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Article

Ilaria Bignamini

(b London, Nov 17, 1684; d London, July 24, 1756).

English writer, engraver and antiquary. Born to Catholic parents, he first trained (c. 1698–1701) under an unknown French engraver, after which he was apprenticed to Michael van der Gught (1660–1725) until 1709. Vertue was an early member of Godfrey Kneller’s Academy of Painting and Drawing in Great Queen Street (1711–c. 1720), London, where he drew from life, and the Rose and Crown Club, to which numerous artists and patrons belonged. From 1726 he also attended the meetings in London of the Virtuosi of St Luke. In 1717 he was appointed engraver to the Society of Antiquaries, contributing to its Vetusta monumenta. He was also employed by Oxford University to engrave plates for its annual Almanacks and contributed to a number of illustrated works, including Aubrey de la Motraye’s Travels through Europe, Asia, and into Parts of Africa (1723), Thomas Salmon’s The Chronological Historian...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....

Article

Christina Lodder

[Vysshiye (Gosudarstvennyye) Khudozhestvenno-Tekhnicheskiye Masterskiye ; Rus.: Higher (State) Artistic and Technical Workshops]

Soviet school of art and architecture, active in Moscow from 1920 to 1930. It was established by state decree on 29 November 1920, on the basis of the first and second State Free Art Studios (Svomas), which had themselves been set up in December 1918 by fusing the old Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture with the Stroganov School of Applied Art. The Vkhutemas was conceived explicitly as ‘a specialized educational institution for advanced artistic and technical training, created to train highly qualified master artists for industry, as well as instructors and directors of professional and technical education’. Official concerns reflected contemporary artistic discussions on the role of art in the new society and its participation in industrial production; this was called ‘production art’, although the term covered a wide range of approaches, from applied and decorative art to the emerging concept of design promoted by the First Working Group of ...

Article

(b Paris, Dec 6, 1668; d Rome, Dec 11, 1737).

French painter, administrator and teacher of Flemish origin. He trained with his father Philippe Vleughels (?1620–94), a Flemish painter who had moved to Paris in 1642; he was also a pupil of Pierre Mignard I. In 1694 he came second in the Prix de Rome competition with Lot and his Daughters Leaving Sodom (untraced); despite repeated attempts, he failed to win the first prize. He became a close friend of Watteau and was, like him, greatly influenced by Flemish painting, notably that of Rubens. In 1704 Vleughels travelled to Italy at his own expense. From his base in Rome he made trips to Venice (1707–9) and Modena (1712–14) and was much influenced by the work of the Venetian colourists, particularly Veronese, whose works he copied (drawings Paris, Louvre, Cab. Dessins). In 1716, back in Paris, he was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale and in the same year was received (...

Article

Krystyna Sroczyńska

[pseud. Ptaszek ]

(b Warsaw, June 15, 1764; d Warsaw, April 20, 1826).

Polish painter, printmaker and teacher. He trained as a master builder and then from 1780 studied under André Lebrun (1737–1811) in the school of painting at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, as well as under Jakub Monaldi and Simon Bogumił Zug. In 1785 Vogel produced several watercolour copies of vedute of Warsaw by Bernardo Bellotto, which laid the foundations of his future career. He also became Bellotto’s first successor in the field of veduta painting. From 1785 Vogel painted over 100 vedute of the capital and its environs (e.g. Panoramic View of Warsaw from Praga, 1816; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), many of which, because of their detail and precision, were later used to reconstruct monuments destroyed during World War II. From 1787 until 1800, on the recommendation of Stanislav II Poniatowski, who appointed him his Government Illustrator, and later, on his own initiative, Vogel made several trips around Poland, painting views of castles and their ruins, and of large and small towns mainly in the Wisła River basin. From ...

Article

( Colomann )

(b Penzing, nr Vienna, July 13, 1841; d Vienna, April 11, 1918).

