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Kirk Marlow

(Fraser)

(b Cramond, nr Edinburgh, July 22, 1900; d Ottawa, July 5, 1994).

Canadian painter, draughtsman, teacher, museum director and writer of Scottish birth. In 1912 he emigrated to Winnipeg, where he was apprenticed in the commercial art studio of Fred Brigden (1871–1956). He also attended the Winnipeg School of Art (1916–18) and continued to work at Brigden’s until 1922. In that year he studied at the Art Students’ League, New York, and in 1925 he moved to Toronto, working until 1929 for the Toronto branch of Brigden’s and then for the commercial design firm Rapid, Grip & Batten. In 1931, with Will Ogilvie (1901–89) and Harold Ayres (1894–?1977), he formed his own commercial studio. The muted colours, schematic compositions and smooth surfaces of his paintings from the late 1920s show evidence of his design background. In his best-known painting, Tadoussac (1935; Ottawa, N.G.), a bird’s-eye view of a town in Quebec, there is a simplification of detail and a calculated arrangement of sparse, crisply edged forms. During the 1920s and 1930s Comfort was recognized as one of Canada’s finest portrait painters working in watercolour and oil. In the portrait of the violinist ...

Article

Janet Marstine

(b Woodstown, NJ, Nov 6, 1876; d New York, May 1, 1953).

American painter, illustrator, designer, playwright, and film director. He studied industrial design at the Spring Garden School in Philadelphia from 1888 to 1890. In 1893 he became an illustrator at the Philadelphia Press. Simultaneously he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he met Robert Henri, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and George Luks. Their style of urban realism prompted him to depict the bleak aspects of city life. In 1897 Shinn moved to New York and produced illustrations for several newspapers and magazines, for example Mark Twain (March 1900; see Perlman, p. 80), a frontispiece for The Critic. He also drew sketches for a novel by William Dean Howells on New York; although the novel was not published, Shinn’s drawings brought him national recognition.

Shinn’s work changed radically when, on a trip to Paris in 1901, he was inspired by the theatre scenes of Manet, Degas, and Jean-Louis Forain. He began to paint performers in action, from unusual vantage points, as in ...