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Article

Pamela H. Simpson

(b Philadelphia, PA, April 1, 1852; d London, Aug 1, 1911).

American painter, illustrator, and muralist, active also in England. Abbey began his art studies at the age of 14 in his native Philadelphia where he worked with Isaac L. Williams (1817–95). Two years later he enrolled in night classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art working under Christian Schussele (1824–1979), but by then Abbey was already a published illustrator. In the 1870s his drawings appeared in numerous publications, but it was his work for Harper & Brothers that proved most important to his career. In 1871 he moved to New York, and in 1878, Harper’s sent him on a research trip to England. He found such affinity with the country that he made it his home for the rest of his life. After 1889 he devoted more time to painting, was elected a Royal Academician in 1898, and in 1902 was chosen by Edward VII (...

Article

Eleanor Jones Harvey

(b Allegheny, PA, Oct 7, 1856; d New York, May 31, 1915).

American painter and illustrator. He began his career in New York in 1875 as a political cartoonist and illustrator for Harper’s Weekly. In 1877 he went to Paris for his first formal art training, and then to Munich, where he enrolled at the Kunstakademie under Gyuala Benczúr. In 1878 he joined a colony of American painters established by Frank Duveneck in Polling, Bavaria. In 1879 they travelled to Italy, where Alexander formed friendships with James McNeill Whistler and Henry James. In 1881 he returned to New York, working as an illustrator for Harper’s, as a drawing instructor at Princeton and as a highly successful society portrait painter (see fig.). He also exhibited at the National Academy of Design. By 1893 his reputation in both Europe and America had soared, and in 1895 he was awarded a prestigious commission for a series of murals entitled the Evolution of the Book...

Article

Roberta K. Tarbell

[Margaret] (Frances)

(b Ridgefield, CT, May 2, 1895; d Kennebunk, ME, Jan 4, 1987).

American printmaker, illustrator, painter, and writer. Bacon’s artist parents, Elizabeth and Charles Roswell Bacon, met at the Art Students League around 1890. Bacon lived in Cornish, NH (1903), and in Montreuil-sur-Mer, France (1904–6), and learnt French, Latin, Greek, drawing, and writing from tutors before attending the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ (1909–13). She then attended the School of Applied Design for Women briefly and the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. In 1914 and 1915, landscape artist Jonas Lie (1880–1940) taught her oil painting. At the Art Students League (1915–20), she took the ‘Women’s Life Class’ with Kenneth Hayes Miller, portraiture with George Bellows, and painting with John Sloan, studied briefly with George Bridgman (1864–1943) and Max Weber, and received critiques in printmaking from Mahonri Young. She then studied modern painting with Andrew Dasburg (...

Article

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 ...

Article

Arthur J. Pulos

(b Adrian, MI, April 27, 1893; d New York, May 9, 1958).

American designer and writer. He studied at the Cleveland School of Art, OH, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and by 1914 he had established a reputation as an illustrator, making portraits of operatic luminaries for the New York Times. After producing plays in Los Angeles (1917), he joined the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1918) and became a leading stage designer; he invented the high-wattage spotlight and developed modern theatrical productions that blended the play, its lighting, its performers, and their costumes into a cohesive whole. He gained international attention for his stage set (1921; unexecuted) for Dante’s Divine Comedy, which revolutionized theatrical and operatic productions; it was conceived as a single, massive set with lighting coming first from below, signifying Hades, and then, as the play progressed, from high above, signifying Paradise. This led Max Reinhardt, the distinguished German producer, to commission him to design the settings for a production of ...

Article

Henry Adams

(b Neosho, MO, April 15, 1889; d Kansas City, MO, Jan 19, 1975).

American painter, illustrator, and lithographer. One of the most controversial personalities in American art, both in his lifetime and today, Thomas Hart Benton was a key figure in the American Regionalist movement of the 1930s, when he focused on working-class American subject-matter and was outspoken in his denunciation of European modern painting. Today he is best remembered for this phase of his life, and much criticized because of it. But Benton’s long career is not easily reduced to a single moment or achievement: his legacy was more complex. As a young struggling artist in Paris and New York, he was a leading American modernist and abstractionist, and in his early maturity he became the teacher and lifelong father figure for Jackson Pollock, the most famous of the Abstract Expressionists. He was also a major American writer, who wrote on art and whose autobiography of 1936 became a best-seller. He was also a notable figure in American music who collected American folk songs and devised a new form of harmonica notation that is still in use....

Article

Michael D. Willis

(b Ormskirk, Lancs, Oct 17, 1879; d Vancouver, Oct 15, 1957).

