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Ellen G. Landau

(b Allegheny, PA, May 11, 1894; d New York, NY, April 1, 1991).

American dancer and choreographer. Graham is widely considered a major pioneer and exponent of modernism. Her collaboration with American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, who designed costumes and sets for the Martha Graham Dance Company from 1935 to 1966, and the extraordinary photographs of her in performance by Imogen Cunningham, Soichi Sunami (1885–1971), Philippe Halsman (1906–79) and especially Barbara Morgan, link Graham’s revolutionary accomplishments in dance to experimentation in the visual arts. During the late 1930s and 1940s, her belief in the ability of dance to tap the power of myth and the unconscious anticipated and was analogous to the tenets of Abstract Expressionism.

Brought up in California the daughter of a physician, in 1916 at age 22, Graham began studying dance under Ruth St Denis (1879–1968) and Ted Shawn (1891–1972). Ten years later she formed the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance in New York. While her own performances were initially based on the Denishawn style, by ...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

Critically acclaimed yet short-lived American avant-garde art gallery headed by respected New York dealer Richard Hu Bellamy that ran from 1960 to 1965. Financed with significant support from art aficionado and taxi mogul Robert Scull (who was contracted to purchase at least $18,000 worth of art from the gallery each year, and, together with his wife Ethel, became a prominent collector—and later subject—of much of the decade’s art), Bellamy’s new gallery on West 57th Street helped launch the artists, movements and careers that would go on to dominate the post-Abstract Expressionist art world for the next few decades. The gallery’s name was a deliberate reference to its founding and the freshness of its artists, but also to the creative and commercial promise all involved hoped it would have.

Bellamy’s taste was impeccable and his exhibition style innovative: he was among the first dealers to devote solo shows to his favorite emerging talents and gave an unprecedented amount of uptown exposure to these new artists. In ...

Article

Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

(b Johannesburg, Sept 7, 1938).

American architect, teacher, historian, and writer of South African birth. Greenberg’s quiet, gentlemanly demeanor reflected the time-honored traditional and classical architecture he created over four decades. His stylistic choices are rooted in research and aesthetics. His fascination with 18th- and 19th-century American architecture is related to its genesis in the American Revolution and the commitment of those architects to expressing American democratic ideals in architectural form.

Greenberg graduated from King Edward VII School, a private preparatory school in Johannesburg, in 1955. He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in 1961. Unlike American architecture schools of the period, his training was classically based and included drawing the historic models of Classical and Gothic architecture from memory. During his apprenticeship, he worked with Jørn Utzon in Hellebæk, Denmark, in 1962 during the design phase of the Sydney Opera House. In 1963, he continued his apprenticeship working with both ...

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

Betsy L. Chunko

(Maria)

(b Höhr-Grenzhausen, Westerwald, May 8, 1942; d Manchester, March 14, 2008).

German scholar of late medieval and early Renaissance art of northern Europe, active in the UK. Born in Germany, she relocated with her family to Northern Ireland at the age of 12. In 1963, she earned a BA in German from Queen’s University, Belfast. From 1964 to 1972, she worked towards her PhD at the University of Vienna under Otto Pächt and Otto Demus. During this time she spent a year researching at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London on an Austria Council Scholarship. In 1972, she submitted her thesis, which traced the stylistic development of 13th- and 14th-century misericords. Also in 1972, she began a lectureship in the Art History department of Manchester University, which she would maintain for the rest of her career. From 1998, she served as Senior Lecturer at Manchester and in 2004, she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

Grössinger wrote four monographs and numerous periodical articles over her career. Most of her scholarship concerned medieval church furniture; she was an expert on English misericords—the subject of her best-known work, ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) constitute a public archival collection consisting of more than 556,900 measured drawings, large-format photographs and written histories for more than 38,600 historic structures and sites in the US dating from Pre-Columbian times to the 20th century. Maintained by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the HABS collection is one of the largest national surveys of its kind in the world. It serves as a vital resource for students of American architecture and is a crucial aid to historic preservationists. Its success reflects the importance and great need to document America’s surviving architectural and engineering masterpieces, particularly those that might be threatened with alteration, demolition or development.

