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Kenneth W. Prescott

(b Erie, PA, May 23, 1930).

American painter, printmaker and sculptor. He trained at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, OH (1948–53), and under Albers family, §1 at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture in New Haven, CT (1953–5). In his paintings of the late 1940s and early 1950s he depicted everyday city life, as in The Bridge (1950; artist’s priv. col., see Lunde, pl. 66). In 1957 he moved to New York, where from 1957 to 1958 he worked as a conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and from 1959 to 1961 as a silver designer for Tiffany and Co. During this period he began to produce abstract paintings, using either organic or geometric repeated forms, as in Winter Recipe (1958; New York, Mr and Mrs David Evins priv. col., see Lunde, pl. 100). These led in the early 1960s to asymmetric and imperfectly geometric works, such as ...


American, 20th century, male.

Born 11 October 1891, in Cleveland (Ohio); died 30 December 1948, in Woodstock (New York), committed suicide.

Painter (gouache), watercolourist, draughtsman, printmaker, lithographer. Genre scenes, landscapes, architectural views.

Precisionism (or Cubist Realism).

George Ault grew up in London where his father worked in ink manufacturing and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and St John's Wood School of Art. He returned to the USA in ...


Cecile Johnson


(b Long Beach, CA, March 14, 1941).

American installation artist, painter, printmaker and sculptor. Bartlett studied at Mills College, Oakland, CA (1960–63), and at the Yale School of Art and Architecture, New Haven, CT (1964–5). The progressive approach to modern art taught at Yale and the nearby thriving art scene of New York were instrumental in her early development (1963–early 1970s). Bartlett’s first one-person exhibition was in New York (1970) in the loft of the artist Alan Saret. Nine-point Pieces (1973–4), a later work, was shown at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York and was experimental both conceptually and materially. Her ambivalent use of systems to establish an order and to oppose it allowed her to explore the material and the conceptual process of making images and objects. Rhapsody (1975–6; priv. col., see exh. cat., p. 21), one of her best-known installations, consists of 988 steel plates covered with screenprint grids and hand-painted Testors enamel and hung on a wall (2.28×47.86 m). Each plate exists individually and in relation to its adjoining plate and may be read vertically or horizontally, creating a mesh of stylistic variability exploring both figurative and non-figurative motifs. Another work of the 1970s is ...


Irma B. Jaffe

(b New Brunswick, NJ, Aug 15, 1922; d Northampton, MA, June 3, 2000).

American sculptor, illustrator and printmaker. Baskin studied at the New York University School of Architecture and Allied Arts (1939–41), the School of Fine Art (1941–3) and New School for Social Research (1949). He also studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1950) and the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence (1951). Inspired by the iconic, monolithic imagery of Ancient Egyptian and Sumerian art, and the similar stylistic qualities of Romanesque and Italian Gothic, he consistently and inventively made use of the archaic mode in such prints as the powerful woodcut Man of Peace (1952; see Fern and O’Sullivan, p. 61) as well as in his sculpture. A traditionalist, he carved in wood and stone, and modelled in clay, taking the human figure as his subject. He firmly believed that painting and sculpture should mediate between artist and viewer some moral insight about human experience, and he was convinced that abstract art could not do this. Throughout his career he rejected spatial penetration of form, preferring the holistic look of such works as the ...


American, 20th century, male.

Born 1913, in Hollywood, Los Angeles; died 30 June 2004, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Painter, printmaker.

After architectural studies, Fred Becker discovered New York and its jazz clubs, where he made a living from drawing their customers. In the 1940s, he frequented S. W. Hayter's studio, Atelier 17, where he met a great many European artists, including Salvador Dalí, with whom he collaborated....


M. Sue Kendall


(b Columbus, OH, Aug 12, 1882; d New York, Jan 8, 1925).

American painter and lithographer. He was the son of George Bellows, an architect and building contractor. He displayed a talent for drawing and for athletics at an early age. In 1901 he entered Ohio State University, where he contributed drawings to the school yearbook and played on both the basketball and the baseball teams. In the spring of his third year he withdrew from university to play semi-professional baseball until the end of summer 1904; this, and the sale of several of his drawings, earned him sufficient money to leave Columbus in September to pursue his career as an artist.

Bellows studied in New York under Robert Henri at the New York School of Art, directed by William Merritt Chase. He initially resided at the YMCA on 57th Street. In 1906 Bellows moved to Studio 616 in the Lincoln Arcade Building on Broadway; over the following years the other tenants at this location included the urban realist painter Glenn O. Coleman (...


Martin H. Bush

(b Cincinnati, March 3, 1902; d New York, Feb 19, 1988).

American painter, draughtsman and etcher. Bishop moved to New York in 1918 to study at the New York School of Applied Design for Women and from 1920 at the Art Students League under Guy Pène du Bois and Kenneth Hayes Miller. During these years she developed lifelong friendships with Reginald Marsh, Edwin Dickinson and other figurative painters who lived and worked on 14th Street, assimilating these influences with those of Dutch and Flemish painters such as Adriaen Brouwer and Peter Paul Rubens, whose work she saw in Europe in 1931.

From the early 1930s Bishop developed an anecdotal and reportorial Realist style in pictures of life on the streets of Manhattan such as Encounter (1940; St Louis, MO, A. Mus.), in which an ordinary-looking man and woman are shown meeting under a street lamp. Throughout her long career Bishop concentrated on the subtleties of fleeting moments in the daily routine of people who lived and worked in and around Union Square, giving these simple occasions a sense of timelessness: shopgirls seated at a lunch counter (...


