American jewellers and silversmiths founded in Philadelphia in 1839, when James Emott Caldwell, a watchmaker from Poughkeepsie, opened a workshop and retail outlet on Chestnut Street. The company’s fourth Chestnut Street shop was the Widener Building, which it occupied for 87 years until it closed in 2003; it now operates in six suburban locations. In the 19th century the company made silver plate, but in the 20th century it became primarily a retail outlet....
(b 1855; d 1931).
American furniture designer and architect, active in England. He worked in the early 1880s for Philip Webb, and thereafter as the chief furniture designer for William Morris §3. His furniture for Morris & Co. in the 1880s and 1890s often uses historical decorative techniques, and is typically decorated with foliage patterns repeated in mirror images and so resembling a Morris textile design (e.g. secrétaire cabinet, ...
(b Světec u Bíliny, July 31, 1873; d Dachau, June 11, 1944).
Czech printmaker, designer, illustrator, painter, and teacher, active also in the USA. From 1892 he studied at the School of Applied Industrial Art in Prague (in Friedrich Ohmann’s Decorative Architecture workshop). In 1897 he left for Paris, where in 1898 he worked for Alphonse Mucha, familiarized himself with graphic techniques, worked in applied graphics, and experimented with lettering and design, and photography. His early, Secessionist, work was influenced by Japanese art and Symbolism. After his return to Prague in 1903 he devoted himself to illustration, publishing an album, Coloured Etchings in the Graphic Art Atelier at Vinohrady, Prague (New York, 1906), and the book Barevný lept a barevná rytina [Coloured etching and coloured engraving], and founding the periodical Česká grafika. Preissig lived in the USA from 1910, gaining a reputation as an innovator in the field of book and advertising graphic design, typography, and illustration, in which fields he introduced the linocut and other special graphic techniques. He taught at art schools in New York, and from ...
Jean A. Follett
(b Boston, MA, 1842; d Boston, MA, 1910).
American architect, stained-glass designer, furniture designer, and photographer. Preston was the son of Jonathan Preston (1801–88), a successful builder in Boston. William completed a year’s study at the Lawrence Scientific School in Cambridge, MA (later incorporated into Harvard University), and then went to Paris where he enrolled briefly in the Atelier Douillard. He returned to Boston in 1861 to work with his father, with whom he remained in partnership until the latter’s death. William then practised independently until his own death.
Preston was a prolific architect, designing over 740 buildings in the course of a career spanning 50 years. His early work was in the French Renaissance style, as seen in his Boston Society of Natural History building (1861–4), a tripartite structure with its floor levels arranged to equate with the proportions of the base, shaft, and capital of a Classical column. It has monumental Corinthian columns and pilasters and a central pediment flanked by a balustraded parapet. He worked in a typically eclectic manner during the 1870s and became an extremely fine designer in the Queen Anne Revival style in the 1880s and early 1890s. The varied massing, stained-glass windows, terracotta, moulded brick, and carved-wood detail of the John D. Sturtevant House (...
(b New York City, 1853; d Buffalo, NY, 1936).
American furniture designer . He began as a designer of cast-iron stoves, but abandoned his profession for the stage; his career as an actor in Boston was terminated as a condition of marriage imposed by his future father-in-law. Rohlfs turned to furniture design in the mid-1880s, and in 1898 opened a workshop in Buffalo, where he built oak furniture. He is rightly regarded as a leading exponent of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in that his furniture typically had solid forms and exposed joints, but his decoration was carved in an Art Nouveau idiom. His commissions included a set of chairs for Buckingham Palace....
(b Woodstown, NJ, Nov 6, 1876; d New York, May 1, 1953).
American painter, illustrator, designer, playwright, and film director. He studied industrial design at the Spring Garden School in Philadelphia from 1888 to 1890. In 1893 he became an illustrator at the Philadelphia Press. Simultaneously he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he met Robert Henri, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and George Luks. Their style of urban realism prompted him to depict the bleak aspects of city life. In 1897 Shinn moved to New York and produced illustrations for several newspapers and magazines, for example Mark Twain (March 1900; see Perlman, p. 80), a frontispiece for The Critic. He also drew sketches for a novel by William Dean Howells on New York; although the novel was not published, Shinn’s drawings brought him national recognition.
Shinn’s work changed radically when, on a trip to Paris in 1901, he was inspired by the theatre scenes of Manet, Degas, and Jean-Louis Forain. He began to paint performers in action, from unusual vantage points, as in ...
Ilene Susan Fort
(b Lock Haven, PA, Aug 2, 1871; d Hanover, NH, Sept 7, 1951).
American painter, printmaker and draughtsman. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with Thomas Pollock Anshutz from 1892 to 1894 and worked as a commercial artist, first with the newspaper the Philadelphia Inquirer (1892–5) and then the Philadelphia Press (1895–1903). He first gained national recognition for his illustrations in the turn-of-the-century poster style, for example Atlantic City Beach (Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 Aug 1894). He earned his living through magazine illustrations until 1916.
Through his association with Robert Henri and the group of young Philadelphia artists around him, Sloan began c. 1897 to paint in oil and became interested in depicting city life. In 1904, he followed Henri to New York, where he stayed for the rest of his life. In 1908, he participated with seven other artists in an exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery to protest the conservative taste of the National Academy of Design. The group was dubbed ...
(b Bentzen, Feb 20, 1865; d Laguna Beach, CA, Dec 29, 1946).
American painter of German birth. He came to the USA in 1880, settling in Chicago, where he worked in a commercial art firm. Essentially self-taught, he attended evening classes at the Art Institute of Chicago for only a brief period. Dissatisfied with figure studies, he preferred painting landscapes and quickly became an active exhibitor in various Chicago art shows, winning the Second Yerkes Prize at the Chicago Society of Artists exhibition in 1893. Wendt and Gardner Symons (1862–1930) made a number of trips to California between 1896 and 1904 and, in 1898, to the art colony at St Ives in Cornwall, England. In 1906 Wendt settled in Los Angeles with his wife, sculptor Julia Bracken. He became a leading member in the art community and was a founder-member of the California Art Club in 1909. In 1912 he moved his home and studio to the art colony at Laguna Beach, the same year that he was elected to the National Academy of Design. He was a founder-member of the Laguna Beach Art Association in ...