries and received important exposure from the Museum of Modern Art. Influenced by ...


American, 20th century, male.

Born 16 June 1917, in Plainfield, New Jersey; died 7 October 2009, in New York City.

Photographer. Portraits, still-lifes, figures, fashion.

Raised in Philadelphia by a watchmaker and a nurse, Irving Penn graduated from the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art in ...


Amy Rule

(b Plainfield, NJ, June 16, 1917; d New York, NY, Oct 7, 2009).

American photographer. Between 1934 and 1938 he studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art with Alexey Brodovitch, who published Penn’s drawings in Harper’s Bazaar in the late 1930s. Penn spent 1942 painting in Mexico. In 1943, while working for Vogue magazine as a designer, he also began taking photographs. Penn served in the American Field Service in Italy and India from 1944 to 1945. After returning to the USA he photographed fashion for Vogue (for which he produced over 100 covers) and began making portraits of writers, dancers, wrestlers and others (e.g. Cecil Beaton, London, 1950; see 1981 exh. cat., p. 8). These photographs are noted for their formal qualities, which are enhanced by elegance of line, simplified lighting and radically minimal settings. The aesthetic underlying Penn’s fashion photography had an influence on his portrait style. In 1950 Penn married the model Lisa Fonssagrives (1912–92), who appeared in much of his work for ...


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 (...


Susan Fillin-Yeh

(Rettew )

(b Philadelphia, PA, July 16, 1883; d Dobbs Ferry, NY, May 7, 1965).

American painter and photographer. He studied at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Design from 1900 to 1903, and then with William Merritt Chase at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1903–6). In 1906 he exhibited in a group exhibition at the National Academy of Design, New York. From 1908 to 1909, while visiting Europe, Sheeler and Morton Schamberg discovered the architectonic painting structure in the frescoes of Piero della Francesca at Arezzo, in the work of Paul Cézanne, and in works by Henri Matisse and Georges Braque; Sheeler exhibited paintings influenced by Cézanne and by Synchromist colour abstraction at the 1913 Armory Show.

Early Analytical Cubist paintings by Picasso were a decisive influence on Sheeler’s art from 1910 to 1920, for, like contemporary artists and writers inspired by Van Wycks Brook’s notion of a ‘usable past’ (‘On Creating a Usable Past’, The Dial, 11 April 1918, pp. 337–41), Sheeler learnt to discover abstract form in older native subject-matter, particularly in the imposing stone barns of Bucks County, PA; in the conté drawing ...


Elizabeth Legge

(James Aleck)

(b Toronto, Dec 10, 1928).

Canadian painter, sculptor, filmmaker, photographer, and musician. Snow was born in Toronto, and studied at the Ontario College of Art. From the early 1960s he lived in New York, where he was associated with Jonas Mekas’s Film-Makers’ Cinematheque, returning to Toronto in 1972. Snow worked in film, video, photography, holography, painting, sculpture, jazz, and combinations of these. In 1969 the film theorist P. Adams Sitney said that Snow, along with other artists/filmmakers including Hollis Frampton, Paul Sharits, Ernie Gehr, Tony Conrad, and Joyce Wieland, had established a new “structural film” in which overall shape took primacy over other concerns. Snow later said that his work was concerned with fundamental structural aspects of art, rather than “pictures,” and accordingly constructed the index for the “encyclopedia” of his work, Digital Snow (DVD 2002, website 2012) around “core principles,” which included properties abstracted from any particular medium (“transparency,” “duration,” “surface,” “language,” and “recto–verso”) as well as medium-based categories (“collage,” “photography,” and “painting”). These informed all his work....