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A. Deirdre Robson

(b London, Dec 8, 1904; d New York, Nov 25, 1979).

American publisher and collector. He trained at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York before working in publishing. In 1950 he set up his own publishing company, Harry N. Abrams Inc., one of the first American companies to specialize in art books. In 1968 he founded Abbeville Books. His collecting, which began in the mid-1930s, went through three distinct phases: his first interest was in such contemporary American painters as Milton Avery and Raphael Soyer. He continued to purchase such works into the 1950s, but from the mid-1940s his collecting began to be dominated by works by major 20th-century artists; he acquired, among other works, Marc Chagall’s Clock (1948), Pablo Picasso’s Motherhood (1921) and Georges Rouault’s Miserere (1939).

Abrams’s most notable period as a collector was the 1960s, when he became known as a major collector of new American art. His interest in this area was fuelled by the ...

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John Ford

[Rudolf]

(b Stollberg, Saxony, April 20, 1764; d Finchley, London, March 30, 1834).

English publisher and patron of German birth. He trained as a carriage designer in Paris and moved to England between 1783 and 1786. He established his own business as a carriage maker, undertaking major commissions in London and Dublin. In 1804 he designed Pius VII’s carriage for the coronation of Napoleon and in 1805 the funeral carriage of Horatio, Viscount Nelson. By 1800 Ackermann had built up a unique business at 101 The Strand, London, known as ‘The Repository of Arts’. This encompassed a drawing school with 80 pupils, the sale and loan of Old Master paintings and watercolour drawings, the publication of decorative prints and illustrated books and the manufacture of watercolour paints including a number of new chemical pigments.

In the early 19th century, Ackermann was an important and regular patron of English watercolour painters, employing William Henry Pyne, Augustus Charles Pugin, Thomas Heaphy, Frederick Mackenzie (1787–1854...

Article

(b Holywood, County Down, Ireland, Jan 26, 1922).

Australian painter, printmaker, book designer, lecturer, collector, gallery director and publisher of limited edition artists’ books, of Irish decent. He worked as a draughtsman before entering war service in the British Admiralty from 1940 to 1949, including five years in Colombo, where he made sketching trips to jungle temples with the Buddhist monk and artist Manjsiro Thero. Between 1949 and 1951 Adams worked as an exhibition designer in London and studied wood-engraving with Gertrude Hermes in her evening class at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design). In 1951, after moving to Melbourne, Adams began a 30-year teaching commitment at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he instructed many of the younger generation of Australian printmakers, including George Baldessin and Jan Senbergs. A brief return to Britain and Ireland in 1957–8 provided experience with Dolmen Press, Dublin, which published his first book of engravings, ...

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Linda Whiteley

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Article

Elisabeth Landolt

Swiss family of collectors of German origin. Johannes Amerbach (b ?Amorbach, c. 1450; d Basle, Dec 25, 1513) gained his MA at the Sorbonne, Paris, and trained as a printer in Nuremberg and Venice. In 1482 he settled in Basle, where in 1484 he founded his own print shop and publishing house. He was in close contact with Albrecht Dürer during the latter’s stay in Basle (1491–2). Apart from works of art for personal use, for example ornamental daggers, he probably owned graphic and print blocks for woodcut illustrations by Dürer. Johannes’s son, Bonifacius Amerbach (b Basle, 11 Oct 1495; d Basle, 24 April 1562), a lawyer, professor at the University of Basle and syndic of the Basle council, was the heir and executor of Erasmus and owned paintings by the Holbein family and important gold and silver pieces, for example the well-known ‘...

Article

Linda Whiteley

(b Monceaux-sous-Paris, 1790; d 1849).

French dealer, print-publisher and collector, of English descent. His father, William Arrowsmith, was an agent for members of the Orléans family. Through his brother-in-law Louis Daguerre, John Arrowsmith was instrumental in negotiating the installation of the Diorama in Park Square East, Regent’s Park, London, opened in 1823 (see Diorama). In 1822, on one of his frequent visits to London, he saw Constable’s The Haywain (1821; London, N.G.) at the British Institution and shortly after began negotiations to buy it in order to exhibit it in Paris. He purchased it in 1824, along with View on the Stour near Dedham (San Marino, CA, Huntington Lib. & A.G.) and a smaller seascape, and in June 1824 exhibited them at his premises at 1, Rue Grange-aux-Belles, Paris. He sent the two larger landscapes to the Salon of 1824, as well as a view of Hampstead Heath. He was one of a small group of dealers attempting to specialize in the sale of works by living artists, and his contacts with England were particularly useful during the 1820s, when an enthusiasm for English literature and art was widespread among young French artists who were part of the Romantic movement. Between ...

