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Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Oakland, CA, 1893; d. Shiraz, Iran, 25 Jan. 1977).

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In 1930 Ackerman was stricken with polio but taught herself to walk again. They were instrumental in preparing the 1931 Persian Art Exhibition at Burlington House, London, and the Second International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, as well as the Third Congress in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1935 and the exhibition of Iranian art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940. She visited Iran for the first time in 1964, when the shah of Iran invited Pope to revive the Asia Institute; it was associated with Pahlavi University in Shiraz until ...

Article

Roy R. Behrens

(b Mason City, IA, Feb 13, 1893; d Yucca Valley, CA, March 15, 1975).

American book designer, writer, art collector and impresario . The son of an innovative cattle farmer, Elmer Armitage (the son’s name is an anagram of the father’s), he had a childhood fascination with locomotives and Parkard automobiles, whose sleek and smart advertising he collected. After working briefly in civil engineering and stage design, he became an impresario for world-famous opera, concert and ballet performers, including Anna Pavlova, Feodor Chaliapin, Rosa Ponselle, Amelita Galli-Curci and the Diaghilev Ballet, in New York and then Los Angeles. While living in southern California he became an influential force in the promotion of cultural opportunities as co-founder and manager of the Los Angeles Grand Opera Association, manager of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium and regional director of the Works Progress Administration. During those years ‘Armitage had more single influence on the arts in Los Angeles than anyone else’ (Dailey).

Having concluded that lowbrow advertising could be used effectively to promote highbrow art events, Armitage began to design all his own advertising layouts. Always an avid art collector (his collection included works by Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Klee), in ...

Article

Gretchen G. Fox

(b Frankfurt am Main, April 7, 1858; d New York, June 26, 1941).

American financier, collector, museum official and philanthropist of German birth. He entered banking in Germany and immigrated to New York as a young man, becoming a partner in 1893 in Lazard Frères. He retired in 1925 to devote his time to art collecting and philanthropy, favouring causes connected with the arts, medicine and Jewish social services. His wife Florence, née Meyer (1872–1930), whose family were noted philanthropists, was his partner in these activities. After World War I they formed a foundation for the support of French artists, a model for 20th-century arts funding. A longtime finance officer of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Blumenthal became its seventh president in 1934, guiding it through the Depression. He and his wife maintained collections in their château near Grasse and in a sizeable home in Paris. Their showplace mansion at 50 E 70th Street (destr. 1943) housed their New York collections. Its central feature was a 16th-century Spanish castle courtyard (now New York, Met., ...

Article

Judith Zilczer

Journal devoted to photography that was published from 1903 to 1917. Camera Work evolved from a quarterly journal of photography to become one of the most ground-breaking and influential periodicals in American cultural history. Founded in January 1903 by photographer Alfred Stieglitz as the official publication of the Photo-Secession, the journal originally promoted the cause of photography as a fine art. As Stieglitz, its editor and publisher, expanded the journal’s scope to include essays on aesthetics, literature, criticism and modern art, Camera Work fueled intellectual discourse in early 20th-century America.

Camera Work mirrored the aesthetic philosophy of its founder Alfred Stieglitz. The journal resulted from his decade-long campaign to broaden and professionalize American photography. Serving for three years as editor of American Amateur Photographer (1893–6), Stieglitz championed the expressive potential of photography and advocated expanded exhibition opportunities comparable to those available in European photographic salons. In 1897, when the Society of Amateur Photographers merged with the New York Camera Club, Stieglitz convinced the enlarged organization to replace their modest leaflet with a more substantial quarterly journal, Camera Notes, which he edited until ...

Article

Henry Adams

(b Veracruz, Mar 13, 1880; d Stamford, CT, Jan 10, 1961).

Mexican illustrator, writer, gallery owner, and publisher, active in the USA. He was the son of a wealthy Mexican lawyer and publisher. De Zayas started his career as an artist by providing drawings for his father’s newspaper in Veracruz. In 1906 he moved on to Mexico City’s leading newspaper, El Diario, but a year later, after the ascension of the dictator Porfirio Diaz, whom the newspaper had opposed, he fled to the USA. There he landed a position making caricatures for the New York Evening World. Shortly after his arrival in the USA, he came into contact with Alfred Stieglitz, who staged solo shows of De Zayas’s caricatures at his gallery Gallery 291 in 1909 and 1910, both of which proved to be huge popular successes.

