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Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 31 January 1819, in New York City; died 14 December 1888, in New York City.

Photographer, businessman.

E. & H.T. Anthony (firm).

Edward Anthony received instruction in photography from Samuel F.B. Morse, an early practitioner of the medium. By 1844...

Article

Madeleine Fidell-Beaufort

(b New York, March 17, 1822; d New York, Aug 11, 1904)

American wood-engraver, art dealer, collector and philanthropist. Avery’s career as a wood-engraver and his involvement with the New York publishing trade began in the early 1840s. He worked for, among others, Appleton’s, the New York Herald and Harper’s and produced illustrations for trade cards, religious tracts, adventure stories and children’s books. By the early 1850s Avery had begun compiling humorous books and commissioning drawings from such artist-illustrators as Felix Octavius Carr Darley, John Whetten Ehninger, Augustus Hoppin (1827–96), Tompkins Harrison Matteson and John McLenan (1827–66). His business contacts led to close relationships with such artists as Frederick Church, John F. Kensett and William Trost Richards.

By the late 1850s Avery had begun to collect drawings and small cabinet pictures by local artists. Other art collectors, notably William T. Walters, asked Avery’s advice when commissioning works of art. In 1864 he turned his engraving practice over to ...

Article

Lawrence E. Butler

(b Bellefonte, PA, May 24, 1863; d New York, April 24, 1938).

American sculptor and collector. Son of a Presbyterian minister, Barnard grew up in the Midwest and began studying at the Chicago Academy of Design in 1880 under Douglas Volk (1856–1935) and David Richards (1829–97). Here he was first introduced to plaster casts of Michelangelo’s works and to the casts of Abraham Lincoln made by Leonard Volk (1828–95) in 1860, both clearly influential on his subsequent career. In 1883 he went to Paris, where he enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and worked with Pierre-Jules Cavelier. Barnard’s sculptures are noted for their spiritual, allegorical, and mystical themes and were done in the expressive modelling style of the period.

Alfred Clark, wealthy heir to the Singer fortune, became Barnard’s patron in 1886. Through Clark and his Norwegian companion Lorentz Severin Skougaard, Barnard was introduced to Nordic themes. Clark commissioned important marble pieces including Boy (1884...

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

American, 19th century, male.

Born 18 June 1813, in Hanover, New Hampshire; died 31 July 1867, in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Photographer, lithographer, inventor.

James A. Cutting’s earliest success was as the designer of a beehive patented in 1844. Later in the 1840s he was associated with several patents for railroad equipment, and in the 1850s he turned his attention to photographic experimentation. In ...

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

American, 19th–20th century, male.

Born 12 July 1854, in Waterville, New York; died 14 March 1932, in Rochester, New York, by suicide.

Inventor, businessman, and photographer.

In 1877 George Eastman, then a bank clerk, acquired his first camera. Committed to making the camera easier to use, he refined the dry plate process and produced dry plate negatives for sale. Searching to simplify the process further, he developed Eastman American Film, a flexible film that could be rolled up and was easier to manipulate than glass plates. In 1884 Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company was formed with investor Henry Strong as president and Eastman as treasurer. Eastman continued to create new products and eventually patented 32 inventions....

Article

Karen Kurczynski

Alternative art space founded by Stefan Eins (b 1943) at 2803 Third Avenue near 147th Street in the South Bronx, New York, from 1978 to 1993. Eins arrived in New York from Austria in 1967. He referred to Fashion Moda as a museum of “Science, Art, Technology, Invention, and Fantasy,” the title of its inaugural exhibition in 1979. He had previously run a downtown storefront art space called the Mercer Street Store at 3 Mercer Street from 1971 to 1978. Black downtown artist, poet and musician Joe Lewis served as Co-Director of the space with Eins, and William Scott, then a teenager from the neighborhood, served as Junior Director. Their collaborative ventures attempted to connect the street culture of the South Bronx, by then a neighborhood in the midst of massive economic decline, to an international cultural scene.