In 1933, during the Great Depression, HABS was initiated by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a short-term, federal relief project. Under the program—the brainchild of architect Charles E. Peterson—unemployed architects and draftsmen were hired to record systematically historic buildings through accurate, scale, measured drawings and photographs and written historic documentation. The program was (and continues to be) co-sponsored by the National Park Service (NPS), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the Library of Congress. Unlike most Depression-era federal assistance projects that disappeared once federal emergency funding ended, HABS survived and flourishes today....

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

Kate Wight

(Tyson)

(b Philadelphia, PA, Dec 7, 1847; d Moret-sur-Loing, July 1924).

American art agent and exhibition organizer. Hallowell was responsible for numerous art exhibitions in Chicago in the late 19th century, most notably portions of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Born in Pennsylvania to a Quaker family, at age 20 Sarah Hallowell moved to Chicago. There, as an art agent for the Inter-State Industrial Exposition, she built a reputation as an organizer of contemporary art exhibitions. Hallowell’s involvement with the Inter-State Industrial Expositions began in 1878 and over her tenure she organized several large exhibitions, which included works by artists such as James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, and Eastman Johnson. Hallowell developed numerous ties to artists, collectors, and dealers and in 1883 sought to introduce to Midwest collectors works by Americans who had won prizes at the Paris Salon. Her final 1890 exhibition was influential in introducing the Impressionist movement in the States and displaying works by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Alfred Sisley, Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro to the Chicago audience....

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

Roger S. Wieck

(Kirtland)

(b St Louis, MO, June 28, 1901; d Gloucester, MA, Dec 30, 1998).

American sculptor. Hancock knew from an early age that he wanted to be a sculptor. He trained under Charles Grafly at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1921 till 1925. Winning the Prix de Rome, Hancock then worked and studied at the American Academy in Rome for three years. Shortly after his return to the States in the spring of 1929, Grafly died and Hancock succeeded him as instructor in sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy, where he taught until 1967. Beginning in 1930, Hancock maintained a studio on Cape Ann, the Massachusetts artists’ colony. In his four years in the army during World War II, he helped protect monuments and reclaim stolen art.

Hancock’s conservative style lent itself to public works, and he is best known for monumental commissions. The most important of these is the Pennsylvania Railroad War Memorial in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station (commissioned in ...

Article

Julia Robinson

American artists’ cooperative in New York, founded by Allan Kaprow and Richard Stankiewicz, which ran from 1952 to 1959. Hansa was named after their teacher, Hans Hofmann, from whose art school the initial pool of artists was drawn. The Hansa Gallery opened in fall 1952 and operated through summer 1959. It was located in New York City, first in a Tenth Street Gallery (1952–4), at 70 East 12th Street, in the Greenwich Village district, and later at 210 Central Park South. Hansa was run by several key figures who would become important gallery directors in the 1960s: Ivan Karp, who went on to direct the Leo Castelli Gallery and was instrumental (with Kaprow) in getting Roy Lichtenstein his first show there as well as future representation, and Richard Hu Bellamy, who became director of the Green Gallery, showing Claes Oldenburg, Robert Morris, and many other key figures who achieved prominence in the 1960s....

Article

Julia Robinson

Term first formally used by the American artist Allan Kaprow for his 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, presented in early October 1959 at the Reuben Gallery, New York City, as the inaugurating event for that space. (Informal “happening-like” experiments had been presented by Kaprow in April 1958 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, and at the Reuben Gallery in a pre-opening piece called Intermission [June 1959].) Through 1960, the artists pioneering the Happenings form were: Kaprow, Robert Whitman (b 1935), Claes Oldenburg, Simone Forti, Red Grooms, Al Hansen and Jim Dine. Happenings appeared at experimental downtown spaces such as Groom’s “Delancey Street Museum” (his studio on the lower East Side), the Judson Church (on Washington Square) and the Reuben Gallery, as well as in New Jersey, at George Segal’s farm, and on the campus of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where Kaprow was teaching and Whitman was a student. According to Whitman, when Kaprow named ...

