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Article

Diane Tepfer

(b New York, Jan 24, 1919; d Key West, FL, May 7, 1996).

American dealer, patron, and painter. Born into a newspaper-publishing family, he responded to his upper-class establishment upbringing by seeking out ambivalence in art and life. Copley established the Copley Galleries in Los Angeles in 1948 with John Ployardt as partner and showed Magritte, Max Ernst, Roberto Matta, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, and Joseph Cornell, as well as younger local artists. He regularly purchased a work from each show and built up his collection. Self-taught as a painter, in 1951 he closed the gallery to paint and moved to Paris, where he bought directly from the Surrealists. He returned to the USA in 1963, living and working in Roxbury, CT. He regularly exhibited at the Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, and elsewhere in the USA and Europe. He used Magritte’s method of ‘assembling images’ in his own narrative figurative paintings. As in some Surrealist works, eroticism is the guiding force in brightly coloured and witty paintings. He compared ...

Article

Ruth L. Bohan

(b New York, Sept 10, 1877; d Milford, CT, March 29, 1952).

American patron, painter, and writer. Dreier studied art at the Brooklyn Students League (1895–7) and the Pratt Institute (1900–01) and privately with Walter Shirlaw for five years. These studies were supplemented by extensive study and travel in Germany, France, and England. Dreier was also active in several Progressive Era reforms, including women’s suffrage, and in 1920 she wrote a book on social reform in Argentina. In 1914 she launched her first effort to stimulate free artistic expression with the founding of the Cooperative Mural Workshops in New York, an art school and workshop modelled on the traditions of John Ruskin and William Morris. Two years later, while active in the Society of Independent Artists, Dreier met Marcel Duchamp (see fig.) and in 1920, with Duchamp’s assistance, founded and became president of the Société Anonyme, Inc, one of the most important and broad-ranging promoters of international modern art in the USA during the 1920s. Dreier’s strong organizational skills, together with her unyielding commitment to modernism’s international significance, sustained the organization’s ambitious exhibition and publication efforts throughout the 1920s and into the 1930s. Dreier provided much of the organization’s financial support and through her extensive correspondence and personal connections with European artists, particularly in Germany, helped nurture an impressive international community of artists that stands as one of the organization’s most enduring legacies. In ...

Article

Gail Stavitsky

(b Villanova, PA, July 23, 1881; d New York, June 15, 1952).

American collector, painter and critic. He was a great-grandson of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury under President Jefferson and President Madison and one of the founders of New York University. Around 1900 he began establishing his reputation as a leading connoisseur of Aubrey Beardsley and James McNeill Whistler through his extensive writing and collecting of their work. Frequent visits to Paris and Europe from 1921 to 1938 resulted in Gallatin’s conversion to acquiring modernist art through his contacts with artists, dealers and collectors. In 1927 he opened his collection to the public as the Gallery of Living Art, in the South Study Hall of New York University’s Main Building. It was the first museum in the USA devoted exclusively to modern art. As its director Gallatin developed the collection into a significant survey focusing on Cubism, De Stijl, Neo-plasticism and Constructivism. Works by Picasso, Braque, Gris, Léger, Mondrian, Jean Hélion, ...

Article

Gary A. Reynolds

(b Hingham, MA, Jan 22, 1856; d Le Bréau, Dammarie-les-Lys, nr Fontainebleau, July 13, 1937).

American painter and collector, active in France. Gay lived all his adult life in and around Paris. He sailed for France in 1876, after a successful exhibition and sale of his still-life paintings at the Williams and Everett Gallery, Boston, MA, which provided funds for his study abroad. Soon after arriving in Paris, Gay entered the atelier of Léon Bonnat, where he remained for about three years. At Bonnat’s suggestion, Gay made a trip to Spain in 1879 to study the work of Velázquez. These influences combined to form a style of painterly realism that emphasized fluid brushwork and a high-keyed tonal palette. Gay made his professional début in France in the Salon of 1879 with the Fencing Lesson (New York, priv. col.), an 18th-century costume piece in the manner of Mariano Fortuny y Marsal. The painting received favourable attention from French and American critics, encouraging Gay to continue this subject-matter for several years. During the late 1880s his summer trips to Brittany and Barbizon inspired a series of paintings of French peasants. One of the most successful of these, ...

