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Regina Maria Prosperi Meyer

revised by Helena Bender

(b Trieste, Apr 23, 1928; d São Paulo, Feb 14, 2014).

Brazilian architect, urban planner, politician, and writer of Italian birth. He graduated from the Mackenzie’s School of Architecture in 1952. In his student years, Wilheim worked as an assistant to journalist and curator Pietro Maria Bardi at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP, 1946–1948) and in the office of architect Rino Levi (1950–1951). Wilheim established his professional practice in 1953 after winning the competition for the Santa Casa de Jaú Hospital (1954). He also engaged his career into politics, heading three government offices in São Paulo: the State Secretariat for Economy and Planning (1975–1979), the Municipal Secretariat for Planning (1983–1985; 2001–2004), the Secretariat for the Environment (1987–1991), and the Empresa Paulista de Planejamento Metropolitano (EMPLASA, 1991–1994). He was also the Adjunct Secretary-General of the United Nations (1994–1996) and helped to organize the Habitat II Conference held in Istanbul in 1996. As a writer, Wilheim edited magazines on art and politics and published articles and books about urban planning. Wilheim was the articulator of the strategic planning concept in Brazil. His career was mainly concerned with the design of public buildings and especially with the urban planning of several cities in Brazil....

Article

Mary Chou

[ Butter, Arlene Hannah ]

(b New York, March 7, 1940; d Houston, TX, Jan 28, 1993).

American photographer, performance artist, video artist, sculptor and teacher . Wilke earned a BFA and a teaching certificate from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia (1956–61). She taught at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School in Plymouth Meeting, PA, until 1965, and then moved to New York City where she taught at White Plains High School, just north of the city, until 1970. From 1972 to 1991 she taught sculpture at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Wilke is well known for examining stereotypes surrounding sexuality, femininity and feminism through the use of her body, language and visual punning.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wilke created forms that were abstract but highly suggestive of female genitalia, with layered and folded flower-like shapes, modelled from clay, chewing gum, kneaded erasers, laundry lint and latex (e.g. Needed-Erase-Her , 1974). Exhibited in groups on the floor or on the wall, in an ordered and repetitious manner that recalls Minimalism, the forms are organic and sexual—suggestive of reproduction and procreation. In the 1970s Wilke began to use her own body in a series of performances, videos and photographs that confront erotic representations of the female body and cultural stereotypes about female sexuality. Her video ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

( Kyrle )

(b London, Oct 13, 1897; d Sharon, CT, April 18, 1986).

American archaeologist, curator and collector . Trained as an artist at the Slade School, University College, London, in 1920 he joined the graphic section of the Egyptian Expedition to Thebes, organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. During the 1920s and 1930s Wilkinson painted facsimiles of Egyptian tomb paintings in the museum collection, and he joined museum excavations in the Kharga Oasis (Egypt) and Qasr-i Abu Nasr and Nishapur (Iran). Transferred to the curatorial staff of the museum in 1947, he became curator in 1956 of the new Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, which merged with the Department of Islamic Art in 1957. Through his energetic collaboration on major excavations at Hasanlu, Nimrud and Nippur, Wilkinson greatly expanded the Ancient Near Eastern collections at the Metropolitan Museum. After his retirement from the museum in 1963, he taught Islamic art at Columbia University and was Hagop Kevorkian Curator of Middle Eastern Art and Archaeology at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (...

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Petersham, MA, June 26, 1783; d Quincy, MA, Feb 27, 1861).

American architect . He trained in Petersham, MA, and moved in 1804 to Boston, where he distinguished himself as a carpenter and wood-carver working for the architects Charles Bulfinch, Asher Benjamin, Alexander Parris and Peter Banner ( fl 1795–1828). Between 1810 and 1818 Willard made trips to the mid-Atlantic states, where he worked with the artists and architects Benjamin Rush, Maximilian Godefroy, Robert Mills and Benjamin Latrobe. Bulfinch commissioned a wooden model of the US Capitol from Willard in 1817 and installed versions of Willard’s hot air furnace in the Capitol and the President’s House. Willard assisted Alexander Parris in the design of Boston’s first Greek Revival buildings, the Sears mansion (1816) and St Paul’s Cathedral (1820). As an independent architect, Willard worked in Grecian, Gothic and Egyptian styles, but his buildings are uniformly heavy in appearance owing to his preference for local Quincy granite. Willard designed less than ten major buildings in his career; most of his energy between ...

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Ellen Paul Denker

American glass-cutting shop formed in 1880 by Thomas Gibbons Hawkes (b Surmount, Ireland, 1846; d Corning, NY, 1913). Hawkes was born into a glass-cutting family in Surmount. He arrived in the USA in 1863 and first worked at the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works, which moved to Corning, NY, in 1868; in 1871 he became supervisor of the Corning Glass Works. Hawkes’s glass-cutting shop was founded in 1880, and he purchased blanks, which are plain, unadorned objects for cutting from the Corning Glass Works. After 1904 his craftsmen used blanks from the newly established Steuben Glass Works, which Hawkes had formed in partnership with members of his family and Frederick Carder. In addition to blanks Carder also provided designs for Hawkes’s cutters. After Steuben became a subsidiary of the Corning Glass Works in 1918, Hawkes’s blanks came from the Libbey Glass Co.

