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Article

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 ...

Article

Patricia Hills

Art journal published from 1934 to 1937. In 1934, the Artists’ Union joined with the Artists’ Committee of Action, which had been organized to protest against the destruction of Diego Rivera’s mural Man at the Crossroads in Rockefeller Center, New York, to publish Art Front, a journal of news and opinion for artists. The first issue appeared in November 1934 with an editorial committee consisting of eight members of the Artists’ Committee of Action (Hugo Gellert (1892–1985), Stuart Davis , Zoltan Hecht (1890–1968), Abraham Harriton (1893–1986), Rosa Pringle, Hilda Abel, Jennings Tofel (1891–1959) and Harold Baumbach (1903–2002)) and eight from the Artists’ Union (Ethel Olenikov, Boris Gorelick (1912–84), Robert Jonas (b 1907), Max Spivak (1906–81), Michael Loew (1907–85), Katherine Gridley (1898–1940), Herbert Kruckman (1904–98) and C. Mactarian)). Herman Baron served as the Managing Editor. The opening statement announced: ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 3 June 1954, in St Louis (Missouri).

Book artist, educator. Artists’ books.

Carol June Barton earned her BFA in painting from Washington University in St Louis. Working as an administrator at the Glen Echo Park Arts Center, Washington, DC, she was invited to participate in her first artists’ book project. Her book, an edition of 200 titled ...

Article

Judith Zilczer

Journal devoted to photography that was published from 1903 to 1917. Camera Work evolved from a quarterly journal of photography to become one of the most ground-breaking and influential periodicals in American cultural history. Founded in January 1903 by photographer Alfred Stieglitz as the official publication of the Photo-Secession, the journal originally promoted the cause of photography as a fine art. As Stieglitz, its editor and publisher, expanded the journal’s scope to include essays on aesthetics, literature, criticism and modern art, Camera Work fueled intellectual discourse in early 20th-century America.

Camera Work mirrored the aesthetic philosophy of its founder Alfred Stieglitz. The journal resulted from his decade-long campaign to broaden and professionalize American photography. Serving for three years as editor of American Amateur Photographer (1893–6), Stieglitz championed the expressive potential of photography and advocated expanded exhibition opportunities comparable to those available in European photographic salons. In 1897, when the Society of Amateur Photographers merged with the New York Camera Club, Stieglitz convinced the enlarged organization to replace their modest leaflet with a more substantial quarterly journal, Camera Notes, which he edited until ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 1963, in Inglewood (California).

Book artist, printmaker (letterpress). Papermaking.

Julie Chen received her BFA in printmaking from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989. While a student she founded Flying Fish Press. She began graduate studies in book arts at Mills College in Oakland in ...

Article

Born 27 March 1813 in Roxbury, Massachusetts; died 1888 in New York City.

Lithographer, printer, publisher.

Currier & Ives (firm).

At the age of 15 Currier was apprenticed to the Boston lithographic firm of William S. & John Pendleton. In 1833 he worked for the engraver and printer M.E.D. Brown in Philadelphia before going to New York and publishing his own lithographs in ...

Article

Henry Adams

(b Veracruz, Mar 13, 1880; d Stamford, CT, Jan 10, 1961).

Mexican illustrator, writer, gallery owner, and publisher, active in the USA. He was the son of a wealthy Mexican lawyer and publisher. De Zayas started his career as an artist by providing drawings for his father’s newspaper in Veracruz. In 1906 he moved on to Mexico City’s leading newspaper, El Diario, but a year later, after the ascension of the dictator Porfirio Diaz, whom the newspaper had opposed, he fled to the USA. There he landed a position making caricatures for the New York Evening World. Shortly after his arrival in the USA, he came into contact with Alfred Stieglitz, who staged solo shows of De Zayas’s caricatures at his gallery Gallery 291 in 1909 and 1910, both of which proved to be huge popular successes.

In 1910 De Zayas traveled to Paris, where he stayed almost a year, scouting out adventurous forms of modern art for Stieglitz, notably the cubist work of Picasso and African sculpture. On his return, equipped with knowledge of European modern art and inspired by the work of the French modernist ...

Article

American, 21st century, male.

Born 1 July 1974.

Active in Brooklyn, New York.

Painter, curator. Artists’ books.

Appropriation art.

Eric Doeringer graduated from Brown University in 1996 with a BA degree, and received an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in ...

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 ...

Article

British, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1964, in Wakefield (West Yorkshire), England.

Curator, writer, artist, publisher. Artists’ books.

After studying fine art at Newcastle Polytechnic (now the University of Northumbria), in 1988 Matthew Higgs moved to London. Building on his interest in mail art and alternative distribution strategies, as well as his history of zine making as a teen, he began publishing the experimental, anonymous ...

Article

E. A. Christensen

(b Bloomington, IL, June 19, 1856; d SS Lusitania, off Co. Cork, May 7, 1915).