In 1910 De Zayas traveled to Paris, where he stayed almost a year, scouting out adventurous forms of modern art for Stieglitz, notably the cubist work of Picasso and African sculpture. On his return, equipped with knowledge of European modern art and inspired by the work of the French modernist ...

Article

Ruth L. Bohan

(b New York, Sept 10, 1877; d Milford, CT, March 29, 1952).

American patron, painter, and writer. Dreier studied art at the Brooklyn Students League (1895–7) and the Pratt Institute (1900–01) and privately with Walter Shirlaw for five years. These studies were supplemented by extensive study and travel in Germany, France, and England. Dreier was also active in several Progressive Era reforms, including women’s suffrage, and in 1920 she wrote a book on social reform in Argentina. In 1914 she launched her first effort to stimulate free artistic expression with the founding of the Cooperative Mural Workshops in New York, an art school and workshop modelled on the traditions of John Ruskin and William Morris. Two years later, while active in the Society of Independent Artists, Dreier met Marcel Duchamp (see fig.) and in 1920, with Duchamp’s assistance, founded and became president of the Société Anonyme, Inc, one of the most important and broad-ranging promoters of international modern art in the USA during the 1920s. Dreier’s strong organizational skills, together with her unyielding commitment to modernism’s international significance, sustained the organization’s ambitious exhibition and publication efforts throughout the 1920s and into the 1930s. Dreier provided much of the organization’s financial support and through her extensive correspondence and personal connections with European artists, particularly in Germany, helped nurture an impressive international community of artists that stands as one of the organization’s most enduring legacies. In ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 June 1931, in Eatonton (Georgia).

Painter, draughtsman (including ink), collage artist, print artist, sculptor, collector, art historian. Religious subjects, figures, portraits, figure compositions, scenes with figures, landscapes. Designs for stained glass.

David C. Driskell earned a BFA at Howard University in ...

Article

A. Deirdre Robson

(b Flint, MI, Nov 5, 1859; d Chicago, IL, July 21, 1920).

American critic, collector and lawyer. He wrote books on legal and economic issues in the 1900s. He first became interested in art, notably that of James Abbott McNeil Whistler and François-Auguste-René Rodin through the World’s Fair of Chicago in 1893. He began to lecture on art and aesthetics and published his first art book Delight, the Soul of Art (Philadelphia, 1904). In 1912 he became interested in 20th-century art. It was, however, the Armory Show (1913) that inspired him to become a serious collector of avant-garde art; he acquired 25 works from the exhibition. Subsequently he travelled to London and Germany, where he met Vasily Kandinsky and other artists and added c. 100 works to his collection.

In 1914 Eddy published Cubists and Post-Impressionism (Chicago). Based on information elicited from the artists themselves, this book is significant as one of the first attempts to explain modern art in the USA, but in its emphasis upon such painters as Kandinsky (it included the first discussion in English of this painter’s ideas) it betrays Eddy’s enthusiasm for colouristic abstraction. Eddy continued to collect, although the emphasis lay upon American modernism. On his death the collection was dispersed and 23 works went to the ...

Article

Nancy E. Green

[Tei shin; Kanō Yeitan Masanobu]

(b Salem, MA, Feb 18, 1853; d London, Sept 21, 1908).

American curator, scholar, collector, and educator. Fenollosa played a unique role in enhancing the appreciation of Japanese art in both its native country and within the USA. Educated at Harvard, after graduation he studied philosophy and divinity at Cambridge University, followed by a year at the newly founded art school at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He also formed important friendships with the collectors Edward Sylvester Morse, Charles Goddard Weld (1857–1911), and William Sturgis Bigelow (1850–1926).

In 1878, with an introduction from Morse, Fenollosa travelled to Japan for the first time, accompanied by his new wife, Lizzie Goodhue Millett, to teach political economy and philosophy at Tokyo’s Imperial University. Embracing Japanese art and culture, he became an active advocate for preserving the country’s art treasures and, with the Japanese artists Kanō Hōgai (see Kanō family §(16)) and Hashimoto Gahō, helped to revive the ...

Article

Gail Stavitsky

(b Villanova, PA, July 23, 1881; d New York, June 15, 1952).

