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Margaret Rose Vendryes

(b Mayfield, KY, April 30, 1899; d New York, NY, Jan 1, 1977).

American painter. Wilson worked as graphic artist in Chicago for five years after completing the four-year commercial art program at the Art Institute of Chicago School in 1923. He became an adept colorist with a particular interest in still life composition. Wilson hoped to grow as a painter after moving to Harlem, New York in 1928 where he worked odd jobs for wages. Three years later, he permanently relocated to Greenwich Village. He exhibited with the Harmon Foundation, at the Detroit Museum, the Contemporary Arts and Roko Galleries in New York City, and at most of the large historically black universities and colleges. Wilson socialized with important members of the New Negro arts movement such as Aaron Douglas and Jacob Lawrence whose abbreviated figurative works tempered his academic realist style ( see New Negro Movement ). His skill with linear gestures, affinity with nature, and ability to strike a coherent balance between them identify this best work. With two years of Guggenheim fellowships, he spent time with the African Americans living on South Carolina’s Sea Islands in ...

Article

Tracy Fitzpatrick

(b Bronx, NY, 1954).

American sculptor, installation and conceptual installation artist. Wilson was born in the Bronx, attended the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan, and received his BFA from Purchase College, The State University of New York in 1976.

While at Purchase College, Wilson studied performance art and dance and also served as a guard at the Neuberger Museum of Art. After college, he worked in various capacities at several New York City museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. In 1987, he became the director of the Longwood Arts Project, where he organized “Rooms With a View,” an exhibition for which he borrowed museum experiences, weaving together art objects, display space, and institutional labels to interrogate methods of museum display and the meanings generated therein. This strategy, an Institutional Critique that Wilson referred to as “tromp l’oeil curating,” has emerged as the focus of his artistic practice....

Article

Patricia Hills

(b Roxbury, MA, April 14, 1922).

American sculptor, painter, printmaker and teacher. Raised in Roxbury, a suburb of Boston, Wilson was the second of five children of Reginald and Violet Wilson, immigrants from British Guiana (now the Republic of Guyana). He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with a full scholarship and received a diploma with highest honors in 1945; a BS degree in art education followed in 1947 from Tufts University. With a fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, he spent 1947–9 in Paris, where he studied with Fernand Léger. Returning to Boston he taught briefly at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, married Julie Kowitch and moved to Mexico City with a John Hay Whitney Fellowship. There he became friends with Elizabeth Catlett and her husband Francesco Mora, both active in the graphic workshop organized by leftist artists, the Taller de Gráfica Popular, where he worked. In Mexico he learned the techniques of true fresco, which had been popularized by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, and painted the mural, ...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(b Philadelphia, PA, 1947).

American performance artist. Wilson graduated in 1969 from Wilmington College in Ohio, where she majored in English literature and minored in art. She completed her MA at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, but left the program in 1971 prior to receiving her PhD and began teaching at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. She started making language-based art about parents and children, as she explored her experiences as a woman and artist. She transitioned to using performance as a medium, focusing on identity formation beginning in 1972 with works such as Posturing: Drag where she made herself up in different appearances, documenting each in photographs. This work was the first of several in which the artist examined the fluid nature of gender and self, although her work was dismissed by the male-oriented art world. She began receiving recognition when her 1973 postcard image and text work Breast Forms Permutated...

Article

Patti Stuckler

(b Waco, TX, Oct 4, 1941).

American performance artist, writer, draughtsman, printmaker and stage designer. He studied painting in Paris under the American painter George McNeil (b 1908) in 1962, before completing a degree in interior design at the Pratt Institute in New York from 1962 to 1965. After serving an apprenticeship in architecture to Paolo Soleri in Phoenix, AZ, from 1965 to 1966, he returned to New York and began to work as a performance artist, creating a range of theatrical productions that combine music, text, dance and design. He earned his reputation with productions such as Deafman Glance (first staged in 1970 at the University Theater in Iowa City, IA) and A Letter to Queen Victoria (première at the Teatro Caio Melisso in Spoleto, Italy, and extensively toured in 1974); many of these were large-scale, marathon extravaganzas in which a series of images, formed from the conjunction of actors, dancers and set designs, unfolded to the accompaniment of music. Abandoning traditional theatrical elements such as ordered narrative content and the compression of real time, he favoured an avant-garde approach influenced by composers, choreographers and artists active in New York from the early 1960s....

Article

Leslie Heiner

[Carl; Karl] ( Ferdinand )

(b Siegburg, nr Bonn, Feb 19, 1828; d St Louis, MO, Nov 28, 1862).