From its opening in 1978, annually funded with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council of the Arts and other sources, Fashion Moda held auctions, performances, seminars and other events. Joe Lewis described it as “an outlet for the disenfranchised, a Salon des Réfusés that cut across the uptown/downtown dichotomy, across the black/white/Hispanic isolation.” Although its glass storefront was located in a neighborhood far from the Soho gallery district, its impact has been measured largely by its effect on the more mainstream art world of the 1980s and early 1990s. It introduced and exhibited a number of artists including Charles Ahearn, John Ahearn (...

Article

Gary A. Reynolds

(b Hingham, MA, Jan 22, 1856; d Le Bréau, Dammarie-les-Lys, nr Fontainebleau, July 13, 1937).

American painter and collector, active in France. Gay lived all his adult life in and around Paris. He sailed for France in 1876, after a successful exhibition and sale of his still-life paintings at the Williams and Everett Gallery, Boston, MA, which provided funds for his study abroad. Soon after arriving in Paris, Gay entered the atelier of Léon Bonnat, where he remained for about three years. At Bonnat’s suggestion, Gay made a trip to Spain in 1879 to study the work of Velázquez. These influences combined to form a style of painterly realism that emphasized fluid brushwork and a high-keyed tonal palette. Gay made his professional début in France in the Salon of 1879 with the Fencing Lesson (New York, priv. col.), an 18th-century costume piece in the manner of Mariano Fortuny y Marsal. The painting received favourable attention from French and American critics, encouraging Gay to continue this subject-matter for several years. During the late 1880s his summer trips to Brittany and Barbizon inspired a series of paintings of French peasants. One of the most successful of these, ...

Article

American, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born at the end of the 19th century, in the Rhineland.

Painter, collector.

Richard Goetz was a naturalised citizen of the USA who had lived in Paris for many years. It is very unlikely that he ever painted in America. His collection of work is small. He lived in Montparnasse well before ...

Article

Yves Lacasse

(b Quebec City, March 10, 1795; d Quebec City, June 21, 1855).

Canadian painter, collector and politician. After studying briefly at the Quebec Seminary, in 1812 he was apprenticed to the painter and glassmaker Moses Perce (fl 1806–48). The sale in Quebec City in 1817 of part of the collection of Louis-Joseph Desjardins (1766–1848), which comprised altogether about 200 European Old Master paintings, had a decisive effect on Légaré’s career. He bought a number, which he cleaned and restored himself, and, as an almost entirely self-taught artist, found them a valuable source of inspiration, technical example and income: many of his early commissions were for large copies of religious pictures from the collection. He painted about 100 religious works but in 1828 won an honorary medal for an original secular composition, the Massacre of the Hurons by the Iroquois (Quebec, Mus. Qué.)

Légaré’s oeuvre (over 250 oils on canvas and on paper) was considerably more diverse and ambitious in subject-matter than that of such contemporaries as Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy, Antoine Plamondon and Théophile Hamel, who favoured portraiture and religious painting. He was the first Canadian-born painter to specialize in landscapes, for example ...

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

(b New York, Jan 8, 1865; d London, Nov 23, 1943).

American painter, patron and collector, active in France. The daughter of Isaac Merritt Singer, inventor of the sewing machine, and Isabelle Boyer, she was educated in Paris, where she studied painting with Félix Barrias, first exhibiting at the Salon of 1885. Following the annulment of her marriage to Count de Scey-Montbéliard in 1893, she married Prince Edmond de Polignac (d 1901), a musician and composer, whom she had met through their shared interest in Impressionism. She was particularly attracted to the work of Edouard Manet, adapting his style to her own paintings and acquiring his painting Reading (Paris, Mus. d’Orsay) from his widow. Among her many friends and frequent guests were John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Paul César Helleu, Jean-Louis Forain and Antonin Proust. She also shared an interest in music with her husband, whose friends included the composers Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy, Charles Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré. At the Princesse’s popular salons at her hôtel in Paris, held in a room decorated by ...

