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Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Aberdeen, 1740; d Philadelphia, PA, March 5, 1795).

American cabinetmaker of Scottish birth. He trained as a cabinetmaker in Edinburgh and London. In 1763 he arrived in Philadelphia on the same boat as John Penn, the new Governor of Pennsylvania and a future client, to join Quaker friends. He opened a shop on Union Street and eventually moved to Second Street in the Society Hill area. He made stylish mahogany furniture (sold 1788; e.g. Philadelphia, PA, Cliveden Mus.; armchair, Winterthur, DE, Mus. & Gdns) for the governor’s mansion at Lansdowne, PA, and many of the most prominent families in the city owned his work, including the Mifflins, the Whartons, and the Chew family at Cliveden. The parlour suite he made for John Cadwalader carved by James Reynolds and the firm of Bernard and Jugiez in 1770–71 was among the most elaborate ever produced in the colonies (pole screen, Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.).

A Quaker and Loyalist, Affleck refused to participate in the Revolution (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

American family of joiners and cabinetmakers, active in Hadfield, MA. The brothers John Allis (1642–91) and Samuel Allis (1647–91), whose maternal great-uncle was Nicholas Disbrowe, were both joiners, as was John’s son Ichabod (1675–1747). The firm was managed by John Allis the elder, and employed his brother and sons; John the elder’s partner was ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1756; d 1833).

American chair-maker, active in Philadelphia, specializing in Windsor chairs, which were painted or gilded. His relatives (possibly sons) John and Peter Allwine were apprenticed to him. The first family workshop opened on South Front Street in 1791, and the last, on Sassafras Street (now Race Street), closed in 1809, when Lawrence and John migrated to Zanesville, in Muskingum County, OH, they continued to make chairs, and also ran a tavern. Lawrence Allwine is the eponym of the varnish known as ‘Allwine Gloss’....

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

[Johann Friedrich]

(b Hettlingen, nr Hannover, Germany, June 26, 1741; d Baltimore, MD, Nov 1, 1798).

American glass manufacturer of German birth. He was associated with his brother’s mirror-glass factory in the town of Grünenplan before his venture to make table wares and utility glass in America began in 1784. With backing from investors in Bremen, Germany, Amelung brought 68 glass craftsmen and furnace equipment to the USA. He purchased an existing glasshouse near Frederick, MD, along with 2100 acres. The factory, which he named the New Bremen Glassmanufactory, had been founded by glassmakers from Henry William Stiegel’s defunct operation in Manheim, PA. It was well situated in western Maryland, not far from Baltimore, which offered a fast-growing market. Many settlers in the area were Germans, who were expected to be supportive of the enterprise. During the following decade Amelung built housing for his 400–500 workers. It is believed that he built four glasshouses.

Although Amelung’s craftsmen made window glass, bottles and table glass, the most important group of objects associated with the factory are the high-quality, wheel-engraved presentation pieces (e.g. sugar bowl, ...

Article

Leah Lipton

(b Framingham, MA, May 5, 1768; d Albany, NY, Feb 23, 1836).

American painter and craftsman. After working briefly in Worcester, MA (1790–93), painting miniatures, chimney-pieces, signs and sleighs, he settled permanently in Albany, NY. There he practised various crafts, including framemaking and painting ornamental clockfaces. Active in the Masonic Temple, he held a high position in the New York chapter from 1802 to 1826. For the Masons he made signs, aprons, urns and carpet designs. Entries in his account books indicate that by 1813 he was primarily painting portraits, improving his technique by copying works by John Singleton Copley and Gilbert Stuart. His first major success was the sale of a portrait of George Clinton, Governor of New York and vice-president of the USA, to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1812; destr. 1845). Laudatory reviews generated requests for replicas, including an ambitious but somewhat awkward full-length version (c. 1813; Albany, NY, State Capitol). Ames also painted the official portrait of George Clinton’s nephew, ...