American painter and photographer of German birth. He arrived in St Louis in 1843. From 1846 to 1850 he studied painting under the St Louis artist Leon de Pomarede (1807–92). In 1852 he continued his studies at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where he worked with Josef Fay (1813–75) and Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze until about 1856. In 1858, having once more based himself in St Louis, he travelled up the Mississippi in order to draw and photograph Indians. Wimar joined a party of the American Fur Trading Company and made several journeys between 1858 and 1860 up the Mississippi, Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in search of Indian subjects. His painting, the Buffalo Hunt (1860; St Louis, MO, Washington U., Gal. A.), became one of the original works in the collection of the Western Academy of Art. In 1861 Wimar was commissioned to decorate the rotunda of the St Louis Court-house with scenes of the settlement of the West (mostly destr.)...

Article

Jaynie Anderson

(b Berlin, May 14, 1900; d London, Sept 12, 1971).

German art historian active in Germany, the USA, and England. His work transcends the conventional categories of academic specialization, combining philosophical and aesthetic insight with a sensitive eye and an exceptional range of historical and literary learning. He studied Classics, philosophy, and art history in Berlin, Freiburg, and Vienna, obtaining his DPhil in 1922 in Hamburg under Erwin Panofsky with a thesis on the relation between aesthetic appreciation and historical scholarship. The neo-Kantian influence of Ernst Cassirer in Hamburg was soon superseded by the pragmatism of Charles S. Pierce, which he encountered while teaching philosophy at North Carolina (1925–7). On his return to Hamburg as research assistant at the Bibliothek Warburg, this pragmatism was infused with Aby Warburg’s concept of cultural history, interest in the psychological potency of images, and fascination with significant detail. The close relationship between the two men is documented in Warburg’s diaries. After submitting his anti-Kantian treatise, ...

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Philadelphia, PA, Jan 4, 1840; d Philadelphia, April 26, 1919).

American architect . He was in the first class to graduate from Girard College, Philadelphia, in 1856 and trained as a draughtsman with Archibald Catanach, the mason who built John Notman’s Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (1856–9) in Philadelphia. Early in the 1860s Windrim was sent to Pittsburgh to supervise construction of the Union Depot that was being built by the Pennsylvania Railroad. When he returned to Philadelphia (1867), he won the competition for the Masonic Temple (1868–73), built on the north side of Penn Square. An extravaganza of Romanesque ornamentation, it has equally rich interiors by George Herzog (1845–1913). His other major works in Philadelphia included the Academy of Natural Sciences (1872), the US Centennial Agricultural Hall (1876) in Fairmount Park, and the Italianate Kemble House (mid-1880s), which resembles McKim, Mead & White’s Villard House complex (1882–6) in New York City. He served (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Wooden chair with the back formed of upright dowels surmounted by a cross-piece, and often with arms; the stretchers are dowelled into the legs. Windsor chairs have been made at High Wycombe since the 17th century, and are also made in the USA.

I. G. Sparkes: The Windsor Chair: An Illustrated History of a Classic English Chair...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b New York, NY, Jan 14, 1928; d Tijuana, March 19, 1984).

American photographer and teacher. He studied painting at City College, City University of New York, under the GI Bill (1947–8), transferring to Columbia University, New York (1948–51), where he joined the students’ camera club. He abandoned painting and took up photography, studying under Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research, New York (1951). In 1952 he joined the Pix photographic agency, working with a 35-mm camera and flash. Aside from commercial assignments, his interest in the human body in movement led him to create a series of photographs at Stillman’s Gymnasium, Manhattan. His ‘snapshot’ aesthetic extended to photographing ballet dancers, showgirls, boxers, and bathers on the beach. From 1954 he was represented by Brackman Associates and his work began appearing in Collier’s, Sports Illustrated, and Pageant. Influenced by Walker Evans and Robert Frank, he aimed for instinctive, narrative pictures that required little or no caption. In ...

Article

Cecile Johnson

[ Jackie ; Jacque ]

(b St John’s, Nfld, Oct 20, 1941).

American sculptor and draughtswoman of Canadian birth. She studied at the Yale Summer School of Art and Music, New Haven, CT (1964) and at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston (1965), before attending Rutgers State University of New Jersey (MFA 1967). Winsor emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of an informal group of sculptors (including Eva Hesse and Bruce Nauman), whose work went under such labels as process art, ‘anti-form’, and ‘eccentric abstraction’. The unifying aspect of these individuals’ works lay in their development from the specific, object-based and non-referential works of Minimalist sculptors such as Donald Judd to include such reference sources as metaphor, allegory or simile. Winsor consistently used such geometric forms as the cube and sphere, and she interrelated process with appearance: Chunk Piece (1970; priv. col.), for example, consists of a rope (d. 915 mm) with frayed ends, wound from a linear form into a solid mass by the process of its making (see figs. ...

