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Mairead Dunlevy

Irish city and centre of glass production. The earliest Waterford glass factory was established in Gurteens, near Waterford, during the 1720s, and production included lead-glass drinking vessels with pedestal stems, garden glasses, vials, bottles and other green glassware. The factory was closed about 1739.

In 1783 the Waterford Glass House was established by the merchants George Penrose and William Penrose, who employed John Hill and other glassmakers from Stourbridge, England. In 1799 the factory was taken over by three partners, James Ramsey (d c. 1810), Jonathan Gatchell (1752–1823) and Ambrose Barcroft, who in 1802 extended the works and installed new machinery. In 1823 George Gatchell became manager, and the works remained in the family until it closed. The factory produced cut, engraved and moulded glass of excellent quality, and c. 1832 steam power was installed in the factory, which allowed an increase in production.

The outstanding qualities of Waterford glass are its clarity and the precise cutting. The typical early Waterford decanter is barrel-shaped, has three or four neck rings and a wide, flat, pouring lip. Stoppers of Waterford production are almost invariably mushroom-shaped with a rounded knop below the stopper neck. From the cut patterns on marked Waterford decanters it would seem that popular designs included the pillar and arch embellished with fine diamonds. The numerous drawings of Waterford designs (Dublin, N. Mus.) made between ...

Article

K. Somervell

English glass company, near Stourbridge, W. Midlands. In 1835 Thomas Webb (1802–69) inherited the White House glassworks from his father, John Webb (1774–1835). The following year he withdrew from the partnership of Webb & Richardson, which operated the Wordsley Flint glassworks near Stourbridge, to devote his attention to the White House glassworks. He then withdrew from Thomas Webb & Co., which operated the White House glassworks, to set up his own firm Thomas Webb & Sons, which operated the Platts glasshouse from 1837 to 1856 and then the Dennis glassworks, built in 1855 at Dennis Hall, Amblecote, near Stourbridge. In 1863 Thomas Webb retired and was succeeded by his sons Thomas Wilkes Webb (1837–91) and Charles Webb. During the 1860s the firm played an important role in the development of English glass. Their Artistic Director James O’Fallon was an engraver who excelled in Celtic-style ornament. The most distinguished engraver at the ...

Article

Leif Østby

(b Christiania [now Oslo], Oct 7, 1859; d Lillehammer, Feb 10, 1927).

Norwegian painter . He was descended from a Bohemian family of glassmakers who settled in Norway c. 1750. He studied at Knud Bergslien’s art school (1879–81) and at the same time at the Royal School of Design in Christiania, and in 1883 he was a pupil of Frits Thaulow, who introduced him to plein-air painting. Wentzel paid a short visit to Paris that same year and stayed there again in 1884 as a pupil of William-Adolphe Bouguereau at the Académie Julian. In 1888–9 he studied with Alfred Roll and Léon Bonnat at the Académie Colarossi. During this period he painted mainly interiors with figures, the urban middle-class and artisans in their homes, and also artists’ studios. His earliest paintings, for example Breakfast I (1882; Oslo, N.G.), render detail with a meticulousness unsurpassed in Norwegian Naturalism. Wentzel’s work gradually adopted an influence from contemporary French painting, including a more subtle observation of the effects of light and atmosphere on local colour, as in the ...

Article

Peter Cormack

( Whitworth )

(b Thurning, Northants, April 16, 1849; d London, Dec 23, 1924).

English stained-glass artist and teacher . He received his artistic education at the Royal Academy Schools, London (1868–74), and later in Italy, where he made copies of 15th-century paintings. Returning to London in 1879 he was commissioned to design some stained-glass windows, but it was not until the late 1880s that he devoted himself almost exclusively to the craft. He worked for a time for the glass manufacturers James Powell & Sons as a freelance designer while teaching himself the technical processes of stained glass and in 1887 set up his own studio–workshop near Dorking, Surrey. In 1890 the architect J. D. Sedding asked Whall to design and make a window for St Mary’s, Stamford, Lincs. It was the first of many collaborations with leading architects who, like Whall, were active in the Art Workers’ Guild and the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society. In 1896 Whall was appointed the first teacher of stained glass at the newly founded Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, and later taught at the Royal College of Art, London. His teaching methods and aesthetic philosophy are contained in his influential book ...

Article

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 ...

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 ...

Article

Lija Skalska-Miecik

(b Kraków, Jan 15, 1869; d Kraków, Nov 28, 1907).

Polish painter, pastellist, decorative artist, illustrator, writer and theatre director . He was the son of the Kraków sculptor Franciszek Wyspiański (1836–1902) and studied at the Kraków School of Fine Arts, mostly under Władysław Łuszczkiewicz (1828–1900) and Jan Matejko. In 1889 Wyspiański and Józef Mehoffer, the school’s most talented students, were appointed to complete Matejko’s painted decorations for St Mary, Kraków, a task that prompted Wyspiański’s interest in both decorative painting and stained glass. In 1890 he travelled in Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany, and also to Prague. In 1891 he continued his training in Paris, where he remained with intervals until 1894, studying at the Académie Colarossi under Joseph Blanc, Gustave Courtois (1852–1924) and Louis Auguste Girardot (b 1858). Wyspiański also worked independently in Paris, studying paintings in the museums and fascinated by contemporary art. Through Władysław Ślewiński, he met Paul Gauguin and members of the Nabis....

Article

Julia Robinson

(b Bern, ID, Oct 13, 1935).

American composer. Young was an exponent of experimental “drone” music and an originator of Minimalism (whose diverse practitioners include Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass). Educated at the University of California, Los Angeles (1957–8), he completed his graduate studies in composition at the University of California, Berkeley. An avid and talented jazz musician, Young performed with legendary figures Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. In 1959, he attended Summer Courses at Darmstadt, the center of New Music, taking advanced composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen. There he discovered the work of John Cage and met Cage’s great interpreter David Tudor, who put Young in contact with Cage. Back in California, Young presented Cage’s work, adopting some of his radical strategies in his own music. A landmark Young composition of this period is Poem for Tables, Chairs, Benches, etc. (1960), a piece of indeterminate duration.

In 1960 Young moved to New York and galvanized a receptive circle of Cage-inspired artists and composers. Young’s most significant contribution to this milieu were his ...