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Article

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

Christopher Johnstone

[Friström, Clas Edvard]

(b Torhamn, nr Karlskrona, Sweden, Jan 23, 1864; d San Anselmo, CA, March 27, 1950).

Sweden-born painter and teacher, active in Australia, New Zealand, and America. In 1884, Fristrom joined his older brother, the painter Oscar Fristrom (1856–1918), in Queensland, married in 1886, and became an Australian citizen in 1888. Employed as a photographic retoucher, Fristrom was a self-taught artist and from 1899 to 1902 he exhibited 53 paintings, including landscapes and figure studies, some featuring Aborigines, at the Queensland Art Society exhibitions. Fristrom’s artistic success is indicated by two commissions from the state government and enthusiastic reviews in the press.

In 1903 Fristrom travelled to the United States and then to New Zealand, settling in Auckland and joining the Auckland Society of Arts. He exhibited 60 paintings there, almost all landscapes, from 1904 to 1914. Until 1911 Fristrom regularly travelled around New Zealand, from Gisborne to Hokitika, selling his paintings at auctions. He also taught at the Elam School of Art, Auckland from ...

Article

Anthony W. Lee

(b Gee Village [now Chu Village], Guangdong Province, China, Feb 22, 1906; d New York, NY, June 5, 1963).

American painter, poet, essayist and inventor. Gee traveled to San Francisco in 1921, joining his father, a merchant in Chinatown. In 1925 he enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) where he took classes with Otis Oldfield (1890–1969) and Gottardo Piazzoni and experimented for the first time in oils. A year later he co-founded two separate art collectives, the Modern Gallery, comprised mostly of white artists with substantial European-based training, and the Chinese Revolutionary Artists’ Club, comprised exclusively of young Chinese immigrants. The differences between the groups reflected an ongoing tension in Gee’s professional and political ambitions between the search for newer forms of modern art and the desire to ennoble a diasporic Chinese sensibility. He initially developed a style of short, choppy brushwork and the juxtaposition of hot and cold colors, and subjects based on the people, streets and goods of Chinatown. He would later call this practice “Diamondism.”...

Article

Avis Berman

(b Roxbury, MA, Sept 14, 1867; d New York, NY, Dec 23, 1944).

American illustrator. Gibson’s graphic creation, the “Gibson Girl,” became a symbol of upper-middle-class American womanhood from 1890 to 1914. The Gibson Girl’s appearance and dress were widely imitated and her popularity helped shape social attitudes at a time when women’s roles were undergoing dramatic changes.

Growing up in Massachusetts and New York City, Gibson entered the Art Students League at 16, studying there for two years. In 1885 he left school to make a living as an illustrator. Gibson drew in pen-and-ink, his medium for the rest of his career, but his early sketches were stiff and labored. In 1886 he sold his first drawing for $4 to Life, a weekly humor magazine. Emulating the draftsmanship of the British cartoonists John Leech, Charles Keene, George Du Maurier and Phil(ip William) May, Gibson developed a freer and more economical style. He successfully sold arch scenes of politics and society to Life...

Article

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

(b Chicago, IL, Feb 14, 1871; d Chicago, IL, Aug 10, 1961).

American architect, draftsman and painter. Mahony, a pioneer among women architects, was most importantly one of the 20th century’s greatest architectural renderers, establishing the presentation style for which the work of the Prairie school architects is known and giving visual expression to the revolutionary designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Burley Griffin (see Griffin family).

Mahony, who grew up in Chicago and suburban Winnetka, IL, showed a precocious facility for drawing. She studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which in 1894 she became the second woman to graduate. Her thesis project, “The House and Studio of a Painter,” provided one prototype for the studio Wright built four years later adjacent to his suburban Oak Park home. In Chicago, Mahony drafted for her cousin Dwight H. Perkins before beginning work in 1895 for Wright, then in his third year of independent practice. In 1898 she passed the Illinois architects’ licensing examination, the nation’s first such law, and became the first licensed woman architect in the country....

Article

Laura E. Leaper

(b Worcester, MA, Feb 11, 1855; d Brookline, MA, Nov 14, 1940).

