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Article

Arai, Tomie  

Margo Machida

(b New York, Aug 16, 1949).

American printmaker and installation artist. Born and raised in New York City, Arai, a third-generation Japanese American printmaker, mixed-media artist, public artist and cultural activist, studied art at the Philadelphia College of Art and The Printmaking Workshop in New York. Since the 1970s, her diverse projects have ranged from individual works to large-scale public commissions (see Public art in the 21st century). She has designed permanent public works, including an interior mural commemorating the African burial ground in lower Manhattan and an outdoor mural for Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Other works include Wall of Respect for Women (1974), a mural on New York’s Lower East Side, which was a collaboration between Arai and women from the local community. Her art has been exhibited in such venues as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, International Center for Photography, P.S.1 Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, all New York and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Joan Mitchell Foundation....

Article

Benson, Frank W(eston)  

Bailey Van Hook

(b Salem, MA, March 24, 1862; d Salem, Nov 15, 1951).

American painter, etcher and teacher. Benson attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from 1880 to 1883 as a student of Otto Grundmann (1844–90) and Frederick Crowninshield (1845–1918). In 1883 he travelled with his fellow student and lifelong friend Edmund C(harles) Tarbell to Paris, where they both studied at the Académie Julian for three years with Gustave(-Clarence-Rodolphe) Boulanger and Jules(-Joseph) Lefebvre. Benson travelled with Tarbell to Italy in 1884 and to Italy, Belgium, Germany and Brittany the following year. When he returned home, Benson became an instructor at the Portland (ME) School of Art, and after his marriage to Ellen Perry Peirson in 1888 he settled in Salem, MA. Benson taught with Tarbell at the Museum School in Boston from 1889 until their resignation over policy differences in 1913. Benson rejoined the staff the next year and taught intermittently as a visiting instructor until ...

Article

Brown, Benjamin C(hambers)  

Jean Stern

(b Marion, AR, July 14, 1865; d Pasadena, CA, Jan 19, 1942).

American painter, draughtsman and etcher. He studied at the St Louis School of Fine Arts. In 1886 he travelled to California with his parents, who were considering moving to Pasadena. While in California, he made numerous pencil sketches of landmarks. He returned to St Louis, where he continued his studies and then opened his own art school in Little Rock, AR, while specializing in portrait painting. In 1890 he went to Europe with his friends and fellow artists William A. Griffith (1866–1940) and Edmund H. Wuerpel (1866–1958). In Paris, Brown studied at the Académie Julian for one year. After returning to the USA, he moved to Pasadena in 1896. He continued to do portraiture but, finding few patrons for his works, began also to paint the landscape. He was also an etcher and, along with his brother, Howell Brown (1880–1954), founded the Print Makers Society of California. A prolific and well-respected artist, Benjamin Brown received numerous awards, including a bronze medal at the Portland World’s Fair in ...

Article

Brown, Grafton Tyler  

Gina M. D’Angelo

(b Harrisburg, PA, Feb 22, 1841; d St Paul, MN, March 2, 1918).

African American painter and lithographer. Brown was the first African American artist to portray California and the Pacific Northwest. One of many artists who migrated West in the years after the gold rush, Brown began his career in San Francisco in the 1860s as a commercial lithographer, and made his mark in the 1880s as a landscape painter of the Pacific Northwest.

The son of freed slaves, Brown probably began his career working at the lithographic firm of P. S. Duval in Philadelphia, and in the late 1850s followed C. C. Kuchel, a Duval lithographer and his soon-to-be employer, to San Francisco. From 1861 to 1867 he worked as a draftsman and lithographer at the Kuchel & Dressel firm in San Francisco, and in 1867 established his own firm, G. T. Brown & Co. His most celebrated project, The Illustrated History of San Mateo County (1878), featured 72 city views whose sensitive topographical style would influence his paintings. Brown sold his firm in ...

Article

Cassatt, Mary  

Nancy Mowll Mathews

(Stevenson)

(b Allegheny City [now in Pittsburgh], May 22, 1844; d Le Mesnil-Théribus, France, Jun 14, 1926).