Luis Enrique Tord

(fl mid-19th century).

?French draughtsman and lithographer active in the USA and Peru. He lived briefly in the USA, where in 1852 he published a book containing 32 woodcuts depicting American working-class figures. Later he moved to Lima, the capital of Peru, where he published two albums of hand-coloured lithographs, Recuerdos de Lima...


Hugh Davies

(b Los Angeles, Sept 5, 1912; d New York, Aug 12, 1992).

American composer, philosopher, writer and printmaker. He was educated in California and then made a study tour of Europe (1930–31), concentrating on art, architecture and music. On his return to the USA he studied music with Richard Buhlig, Adolph Weiss, Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg; in 1934 he abandoned abstract painting for music. An interest in extending the existing range of percussion instruments led him, in 1940, to devise the ‘prepared piano’ (in which the sound is transformed by the insertion of various objects between the strings) and to pioneer electronic sound sources.

Cage’s studies of Zen Buddhism and Indian philosophy during the 1940s resulted in a decision to remove intention, memory and personal taste from music, based on the Oriental concern with process rather than result. According equal status to both structured sound and noise, he treated silence (the absence of intentional sounds) as an element in its own right. In the early 1950s he began his close collaboration with the pianist ...


American, 19th century, male.

Born 1800, in Boston (Massachusetts); died 1842.

Painter, designer of ornamental architectural features, engraver, decorative designer. Portraits, landscapes, military subjects, seascapes, harbour views, scenes with figures. Decorative panels.

Charles Codman trained with John Ritto Pennimans as a painter and designer of ornamental architectural features, and settled in Portland in ...


American, 20th century, male.

Born 10 January 1890, in Reading (Pennsylvania); died 1942.

Painter, engraver, architect.

Miles Boyer Dechant was a pupil of George Walter Dawson.

Dechant, David Mitchell: Miles Boyer Dechant: An American Impressionist, Rock of Eye Press, 2002.


American, 20th century, male.

Born in Chicago.

Engraver, architect.

John Ekin Dinwiddie was a pupil of E. Léon. He exhibited an etching at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1928.


American, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 30 October 1872, in Omaha (Nebraska).

Painter, engraver, decorative designer.

Edmond Ellis was also an architect. He decorated the interiors of public buildings, notably the Protestant episcopal church of Fordham, and private houses. He produced etchings.


American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Santa Barbara (California).

Born 1962, in Baltimore (Maryland).

Painter, engraver. Architectural views.

Lawrence Gipe creates low-angle views of sky-scrapers, trains and towns, combined with words written in bright red, inspired by historic documents or the magazine Fortune. He is fascinated by the urban universe and its growth, and he has developed his images, this time views of aeroplanes, borrowing them from the cinema. He shows his works in solo exhibitions, such as in New York in ...


American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver.

John Himmelfarb is an architecture graduate from Harvard University. He is an exponent of Abstract Expressionism whose development of line has been described as 'dramatic'. His often calligraphic drawings and paintings spring from jazz rhythms or an allusive imagery. Himmelfarb is best known for the gigantism of his 'works in progress' executed in full view of the public, much in the way of a performance. He has benefited from grants from the National Education Association and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. He has shown his works in solo exhibitions mostly in the Midwest but also at the University of Connecticut, Fairfield, and at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Christchurch, New Zealand....


American, 18th century, male.

Born 1708, in Boston (Massachusetts); died 8 May 1767, in Boston.

Engraver, painter.

Thomas Johnston produced many ex-libris and architectural drawings.


American, 20th century, male.

Born 1932, in Los Angeles.

Painter, sculptor, lithographer.

Finish Fetish.

Craig Kauffman studied at the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California from 1950 to 1952 and then at the University of California in Los Angeles from 1952 to 1956...


Fridolf Johnson

(b Tarrytown, NY, June 21, 1882; d Au Sable Forks, NY, March 13, 1971).

American painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer, and sailor. He first studied architecture but turned to painting, studying in New York at the schools of William Merritt Chase and of Robert Henri. In his realistic landscapes, the most famous of which related to his long sojourns in such remote and rugged places as Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, and Greenland (e.g. Eskimo in a Kayak, 1933; Moscow, Pushkin Mus. F.A.), he favoured a precise rendering of forms with strong contrasts of light and dark. He was also renowned for the many books that he illustrated and wrote about his adventures. His considerable reputation as an illustrator was based on his striking drawings for such classics as Voltaire’s Candide (New York, 1928) and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (Chicago, 1930). His simple but distinctive graphic designs, such as God Speed (wood-engraving, 1931; see Kent, 1933, p. 87), were widely imitated.

Rockwellkentiana (New York, 1933)...


American, 20th century, male.

Born 1905, in Wisconsin; died 1984.


Armin Landeck studied architecture and settled in New York where he founded an engraving workshop. His prints express the harsh character of the New York landscape in the Depression of the 1930s, and the dark years of the 1940s....


American, 20th century, male.

Active also active in France.

Born 13 June 1884, in Stanford (Connecticut); died 3 September 1972, in Stanford (Connecticut).

Painter, engraver. Landscapes, seascapes, architectural views, boats.

Herbert Lespinasse studied in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts, attended the Bateau-Lavoir studio, met Juan Gris who introduced him to cubism, and spent some time in St-Tropez. His compositions, depicting coastal scenes, boats and skyscrapers, combine rigorous drawing with a degree of chaos. In 1909 he became an associate of the Salon Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and exhibited there and at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Tuileries....