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Article

A. Deirdre Robson

(b London, Dec 8, 1904; d New York, Nov 25, 1979).

American publisher and collector. He trained at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York before working in publishing. In 1950 he set up his own publishing company, Harry N. Abrams Inc., one of the first American companies to specialize in art books. In 1968 he founded Abbeville Books. His collecting, which began in the mid-1930s, went through three distinct phases: his first interest was in such contemporary American painters as Milton Avery and Raphael Soyer. He continued to purchase such works into the 1950s, but from the mid-1940s his collecting began to be dominated by works by major 20th-century artists; he acquired, among other works, Marc Chagall’s Clock (1948), Pablo Picasso’s Motherhood (1921) and Georges Rouault’s Miserere (1939).

Abrams’s most notable period as a collector was the 1960s, when he became known as a major collector of new American art. His interest in this area was fuelled by the ...

Article

Patricia Hills

Art journal published from 1934 to 1937. In 1934, the Artists’ Union joined with the Artists’ Committee of Action, which had been organized to protest against the destruction of Diego Rivera’s mural Man at the Crossroads in Rockefeller Center, New York, to publish Art Front, a journal of news and opinion for artists. The first issue appeared in November 1934 with an editorial committee consisting of eight members of the Artists’ Committee of Action (Hugo Gellert (1892–1985), Stuart Davis , Zoltan Hecht (1890–1968), Abraham Harriton (1893–1986), Rosa Pringle, Hilda Abel, Jennings Tofel (1891–1959) and Harold Baumbach (1903–2002)) and eight from the Artists’ Union (Ethel Olenikov, Boris Gorelick (1912–84), Robert Jonas (b 1907), Max Spivak (1906–81), Michael Loew (1907–85), Katherine Gridley (1898–1940), Herbert Kruckman (1904–98) and C. Mactarian)). Herman Baron served as the Managing Editor. The opening statement announced: ...

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

Henry Adams

(b Veracruz, Mar 13, 1880; d Stamford, CT, Jan 10, 1961).

Mexican illustrator, writer, gallery owner, and publisher, active in the USA. He was the son of a wealthy Mexican lawyer and publisher. De Zayas started his career as an artist by providing drawings for his father’s newspaper in Veracruz. In 1906 he moved on to Mexico City’s leading newspaper, El Diario, but a year later, after the ascension of the dictator Porfirio Diaz, whom the newspaper had opposed, he fled to the USA. There he landed a position making caricatures for the New York Evening World. Shortly after his arrival in the USA, he came into contact with Alfred Stieglitz, who staged solo shows of De Zayas’s caricatures at his gallery Gallery 291 in 1909 and 1910, both of which proved to be huge popular successes.

In 1910 De Zayas traveled to Paris, where he stayed almost a year, scouting out adventurous forms of modern art for Stieglitz, notably the cubist work of Picasso and African sculpture. On his return, equipped with knowledge of European modern art and inspired by the work of the French modernist ...

Article

Julieta Ortiz Gaitán

(b Mexico City, June 27, 1943).

Mexican painter, printmaker, performance artist, writer, teacher and publisher. He qualified as a printmaker at a very early age, then as a painter and engraver under the tutelage of several masters, among whom the most influential on his life was José Chávez Morado. Although he at first worked with traditional media, he possessed a constantly innovative and critical attitude and experimented with performances, installations, happenings, correspondence and media art, as well as writing, lecturing and publishing on such themes as artistic experimentation, cultural promotion, professional management for artists, collective mural painting and the publishing process. From 1968 to 1972 Ehrenberg lived in England where, with the architect Martha Hellion and the critic and historian David Mayor, he founded the Beau Geste Press/Libro Acción Libre in Devon, to propagate the work of artists involved with the Fluxus movement of the 1970s. He was also instrumental in the rise of many artistic groups, workshops and small publishing houses, such as ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Buenos Aires, April 18, 1932).

Argentine photographer and publisher. She trained as a painter at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires (1947–53), and took up photography only in the late 1950s. She studied in Buenos Aires first in the studio of Luis d’Amico and then in 1960 under Annemarie Heinrich. In 1960 she opened a studio in Buenos Aires with the Argentine photographer Alicia D’Amico (1933–2001). She contributed to La Nación and Autoclub, and in 1973, together with María Cristina Orive, she co-founded La Azotea, a publishing house specializing in Latin American photography. She was primarily a documentary photographer, whose reputation did not depend on the recording of sensational events. Her photographs were realistic portrayals of the Argentine way of life; they were taken using natural light and were not modified in the laboratory.

Orive, María Cristina

Facio, Sara Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, 1968)Retratos y autorretratos...

