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Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Oakland, CA, 1893; d. Shiraz, Iran, 25 Jan. 1977).

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In 1930 Ackerman was stricken with polio but taught herself to walk again. They were instrumental in preparing the 1931 Persian Art Exhibition at Burlington House, London, and the Second International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, as well as the Third Congress in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1935 and the exhibition of Iranian art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940. She visited Iran for the first time in 1964, when the shah of Iran invited Pope to revive the Asia Institute; it was associated with Pahlavi University in Shiraz until ...

Article

Pat Gilmour

(b Glendale, CA, Dec 11, 1918; d Albuquerque, NM, May 13, 2002).

American painter, printmaker, art historian, writer and teacher. His appointment to the art faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1942 was interrupted by military service, and it was not until 1946 that he resumed his career as a teacher of the practice and theory of art. This took him to the universities of Kentucky (Lexington), Florida (Gainesville) and finally New Mexico (Albuquerque), where he served as Dean (1961–76). Despite academic demands, Adams always found time to paint and showed his work in over 50 solo exhibitions. Equally at home in oil, acrylic, watercolour and egg tempera, he was initially inspired by the abstracted cityscapes of Stuart Davis. Later he absorbed the lessons of Matisse, achieving particularly radiant paintings during the 1980s. In 1993 he was elected an Academician by the National Academy of Design.

In 1948, at Stanton Macdonald-Wright’s suggestion, Adams began to make lithographs with the Los Angeles printer, ...

Article

Walter Smith

(b Buenos Aires, 1945).

American architect and theorist of Argentine birth. She received her Diploma of Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires in 1967 and studied further in Paris at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Centre du Recherche d’Urbanisme (1967–9). She moved to New York in 1971. From 1976 Agrest taught at Cooper Union, New York, and at Columbia, Princeton and Yale universities. In 1980 she went into partnership with her husband, Mario Gandelsonas (b 1938), in the firm A & G Development Consultants Inc., in New York. She also formed her own firm, Diana Agrest, Architect, in New York. Agrest was deeply involved in theoretical research, and was a Fellow at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, New York, from 1972 to 1984. She was strongly influenced by semiotics and developed the idea that architecture can refer beyond itself, discussed particularly in her essay on architecture and film (...

Article

Grischka Petri

American institution and art school promoting fine art that was active between 1802 and 1841 in New York. The Academy was the second art academy established in the USA, following the Columbianum Academy of Philadelphia. It was founded in 1802 as the New York Academy of the Fine Arts by its first president, mayor Edward Livingston, and his brother Robert R. Livingston, president from 1804 to 1813. The Academy’s first task was to procure plaster casts from antique statues in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. With the exception of this permanent exhibition, however, the institution largely languished. In 1804 it changed its name to the American Academy of the Arts, finally being incorporated in 1808.

After his return to the USA in 1815, John Trumbull became a main force behind the Academy’s reactivation. In 1816, its first exhibition in new rooms was highly successful. Succeeding DeWitt Clinton as president in ...

Article

Roy R. Behrens

[ Ames, Adelbert, II ]

(b Lowell, MA, Aug 19, 1880; d Hanover, NH, July 3, 1955).

American artist, optical physiologist and perceptual psychologist . Born to an affluent upper-class family, both his father, Adelbert Ames sr, and his maternal grandfather, Benjamin F. Butler, were distinguished Union generals during the American Civil War, while the latter was also a presidential candidate in 1884. Ames himself was trained as a lawyer at Harvard University (1899–1906), where his most influential professor was the philosopher William James (1842–1910). At 30, disillusioned with law and disappointed in love, he radically re-shaped his life. He abandoned his law career and withdrew from his engagement to Margaret (Peggy) James, the daughter of William James. Determined to become an artist, he transformed a police wagon into a makeshift mobile home in which to travel, paint and sleep. At the same time, he was hired by the Shawmut Bank of Boston to create a bust of an heroic Native American leader for use as the company’s trademark. While engaged in this, he shared a studio with his sister, Blanche Ames Ames (...