Article

(b Quebec, Qué., Aug 10, 1764; d Quebec, Qué., June 3, 1839).

Canadian metalworker. He studied at the Petit Seminaire du Québec from 1778 to 1780 and began his apprenticeship c. 1780 in the silversmith’s shop of his elder brother, Jean-Nicolas Amiot (1750–1821); the tradition that he was apprenticed to François Ranvoyzé is unfounded. In 1782 he travelled to Paris to complete his training and remained there for five years, supported by his family. He absorbed the Louis XVI style, then popular in France, and after his return to Quebec in 1787 he set up a workshop to introduce this into Canada.

Much of Amiot’s work was for the Church, reworking traditional forms in the Louis XVI style. In a sanctuary lamp of 1788 for the church at Repentigny he elongated the standard shape and decorated it with a balanced arrangement of Neo-classical designs. After 1800 his work became formulaic and less innovative, though there are such notable exceptions as the chalice (...

Article

David Tatham

(b New York, April 21, 1775; d Jersey City, NJ, Jan 17, 1870).

American wood-engraver. Anderson was the first important American wood-engraver. He was self-taught and made woodcuts for newspapers at the age of 12. Between c. 1792 and 1798, when he studied and practised medicine, he engraved wood as a secondary occupation, but following the death of his family in the yellow fever epidemic of 1798, he abandoned medicine and worked as a graphic artist. He was an early follower of Thomas Bewick’s white-line style. He usually engraved the designs of others, such as Benjamin West, but he was a skilful and original draughtsman, as can be seen in his illustrations for Durell’s edition of Homer’s Iliad (New York, 1808). He exhibited frequently at the American Academy and was a founder-member of the National Academy of Design (1825). Anderson spent his long and prolific career in New York, engraving mainly for book publishers and magazines but also producing pictorial matter for printed ephemera. He worked steadily until the late 1850s, cut his last blocks in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1717; d 1785).

American furniture-maker whose New York workshop specialized in chairs in the Chippendale style. His reputation is largely based on attributed pieces, such as the sets of chairs made for Sir William Johnson (now divided, examples in Winterthur, DE, Dupont Winterthur Mus. and New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.) and for the Van Rensselaer family (New York, Met.)....

Article

Donna J. Hassler

(b New Haven, CT, Feb 21, 1791; d New Haven, CT, Jan 10, 1858).

American sculptor. Although as a youth he showed talent for handling tools, his father, a joiner and carpenter, discouraged him from becoming a wood-carver. After opening a fruit shop in New Haven, he began carving musical instruments and furniture legs for a local cabinetmaker. With his invention of a lace-making machine, he was able to settle his business debts and devote himself entirely to sculpture.

About 1825 Samuel F. B. Morse encouraged Augur to try working in marble. Among his earliest attempts in this medium was a bust of Professor Alexander Metcalf Fisher (c. 1825–7; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.), which was exhibited in 1827 at the National Academy of Design in New York. The impact of the Neo-classical style is clearly evident in his most ambitious work, Jephthah and his Daughter (c. 1828–30; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.), a pair of free-standing half life-size marble figures. The treatment of the heads shows Roman influence, which Augur must have absorbed from engravings; this is borne out by the detailed work on Jephthah’s armour. The bold handling of the hair and drapery reveals his experience as a wood-carver. In ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

(b Heidersdorf, April 5, 1722; d Lititz, PA, Oct 28, 1788).

American potter of German birth. Although originally trained as a weaver, Aust was apprenticed to a potter in Herrnhut, Germany, where the Moravian Brethren were centred. In 1754 he arrived in Bethlehem, PA, the Brethren’s first colonial outpost. After ten months’ work at the pottery there under master Michael Odenwald, Aust went to the new settlement in Bethabara, NC, where he established its first pottery. In 1768 the pottery was moved to another new settlement at Salem, NC. All the wares necessary for daily life were made in Aust’s potteries, including large stoves (see Teapot, 1756–71; New York, Met.). Aust’s most distinctive work is found on decorative plates embellished with floral or geometric ornament delineated in green, red, brown, white and dark brown slips (e.g. earthenware dish used by Aust as a trade sign, diam. 555 mm, 1773; Winston-Salem, NC, Old Salem; see Bivins, p. 224). He trained a number of apprentices who worked in the Piedmont region, thereby creating a ‘school’ of his style that is associated with the area....