American designer. He was initially a successful salesman for the Illinois-based Weller’s Practical Soaps. He settled in East Aurora, near Buffalo, NY, and abandoned selling soap in 1893. During a trip to England the following year, he met William Morris and admired the works of his Kelmscott Press. On returning to East Aurora, Hubbard employed his great showmanship to popularize a simplified version of English Arts and Crafts design for a wide audience. With the help of a local press, he began publishing monthly biographies, Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great (1895–1909), the first two of which treat the lives of George Eliot and John Ruskin. Soon after, he founded the Roycroft Press with the publication of The Philistine (1895–1915), a monthly journal combining popular philosophy, aphorisms and brief preachments with crude Art Nouveau lettering and ornament. The Song of Songs (1895), printed on handmade paper with rough and arty bindings, was the first of many Roycroft books. The press became the centre of the ...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 1823; died 1883.

Photographer, writer, editor.

After working for several years as a daguerreotypist throughout Ohio, North Carolina and New York, Samuel Dwight Humphrey opened a studio on Broadway in New York City in 1850. In November 1850 he began publishing ...

Article

Scholarly organization in New York dedicated to the promotion and study of medieval art. In 1956 the International Center of Romanesque Art (ICRA) was founded in New York as the US committee of the Centre international d’Etudes romanes (CIER). Renamed in 1966 as the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA), it has been headquartered at The Cloisters in New York City since 1969. From its early focus on French Romanesque art, ICMA has evolved into an important scholarly association advocating and promoting the study of European art, including the Mediterranean and Slavic regions, from c. ad 300 to c. 1500.

ICMA publishes Gesta, a biannual and the only journal in English dedicated to medieval art; a newsletter (three times a year), a series of censuses of medieval sculpture in American public collections and other monographs on medieval titles. Since 1998 ICMA has maintained an active website offering digital resources (e.g. International Census of Doctoral Dissertations in Medieval Art, ...

Article

American, 19th–20th century, male.

Born 4 April 1843, in Keeseville, New York; died 30 June 1942, in New York City.

Photographer, painter. Landscapes.

William Henry Jackson began his career in 1858 as a retoucher in a photography studio in Troy, New York, and soon moved on to a studio in Rutland, Vermont. Jackson enlisted in the Union Army in ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1944, in Brooklyn, New York.

Active in London.

Poet, writer, publisher. Artists’ books, conceptual writing.

Sarah Jacobs was educated at Vassar College, New York and Girton College, Cambridge, UK. Her work as a poet developed into publishing and making artists’ books. These have increasingly manipulated pre-existing texts, for example, Conrad’s ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1950, in Prague.

Active in Rosendale (New York).

Printmaker, photographer, draughtsman, paper maker. Installation art, artists’ books.

Women’s Studio Workshop.

Tatana Kellner was born in Prague and grew up in communist Czechoslovakia as the daughter of Holocaust survivors. After the Soviet invasion in ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 15 April 1947, in Lexington (Kentucky).

Artist, printmaker, writer, teacher, photographer. Artists’ books

Susan King was born and grew up in Kentucky, where she graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in art. After college she worked for Byron Temple Pottery in Lambertville, New Jersey. From there she moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico and obtained an MA at New Mexico State University. After hearing Judy Chicago speak at her school, she travelled to Los Angeles to be part of the experimental Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman’s Building, a public centre for women’s culture. King stayed in Los Angeles and began making artists’ books at the Women’s Graphic Center. She founded Paradise Press and opened her own studio in West L.A. King returned to Kentucky in ...

Article

Anne Blecksmith

(b Kiev, Sept 4, 1919; d Miami, FL, Nov 19, 1999).

American painter, photographer and publishing executive of Ukrainian birth. Raised in England and France, he received a degree in philosophy and mathematics from the Sorbonne in 1930. Connected to the Russian exile community in Paris, he was introduced to artists Aleksandr Yakovlev and Marc Chagall. In 1931, he studied painting with André Lhote and enrolled at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, where he was a student of Auguste Perret. Later that year, he transferred to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While studying architecture, he was apprenticed to graphic artist Cassandre through whom he found work at the newsweekly Vu, where he created photomontage covers with Russian Constructivist sensibilities and later rose to art director. At Vu he worked with imagery by pioneers of 35 mm photography Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï and Erich Salomon. A prolific photographer since childhood, he enthusiastically identified with the candid documentary style of the 35 mm camera.

Arriving in New York in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 January 1947, in New York.

Book artist, publisher, scholar.

Richard Minsky studied economics at Brooklyn College and Brown University. He began a PhD at the New School for Social Research before dropping out to pursue printmaking and publishing. He worked for a time as a photographer and binder at the Hirshhorn Museum, where he was inspired to create artists’ books. In ...

Article

Malcolm Gee

[Israel Ber]

(b Skole, Ukraine, March 2, 1887; d Rye, NY, April 28, 1961).

German dealer and publisher, active in the USA. Israel Ber Neumann, known as J. B. Neumann, opened his first print gallery in Berlin in 1911, exhibiting work by Edvard Munch and members of Brücke, Die. In 1913 he exhibited the complete prints of Munch in three shows and in 1915–16 was secretary to the Berlin Secession. After World War I Neumann, like other dealers in Expressionist art, initially met favourable conditions, with widespread demand for the work of such artists as Max Beckmann, who signed an exclusive contract with Neumann in 1921. This was a close but difficult relationship on both the personal and the commercial level. The deterioration of the German economic and political situation led Neumann to attempt to break into the American market, becoming permanently based in New York from 1923. He entrusted his Berlin gallery to Karl Nierendorf and the Munich one to Günther Franke. In ...