American painter and printmaker, active in France. One of the great American expatriates of the later 19th century (along with Sargent and Whistler), Cassatt was an active member of the Impressionist group in Paris and carved out a lasting international reputation for her famous “modern” representations of the mother and child (see fig.). Because of her success, her life and art have been closely examined to gain a better understanding of how gender affects artists during their lifetimes and afterwards in historical perspective.

Daughter of a Pittsburgh broker, Mary Stevenson Cassatt received a cultured upbringing and spent five years abroad as a child (1851–1855). In 1860, at the age of 16, she began classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and in 1865 sailed again for Europe. During the next four years she studied in and around Paris with such notables as Jean-Léon Gérôme...

Article

Chase, William Merritt  

Carolyn Kinder Carr

(b Williamsburg, IN, Nov 1, 1849; d New York, Oct 25, 1916).

American painter and printmaker. Chase received his early training in Indianapolis from the portrait painter Barton S. Hays (1826–75). In 1869 he went to New York to study at the National Academy of Design where he exhibited in 1871. That year he joined his family in St Louis, where John Mulvaney (1844–1906) encouraged him to study in Munich. With the support of several local patrons, enabling him to live abroad for the next six years, Chase entered the Königliche Akademie in Munich in 1872. Among his teachers were Alexander von Wagner (1838–1919), Karl Theodor von Piloty and Wilhelm von Diez (1839–1907). Chase also admired the work of Wilhelm Leibl. The school emphasized bravura brushwork, a technique that became integral to Chase’s style, favoured a dark palette and encouraged the study of Old Master painters, particularly Diego Velázquez and Frans Hals. Among Chase’s friends in Munich were the American artists Walter Shirlaw, J. Frank Currier and Frederick Dielman (...

Article

Cole, (Walter Sylvanus) Timothy  

Anne Cannon Palumbo

[Timotheus]

(b London, April 16, 1852; d Poughkeepsie, NY, May 17, 1931).

American wood-engraver of English birth. He was one of the most renowned reproductive wood-engravers of his generation. Cole was apprenticed in his early teens to a Chicago firm of commercial wood-engravers and spent several years in New York, working for such periodicals as Scientific American and the Illustrated Christian Weekly. In 1875 he began an association with Scribner’s Illustrated Monthly Magazine (later the Century Magazine), which continued for the greater part of his career. The magazine was a leader in ‘the golden age of American illustration’, and its reputation derived in part from the excellence of its engravings, to which Cole made a decisive contribution. He was in the forefront of the ‘new school’ of wood-engraving, which sought to reproduce more faithfully the textures and tonal values of painting and opposed the prevailing doctrines of such conservative engravers as William James Linton, who was attempting to retain some artistic licence for the engraver....

Article

Duveneck, Frank  

Carolyn Kinder Carr

[Decker, Francis]

(b Covington, KY, Oct 9, 1848; d Cincinnati, OH, Jan 3, 1919).

American painter, sculptor, etcher, and teacher. The eldest son of German immigrants Bernard and Katherine Decker, Duveneck assumed his stepfather’s name after his father’s death and his mother’s remarriage in 1850. He received his early art training in Cincinnati as an apprentice to Johann Schmitt (1825–98) and Wilhelm Lamprecht (1838–1922), decorators of Benedictine churches and monasteries. In 1870 he went to Munich to study at the Königliche Akademie, where he was taught by Wilhelm Diez (1839–1907), among others. The school stressed the study of Old Master painters such as Velázquez and Hals and emphasized bravura brushwork. Duveneck was an adept pupil. His realistic portraits of the 1870s, such as Professor Ludwig von Löfftz (c. 1873; Cincinnati, OH, A. Mus.), show the sitter placed against a dark background, the face and hands bathed in an intense light and modelled with thick, broad, fleshy brushstrokes....

Article

Dwight, Mabel  

Margaret Moore Booker

(b Cincinnati, OH, Jan 31, 1875; d Sellersville, PA, Sept 4, 1955).