American painter and printmaker. Hale was among the first generation of artists collectively known as the Boston school of painting. Her work in this group and her prominent role as an advocate for women in the arts helped future generations of American women to further their pursuits as artists. She taught classes in the 1870s and 1880s, encouraging women to develop their interests and talents, and offered support to younger generations of women looking for their place in Boston society. Hale often painted young women in interiors, which was a typical subject of the Boston school. Although her works were included in exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Paris Salon and the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, among others, she never showed her work in a solo show during her lifetime.

Hale’s family held a prominent position in American society: most notably her great-aunt, Harriet Beecher Stowe, was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin; while another great-aunt, Catherine Beecher, was an important women’s rights advocate; her great-uncle Nathan Hale, was the noted American patriot; her paternal grandfather, also named Nathan Hale, was the editor of the ...

Article

Marisa J. Pascucci

(b Belostok, Russia [now Białystok, Poland], Dec 25, 1884; d Detroit, MI, April 5, 1930).

American painter of Russian birth. Halpert arrived in New York City as a child in 1889 and grew up on the Lower East Side with other Eastern European Jewish immigrants. He spent most of his life studying independently and working in New York City and Paris. He was married to Edith Gregor Halpert, owner and director of Downtown Gallery, which played a major role in the rise of modern art in the United States.

Halpert’s artistic training began in 1899 with studying and working for his tuition at the Educational Alliance and National Academy of Design, where he met his first artistic mentors Jacob Epstein, Henry McBride (1867–1962) and J. Carroll Beckwith (1852–1917). In 1902 he made his first visit to Paris, sponsored with funds raised by Beckwith, staying until 1905 and studying first at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts then at the less restrictive Académie Julian. He ultimately left the structured learning environment all together to learn independently from contemporary artists working in Paris, such as the Impressionists ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Buffalo, NY, 1950).

Tuscarora artist, writer, educator, and museum director. Hill studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1968–70), and was awarded a Master of Arts degree from SUNY, Buffalo, NY (1980).

Intrigued with Seneca General Ely Parker (General Grant’s Military Secretary), Hill investigated Parker’s life, which took him to Washington, DC, for two years. Hill began to identify with Parker’s experience and realized he would devote himself to enlightening others about Native American arts, knowledge, education, and culture.

Hill was skilled in painting, photography, carving, beading, and basket weaving, and many of these works are located at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, Quebec; the Woodland Indian Cultural Center, Brantford, Ontario; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Washington, DC; and the Seneca Iroquois National Museum, Salamanca, NY. He taught at McMaster University, Mohawk College, Six Nations Polytechnic, and SUNY at Buffalo. Hill developed a culturally based Seneca Language curriculum and training models for teaching....

Article

Phylis Floyd

French term used to describe a range of European borrowings from Japanese art. It was coined in 1872 by the French critic, collector and printmaker Philippe Burty ‘to designate a new field of study—artistic, historic and ethnographic’, encompassing decorative objects with Japanese designs (similar to 18th-century Chinoiserie), paintings of scenes set in Japan, and Western paintings, prints and decorative arts influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Scholars in the 20th century have distinguished japonaiserie, the depiction of Japanese subjects or objects in a Western style, from Japonisme, the more profound influence of Japanese aesthetics on Western art.

There has been wide debate over who was the first artist in the West to discover Japanese art and over the date of this discovery. According to Bénédite, Félix Bracquemond first came under the influence of Japanese art after seeing the first volume of Katsushika Hokusai’s Hokusai manga (‘Hokusai’s ten thousand sketches’, 1814) at the printshop of ...

Article

Adam M. Thomas

(b Minden, Jan 15, 1902; d Austin, TX, Dec 8, 1985).

American painter of German birth. Kelpe moved to Hannover to study art and architecture in 1919. In the early 1920s he was exposed to the leading abstract trends in European modernism, including Suprematism and Constructivism. Kelpe developed an abstract painting vocabulary characterized by geometric order, hard edges, overlapping planes, and interpenetrating shapes before immigrating to the United States in 1925. He eventually settled in Chicago, where he had his first solo exhibition in 1932 at the Little Gallery. In the late 1920s Kelpe applied found objects to his paintings, as exemplified by Construction with Lock and Key (1927; Washington, DC, Hirshhorn). He abandoned such constructions by the early 1930s in favor of integrating in paint recognizable gears, wheels and machine parts into his abstract compositions. Machine Elements (1934; Newark, NJ, Mus.), with its stacked semi-abstract machine and factory forms, is representative of his work during the period. Kelpe worked for the Public Works of Art Project in ...