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Kathryn O'Rourke and Ramón Vargas

(b Mexico City, Mar 29, 1915; d Mexico City, May 25, 1959).

Mexican architect, theorist, and writer, of Japanese descent. The son of a Japanese ambassador in Mexico, he studied philosophy, espousing neo-Kantianism and becoming politically a socialist. He became a supporter of Functionalism, with its emphasis on the social applications of architecture, and was a founder, with Enrique Yañez, of the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas (1938), helping to draw up a socialist theory of architecture. He was one of the most active participants in the Unión and attempted to put his socialist theory into practice on two unexecuted projects in the same year: the building for the Confederación de Trabajadores de México and the Ciudad Obrera de México, both with Enrique Guerrero and Raúl Cacho. Later, when Mexico opted for a developmental policy, Arai became a standard-bearer for nationalism in architecture. He re-evaluated traditional building materials, such as tree trunks, bamboo, palm leaves, and lianas, using them in a plan for a country house that was adapted to the warm, damp climate of the Papaloapan region. The building of the Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, gave him his greatest architectural opportunity when he designed the Frontones (...

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Set of financial methods, instruments, and business models that are used in the Art market. Important developments since the 1960s include the spreading availability and use of art price information and price indexes (see Art index), the emergence of loans collateralized by artworks, repeated efforts to create art investment structures, and a strong growth in art market advisory services provided by wealth managers and new entrepreneurs (see also Investment).

The first major development has been the spread of art price information and art price indexes over the last half-century. After a few difficult decades, art price levels and public interest in the art market were going up again in the 1950s and 1960s. A number of books on the history of the art market and on art investment that were published around that time—Le Vie Etrange des Objets (1959) by Maurice Rheims, Art as an Investment...

Article

(b Curitiba, June 23, 1915; d São Paulo, Jan 6, 1985).

Brazilian architect, teacher and writer. He graduated as an engineer–architect from the Escola Politécnica of the University of São Paulo (1937) and became a partner in the design and construction firm Marone & Artigas. In his earliest projects he sought to move away from the academic electicism that dominated São Paulo at the time, and his first projects were influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright; for example, the Rio Branco Paranhos house (1943) was clearly inspired by Wright’s prairie houses. In 1944 he opened his own design office in São Paulo; he was increasingly influenced by the rationalist modernism of Le Corbusier that began to spread from Rio de Janeiro and often used pilotis, brises-soleil and roof gardens at this time, as in the Louveira block of flats (1948) and the Mario Bittencourt house (1949), São Paulo, and the bus station (...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Istanbul, June 11, 1938).

American historian of Islamic art. Atıl earned her PhD at the University of Michigan, with a dissertation on an illustrated Ottoman Book of Festivals. In 1970 she was appointed Curator of Islamic Art at the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, a post that she held for 15 years. An extraordinarily energetic and prolific curator, she organized many notable exhibitions based on the Freer collection as well as traveling exhibitions of Mamluk art, the age of Süleyman the Magnificent, and of the Kuwait collection of Islamic art. Between 1985 and 1987, Dr. Atıl was Guest Curator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. With the opening of the Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute in 1987, she was appointed Historian of Islamic Art at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, a position she held until her retirement in 1993.

E. Atıl: 2500 Years of Persian Art (Washington, DC, 1971)E. Atıl...

Article

Atl, Dr  

Xavier Moyssén

[Murillo, Gerardo ]

(b Guadalajara, Oct 3, 1875; d Mexico City, Aug 14, 1964).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer, theorist, vulcanologist and politician. Better known by his pseudonym, which signifies ‘Doctor Water’ in Náhuatl and which he adopted in 1902, Murillo first studied art in Guadalajara and from 1890 to 1896 at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City, where his vocation became clear. In 1899 he travelled to Europe and settled in Rome, where the work of Michelangelo had a profound impact on him. He travelled to other countries to study and to learn about avant-garde painting. He went back to Mexico in 1904 and seven years later returned to Europe, only to rush back when the Revolution broke out in Mexico. He joined the revolutionary movement, taking an active role in its various activities, including the muralist movement, through which he was associated with Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Although he practised portrait painting, his passion was for landscape in a variety of techniques and materials, some of them invented by him; for example, he used ‘atlcolours’, which were simply crayons made of wax, resins and pigment with which he could obtain textures not obtainable with oil paint. His favoured supports were rigid surfaces such as wood or hardboard....

