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Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Aberdeen, 1740; d Philadelphia, PA, March 5, 1795).

American cabinetmaker of Scottish birth. He trained as a cabinetmaker in Edinburgh and London. In 1763 he arrived in Philadelphia on the same boat as John Penn, the new Governor of Pennsylvania and a future client, to join Quaker friends. He opened a shop on Union Street and eventually moved to Second Street in the Society Hill area. He made stylish mahogany furniture (sold 1788; e.g. Philadelphia, PA, Cliveden Mus.; armchair, Winterthur, DE, Mus. & Gdns) for the governor’s mansion at Lansdowne, PA, and many of the most prominent families in the city owned his work, including the Mifflins, the Whartons, and the Chew family at Cliveden. The parlour suite he made for John Cadwalader carved by James Reynolds and the firm of Bernard and Jugiez in 1770–71 was among the most elaborate ever produced in the colonies (pole screen, Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.).

A Quaker and Loyalist, Affleck refused to participate in the Revolution (...

Article

(b Quebec, Qué., Aug 10, 1764; d Quebec, Qué., June 3, 1839).

Canadian metalworker. He studied at the Petit Seminaire du Québec from 1778 to 1780 and began his apprenticeship c. 1780 in the silversmith’s shop of his elder brother, Jean-Nicolas Amiot (1750–1821); the tradition that he was apprenticed to François Ranvoyzé is unfounded. In 1782 he travelled to Paris to complete his training and remained there for five years, supported by his family. He absorbed the Louis XVI style, then popular in France, and after his return to Quebec in 1787 he set up a workshop to introduce this into Canada.

Much of Amiot’s work was for the Church, reworking traditional forms in the Louis XVI style. In a sanctuary lamp of 1788 for the church at Repentigny he elongated the standard shape and decorated it with a balanced arrangement of Neo-classical designs. After 1800 his work became formulaic and less innovative, though there are such notable exceptions as the chalice (...

Article

Donna J. Hassler

(b New Haven, CT, Feb 21, 1791; d New Haven, CT, Jan 10, 1858).

American sculptor. Although as a youth he showed talent for handling tools, his father, a joiner and carpenter, discouraged him from becoming a wood-carver. After opening a fruit shop in New Haven, he began carving musical instruments and furniture legs for a local cabinetmaker. With his invention of a lace-making machine, he was able to settle his business debts and devote himself entirely to sculpture.

About 1825 Samuel F. B. Morse encouraged Augur to try working in marble. Among his earliest attempts in this medium was a bust of Professor Alexander Metcalf Fisher (c. 1825–7; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.), which was exhibited in 1827 at the National Academy of Design in New York. The impact of the Neo-classical style is clearly evident in his most ambitious work, Jephthah and his Daughter (c. 1828–30; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.), a pair of free-standing half life-size marble figures. The treatment of the heads shows Roman influence, which Augur must have absorbed from engravings; this is borne out by the detailed work on Jephthah’s armour. The bold handling of the hair and drapery reveals his experience as a wood-carver. In ...

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Hartland, CT, June 15, 1773; d Springfield, MA, July 26, 1845).

American architect and writer. Benjamin was one of the most influential architect–writers of the first half of the 19th century in the USA and was trained as a housewright in rural Connecticut between 1787 and 1794. Two of his earliest commissions, the carving of Ionic capitals (1794) for the Oliver Phelps House in Suffield, CT, and the construction of an elliptical staircase (1795) in Charles Bulfinch’s Connecticut State Capitol at Hartford, reveal an exceptional ability with architectural geometry that was to help to determine the direction of his career. Benjamin worked as a housewright in a succession of towns along the Connecticut River during the 1790s. In 1797, dissatisfied with the publications of William Pain, an English popularizer of the Neo-classical style of Robert Adam, Benjamin wrote The Country Builder’s Assistant, a modest handbook for carpenters that was the first such work by an American writer. In ...

