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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

Linda Whiteley

[Bernheim]

French family of dealers and publishers. Joseph Bernheim (b Besançon; bapt 31 March 1790; d 1859) was a colourman and artists’ supplier in Besançon. His son Alexandre Bernheim-Jeune (b Besançon, 3 April 1839; d Paris, 2 March 1915) moved to Paris in 1863 and two years later set up a gallery there in the Rue Laffitte, apparently on the advice of Courbet, who was, like himself, a native of the Franche-Comté region. Bernheim-Jeune knew Delacroix and Corot and was at first particularly associated with the Barbizon school and with Théodule Ribot, exhibiting the latter’s work in 1887 and 1890. Part of the family’s business was established in Brussels as early as 1867 and the family presumably moved there—as did several other dealers—during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). Alexandre’s two sons, Joseph (‘Josse’) Bernheim-Jeune [Bernheim d’Auberville] (b 2 Jan 1870; d Paris, 5 July 1941...

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

Ingrid Severin

(b Görlitz, Feb 21, 1871; d Berlin, Jan 7, 1926).

German dealer, publisher and journalist. After studying art history at the University of Munich, where he was co-editor of Simplicissimus from 1896 to 1898, he established himself in 1898 as a publisher and dealer in Berlin, helping contemporary artists towards international recognition. In 1908 he founded Verlag Paul Cassirer, a firm that published belles-lettres, especially Expressionist literature, and that promoted such artists as Ernst Barlach. In 1910 he married Ottilie Godefroy, who wrote her memoirs many years later under her stage name of Tilla Durieux.

Cassirer founded the Pan-Presse in 1909, edited the bi-monthly Pan in 1910 and in 1913 founded the journal Die Weissen Blätter, containing comment on literature and art, which he published until 1921. Already President of the Berlin Secession, in 1913 he founded the Freie Sezession, whose exhibitions he planned. In the years preceding World War I Cassirer became a friend of Paul Durand-Ruel and promoted the work of the ...

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

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

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine

(b Mannheim, June 25, 1884; d Paris, Jan 11, 1979).

German art dealer, publisher, and writer, active in France. In 1902 he left the Jewish community of Mannheim for Paris, where he assiduously visited museums, galleries, and salons, while training for a career as a banker or stockbroker. In spring 1907 he obtained sufficient funds from his family to launch the tiny Galerie Kahnweiler at 28, Rue Vignon. That year he purchased works at the Salon des Indépendants and at the Salon d’Automne (by Kees van Dongen, Matisse, Derain, and Braque), and in the same year he met Picasso and visited his studio in the Bateau-Lavoir. There he saw the recently completed Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907; New York, MOMA). The visit was decisive. Kahnweiler immediately supported Picasso and also Braque, whose exhibition of November 1908, one of Kahnweiler’s rare one-man shows before World War I, prompted the coining of the term Cubism. Kahnweiler proved instrumental in promoting the style, numbering among his few faithful clients ...

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

Maeght  

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine

French dealers and publishers. Aimé Maeght (b nr St-Omer, 27 April 1906; d 1981) first worked as a lithographic draughtsman and poster designer, joining the printing firm Robaudy in Cannes at the age of 20. In 1928 he married Marguerite Devaye (b Cannes, 25 April 1905; d 31 July 1977) with whom he opened a shop selling radios in 1932 while still working as a lithographer and advertising designer. In 1937 they opened the Galerie Arte in Cannes, where they exhibited the work of painters such as Georges Rouault, Jean Pougny, Roger Chastel, Henri Lebasque and Jean-Gabriel Domergue. With the encouragement of Pierre Bonnard, a friend of the Maeghts from 1941, and of Matisse and other artists and writers whom they met in the south of France, they decided to devote themselves to art publishing and dealing. In late 1945 they settled in Paris and opened the ...

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

(b Brussels, Nov 27, 1903; d Brussels, May 13, 1971).

