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Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Active in Exeter, USA, from 1770 to 1810.

Engraver. Ex-libris plates.

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1773, in Charleston (South Carolina); died 1846, in Philadelphia.

Engraver (line-engraving), illustrator.

James Akin was born in South Carolina, but moved first to Philadelphia and then to Newburyport and Salem in Massachusetts. Among his works are a portrait of ...

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Engraver.

S. Allardice was a pupil and rival of the engraver R. Scott in Philadelphia. He engraved illustrations from 1794 to 1803, working mainly in line engraving.

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1755, in Farmington (Connecticut); died 1825.

Engraver.

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1780, in Enfield (Connecticut); died 1821, in Ithaca (New York).

Painter, engraver.

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1779, in Charleston (South Carolina); died 1843, in Cambridge (Massachusetts).

Painter. Biblical subjects, literary subjects, mythological subjects, portraits.

Washington Allston was intended for a career in one of the professions and studied classics at Harvard. However, his Romantic artistic tastes took him over and he was deeply moved by Schiller and by Fuseli's illustrations to Boydell's ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1756; d 1833).

American chair-maker, active in Philadelphia, specializing in Windsor chairs, which were painted or gilded. His relatives (possibly sons) John and Peter Allwine were apprenticed to him. The first family workshop opened on South Front Street in 1791, and the last, on Sassafras Street (now Race Street), closed in 1809, when Lawrence and John migrated to Zanesville, in Muskingum County, OH, they continued to make chairs, and also ran a tavern. Lawrence Allwine is the eponym of the varnish known as ‘Allwine Gloss’....

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1768; died 1836.

Painter. Portraits.

Ezra Ames worked in the State of New York. In 1812 he exhibited a Portrait of Governor George Clinton, which earned him many commissions, especially from local sitters. The Capitol Library of Albany possesses a fine ...

Article

Leah Lipton

(b Framingham, MA, May 5, 1768; d Albany, NY, Feb 23, 1836).

American painter and craftsman. After working briefly in Worcester, MA (1790–93), painting miniatures, chimney-pieces, signs and sleighs, he settled permanently in Albany, NY. There he practised various crafts, including framemaking and painting ornamental clockfaces. Active in the Masonic Temple, he held a high position in the New York chapter from 1802 to 1826. For the Masons he made signs, aprons, urns and carpet designs. Entries in his account books indicate that by 1813 he was primarily painting portraits, improving his technique by copying works by John Singleton Copley and Gilbert Stuart. His first major success was the sale of a portrait of George Clinton, Governor of New York and vice-president of the USA, to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1812; destr. 1845). Laudatory reviews generated requests for replicas, including an ambitious but somewhat awkward full-length version (c. 1813; Albany, NY, State Capitol). Ames also painted the official portrait of George Clinton’s nephew, ...

Article

(b Quebec, Qué., Aug 10, 1764; d Quebec, Qué., June 3, 1839).

Canadian metalworker. He studied at the Petit Seminaire du Québec from 1778 to 1780 and began his apprenticeship c. 1780 in the silversmith’s shop of his elder brother, Jean-Nicolas Amiot (1750–1821); the tradition that he was apprenticed to François Ranvoyzé is unfounded. In 1782 he travelled to Paris to complete his training and remained there for five years, supported by his family. He absorbed the Louis XVI style, then popular in France, and after his return to Quebec in 1787 he set up a workshop to introduce this into Canada.

Much of Amiot’s work was for the Church, reworking traditional forms in the Louis XVI style. In a sanctuary lamp of 1788 for the church at Repentigny he elongated the standard shape and decorated it with a balanced arrangement of Neo-classical designs. After 1800 his work became formulaic and less innovative, though there are such notable exceptions as the chalice (...

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1775, in New York; died 17 January 1870, in New Jersey.

Engraver, draughtsman, illustrator.

Alexander Anderson, the son of a Scotsman, was the first person to practise wood engraving in the USA. He first studied medicine and qualified as a doctor in ...

Article

David Tatham

(b New York, April 21, 1775; d Jersey City, NJ, Jan 17, 1870).

American wood-engraver. Anderson was the first important American wood-engraver. He was self-taught and made woodcuts for newspapers at the age of 12. Between c. 1792 and 1798, when he studied and practised medicine, he engraved wood as a secondary occupation, but following the death of his family in the yellow fever epidemic of 1798, he abandoned medicine and worked as a graphic artist. He was an early follower of Thomas Bewick’s white-line style. He usually engraved the designs of others, such as Benjamin West, but he was a skilful and original draughtsman, as can be seen in his illustrations for Durell’s edition of Homer’s Iliad (New York, 1808). He exhibited frequently at the American Academy and was a founder-member of the National Academy of Design (1825). Anderson spent his long and prolific career in New York, engraving mainly for book publishers and magazines but also producing pictorial matter for printed ephemera. He worked steadily until the late 1850s, cut his last blocks in ...

