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Article

Sandra L. Tatman

(Francis)

(b Philadelphia, PA, April 29, 1881; d Philadelphia, PA, April 23, 1950).

African American architect. Born and educated in Philadelphia, Abele was the chief designer in the firm of Horace Trumbauer. Unknown for most of his life, Julian Abele has become renowned as a pioneer African American architect.

Abele attended the Institute for Colored Youth and Brown Preparatory School before enrolling at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art, where in 1898 he earned his Certificate in Architectural Drawing and the Frederick Graff Prize for work in Architectural Design, Evening Class Students. Abele then enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. Again he distinguished himself in the architectural program, and at his 1902 graduation he was awarded the prestigious Arthur Spayd Brooke Memorial Prize. Abele’s work was also exhibited in the Toronto Architectural Club (1901), the T-Square Club Annual Exhibition (1901–2), and the Pittsburgh Architectural Club annual exhibition of 1903.

As an undergraduate Abele worked for Louis C. Hickman (...

Article

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 ...

Article

Isabel L. Taube

Late 19th-century movement in the arts and literature characterized by the pursuit and veneration of beauty and the fostering of close relationships among the fine and applied arts. According to its major proponents, beauty was found in imaginative creations that harmonized colours, forms, and patterns derived from Western and non-Western cultures as well as motifs from nature. The Aesthetic Movement gained momentum in England in the 1850s, achieved widespread popularity in England and the USA by the 1870s, and declined by the 1890s.

The principal ideologies and practices of British Aestheticism came to the USA through both educational and commercial channels. As early as 1873, the Scottish stained-glass designer, decorator, and art dealer Daniel Cottier opened a branch of his interior design shop in New York and played a significant role in introducing aesthetic taste and artefacts to Americans. The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, with its extensive display of industrial and decorative arts, showcased British Aestheticism and the Japanese ceramics that influenced it. British art magazines and books, especially Charles Locke Eastlake’s ...

Article

Within a half-century of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and Maori chiefs in 1840—the event from which the beginning of New Zealand (Aotearoa) is generally dated (and leaving aside from the present discussion the tribal art of the indigenous Maori and the early art created by European navigators, explorers, surveyors, itinerant artists, soldiers, and the like)—a rudimentary infrastructure of public art galleries, art societies, and some art schools had arisen in the main cities—Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin—and the beginnings of a discourse concerning the character and purpose of the visual arts in the new nation emerged. The central question was whether or not such a phenomenon as ‘New Zealand art’ existed or should exist and what characteristics it should aspire to. These matters were vigorously debated for a decade or so either side of 1890 when the infant nation marked its 50th anniversary with a jubilee. The discourse about national identity then largely disappeared for a generation only to emerge again a decade or so either side of ...

Article

Hilary Morgan

[Fr. L’Art pour l’art]

Concept that emphasizes the autonomous value of art and regards preoccupations with morality, utility, realism and didacticism as irrelevant or inimical to artistic quality. It was the guiding principle of the Aesthetic Movement.

In France the phrase ‘l’art pour l’art’ first appeared in print in 1833, but the concept had been popularized earlier by Madame de Staël’s De l’Allemagne (Paris, 1813) and Victor Cousin’s philosophy lectures at the Sorbonne, Du vrai, du beau et du bien (1816–18; pubd Paris, 1836). Théophile Gautier was its main literary publicist, especially in the preface to his novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (Paris, 1835). Studies of l’art pour l’art, such as Cassagne’s, concentrate on the Second Empire literary movement (1851–70) that included Charles Baudelaire, Gautier, Edmond and Jules de Goncourt and the Parnassian poets. The application of the term to art criticism and visual art is uncharted, but it seems to have been used sufficiently loosely to embrace stylistically opposed artists. ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

One of the oldest and largest artist-run schools of art instruction in the USA. The Arts Students League (ASL) was founded in 1875 by and for art students, many of whom were women. It opened largely in response to student dissatisfaction with the classes and conservative leadership at the National Academy of Design (NAD), then the predominant school of art instruction. The Academy had been founded in 1825 by artists including Samuel F(inley) B(reese) Morse, Asher B(rown) Durand, and Thomas Cole. Faced with financial difficulty, it was rumored that live figure drawing classes were to be canceled at the Academy, and therefore students and concerned teachers called for a meeting to initiate a new program of art instruction. The Art Students League was independently funded by tuition fees and vowed that life drawing would always be available. The mission of the ASL remains to emphasize the importance of artistic creativity, to maintain the greatest respect for artists who devote their lives to art and to educate students in the process of making art in an environment where anyone who wishes to pursue an art education can realize their full potential....