Article

Britta C. Dwyer

(b San Francisco, CA, Oct 28, 1856; d San Francisco, Feb 9, 1942).

American painter, active also in France. She spent most of her life in Paris, where she gained numerous prizes for her academic style of painting. One of seven children, Klumpke was born to German-speaking parents. Her father John Gerald Klumpke became a successful realtor in San Francisco. In the 1870s, her mother, Dorothea Mathilda Tolle, separated from her father and returned to Europe for the education of her children. Anna’s siblings included the neurologist Augusta Déjerine-Klumpke, the astronomer Dorothea Klumpke-Roberts and the violinist and composer Julia Klumpke.

In Paris, Klumpke enrolled at the Académie Julian. She studied with Robert-Fleury family §(2), Jules(-Joseph) Lefebvre and William(-Adolphe) Bouguereau, whose academic teaching stressed skills in drawing the human figure and the smooth application of paint. She exhibited regularly at the Salons where she received numerous awards for her genre scenes and portraits, especially of women sitters. In The Wash House (1888; Philadelphia, PA Acad. F.A.) was her first large scale multi-figural composition. The smooth surface and a limited palette of dark tones epitomize her academic style. Her portrait of ...

Article

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

Anne K. Swartz

(b Pasedena, CA, 1949).

American painter and printmaker. Kushner received a BA in visual arts with honors from the University of California at San Diego, La Jolla. There he met critic and art historian Amy Goldin, a visiting professor, and artist Kim MacConnel, a graduate student. Goldin taught Kushner and MacConnel about Islamic art and decoration, among many other topics. She encouraged them to examine decoration and Islamic art, among other sources to transgress the boundaries of what was art in their own work.

With Goldin’s support, Kushner became a champion of decoration, later telling his dealer Holly Solomon that he wanted to elevate decoration in much the same way Pop artists elevated commercial art. Kushner moved from California to Boston before relocating to New York City, where he befriended artist Brad Davis, who was similarly engaged in considering decoration as a mode for making art. In 1974, Kushner traveled with Goldin to Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, where he became fascinated by textile patterning, garments and architectural decoration. He returned to the United States and began actively incorporating much of this visual material into his art, in a manner reminiscent of artist Henri Matisse 50 years earlier following his trips to Morocco....

Article

Henry Adams

(b New York, March 31, 1835; d Newport, RI, Nov 14, 1910).

American painter, decorative artist, and writer. He grew up in New York in a prosperous and cultivated French-speaking household. He received his first artistic training at the age of six from his maternal grandfather, an amateur architect and miniature painter. While at Columbia Grammar School, he learnt English watercolour techniques and afterwards studied briefly with George Inness’s teacher, the landscape painter Régis-François Gignoux. In 1856, while touring Europe, he spent a few weeks in Thomas Couture’s studio. Returning to New York via England, he was impressed by the Pre-Raphaelite paintings at the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition of 1857 and later said that they had influenced him when he began to paint. In 1859 he decided to devote himself to art and moved to Newport, RI, to study with William Morris Hunt.

Unlike Hunt, who never broke away from the manner of Couture and Jean-François Millet, La Farge rapidly evolved a highly original and personal style characterized by free brushwork, unusual colour harmonies, and great delicacy of feeling (...

Article

Christopher Johnstone

From the formal establishment of New Zealand with the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 until the 1960s, landscape was the predominant genre of painting in New Zealand. Several interrelated artistic, social, and practical reasons led to this and to the differing approaches to landscape representation during the period. They range from the country being ‘a land absolutely teeming with artistic subjects of the most varied kind… [offering] the special features of every country which is remarkable for its scenery’ (Hodgkins, 1880) to a belief that the mild climate made painting out of doors possible ‘without much discomfort all the year round’ (Killick, 1917).

The first professional artist to spend time in and paint New Zealand, in 1827–8, was Earle, Augustus, but the artists who followed him in the 1840s were mostly amateurs—sailors, surveyors, and administrators, and later soldiers. Their objectives were largely governed by colonizing imperatives: documenting the country to promote it to potential settlers back ‘home’ who wanted to see non-threatening potential destinations. Watercolour was the primary medium. William Fox (...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b San Francisco, CA, Oct 5, 1937).