T. G. Hawkes & Co. is perhaps best known for its ‘Russian’ pattern, a heavy, rich-cut design that decorated a service ordered for the ...

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Judith S. Hull

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Judith S. Hull

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William R. Johnston

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Roberta K. Tarbell

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Rochelle LeGrandsawyer

(b Newark, NJ, June 28, 1955).

African American performance and conceptual artist. Pope.L attended the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn (1973–5), Montclair College (BA 1978) and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York (1977–8) before earning his MFA from Rutgers University (1981).

As the self-proclaimed “Friendliest Black Artist in America,” Pope.L approached the taboo and divisive subjects of race, sex and class as a comedic provocateur. Well-known Pope.L works, such as Eating the Wall Street Journal (2002) and Selling Mayonnaise for 100 Dollars a Dollop (1990–91), used humor and absurdity to engage socially-loaded subject matter. While Pope.L’s oeuvre spanned multiple media, much of his work took the form of public performance. For example, in The Great White Way: 22 miles, 5 years, 1 street (2002), Pope.L crawled, scooted and dragged himself—in segments over a five year period—through New York City on a 22-mile path from the Statue of Liberty to the Bronx, wearing a Superman costume and a skateboard strapped to his back....

Article

Ludovico C. Koppmann

(b Buenos Aires, Feb 19, 1913; d Buenos Aires, Oct 14, 1989).

Argentine architect and urban planner. He was the son of the composer Alberto Williams. He first studied engineering and aviation and became a leading member of the Rationalist Grupo Austral, before graduating as an architect from the University of Buenos Aires in 1941; he then went into practice in Buenos Aires. Williams became well known for his daring design experiments, manipulating space and utilizing technology to the full; they include such projects as ‘Dwellings in Space’ (1942), International Airport (1945) and ‘Hanging Office Building’ (1946), all in Buenos Aires; the latter was conceived as four huge concrete columns with beams and upper arcades from which the floors were hung. His built works include the Concert Hall (1942–53), Buenos Aires, and the House over the Brook (1943–5), constructed for his father in Mar del Plata; with the aim of raising the building off the ground but eliminating columns, the structure was designed like a bridge, supported on a parabolic curve....

Article

Mark Alan Hewitt

(b Los Angeles, CA, Feb 18, 1894; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 23, 1980).

African American architect. Educated in Los Angeles public schools, Williams was asked by a high school counselor why he wanted to be an architect rather than a doctor, lawyer, or fine artist. His answer was “that I had heard of only one Negro architect in America, and I was sure this country could use one or two more.” Williams went on to become the first African American licensed to practice architecture in California (1921), the first African American Fellow of the AIA (1957), and the designer of more than 3000 projects for clients as diverse as the US Navy, Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball.

Williams’s parents, Chester Stanley and Lila Wright Williams, had migrated to California from Tennessee at the beginning of the 1890s to establish a fruit business. Following their early deaths a few years later Paul was raised by family friends. He graduated from the Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles in ...

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Francis Summers

(b Chicago Heights, IL, 1954).

American painter. She studied at the California Institute for Art and Design, Valencia, in 1972 and 1975–6 and at Cooper Union in New York in 1973. She established herself with paintings that combined text (by turns humorous and scathing) with an expressionistic style, as in Money is Congealed Energy (1989; see Artforum, xxviii, Sept 1989, p. 141). Her work expressed the belief that there was a wide spread hatred and violence towards women, operating on all levels of society, all mutely condoned. With works such as A Funny Thing Happened (1992; see Artforum, xxxi, Nov 1992, p. 72) Williams derided acts of violence with an acerbic nihilistic humour using a post-feminist and post-theoretical, rather than a positivist, discourse. Her painterly technique played on a very conscious formal degeneration and crafted hysteria that used incompetence and anger as an artistic strategy; this was in marked contrast to work produced by feminists before her, such as Judy Chicago or Mary Kelly. In the 1990s, Williams turned from a hard-edged literalism to a pornographic lyricism, as in ...

Article

Adam M. Thomas

(b Bristol, bapt June 14, 1727; d Bristol, April 27, 1791).

American painter of English birth. A discontented young sailor, Williams jumped ship in North America, wandered the West Indies, and resurfaced as a painter in Philadelphia in 1747. Likely self-taught, Williams’s artistic enterprise included such diverse practices as history, portrait, landscape, and sign painting; decorative painting and gilding on ships; and the teaching of drawing and music. Williams is credited as America’s first professional painter of theatrical scenery as well as with writing one of the earliest known American novels, a posthumously published adventure story originally entitled Mr. Penrose; The Journal of Penrose, Seaman. Williams is primarily known as the first instructor of Benjamin West, who later stressed Williams’s influence on his decision to become a painter, although the scope of West’s formative training with Williams remains an open question. The details of Williams’s life are fragmentary and subject to conjecture. The frequency of painters and mariners with the same name during the period, the unreliable accounts by Williams and his pupil West, and the confusion between the specifics of Williams’s life and those of the narrator of his semi-autobiographical novel make him an elusive figure....