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Detroit, MI, July 7, 1869; d Southampton, NY, Oct 18, 1956).

American architect, urban planner and writer. Atterbury studied at Yale University, New Haven, CT, and travelled in Europe. He studied architecture at Columbia University, New York and worked in the office of McKim, Mead & White before completing his architecture studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Atterbury’s early work consisted of suburban and weekend houses for wealthy industrialists, such as the Henry W. de Forest House (1898) in Cold Springs Harbor on Long Island, NY. De Forest was a leader in the philanthropic movement to improve workers’ housing, an interest that Atterbury shared; through him Atterbury was given the commission for the model housing community of Forest Hills Gardens, NY, begun in 1909 under the sponsorship of the Russell Sage Foundation; the co-planners and landscape designers were the brothers John Charles Olmsted (1852–1920) and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr (1870–1957), the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted. Atterbury developed a system of precast concrete panels to build a varied group of multiple units and town houses suggesting an English country hamlet. He continued his research into prefabrication largely at his own expense throughout his life....

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Prior to the 20th century, the attribution of works of art was not governed by rigid regulations, and art dealers and auctioneers assigned attributions based purely on aesthetic grounds. Works were attributed to the artist whose manner they most closely resembled, but they were not further distinguished on the basis of quality; as a result, many paintings purchased as Renaissance masterpieces in the 18th or 19th century have since been downgraded to studio works or even much later pastiches.

Historically, the patrons who commissioned Old Masters placed a premium on subject-matter rather than originality, and popular narratives were requested by multiple patrons, creating conditions in which the demand for copies could flourish (see Copy). Popular compositions were often reproduced many times: by the master himself, an apprentice in his workshop, or even a later follower or imitator. A master trained his apprentices to approximate his manner as closely as possible, and sold the finished work under his own name. In some cases a master would paint the most important part of a work (such as the faces of the central figures) before delegating the rest to apprentices. Through the 19th century, pupils at prestigious institutions were taught by making copies of works by acknowledged masters. Many pieces, particularly drawings (which for much of their history were working tools, rather than art objects), were unsigned. Damaged or incomplete works of art were subjected to extensive restoration or reworking by later artists, a process that can cloud the question of attribution....

Article

(b Elgin, 1838; d New York, 1925).

Scottish architect, designer and writer. Trained as an architect, he moved to Liverpool, Lancs, in 1856 and set up an architectural practice with his brother William James Audsley (b 1833) in 1863. With him he wrote Handbook of Christian Symbolism (1865), and together they designed a number of buildings in and around Liverpool, among them the Welsh Presbyterian Church, Prince’s Road, Toxteth (1865–7), Christ Church, Kensington (1870), and the church of St Margaret, Belmont Road, Anfield (1873). For the merchant William Preston they designed the church of St Mary (1873) in the grounds of his house, Ellel Grange, Lancs. Other commissions were for a synagogue and a tennis club. He was among the earliest publishers to exploit the graphic potential of chromolithography, and, contrary to other major books on ornament, he made a case for classifying designs by their basic motif rather than by nationality. He was an expert on Japanese art, lecturing on the subject and between ...

Article

Roger J. Crum

(b Detroit, MI, Jan 28, 1902; d Salisbury, CT, Aug 15, 1981).

American art historian and museum director. Bar’s career is linked to the history of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York and its often controversial role in the promotion of modern art and culture.

Barr graduated in art and archaeology from Princeton University in 1922. The following year he received his MA with a thesis on Piero di Cosimo. At Princeton he studied modern art with Frank Jewitt Mather Jr. (1868–1953), but the synthetic methodology that he learnt from the medievalist Charles Rufus Morey proved more influential in his development as a scholar and as the future director of MOMA. Morey presented students with a cross-section of the principal medieval visual arts: architecture, sculpture, wall painting and manuscript illumination, as well as minor arts and crafts. After graduate school, Barr travelled in Europe (1923). He returned to the USA and taught art history, first at Vassar College (...

