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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

(b Holywood, County Down, Ireland, Jan 26, 1922).

Australian painter, printmaker, book designer, lecturer, collector, gallery director and publisher of limited edition artists’ books, of Irish decent. He worked as a draughtsman before entering war service in the British Admiralty from 1940 to 1949, including five years in Colombo, where he made sketching trips to jungle temples with the Buddhist monk and artist Manjsiro Thero. Between 1949 and 1951 Adams worked as an exhibition designer in London and studied wood-engraving with Gertrude Hermes in her evening class at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design). In 1951, after moving to Melbourne, Adams began a 30-year teaching commitment at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he instructed many of the younger generation of Australian printmakers, including George Baldessin and Jan Senbergs. A brief return to Britain and Ireland in 1957–8 provided experience with Dolmen Press, Dublin, which published his first book of engravings, ...

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

Valerie Holman

(b Budapest, April 18, 1898; d New York, March 8, 1955).

Austrian publisher, active in England; he acquired British nationality in 1946. He founded Phaidon Verlag with Ludwig Goldscheider in Vienna in 1923 and initially published bibliophile editions of literature with great attention to good design. This was followed by literary masterpieces and contemporary criticism, and in 1930 the firm began publishing classics of writing on history in large, well-illustrated and inexpensive editions. Historical biographies followed, and among them the first three of the many that Phaidon devoted to great artists: Leben Michaelangelos and Velázquez und sein Jahrhundert (both London, 1933) and Raphael (London, 1941, 2/?1948). In 1933 Phaidon published their first large-format monographs in several different language editions, on Van Gogh (Vienna and London, 1936), the Impressionists (Vienna, 1937) and Botticelli (Vienna, 1937), which established the firm’s reputation for high quality reproduction and an international outlook. On the annexation of Austria in 1938 Sir ...

Article

Laurie A. Stein

(b Cologne, Sept 9, 1860; d Darmstadt, Jan 5, 1939).

German publisher, patron and collector. He was influential in the reform movements in art, in particular Jugendstil, the German version of Art Nouveau. Through his publications he hoped to free art from the constraints of the studio, elevate public taste and encourage the creation of a style that would be in keeping with an ideal modern culture. Trained as a printer, he started a magazine of the carpet trade, Tapetenzeitung, in 1888 and shortly afterwards, with only DM 100 as capital, established Verlagsanstalt Alexander Koch. The highly successful firm published periodicals, including Fachblatt für Innen-Dekoration (first issue 1890; since 1980 Architektur, Innenarchitektur, technischer Ausbau) and Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration (first issue 1897); catalogues, notably Grossherzog Ernst Ludwig und die Ausstellung der Künstler-Kolonie in Darmstadt von Mai bis Oktober 1901; and books, among them Handbuch neuzeitlicher Wohnungskultur (1912). He also published the Meister der Innenkunst, the series of prizewinning designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, M. H. Baillie Scott and Leopold Bauer for the competition ‘Haus eines Kunstfreundes’ of ...

Article

Concha Vela

(b Beire, Navarra, March 30, 1862; d Madrid, Dec 1, 1947).

Spanish collector, publisher and patron. He studied law in Barcelona and c. 1882 settled in Madrid, where his enthusiasm for art and literature rapidly developed. In 1888 he founded a publishing enterprise, España Moderna, and a journal of the same name containing contributions by such leading writers and intellectuals as Juan Valera and Emilia Pardo Bazán. Lázaro Galdiano used the journal to publish the most significant writings on Spanish art and translations of such books as Carl Justi’s Diego Velázquez und sein Jahrhundert, 2 vols (Bonn, 1888, rev. 1903). His publishing house also issued the Revista Internacional and several collections dealing with cultural and juridical matters. Over a period of 60 years he assembled one of the finest collections of art in Spain and in Europe, notable for its size and the quality and rarity of the works. Many pieces were acquired through his extensive travels, when he was accompanied by his wife, the wealthy Argentine Paula Florido. His collection included important illuminated manuscripts and engravings, as well as numerous examples of enamel work, from 10th-century Byzantine pieces to 16th-century Limoges enamel. He collected ivory, gold and silver objects of various periods and styles: Hellenistic, Roman, Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. There were also many examples of fans, fabrics, pieces of lace, medals, armour and furniture in his collection. Among his paintings were examples of 15th- and 16th-century Flemish and Spanish work (e.g. ...

Article

Christina Lodder

(Vasil’yevich)

(b Nizhny Novgorod, 1861; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Oct 14, 1934).

Russian painter, patron, musician, writer and publisher. He pursued a highly original line of artistic thought and practice and developed an organic perception of the world, deriving his inspiration from nature rather than machines, unlike many of his Russian Constructivist contemporaries.

Matyushin trained initially as a musician at the Moscow Conservatory (1878–81) and played the violin in the Court orchestra in St Petersburg from 1881 to 1913. In 1889 he began to attend the School of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in St Petersburg, where he studied painting with Yan Tsionglinsky (d 1914). In Tsionglinsky’s studio he met the artist and writer Yelena Guro, whom he married. Later (1906–8) he studied with the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) painters Léon Bakst and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky at the Zvantseva School of Art in St Petersburg.

In 1909 Matyushin briefly joined the circle around Nikolay Kul’bin and the following year he founded the ...

Article

Judith Zilczer

(b Hoboken, NJ, Jan 1, 1864; d New York, July 13, 1946).

American photographer, editor, publisher, patron and dealer. Internationally acclaimed as a pioneer of modern photography, he produced a rich and significant body of work between 1883 and 1937 (see fig.). He championed photography as a graphic medium equal in stature to high art and fostered the growth of the cultural vanguard in New York in the early 20th century.

The first of six children born to an upper-middle-class couple of German–Jewish heritage, Stieglitz discovered the pleasure of amateur photography after 1881, when his family left New York to settle temporarily in Germany. His father, Edward Stieglitz, had retired from a successful business in the wool trade with a fortune that enabled him to educate his children abroad. In 1882 Alfred enrolled in the mechanical engineering programme of the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, but he spent his spare time experimenting with photography in a darkroom improvised in his student quarters. His self-directed experiments led him to study photochemistry with the eminent scientist Hermann ...

Article

Zervos  

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine

French collectors, writers and patrons. Christian Zervos (b Cephalonia, Greece, 1 Jan 1889; d Paris, 12 Sept 1970) was of Greek origin and worked briefly for the magazine L’Art d’aujourd’hui, before founding Cahiers d’art in 1926. Covering contemporary painting and sculpture, music, architecture, film and photography, this magazine was internationally acclaimed not only for its promotion of major modernist artists but also for its immaculate presentation and typography. Its authors included critics, historians and aestheticians (Zervos himself, Tériade, Maurice Raynal, Georges Duthuit, P. G. Bruguière, Dupin), lending each issue a balance of historical analysis and poetic sensibility. Zervos’s concern with the relationship of image to text also extended to confrontations between contemporary art and non-European or primitive sources, such as Cycladic, African, or Oceanic art.

In addition to his editorial work, Zervos published his own monograph on Henri Rousseau (1927) and then books by other authors on Frank Lloyd Wright (...