Article

Alfred Willis

American town in south-eastern Virginia. Williamsburg was the capital of the British colony of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and is the site of many surviving 18th-century structures forming a historic district known as Colonial Williamsburg. The Virginia colony had been settled in 1607 on nearby Jamestown Island on the north bank of the James River, but when the Statehouse there burned down in 1698, the capital was moved to higher ground at Middle Plantation (settled 1633 and since 1693 the seat of the College of William and Mary). The new town was named Williamsburg in honour of King William III (reg 1688–1702). Governor Francis Nicholson (1655–1728) devised its grid plan and suggested the royal initials (of King William and Queen Mary) in the figures formed by forking streets at the eastern and western ends. Williamsburg evolved by 1740 into a centre of culture whose leaders prized fine architecture and furnishings as well as fine art....

Article

Walter Smith

(b Tulsa, OK, Feb 17, 1928).

American architect. She studied at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, training for two years as an engineer but later switching to studio art (BFA, 1954). During the 1950s she worked in Honolulu, designing sculptures and furniture. In 1960 she moved to San Francisco, where she began working on small-scale housing and theatre renovation, and in 1966 she established her own architectural practice there. Her work is aimed at a balance between the traditional and new, an attitude nurtured through several renovation projects in San Francisco (e.g. three 19th-century buildings on Union Street, 1963), which anticipated a nation-wide trend towards the restoration of old buildings in large cities. She also specialized in private residences and buildings for the visual and performing arts. In the Pool House (1985) at Yountville, CA, she imposed a Modernist geometry on classical proportions and layout. The house takes the form of a propylaeum-like gate, with the central pedimented opening flanked by square cubicles. A more playful geometry—also with classical references—is seen in the earlier Margaret S. Hayward Playground Building (...

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Camara Dia Holloway

(b Philadelphia, PA, Feb 5, 1948).

American photographer, curator and scholar. Willis was born in North Philadelphia to a hairdresser mother and a policeman father who was an amateur photographer. Within a familial and communal context, Willis learned that photographs could function as powerful statements of African American identity. These ideas were reinforced by reading her family’s copy of the publication The Sweet Flypaper of Life (1955) that featured the photographs of Roy DeCarava, a major African American photographer. She also attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, Harlem on My Mind in 1969. Willis earned a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1975 and an MFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1979. Inspired by the quilting and storytelling traditions in her family, Willis developed a practice that combined her photographs, family photographs and other elements into autobiographical quilts. Her later works focused more on the female body.

From 1980 to 1992...

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Malcolm Thurlby

(bapt Exeter, Dec 25, 1822; d Montreal, April 23, 1857).

English architect active in North America. He was employed as a young man in Exeter by the architect John Hayward (1808–91), during which time he worked for the Anglican priest John Medley (1804–92), designing a Gothic canopied tomb in St Thomas’s, Exeter, and the chapel of St Andrew (1841–2), Exwick. He also illustrated Medley’s essay on Exeter Cathedral in Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society (1843) with his office colleague, Henry Dudley (1813–94). In 1845 Medley was appointed Anglican Bishop of Fredericton, New Brunswick, and commissioned Wills to design a cathedral for the city. Wills moved to Canada that year. His initial design for Christ Church Cathedral was modelled on St Mary’s, Snettisham, Norfolk, where Wills had done some restoration work. This exemplar did not satisfy the influential British periodical, The Ecclesiologist (1846), which criticized the design for being more appropriate to a parish church than a cathedral: ‘No cathedral would have a choir and transept lower than the nave. Nor is the singular clerestory, in which the alternate windows are circular, at all suited for a cathedral.’ Unusually, construction started at the west end with the nave and aisles (...

Article

Michelle Yun

[ James, Christopher Mallory ]

(b Vineburg, CA, June 11, 1943; d New York, NY, Nov 17, 1987).

American sculptor. Born Christopher Mallory James, Wilmarth moved to New York in 1960 to attend the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He took a year off in 1962 after the suicide of his brother but returned, receiving a BA in 1965. There he met and later married fellow artist Susan Rabineau. Wilmarth worked briefly as a studio assistant for Tony Smith from 1967 to 1969. He was appointed an adjunct instructor of art at Cooper Union in 1969, where he taught until 1980.

Wilmarth’s Minimalist sculptures composed of glass and metal are meditations on light and space. A critical turning point occurred when he first introduced glass into his sculptures in 1967. These early constructions made from highly polished birch and sheets of tempered glass were inspired by his work as a cabinetmaker. The atmospheric translucence of glass achieved by etching the surface with hydrofluoric acid captivated the artist and by ...