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Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Oakland, CA, 1893; d. Shiraz, Iran, 25 Jan. 1977).

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In 1930 Ackerman was stricken with polio but taught herself to walk again. They were instrumental in preparing the 1931 Persian Art Exhibition at Burlington House, London, and the Second International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, as well as the Third Congress in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1935 and the exhibition of Iranian art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940. She visited Iran for the first time in 1964, when the shah of Iran invited Pope to revive the Asia Institute; it was associated with Pahlavi University in Shiraz until ...

Article

Margaret Medley

(b London, June 11, 1914; d Pembury, Kent, July 31, 1983).

English diplomat, collector and art historian. In 1947, as a member of the British Diplomatic Service, he was posted to Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, then the capital of the Nationalist Chinese government. He became interested in Chinese art and history and began a collection of porcelain, furniture and textiles at a time of political and economic uncertainty, when Chinese collectors were forced to sell. When he moved to the British embassy in Beijing in 1954 he continued his research into Chinese ceramic history with the help of specialists from the Palace Museum. In 1963 he became British ambassador to the Philippines and was largely responsible for organizing the Manila Trade Pottery Seminar (1968), to which he also contributed five of the nine discussion monographs. From 1972 to 1974, as British ambassador to China, he played an important part in promoting the Chinese archaeological exhibition The Genius of China, held in London at the Royal Academy in ...

Article

[Pierre Urbain]

(b Paris, 1859; d Paris, 1937).

French writer and collector. He wrote for a number of journals including Le Figaro, Le Voltaire and L’Evénement. He was the first to use the term Neo-Impressionism in a French publication (L’Evénement, 10 Dec 1886) after its use by Félix Féneon in September in Art moderne in Brussels. His attitude to the emerging Neo-Impressionist movement was somewhat equivocal. In Paris (13 Aug 1888) he wrote of Seurat as ‘the man of great achievements who is in some danger of having the paternity of his own theory wrested from him by ill-informed critics or unscrupulous colleagues’. Although he admired Seurat, he had grave doubts about the effect of his theories on other artists, claiming (in the same article) that they had ‘spoilt some great talents, painters like Angrand and Signac’. His comments particularly infuriated Paul Signac and caused tension within the group. He also wrote on the work of the ...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

[art consultant]

Paid adviser employed by collectors to recommend and facilitate the purchase of works of art. There is a long history of recruitment of art experts by wealthy patrons for advisery purposes. In the 18th century art historians such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann were actively advising leading collectors like Albani family §(2). In the early 20th century the English dealer Joseph Duveen earned a knighthood for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of British galleries. Enlisted by the so-called American Robber Barons for advice in forming collections, Duveen brokered the sale of many notable Old Masters from English aristocrats to American millionaires, including Henry Clay Frick, J. P. Morgan, Henry E. Huntington, and Andrew Mellon. Their collections ultimately formed the nuclei of many great American museums. Duveen’s contemporary Bernard Berenson was an American scholar and expert on Renaissance painting who turned his hand to art advising. Berenson assisted Isabella Stewart Gardner in forming her renowned collection of Renaissance art. His legacy as an academic is controversial thanks to his habit of accepting payment in exchange for favourable ...

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Statistical measure showing the development of art prices since a chosen base year. Index series are often represented as graphs, and allow for a comparison with the performance of other assets. An index also enables the measurement of the correlation of art returns with changes in valuations of other investments. Two techniques are commonly used to construct an art price index based on auction transaction data. First, so-called ‘hedonic’ methods use all available sales information to measure changes in quality-adjusted average transaction prices. Second, ‘repeat-sales’ regression models only use price information on artworks for which at least two transactions are observed to estimate the average return in each period.

Measuring the returns to art Investments is not methodologically straightforward. While for a publicly traded financial asset (e.g. a stock in a large company) a price can typically be observed on any given day, in the Art market each item is unique and trades only very infrequently. Ideally, an art index would track the total monetary value of a representative portfolio of objects over time, but this is not possible as we do not observe prices for the same set of artworks in every period. For this reason, even an index based on unadjusted average prices will not accurately capture changes in the willingness to pay for art over time. For example, even if the average price of all transacted artworks is twice as large in one period compared to the previous one, this does not mean that the typical item has doubled in value; it could be that in the second period there were more transactions of relatively more attractive works....