Article

Alan Crawford

(b Isleworth, Middx, May 17, 1863; d Godden Green, Kent, May 23, 1942).

English designer, writer, architect and social reformer . He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. As a young man he was deeply influenced by the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris, and particularly by their vision of creative workmanship in the Middle Ages; such a vision made work in modern times seem like mechanical drudgery. Ashbee played many parts and might be thought a dilettante; but his purpose was always to give a practical expression to what he had learnt from Ruskin and Morris. An intense and rather isolated figure, he found security in a life dedicated to making the world a better place.

In 1888, while he was training to be an architect in the office of G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner (1839–1906), Ashbee set up the Guild and School of Handicraft in the East End of London. The School lasted only until 1895, but the Guild, a craft workshop that combined the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement with a romantic, apolitical socialism, was to be the focus of Ashbee’s work for the next 20 years. There were five guildsmen at first, making furniture and base metalwork. In ...

Article

Marisa J. Pascucci

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 1, 1890; d New York, NY, Feb 12, 2002).

American painter. Raised in Philadelphia she studied at the Philadelphia College of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art & Design) under Elliott Daingerfield (1859–1932), Daniel Garber (1880–1958), Samuel Murray (1869–1941), Harriet Sartain (1873–1957), and Henry B. Snell and graduated in 1911. With her mother, she toured Europe in 1905 and 1912. After returning from her second trip to Europe she settled in New York where her father had recently relocated the family. She lived at home and studied briefly at Art Students League taking life and portrait classes with William Merritt Chase. She eventually established her own studio in Manhattan and married William Meyerowitz (1898–1981), a painter and etcher. She was associated with the members of The Eight and part of the Ashcan school. She was an original member of the Philadelphia Ten—a group of female painters and sculptors schooled in Philadelphia who exhibited together annually, sometimes more often, from ...

Article

James M. Dennis

(b Vienna, Dec 6, 1867; d New York, NY, April 10, 1915).

American sculptor of Austrian birth. Bitter is best remembered for his contributions to the late-19th, early 20th-century City Beautiful Movement. He thereby left a lasting imprint on New York City. Examples of his public sculpture grace not only streets and squares from Bowling Green to Morningside Heights but also numerous other urban sites in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Madison and Minneapolis. Born, raised and educated in Vienna, he no sooner completed his formal training at the Kunstgewerbeschule and Kunstakademie than he was conscripted into the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Refusing to serve an obligatory second year, he escaped to New York via Berlin in 1888 with little more than his sack of tools. His arrival marked the beginning of a prolific career lasting 25 years.

He was immediately discovered by the leading Beaux-Arts architect, Hunt family §(2), who put him to work producing allegorical figures for major, ongoing commissions. These included two Vanderbilt mansions: ...

Article

Sascha Scott

(b Pittsburgh, PA, May 25, 1874; d Albuquerque, NM, June 6, 1960).

American painter and illustrator. Raised in Dayton, OH, Blumenschein showed an early aptitude for music, art, and sports. Upon graduating from high school, he began training as a musician on a violin scholarship at the Music Academy of Cincinnati. Blumenschein left the Academy after a year and enrolled in the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he received a prize for illustration in Fernand Harvey Lungren’s class. In 1893, he moved to New York City and enrolled at the Art Students League, where his instructors included John Twachtman and Kenyon Cox. Over the course of the next 15 years, he moved back and forth between New York and Paris, periodically visiting other locales, including Taos, NM, Italy, and Giverny. He twice enrolled at the Académie Julian (1894–6 and 1899), where he studied with Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. In 1905, he married artist Mary Shepard Greene (1869–1958), and, with the birth of their daughter in ...

Article

(b Dundee, Aug 31, 1898; d London, April 14, 1974).

British art historian, scholar, and teacher. Boase studied history at Magdalen College, Oxford before teaching at Hertford College, Oxford from 1922 to 1937. As an historian his appointment as Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art and Professor of the History of Art in 1937 was controversial, but in this role he helped to establish the history of art as an undergraduate degree course. His time at the Courtauld was disrupted by World War II, and he worked to revive the Institute in its aftermath. Boase brought his historical training to his writing on art. His interests were extremely wide-ranging and he published on subjects as diverse as ‘The Arts in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem’ and ‘Illustrations of Shakespeare’s Plays in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’. Both these articles were among his regular contributions to the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. In addition to his articles on medieval art, in ...