Article

Richard C. Nylander

(b Charlestown, MA, March 14, 1708; d Boston, MA, May 11, 1755).

American painter. Badger was part of a small, active group of portrait painters who worked in Boston in the mid-18th century. Although he was well known in his own time, his work was rediscovered only in the early 20th century. Badger appears to have been a competent artisan with some artistic talent. The few documents that deal with his early life refer to him as a ‘painter’ and ‘glazier’, indicating that his primary profession was house and ship painting. He is described as a ‘limner’ and ‘faice painter’ only towards the end of his life. Badger moved to Boston around 1733 and began painting portraits about ten years later. He became Boston’s principal portrait painter after the death of John Smibert in 1751, but his career was eclipsed shortly thereafter by the more accomplished and stylish portraits of John Singleton Copley. Unlike other Colonial artists, Badger was not an itinerant painter: most of his subjects lived in Boston, and many were related or attended the same church. He painted likenesses of three of his children and one grandchild (...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Milton, MA, 1751; d Dorchester Lower Mills, MA, Aug 25, 1815).

American cabinetmaker . His father, also Stephen Badlam (1721–58), was a part-time cabinetmaker and tavern keeper. Orphaned at a young age, Badlam was trained both as a surveyor and as a cabinetmaker. Soon after the outbreak of the American Revolution he was commissioned as a major in the artillery. He resigned within a year because of illness but after the war was made a general in the Massachusetts militia. On his return to Dorchester Lower Mills, he opened a cabinetmaking shop in his house and became active in civic affairs. He built up a substantial business, which included participation in the thriving coast trade, and even sold furniture through the warehouse of Thomas Seymour in Boston. He also provided turning for other cabinetmakers in the neighbourhood and sold picture-frame materials and window glass. Several chairs in the Federal style with characteristic carved and stopped fluted legs are stamped with his mark, but his fame rests on the monumental mahogany chest-on-chest (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1689; d 1740).

American clockmaker. He was was born in England and emigrated c. 1710 to Boston, where he became the city’s first clockmaker; his products included eight-day clocks in pine and walnut cases. His business was carried on by his son Samuel till c. 1760. The most distinctive feature of Bagnall clocks is the relatively small size of the dial....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1760; d 1838).

Irish–American cabinetmaker. He was a native of Dublin who trained in London before emigrating in late 1794 to Philadelphia, which was then the capital of America. In 1812 he entered into partnership with his son and advertised his ‘fashionable Cabinet Furniture, superbly finished in the rich Egyptian and Gothic style’. Surviving examples of his furniture are in Neo-classical style, such as the sideboard in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City....

Article

Amy Meyers

(b Kingsessing, PA, Feb 9, 1739; d Kingsessing, July 22, 1823).

American Naturalist and draughtsman. The son of the Pennsylvania naturalist John Bartram (1699–1777), he executed his first drawings in the 1750s as illustrations to his father’s observations on the flora and fauna of North America. Bartram accompanied his father on numerous collecting trips in the north-eastern colonies and on an expedition to Florida in 1765. His drawings were disseminated to European naturalists by his father’s friend and colleague Peter Collinson (1694–1768), an English merchant who was an important promoter of natural science in the 18th century. Compositionally, Bartram’s early works were structured after etchings by the English naturalists Mark Catesby and George Edwards (1694–1773). These artists were among the first to present organisms as part of their larger physical habitats—a practice that Bartram carried forward in his own work, challenging the traditional notion that organisms can be defined solely according to their own physical attributes. Through his drawings Bartram explored the complex interchange that occurs between animals and plants and their environmental contexts, defying the notion that individual organisms fall naturally into an abstract, hierarchical chain of being. He characteristically employed an undulating line that imparts energy to all the elements of a scene, suggesting that the whole of organic creation is united by a single, animated spirit....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Norwalk, Staffs, Sept 16, 1632; d Hatfield, MA, Jan 3, 1713).