Native American (Maidu–Wintu) painter, printmaker, photographer, writer, educator, traditional dancer and poet. LaPena, also known as Tauhindauli, spent time with the Nomtipom Wintu and other regional neighboring elders to conserve and regain traditional cultural practices. He was taught traditional tribal songs, dances and ceremonial rituals of Northern California Native American culture that inspired his interest in reviving and preserving Northern California tribal culture and accompanying performance arts. His work, along with Frank Day (1902–76), a late Maidu elder and painter, aided the founding of the Maidu Dancers and Traditionalists, a group dedicated to carrying out traditional cultural forms and social practices. Earning his bachelor’s degree from California State University (CSU), Chico (1965), and an Anthropology Masters of Arts degree from CSU, Sacramento (1978), he taught for the next 30 years in the CSU, Sacramento American Indian Studies program.

For LaPena, his art was a spiritual act, which empowers the maker with an opportunity to achieve a stronger sense of understanding life. Inspired by prehistoric rock painting, some painted images are depicted in total abstraction, while others illustrate a narrative theme. His strong consciousness of his Californian Native American heritage is distinctive and many themes in his compositions provide a powerful commentary in their depiction of the struggles of Northern California Native Americans; “To let the world know what happened in California, and to the indigenous populations points out that survival issues are still of great concern.” His paintings and prints reached a popular acceptance. LaPena exhibited throughout the United States and internationally at the Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, NM, the Chicago Art Institute, the San Francisco Museum, the Linder Museum, Stuttgart, the American Arts Gallery, New York, the George G. Heye Center of the Smithsonian, New York, and numerous galleries. In ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

Ruled book used for recording accounts used by Native Americans in late 19th century as a paper source for colorful drawings. The emergence of ledger book art is considered to be a material culture link corresponding to the forced relocation of Plains tribes to government reservations in the 19th century. In the early 1860s Plains Indians acquired Western made papers in the form of ledger books and target books, as well as pens, watercolors, graphite and colored pencils, acquired through trade and as proceeds from battles with the American Army, in which they drew scenes that chronicled their experience and cultural traditions. During this early period, the demand for ledger book drawing was high among white settlers who viewed them as curiosities and souvenirs. Contemporary research on Plains Indians ledger book art is challenged by dispersed collections and the fragile and delicate material condition of ledger books due to poor quality paper and bindings. The dismantling of ledger books by art dealers seeking to gain economic profits is the largest threat to preserving these artworks and enabling future research on specific ledger book artists....

Article

(b Scarborough, Dec 3, 1830; d London, Jan 25, 1896).

English painter and sculptor. He spent much of his youth travelling on the Continent with his family. This cosmopolitan background was of great importance to his development as an artist. After his father, a doctor, settled in Frankfurt am Main in 1846, Leighton enrolled at the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, where he studied under the Nazarene artist Edward von Steinle between 1850 and 1852. The style and subject-matter of such early works as the Death of Brunelleschi (1852; London, Leighton House A.G. & Mus.) show the influence of Nazarene art and suggest the growing importance of Italy as a source of inspiration. Leighton travelled to Rome in 1852 and became friendly with Giovanni Costa and George Heming Mason, who later emerged as leading figures in the group of English and Italian artists known as the Etruscans. His first Royal Academy success, Cimabue’s Celebrated Madonna Is Carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence...

Article

Anne Blecksmith

(b Kiev, Sept 4, 1919; d Miami, FL, Nov 19, 1999).

American painter, photographer and publishing executive of Ukrainian birth. Raised in England and France, he received a degree in philosophy and mathematics from the Sorbonne in 1930. Connected to the Russian exile community in Paris, he was introduced to artists Aleksandr Yakovlev and Marc Chagall. In 1931, he studied painting with André Lhote and enrolled at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, where he was a student of Auguste Perret. Later that year, he transferred to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While studying architecture, he was apprenticed to graphic artist Cassandre through whom he found work at the newsweekly Vu, where he created photomontage covers with Russian Constructivist sensibilities and later rose to art director. At Vu he worked with imagery by pioneers of 35 mm photography Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï and Erich Salomon. A prolific photographer since childhood, he enthusiastically identified with the candid documentary style of the 35 mm camera.

Arriving in New York in ...