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Article

Ronald R. McCarty

(b Little Falls, NY, June 24, 1886; d New York, NY, Dec 23, 1939).

American architect, developer, city planner, and author. Baum enrolled in the architectural programme at Syracuse University in 1905, graduating in 1909, and winning an architectural fellowship and membership of the architectural fraternity Tau Sigma Delta. After graduating, Baum married and moved to New York City, opening an office in the Fieldston section of Riverdale in the Bronx in 1915. With his outstanding achievements in residential design, Baum, at age 37, received a Gold Medal in 1923 from the Architectural League of New York, becoming the youngest architect to receive this prestigious honour. At a reception at the White House in 1931, President Herbert C. Hoover presented Baum with a AIA Gold Medal, awarded by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for the best design for a two-storey house built in the USA from 1926 to 1930. Known best for his outstanding country homes designed for an affluent clientele, Baum created over 200 homes in the Riverdale-on-Hudson and Fieldston areas of New York. His institutional works include Wells College, Aurora, NY; Clarkson College of Technology, Potsdam, NY; and Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY; as well as his alma mater, Syracuse University, where he collaborated with John Russell Pope on a 50-year master plan for the university. His work reached far beyond New York State, with private residences and public buildings designed for Sarasota, Tampa, Temple Terrace, St Petersburg, Winter Haven, Clewiston, and Fort Pierce, all in Florida, with many developed as complete planned communities. Baum’s largest and most challenging private commission came in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1845; d 1908).

American interior decorator and founder of the first tapestry factory in the USA. He worked for Herter Brothers (see Herter, Christian) on the decoration of a series of grand houses, notably William H. Vanderbilt’s house on Fifth Avenue, New York, and William Welsh Harrison’s Grey Towers Castle (now part of Arcadia University) in Philadelphia. When the Vanderbilt house was completed in 1882, Christian Herter returned to Germany and Baumgarten took over the company. In 1891 he started his own company, William Baumgarten and Company, Inc., and in 1893 complemented his interior decoration business with a tapestry factory in his Fifth Avenue premises. He recruited weavers and dyers from the Royal Windsor Tapestry Manufactory (which had closed in 1890), including five weavers from the Foussadier family. The factory’s tapestries include one at Grey Towers (1898).

A Short Résumé of the History of Tapestry Making in the Past and Present...

Article

Judith Zilczer

Term applied to a group of American artists active in San Francisco from 1950 to the mid-1960s who forged a vibrant brand of figurative expressionism. Originating in the studios and art schools of postwar San Francisco, the movement transcended its regional identity to attain national recognition as a major trend in mid-20th-century American art.

Around 1950, painters David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn and James Weeks (1922–98) adapted the gestural style and painterly techniques of Abstract Expressionism to create luminous canvases devoted to recognizable subjects including genre scenes, figure paintings and the local landscape of the Bay Area. These four “founders” were soon joined by slightly younger artists—Nathan Oliveira, Paul Wonner (1920–2008) and Theophilus Brown (b 1919), as well as former students Joan Brown (1938–90), Bruce McGaw (b 1935) and the lone sculptor, Manuel Neri (b 1930). Although Park and his fellow artists would deny they had created a new movement, their shared sensibilities resulted in the cohesive style and widespread influence of the Bay Area Figurative school....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...

Article

Robert Saltonstall Mattison

(b Pittsburgh, PA, June 11, 1912; d New York, June 6, 1963).

American painter. Baziotes was brought up in Reading, PA, by his Greek immigrant parents. When his father’s business failed in the mid-1920s, he was exposed to poverty and the life of illegal gambling dens and local brothels, all of which later contributed to the spirit of evil lurking in his paintings. In the early 1930s he worked briefly for a company specializing in stained glass for churches, which may have affected the mysterious and translucent painted environments in his later canvases. His early interest in poetry was heightened by his close friendship with the Reading poet Byron Vazakas, who introduced him to the work of Charles-Pierre Baudelaire and the French Symbolists; these writers soon became an important source for Baziotes’s own search to communicate strong emotions and bizarre states of mind. Themes from Baudelaire’s poetry are suggested in Baziotes’s treatment of twilight, water, the colour green and mirrors, while The Balcony...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(b Richmond, VA, June 25, 1931; d Oneonta, NY, Aug 29, 2013).