American joiner. He was brought to America by his parents c. 1640. In 1661 he moved to Hadley (now Massachusetts) in the Connecticut River valley, and entered into partnership with John Allis family. Belden’s son Samuel (1665–1738) and Allis’s son Ichabod (1675–1747) ran Belden & Allis after the deaths of their fathers....

Article

Robert G. Stewart

revised by Maurie D. McInnis

(b Philadelphia, PA, Oct 20, 1743, bapt May 27, 1744; d Philadelphia, bur Jan 25, 1812).

American painter. Benbridge was educated at the Academy of Philadelphia (1751–8) and he was likely acquainted with John Wollaston (who painted Benbridge’s stepfather Thomas Gordon in 1758). Benbridge’s first portraits, of his mother, stepbrother, half-sister, and a large family group, show Wollaston’s influence in composition and colour. Benbridge’s early attempts at history painting, Achilles among the Daughters of Lycomedes and the Three Graces (c. 1758–64; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.) are based on European prints after Rubens.

In 1765 Benbridge moved to Rome, where he shared rooms with the Irish sculptor Christopher Hewetson. During his years in Rome he studied the works of antiquity, the Old Masters, and contemporary Neo-classical artists, including Pompeo Batoni in whose academy Benbridge was enrolled. He remained in Italy until December 1769, when he moved to London, lodging in Panton Square and taking his meals with Benjamin West, to whose wife he was distantly related. It has been suggested that Benbridge studied with West, but it appears that their relationship was more of fellow countryman and colleague than one of pupil and student. While in Italy he had painted the portrait of ...

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

Mario Béland

(bapt Wallerstein, Saxony, Dec 10, 1744; d New York, Feb 5, 1813).

Canadian painter and architect of German birth. He studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna in 1762 and subsequently at the University of Jena in Saxony. During the 1770s he lived in several European countries before settling in Florence as a miniature painter at the end of the decade. About 1790 he moved to London where he pursued his career as a painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy. In 1792 he departed for America with a group of settlers and two years later set up a business in the area of York (now Toronto). In 1798–9 he worked as a portrait painter in Quebec, producing a wide range of pictures from miniatures on ivory to life-size canvases (e.g. Governor Prescott; Quebec, Mus. Semin.). From 1803 he made his living solely from painting, mainly in Montreal and Quebec. Berczy was recognized as one of the best painters in both Upper and Lower Canada. At the same time as he was becoming a popular portrait painter, he devoted time to religious painting and to architectural work, including plans made in ...

Article

Linda Jansma

(b Vienna, May 3, 1806; d Toronto, Jan 18, 1892).

Canadian painter of French origin. He was the son of René Théodore Berthon (1776–1859), court painter to Napoleon I, who was in Vienna at the time of George Theodore’s birth to paint a portrait of Francis I (Vienna, Hofburg-Schauräume). The elder Berthon had been a student of Jacques-Louis David, and he trained his son in the French Neo-classical style.

George Theodore Berthon moved to England in 1827 and was employed by Sir Robert Peel as a French and drawing tutor to his daughters. From 1835 to 1837 Berthon exhibited several portraits at the Royal Academy, London. He settled in Toronto late in 1844 with a letter of introduction from Peel, which he presented to John Strachan, Anglican Bishop of Toronto. Strachan proved to be an important early patron to Berthon; a portrait of the Bishop (1845; Toronto U., Trinity Coll.) painted by Berthon helped to establish his career in Toronto. Other early paintings include Berthon’s first large-scale portrait, ...