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Term used to describe a movement of the 1870s and 1880s that manifested itself in the fine and decorative arts and architecture in Britain and subsequently in the USA. Reacting to what was seen as evidence of philistinism in art and design, it was characterized by the cult of the beautiful and an emphasis on the sheer pleasure to be derived from it. In painting there was a belief in the autonomy of art, the concept of Art for Art’s Sake, which originated in France as a literary movement and was introduced into Britain around 1860.

The Aesthetic Movement was championed by the writers and critics Walter Pater, Algernon Charles Swinburne and Oscar Wilde. In keeping with Pater’s theories, the artists associated with it painted pictures without narrative or significant subject-matter. Dante Gabriel Rossetti took his inspiration from Venetian art because of its emphasis on colour and the decorative. This resulted in a number of half-length paintings of female figures, such as the ...


Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...


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 ...


Jeffrey R. Hayes


(b Prenzlau, Germany, June 21, 1867; d South Braintree, MA, Jan 12, 1938).

American painter and architect of German birth. Bluemner emigrated to the USA in 1892, after receiving his diploma and an award for a painting of an architectural subject from the Königliche Technische Hochschule, Berlin. He first worked as a draughtsman at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, and later designed New York’s Bronx Borough Courthouse (1902). Around 1910 his professional focus moved to painting under the aegis of Alfred Stieglitz, who gave him a one-man exhibition at the Gallery 291 gallery in 1915, published his writings in Camera Work and recommended his inclusion in the Forum Exhibition of Modern American Painters (1916).

Bluemner’s prismatically structured early landscapes (e.g., Expression of a Silktown, 1915; Trenton, NJ State Mus.) reflected his lasting interest in colour theory and familiarity with the work of Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh and with Neo-Impressionism. During the 1920s he concentrated on watercolours (e.g., ...


Linda Jansma

(b Greenock, Strathclyde, Dec 14, 1855; d Wallasey, Ches, June 18, 1925).

Canadian painter and teacher of Scottish birth. He moved with his family to the Eastern Townships, Quebec, in 1857. Brymner’s first training was under the architect Richard Cunningham Windeyer (1830–1900) in Montreal and later under Thomas Seaton Scott (1836–95), the Chief Architect for the Department of Public Works in Ottawa. He was one of the first Canadians to travel to Paris for artistic training, arriving there in 1878. He studied at the Académie Julian from 1878 to 1880, under William Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury, and again from 1883 to 1885 and in 1889. The subtle tonal relationships and simple composition of a Wreath of Flowers (1884; Ottawa, N.G.), his diploma piece for the Royal Canadian Academy, could be found in works throughout his career. He accepted the position of Master of the School of the Art Association of Montreal in 1886, teaching there until 1921...


Paul J. Karlstrom

(b Copenhagen, Denmark, Oct 19, 1853; d New York, NY, Jan 2, 1932).

American painter of Danish birth. Carlsen immigrated to the USA in 1872 after studying architecture at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in his native Copenhagen. In 1874 he worked under Danish painter Lauritz Holtz in Chicago. After six months study in Paris (1875), he returned to Chicago to teach at the newly founded Academy of Design. Back in Paris (1884–6) for further study of the works of Jean-Siméon Chardin, he produced floral still-lifes for New York dealer Theron J. Blakeslee. America’s leading exponent of the Chardin Revival, Carlsen eventually became his adopted country’s most famous depicter in paint of fish, game, bottles and related ‘kitchen’ still-life subjects (e.g. Blackfish and Clams; New York, Met.). A typical fish portrait recently hung in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, near a similar piscean image by one of Carlsen’s main competitors in the genre, William Merritt Chase, whose famous fish still-life, ...


Roy R. Behrens

(b Independence, IA, Aug 31, 1881; d Palma de Mallorca, Nov 10, 1959).

American painter and architectural patron . The son of a small-town lawyer and landowner, he left home in 1898 to study art at the Art Institute of Chicago and later, the National Academy of Design in New York. Moving to Paris in 1903, he studied with Adolphe-William Bouguereau and Jean-Paul Laurens at the Académie Julian. In 1907, while visiting the Vatican, he became the first American artist to be allowed to paint a portrait of Pope Pius X. Returning to Paris, he became friends with American writer Gertrude Stein ( see Stein, (3) ) and her companion, Alice B. Toklas, who subsequently introduced him to many artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jacques Lipchitz, Ernest Hemingway and Robert Graves. Prior to World War I, Stein and Toklas vacationed together with Cook and his future wife, artist’s model Jeanne Maollic, on the island of Mallorca. Returning to Paris, Cook worked as a taxi driver, then used his taxi to teach Stein to drive, so that she and Toklas could transport supplies for the French war effort. Cook and Stein became close friends, with the result that he is featured in her two autobiographies and several other works. After the war, he spent two years working for the Red Cross in the Caucasus, aiding refugees in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution....