Article

Linda Jansma

(b Vienna, May 3, 1806; d Toronto, Jan 18, 1892).

Canadian painter of French origin. He was the son of René Théodore Berthon (1776–1859), court painter to Napoleon I, who was in Vienna at the time of George Theodore’s birth to paint a portrait of Francis I (Vienna, Hofburg-Schauräume). The elder Berthon had been a student of Jacques-Louis David, and he trained his son in the French Neo-classical style.

George Theodore Berthon moved to England in 1827 and was employed by Sir Robert Peel as a French and drawing tutor to his daughters. From 1835 to 1837 Berthon exhibited several portraits at the Royal Academy, London. He settled in Toronto late in 1844 with a letter of introduction from Peel, which he presented to John Strachan, Anglican Bishop of Toronto. Strachan proved to be an important early patron to Berthon; a portrait of the Bishop (1845; Toronto U., Trinity Coll.) painted by Berthon helped to establish his career in Toronto. Other early paintings include Berthon’s first large-scale portrait, ...

Article

Darryl Patrick

(fl 1820–50).

American architect. There is evidence that Bond was trained by Solomon Willard. Certain of Bond’s designs suggest the Greek Revival approach that Willard brought from Washington, DC. Bond’s style moved between Gothic Revival and a Neo-classical heaviness. In the Salem City Hall of 1836–37 the two-storey Greek Revival façade shows his carefully proportioned details. An example of Gothic Revival is St John’s Episcopal Church and Rectory (1841), Devens Street, Boston, which has a rather heavy granite façade dominated by a square tower with a battlemented roof-line; there are large quatrefoil windows in the walls below. In the same year Bond was called to Oberlin College in Ohio to design First Church, which had to be a Greek Revival design. He worked on Lewis Wharf (1836–40; later remodelled), Boston, where certain walls reflect his attraction to boldly massed granite surfaces. Bond’s best-known buildings during his life were at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. These included Gore Hall (...

Article

Leslie Freudenheim

(b Ellisburg, NY, 1859; d Burlingame, CA, Jan 21, 1896).

American architect. Despite his tragically brief career and six Neo-classical buildings, A. Page Brown will be remembered for his Ferry Building, the centerpiece of San Francisco’s waterfront; that city’s Swedenborgian Church with its Mission-style chairs, both icons of the American Arts and Crafts Movement; and his Mission-style California building for the 1893 Chicago Exposition, a structure that helped establish Mission and Mediterranean styles as appropriate for both domestic and commercial designs throughout the Southwest.

After briefly attending Cornell University, Brown spent three years with the New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. By December 1884, after two years studying European architecture, he opened his own New York practice. Commissions in San Francisco from the Crocker family in 1889 led him to open a West Coast office. He supervised the completion of the first Grace Cathedral (1890, replaced), designed the city’s second skyscraper and, in February 1892, his Mission Revival style design won the competition for the California State Building for the ...

Article

W. McKenzie Woodward

(b Pawtucket, RI, July 26, 1801; d Providence, RI, Sept 28, 1890).

American architect. Bucklin’s early training in architecture was as apprentice to John Holden Greene. When he was 21 he formed a partnership with William Tallman, a builder and timber merchant, and they remained associates until the early 1850s. Russell Warren worked with them between 1827 and the early 1830s, as did Thomas Tefft between 1847 and 1851.

Tallman & Bucklin was a prolific firm. It engaged in speculative residential construction and was awarded some choice local commissions between the late 1820s and 1850s. Most of these were Greek Revival, including the Providence Arcade (1828), a monumental covered shopping mall; Westminster Street Congregational Church (1829; destr.); Rhode Island Hall, Brown University (1840); the Washington Row (1843–5; destr.); the Providence High School (1844; destr.); and Athenaeum Row (1845), all in Providence. The Tudor-style Butler Hospital (1847), Providence, is probably by Tefft, the architectural prodigy who was working for the firm while a student at Brown University....