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....

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Hartland, CT, June 15, 1773; d Springfield, MA, July 26, 1845).

American architect and writer. Benjamin was one of the most influential architect–writers of the first half of the 19th century in the USA and was trained as a housewright in rural Connecticut between 1787 and 1794. Two of his earliest commissions, the carving of Ionic capitals (1794) for the Oliver Phelps House in Suffield, CT, and the construction of an elliptical staircase (1795) in Charles Bulfinch’s Connecticut State Capitol at Hartford, reveal an exceptional ability with architectural geometry that was to help to determine the direction of his career. Benjamin worked as a housewright in a succession of towns along the Connecticut River during the 1790s. In 1797, dissatisfied with the publications of William Pain, an English popularizer of the Neo-classical style of Robert Adam, Benjamin wrote The Country Builder’s Assistant, a modest handbook for carpenters that was the first such work by an American writer. In ...

Article

(b Argos, Greece, Feb 13, 1837; d Burlington, VT, July 19, 1914).

American writer and artist. Private lessons in painting led Benjamin to illustrate many of his writings on art and travel. After graduating from Williams College, Williamstown, MA, in 1859 he served as assistant librarian in the New York State Library. He wrote his first book on art, What Is Art or Art Theories and Methods Concisely Stated, in 1877, followed by three articles published in Harper’s Monthly Magazine concerning art in Europe. These articles, addressing English, French, and German contemporary art, formed the basis of Contemporary Art in Europe, also published in 1877. Thereafter he wrote Our American Artists (1879) and Art in America: A Critical and Historical Sketch (1880), as well as several articles for Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Benjamin’s writings tended to champion recent art. The second series of Our American Artists, written for young people, provided a helpful critical approach to, as well as much information on, contemporary artists. Besides illustrating many of his articles he enjoyed some success as a marine painter....

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(b Butrimonys, Alytus County, Lithuania, June 26, 1865; d Settignano, Italy, Oct 6, 1959).

American art historian, critic, and connoisseur. Berenson was perhaps the single most influential art historian in the USA for much of the 20th century. As the leading scholar and authority on Italian Renaissance art, his opinion greatly influenced American art museums and collectors, whom he guided in the purchase of many important works of art. His pupils and disciples became the curators of many of the world’s great museums. His dealings with art galleries also made him a highly controversial figure.

Born to Albert and Julia Valvrojenski in Lithuania, Berenson immigrated to Boston, MA, with his family in 1875, at which time his surname was changed to Berenson. Later called ‘BB’ by friends and family, he dropped the ‘h’ from his first name around 1915. Jewish by birth, he converted to Christianity and was baptized in 1885. He attended Boston Latin School, Boston University, and finally Harvard University, where he studied under Charles Eliot Norton and received a BA in ...

Article

Roy R. Behrens

(Karel Joseph)

(b Cleveland, OH, Aug 23, 1906; d Red Wing, MN, Dec 26, 2004).

American painter and theorist. Biederman worked as a graphic designer for several years before studying art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1926 to 1929. A week after his arrival he saw a painting by Cézanne that greatly influenced his subsequent thought. He lived in New York from 1934 to 1940, except for a nine-month period in 1936–7 when he lived in Paris. He began to make reliefs in 1934. His visits in Paris to the studios of Mondrian, Georges Vantongerloo, César Domela and Antoine Pevsner made him aware of De Stijl, Neo-Plasticism, Abstraction-Création and Constructivism. He also met Léger, Miró, Arp, Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Alberto Giacometti, Picasso and Brancusi.

Shortly before returning to New York in 1938, Biederman made his first abstract reliefs, which he termed ‘non-mimetic’ (e.g. New York, Number 18, 1938; New York, Met.). In the same year, while visiting Chicago, he attended a seminar given by the Polish-born writer Alfred Korzybski, founder of the General Semantics Institute, which strongly influenced his later theories about history as an evolutionary process. He moved to Red Wing, near Minneapolis, MN, in ...