Austrian architect, urban planner, designer, teacher and writer. He was one of the most important architects of the 19th and 20th centuries—in 1911 Adolf Loos called him ‘the greatest architect in the world’—and a key figure in the development of 20th-century European architecture. His work, spread over more than half a century, embodies the transition from mid-19th-century historicism to the earliest expressions of 20th-century Modernism. Wagner was an influential teacher and theorist, and in addition to his executed work he designed and published more than 100 ambitious schemes, the last volume of his Einige Skizzen being published posthumously in 1922; this long series of often fantastic but always highly pragmatic and carefully thought out projects included urban plans, museums, academies, parliament buildings and public monuments.

After studying at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna from 1857 to 1860 and spending a short period at the Bauakademie in Berlin, where he became familiar with the work of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Wagner studied from ...

Article

Rudolf M. Bisanz

(b Vienna, Jan 15, 1793; d Helmstreitmühle in der Hinterbrühl, nr Baden, Aug 23, 1865).

Austrian painter. He received sporadic art lessons of varying quality in Vienna between 1807 and 1820, first under Zinther and then with Johann Baptist Lampi, Hubert Maurer (1738–1818), Josef Lange (1751–1831) and Wilhelm Johann Nepomuk Schödlberger (1799–1853) at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. After 1811 he made a meagre living painting miniatures and giving art lessons. Perhaps more significant than this haphazard formal training was Waldmüller’s extensive copying after the Old Masters at the court and municipal art galleries of Vienna, mostly between 1817 and 1821. His copy of Jusepe de Ribera’s Martyrdom of St Andrew (1821; Vienna, Gemäldegal. Akad. Bild. Kst.) is an example of his accomplished technique. However, commissions for copies barely enabled him to support himself.

In 1822 Waldmüller made his début at the Vienna Akademie exhibition with five original paintings. Three years later he made his first trip to Italy, and in ...

Article

Shearer West

(b ?Yarmouth, 25 April ?1721; d London, Feb 6, 1786).

English draughtsman, illustrator and painter. In 1735 he was apprenticed to a goldsmith; he studied at the St Martin’s Lane Academy, London, where he was influenced by Gravelot. He worked briefly as a decorative painter in partnership with Francis Hayman, presenting topographical roundels of Christ’s Hospital, St Thomas’s Hospital and Greenwich Hospital to the Foundling Hospital (all before 1748; in situ).

Wale was among the most prolific book illustrators of the third quarter of the 18th century, producing illustrations for over 100 publications. The fact that he did not engrave his own designs may have contributed to the enormity of his output: he usually supplied only a pen-and-ink drawing, sometimes tinted, which would then be engraved; he could also be repetitive. Around 1751 he designed a series of prints of Vauxhall Gardens, which were etched and engraved by Thomas Bowles (b c. 1712) and Johann Sebastian Müller (...

Article

Adrienne L. Childs

(b Atlanta, GA, Nov 2, 1902; d Washington, DC, Jan 20, 1993).

American printmaker, painter and educator. Wells’s 70-year career had a major impact on the development of African American art in the 20th century. He studied at the National Academy of Design, Columbia University Teachers College and the Atelier 17 printmaking workshop, both in New York. In 1929 he began teaching at Howard University, Washington, DC, where he remained an influential professor of art until his retirement in 1968.

One of the first black artists to embrace modernism, Wells’s early linocuts such as African Phantasy (1928) and Sisters (1929) embody the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance as African American artists looked toward African ancestral arts for inspiration. His graphic works were included in journals such as The Crisis, Opportunity and New Masses and became central to the visual culture of the New Negro Movement. Wells’s graphic style was influenced by European Expressionism, African and Egyptian art as well as popular Art Deco motifs. His extensive repertoire as a printmaker incorporated lithography, linoleum cut and wood engraving; his subjects included Bible stories, the urban worker, mythology, Africa and the nude. Also known for his expressionistic painting style, the Harmon Foundation awarded Wells a gold medal in ...

