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Article

Roy R. Behrens

(b Mason City, IA, Feb 13, 1893; d Yucca Valley, CA, March 15, 1975).

American book designer, writer, art collector and impresario . The son of an innovative cattle farmer, Elmer Armitage (the son’s name is an anagram of the father’s), he had a childhood fascination with locomotives and Parkard automobiles, whose sleek and smart advertising he collected. After working briefly in civil engineering and stage design, he became an impresario for world-famous opera, concert and ballet performers, including Anna Pavlova, Feodor Chaliapin, Rosa Ponselle, Amelita Galli-Curci and the Diaghilev Ballet, in New York and then Los Angeles. While living in southern California he became an influential force in the promotion of cultural opportunities as co-founder and manager of the Los Angeles Grand Opera Association, manager of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium and regional director of the Works Progress Administration. During those years ‘Armitage had more single influence on the arts in Los Angeles than anyone else’ (Dailey).

Having concluded that lowbrow advertising could be used effectively to promote highbrow art events, Armitage began to design all his own advertising layouts. Always an avid art collector (his collection included works by Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Klee), in ...

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

American, 20th century, male.

Born 2 September 1911, in Charlotte (North Carolina); died 12 March 1988, in New York.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, lithographer, screen printer, engraver, collage artist, newspaper cartoonist, illustrator, art theorist. Religious subjects, figure compositions, local figures. Humorous cartoons, frontispieces, stage sets...

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

American, 19th century, male.

Born 1 August 1866, in Oberlin (Ohio); died 1946.

Stage designer, architect, author, illustrator.

Claude Fayette Bragdon is above all remembered as an architect. He first worked as a stage designer in 1919 on Walter Hampden's travelling production of Hamlet. He designed fourteen other productions for Hampden between ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 20 February 1878, in Hartford (Connecticut); died 16 April 1936, in Hartford.

Painter, illustrator, engraver, art critic. Landscapes, portraits.

James Britton trained in the studio of Charles Noel Flagg and at the Art Students' League in New York. He was a founding member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, but spent much of his career in New York. He also contributed articles to the weekly ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 1 November 1917, in St Rose (Louisiana).

Sculptor (bronze), engraver, painter, illustrator, watercolourist, writer. Figures, portraits, genre scenes.

Margaret T.G. Burroughs studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Illinois State University. In 1961, Burroughs and her husband founded the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art at their home in Chicago. The museum remains under Burroughs' directorship, but was later renamed the DuSable Museum of African American History. In ...

Article

Nancy Anderson

(b Wilkes-Barre, PA, July 26, 1796; d Jersey City, NJ, Dec 23, 1872).

American painter and writer. Following a brief career as a lawyer, Catlin produced two major collections of paintings of American Indians and published a series of books chronicling his travels among the native peoples of North, Central and South America. Claiming his interest in America’s ‘vanishing race’ was sparked by a visiting American Indian delegation in Philadelphia, he set out to record the appearance and customs of America’s native people. He began his journey in 1830 when he accompanied Gen. William Clark on a diplomatic mission up the Mississippi River into Native American territory. Two years later he ascended the Missouri River over 3000 km to Ft Union, where he spent several weeks among indigenous people still relatively untouched by European civilization. There, at the edge of the frontier, he produced the most vivid and penetrating portraits of his career (e.g. Buffalo Bull’s Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe, 1832...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Active in France.

Born 26 June 1939, in Philadelphia.

Sculptor, painter, print artist, illustrator, writer.

Barbara Chase-Riboud received her BFA from Temple University, Philadelphia, and her MFA from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. She also studied in Rome. She has lived and worked in Paris since ...

Article

Kirk Marlow

(b New York, Mar 18, 1779; d Woolwich, Mar 18, 1847).

English painter, illustrator, writer, and soldier, active in Canada. As a young cadet at Woolwich Royal Military Academy (1793–1795) he took instruction in topographical drawing from Paul Sandby. He traveled and sketched in continental Europe and established a reputation with his illustrations to picturesque travel-books of Italy and the Alpine regions of Switzerland.