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Set of financial methods, instruments, and business models that are used in the Art market. Important developments since the 1960s include the spreading availability and use of art price information and price indexes (see Art index), the emergence of loans collateralized by artworks, repeated efforts to create art investment structures, and a strong growth in art market advisory services provided by wealth managers and new entrepreneurs (see also Investment).

The first major development has been the spread of art price information and art price indexes over the last half-century. After a few difficult decades, art price levels and public interest in the art market were going up again in the 1950s and 1960s. A number of books on the history of the art market and on art investment that were published around that time—Le Vie Etrange des Objets (1959) by Maurice Rheims, Art as an Investment...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Prior to the 20th century, the attribution of works of art was not governed by rigid regulations, and art dealers and auctioneers assigned attributions based purely on aesthetic grounds. Works were attributed to the artist whose manner they most closely resembled, but they were not further distinguished on the basis of quality; as a result, many paintings purchased as Renaissance masterpieces in the 18th or 19th century have since been downgraded to studio works or even much later pastiches.

Historically, the patrons who commissioned Old Masters placed a premium on subject-matter rather than originality, and popular narratives were requested by multiple patrons, creating conditions in which the demand for copies could flourish (see Copy). Popular compositions were often reproduced many times: by the master himself, an apprentice in his workshop, or even a later follower or imitator. A master trained his apprentices to approximate his manner as closely as possible, and sold the finished work under his own name. In some cases a master would paint the most important part of a work (such as the faces of the central figures) before delegating the rest to apprentices. Through the 19th century, pupils at prestigious institutions were taught by making copies of works by acknowledged masters. Many pieces, particularly drawings (which for much of their history were working tools, rather than art objects), were unsigned. Damaged or incomplete works of art were subjected to extensive restoration or reworking by later artists, a process that can cloud the question of attribution....

Article

Etrenne Lymbery

(b Paris, Feb 6, 1849; d Paris, 1931).

French writer. In 1866 he entered the Ministry for the Colonies, which he left in 1886 to devote himself to book collecting, building up a remarkable library of French prints. He was guided by the bibliophile Eugene Paillet, a greater part of whose library he purchased in 1887. Beraldi’s talent and well-developed critical sense were obvious, and he quickly established his reputation. He was the author of numerous works on artists and printmakers, such as L’Oeuvre de Moreau le Jeune (Paris, 1874), published under the pseudonym Draibel, the first catalogue of the works of Jean-Michel Moreau, Les Graveurs du XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1880–82) in collaboration with R. Portalis, and Mes Estampes (Lille, 1884), a catalogue of the prints, portraits and books belonging to him and to his father. He also compiled a catalogue of Paillet’s library, but his most famous book is the invaluable Les Graveurs du XIXe siècle...

Article

(b Leiden, May 17, 1871; d The Hague, Jan 16, 1956).

Dutch collector and critic. He began his career as an artist, painting pointillist works such as Landscape with a Windmill (1894; Leiden, Stedel. Mus. Lakenhal), but soon turned to theory rather than practice. From 1895 he was an ardent defender of the anti-naturalist view, considering the role of art to be the representation of the inner life of the artist rather than the imitation of the visible world. He wrote widely on this and related topics in the periodicals Modern Kunstwerke (1903–10) and Beeldende Kunst (1913–38), which he edited: he also lectured extensively, and encouraged and supported young artists. Bremmer was extremely influential in the collecting of art in the Netherlands in the first years of this century, most spectacularly in the building up of the Kröller-Muller museum at Otterlo. He met Helene Kröller-Muller in 1906 and inspired her to transfer her allegiance from Delft china to modern art: over the 30 years during which he guided her buying she acquired notable groups of works by ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b 1872; d Srinagar, 1955).

English art historian, museum curator, educationalist, painter and collector. In 1899, after a short period of training as an archaeologist in Egypt, Brown went to India, where he served as curator of Lahore Museum and principal of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore. While working in these posts, he was also assistant director of the Delhi Exhibition of 1902–3 (see Delhi, §II), under George Watt. In 1909 he took up employment in Calcutta as principal of the Government School of Art and curator of the art section of the Indian Museum. In 1927 he retired from the Indian Educational Service to take up an appointment as secretary and curator of the Victoria Memorial Hall in Calcutta, where he remained until 1947. After this he lived on a houseboat on the Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir.