American printmaker and illustrator. Among the pioneer generation of women printmakers in America, she was known for her humorous satires of the American scene. Raised in New Orleans, she moved to San Francisco where she studied art at the Hopkins Institute (c. 1896–7) and joined the Sketch Club (a professional organization that offered exhibition and collaboration opportunities for women).

By 1903 she had settled in Greenwich Village. Three years later she married the painter and etcher Eugene Higgins (1874–1958), and set aside her career. When the marriage ended 11 years later, she became a secretary of the Whitney Studio Club (where she attended evening sketch sessions), shed her married name and traveled abroad. During a trip to Paris in 1926–7, she discovered the medium that suited her artistic temperament: lithography, and studied the technique with Edouard Dûchatel (fl 1880s–1930s) in Paris.

After returning to New York, in ...

Article

Eddy, Don  

Mark W. Sullivan

(b Long Beach, CA, Nov 4, 1944).

American painter and printmaker. Eddy studied at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu (BFA, 1967, MFA, 1969) and came to prominence in the early 1970s as an exponent of Photorealism, producing airbrushed paintings based on photographs of automobiles (e.g. Untitled, 1971; Aachen, Neue Gal.), the displays in shop windows or still-lifes, as in New Shoes for H (1973; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.). He treated similar subjects in screenprints and in colour lithographs such as Red Mercedes (1972; see 1973 exh. cat., p. 35). Rather than basing a painting or print on a single photograph, as was the case with other photorealists, Eddy would work from as many as 40 photographs to ensure a consistently sharp focus for his often spatially complex images.

From the 1980s Eddy’s focus shifted away from photorealism towards metaphysics, with images placed in porteic relationships to one another; describing his art as ‘echoing ecosystems’....

Article

Francis, Samuel  

Anna Moszynska

(b San Mateo, CA, June 25, 1923; d Santa Monica, CA, Nov 4, 1994).

American painter and printmaker. Following an accident leading to spinal tuberculosis while serving in the US Army Air Corps, Francis started to paint for distraction in 1944, studying privately under David Park in 1947. He subsequently relinquished his earlier medical studies in favor of painting, completing his BA (1949) and MA (1950) at the University of California at Berkeley. During this period he experimented with different styles of painting, notably Surrealism and the Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and particularly Clyfford Still. His own style emerged in 1949–50; in Opposites (1950; Tokyo, Idemitsu Mus. A.), for example, dripping, corpuscular shapes painted in fluid red circulate freely around the canvas, indicating what was to become a perennial concern with “ceaseless instability.” With its sensitivity to sensuous color and light, Francis’s work was already showing very different concerns from the expressive iconography and energy of many of the Abstract Expressionists....

Article

Goldthwaite, Anne  

Margaret Lynne Ausfeld

(b Montgomery, AL, June 28, 1869; d New York, NY, Jan 29, 1944).

American painter, printmaker, and teacher. In the New York art world of the 1920s and 1930s, Goldthwaite was recognized as an important painter and printmaker of subjects relating to the American South. Although she routinely returned to visit her native state of Alabama, between 1914 and 1944 her primary residence was New York City where her painted portraits, still lifes, and Southern landscapes, as well as limited edition etchings and lithographs, were exhibited in commercial galleries and museums. She received her first formal art training at the National Academy of Design between 1903 and 1906 from instructors including Francis Coates Jones (1857–1932) for painting and Charles Frederick Mielatz (1864–1919) for etching. She also received instruction from the Munich-trained painter, Walter Shirlaw. She traveled to Paris in 1906 where she helped to create an informal atelier, the Académie Moderne. With this group she worked largely independent of the academy system, but occasionally she worked under the supervision French academic painter Charles Guérin. Her gestural and spontaneous style of painting and drawing was strongly influenced by her years in Paris, specifically through her exposure to the milieu of Gertrude Stein, and works of Post-Impressionist painters such as Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse....

Article

Haberle, John  

Gertrude Grace Sill

(b New Haven, CT, 1856; d New Haven, CT, Feb 1, 1933).