Article

Margaret Kelly

(Stevenson)

(b New York, Aug 19, 1919; d Feb 24, 1990).

American publisher and collector. In his position as Chairman and Editor-in-chief of the fortnightly American business magazine Forbes, he established one of the oldest corporate art collections in America in the 1950s when he began to acquire objets d’art created by Peter Carl Fabergé: the collection contains over 300 pieces, including 12 Imperial Easter eggs. A man of eclectic tastes, and spurred by fond childhood memories, Forbes assembled a collection of 100,000 lead soldiers and over 500 tin clockwork toy boats. The Fabergé works and selected toys are displayed at the Forbes Magazine Galleries in New York with American presidential manuscripts and related historical memorabilia that Forbes believed ‘better depict each [president] than the likenesses that abounded in their time’. Numbering over 3000 pieces, the collection is the finest of its kind in private hands.

The Forbes picture collection, predominantly conservative in flavour, features works by French 19th-century military painters, Victorian artists, Kinetic artists, American Realists and 19th- and 20th-century photographers. Forbes established the ...

Article

E. A. Christensen

(b Bloomington, IL, June 19, 1856; d SS Lusitania, off Co. Cork, May 7, 1915).

American designer. He was initially a successful salesman for the Illinois-based Weller’s Practical Soaps. He settled in East Aurora, near Buffalo, NY, and abandoned selling soap in 1893. During a trip to England the following year, he met William Morris and admired the works of his Kelmscott Press. On returning to East Aurora, Hubbard employed his great showmanship to popularize a simplified version of English Arts and Crafts design for a wide audience. With the help of a local press, he began publishing monthly biographies, Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great (1895–1909), the first two of which treat the lives of George Eliot and John Ruskin. Soon after, he founded the Roycroft Press with the publication of The Philistine (1895–1915), a monthly journal combining popular philosophy, aphorisms and brief preachments with crude Art Nouveau lettering and ornament. The Song of Songs (1895), printed on handmade paper with rough and arty bindings, was the first of many Roycroft books. The press became the centre of the ...

Article

Scholarly organization in New York dedicated to the promotion and study of medieval art. In 1956 the International Center of Romanesque Art (ICRA) was founded in New York as the US committee of the Centre international d’Etudes romanes (CIER). Renamed in 1966 as the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA), it has been headquartered at The Cloisters in New York City since 1969. From its early focus on French Romanesque art, ICMA has evolved into an important scholarly association advocating and promoting the study of European art, including the Mediterranean and Slavic regions, from c. ad 300 to c. 1500.

ICMA publishes Gesta, a biannual and the only journal in English dedicated to medieval art; a newsletter (three times a year), a series of censuses of medieval sculpture in American public collections and other monographs on medieval titles. Since 1998 ICMA has maintained an active website offering digital resources (e.g. International Census of Doctoral Dissertations in Medieval Art, ...

Article

Aída Sierra Torres

(b Mexico City, ?1820; d Mexico City, 1897).

Mexican illustrator and printmaker. He probably began his career in 1847 in the workshop of the Murguía publishing house. In 1854, in collaboration with Andrés Campillo, he created an outstanding series of illustrations for the book Los mexicanos pintados por sí mismos, in which he portrayed character types (e.g. Great Poet, lithograph) in the manner of Honoré Daumier. In 1855 he founded the firm Litografía de Iriarte y Compañía. The following year he published portraits of famous personalities in the weekly review El Panorama. He was a co-founder in 1861 of the political fortnightly La Orquesta, on which he worked for more than ten years as an illustrator and eventually as a caricaturist and as editor. Iriarte continued to contribute to a number of periodicals, including El Renacimiento, and his firm also published the weekly San Baltazar (1869–70). He collaborated with Santiago Hernández on numerous illustrations for, among others, ...

Article

Anne Blecksmith

(b Kiev, Sept 4, 1919; d Miami, FL, Nov 19, 1999).

American painter, photographer and publishing executive of Ukrainian birth. Raised in England and France, he received a degree in philosophy and mathematics from the Sorbonne in 1930. Connected to the Russian exile community in Paris, he was introduced to artists Aleksandr Yakovlev and Marc Chagall. In 1931, he studied painting with André Lhote and enrolled at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, where he was a student of Auguste Perret. Later that year, he transferred to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While studying architecture, he was apprenticed to graphic artist Cassandre through whom he found work at the newsweekly Vu, where he created photomontage covers with Russian Constructivist sensibilities and later rose to art director. At Vu he worked with imagery by pioneers of 35 mm photography Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï and Erich Salomon. A prolific photographer since childhood, he enthusiastically identified with the candid documentary style of the 35 mm camera.