American collector, painter and critic. He was a great-grandson of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury under President Jefferson and President Madison and one of the founders of New York University. Around 1900 he began establishing his reputation as a leading connoisseur of Aubrey Beardsley and James McNeill Whistler through his extensive writing and collecting of their work. Frequent visits to Paris and Europe from 1921 to 1938 resulted in Gallatin’s conversion to acquiring modernist art through his contacts with artists, dealers and collectors. In 1927 he opened his collection to the public as the Gallery of Living Art, in the South Study Hall of New York University’s Main Building. It was the first museum in the USA devoted exclusively to modern art. As its director Gallatin developed the collection into a significant survey focusing on Cubism, De Stijl, Neo-plasticism and Constructivism. Works by Picasso, Braque, Gris, Léger, Mondrian, Jean Hélion, ...

Article

Paul Williamson

(b New York, 1876; d London, Nov 25, 1955).

American collector and art historian. He was a man of private means who travelled widely before settling in London in 1912. Initially trained as a scientist, he turned to the arts and from the beginning of the 20th century was an avid collector with wide-ranging interests and was one of the greatest benefactors of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, especially in the fields of sculpture and metalwork. Perhaps his most significant and conspicuous gift to the museum was his entire collection of over 260 English medieval alabaster carvings, which he donated on his 70th birthday in 1946. Hildburgh’s collections formed the starting-point for his numerous publications and for his many lectures presented to the Society of Antiquaries of London, of which he became a Fellow in 1915. He added greatly to the research of St John Hope and Philip Nelson on English alabasters, publishing his findings almost every year from ...

Article

(b Cincinnati, OH, March 14, 1898; d Cambridge, MA, Nov 9, 1984).

American museum curator, collector, and writer. He graduated from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1921. After some years in business he returned to study for a Master’s degree in the history of art, which he obtained in 1929. He was Curator of the Spencer Collection of the New York Public Library from 1930 to 1934, when he became the first Assistant Director of the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. In 1938 he returned to Harvard, where he founded the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, and was its Curator up to 1968. He was also Secretary of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University from 1952 to 1964. He began collecting rare books while still at school and developed a specialist interest in the art of the book: its decoration, layout, and illustration, and the link between drawings and prints. He amassed a remarkable private collection of German, Iberian, and particularly Italian illustrated books of the 18th century. Both the ...

Article

Joseph R. Givens

(b Los Angeles, CA, May 3, 1932; d Los Angeles, CA, March 20, 2005).

American dealer, curator, and museum director. Hopps pioneered international awareness of Pop art and helped to establish Los Angeles as an internationally recognized art centre. He opened museum doors to contemporary art and paved the way for the explosion of the contemporary art market in the 1980s.

As a teenager, Hopps was introduced to modern art through frequent visits to the famous collection of Walter and Louise Arensberg. Hopps went to college to study medicine at the behest of his parents, first at Stanford University then at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), but classes in art history, jazz concert promotion, and the creation of Syndell Studio eclipsed his science curriculum. Hopps’s ambition for a large-scale exhibition of West Coast Abstract Expressionism outgrew Syndell’s salon-style space. In 1953 he arranged Action 1, one of the first exhibitions of action painting outside New York. Hopps’s partnership with artist Edward Kienholz...

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

Franz Schulze

(Cortelyou)

(b Cleveland, OH, July 8, 1906; d New Canaan, CT, Jan 25, 2005).

American architect, critic, and collector. The son of a well-to-do lawyer, he early displayed a keen natural intelligence that was diligently cultivated by his mother. He enrolled as an undergraduate at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1923. A restless nature drew him successively to disciplines as diverse as music, the classics, and philosophy, while emotional turmoil led to several breakdowns that delayed his graduation until 1930. By then, however, he had developed a close friendship with the young art historian Alfred H. Barr jr, who in 1929 assumed the directorship of the new Museum of Modern Art in New York. At about the same time Johnson met another art historian, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, whose article on J(acobus) J(ohannes) P(ieter) Oud (‘The Architectural Work of J. J. P. Oud’, The Arts, xiii/2 (Feb 1928), pp. 97–103) had suddenly focused Johnson’s scattered mental energies on architecture and, more specifically, on modern European architecture of the 1920s....

Article

Darryl Patrick

(b Garvagh, Co. Londonderry, 1849; d New York, Oct 8, 1932).