Article

Helmut Börsch-Supan

(b Berne, bapt June 22, 1637; d Berne, 1710).

Swiss painter, active in France and Germany . His work is diverse in form—ranging from portrait miniatures to ceiling paintings—and eclectic in manner, drawing on a wide range of 17th-century influences. Like his biography, it is marked by restlessness and inner division. The surviving oeuvre securely attributed to him comprises only 56 oil paintings, 47 miniatures, 60 drawings and 2 etchings (Glaesemer). The quality is uneven, and a clear line of development is difficult to discern. A decline in Werner’s creative powers set in long before his death.

Werner was the son of a painter of the same name ( fl 1637; d after 1675). He left the Calvinist milieu of Berne in 1649 to train in Basle and from 1650 learnt oil painting in Frankfurt am Main under Matthäus Merian (ii), a cosmopolitan and versatile painter. He went on to Italy between 1652 and 1654. In the tradition of Hans Rottenhammer II, Friedrich Brentel I and Johann Wilhelm Baur, Werner treated the subject-matter of the large-format panel painting with great delicacy. In a ...

Article

William Garner

(fl 1752–61; d Dublin, 1790).

Irish stuccoist. He is a typical example of the many plasterers working in Dublin during the mid-18th century whose work remains largely unidentified. In 1752 he was described as a plasterer when admitted as a freeman of the City of Dublin. In 1756 he was paid £534 for ‘plaistering and stucco’ in the city’s Rotunda Hospital, where it is thought he decorated the staircase ceiling. In 1761 he worked at 9 Cavendish Row and at 4 and 5 Parnell Square, three houses built by Bartholomew Mosse (1712–59), Master Builder of the Rotunda.

West is variously described in legal documents as plasterer, Master Builder and merchant, and it is known that he developed property in Lower Dominick Street, Granby Row, Great Denmark Street and City Quay. He built 20 Lower Dominick Street before 1758, and the ceilings there can be attributed to him. Various motifs in the hall—serrated acanthus in high relief and birds holding flowers—are also to be found in the staircase hall of 56 St Stephen’s Green. This latter work is crowded and crudely modelled, though the ceiling of Lower Dominick Street’s hall is one of the most daringly conceived and freely modelled Rococo ceilings in Dublin. Here, trophies of musical instruments, caryatids and birds standing on pedestals are close in treatment to those in the Rotunda Chapel. At Florence Court, Co. Fermanagh, the dining-room ceiling is similar to that in the back drawing-room of 9 Cavendish Row, with its flat acanthus set within robust rectangular mouldings. Although West is popularly associated with the bird motifs found in Dublin Rococo plasterwork, few are actually to be found in the houses where he is known to have worked. Nothing by West can be dated later than ...

Article

Karin Kryger

(b Copenhagen, Sept 1, 1731; d Copenhagen, Dec 14, 1802).

Danish sculptor, writer and designer . He was the son of the sculptor Just Wiedewelt (1677–1757) and trained in the shop belonging to his father and godfather, the sculptor Didrik Gercken (1692–1778). In 1750 Wiedewelt travelled to Paris, where he worked under the sculptor Guillaume Coustou (ii), and studied contemporary French sculpture. Despite his subsequent admiration for Classical antiquity, he continued to work in this style throughout his career. In 1753 he won the silver medal from the Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture in Paris. The following year he went to Rome, where he came into contact with such leading cultural figures as Anton Raphael Mengs and Johann Joachim Winckelmann, whose knowledge of Classical art and judgement of contemporary works greatly influenced Wiedewelt. He kept all the studies made in Italy for later use as a source of inspiration.

Wiedewelt had returned to Copenhagen by 1758...

Article

Louise Sandhaus

( Yvonne Elizabeth Stella )

(b Ontario, May 31, 1953).