Arriving in New York in ...

Article

Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(b Parma, 1790; d Tampico, Dec 11, 1832).

Italian lithographer, active in Mexico. In 1809 he completed his studies in Paris, but after returning to Italy he was sentenced to death in 1824 for revolutionary activities. He went to Mexico with his colleague Gaspar Franchini in 1825, apparently attracted by the idea of putting his revolutionary ideas into practice. He took a lithographic press with him and set up the first lithographic workshop in Mexico City. In addition to teaching, he printed a weekly periodical, El Iris, from February to August 1826, featuring lithographs of fashion models and portraits of such heroes of Mexican independence as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. Under this innocent guise, that of printers of a publication intended for women, he and his collaborators gave expression to political comment that led to the periodical’s closure, and in September 1826 he was forced to leave Mexico. In 1828 in Brussels he published Costumes civils, militaires et religieux du Mexique...

Article

Malcolm Gee

[Israel Ber]

(b Skole, Ukraine, March 2, 1887; d Rye, NY, April 28, 1961).

German dealer and publisher, active in the USA. Israel Ber Neumann, known as J. B. Neumann, opened his first print gallery in Berlin in 1911, exhibiting work by Edvard Munch and members of Brücke, Die. In 1913 he exhibited the complete prints of Munch in three shows and in 1915–16 was secretary to the Berlin Secession. After World War I Neumann, like other dealers in Expressionist art, initially met favourable conditions, with widespread demand for the work of such artists as Max Beckmann, who signed an exclusive contract with Neumann in 1921. This was a close but difficult relationship on both the personal and the commercial level. The deterioration of the German economic and political situation led Neumann to attempt to break into the American market, becoming permanently based in New York from 1923. He entrusted his Berlin gallery to Karl Nierendorf and the Munich one to Günther Franke. In ...

Article

Picheta  

Mónica Martí Cotarelo

[Gahona, Gabriel Vicente ]

(b Mérida, Apr 5, 1828; d Mérida, Mar 1, 1899).

Mexican engraver. In 1846 he went to study painting in Europe, where he almost certainly encountered the widely published lithographs of Gustave Doré, Honoré Daumier, and Paul Gavarni, which probably inspired his own work. On returning from Europe he founded, with some friends in Mérida, the periodical Don Bullebulle (1847), which satirized with grace and irony social customs, politics, and contemporary fashion. During its year-long life he illustrated the periodical with a total of 86 wood-engravings that he signed with the pseudonym Picheta. He achieved a sharpness of line that emphasized his draughtsmanship (e.g. The Clerk, 1847; Mexico City, Mus. N. Est.). When Don Bullebulle’s critical attitude forced the periodical to close, Picheta’s artistic career came to an end. Nevertheless, his work is greatly admired for its historical significance, especially in view of the lack of successful wood-engravers in Mexico during the 19th century.

Orosa Díaz, J....

Article

Anne Cannon Palumbo

(b Breslau, Silesia [now Wrocław, Poland], March 12, 1824; d Glendale, CA, June 14, 1909).

American publisher. A leader in the development of chromolithography and its application to fine art printing, he began his lithographic business in 1856 in Boston, where he fled after being banned by the Prussian government for his participation in the uprisings of 1848. Although he did not have particular lithographic training, Prang had considerable knowledge of colour printing and the principles of business management, learnt from his father, a German calico manufacturer. From 1860 until 1897 L. Prang & Co. manufactured a wide range of pictorial products, ranging from maps and fashion plates to advertisements and Christmas cards, and also supplied the plates for several notable publications, including Clement C. Moore’s A Visit from St Nicholas (New York, 1864) and the ten volumes of W. T. Walters’s Collection of Oriental Ceramic Art (New York, 1897). He also published drawing books and reproductions of European Old Masters. Black and white was sometimes employed, but Prang’s reputation rests on his colour printing, particularly on the large chromolithographic reproductions of oil and watercolour paintings that he published under the name ‘Prang’s American Chromos’ from ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b Recife, Dec 19, 1899; d Recife, Jun 5, 1970).

Brazilian painter, poet, and publisher. He became interested in painting while living in Paris between 1911 and 1914. On his return to Brazil he lived first in Rio de Janeiro and then, from 1918 onward, in Recife. There he prepared a series of watercolors based on indigenous themes, such as the Birth of Mani (1921; U. São Paulo, Mus. A. Contemp.), which were exhibited in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in 1920–1921. His modernist reworking of indigenous aesthetics challenged Parisian avant-garde primitivism and Brazilian academic aesthetics. In 1922 he took part in the Semana de Arte Moderna in São Paulo and returned to Europe, establishing a studio in Paris, where he illustrated P. L. Duchartre’s Légendes, croyances, et talismans des indiens de l’Amazonie (Paris, 1923). From 1922 to 1957 he alternated his residency between Paris and Brazil. In 1930 he and the French poet and critic Géo-Charles (...

