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Article

Ruth Bass

(b Buffalo, NY, July 8, 1896; d New York, Nov 23, 1989).

American dealer, collector, and writer. He first worked as a professional ballroom dancer, aeronautical mechanic, and businessman. During business trips to New York he began visiting museums and art galleries in the 57th Street area. He moved to New York in 1924, married Harriet Grossman (1898–1963) in 1925 and in 1926 founded the M’Lord Shirt Company. He began collecting art in 1926, acquiring one of the finest collections of the Ecole de Paris in the USA. On successive trips to Europe, he met Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Duchamp, and other major European artists. After acquiring The Dream by Henri Rousseau (New York, MOMA) he became interested in American naive painters, including Grandma Moses and Morris Hirshfield, on whom he published a study in 1942.

Having dissolved his business in 1939 to devote himself full-time to writing and lecturing on art, in 1949 Janis opened the ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

(b Boston, MA, March 1, 1823; d Windsor, VT, Aug 25, 1886).

American art historian, musician and patron. He came from a wealthy and cultivated family. After completing his studies at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1843, he travelled to Europe. While studying drawing and painting in Rome, he commissioned the marble group Hebe and Ganymede (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) from his friend the sculptor Thomas Crawford. In 1846 he entered Ary Scheffer’s studio in Paris and in 1851 travelled to Leipzig to study the piano with Ignaz Moscheles. When he returned to Boston in 1854, his future was still undecided, his wealth and multiplicity of talents making it difficult for him to choose a direction; it was not until June 1857, after his series of lectures on art at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, had met with great success, that he renounced music as a profession. From 1857 to 1869 he was in Europe, gathering material for his study Tuscan Sculptors, which appeared in ...

Article

Werner Wilhelm Schnabel

(b Dresden, Nov 3, 1744; d Dresden, April 10, 1818).

German courtier, composer, collector and writer. He served from 1761 in the army of Frederick-Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, and subsequently occupied various positions at the Saxon court. As Directeur des Plaisirs he was in charge of the orchestra and theatre at Dresden. He was also a member of various learned societies, including the Akademie der Künste und mechanischen Wissenschaften in Berlin. As a courtier enjoying the special favour of the elector, Racknitz wielded great influence in promoting musical and artistic life in Dresden. His own activities included musical composition and the natural sciences, but he was especially interested in mineralogy and mechanics, and he established a renowned collection of minerals and plants. In addition to this he published several books on the history of civilization and art. Early works are concerned with general themes, but in his later years he was particularly interested in painting in Saxony. In his varied interests, Racknitz viewed questions from a practical as well as a theoretical point of view. He was thus a typical representative of the versatile late Enlightenment and the ‘age of Goethe’....