American art dealer, collector and writer of Irish birth. In 1867 he arrived in Boston, where he was employed in an art business. In 1877 he moved to New York to work for the print dealer Hermann Wunderlich (1839–91), a job that involved frequent travel to negotiate sales. During his annual visits to Europe, he met and became friends with James McNeill Whistler. Following his purchase in 1901 of a large collection of Whistler prints from B. B. Macgeorge of Glasgow, he compiled a catalogue raisonné, published in 1902 by Wunderlich & Co., which was a notable improvement on earlier authors’ attempts. With Whistler’s approval, he then gathered together photographs of all his known prints. The resources of the Grolier Club in New York, of which he was president at that time, financed the publication of The Etched Work of Whistler (1910) and The Lithographs by Whistler...

Article

A. Deirdre Robson

(b St Louis, MO, July 15, 1904; d New York, Jan 10, 1994).

American dealer, critic, museum curator, and art consultant. She studied economics and art history in the 1920s at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, the University of Chicago, and New York University. Between 1936 and 1942 she was owner and director of the Katharine Kuh Gallery, one of the first modern art galleries in Chicago, where she exhibited the work of European painters such as Josef Albers, Paul Klee, Fernand Léger, and Vasily Kandinsky and contemporary Americans such as Stuart Davis. In 1945 she became director of the Art Institute of Chicago’s new Gallery of Art Interpretation; in 1953 she became the Institute’s curator of modern painting and sculpture, and from 1955 to 1959 she was curator for all painting and sculpture. During this period she was instrumental in improving the Institute’s collection of early 20th-century avant-garde art and post-war American abstraction.

During the 1950s Kuh published criticism and her first book on art, and from ...

Article

(b Brooklyn, 1864; d New York, March 18, 1928).

American art historian, critic, and collector. The son of Frederick Loeser, a department store owner and early donor of 19th-century European paintings to the Metropolitan Museum, New York, he studied at Harvard, earning a master’s degree in philosophy in 1887. He continued his study of philosophy in Berlin the following winter and in 1890 moved to Florence, where he lived in the Villa Gattaia, furnished with old and modern furniture and works of art. Influenced by the Italian collector Giovanni Morelli (1819–91), he was a pioneer connoisseur of drawings and built a major private collection, primarily Italian and representing the history of draughtsmanship, with a new emphasis on Baroque and Mannerist works. He contributed two volumes (Titian and Tintoretto, and Filippino Lippi) to the annotated facsimile publication of drawings from the Uffizi and wrote critical essays on Old Master drawings in various collections. He was an adviser to the Fogg Museum at Harvard University and to the Brooklyn Museum. He bequeathed 262 Old Master drawings (including works by ...

Article

Nancy E. Green

(b Doylestown, PA, June 24, 1856; d Doylestown, March 9, 1930).

American archaeologist, ethnologist and decorative tile designer and manufacturer. Mercer grew up in a privileged Philadelphia family, and at a young age he began his lifelong love of travel, which would take him eventually throughout Europe, the Middle East and Mexico. These travels would later influence his tile designs for the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. From 1875 to 1879 he attended Harvard University, studying with George Herbert Palmer, Henry Cabot Lodge and Charles Eliot Norton, the latter having a defining influence on the development of his aesthetic sense. From 1880 to 1881 he read law, first with his uncle Peter McCall and then with the firm of Fraley and Hollingsworth, both in Philadelphia, though he never received his law degree. Thereafter, he returned to Europe, becoming interested in archaeology and beginning his lifelong passion for collecting the minutiae and mundane objects of everyday life, becoming one of the first scholars to examine history through a material culture lens....

Article

Gary Schwartz

[Jean-Michel]

(b Paris, Oct 3, 1928; d Branford, CT, July 26, 2005).

French art historian and economist, active in the USA. Montias was a specialist in Eastern European command economies who in mid-career changed fields and became a historian of Dutch painting. His interest in the subject was threefold. Before he began writing on Dutch art, he collected it, with the advice of a leading specialist in the field, Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, a fellow professor at Yale University. This led him to pursue knowledge concerning the minor masters he could afford, which brought him closer to the basics of the Dutch art world. It was an approach diametrically opposed to how most students learn about this material, which is from the iconic masterworks down. His second focus of interest was economic. Three-quarters of a century after the appearance of the last, largely anecdotal survey of the economics of Dutch art, by Hanns Floerke, Montias applied the techniques of neo-classical economics to the field in a way that was accessible to art historians. Entirely on his own, he opened up new perspectives that inspired art historians, economists, and economic historians alike to revisit the subject of Dutch art. Thirdly, Montias was entranced by the ...