Article

Winston  

Diane Tepfer

American collectors. Lydia Winston [née Kahn] (b Detroit, MI, 13 Nov 1897; d New York, 14 Oct 1989), ceramicist and daughter of Albert Kahn, and her husband Harry Lewis Winston (d 1965) became the major collectors of Italian Futurist art outside Italy. Lydia Winston studied ceramics at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and for a short while designed ceramics for the Saarinen partnership. She began collecting in the late 1930s, supported enthusiastically by Harry Winston. In addition to the Futurists, she acquired (sometimes directly from the artists) major works by Léger (Seated Woman, 1912), Miró (the Brothers Fratellini, 1927), Brancusi (the Blonde Negress, 1933), Jackson Pollock (Moon Vessel, 1945) and Mondrian (Composition in Black and White with Blue Square, 1935), and a large body of work by Karel Appel and other Cobra artists. Several dealers and specialists guided her. Alfred Stieglitz instilled in her the concept of responsibility; she never sold or traded in art. Rose Fried, who ran the Pinacoteca Gallery in New York, first suggested in ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b New York, June 1, 1949).

American painter. He studied at the Pratt Institute, New York, where he was awarded his BFA in 1971. Often grouped with Post-modern abstractionists, he retained a strong modernist sensibility. Although his first works were tonally restricted monochromes, Winters was always interested in the context surrounding the nature of painting: he conducted research into the origin of pigments and made botanical studies. His first mature works were those that addressed botanical subjects. An early example is Fungus (1982; London, Saatchi Gal.), in which the plants are painted as if they were elements of a loose chart or index. Rather than being a topographical study, the forms are rendered in a simple, almost crude manner, reminiscent of the late paintings of Philip Guston. Combining a hierarchy of forms with a concern for mark-making, Winters created a fusion of painterly tradition with a Post-modern practice of repetition and figuration.

In later paintings Winters drew on a range of sources, such as architectural renderings, medical photographs, and computer graphics, folding and layering the subject-matter in such a complex manner that the picture conveyed an abstract imaginary space. In pictures such as ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

(b Hilspach [now Hilsbach], Germany, Feb 1696; d Philadelphia, PA, ?April 1752).

American glass manufacturer of German birth. He moved to Philadelphia in 1717 and learnt to make brass buttons, for which he quickly became famous and from which he earned an ample income. Wistar was the first person to make glass profitably in America. He bought 2000 acres of land on Alloways Creek in Salem Co., NJ, and brought four German glass blowers to his ‘Wistarburgh’ factory, which opened in 1739.

The major products of the factory were window glass, a wide variety of bottles and vials, and such scientific equipment as electrical tubes and globes used to generate static electricity in experiments in the 1740s and 1750s. Table wares in colourless, bottle-green and pale blue glass were produced regularly, though sparingly. Free-blown covered bowls, small buckets or baskets, tapersticks, candlesticks, mugs and tumblers, some made with part-size moulds, have been attributed to Wistar through historical association and through laboratory analysis. Decoration, using certain ...

Article

Francis R. Kowsky

(b Shepton Mallet, Somerset, Feb 4, 1828; d New York, Jan 1, 1901).

English architect, active in the USA . Following architectural training in Dorchester and London (where he worked with Thomas Henry Wyatt and David Brandon), he emigrated to the USA in 1852 at the invitation of the landscape architect A. J. Downing. At Downing’s office in Newburgh, NY, Withers worked with Calvert Vaux, another English immigrant architect. Downing died soon after, but Withers stayed in Newburgh, first in partnership with Vaux and then working on his own. There he designed a number of Gothic Revival houses and churches, including the David Clarkson House (1856), the Frederick Deming House (1859; gutted; library installed New York, Met.) and First Presbyterian Church (1859; now Calvary Presbyterian Church). A number of houses on which Withers had assisted Downing and Vaux appeared in Vaux’s book Villas and Cottages (New York, 1857).

After brief service as an engineer in the Union army during the Civil War, Withers moved to New York in ...