Belgian writer, exhibition organizer, collagist and composer. As a young composer he was influenced by Erik Satie. He collaborated on Dadaist-inspired journals and published, with René Magritte, Œsophage (1925), the only issue of which, containing the poems of Hans Arp, Tristan Tzara and Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, remained faithful to the Dada spirit. In 1926 Marie, a ‘journal bi-mensuel pour la belle jeunesse’, published under his direction, pursued the same vein; it only had two issues. Mesens was involved in the establishment of a Surrealist movement (see Surrealism), which was strongly permeated with Dadaism in Belgium. In 1927 he became Director of the Galerie L’Epoque and in 1931 of the Galerie Mesens, both in Brussels. Miró, Magritte and Max Ernst all exhibited with him. He founded the Editions Nicolas Flamel, which published the Surrealists’ collective homage to a parricide, Violette Nozières (Brussels, 1933), André Breton’s lecture ‘Qu’est-ce que le surréalisme’, held on the occasion of the first international Surrealist exhibition organized in Brussels by Mesens under the auspices of ...

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 ...

Article

Sepp Kern

(b Pulsnitz, nr Dresden, Jan 28, 1938).

German printmaker, publisher and art dealer. He was self-taught as an artist and produced his first prints and posters in 1960. In 1965 he founded the publishing house Edition Tangente in Heidelberg (now Edition Staeck). In his mass-produced posters, postcards and stickers, aimed at a large audience, he used mainly collage and photomontage techniques. In terms of the social–critical message, the relation between image and text is of prime importance: Albrecht Dürer’s portrait drawing of his 63-year-old mother (1514; Berlin, Kupferstichkab.) was provocatively reproduced on a poster with the caption ‘Würden Sie dieser Frau ein Zimmer vermieten?’ (see 1978 exh. cat., no. 45). In the 1970s, when he actively worked for the political left, he achieved a great deal through irony. He also made purely textual posters (e.g. ‘Die Reichen müssen noch reicher werden’ and ‘Die Mieten müssen steigen—wählt christdemokratisch!’; see 1974 exh. cat., pp. 89–90). In numerous exhibitions and through his publishing house, he attempted to display the political components of art, and this led to a collaboration with ...

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

Oliver Garnett

English firm of art dealers and print publishers. Thomas Agnew (b Liverpool, 16 Dec 1794; d Fair Hope, Eccles, Greater Manchester, 24 March 1871) became a partner in the Manchester firm of Vittore Zanetti, framemaker, dealer in works of art and scientific instruments, and print publisher, in 1817. He took sole control of the business in 1835, opening a branch in London in 1860. His greatest achievement was to develop the market for contemporary English pictures among the newly wealthy class of northern businessman. He specialized in genre and modern-life subjects by such artists as William Mulready, William Collins, William Powell Frith, Edwin Landseer and John Phillip, which he sold for high prices. He was motivated by the utilitarian principles of Swedenborgianism, which encouraged him to help found the Salford Museum in 1850 and bequeath pictures to it. He retired in 1861 in favour of his sons, Sir ...

Article

Malcolm Gee

(b St-Denis, Réunion, c. 1867; d Paris, Feb 19, 1939)

French art dealer and publisher. He was the most notable contemporary art dealer of his generation in France, as well as an innovative publisher of prints and illustrated books. Brought up in Réunion, he arrived in Paris c. 1890 as a law student and soon started buying and selling prints and drawings for his own pleasure. After a period working at L’Union Artistique for Alphonse Dumas, an established dealer, he set up on his own and in 1894 opened a small gallery near the Opéra on the Rue Laffitte, then the centre of the Paris art trade.

Vollard made his first major impact as a dealer in 1895 when he organized Cézanne’s first one-man exhibition. Over the next ten years he built up, at relatively low cost, a large stock of paintings by Cézanne, which eventually provided him with enormous profits. Concurrently he acquired work by van Gogh, Gauguin, Bonnard, ...

Article

The Federal Art Project (FAP) was the visual arts branch of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a government agency created in 1935 to find employment for people on public projects in response to the Great Depression. In December 1933 the ambitious Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) was set up to create regional offices to employ artists, with Edward Bruce of the Treasury Department as national director. The successful program employed some 3749 artists across the country, but it was phased out by the summer of 1934. (Bruce later headed other programs under the Treasury Department that employed artists.)

With the relief needs of artists, writers, musicians and theater people unresolved and with the experimental climate of the New Deal still energizing legislation, Harry Hopkins of the WPA set up Federal Project No. 1 in August 1935, which had the most far-reaching cultural impact on the country. There were four cultural projects: Art, Music, Theatre and Writers. For the art project, ...