Cockburn had a short, artistically unproductive, posting to Lower Canada (1822–1823). In 1826 he returned and was in Quebec City as commander of the Royal Artillery. His principal Canadian work is a guidebook to the city, entitled Quebec and its Environs: Being a Picturesque Guide to the Stranger (1831). It includes six engravings based on his drawings of the area. Published anonymously, the book was written in a somewhat anecdotal yet informative style, directing the newly arrived visitor to the most scenic viewpoints of the city and surrounding areas, including the picturesque Montmorency Falls, just northeast of Quebec City. The guidebook points out the panoramic vistas that would undoubtedly delight all visitors to and residents of Quebec City, which is perched dramatically on a cliff overlooking the St. Lawrence River....

Article

Merrill Halkerston

(b Portland, ME, March 4, 1832; d New York, March 26, 1920).

American painter, interior designer and writer. Colman grew up in New York, where his father, Samuel Colman, ran a successful publishing business. The family bookstore on Broadway, a popular meeting place for artists, offered Colman early introductions to such Hudson River school painters as Asher B(rown) Durand, with whom he is said to have studied briefly around 1850. Having won early recognition for his paintings of popular Hudson River school locations (see Storm King on the Hudson), he was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in New York in 1854. Most of Colman’s landscapes of the 1850s, for example Meadows and Wildflowers at Conway (1856; Poughkeepsie, NY, Vassar Coll., Frances Lehman Loeb A. Cent.), reveal the influence of the Hudson River school. An avid traveller, he embarked on his first European tour in 1860, visiting France, Italy, Switzerland and the more exotic locales of southern Spain and Morocco. His reputation was secured in the 1860s by his numerous paintings of romantic Spanish sites, notably the large ...

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

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

Jean E. Feinberg

(b Cincinnati, OH, June 6, 1935).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, performance artist, stage designer and poet. He studied art at the Cincinnati Arts Academy (1951–3) and later at the Boston Museum School and Ohio University (1954–7). In 1957 he married Nancy Minto and the following year they moved to New York. Dine’s first involvement with the art world was in his Happenings of 1959–60. These historic theatrical events, for example The Smiling Workman (performed at the Judson Gallery, New York, 1959), took place in chaotic, makeshift environments built by the artist–performer. During the same period he created his first assemblages, which incorporated found materials. Simultaneously he developed the method by which he produced his best known work—paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that depict and expressively interpret common images and objects.

Clothing and domestic objects featured prominently in Dine’s paintings of the 1960s, with a range of favoured motifs including ties, shoes and bathroom items such as basins, showers and toothbrushes (e.g. ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1909, in Baltimore; died 1993.

Painter, draughtsman, print artist, illustrator, art historian, writer. Figures, portraits, genre scenes, scenes with figures, landscapes. Comic strips.

Elton Clay Fax studied at Clafin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, and Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. He was taught by Augusta Savage....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1876, in Washington; died 1940.

Painter, illustrator, writer.

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 5 November 1841, in London; died 23 October 1905, in New York.

Draughtsman, illustrator, art writer.

William Lewis Fraser went to America in 1856 and made a name among the illustrators of the New World. He edited Century Magazine and spent the last years of his life writing books and giving lectures on art. He belonged to many American art groups....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1953, in Bridgeport (Connecticut).

Painter, designer, illustrator, writer. Murals.

Steven Guarnaccia teaches at the School of Visual Art in New York. He creates cartoons and children's books. His version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne earned him a GLI award at Bologna Children's Book Fair in ...

Article

Roy R. Behrens

(b Flint, MI, Sep 13, 1940).

American book designer, typographer poet and teacher . His father was from Lebanon and his mother was an American-born paediatrician and bibliophile. He studied art at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI (1964) and at the nearby Cranbrook Academy of Art (1966). While visiting Iowa City, IA as an undergraduate, he met Harry Duncan (1917–97), a printer and typographer at the University of Iowa, who was also a leading participant in the revival of interest in letterpress printing. It was during that visit that he first saw a hand-crafted letterpress book. In Detroit he founded The Perishable Press Limited in 1964, followed soon after by the Shadwell Papermill at Cranbrook; involvements that gradually led to the publication of about 130 limited edition books by such well-known writers as Paul Blackburn, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Loren Eiseley, Denise Levertov, W. S. Merwin, Howard Nemerov, Toby Olson, Joel Oppenheimer, Jonathan Williams, William Stafford and Paul Auster. In ...

Article

American, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 23 July 1854, in New York; died 29 April 1915, in Nutley (New Jersey).

Painter, illustrator, art critic. Landscapes, landscapes with figures.

Arthur Hoeber went to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Gérôme's studio. He was a proponent of the Tonalist school of painting. He received an honourable mention in Buffalo in ...