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Boston, MA, August 8, 1763; d Boston, April 15, 1844).

American architect. Bulfinch was a leading architect of the Federal period in America, but had no formal architectural training.

Born to an aristocratic Boston family, Bulfinch graduated from Harvard College in 1781. In 1785 he embarked on a two-year tour of Italy, France and England, during which he developed a special enthusiasm for the Neo-classical style of Adam family, §3. On his return, he married a wealthy cousin and, by his own account, spent the following eight years ‘pursuing no business but giving gratuitous advice in architecture’. Bulfinch designed approximately 15 buildings during this early period, including three churches, a theatre, a state house for Connecticut, seven detached houses and a group of row houses. The style derives clearly from Adam, but it is notably shallow and linear, owing perhaps to the American use of wood and brick rather than stone, and to Bulfinch’s probable reliance on sketches and engravings of the English models. It is also likely that, at this stage of his career, Bulfinch did not supervise his buildings but merely provided elevations and floor plans to builders who constructed them. Notable among his early works are two churches for Pittsfield and Taunton, MA (both begun in ...

Article

Julius Bryant

(b Rome, July 4, 1751; d Paris, Jan 30, 1801).

Italian sculptor, active also in England and the USA. Ceracchi is best known for his portrait busts of the heroes of the American Revolution, executed during his two visits to the USA (1791–2 and 1794–5), where he made a significant contribution to the introduction of Neo-classicism. The son of a goldsmith, he studied in Rome with Tommaso Righi (1727–1802) and at the Accademia di S Luca. Following his arrival in London in 1773, Ceracchi worked for Agostino Carlini and modelled architectural ornament for Adam family, §3 (ii). He also taught Anne Seymour Damer to model in clay, and c. 1777 he produced a life-size terracotta statue of her as the Muse of Sculpture (marble version, London, BM) holding one of her own works, a Genius of the Thames. His bust of Admiral Keppel (marble version, 1779; Mausoleum, Wentworth Woodhouse, S. Yorks) was considered ‘extremely like’ by Horace Walpole when the terracotta model (...

Article

Lauretta Dimmick

(b New York, ?1813; d London, Oct 10, 1857).

American sculptor. One of the major American Neo-classical sculptors, Crawford learnt wood-carving in his youth. In 1832 he became a carver for New York’s leading marble shop, operated by John Frazee and Robert E. Launitz (1806–70). He cut mantelpieces and busts, and spent his evenings drawing from the cast collection at the National Academy of Design. In 1835 Crawford became the first American sculptor to settle permanently in Rome. Launitz provided Crawford with a letter of introduction to Bertel Thorvaldsen, who welcomed Crawford into his studio, gave him a corner in which to work and provided occasional criticism, including the advice to copy antique models and not Thorvaldsen’s own work. It is not known precisely how long Crawford remained under Thorvaldsen’s tutelage, but it was probably less than a year. Crawford always esteemed Thorvaldsen’s sculpture and continued friendship.

Once in his own studio, Crawford at first eked out a living by producing portraits, such as his bust of ...

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Hudson, NY, Aug 24, 1806; d Baton Rouge, LA, May 10, 1852).

American architect. He spread eclectic historicism to the western states in the mid-19th century. Dakin was first trained as a carpenter but in 1829 entered the office of architects Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis in New York. Highly skilled as a draughtsman, in 1832 he became a full partner in the firm. He was responsible for the Rockaway Marine Pavilion (destr.), a large Grecian-style hotel on Long Island. Soon after starting his independent practice in 1833 he designed the Bank of Louisville (1834–6), KY, an excellent example of his adaptation of Greek elements for an American business building. The details recall similar motifs that appeared in Minard Lafever’s books, for which Dakin drew some of the plates. Though known principally for his Classical Greek designs, Dakin was also an early designer in the Gothic Revival style, as in his Washington Square Dutch Reformed Church, New York (...

Article

David M. Sokol

(b Philadelphia, PA, June 23, 1822; d Claymont, DE, March 27, 1888).