Brown’s earliest publications included a contribution to the catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition and a descriptive guide to the Department of Industrial Art at Lahore Museum in ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

(b Puits, Côte d’Or, 1865; d Paris, June 6, 1926).

French critic and collector. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris but soon devoted himself to literary and artistic criticism, producing a series of monographs on writers and artists. One of his more important books is Cubistes, Futuristes, Passéistes (1914), in which he briefly surveyed the work of a number of young artists. He praised Picasso’s virtuosity and adaptability and, whilst calling him the foremost Cubist, claimed Braque’s version of Cubism to be more accessible and decorative. The Futurists, with the exception of Umberto Boccioni’s sculpture, are all grouped together with a reprint of two of their artistic manifestos.

In 1924 Coquiot published two complementary books, Des Gloires déboulonnées and Des Peintres maudits. The first of these deals with ten artists, including Degas, Gustave Moreau and Félicien Rops, who he claimed had been falsely idolized by critics and dealers. These were contrasted with the ten artists of the second book, such as van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin, whom he regarded as largely ignored despite what he saw as their greater ability. In the latter book he included Rouault, whom he was one of the first to support as a critic and collector. He emphasized the ferocity of Rouault’s work, writing: ‘…he tracks the Woman, the Woman of all ages … As soon as Rouault seizes a woman, he pickles her in vinegar, in acids’ (p. 119). In addition to works by ...

Article

Joseph R. Givens

The sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002) developed cultural capital theory as way to examine the influence of intangible resources on the phenomena of social reproduction and social mobility. He described a society of competing classes, arranged in a hierarchy of prestige. The classes are composed of individual agents who attempt to climb the socio-economic ladder by maximizing the use of capital resources, which include both material objects of symbolic value and intangible attributes that imply prestige and power. Bourdieu identified four types of capital: economic, social, symbolic, and cultural. Economic capital represents one’s financial resources, social capital consists of one’s social support system, symbolic capital describes one’s prestige, and cultural capital includes the knowledge, values, and skills that support an understanding of cultural relations and cultural artefacts. The forms of capital are inequitably distributed among classes, and one form of capital can be converted to another. Since the value of capital is defined by social relations within a specific field, agents strategize the best way to leverage their capital for maximum gain of the valued capital within that field....

Article

Franco Bernabei

(b Pescara, March 12, 1863; d Gardone Riviera, nr Brescia, March 1, 1938).

Italian writer and collector. In his youth he was a militant critic of figurative art, especially in newspaper articles: his interest was limited to contemporary painting. All his life he was a collector of art objects, although not always of refined taste. In the early 1880s he went to Rome, where he frequented fashionable literary and journalistic circles and wrote news articles on art for periodicals such as La tribuna, Il fanfulla and the Cronaca bizantina, of which he was editor for a few months in 1885. His preferences as an art critic were for naturalistic painting, such as that of his great friend Francesco Paolo Michetti. He commented on Michetti’s painting The Vow (in Il fanfulla, 14 January 1883), giving a symbolic interpretation of its descriptive and narrative qualities, an approach that was to pervade Italian culture a few years later.

The new aestheticism appears most prominently in the novel ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[ Chang Ta-ch’ien ; Chang Dai–chien ; hao Dafengtang]

(b Neijiang, Sichuan Province, May 10, 1899; d Taipei, April 2, 1983).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, collector and forger . From an artistic family, he began to paint under the tutelage of his mother, Ceng Yi, and did his first paid painting for the local fortune-teller when he was 12 years old. Zhang’s elder sister gave him his first lessons in the classics. At 15 he embarked on three years of schooling at the Qiujing Academy in Chongqing. In 1917 he went to Kyoto in Japan to join his elder brother Zhang Shanzi (1882–1940). Here, Daqian learnt the art of textile painting, and the brothers collaborated in painting tigers: Shanzi painted the animals and Daqian the surroundings. Shanzi kept a pet tiger in the house, using it as his artistic model. In 1919 Zhang returned to China, where he continued his studies in Shanghai with the scholar Ceng Xi. He also studied with the artist Li Ruiqing (1867–1920) and was exposed to Li’s calligraphy in seal script (...

Article

Laura Suffield

(b Paris, May 7, 1869; d Paris, Nov 9, 1927).