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John Christian

(b Leicester, 1797; d Oxford, Oct 29, 1872).

English publisher and patron. He was one of the earliest patrons of the Pre-Raphaelites, and his bequest of their works to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, is notable among collections formed in the 19th century in that it remains largely intact. (Unless otherwise stated, all works mentioned are in the Ashmolean.) In 1838 Combe became Superintendent of the Clarendon Press at Oxford University, a post he held until his death. Under his management, the Press, hitherto run at a loss, became a source of revenue; Combe’s own substantial share in the profitable business of printing Bibles and prayer books enabled him to acquire a considerable personal fortune. He was a genial, hospitable man of strong religious convictions, a friend and ardent supporter of the Tractarians; John Henry Newman officiated at his marriage in 1840. Combe and his wife Martha (1806–93) were active in many forms of charitable work, and Combe, who edited ...

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Linda Whiteley

French family of typographers, printers, publishers and collectors. The first to settle in Paris was Denis Didot (2nd half of 17th century), whose son François Didot (1689–1759) founded in 1713 the family publishing business. His sons François-Ambroise Didot (1730–1804) and Pierre-François Didot (1731–93) developed the business, adding a type foundry and a paper-mill. The elegance of their publications brought them the patronage of the brothers of Louis XVI: Monsieur (later Louis XVIII) and the Comte d’Artois (later Charles X). The sons of François-Ambroise included (1) Pierre Didot, a publisher, among whose illustrators were some of the most distinguished artists of the day, and Firmin Didot (1764–1836), who designed the Didot typeface for his brother’s use. Firmin Didot’s son (2) Ambroise Firmin-Didot was a notable collector of prints. The cadet branch of the family, Didot Jeune, the descendants of Pierre-François Didot, included (3) ...

Article

Margaret Kelly

(Stevenson)

(b New York, Aug 19, 1919; d Feb 24, 1990).

American publisher and collector. In his position as Chairman and Editor-in-chief of the fortnightly American business magazine Forbes, he established one of the oldest corporate art collections in America in the 1950s when he began to acquire objets d’art created by Peter Carl Fabergé: the collection contains over 300 pieces, including 12 Imperial Easter eggs. A man of eclectic tastes, and spurred by fond childhood memories, Forbes assembled a collection of 100,000 lead soldiers and over 500 tin clockwork toy boats. The Fabergé works and selected toys are displayed at the Forbes Magazine Galleries in New York with American presidential manuscripts and related historical memorabilia that Forbes believed ‘better depict each [president] than the likenesses that abounded in their time’. Numbering over 3000 pieces, the collection is the finest of its kind in private hands.

The Forbes picture collection, predominantly conservative in flavour, features works by French 19th-century military painters, Victorian artists, Kinetic artists, American Realists and 19th- and 20th-century photographers. Forbes established the ...

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Valerie Holman

(b Budapest, April 18, 1898; d New York, March 8, 1955).

Austrian publisher, active in England; he acquired British nationality in 1946. He founded Phaidon Verlag with Ludwig Goldscheider in Vienna in 1923 and initially published bibliophile editions of literature with great attention to good design. This was followed by literary masterpieces and contemporary criticism, and in 1930 the firm began publishing classics of writing on history in large, well-illustrated and inexpensive editions. Historical biographies followed, and among them the first three of the many that Phaidon devoted to great artists: Leben Michaelangelos and Velázquez und sein Jahrhundert (both London, 1933) and Raphael (London, 1941, 2/?1948). In 1933 Phaidon published their first large-format monographs in several different language editions, on Van Gogh (Vienna and London, 1936), the Impressionists (Vienna, 1937) and Botticelli (Vienna, 1937), which established the firm’s reputation for high quality reproduction and an international outlook. On the annexation of Austria in 1938 Sir ...

