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Hilary Morgan

[Fr. L’Art pour l’art]

Concept that emphasizes the autonomous value of art and regards preoccupations with morality, utility, realism and didacticism as irrelevant or inimical to artistic quality. It was the guiding principle of the Aesthetic Movement.

In France the phrase ‘l’art pour l’art’ first appeared in print in 1833, but the concept had been popularized earlier by Madame de Staël’s De l’Allemagne (Paris, 1813) and Victor Cousin’s philosophy lectures at the Sorbonne, Du vrai, du beau et du bien (1816–18; pubd Paris, 1836). Théophile Gautier was its main literary publicist, especially in the preface to his novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (Paris, 1835). Studies of l’art pour l’art, such as Cassagne’s, concentrate on the Second Empire literary movement (1851–70) that included Charles Baudelaire, Gautier, Edmond and Jules de Goncourt and the Parnassian poets. The application of the term to art criticism and visual art is uncharted, but it seems to have been used sufficiently loosely to embrace stylistically opposed artists. ...

Article

Janet Bishop

(b San Francisco, CA, May 14, 1932).

American painter. Native of the San Francisco Bay Area, known for careful observation and explicit use of snapshot-like photographic source material for paintings of family, cars, and residential neighborhoods. The artist rose to national and international prominence in early 1970s as part of the Photorealist movement (see Photorealism).

From the 1960s, Bechtle pursued a quiet realism based on the things he knew best, translating what seem to be ordinary scenes of middle-class American life into paintings. Following an early childhood in the Bay Area and Sacramento, his family settled in 1942 in Alameda, an island suburb adjacent to Oakland where his mother would occupy the same house for almost 60 years. The neighborhood appears in many of Bechtle’s paintings.

Bechtle earned both his BFA (1954) and his MFA (1958) at Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied graphic design and then painting. During his student years and into the 1960s, Bechtle was influenced by Pop art’s precedent for the use of commercial subject matter and techniques. He was likewise interested in Bay Area figuration, especially the subjects and structure of paintings by ...

Article

Marisa J. Pascucci

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 1, 1890; d New York, NY, Feb 12, 2002).

American painter. Raised in Philadelphia she studied at the Philadelphia College of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art & Design) under Elliott Daingerfield (1859–1932), Daniel Garber (1880–1958), Samuel Murray (1869–1941), Harriet Sartain (1873–1957), and Henry B. Snell and graduated in 1911. With her mother, she toured Europe in 1905 and 1912. After returning from her second trip to Europe she settled in New York where her father had recently relocated the family. She lived at home and studied briefly at Art Students League taking life and portrait classes with William Merritt Chase. She eventually established her own studio in Manhattan and married William Meyerowitz (1898–1981), a painter and etcher. She was associated with the members of The Eight and part of the Ashcan school. She was an original member of the Philadelphia Ten—a group of female painters and sculptors schooled in Philadelphia who exhibited together annually, sometimes more often, from ...

Article

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 ...