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Margaret F. MacDonald

(b Lowell, MA, July 11, 1834; d London, July 17, 1903).

American painter, printmaker, designer and collector, active in England and France. He developed from the Realism of Courbet and Manet to become, in the 1860s, one of the leading members of the Aesthetic Movement and an important exponent of Japonisme. From the 1860s he increasingly adopted non-specific and often musical titles for his work, which emphasized his interest in the manipulation of colour and mood for their own sake rather than for the conventional depiction of subject. He acted as an important link between the avant-garde artistic worlds of Europe, Britain and the USA and has always been acknowledged as one of the masters of etching (see Jacque, Charles(-Emile)).

From his monogram jw, Whistler evolved a butterfly signature, which he used after 1869. After his mother’s death in 1881, he added her maiden name, McNeill, and signed letters J. A. McN. Whistler. Finally he dropped ‘Abbott’ entirely.

The son of Major George Washington Whistler, a railway engineer, and his second wife, Anna Matilda McNeill, James moved with his family in ...

Article

Paul Von Blum

(Wilbert)

(b Chicago, IL, Apr 2, 1918; d Los Angeles, CA, Oct 3, 1979).

American painter and printmaker. White was one of the finest African American artists of the mid-20th century and an important figure in African American art history. Throughout his distinguished career, he combined outstanding technical skill in painting and printmaking with a lifelong commitment to chronicling the hopes and struggles of African Americans. His artworks celebrated both African American heroes and everyday women and men struggling to maintain dignity in a racially segregated society. He achieved major national and international acclaim at a time when Abstract Expressionism dominated the mainstream art world and African American artists were consigned critical marginality in galleries, art journals, newspapers, magazines, and colleges and universities.

Most of White’s artistic career was devoted to visual social commentary, which solidified his standing within the tradition of renowned political artists, including Francisco de Goya, Honoré Daumier, Käthe Kollwitz, and the Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. White’s artworks revealed the influence of a generation of American Social Realist artists, including Ben Shahn, William Gropper, Philip Evergood, and many others....

Article

Patricia Hills

(b Roxbury, MA, Apr 14, 1922; d Brookline, MA, Jan 22, 2015).

American sculptor, painter, printmaker, and teacher. Raised in Roxbury, a suburb of Boston, Wilson was the second of five children of Reginald and Violet Wilson, immigrants from British Guiana (now the Republic of Guyana). He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with a full scholarship and received a diploma with highest honors in 1945; a BS degree in art education followed in 1947 from Tufts University. With a fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, he spent 1947–1949 in Paris, where he studied with Fernand Léger. Returning to Boston he taught briefly at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, married Julie Kowitch, and moved to Mexico City with a John Hay Whitney Fellowship. There he became friends with Elizabeth Catlett and her husband Francesco Mora, both active in the graphic workshop organized by leftist artists, the Taller de Gráfica Popular, where he worked. In Mexico he learned the techniques of true fresco, which had been popularized by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, and painted the mural ...

Article

Roberta K. Tarbell

( Mackintosh )

(b Salt Lake City, UT, Aug 9, 1877; d Norwalk, CT, Nov 2, 1957).

American sculptor, painter, etcher and teacher. Grandson of Mormon leader Brigham Young, Young spent his childhood on a farm near his father’s company, Deseret Woolen Mills and in Salt Lake City, both in the Utah Territory. As a youth, he sketched farmers and workers constructing the transcontinental railroads. From 1897 to 1899 he studied with a Beaux-Arts trained teacher, James T. Harwood (1860–1940), and worked as an artist and engraver for the Salt Lake Tribune, the Salt Lake Herald and the Deseret News (1894–1901). Young experienced the “Old West” directly.

Young’s teachers at the Art Students League in New York (1899–1900) were Kenyon Cox and George Bridgman (1865–1943). During his years in Paris (1901–5), Young befriended Stein family, §2 and Alfred H(enry) Maurer and took classes with Jean-Paul Laurens and Charles Raoul Verlet (1857–1923) at the Académie Julian, and with ...