Article

Matico Josephson

American photography gallery. The first commercially successful photography gallery in New York, founded in 1969 by Lee D. Witkin, and originally located at 237 East 60th Street. Witkin was briefly the only specialized photography dealer in New York. Although this monopoly came to an end in 1971, the gallery played an important role in developing the market for photographic prints in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Witkin Gallery showed a broad range of work by photographers Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen, Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Imogen Cunningham, Harry Callahan, André Kertész, Brassaï, and Jacques-Henri Lartigue, whom Lee Witkin sought out in the United States and in Europe. Witkin did not confine his efforts to the older generation, nor to any single genre. The gallery soon hosted encounters between photographers, collectors, and museum curators. By the mid-1970s, Witkin had also shown the work of avant-garde photographers Duane Michals, Les Krims, Jerry Uelsmann, and Lee Friedlander, photojournalistic work by W. Eugene Smith, Marion Palfi (...

Article

Alexandra Noble

(b Brooklyn, New York, 1939).

American photographer . His first recorded photographs were of freaks on Coney Island made during the 1950s, giving an early indication of his ambition to challenge the boundaries of acceptable taste. His subject-matter included death, blasphemy, sado-masochism, homoeroticism and physical deformities. He presented an extreme, Gothic, nightmare world, which could be said to border on the pornographic. Balancing this taste for the grotesque was a tendency to mysticism and an aestheticism expressed in ironic reworkings of art-historical and literary themes drawn from Rembrandt, Goya, Rubens and the late 19th-century Symbolists.

Witkin studied sculpture at the Cooper Union School, New York, and in 1974 completed an MA in photography at the University of New Mexico. From the early 1970s he worked in series: Contemporary Images of Christ, Images of Women and the Rooftop series are a bizarre testament to his perverse preoccupations. The juxtaposition of Christ with comic-strip heroes, bound and gagged women surrounded by phallic fetishes and the use of masks on subjects of both sexes, withdrawing all individual identity, were central motifs of his work in the 1970s and 1980s. Witkin’s printing technique was complex and meticulous. He frequently scratched his negatives and placed thin tissue on his photographic paper to increase light refraction and soften the image, punching holes in it to emphasize chosen areas of sharpness. On warm toned papers and using a variety of toners, his prints often have a yellowish-brown Old Master look, thereby lessening the shock of such explicit imagery....

Article

Klaus Ottmann

(b Red Bank, NJ, Sept 14, 1954; d New York City, July 22, 1992).

American painter, photographer, writer, film maker, performance artist, and gay rights activist. After an abusive and violent childhood, Wojnarowicz spent his teenage years as a male prostitute in the streets of New York City. He eventually attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and first became noticed as a graffiti artist by stencilling images of burning houses onto buildings in New York, for screening Super-8 films of abandoned buildings, and as a member of a punk band called 3 Teens Kill 4.

In the late 1980s, Wojnarowicz began to create his signature collages—provocative historical allegories to present social and political issues—by combining text, paint, collaged elements, and photography, such as Untitled (Buffalo) (1988–9), an ominous photographic collage picturing a herd of buffaloes being driven over a cliff, which was used in 1992 by the Irish rock band U2 as a cover image for their CD single ...

Article

Arthur Silberman

[Honanisto]

(b c. 1850; d Waurika, OK, July 5, 1927).

Native American Southern Cheyenne draughtsman. He was one of the most talented and innovative of the artists imprisoned between 1875 and 1878 at Fort Marion, St Augustine, FL (see Native North American art, §IV, 1, (iv)). The drawings in his and others’ “sketchbooks” transformed traditional Plains art and brought to it a balance, symmetry, rhythm and decorativeness seldom encountered before. Howling Wolf was arrested in 1875 after the Red River War and, charged with being a ringleader, was imprisoned without trial in Fort Marion. There, encouraged by Capt. Richard Henry Pratt (1840–1924), he filled sketchbooks for sale with drawings of life on the Plains and occasional portrayals of the journey to prison and life at the fort. He abandoned most of the old warrior art style of picture writing, suited to conveying detailed information about war deeds, and instead created a number of deliberately composed works with strong design elements. On return from prison, he at first urged his people to follow the Bible Road. Then, disillusioned by conditions on the reservation and by his own poverty, he obtained the chieftaincy of the Bowstrings, a warrior society resisting Euro-American encroachment. He also resumed attending the Sun Dance and later joined the Native American Church, the Peyote religion. After he became disillusioned Howling Wolf also resumed depicting his war exploits and contributed drawings to at least one fellow warrior’s sketchbook (untraced). The latest sketchbook known to have been produced by him was done for an ethnologist (...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Berlin, Aug 1, 1930; d Hamburg, Nov 10, 1988).

German photographer . He studied art history and literature in Paris, Hamburg and the USA. Influenced by his encounter with American photography, he studied at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Lichtbildwesen (until 1956). He then became an independent photographer in Hamburg, teaching at the Staatliche Meisterschule für Mode Photographie and setting up a studio-house in ...