Article

Theresa Leininger-Miller

Resurgence in black culture, also called the New Negro Movement, which took place in the 1920s and early 1930s, primarily in Harlem, a neighborhood of the New York City borough of Manhattan, but also in major cities throughout the USA, such as Chicago, Detroit, St Louis, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, DC, as well as in the Caribbean and in Paris. Better known as a literary movement because of the publication of twenty-six novels, ten volumes of poetry, five Broadway plays and countless essays and short stories, the Harlem Renaissance (a term that historian John Hope Franklin coined in 1947) also produced many works of visual art, dance, and music. The term invokes a rebirth of African American creativity. Some scholars argue that the renaissance refers to ancient African cultures in Egypt, Kush, and Meroë, while others say that the rebirth dates to the 1890s when writers such as Paul Laurence Dunbar were active, although few notable works of literature by African Americans date between W. E. B. DuBois’s ...

Article

Jenifer P. Borum

(b Dallas, GA, Oct 11, 1928; d Alcoa, TN, Aug 12, 1994).

Sculptor of African American and Native American heritage. Born to Homer and Rosie Mae White, Bessie Ruth White was the seventh of 13 children. She married Charles Harvey at age 14, and moved with him to Buena Vista, GA. She later separated from Harvey and moved to Alcoa, TN, where she settled and raised 11 children as a single mother.

Throughout most of her adult life, Harvey experienced visions that did not engage the dogma of her Christian faith, but rather revealed a powerful divine presence in nature. After the death of her mother in 1974, she began to see faces in the dead branches and roots found in the woods near her home in Aloca, and believed them to be animated by spirits. By adorning these roots and branches with paint, costume jewelry and found materials, Harvey revealed the identity of the spirits locked therein—some Biblical and some lost African ancestors. She understood her role as that of a conduit for divine intelligence, claiming “God is the artist in my work.”...

Article

Atteqa Ali

(b Aligarh, India, 1937).

Printmaker of Indian birth. Zarina, known professionally by her first name only, received a BSc from Aligarh’s Muslim University in 1958. She worked at Atelier 17 in Paris from 1964 to 1967 and studied woodblock printing in Tokyo. With her works she opens up discussions of dislocation, exile, partition and migration. These loaded topics are handled in lighter ways; her black-and-white pictures do not burden viewers with a lot of visual information. Instead, her imagery relies on the extended meanings of lines and shapes: borders, separation and units, among other things. Her semi-abstract, minimal style does not have the cool formalism that one might associate with the Minimalist movement. Perhaps because she often utilizes the woodblock technique, she softens hard edges and customizes the style to her needs. Her subject matter is, likewise, a personalized interpretation of larger concerns.

Zarina has traversed many boundaries in her life, and much of her oeuvre is about her personal journeys that are both actual and conceptual. She has lived in several places including India, Paris and New York and considers home to be an idea more than a physical structure. In her mind, home is a transitory site that moves along with you. Yet, she made a portfolio of prints, ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b San Francisco, CA, 1960).

American multimedia artist. He earned a BFA from San Jose University in 1984 and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1989. He is best known for repurposing everyday materials in inventive sculptural constructions that often feature aural, kinetic and interactive elements. Many of his works feature radically unconventional self-portraits that have been physically transformed or technologically mediated. His work has been the subject of a number of exhibitions at prominent institutions, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC (2001) and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2004).

Some of his most inventive and celebrated works have included a small bird skeleton made of his own nail clippings and a series of clocks made by motorizing parts of ordinary objects such as strands of hair caught in the bristles of a hairbrush and the tab on a soda can. Through such works, he memorialized the passing of time and, as many critics have pointed out, transformed ordinary objects into ...

