1-20 of 35 results  for:

  • American Art x
  • Twentieth-Century Art x
Clear all

Article

Courtney Ann Shaw

(b Fort Plain, NY, Oct 27, 1925; d San Francisco, 2006).

American tapestry artist, painter and stained-glass designer. Adams studied painting at Syracuse University and with Hans Hoffmann in New York, where he was influenced by the medieval tapestries in the Cloisters and also by the work of Matisse. In the 1950s Adams was apprenticed to the influential French tapestry designer Jean Lurçat, from whom he learnt the bold colours and clear imagery that characterize his work. He also studied at the Ecole Nationale d’Art Décoratif in Aubusson before beginning to use a series of workshops, notably that of Marguerite and Paul Avignon, who wove his first nationally acclaimed tapestry, Phoenix and the Golden Gate (1957). Flight of Angels (1962) was exhibited at the first Biennale Internationale de la Tapisserie in Lausanne. In 1976 his cartoon of California Poppies (San Francisco, CA Pal. Legion of Honor) was woven for the Five Centuries of Tapestry exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, as a demonstration piece. Later tapestries, for example ...

Article

Suzanne Tise

Descriptive term applied to a style of decorative arts that was widely disseminated in Europe and the USA during the 1920s and 1930s. Derived from the style made popular by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, the term has been used only since the late 1960s, when there was a revival of interest in the decorative arts of the early 20th century. Since then the term ‘Art Deco’ has been applied to a wide variety of works produced during the inter-war years, and even to those of the German Bauhaus. But Art Deco was essentially of French origin, and the term should, therefore, be applied only to French works and those from countries directly influenced by France.

The development of the Art Deco style, or the Style moderne as it was called at the time, closely paralleled the initiation of the 1925...

Article

Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1926, Butte, MT; d Missoula, MT June 20, 2007).

American potter and sculptor of Finnish descent who is best known as a figurative ceramicist but has also worked in bronze, concrete, glass and metal. His works are normally in stoneware with incised decorations, but Autio began to work in porcelain while working at the Arabia Porcelain Factory in Helsinki in the 1980s....

Article

Barbara Haskell

(Stuart)

(b Chicago, IL, Dec 6, 1939).

American painter and sculptor. Bell Los Angeles from 1957 to 1959. After experimenting with geometrically shaped paintings, he turned to constructed paintings made of mirrored and transparent glass and canvas, for example Untitled (Magic Boxes) (canvas, acrylic, glass, 1964; Los Angeles, CA, Co. Mus. A.). The optical ambiguities created by the reflections of the viewer’s image and the ambient space became the hallmark of Bell’s work. Dissatisfied with the limitations of two-dimensional art, he began making faceted boxes of mirrored and transparent glass, the reflecting and refracting surfaces of which greatly extended the optical complexities and ambiguities of his earlier glass and canvas paintings. By late 1964 he had abandoned faceted, mirrored boxes in favour of pure glass cubes, whose sides he coated with various metals to create fields of elusive, evanescent colour, for example Untitled (1965; artist’s col., see 1982 exh. cat., p. 25). The environmental space seen through and reflected by the glass optically merged with the cube and became an intrinsic part of it....

Article

Elizabeth Johns

(b Durham, England, Nov 11, 1831; d New York, Feb 8, 1913).

American painter. A popular painter of rural and urban genre scenes, he spent his youth in England, where he served an apprenticeship as a glasscutter. By 1853 he was employed in Brooklyn, NY. After serious study he became, in 1860, a fully fledged member of the New York artistic community, with a studio in the Tenth Street Studio Building and participating regularly in National Academy of Design exhibitions.

Brown’s first genre scenes focused on rural children out of doors. Often sentimental, these exhibited a clarity of light and drawing attributable to his early interest in the Pre-Raphaelite painters. The Music Lesson (1870; New York, Met.), a courtship scene set in a Victorian parlour, reveals his debt to English painting. In 1879 Brown painted the Longshoreman’s Noon (Washington, DC, Corcoran Gal. A.), an affectionate but sober rendering of the variety of ages and physical types in the urban working class. About ...