Adam M. Thomas

(b Minden, Jan 15, 1902; d Austin, TX, Dec 8, 1985).

American painter of German birth. Kelpe moved to Hannover to study art and architecture in 1919. In the early 1920s he was exposed to the leading abstract trends in European modernism, including Suprematism and Constructivism. Kelpe developed an abstract painting vocabulary characterized by geometric order, hard edges, overlapping planes, and interpenetrating shapes before immigrating to the United States in 1925. He eventually settled in Chicago, where he had his first solo exhibition in 1932 at the Little Gallery. In the late 1920s Kelpe applied found objects to his paintings, as exemplified by Construction with Lock and Key (1927; Washington, DC, Hirshhorn). He abandoned such constructions by the early 1930s in favor of integrating in paint recognizable gears, wheels and machine parts into his abstract compositions. Machine Elements (1934; Newark, NJ, Mus.), with its stacked semi-abstract machine and factory forms, is representative of his work during the period. Kelpe worked for the Public Works of Art Project in ...


Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Term coined in the 19th century to describe the overwhelmingly dominant style in the fine and decorative arts in Europe and North America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Neo-classicism is not one distinct style, but rather the term can describe any work of architecture or art that either copies or imitates ancient art, or that represents an approach to art that draws inspiration from Classical models from ancient Greece and Rome. The most influential theorist of Neo-classicism was the German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann, whose major work, Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks, was translated into English in 1765. The Neo-classical style in North America was most popular from about 1780 to 1850.

Interest in Classical art and architecture has remained more or less constant throughout Western history, peaking most notably during the Renaissance and again in the 18th century. The systematic excavations and ensuing scholarship on the archaeological sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii, buried by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in ...


revised by Margaret Barlow

A renewed interest among artists, writers, and collectors between c. 1820 and 1870 in Europe, predominantly in France, in the Rococo style in painting, the decorative arts, architecture, and sculpture. The revival of the Rococo served diverse social needs. As capitalism and middle-class democracy triumphed decisively in politics and the economy, the affluent and well-born put increasing value on the aristocratic culture of the previous century: its arts, manners and costumes, and luxury goods.

Among the earliest artists in the 19th century to appreciate and emulate 18th-century art were Jules-Robert Auguste (1789–1830), R. P. Bonington, Eugène Delacroix, and Paul Huet. For these young artists the Rococo was a celebration of sensual and sexual pleasure and a product of a free and poetic imagination. Looking particularly at the work of Watteau, they sought to reproduce the Rococo capacity for lyrical grace, its sophisticated understanding of colour, and its open, vibrant paint surfaces in their work. These qualities can be seen in such re-creations of 18th-century scenes as Eugène Lami’s ...


[Ger. Romantischer Klassizismus]

Term indicating the merging of romantic sentiment with subject-matter drawn from Greek and Roman antiquity in the fine arts and architecture of Western Europe and the USA. It was first used in German in 1922 by Sigfried Giedion and in English in 1944 by Fiske Kimball (see bibliography). Romantic Classicism was neither a coherent movement nor a style but rather an attitude among individuals at work within the realm of Neo-classical art occurring over a period of about 100 years from around the mid-18th century. Examples of Romantic Classicism were for the most part a conscious attempt to humanize the cooler aspects of Neo-classicism, while retaining its sense of striving for a universal ideal. Early manifestations of this trend are found in the Picturesque movement that first developed in English landscape design during the first half of the 18th century. Geometric layout and formal parterres were ousted in favour of Virgilian landscapes of hills, lakes and trees, punctuated for purposes of romantic contemplation by Greek- and Roman-style temples (e.g. ...


Roberta K. Tarbell

( Henry Bradley )

(b Chicago, IL, June 28, 1885; d Mer, France, April 22, 1956).

American sculptor, painter and printmaker, active also in France. One of the most inventive sculptors of his generation, Storrs divided his career between the USA and France. His architect father, David W. Storrs, a land developer in Chicago, introduced Storrs to the innovations of the first skyscrapers as they emerged there. Throughout his life Storrs discussed ideas with architects including Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Wellborn Root, John A. Holabird, Barry Byrne and Buckminster Fuller. Storrs studied with John Dewey at the progressive University [of Chicago] High School—the Chicago Manual Training School—where he excelled in woodworking and architectural, mechanical, and freehand drawing (1900–05). He interspersed travel throughout Europe, Turkey and Egypt (1905–7) with studies in Hamburg with sculptor Arthur Bock (1905–6) and in Paris at the académies Julian, Montparnasse and Franklin (1906–7). Storrs studied in Chicago at the Academy of Fine Arts and at the School of the Art Institute (...


Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....