Article

Donna J. Hassler

(b New Haven, CT, Feb 21, 1791; d New Haven, CT, Jan 10, 1858).

American sculptor. Although as a youth he showed talent for handling tools, his father, a joiner and carpenter, discouraged him from becoming a wood-carver. After opening a fruit shop in New Haven, he began carving musical instruments and furniture legs for a local cabinetmaker. With his invention of a lace-making machine, he was able to settle his business debts and devote himself entirely to sculpture.

About 1825 Samuel F. B. Morse encouraged Augur to try working in marble. Among his earliest attempts in this medium was a bust of Professor Alexander Metcalf Fisher (c. 1825–7; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.), which was exhibited in 1827 at the National Academy of Design in New York. The impact of the Neo-classical style is clearly evident in his most ambitious work, Jephthah and his Daughter (c. 1828–30; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.), a pair of free-standing half life-size marble figures. The treatment of the heads shows Roman influence, which Augur must have absorbed from engravings; this is borne out by the detailed work on Jephthah’s armour. The bold handling of the hair and drapery reveals his experience as a wood-carver. In ...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Milton, MA, 1751; d Dorchester Lower Mills, MA, Aug 25, 1815).

American cabinetmaker . His father, also Stephen Badlam (1721–58), was a part-time cabinetmaker and tavern keeper. Orphaned at a young age, Badlam was trained both as a surveyor and as a cabinetmaker. Soon after the outbreak of the American Revolution he was commissioned as a major in the artillery. He resigned within a year because of illness but after the war was made a general in the Massachusetts militia. On his return to Dorchester Lower Mills, he opened a cabinetmaking shop in his house and became active in civic affairs. He built up a substantial business, which included participation in the thriving coast trade, and even sold furniture through the warehouse of Thomas Seymour in Boston. He also provided turning for other cabinetmakers in the neighbourhood and sold picture-frame materials and window glass. Several chairs in the Federal style with characteristic carved and stopped fluted legs are stamped with his mark, but his fame rests on the monumental mahogany chest-on-chest (...

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Active in Philadelphia and New Yorkc.1795-1803.

Engraver.

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1760; d 1838).

Irish–American cabinetmaker. He was a native of Dublin who trained in London before emigrating in late 1794 to Philadelphia, which was then the capital of America. In 1812 he entered into partnership with his son and advertised his ‘fashionable Cabinet Furniture, superbly finished in the rich Egyptian and Gothic style’. Surviving examples of his furniture are in Neo-classical style, such as the sideboard in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City....

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1739; died 1823.

Painter.

William Bartram travelled through the eastern states painting the landscapes he saw.

Article

Amy Meyers

(b Kingsessing, PA, Feb 9, 1739; d Kingsessing, July 22, 1823).

American Naturalist and draughtsman. The son of the Pennsylvania naturalist John Bartram (1699–1777), he executed his first drawings in the 1750s as illustrations to his father’s observations on the flora and fauna of North America. Bartram accompanied his father on numerous collecting trips in the north-eastern colonies and on an expedition to Florida in 1765. His drawings were disseminated to European naturalists by his father’s friend and colleague Peter Collinson (1694–1768), an English merchant who was an important promoter of natural science in the 18th century. Compositionally, Bartram’s early works were structured after etchings by the English naturalists Mark Catesby and George Edwards (1694–1773). These artists were among the first to present organisms as part of their larger physical habitats—a practice that Bartram carried forward in his own work, challenging the traditional notion that organisms can be defined solely according to their own physical attributes. Through his drawings Bartram explored the complex interchange that occurs between animals and plants and their environmental contexts, defying the notion that individual organisms fall naturally into an abstract, hierarchical chain of being. He characteristically employed an undulating line that imparts energy to all the elements of a scene, suggesting that the whole of organic creation is united by a single, animated spirit....

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1744, in Philadelphia; died 1812, in Philadelphia.

Painter, miniaturist. Portraits, landscapes.

In 1770 Henry Benbridge went to Italy, where he studied with Battoni and Mengs. He returned to the USA around 1774 and painted portraits and landscapes. At the Society of Free Artists in London he exhibited a portrait of the Corsican general ...

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Hartland, CT, June 15, 1773; d Springfield, MA, July 26, 1845).

American architect and writer. Benjamin was one of the most influential architect–writers of the first half of the 19th century in the USA and was trained as a housewright in rural Connecticut between 1787 and 1794. Two of his earliest commissions, the carving of Ionic capitals (1794) for the Oliver Phelps House in Suffield, CT, and the construction of an elliptical staircase (1795) in Charles Bulfinch’s Connecticut State Capitol at Hartford, reveal an exceptional ability with architectural geometry that was to help to determine the direction of his career. Benjamin worked as a housewright in a succession of towns along the Connecticut River during the 1790s. In 1797, dissatisfied with the publications of William Pain, an English popularizer of the Neo-classical style of Robert Adam, Benjamin wrote The Country Builder’s Assistant, a modest handbook for carpenters that was the first such work by an American writer. In ...