American graphic designer, art historian and art educator of Canadian birth. She studied at Michigan State University, East Lansing, transferring in 1973 to the design programme run by Katherine McCoy at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI, receiving her BFA in 1975. She then worked for Vignelli Associates in New York from 1977 to 1978, while researching the history of American graphic design post World War II on weekends. Her personal research led to further study at Yale University (1982). While at Yale she designed Perspecta 19, Yale’s architectural journal, followed by the Chamber Works and Theatrum Mundi portfolios for the architect Daniel Libeskind (b 1946), and architect John Hejduk’s book Mask of Medusa in 1985. These projects launched her reputation for thoughtful and distinctively designed books on architecture, art and design.

Her 1982 MFA thesis, entitled Trends in American Graphic Design: 1930–1955, was quickly recognized as an important contribution to design scholarship and subsequently led to many commissions for essays. While teaching in the University of Houston’s architecture school during the early 1980s, Wild wrote the influential essay ‘More Than A Few Questions about Graphic Design Education’ (...

Article

Roy R. Behrens

[ née Friedlaender ]

(b Lyon, Oct 11, 1896; d Pond Farm, near Guerneville, CA, Feb 24, 1985).

American ceramic artist, writer and teacher of French birth, active also in Germany . Born in France to a German–English family of silk merchants, her family moved to Germany when she was in her teens. After secondary school she studied sculpture in Berlin and then worked as a porcelain decorator. In her autobiography, The Invisible Core, she recalled the moment in 1919 when she saw the first announcement of the Bauhaus: ‘I stood in front of that proclamation, moved to the quick, read, and re-read it. “That’s it’, I said. “I must go to the Bauhaus and learn my craft there”. It was that simple.’ She studied there from 1919 to 1926, during which her major teachers were sculptor Gerhard Marcks and potter Max Krehan. Having been designated a master potter in 1926, she became the head of ceramics at the Burg Giebichenstein in Halle. There she began to make prototypes for mass-produced dinnerware for the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (KPM). When the National Socialists came to power in ...

Article

Richard Apperly

(b London, Oct 12, 1882; d Sydney, Sept 20, 1973).

English architect and teacher, active in Australia . He was apprenticed in 1900 to C. E. Kempe, a stained-glass designer, and later that year to the architect J. S. Gibson. Wilkinson studied architecture at the Royal Academy, London, from 1902 to 1906, winning the Academy’s Silver and Gold Medals and subsequently travelling in England, France, Italy and Spain. He joined the staff of the School of Architecture, University College, London, serving as an assistant professor from 1910 to 1918. He held a commission from 1914 to 1918 in the London University Officer Training Corps, and in 1918 he was appointed as Australia’s first Professor of Architecture, at the University of Sydney. Dean of the Faculty of Architecture there from 1920 to 1947, he was a witty, erudite and influential teacher, discouraging ‘fads’ and stressing the importance of correct orientation for buildings and rooms. He designed various buildings on the university campus, the Physics Building (...

Article

Tessa Murdoch

(b London, July 16, 1722; d London, Nov 25, 1803).

English sculptor. He was the son of William Wilton (d 1768), a plasterer who ran an extremely profitable factory making papier-mâché ornaments. He trained with Laurent Delvaux at Nivelles in Flanders and from 1744 under Jean-Baptiste Pigalle in Paris. In 1747 he travelled to Italy; three years later in Rome he was awarded the Jubilee gold medal by Benedict XIV. By 1751 he was in Florence, where he began to gain a considerable reputation for his copies of antique sculpture. The bald, undraped marble portrait of Dr Antonio Cocchi (1755; London, V&A) is the only surviving bust from life produced by Wilton during this Italian period. In 1755 he returned to England accompanied by the architect William Chambers, the sculptor G. B. Capezzuoli ( fl 1755–82) and the painter Giovanni Battista Cipriani. Initially he set up his workshop at his father’s house in Charing Cross, London. His bust of ...