American illustrator and printmaker. After being exposed early to the Neo-classical style of John Flaxman, Darley began his career as an illustrator in Philadelphia in 1842. Following a sketching trip west of the Mississippi during the summer of that year, he produced outline drawings that were adapted into lithographs appearing in Scenes in Indian Life (1843). His early book illustrations were published in periodicals such as Democratic Review and Godey’s Magazine. Working in line drawing, lithography and wood- and steel-engraving, his first major success was his series of illustrations for John Frost’s Pictorial History of the United States (1844).

After moving to New York in 1848, Darley dominated the field of American illustration with his illustrations of Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper’s tales and novels. He produced about 500 illustrations for Cooper’s novels and a similar number for Benson J. Lossing’s Our Country (1875–7...

Article

Patrick A. Snadon

(b New York, July 24, 1803; d Orange, NJ, Jan 14, 1892).

American architect. From the 1830s to the 1850s he was one of the most influential architects in the USA. His work ranges from major government and institutional buildings to ornamental garden structures; his main contribution to American architecture was his introduction of the European Picturesque in his designs for Italianate and Gothic Revival country houses and cottages. With his partner, Ithiel Town, he also refined and popularized the American Greek Revival. He revolutionized American architectural drawing through rendering buildings in romantic landscapes rather than in the analytical, Neo-classical style that preceded him. In 1836 he helped form the American Institution of Architects and advanced professionalism in American architecture through his scrupulous office practices, being, for example, the first American architect to use printed, standardized specifications.

At the age of 16, Davis left school in New York to work as a type compositor in Alexandria, VA. During this time, probably influenced by reading contemporary Gothic novels, he made drawings of prison and castle interiors akin to Piranesi’s engravings of imaginary prisons. In ...

Article

American architectural partnership formed in 1903 by William A(dams) Delano (b New York, 21 Jan 1874; d New York, 12 Jan 1960) and Chester H. Aldrich (b Providence, RI, 4 June 1871; d Rome, 26 Dec 1940). Aldrich graduated from Columbia University, New York, in 1893. After a year with the New York architects Carrère & Hastings he attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (diploma 1900). He returned to Carrère & Hastings until he formed the partnership with Delano. The latter also studied architecture at Columbia University and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (diploma 1902). After about a year with Carrère & Hastings working as a draughtsman, he became Aldrich’s partner. Their initial commissions were private residences in the stately neo-classical styles fashionable in the early 20th century, for example the John D. Rockefeller House (1906–8), Pocantico Hills, New York, and 925 Park Avenue (...

Article

Jennifer Wingate

(b Vermont, 1827; d Merano, Italy, Dec 7, 1877).

American sculptor, active also in Italy. Foley was one of the women expatriate sculptors in Rome in the third quarter of the 19th century whom Henry James called “a white marmorean flock.” The historical and mythological female subjects executed by her peers, Harriet Hosmer and Edmonia Lewis, have attracted more scholarly attention, but Foley’s medallion portraits are highly regarded for their combination of subtle vision and striking detail. Her idealized reliefs helped finance the single monumental work of her career, a whimsical fountain located in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park.

Foley’s specialty was the product not only of her skill at sculpting likenesses, but also of her formative experiences as a self-trained carver. In the 1840s, she left her post as a school teacher in northern Vermont for Lowell, MA, where she worked in the spinning mills, whittling wooden bobbins in her spare time. Lowell attracted young rural women like Foley with the promise of independence and education. While most mill operatives worked long enough to earn a dowry and marry, Foley used her savings to relocate to Boston. By ...

Article

Donna McGee

(b London, 1799; d Montreal, June 23, 1872).