Article

Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

(b Richmond, VA, Feb 24, 1883; d Glen Head, Long Island, NY, Feb 1, 1951).

American architect, preservationist, author, and editor. His wealthy patrician family provided the opportunity for a fine education and connections to future clients. In 1906 he received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Columbia University. His education continued in Rome at the American Academy through receipt of the McKim Fellowship in Architecture in 1907. In 1908 he passed the entrance examination for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and remained in Paris until 1909.

Best known for his residential work, Bottomley combined his extensive knowledge of architectural history with his own observations to produce personal interpretations of past styles. Of his approximately 186 commissions, 90 were located in New York and 51 in Virginia. His most recognized residential commissions are found on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA. Produced during the 1920s and 1930s, these residences, like many of his other projects, have exteriors inspired by nearby 18th-century James River Georgian mansions. Their interiors deviate from the Georgian models with creatively arranged plans that display a particular delight in the use of curving stairs within a variety of different shaped foyers....

Article

Leslie Freudenheim

(b Ellisburg, NY, 1859; d Burlingame, CA, Jan 21, 1896).

American architect. Despite his tragically brief career and six Neo-classical buildings, A. Page Brown will be remembered for his Ferry Building, the centerpiece of San Francisco’s waterfront; that city’s Swedenborgian Church with its Mission-style chairs, both icons of the American Arts and Crafts Movement; and his Mission-style California building for the 1893 Chicago Exposition, a structure that helped establish Mission and Mediterranean styles as appropriate for both domestic and commercial designs throughout the Southwest.

After briefly attending Cornell University, Brown spent three years with the New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. By December 1884, after two years studying European architecture, he opened his own New York practice. Commissions in San Francisco from the Crocker family in 1889 led him to open a West Coast office. He supervised the completion of the first Grace Cathedral (1890, replaced), designed the city’s second skyscraper and, in February 1892, his Mission Revival style design won the competition for the California State Building for the ...

Article

Jeffrey Tilman

(b Oakland, CA, May 21, 1874; d Burlingame, CA, July 7, 1957).

American architect. Brown was the West Coast’s preeminent practitioner of classical architecture in the first decades of the 20th century. Renown for his buildings for the San Francisco Civic Center, his City Hall for Pasadena, CA, and for the Labor-ICC block of the Federal Triangle in Washington, DC, Brown also contributed many significant buildings for the campuses of Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley and participated in the design of three World’s Fairs.

In 1896 Brown earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, where he took classes in architecture from Bernard Maybeck. That same year Brown went on to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he had unprecedented success for an American. After his return to San Francisco in 1904, Brown teamed up with John Bakewell to form Bakewell & Brown, where he served as the firm’s design partner. The young architects were well positioned after the earthquake and fire of ...

Article

Gina M. D’Angelo

(b Harrisburg, PA, Feb 22, 1841; d St Paul, MN, March 2, 1918).

African American painter and lithographer. Brown was the first African American artist to portray California and the Pacific Northwest. One of many artists who migrated West in the years after the gold rush, Brown began his career in San Francisco in the 1860s as a commercial lithographer, and made his mark in the 1880s as a landscape painter of the Pacific Northwest.

The son of freed slaves, Brown probably began his career working at the lithographic firm of P. S. Duval in Philadelphia, and in the late 1850s followed C. C. Kuchel, a Duval lithographer and his soon-to-be employer, to San Francisco. From 1861 to 1867 he worked as a draftsman and lithographer at the Kuchel & Dressel firm in San Francisco, and in 1867 established his own firm, G. T. Brown & Co. His most celebrated project, The Illustrated History of San Mateo County (1878), featured 72 city views whose sensitive topographical style would influence his paintings. Brown sold his firm in ...

Article

Leslie Bussis Tait

American art dealers of Hungarian birth, active also in France. Joseph Brummer (b Zombor, Hungary (now Sombor, Serbia), 1883; d New York, 14 April 1947) trained as a sculptor, studying under Auguste Rodin (1840–1917). In 1906 he gave up his own practice to open a gallery in Paris. His brother Ernest Brummer (b Zombor, Hungary (now Sombor, Serbia), 1891; d New York, 21 Feb 1964) trained as an archaeologist, studying at the Ecole du Louvre and the Sorbonne. Before and following service in World War I, Ernest participated in several expeditions to Egypt and the Middle East, which were occasions to collect antiquities. These became the stock (along with contemporary painting and sculpture, Japanese prints, African and Pre-Columbian art, and medieval objects) for the Brummer Gallery in Paris where Ernest assisted his brothers Joseph and Imre (d 1928). By 1917 Joseph left France to establish the New York gallery; Ernest joined him shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Their broad knowledge and discernment in many fields led to the Brummers’ prominent reputation as leading art dealers....

