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Article

Saul Zalesch

The Society of American Artists (1877–1906) was the most conspicuous and historically significant of the art organizations that proliferated in New York during the last quarter of the 19th century. It saw itself, and scholars have usually portrayed it, as a liberal challenger to the National Academy of Design . In reality the Society’s birth and operation had little to do with modern conceptions of liberal versus conservative ideals for art but reflected a fundamental American/European split over the way that art progresses and how to educate popular tastes. It was inextricably linked with the interests of members of New York’s traditional cultural elite then defending their leadership against the growing influence bought by the unprecedented wealth of America’s “Robber Barons.”

Although mostly discussed by historians in monographic studies of its more famous members, the Society deserves careful study because the circumstances of its creation, operation, and eventual merger with the National Academy of Design offer richer insights into artists’ attitudes and the complexities of artistic patronage in New York than are usually found in studies of American art of that period....

Article

Matico Josephson

American art gallery in New York founded in 1952 that hosted an important annual group show in the 1950s and set the stage for the emergence of Pop art in New York by 1960. Eleanor Ward, the gallery’s founder, had worked for a Parisian fashion house before returning to New York to open the gallery, first located in a former livery stable at 7th Avenue and 58th Street. However, in December 1951, Ward first opened a holiday gift shop inside a mannequin showroom. The Stable Gallery’s first exhibition opened at the same location the following spring. The stable was ideal for displaying oversized artworks and lent the gallery the feeling of an industrial space or an artist’s rented studio. From 1953 to 1957, the Stable hosted an annual artist-organized group show of painting and sculpture (the “Stable Annual”), which served as an informal salon for New York’s avant-garde.

In the 1950s, the Stable Gallery held exhibitions of the works of ...

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 ...