American painter. Beal studied at the College of William and Mary, Norfolk, VA, before going on to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago. In 1965, he began having solo exhibitions at the Allan Frumkin Gallery, later Frumkin/Adams Gallery and then George Adams Gallery, which had venues in New York City and Chicago, continuing to exhibit with them into the 21st century. Like many artists working in the 1960s, he repudiated the abstract, then so current in the art world, and favored instead the kind of “New Realism” being espoused by artists such as Philip Pearlstein, among others. His art focuses on the figure indoors, usually rendered up-close in a compact interior environment. The colors are usually vivid and the lines often dominant.

Beal is known primarily as a painter, but in addition to painting and prints, Beal produced two major public art monuments. The first was a series of four murals titled ...

Article

Dennis Raverty

(b Charlotte, NC, Sept 2, 1911 or 1912; d New York City, Mar 12, 1988).

African American painter, collagist, and author. Bearden is best known for his collages, which often addressed urban themes (e.g. The Dove). He was a founding member of Spiral, a group of African American artists who started meeting at his downtown New York studio in 1963. He also published essays and cartoons, designed book jackets, magazine and album covers, and is widely regarded as the first African American artist to successfully enter the mainstream of the contemporary art world. The posthumously published book he co-authored with Harry Henderson, A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present (1993), in a very short time became an almost canonical text in the field.

Bearden’s family moved permanently to Harlem, a predominately black neighborhood of New York City, in 1920. His mother, Bessye Bearden, was the New York correspondent for the Chicago Defender, an African American newspaper, and through her Bearden was introduced to many of the artists, writers, and intellectuals associated with the ...

Article

Ellen G. Landau

American literary, musical and artistic movement that arose in the 1950s and 1960s. The term is applied to the primarily urban, intellectual and sub-cultural phenomenon that emerged in the aftermath of World War II. It was motivated by writers (especially poets), musicians (mostly jazz practitioners), and visual artists reacting against the rampant conformism and Cold War paranoia of 1950s America. The Beat Movement developed contemporaneously in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. According to poet and critic John Clellon Holmes (1926–88), “Beat” described an alienated state wherein the individual, “pushed up against the wall of [his] own consciousness,” felt compelled to rebel against the strictures of “straight” society. Alternatively, Jack Kerouac (1922–69), author of the archetypal Beat novel, On the Road (1957), emphasized the “beatific” aspects of Beat inspiration, prioritizing spirituality over materialism. East and West Coast Beat practitioners shared a number of features, although the art, literature, and music produced were not identical in tenor, style or theme. A few participants moved back and forth between locations and, for some, alcohol and drug use, Zen Buddhism and alternate forms of sexuality played an important creative role....

Article

Gordon Campbell

American glass factory founded in Steubenville, OH, c. 1850 by Alexander J. Beatty and relocated in Tiffin, OH, in 1888. Its blown and pressed tableware included goblets, of which it was able to make 500,000 per week. The company merged with the United States Glass Company in 1892, and became one of its 19 factories....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b New York, Feb 7, 1875; d Monaco, Jan 19, 1968).