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Madeleine Barbin

(b Orléans, May 7, 1695; d Paris, June 11, 1772).

French collector, engraver, print-publisher and print-seller. He was probably led to study engraving by his taste for collecting prints and drawings. He made no innovations in the engraving process, but used etching lightly reworked with the burin, a method suited to reproducing the sort of drawings that he usually chose as models, most of them coming from his own collection.

Huquier’s engravings are mostly of work by contemporaries, sometimes in the form of single engravings, but mostly in books of six, twelve, or sometimes more plates. They are rarely dated. He began by reproducing the works of Claude Gillot, including La Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ (Bruand, Hébert and Sjöberg, nos 695–754) and Scènes comiques du Théatre italien (c. 1729–32; bhs 755–66). Among other works by Antoine Watteau, he engraved 12 arabesques (bhs 1711–44) for the Recueil Jullienne. He also engraved Edme Bouchardon’s Livre de vases...

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Laurie A. Stein

(b Cologne, Sept 9, 1860; d Darmstadt, Jan 5, 1939).

German publisher, patron and collector. He was influential in the reform movements in art, in particular Jugendstil, the German version of Art Nouveau. Through his publications he hoped to free art from the constraints of the studio, elevate public taste and encourage the creation of a style that would be in keeping with an ideal modern culture. Trained as a printer, he started a magazine of the carpet trade, Tapetenzeitung, in 1888 and shortly afterwards, with only DM 100 as capital, established Verlagsanstalt Alexander Koch. The highly successful firm published periodicals, including Fachblatt für Innen-Dekoration (first issue 1890; since 1980 Architektur, Innenarchitektur, technischer Ausbau) and Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration (first issue 1897); catalogues, notably Grossherzog Ernst Ludwig und die Ausstellung der Künstler-Kolonie in Darmstadt von Mai bis Oktober 1901; and books, among them Handbuch neuzeitlicher Wohnungskultur (1912). He also published the Meister der Innenkunst, the series of prizewinning designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, M. H. Baillie Scott and Leopold Bauer for the competition ‘Haus eines Kunstfreundes’ of ...

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Maxime Préaud

[Chartres, de; Ciartres]

(b Chartres, bapt May 12, 1588; d Paris, Jan 13, 1647).

French print-publisher and seller, bookseller and painter. Between 1610 and 1614 he was apprenticed to Pierre-Louis Febvrier, a bookseller in Paris. He visited Rome in 1613 and 1614, and Genoa, Florence and Rome again in 1621; in the course of these travels he became friendly with Anthony van Dyck, who executed his portrait (Viscount Cowdray priv. col.), and with Claude Vignon, Stefano della Bella and François Collignon. It was probably at this period that he acquired the nickname of Chartres, or (in Italian) Ciartres. In 1624 and 1625 he dealt in paintings in association with Vignon, while also collecting prints for Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel, and for Charles I of England.

In 1629, while on his way to Italy with Matthieu Fredeau, a painter from Antwerp, Langlois collaborated with him on the Rosary altarpiece in the Dominican church in Aix-en-Provence. Around that time he embarked in earnest on a career as a print-publisher, beginning with illustrated books, which he published in collaboration with ...

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Concha Vela

(b Beire, Navarra, March 30, 1862; d Madrid, Dec 1, 1947).

Spanish collector, publisher and patron. He studied law in Barcelona and c. 1882 settled in Madrid, where his enthusiasm for art and literature rapidly developed. In 1888 he founded a publishing enterprise, España Moderna, and a journal of the same name containing contributions by such leading writers and intellectuals as Juan Valera and Emilia Pardo Bazán. Lázaro Galdiano used the journal to publish the most significant writings on Spanish art and translations of such books as Carl Justi’s Diego Velázquez und sein Jahrhundert, 2 vols (Bonn, 1888, rev. 1903). His publishing house also issued the Revista Internacional and several collections dealing with cultural and juridical matters. Over a period of 60 years he assembled one of the finest collections of art in Spain and in Europe, notable for its size and the quality and rarity of the works. Many pieces were acquired through his extensive travels, when he was accompanied by his wife, the wealthy Argentine Paula Florido. His collection included important illuminated manuscripts and engravings, as well as numerous examples of enamel work, from 10th-century Byzantine pieces to 16th-century Limoges enamel. He collected ivory, gold and silver objects of various periods and styles: Hellenistic, Roman, Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. There were also many examples of fans, fabrics, pieces of lace, medals, armour and furniture in his collection. Among his paintings were examples of 15th- and 16th-century Flemish and Spanish work (e.g. ...

