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Anthony W. Lee

(b Gee Village [now Chu Village], Guangdong Province, China, Feb 22, 1906; d New York, NY, June 5, 1963).

American painter, poet, essayist and inventor. Gee traveled to San Francisco in 1921, joining his father, a merchant in Chinatown. In 1925 he enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) where he took classes with Otis Oldfield (1890–1969) and Gottardo Piazzoni and experimented for the first time in oils. A year later he co-founded two separate art collectives, the Modern Gallery, comprised mostly of white artists with substantial European-based training, and the Chinese Revolutionary Artists’ Club, comprised exclusively of young Chinese immigrants. The differences between the groups reflected an ongoing tension in Gee’s professional and political ambitions between the search for newer forms of modern art and the desire to ennoble a diasporic Chinese sensibility. He initially developed a style of short, choppy brushwork and the juxtaposition of hot and cold colors, and subjects based on the people, streets and goods of Chinatown. He would later call this practice “Diamondism.”...

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Sascha Scott

(b Vlachovo Březí, Bohemia [Czech Republic], Nov 7, 1890; d Bronx, New York, June 24, 1972).

American painter and printmaker of Czech birth. Matulka was raised in South Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) and began his artistic training in Prague in 1905, which was interrupted when he immigrated to the USA with his parents in 1907. They settled in the Bronx, and soon after he enrolled in the National Academy of Design. He completed his training in 1917, at which time he was awarded the National Academy of Design’s Joseph Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship, which came with a $1500 prize. Unable to travel abroad due to complications in securing a passport, he traveled instead to New Mexico, Arizona and Florida between 1917 and 1918. In 1918, he married Ludmila Jirouskova, a fellow Bohemian immigrant. From 1917 through 1919 was a period of frequent travel and artistic experimentation for Matulka. Around this time he adopted a Cubist-inspired style, apparent in works such as Cubist Nudes (1916–19; Lincoln, U. NE, Sheldon Mem. A.G.) and ...

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Deborah A. Middleton

(b Brooklyn, New York, Aug 11, 1927; d Pound Ridge, NY, Jan 24, 2006).

American art historian and museum curator. Rubin has been credited with defining the historical narrative of modern art through his writings and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the 1970s, and 1980s. The vision of founding director Alfred H(amilton) Barr to establish the Museum of Modern Art as a global authority in modern paintings and sculpture was continued during Rubin’s tenure as Director of the Department of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art (1973–88).

William was one of three sons of a successful New York textile merchant. Rubin grew up in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York and attended Fieldstone School where he interned on special museum education projects with teacher and mentor Victor D’Amico who was also Director of Education at the Museum of Modern Art. While at Columbia University he joined the military during World War II to serve in the American occupation forces in Europe. Upon completing his undergraduate degree in ...