Canadian painter and illustrator of English birth. She briefly attended the Liverpool Art School, the Lambeth School of Art, London, and finally, from 1900, the Slade School of Art, London, where she studied with Henry Tonks and others. From 1901 Biller was a successful illustrator of children’s magazines, books and Christmas annuals, chiefly for T. C. & E. C. Jack of London. Many titles were translated into German, and they enjoyed wide circulation in Europe. After marrying John Biller (1912), she emigrated to Canada. While her commercial work virtually ceased there, she never stopped illustrating her life and surroundings in letters and sketchbooks. After her husband’s death in World War I, Biller settled with her two children on James Island (near Victoria) in 1919. In 1927 she moved to Victoria, where she was an active member of the (Vancouver) Island Arts and Crafts Society, founded by Josephine Crease. Biller’s watercolours often appeared in the Society’s exhibitions. Relocation to Vancouver in ...

Article

Amy Fox

(b St Petersburg, April 4, 1905; d New York, 1973).

American illustrator, graphic designer, and painter of Russian birth. Vera Bock moved to the USA in 1917 during the height of the Russian Revolution, arriving in San Francisco. The daughter of an American banker and a Russian-born concert pianist, she studied woodcutting, manuscript illumination, printing, and photogravure in England for a year, supplementing her training in painting and drawing. Her book illustration career began in 1929 with the publishing of two books, Waldemar Bonsels’s The Adventures of Maya the Bee and Elle Young’s The Tangle-Coated Horse, a book that was reviewed in 1930 for the Newbery Medal and in 1938 received retro-active Honor Book status.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s she was employed by the Federal Art Project (FAP) through the Works Progress Administration (later Works Projects Administration; WPA) of the US Government. During 1936–9 she illustrated and designed posters for the FAP New York City poster division. Most noted posters from this period are ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Boston, MA, July 10, 1868; d La Mesa, CA, Jan 25, 1962).

American book-illustrator and designer of posters, typefaces and furniture. In 1893 Bradley began designing for Vogue magazine. He subsequently worked for Ladies’ Home Journal, and in 1901–2 published an influential series of eight articles on ‘The Bradley House’; the designs in these articles (and another three in 1905) seem not to have been implemented, but they nonetheless exerted a seminal influence on public taste and on subsequent furniture design; his designs for pianos were used by Chickering & Sons of Boston. Bradley also designed two series of plates for Royal Doulton: ‘Golfers’ (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 10 July 1868, in Boston; died 1962, in New Jersey.

Draughtsman, illustrator, poster artist. Toys.

Art Nouveau.

Will Bradley was the son of a caricaturist who worked on the Daily Item, a newspaper published in Lynn, Massachusetts. At the age of 12, he became apprentice to a printer and then began drawing and illustrating, making this his full-time occupation ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1942, in Salem (Arkansas); died 25 May 1994.

Draughtsman, painter, graphic artist, assemblage artist, illustrator, set designer.

Joe Brainard was born in Salem but grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his family had moved when he was still a young boy. His father was an amateur painter and draughtsman and his grandfather a poet, and Brainard's artistic talent showed early when he began winning local competitions. In high school he met the aspiring poets Ron Padgett and Dick Gallup, with whom he founded ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born in Los Angeles.

Painter, draughtsman, graphic designer.

Craig Calsbeek graduated from the Los Angeles Art Centre College of Design. From 1978 he worked as an illustrator and advertising designer for many publications and magazines. From 1978 he received awards from the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators on an almost annual basis, including a silver medal in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1929, in Brooklyn (New York City).

Illustrator, graphic designer, theatre director. Stage costumes.

Remy Charlip studied at Black Mountain College. He became a professor at the University of California and settled in San Francisco. He is also a dancer and choreographer who worked for 11 years with the Merce Cunningham Company as a dancer, stylist and set designer. He has won numerous prizes, including the Boston Globe - Horn Book, two Obie Awards and three Isadora Duncan Awards. He has also been laureate of the San Francisco Public Library. For three years running, his books were recognised by the ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1931, in New York.

Poster artist, illustrator, graphic designer, print artist.

Seymour Chwast became acquainted with graphic art and typography while still at Abraham Lincoln High School, Coney Island. He went on to study illustration and graphic design at the Cooper Union. Since the 1950s, Chwast has been known for his expressive style, which ran counter to the then dominant Formalism. In the 1960s, together with Milton Glaser and Edward Sorel, he founded the Push pin Studio, which was to leave its mark on an entire generation of graphic designers. When the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris held a retrospective of the Push pin style, Chwast was naturally included. His touch is allied to a broad knowledge of traditional design, styles and forms, which he applies to illustration. From his beginnings at Cooper Union, he has worked as a woodcut artist, using woodcuts in his graphic work. A committed, non-conformist artist, Chwast was influenced by the work of André François and Saul Steinberg. He has also illustrated numerous children's books. In ...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b New York, Aug 18, 1931).