French collector, writer and etcher. He began to collect prints at the age of 13 and rapidly established a reputation as a connoisseur and expert, particularly in the field of modern prints. His principal work is the 31-volume series Le Peintre-graveur illustré (Paris, 1906–30); his other publications include works on 19th- and 20th-century prints and c. 500 auction-room catalogues. His own etchings were exhibited at the Salons of 1888 and 1897, and he was an officer of the Société des Peintres-graveurs Français and the Société pour l’Etude de la Gravure Française. His first print collection was sold at auction in 1890, the second in Paris, 13–15 June 1928, comprising 404 lots of modern prints.

with N. A. Hazard: Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre lithographié de H. Daumier (Paris, 1904) Le Peintre-graveur illustré, 31 vols (Paris, 1906–30) Manuel de l’amateur d’estampes du XVIII siècle (Paris, 1910) Manuel de l’amateur d’estampes des XIX et XX siècles...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 June 1931, in Eatonton (Georgia).

Painter, draughtsman (including ink), collage artist, print artist, sculptor, collector, art historian. Religious subjects, figures, portraits, figure compositions, scenes with figures, landscapes. Designs for stained glass.

David C. Driskell earned a BFA at Howard University in ...

Article

A. Deirdre Robson

(b Flint, MI, Nov 5, 1859; d Chicago, IL, July 21, 1920).

American critic, collector and lawyer. He wrote books on legal and economic issues in the 1900s. He first became interested in art, notably that of James Abbott McNeil Whistler and François-Auguste-René Rodin through the World’s Fair of Chicago in 1893. He began to lecture on art and aesthetics and published his first art book Delight, the Soul of Art (Philadelphia, 1904). In 1912 he became interested in 20th-century art. It was, however, the Armory Show (1913) that inspired him to become a serious collector of avant-garde art; he acquired 25 works from the exhibition. Subsequently he travelled to London and Germany, where he met Vasily Kandinsky and other artists and added c. 100 works to his collection.

In 1914 Eddy published Cubists and Post-Impressionism (Chicago). Based on information elicited from the artists themselves, this book is significant as one of the first attempts to explain modern art in the USA, but in its emphasis upon such painters as Kandinsky (it included the first discussion in English of this painter’s ideas) it betrays Eddy’s enthusiasm for colouristic abstraction. Eddy continued to collect, although the emphasis lay upon American modernism. On his death the collection was dispersed and 23 works went to the ...

Article

David Cohen

[James] (Howard Stanley)

(b Cardiff, April 7, 1895; d Edinburgh, March 15, 1990).

British collector and critic. He studied at Newlyn Art School, Cornwall, shortly before World War I. He then held relatively modest positions, including Assistant to the Director at the Tate Gallery in London from 1920 to 1935, and during this time was able to purchase for his own collection works turned down by his superiors: in 1926 he bought for £100 a large consignment of drawings and sculptures by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, whose biography he published in 1930 (made into a film by Ken Russell in 1972). In the 1930s Ede lived in Hampstead, north London, close to Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth (three artists whose work he collected), and also Herbert Read, Paul Nash and Adrian Stokes, all of whom he came to know. From 1936 he lived in north Africa and southern France, moving in 1957 to Cambridge, where he had grown up. He acquired a row of derelict cottages that he converted into his home and an informal museum, ...

Article

Jeremy Howard and Sergey Kuznetsov

(Davydovich) [Pinkwas Beniamin; Lyubitel’]

(b Lublin [now Poland], Oct 10, 1866; d Moscow, Sept 15, 1948).

Russian critic and collector. Having completed his studies at the Commercial Faculty of Riga Polytechnic (1887) he began a career as a banker in Moscow. Simultaneously he took up writing on art and in 1903 became art critic for the newspaper Russkiye vedomosti. He subsequently wrote for several of the leading European art journals of the early 20th century, such as The Studio (1904–29), for which he was Moscow correspondent, Mir iskusstva (‘World of art’; 1904), Vesy (1905–8), Die Kunst (1907–14), Der Cicerone (1909–30), Russkiy bibliofil (1912–16), Sredi kollektsionerov (1921–4) and Apollon (1910–17), for which he was in charge of the ‘Rossica’ and ‘Artistic news from the West’ sections. This work, together with his copious correspondence with many leading artists and other cultural figures from all over Europe, made him one of the foremost informants, for both Eastern and Western Europe, on artistic developments across the continent. In ...