Article

Cheryl Leibold

American family of Philadelphia printmakers, printers, painters, and educators. John Sartain and his children, Emily and William, played an important role in the art world of Philadelphia for over a century. Their influence on American art lies primarily in the impact of their work example and leadership on others, and somewhat less from the value placed on their own artistic output. The patriarch, John Sartain (b London, 24 Oct 1808; d Philadelphia, PA, 25 Oct 1897), arrived in Philadelphia at the age of 22. By 1850 he was the city’s premier engraver of illustrations for a wide range of publications. His brilliant mezzotint engravings, often reproducing the work of others, brought graphic art into the homes of all classes. Reproductive engravings, either framed or in books, were widely popular before the advent of photography. Many writers promulgated the display of such prints as a means to refine and enlighten society. Sartain’s most successful endeavours in this field were his large and elaborate framing prints, commissioned by painters, collectors, and publishers to disseminate important works. The finest of these is ...

Article

[SAH]

Professional organization devoted to the study of architecture worldwide. Founded in 1940 by a small group of students and teachers attending summer session at Harvard University, the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) has grown into the leading professional and scholarly organization in the world concerned with various aspects of the built environment. With a membership of around 2700, composed of architectural historians, architects, planners, preservationists, students, and other individuals interested in the subject, as well as nearly 1000 institutions worldwide, it publishes a scholarly periodical, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, whose topics range from antiquity to the present day around the world; a monthly electronic Newsletter; and a multi-volume book series of detailed guides to the architecture of the individual American states, Buildings of the United States (BUS). The Society sponsors an annual meeting, held each year in a different part of the USA or Canada, or occasionally elsewhere, where members present scholarly papers, discuss these papers and other architectural topics, explore the area via a series of tours, and learn of the award of a number of prizes for notable accomplishments in the field, as well as designation of Fellows of the Society for lifetime contributions to architectural history. These include four book awards, the Alice Davis Hitchcock, Spiro Kostof, Elisabeth Blair MacDougall, and Antoinette Forrester Downing, for architecture, the built environment, landscape architecture, and preservation, respectively; the Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award; the Founders’ Award for the best article published in the ...

Article

Mary Ann Smith

(b Osceola, WI, March 9, 1858; d Syracuse, NY, April 20, 1942).

American designer and publisher. During most of the period 1875–99, he worked in various family-owned furniture-manufacturing businesses around Binghamton, NY. He travelled to Europe in the 1890s, seeing work by Arts and Crafts designers. In 1898 he established the Gustave Stickley Company in Eastwood, a suburb of Syracuse, NY. The following year he introduced his unornamented, rectilinear Craftsman furniture inspired by the writings of John Ruskin and William Morris. He adopted a William Morris motto, ‘Als ik kan’ (‘If I can’), as his own and used the symbol of a medieval joiner’s compass as his trademark. In 1903 he dropped the ‘e’ in the spelling of Gustave.

Stickley published The Craftsman Magazine (1901–16), a periodical devoted to the Arts and Crafts Movement (see Craftsman Movement). The first issue was dedicated to Morris, the second to Ruskin. Most issues contained articles and illustrations of Craftsman furniture by Stickley. The periodical contained information on American and foreign designers, Japanese and Native American crafts, manual arts education, socialism, and gardens. The architect ...

Article

Judith Zilczer

(b Hoboken, NJ, Jan 1, 1864; d New York, July 13, 1946).

American photographer, editor, publisher, patron and dealer. Internationally acclaimed as a pioneer of modern photography, he produced a rich and significant body of work between 1883 and 1937 (see fig.). He championed photography as a graphic medium equal in stature to high art and fostered the growth of the cultural vanguard in New York in the early 20th century.

The first of six children born to an upper-middle-class couple of German–Jewish heritage, Stieglitz discovered the pleasure of amateur photography after 1881, when his family left New York to settle temporarily in Germany. His father, Edward Stieglitz, had retired from a successful business in the wool trade with a fortune that enabled him to educate his children abroad. In 1882 Alfred enrolled in the mechanical engineering programme of the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, but he spent his spare time experimenting with photography in a darkroom improvised in his student quarters. His self-directed experiments led him to study photochemistry with the eminent scientist Hermann ...