British mining consultant and collector of American birth. He was educated at the Columbia School of Mines and at Princeton University; by the age of 28 he was the consulting engineer and assistant general manager of the Guggenheim Exploration Company. In 1913, two years after the death of his first wife, he settled in London and became established as a mining consultant. He married Edith Dunn and bought Baroda House in Kensington Palace Gardens. With one of his associates, Herbert Hoover, later President of the USA (1929–33), he reorganized the Kyshtin mine in the Urals. The Selection Trust Ltd, which he established in 1914 to develop and finance profitable mines throughout the world, made great headway after World War I, and he remained its chairman until 1960. He was naturalized as a British citizen in 1933. In his youth he began collecting a range of items, including Western manuscripts and Chinese snuff bottles, but his main passion was collecting Islamic manuscripts and paintings, early Bibles and rare books, Impressionist paintings, French and Russian gold snuffboxes, 18th-century watches, clocks, and stamps. His interest in the Islamic arts of the book, particularly manuscripts of the Koran, was stimulated by frequent visits to Cairo, where he wintered between the wars. Although he had no knowledge of Arabic, Persian, or Turkish, he was keen to give scholars access to his collection and loaned manuscripts to many exhibitions. In ...

Article

Tara Leigh Tappert

(b Philadelphia, PA, May 1, 1855; d Gloucester, MA, Sept 17, 1942).

American painter. Beaux’s paintings of upper-class men, women, and children represent the finest examples of portraiture from the turn of the 20th century (see fig.). Known for her bravura brushwork, lush colour, and consummate ability to combine likeness and genre, Beaux’s paintings garnered awards and accolades at the exhibitions where she regularly showed her work. By the 1890s her portraits were often compared with those of John Singer Sargent, and she was as well known as Mary Cassatt.

Beaux was 16 years old when an uncle arranged private art lessons with a distant relative and artist, Catharine Ann Drinker (1871–2). Beaux did copy-work with her and then took two more years of training at the art school of Francis Adolf van der Wielen (1872–4). Beaux later studied china painting at the National Art Training School with Camille Piton (1879). Her earliest Philadelphia training prepared her for a career in the decorative arts. A few of Beaux’s early commissions include her lithograph, ...

Article

Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

American organization dedicated to improving the quality of architectural education. Incorporated in 1916 by the architect Lloyd Warren (1867–1922), the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design (BAID) was an outgrowth of the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects (SBAA; 1894–1942) established by his brother Whitney Warren (1864–1943) with Thomas Hastings and Ernest Flagg who had all studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and were nationally recognized American architects. BAID was dedicated to the improvement of architectural education by providing a centralized location for the distribution and judging of design problems. Architecture schools and private ateliers located throughout the United States developed projects based on the programs created by BAID. The student work was then sent to the headquarters in New York to be judged. An award system of medals and mentions cited the work considered most deserving by the jury of distinguished architects. The award winning projects published in ...

Article

Isabelle Gournay

Term applied to a style of classical architecture found particularly in France and the USA that derived from the academic teaching of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The style is characterized by its formal planning and rich decoration. The term is also found in writings by detractors of the Ecole’s teaching methods and results: Frank Lloyd Wright, for example, called its products ‘Frenchite pastry’ (‘In the Course of Architecture’, Archit. Rec., xxiii (1908), p. 163). For Paris-trained architects, however, issues of style were in general secondary to the more permanent tenets of the doctrine put forward by the Ecole (see below).

Beaux-Arts style is at its most spectacular in large public commissions. On the main façades, monumentality is conveyed by colossal orders and coupled columns, dynamism by marked wall projections and decorative details in high relief, such as swags, garlands and medallions. Well detached from the elaborate rooflines, figure sculptures often terminate the main and secondary vertical axes. Overscaling (a device that characterizes Baroque more than classical architecture) prevents the ...

Article

Richard Guy Wilson

The term Beaux-Arts style has several interrelated meanings in connection with American architecture. Frequently it is employed as a stylistic label with reference to the vast array of buildings with classical details constructed in the United States between the 1880s and the 1940s such as the Henry G. Villard houses (1882–6), New York, by McKim, Mead & White and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial (1937–43), Washington, DC, by John Russell Pope and Eggers & Higgins. Details on these and similar buildings employ forms and details from Greek, Roman and Renaissance sources. Beaux-Arts classicism can also refer to buildings with Georgian details that can also be labeled Colonial or Georgian Revival, along with the French château style as popularized in the William K. Vanderbilt house (1879–82), New York, by Hunt family §(2). The Court of Honor at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago brought the Beaux-Arts approach to prominence and impacted city planning as reflected in the McMillan Plan for Washington, DC (...