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Christina Lodder

(Vasil’yevich)

(b Nizhny Novgorod, 1861; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Oct 14, 1934).

Russian painter, patron, musician, writer and publisher. He pursued a highly original line of artistic thought and practice and developed an organic perception of the world, deriving his inspiration from nature rather than machines, unlike many of his Russian Constructivist contemporaries.

Matyushin trained initially as a musician at the Moscow Conservatory (1878–81) and played the violin in the Court orchestra in St Petersburg from 1881 to 1913. In 1889 he began to attend the School of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in St Petersburg, where he studied painting with Yan Tsionglinsky (d 1914). In Tsionglinsky’s studio he met the artist and writer Yelena Guro, whom he married. Later (1906–8) he studied with the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) painters Léon Bakst and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky at the Zvantseva School of Art in St Petersburg.

In 1909 Matyushin briefly joined the circle around Nikolay Kul’bin and the following year he founded the ...

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Linda Whiteley

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(b Weesp, Jan 4, 1726; d Amsterdam, Dec 20, 1798).

Dutch timber merchant, collector, printmaker, print publisher, draughtsman and art theorist. He was one of the most important Dutch dilettanti of the 18th century. His interest in art began at an early age, and from the age of 12 he was taught drawing by Norbert van Bloemen (1670–1746). Two years later he began to learn the timber trade with Johannes Bontekoning, in whose firm, Bontekoning and Aukes, he became a partner in 1756. Ploos’s first mezzotint dates from that year. He made drawings throughout his life, in a technically skilled rather than original style, and designed book illustrations. In 1758 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Cornelis Troost.

In the meantime Ploos van Amstel assembled a fabulous collection of drawings (he possessed over 7000 when he died), prints (including many topographical prints of Amsterdam), paintings, sculptures, enamels, medals, coins, scientific instruments and optical tools, and manuscripts and printed books. His special interest in drawings, particularly those by Dutch artists from the 17th and 18th centuries, is reflected in his ...

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(b Worbis, Saxony, April 23, 1819; d London, Dec 17, 1899).

British bookseller and publisher of German birth. He was apprenticed to a bookseller in Nordhausen from 1834 to 1839 and afterwards spent three years working for a publishing house in Berlin. Quaritch came to England in 1842 and five years later became a naturalized British subject. In 1847 he established his own second-hand bookshop near Leicester Square, London, and in 1860 moved to premises on Piccadilly. His shop became a centre of interest for all the great bibliophiles around the world. He became known for his ability to find rare books, manuscripts, historic bindings and incunabula, and for the excellence of the catalogues that he issued at regular intervals throughout his career. From 1862 he employed Michael Kerney (1838–1901) as his chief cataloguer and literary adviser. The catalogues were comprehensive, with extensive indexes, notes and scholarly descriptions. One of the most valuable was the Bibliotheca Xylographica, Typographica et Palaeographica: Catalogue of Block Books and of Early Productions of the Printing Press in all Countries, and a Supplement of Manuscripts...

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Vera Leuschner

(b Greifswald, Aug 27, 1776; d Berlin, April 26, 1842).

German publisher and collector. He started as an apprentice in the bookshop of Gottlieb August Lange (d 1796) in Greifswald in 1790 and moved to the branch in Berlin in 1795. In 1801 he took over the bookshop of the Realschule there. The ‘publisher of the Romantics’ (including among others the Grimm brothers, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Novalis and Heinrich von Kleist), Reimer prospered and in 1822 purchased Weidmann’s bookshop in Leipzig. His friends included the writer and philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) and the writer Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769–1860). He started building up his collection in 1814. He possessed 31 paintings by his compatriot and childhood friend Caspar David Friedrich, including Ruined Monastery of Eldena (c. 1825) and Oak Tree in the Snow (c. 1829; both Berlin, Tiergarten, N. G.). Among the drawings in Reimer’s collection were designs (Frankfurt am Main, Städel Kstinst.) for a ...

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