Article

John Christian

(Coley)

(b Birmingham, Aug 28, 1833; d London, June 17, 1898).

English painter and decorative artist. He was the leading figure in the second phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. His paintings of subjects from medieval legend and Classical mythology and his designs for stained glass, tapestry and many other media played an important part in the Aesthetic Movement and the history of international Symbolism.

He was the only surviving child of Edward Richard Jones, who ran a small carving and gilding business in the centre of Birmingham, and Elizabeth Coley, the daughter of a prosperous jeweller. Christened Edward Coley Burne Jones, he was called simply Edward Jones until c. 1860 when he adopted the surname Burne-Jones. From an early age he drew prolifically but with little guidance and no intention of becoming an artist. In 1844 he entered the local grammar school, King Edward’s, destined for a career in engineering. It was probably in this connection that in 1848 he attended evening classes at the Birmingham School of Design. By the time he left school in ...

Article

Judith Zilczer

Journal devoted to photography that was published from 1903 to 1917. Camera Work evolved from a quarterly journal of photography to become one of the most ground-breaking and influential periodicals in American cultural history. Founded in January 1903 by photographer Alfred Stieglitz as the official publication of the Photo-Secession, the journal originally promoted the cause of photography as a fine art. As Stieglitz, its editor and publisher, expanded the journal’s scope to include essays on aesthetics, literature, criticism and modern art, Camera Work fueled intellectual discourse in early 20th-century America.

Camera Work mirrored the aesthetic philosophy of its founder Alfred Stieglitz. The journal resulted from his decade-long campaign to broaden and professionalize American photography. Serving for three years as editor of American Amateur Photographer (1893–6), Stieglitz championed the expressive potential of photography and advocated expanded exhibition opportunities comparable to those available in European photographic salons. In 1897, when the Society of Amateur Photographers merged with the New York Camera Club, Stieglitz convinced the enlarged organization to replace their modest leaflet with a more substantial quarterly journal, Camera Notes, which he edited until ...

Article

Joseph R. Kopta

(b Neenah, WI, June 28, 1894; d Bedford, MA, March 4, 1984).

American architectural historian. Conant was the leading 20th-century American architectural historian specializing in Romanesque architecture, and was the primary archaeologist of the monastic complex at Cluny. He earned his degrees from Harvard, including a BA in Fine Arts in 1915, an MArch. in 1919, and a PhD with a dissertation on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, supervised by Arthur Kingsley Porter, in 1926. He trained in archaeological practices in 1926 at the excavations of Chichén Itzá and Pueblo Bonito before directing excavations in earnest at Cluny starting in 1928. He was Professor of Architecture Emeritus at Harvard University, retiring from teaching in 1954.

An active member of the Medieval Academy of America (which funded his excavations after initial funding from the Guggenheim Foundation), Conant published frequent field reports documenting the excavations of Cluny as articles in Speculum. Additionally, Conant published a monograph on the sum of the excavations in ...

Article

Lisa Merrill

(b Boston, MA, July 23, 1816; d Boston, MA, Feb 16, 1876).

American actress and patron. Cushman played a significant role in the careers of numerous female visual artists. During her lifetime, Cushman was considered the greatest and most successful actress in the English-speaking world and served as a role model for many women.

When Cushman initially chose to retire from the stage and live abroad, she divided her time between London, where she had established a home, and Rome. While performing in Boston, MA, in 1852, prior to her first trip to Italy, Cushman and her then-partner, British novelist and translator Matilda Hays, made the acquaintance of young American sculptor, Harriet Hosmer. Hosmer accompanied Cushman and Hays to Italy and, for several years, resided with them in Rome. From the start, Cushman envisioned setting up a residence and salon for expatriate female artists from the USA. Just as Cushman had competed openly and aggressively with male actors and insisted upon receiving remuneration equal to theirs, she also encouraged the female artists she supported to compete openly with male sculptors for commissions. She was their fierce advocate in what Hosmer described as “rivalry in the clay” with male sculptors....