Article

Julia Robinson

(b Valrico, FL, 1930).

American performance artist and sculptor. Hay started out in the performance scene at Judson Memorial Church in downtown New York City in the early 1960s. He arrived in New York from Florida in 1959, after studying at the Florida State University (1953–8). His wife, the dancer Deborah Hay, was a key figure in the Judson Dance Theater, launched in the summer of 1962, and Alex Hay performed in many of its productions. In the early 1960s he assisted Robert Rauschenberg on set designs for Merce Cunningham, and danced with him with roller-skates and parachutes in Rauschenberg’s now famous performance piece Pelican (1963). After these collaborations, Hay was invited to participate in 9 Evenings: Theater & Engineering at New York’s 69th Regiment Armory (fall 1966). This initiative, conceived by Rauschenberg with critical contributions from the engineer Billy Klüver, was an idealistic effort to pair artists with engineers, to merge art and new technologies. That project evolved into ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(Gregoria)

(b Santiago, Chile, Oct 17, 1868; d Winthrop, MA, Feb 3, 1953).

American architect. Hayden was the first woman to graduate with a four-year degree in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA. Her most notable design was her first and last project: the Woman’s Building at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. A controversial structure (as many women objected to having their work placed in a separate location), the building brought Hayden, a reserved young woman, sudden, albeit brief, national fame.

Raised in Jamaica Plains, MA, Hayden was admitted to MIT in 1886 and graduated with honors in 1890. She taught mechanical drawing at the Eliot School in Jamaica Plains and in 1891 entered the national competition for the Woman’s Building. Hayden’s design—a grand two-story Italian Renaissance-style structure with center and end pavilions, multiple arches, columned terraces, and other classical features—was based on her MIT thesis and reflected her Beaux-Arts training. After she won the coveted first prize, some doubted she had executed the work herself (plagiarism was an accusation faced by many women artists in that era). In response, ...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Stuttgart, Jan 8, 1839; d New York, Nov 2, 1883).

American cabinetmaker and designer of German birth. He completed his studies in Stuttgart and Paris and arrived in New York in 1859 to join his half-brother, Gustave Herter (1830–98), who ran a decorating business. After becoming an American citizen in 1867, he travelled to Paris and England, returning c. 1870, when he bought Herter Bros from Gustave. The firm’s luxurious furniture and interiors from the early 1870s show the influence of the Paris Opéra by Charles Garnier, which he had no doubt seen. From the mid-1870s, however, the work of Herter Bros exhibited the more restrained and geometric lines of English design reformers, particularly the architect E. W. Godwin, who promoted an enthusiasm for things Japanese. Although Herter’s best Eastlake-style furniture reflects many of the reform ideas, he also used earlier Renaissance Revival (see fig.) and Néo-Grec designs (see fig.). Much of his work shows a strong Japanese flavour, with angular, ebonized cherry cases enlivened with wild flower, insect and bird marquetry (...

Article

Debra Higgs Strickland

(b London, Dec 2, 1947; d Edinburgh, Dec 27, 2006).

English art historian and epigrapher. Higgitt earned degrees at Oriel College, Oxford University (BA Hons, 1969), and the Courtauld Institute of Art (MA, 1972). He taught History of Art at the University of Edinburgh from 1974 until his death in 2006. He is best known for his progressive work on medieval epigraphy and its functions in his contributions to numerous edited anthologies, eight volumes of the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, as well as in several separately published studies on early medieval sculpture, patronage, and inscriptions. He also edited three important volumes dedicated to art historical and epigraphical analysis of the early medieval standing stones of the British Isles and Ireland. As an advocate for ancient and medieval Scottish art, he served on the Ancient Monuments Board for Scotland and on the archaeological advisory body for Historic Scotland. Motivated by his particular concern with conservation issues relevant to Scotland’s sculptural heritage, he helped to found, and also chaired, the National Committee on the Carved Stones of Scotland, which oversees the conservation of regional carved monuments from prehistoric rock art to contemporary gravestones....