American graphic designer and illustrator. Chwast drew prodigiously in comic-book fashion as a child. From 1948 to 1951 he studied design, illustration, painting, and woodcut at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, and was influenced by the work of such artists as Paul Klee, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn. He worked as a junior designer in the advertising department of the New York Times and then for House and Garden and Glamour magazines. In his spare time, together with Edward Sorel (b 1929) and Reynold Ruffins (b 1930), he published the Push Pin Almanack, a promotional brochure that led to numerous freelance commissions. In 1954, with Sorel, Ruffins, and Milton Glaser, Chwast founded the Push Pin Studios, New York. Both Chwast and Glaser sought to bring a new vitality to graphic design with a return to hand-drawn lettering and illustration in contrast to the then standard use of photomontage and Bauhaus-derived, abstract forms. In the 1950s they each created elastic new ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1880, in New York; died 9 November 1964.

Painter, graphic designer, typographer.

Thomas Maitland Cleland was a member of the Architectural League of America, the Society of Illustrators, the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts and the American Instiute of Graphic Arts. He won medals at the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts in ...

Article

H. Wayne Morgan

(b Warren, OH, Oct 27, 1856; d New York, March 17, 1919).

American painter, illustrator and writer. He was a member of a prominent Ohio family who fostered in him a strong sense of moral responsibility. From an early age he wished to be a painter and despite severe illnesses studied at the McMicken School in Cincinnati, OH, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (1876–7). From 1877 to 1882 he was in Paris, where he worked first with Carolus-Duran, then with Alexandre Cabanel and Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He considered Gérôme his master, though he did not adopt his style or subject-matter. In the autumn of 1878 Cox travelled to northern Italy, where he imbibed the spirit of the Italian Renaissance. As a student he gravitated steadily towards the reigning academic ideal of draughtsmanship, especially of the figure, that was to persist throughout his career (e.g. An Eclogue, 1890; Washington, DC, N. Col. F.A.). He did paint outdoors, both landscapes and genre, and attained a sense of spontaneity and charm in many such works, but he always insisted on careful composition and interpreted form. He exhibited at the Salon in Paris between ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Philadelphia, PA, Aug 30, 1943).

American illustrator and cartoonist. Crumb became prominent during the 1960s as one of the key figures in the development of the Underground Comix movement, which was comprised of a number of different artists who self-published comic books that addressed distinctly personal and often controversial themes. His work is frequently associated with the counterculture of that period and is notable for his candid depictions of drug use and sex. Although he was self-trained, he spent much of the early 1960s working as a greeting card illustrator in Cleveland, and he later went to work for the former Mad magazine illustrator Harvey Kurtzman’s Help! In 1967, he moved to San Francisco where he began to self-publish such comic books as Zap Comix, Despair and The People’s Comics that often featured characters such as Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat. Many of these comics also included contributions by other significant cartoonists of the period such as S. Clay Wilson (...

Article

M. Sue Kendall

(b nr Dunavant, KS, Nov 14, 1897; d Madison, WI, Aug 29, 1946).

American painter and illustrator. As one of the ‘Regionalist triumvirate’, with Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, he has been most often characterized as a faithful chronicler of rural life in Kansas. From 1916 to 1918 he was at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1919 he began study in the studio of Harvey Dunn (1884–1952) in Tenafly, NJ. After seven years as an illustrator in and around New York, he went to Paris in 1926 to study with the Russian Academician Vasily Shukhayev. Ironically, it was on Curry’s return to the East Coast the following year that he began to earn his reputation as a Regionalist by painting memories of Kansas from his studio in the fashionable art colony of Westport, CT. Baptism in Kansas (1928; New York, Whitney, see American Scene painting) shows a country child being baptized in a cattle trough. Such paintings of early American life appealed to certain East Coast urban viewers seeking to recover a lost past....

Article

Charlotte Moser

(b Utica, NY, Sept 26, 1862; d Florence, Oct 24, 1928).

American painter and illustrator. He first trained as an architectural draughtsman at the Academy of Design, Chicago (1878). After studying briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, he went to New York, where he attended the Gotham School and the Art Students League (1886–8). By 1887 he was working as an illustrator for Century magazine. A realist landscape painter in the 19th-century academic tradition, he was influenced by the painters of the Hudson River school and particularly by the luminist, dream-like landscapes of George Inness.

Around 1900 Davies’s paintings became Symbolist in style, with the introduction of mystical nude figures in the landscape, as in Meeting in the Forest (1900; Montclair, NJ, A. Mus.) and Autumn—Enchanted Salutation (1907; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.). Themes combining Classical figures and landscape, which evolved in a mythical classicist style reminiscent of the work of Puvis de Chavannes, typified Davies’s work throughout his career. Increasingly drawn to ancient art and Greco-Roman civilization, he eventually identified the archaic with modernism, for example in ...