Article

Mayching Kao

[ Wang Chi-ch’ien ; C. C. Wang ; ming Jiquan ]

(b Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, Feb 14, 1907; d New York, NY, July 3, 2003).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, collector, and connoisseur, active in the USA. Wang studied Chinese painting and connoisseurship first with Gu Linshi (1865–1933) in Suzhou and subsequently with Wu Hufan (1894–1968) in Shanghai, where he gained access to major painting collections, including that of the Palace Museum. In 1947 he toured the USA and two years later settled in New York. Thereafter he did much to promote the study of Chinese painting in the USA and was often invited to lecture at universities and to advise museums and collectors. Exhibitions of his work were held in prestigious institutions in both Asia and the USA. In keeping with his study of traditional Chinese paintings, in his early work Wang followed the orthodox masters ( see Orthodox school ) and continued the elegant styles of the later literati tradition ( see China, People’s Republic of §V 4., (ii) ). Living in New York put him in contact with trends in modern Western art. Finding parallels between Western abstract art and traditional Chinese painting with its emphasis on spiritual expression, from ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

A. Deirdre Robson

(Bierne)

(b New York, Jan 31, 1900; d New York, Aug 23, 1982).

American dealer, collector and painter. She came from a wealthy New York family and married Schuyler Parsons, a rich socialite, in 1919. In 1922 she obtained a divorce in Paris. She remained there for ten years, studying with Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and Ossip Zadkine. Financial constraints eventually forced her return to the USA in 1933. In 1936 she moved from California to New York and had her first one-woman show at the Midtown Galleries, the first of ten exhibitions there over the next 20 years. She subsequently sold on commission for this gallery. In 1938 she went to work in the gallery run by Mary Sullivan, wife of Cornelius J. Sullivan, one of the founders of MOMA, New York.

In 1940, after Mary Sullivan’s death, Parsons was asked to start a contemporary gallery within the Wakefield Bookshop. Here she began to show the work of new American artists such as Adolph Gottlieb...

Article

[Hildegard] (Anna Augusta Elisabeth)

(b Strasburg [now Strasbourg], May 31, 1890; d Franton Court, CT, Sept 27, 1967).

American museum director, collector, writer and painter of German birth. She came from an aristocratic German family and studied art in Cologne, Paris and Munich. In Berlin in 1917 she was attracted by the work of Vasily Kandinsky and met Rudolf Bauer (1889–1953), who had a profound influence upon her career. She went to the USA in early 1927, and in late 1927 she met Solomon R. Guggenheim and Irene Guggenheim. She soon began trying to interest Solomon in new art, especially the work of Bauer and Kandinsky. By late 1929 she had persuaded him to amass a collection of abstract art. Her role was to arrange contacts between Guggenheim and various European artists, and to help select works for his collection. In parallel she built up a smaller collection of her own.

In 1937 Rebay was made Director of the new Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and from ...

Article

Matico Josephson

American art gallery in New York founded in 1952 that hosted an important annual group show in the 1950s and set the stage for the emergence of Pop art in New York by 1960. Eleanor Ward, the gallery’s founder, had worked for a Parisian fashion house before returning to New York to open the gallery, first located in a former livery stable at 7th Avenue and 58th Street. However, in December 1951, Ward first opened a holiday gift shop inside a mannequin showroom. The Stable Gallery’s first exhibition opened at the same location the following spring. The stable was ideal for displaying oversized artworks and lent the gallery the feeling of an industrial space or an artist’s rented studio. From 1953 to 1957, the Stable hosted an annual artist-organized group show of painting and sculpture (the “Stable Annual”), which served as an informal salon for New York’s avant-garde.

In the 1950s, the Stable Gallery held exhibitions of the works of ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

[Warhola, Andrew ]

(b Pittsburgh, PA, Aug 6, 1928; d New York, Feb 22, 1987).

American painter, printmaker, sculptor, draughtsman, illustrator, film maker, writer, and collector. After studying at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh from 1945 to 1949, he moved to New York and began working as a commercial artist and illustrator for magazines and newspapers. His work of the 1950s, much of it commissioned by fashion houses, was charming and often whimsical in tone, typified by outline drawings using a delicate blotted line that gave even the originals a printed appearance; a campaign of advertisements for the shoe manufacturers I. Miller & Sons in 1955–6 (Kornbluth, pp. 113–21) was particularly admired, helping to earn him major awards from the Art Directors Club.

Warhol continued to support himself through his commercial work until at least 1963, but from 1960 he determined to establish his name as a painter. Motivated by a desire to be taken as seriously as the young artists whose work he had recently come to know and admire, especially Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, he began by painting a series of pictures based on crude advertisements and on images from comic strips. These are among the earliest examples of ...