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Article

Richard Longstreth

(John)

(b Tully, NY, April 26, 1870; d Carlsbad, CA, Oct 7, 1936).

American architect. The son of a building contractor, he was trained in Chicago in the offices of the architects Joseph Lyman Silsbee and Adler & Sullivan. Health considerations prompted his move to San Diego in 1893. Establishing an independent practice there, Gill remained in southern California for the rest of his life. Most of his commissions were for houses, apartment complexes, and institutional buildings in residential districts.

Much of Gill’s early work follows popularized conventions for American middle-class suburbs; it is commodious, efficient and picturesque but seldom inspired. He produced more distinctive work after 1900 as a result of pursuing the rustic simplicity advocated by proponents of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Sizeable dwellings such as the Marston House, San Diego (1904), possess a clear, purposeful order in their composition and detail. On the other hand, modest dwellings such as the Cossitt House, San Diego (1906), are often imbued with a studied casualness....

Article

Ellen G. Landau

(b Allegheny, PA, May 11, 1894; d New York, NY, April 1, 1991).

American dancer and choreographer. Graham is widely considered a major pioneer and exponent of modernism. Her collaboration with American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, who designed costumes and sets for the Martha Graham Dance Company from 1935 to 1966, and the extraordinary photographs of her in performance by Imogen Cunningham, Soichi Sunami (1885–1971), Philippe Halsman (1906–79) and especially Barbara Morgan, link Graham’s revolutionary accomplishments in dance to experimentation in the visual arts. During the late 1930s and 1940s, her belief in the ability of dance to tap the power of myth and the unconscious anticipated and was analogous to the tenets of Abstract Expressionism.

Brought up in California the daughter of a physician, in 1916 at age 22, Graham began studying dance under Ruth St Denis (1879–1968) and Ted Shawn (1891–1972). Ten years later she formed the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance in New York. While her own performances were initially based on the Denishawn style, by ...

Article

Danielle Peltakian

(b Brooklyn, NY, Oct 27, 1877; d White Plains, NY, July 13, 1949).

American painter, illustrator and lithographer. As an organizer of the Armory Show (1913) alongside Arthur B. Davies, he played an integral role in unveiling European modernism to the USA. While he painted landscapes of Maine, Cézanne-inspired still lifes and a series based on the American West, his expressive portraits of circus and vaudeville performers remain his best-known works.

In 1901, he trained at the Académie Colarossi in Paris, but soon transferred to the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich where he studied under Barbizon painter Heinrich von Zügel (1850–1941) until 1903. Upon returning to New York in 1903, he worked as an illustrator for publications such as Life and Puck, exhibited at the Salmagundi Club (1905) and organized artists’ balls for the Kit Kat Club. Working in an Impressionist style, he participated with Robert Henri in the Exhibition of Independent Artists (1910)....

Article

Ludovica Scarpa

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad, Russian Federation], Nov 5, 1885; d Cambridge, MA, April 28, 1957).

German architect, urban planner and theorist, active also in the USA. After brief apprenticeships in the studio of Hermann Muthesius in Berlin (1908–9) and with Fritz Schumacher in Hamburg (1911), he was appointed director of urban planning at Rüstringen (now Wilhelmshaven), where he remained until 1914, producing his first examples of municipal architecture. From 1918 to 1920 he was chief planner at Schöneberg, a suburb of Berlin. Here he designed the Siedlung Lindenhof housing estate (1918–19; destr. 1944). Wagner’s principal interest was in producing low-cost housing provided with the social and hygienic requisites lacking in the speculative building typical of large 19th-century cities. This preoccupation led him to assist in the establishment of cooperative building ventures funded by trades unions, such as the Bauhütte Berlin (1919), the Verband Sozialer Baubetriebe (1920–24) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Wohnungsbaus (Dewog). As director of the latter’s branch in Berlin, the Gemeinnützige Heimstätten AG (Gehag), Wagner initiated the construction of the Hufeisensiedlung (...