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Camara Dia Holloway

(b Virginia, 1825; d Honolulu, HI, May 3, 1904).

African American photographer. Ball’s parents, William and Susan Ball, were freeborn Americans of African descent. J. P. Ball learned how to make daguerreotypes from a black Bostonian, John P. Bailey. He opened his first photographic enterprise in Cincinnati, OH, in 1845. Black-owned businesses seemed viable in this abolitionist stronghold and key conduit to the West. After a failed first venture and time as an itinerant photographer, he returned and opened Ball’s Great Daguerrean Gallery of the West in 1849, which became one of the largest and most successful photographic studios in the region with an enthusiastic multi-racial clientele. Ball hired other African Americans as operators, including his brother, Thomas Ball, his brother-in-law, Alexander Thomas, and the African American landscape painter, Robert S. Duncanson.

An activist for abolition, Ball produced a painted panorama that illustrated the history of African enslavement in 1855 and authored the accompanying pamphlet to great acclaim. With a national reputation and important portrait commissions from such cultural icons as Frederick Douglass and Jenny Lind, Ball expanded with a second studio operated by his brother-in-law who had become a favorite with clients. Together they started an additional studio, the Ball & Thomas Photographic Art Gallery. Ball’s Cincinnati enterprises survived well into the 1880s in the hands of Thomas and other Ball relatives since they remained current with photographic technologies....

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Saint Louis, MO, Nov 3, 1903; d New Haven, CT, April 10, 1975).

American photographer and writer. He grew up in Kenilworth, a suburb of Chicago, but moved to New York with his mother after his parents separated. Primarily interested in literature, he sat in on lectures at the Sorbonne in Paris (1926–7), visited museums and bookshops, and thought of becoming a writer. In 1928 he acquired a camera and, out of frustration over his inability to find work and develop a literary means of expression, he decided to become a photographer (see fig.). Intermittent assignments instigated by friends such as Lincoln Kirstein made it possible for him to live a bohemian life in Greenwich Village, where he met the writers Hart Crane (1899–1932) and James Agee (1909–55) and the artist Ben Shahn, with whom he worked and shared a house for a short time. Within this circle he found his early influences (see fig....

Article

(b Hoboken, NJ, May 26, 1895; d Marin County, CA, Oct 11, 1965).

American photographer. From 1914 to 1917 she attended the New York Training School for Teachers and there decided to become a photographer, partly influenced by visits to the photographer Arnold Genthe. From 1917 to 1918 she attended a photography course run by Clarence H. White at Columbia University, New York. Lange moved to San Francisco in 1918, and in 1919 she set up a successful portrait studio where she took works such as Clayburgh Children, San Francisco (1924; Oakland, CA, Mus.). In the late 1920s she became dissatisfied with studio work and experimented with landscape and plant photography, although she found the results unsatisfactory. With the Stock Market crash of 1929 Lange decided to look for subjects outside her studio. Turning to the effects of the economic decline she took photographs such as General Strike, San Francisco (1934; Oakland, CA, Mus.). She had her first solo show at the Brockhurst Studio of Willard Van Dyke in Oakland, CA (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 15 August 1896, in New York City; died 17 October 1958, in Laguna Beach, California.

Photographer and graphic designer. Portraits, nudes, figures, still-lifes, landscapes, abstractions.

Paul Outerbridge is best known for his mastery of the tri-colour carbro-transfer printing process used in his commercial and artistic photography. Before enrolling in the Clarence H. White School of Photography in ...

Article

M. Sue Kendall

(b Kovno, Lithuania, Sept 12, 1898; d New York, March 14, 1969).

American painter, photographer and lithographer of Lithuanian birth. He was born into a family of Jewish craftsmen who emigrated in 1906, settling in New York. From 1913 to 1917 Shahn served as an apprentice in Hessenberg’s Lithography Shop in Manhattan, and in the evenings he attended high school in Brooklyn. In 1916 he enrolled in a life-drawing class at the Art Students League. After studying biology, first at New York University (1919) and then at City College, New York (1919–22), he entered the National Academy of Design to pursue a career as an artist (1923).

After marrying in 1922, Shahn travelled with his wife to North Africa, Spain, Italy and France (1924–5; 1927–9), where he studied both the art of the past and the works of Matisse, Dufy, Rouault, Picasso and Klee. On his return from Europe in 1925 they moved to Brooklyn Heights. There he met Walker Evans, with whom he began to share a studio. Also in ...

Article

Native American (Diné/Navajo), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1966, in Ganado (Arizona).

Printmaker, sculptor, painter.

Political and social realism, abstraction, post-colonial themes.

Melanie Yazzie uses a variety of media including photography, sculpture, print, and paint to create personal, autobiographical and socio-political works. Using her Diné heritage as a source of inspiration, her practice draws attention to many key issues facing indigenous peoples. Themes have included issues of racism, misogyny, identity problems, poverty and abuse. Later works have concentrated more on personal issues and storytelling and touch on traditional, contemporary and imagined themes, including depictions of ceremonial life and ritual. Yazzie often collaborates with artists from other indigenous nations in order to raise further awareness and create shared experience through art practice....