Canadian architect of English birth. His background is unclear, but he was evidently trained in the Neo-classical style, probably in London, and emigrated to Canada in 1838. He settled in Sherbrooke, Quebec, where he completed his first major commission, the Court House (1841) in Sherbrooke, a Neo-classical brick building with a Doric portico. He subsequently moved to Montreal and appears in notarial records as an architect between September 1841 and February 1872. His masterpiece is the Bonsecours Market (1844–7), Rue des Commissaires, Montreal, a commission won by competition in 1842. Combining Greek Revival and Palladian styles, it was conceived as a multipurpose building to be used as a market, concert hall and offices of the city council. Its tin-covered dome crowns a long stone building, with central entrances and end wings. Facing the port, it has three storeys with a rusticated basement, hammer-dressed stone in the main part and channelled ashlar with radiating voussoirs at the wings. The city façade on Rue St-Paul is of two storeys, with a pediment over the entrance supported by six baseless cast-iron Doric columns. The dome is set on a high drum, with wood Ionic pilasters between arched windows. Few other buildings are attributed to him with any certainty....

Article

Janet A. Headley

(b Rahway, NJ, July 18, 1790; d Compton Mills, RI, Feb 24, 1852).

American sculptor. The youngest of ten, Frazee worked as a farmhand, and was then apprenticed to a local builder. He launched his career by carving architectural ornament and gravemarkers; by 1818, local success encouraged him to establish a monument-making company with his brother William in New York. His visual repertory and his clientele expanded: a cenotaph to Sarah Haynes (c. 1821; New York, Trinity Church) fuses Ionic pilasters, an illusionistic swag of drapery, and clusters of oak leaves; his monument to patriot Elbridge Gerry (1823; Washington, DC, Congressional Cemetery) unites a truncated obelisk with a flaming urn. Such ambitious combinations of decorative elements probably derive from pattern books.

His business gained him some financial success, but Frazee aspired to the status of artist. The Marquis de Lafayette agreed to a sitting (1824, plaster, lost), and New York patroon Giulian Verplanck lobbied for a posthumous portrait of Chief Justice John Jay (...

Article

Robert L. Alexander

(b Paris, 1765; d Paris, 1848).

French architect and draughtsman, active in the USA, England and France. All that is known of the first 40 years of Godefroy’s life is that he served 18 months in the army, probably practised engineering briefly and spent 19 months in Napoleonic prisons before being exiled to the USA. He arrived in New York on 26 April 1805 and in December took up a post as drawing-master at the college founded by the Sulpicians of St Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. His modest competence in drawing, evident in several works in pencil and pen, bistre and coloured washes, suggests training. A few are landscapes and one, the Battle of Pultowa (1804–5; Baltimore, MD Hist. Soc. Mus.), is a historical composition, but most are Neo-classical designs, for example for diplomas, employing allegorical subject matter. Godefroy’s importance lies in his introduction of recent French ideas in the buildings he designed and built in Baltimore. He began to study architecture ...

Article

Ronald R. McCarty

Ronald R. McCarty

Term used to describe a style inspired by the architecture of Classical Greece. The introduction of a new ‘National Style’ adopted by the USA during the first half of the 19th century saw ancient architectural forms from Greece and Rome being used as inspiration for the new federal and domestic buildings built throughout the country. Interior furnishings and decorative arts were similarly dominated by the Grecian mode from the 1800 through the 1850s.

During the late 18th century and early 19th, throughout the USA, classical taste experienced an enormous growth in interest stimulated by discoveries and study of ancient civilizations. The term Greece, ancient §XI 2., (i) describes the style celebrating the Classical architecture of ancient Greece and the reinterpretation of Grecian architecture evidenced in monumental buildings and the decorative arts designed to furnish them. The USA doubled in size between the years 1800 to 1840, with the population growing to over 17,000,000 across the country. During these important years of growth in America, new state government buildings were commissioned whose Neo-classical façades represented the ideals of a new nation: a strong and united America. The Greek Revival style was adopted for new courthouses, state capitol buildings, banks, schools, prisons, and churches. Many incorporated the use of domes, porticos, rotundas, and colonnades in classical façades and building forms....