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

Martica Sawin

(b New York, July 3, 1923; d New York, July 13, 2003).

American painter. Born of Hungarian parents, Beck grew up in Westchester County, NY and attended high school at New Rochelle, where her chief interests were music and drama. She began studying violin at the age of ten and continued with music at Oberlin College, OH, where she majored in art history. After graduation Beck moved to New York City, where she continued to study art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, as well as attending life-drawing classes at the Art Students League. Beck belonged to the second generation of New York school artists—artists generally born between 1915 and 1925—who began their careers when Abstract Expressionism was gaining momentum in the late 1940s. Like others among her contemporaries, Beck came under the influence of abstract art at an early stage, then turned gradually to representational painting while retaining the structural principles of abstract art (see fig.).

Beck and her husband, writer and literary critic Robert Phelps, moved to Woodstock, NY in ...

Article

Robert Winter

(b Seattle, WA, Aug 8, 1902; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 16, 1969).

American architect. Although Becket was based in the Los Angeles area, he also had an international reputation. His work was in the modernist mode and he was important in popularizing the style in public buildings throughout Southern California and elsewhere.

Becket studied architecture at the University of Washington (1927) and for a short time at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His early work was for established architecture firms in Seattle and then Los Angeles, where he joined the firm of Charles F. Plummer, and, when Plumber died, he teamed up with his classmate Walter Wurdeman to form the firm of Wurdeman and Becket.

Their first major building was the Pan-Pacific Auditorium (1935) in North Hollywood, CA, an assertive structure in the Streamlined Moderne style. It was enormously successful and led to further commissions. One of the best was Bullock’s department store (1944) in Pasadena, again in the Streamlined Moderne (then called ‘modernistic’) style. It is now partially obscured by a harmonious recent building erected in its former parking lot. The interior, though remodeled several times, retains a great deal of its original décor, including a tapestry by Jean Lurçat (...

Article

A. Krista Sykes

(b Oak Park, IL, Oct 12, 1941).

American architect and teacher. Born in Oak Park, IL (home of numerous early works by Frank Lloyd Wright), Beeby moved with his family to Philadelphia before they relocated to England, where he completed high school. Beeby returned to the USA to attend Cornell University, earning a Bachelor of Architecture in 1964. The following year he received his Master’s of Architecture from Yale University and took a position in the Chicago office of C. F. Murphy, leaving in 1971 to join James Wright Hammond (a former partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) in creating Hammond Beeby & Associates, which would eventually become the modern-day firm of Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge. In 1973 Beeby began teaching at the Illinois Institute of Technology, serving as an associate professor from 1978 through 1980, when he assumed the directorship of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He left this post to become dean of the Yale University School of Architecture from ...

Article

Leland M. Roth

(Esther)

(b East Hampton, NY, Sept 6, 1800; d Elmira, NY, May 12, 1878).

American writer. Daughter of the influential Presbyterian minister, Lyman Beecher (1775–1863), she was one of eight children. The education of women was her mission; she focused on making them better writers, speakers, but most especially, more efficient household managers and homemakers. Her books included works on improving domestic design. In The Elements of Mental and Moral Philosophy (1831) she advanced her view of the superiority of women, and the following book, A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841), was enormously popular. The house designs she began to publish in 1841 were conventional spatially and technically. She rapidly improved her architectural knowledge and in 1869 published with her sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–96), her most influential book, The American Woman’s Home. Included were plans for a model house arranged to maximize functional use and to minimize housekeeping drudgery. The latest inventions were incorporated, including water-closets, indoor plumbing, ventilation systems, central heating and gas illumination. Beecher also reproduced plans for a tenement house and settlement houses for the urban poor, as well as schemes for a suburban church, schoolhouse and a residence for two female missionary teachers. There is also discussion of a Model Christian Neighbourhood, in which ten to twelve families share a common bakehouse and laundry with mechanized washing equipment....