American painter. The son of German immigrants, at 14 Haberle was apprenticed to a local lithographer–engraver and subsequently earned his living in that field. Haberle’s only formal training was at the New York National Academy of Design from 1884 to 1885. Haberle lived primarily in New Haven, founded the New Haven Sketch Club, gave free lessons there, and was active in arts circles. He exhibited his paintings at local bars and art stores. The Peabody Museum at Yale University employed Haberle in the 1880s as preparatory designer and occasional designer for its publications.

Imitation (1887; Washington, DC, N.G.A.) was Haberle’s first trompe l’oeil painting, a composition of currency, coins, and stamps with a painted frame and tintype portrait of Haberle as a signature. It sold for $150 to a prominent collector and established Haberle’s reputation. USA (1888; Indianapolis, IN, Mus. A.) caused a Chicago newspaper critic to accuse Haberle of fraud, stating that the coins, stamps, currency, and clippings were glued rather than painted on the canvas. Haberle demanded and received a printed apology and much publicity. Despite apparent detachment, Haberle’s compositions are often autobiographical, replete with subtle references and visual puns. ...

Article

Hassam, (Frederick) Childe  

Kathleen M. Burnside

(b Dorchester, MA, Oct 17, 1859; d East Hampton, NY, Aug 27, 1935).

American painter and printmaker. The son of Frederick F. Hassam, a prominent Boston merchant, and his wife, Rosa P. Hathorne, he was initially trained as an apprentice to a wood-engraver. From the late 1870s to the mid-1880s he executed drawings for the illustration of books, particularly children’s stories. He had a long affiliation with the Boston firm of Daniel Lothrop & Co., for whom he illustrated E. S. Brooks’s In No-man’s Land: A Wonder Story (1885), Margaret Sidney’s A New Departure for Girls (1886) and numerous other books.

Hassam’s first significant body of non-graphic work was in watercolour. He executed a group of freely washed, light-filled drawings of local landscapes, which provided the basis for his first one-man show in 1882 at the Boston galleries of Williams & Everett. Hassam attended evening classes at the Boston Art Club and by 1883 had a studio on Tremont Street in Boston. His early career was established by his watercolours rather than by his few oils, which were thickly painted landscapes inspired by the Barbizon school. In ...

Article

Homer, Winslow  

Helen A. Cooper

(b Boston, MA, Feb 24, 1836; d Prout’s Neck, ME, Sept 29, 1910).

American painter, illustrator and etcher. He was one of the two most admired American late 19th-century artists (the other being Thomas Eakins) and is considered to be the greatest pictorial poet of outdoor life in the USA and its greatest watercolourist (see fig.). Nominally a landscape painter, in a sense carrying on Hudson River school attitudes, Homer was an artist of power and individuality whose images are metaphors for the relationship of Man and Nature. A careful observer of visual reality, he was at the same time alive to the purely physical properties of pigment and colour, of line and form, and of the patterns they create. His work is characterized by bold, fluid brushwork, strong draughtsmanship and composition, and particularly by a lack of sentimentality.

Homer was the second of three sons of Charles Savage Homer, a hardware importer, and Henrietta Benson Homer, a gifted amateur watercolourist. Brought up in Cambridge, MA, where he attended school, he had an active outdoor boyhood that left a lifelong liking for the country. An independent, strong-willed young man, he showed an early preference for art and was encouraged in his interest by both parents. Like a number of self-educated American artists, Homer was first known as an illustrator. At 19 he became an apprentice at the lithographic firm of ...

Article

Knowles, Alison  

Midori Yoshimoto

(b New York, NY, 1933).

American printmaker, sound artist and performance artist. She was one of the founding members of Fluxus, the international avant-garde collective formed in 1962. Transferring from Middlebury College to Pratt Institute in New York, Knowles studied painting and drawing with Adolph Gottlieb and Richard Lindner and graduated in 1956. By the late 1950s she had lost interest in painting and burnt all her early paintings in a bonfire. It was then that she befriended artists Dick Higgins (1938–98), George Brecht and composer John Cage whose meditation on everyday life and music of indeterminacy inspired her to pursue a new artistic path.

After marrying in 1960, Knowles and Higgins were invited by George Maciunas to perform in the Fluxus inaugural concert series in Europe. There Knowles started to write her “Propositions,” radical reinterpretation of Cagean text scores, which transferred the artistic agency to the audience. Among her early events, Make a Salad...