Article

Josh Yiu

[Wang Wuxie; Wang Wu-hsieh]

(b Dongguan, Guangdong Province, 1936).

Hong Kong painter and educator of Chinese birth, active also in the USA. Born in Guangdong Province, Wucius Wong moved to Hong Kong in 1938. He joined the Modern Literature and Art Association in 1956 as an aspiring poet, but focused on painting under the tutelage of Lui Shou-kwan. From 1961 to 1965, Wong earned a BFA and MFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design and Maryland Institute respectively. In 1967 he served as Assistant Curator of the City Hall Museum and Art Gallery (later Hong Kong Museum of Art) until 1970, when he received the John D. Rockefeller III grant. Wong taught graphic design from 1974 to 1984 at Hong Kong Polytechnic (later Hong Kong Polytechnic University). In 1984 Wong resigned from teaching to devote himself full time to painting, and then emigrated to the United States. In 1996 he relocated to Hong Kong permanently.

Raised and educated during Hong Kong’s colonial period and with formal art training from the United States, Wucius Wong’s career had a distinct trajectory that was least politically motivated when compared to other modern Chinese artists. He felt a deep-seated rootlessness and identity crisis for much of his life, as is illustrated in his ...

Article

The Federal Art Project (FAP) was the visual arts branch of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a government agency created in 1935 to find employment for people on public projects in response to the Great Depression. In December 1933 the ambitious Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) was set up to create regional offices to employ artists, with Edward Bruce of the Treasury Department as national director. The successful program employed some 3749 artists across the country, but it was phased out by the summer of 1934. (Bruce later headed other programs under the Treasury Department that employed artists.)

With the relief needs of artists, writers, musicians and theater people unresolved and with the experimental climate of the New Deal still energizing legislation, Harry Hopkins of the WPA set up Federal Project No. 1 in August 1935, which had the most far-reaching cultural impact on the country. There were four cultural projects: Art, Music, Theatre and Writers. For the art project, ...

Article

Ulrike Gaisbauer

(b Vienna, April 23, 1907; d Vienna, Aug 28, 1975).

Austrian sculptor and architect . While training in an engraving and die-stamping workshop in Vienna (1921–4), he took evening classes in life-drawing at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, before in 1926 joining Anton Hanak’s sculpture class where he met the metal sculptor Marian Fleck (d 1951), whom he married in 1929; in 1928 they both left the school after disagreements with the teacher. During his career as a die-stamper and engraver, Wotruba studied in 1927 with Professor Eugen Gustav Steinhof (b 1880) and carried out his first experiments in stone in 1928–9, including Male Torso (limestone; priv. col.). In 1930 he travelled to Düsseldorf and Essen, where he examined the works of Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Aristide Maillol and became a friend of Josef Hoffmann.

In 1933, with a group of unemployed people, Wotruba made the monument Man, Condemn War (see Breicha, 1967, p. 65), which was installed in the cemetery in Donawitz but later destroyed by the Nazis. At this time he was in contact with Hans Tietze, Herbert Boeckl and others. During the February disturbances in ...

Article

Robert Winter

Guides to every state in the Union (and some of the major cities) that were written under the auspices of the Federal Writers Project created by the Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The idea was part of Roosevelt’s attempt to find work for the thousands of Americans who had been left jobless by the Great Depression of the 1930s. Published between 1937 and 1942, each one began with short chapters on subjects such as political history, the arts, architecture, labor movements, economics and education. These were followed by sections on major cities and their resources. About half of each guide was devoted to a series of tours that might be taken along country roads as well as major highways. They included details of small towns that are still valuable to scholars.

The Federal Writers Project hired some important authors, but few of them wrote for the guides. They were composed by people of lesser note such as unknown college professors, amateur naturalists and architecture buffs. The great majority of the researchers were people who had no training in gathering facts but who nevertheless pursued them with care. One also suspects that the high quality of the finished products was the result of the work of capable editors....