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

Ethan Robey

Fund-raising events organized by Sanitary Commissions in various cities from 1863 to 1865 in aid of the Union army. The fairs included some of the most influential public displays of the fine arts in America up to that point and were an impetus for the establishment of major art museums in American cities. The US Sanitary Commission, formed in early 1861 at the urging of private citizens, purchased supplies for Union soldiers, worked to improve military hospitals and coordinated the activities of the many local aid agencies involved in similar work.

The fairs grew out of the efforts, mostly of women, working at the Commission’s local branches. The Northwest Branch of the Sanitary Commission was the first to host a fair, organizing a public exhibition in Chicago in the fall of 1863. Such exhibitions soon became a chief source of fund-raising for the Commission. Sanitary fairs were eclectic displays, including exhibits of commercial goods, fine arts, machinery and domestic crafts. The form was similar to the displays of goods at Mechanics’ Institute fairs, yet, unlike those events, where education through object lessons was paramount, sanitary fairs, as primarily fund-raising enterprises, tended more toward spectacle, with an emphasis on patriotic themes. Lavish floral displays were common, as were exhibits of war trophies and relics and contests to award ornate mementos to favored Union generals and admirals. Admission fees were relatively high, around $2 in some cities, at a time when other shows or spectacles were often 25¢ or less....

Article

American, 19th–20th century, male.

Born 1 January 1864, in Hoboken, New Jersey; died 13 July 1946, in New York City.

Photographer, writer, editor, gallery owner, collector. Cityscapes, landscapes, portraits.

Pictorialism, Modernism. The Linked Ring, Photo-Secession

Alfred Stieglitz was the eldest of six children and attended New York schools before moving to Germany in 1881. There Stieglitz studied photography with photo-chemist Hermann Vogel beginning in 1883. Returning to New York in 1890, Stieglitz joined the Society of Amateur Photographers and became increasingly involved with Pictorialism. Often characterized by a soft-focus, painterly quality, the Pictorialist aesthetic appears in his pictures from this period, such as ...

Article

Judith Zilczer

(b Hoboken, NJ, Jan 1, 1864; d New York, July 13, 1946).

American photographer, editor, publisher, patron and dealer. Internationally acclaimed as a pioneer of modern photography, he produced a rich and significant body of work between 1883 and 1937 (see fig.). He championed photography as a graphic medium equal in stature to high art and fostered the growth of the cultural vanguard in New York in the early 20th century.

The first of six children born to an upper-middle-class couple of German–Jewish heritage, Stieglitz discovered the pleasure of amateur photography after 1881, when his family left New York to settle temporarily in Germany. His father, Edward Stieglitz, had retired from a successful business in the wool trade with a fortune that enabled him to educate his children abroad. In ...

Article

Margaret F. MacDonald

(b Lowell, MA, July 11, 1834; d London, July 17, 1903).

American painter, printmaker, designer and collector, active in England and France. He developed from the Realism of Courbet and Manet to become, in the 1860s, one of the leading members of the Aesthetic Movement and an important exponent of Japonisme. From the 1860s he increasingly adopted non-specific and often musical titles for his work, which emphasized his interest in the manipulation of colour and mood for their own sake rather than for the conventional depiction of subject. He acted as an important link between the avant-garde artistic worlds of Europe, Britain and the USA and has always been acknowledged as one of the masters of etching (see Jacque, Charles(-Emile)).

From his monogram jw, Whistler evolved a butterfly signature, which he used after 1869. After his mother’s death in 1881, he added her maiden name, McNeill, and signed letters J. A. McN. Whistler. Finally he dropped ‘Abbott’ entirely.

The son of Major George Washington Whistler, a railway engineer, and his second wife, Anna Matilda McNeill, James moved with his family in ...