Article

Kuhn, Walt  

Danielle Peltakian

(b Brooklyn, NY, Oct 27, 1877; d White Plains, NY, July 13, 1949).

American painter, illustrator and lithographer. As an organizer of the Armory Show (1913) alongside Arthur B. Davies, he played an integral role in unveiling European modernism to the USA. While he painted landscapes of Maine, Cézanne-inspired still lifes and a series based on the American West, his expressive portraits of circus and vaudeville performers remain his best-known works.

In 1901, he trained at the Académie Colarossi in Paris, but soon transferred to the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich where he studied under Barbizon painter Heinrich von Zügel (1850–1941) until 1903. Upon returning to New York in 1903, he worked as an illustrator for publications such as Life and Puck, exhibited at the Salmagundi Club (1905) and organized artists’ balls for the Kit Kat Club. Working in an Impressionist style, he participated with Robert Henri in the Exhibition of Independent Artists (1910)....

Article

MacConnel, Kim  

Anne K. Swartz

(b Oklahoma City, OK, 1946).

American painter and printmaker. MacConnel grew up in Oklahoma City, OK, and traveled frequently, especially to Mexico. He received a BA with honors in visual art at the University of California at San Diego, La Jolla (UCSD). He was a California State Scholar in 1970. MacConnel received an MFA with honors from UCSD. While a graduate student, he met visiting critic and art historian Amy Goldin, a visiting professor. He also met Robert Kushner, who was also a student in Goldin’s class and who also befriended Goldin. Goldin taught them in a seminar called “The Art Box,” where she encouraged the students to look beyond definitions of the current art world. She wanted the students to consider visual culture—everything from quilts to folk art—as related to contemporary art. Decoration was one of the things she encouraged MacConnel to examine. Decorations was his first solo show in 1971 at UCSD where he showed work inspired by world decoration. In his work, he combined and juxtaposed unexpected and often unorthodox images and patterns. His work had strong reminiscences in the bold coloring and strong patterning of such artists as Henri Matisse, who also considered non-Western source material. He became one of the founding artists of the ...

Article

Marin, John  

Ilene Susan Fort

(b Rutherford, NJ, Dec 23, 1870; d Cape Split, ME, Oct 1, 1953).

American painter and printmaker. He attended Stevens Institute in Hoboken, NJ, and worked briefly as an architect before studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1899 to 1901 under Thomas Pollock Anshutz and Hugh Breckenridge (1870–1937). His education was supplemented by five years of travel in Europe where he was exposed to avant-garde trends. While abroad, he made etchings of notable and picturesque sites, for example Campanile, S Pietro, Venice (1907; see Zigrosser, no. 57), which were the first works he sold.

Marin returned permanently to the USA in 1911, settling in New York and devoting the rest of his long career to painting views of the city and country. His art initially reflected the impact of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. During the next decade he first moved towards a modernist artistic statement, seen in his views of New York and nearby Weehawkin, New Jersey. The ...

Article

Martinez, Xavier  

Ann Harlow and Sally Mills

[Javier Timoteo Martinez y Orozco]

(b Guadalajara, Mexico, Feb 7, 1869; d Carmel, CA, Jan 13, 1943).

American painter and printmaker of Mexican birth. At a young age he began sketching and painting in watercolor and attended art classes at the Liceo de Varones in his native Guadalajara; later he studied Pre-Columbian excavations and designs, taking special interest in his own Tarascan Indian heritage. His mother died in 1886, and he was taken under the wing of (and possibly adopted by) the socially prominent Rosalia La Bastida de Coney. After her husband, Alexander K. Coney, became Mexican Consul-General in San Francisco in 1892, Martinez joined them and in 1893 enrolled at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, where he studied under Arthur F. Mathews. Although he was handicapped at first by his limited English, he was a gifted and favored pupil, who by the time he graduated in 1897 had won the school’s highest honors and been appointed assistant to Mathews, by then the school’s director.

Martinez traveled to Paris in the autumn of ...