Article

K. Somervell

(b Brockmoor, Staffs, Sept 18, 1863; d Dec 10, 1963).

American glass designer and technician of English birth. He trained as an assistant in his father’s salt-glazed stoneware factory in Stourbridge, Staffs, and attended evening classes at the Stourbridge School of Art and the Dudley Mechanics Institute, Dudley, W. Midlands, where he came under the tutelage of John Northwood (1836–1902). In 1880, after a recommendation by Northwood, Carder was employed as a designer and draughtsman at the Stourbridge firm of Stevens & Williams. During this period Carder developed his Mat-su-no-ke glass (which uses the application of clear or frosted glass in high relief outside the vessel). He also collaborated with Northwood to make coloured art glass and cut and cased glass.

In 1902, after a research trip to the USA for Stevens & Williams, Carder established a factory at Corning, NY, to produce blanks for Hawkes, T. G., & Co & Co. In 1903 Carder, who was inspired by the Art Nouveau style, joined with ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Emporia, KS, Nov 6, 1932).

American furniture designer. He normally worked in wood (sometimes exotic wood), but has also made furniture in plastic and fibreglass; his finest work reflects his mastery of laminated wood. Castle’s decorative furniture is strongly sculptural; his designs are markedly individualistic, but nonetheless evince debts to the traditions of Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement. His best-known designs are the Molar chair and loveseat designed for Stendig in ...

Article

Jane Shadel Spillman

American glass manufactory in Corning, NY. In 1851 Amory Houghton (1813–82), a Boston businessman, became a director of a glass company in Cambridge, MA, and subsequently owner of his own glass factory. Later he sold his Massachusetts glass interests and bought the idle Brooklyn Flint Glass Works in New York. Transportation and labour difficulties caused him to move the equipment and some employees to Corning in 1868. The factory’s chief product was blanks for glasscutting, and Houghton persuaded John Hoare (1822–96) to establish a branch of his successful Brooklyn cutting shop in Corning. This was the first of many cutting shops in the region, which became noted for the production of heavily cut glass. By about 1900 more than 500 glasscutters were employed in the Corning area.

In the 1870s Amory Houghton jr (1837–1909) of the renamed Corning Glass Works developed an exceptionally visible and stable red glass for railway signal lanterns, which later became a railway standard, and in ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

(b Alsace, March 16, 1828; d White Mills, PA, 1915).

American glass manufacturer of French birth. He was apprenticed to his uncle at the age of ten to learn glassmaking at the Compagnie des Verreries et Cristalleries de St Louis in eastern France and in 1846 moved to the USA with his family. He first worked in a small glasshouse in Philadelphia. Between 1852 and 1860 Dorflinger built three glasshouses in Brooklyn, NY, each larger than the one before, for the manufacture of lamps, of glass tubes for table lamps and later of blanks for other factories. In his third factory, the Greenpoint Glass Works, he produced blown, cut and engraved tableware of such superior quality that in 1861 it was chosen for use in the White House, Washington, DC, by Mrs Mary Todd Lincoln (1818–82).

In 1863 Dorflinger moved to a farm in White Mills, PA, where in 1865 he built a small glasshouse. Experienced glass workers from Greenpoint taught local farm boys their craft, and French glass artists from St Louis were invited to work there. About ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Ehden, Lebanon, Sept 14, 1912; d 1994).

American painter and stained-glass artist, of Lebanese birth. After an apprenticeship with the Lebanese painter Habib Srour (1860–1938) in Beirut, he studied from 1932 to 1936 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. In 1934 he received the top award for drawing at the school and later exhibited his work at the Salon des Artistes Français. After graduating in 1936, he returned to Lebanon, opening a studio in Beirut, and becoming well known in the early 1940s for his frescoes in the Maronite church at Diman. At the same time his paintings of Lebanese life and the countryside came to public notice when he exhibited at the gallery of the Hotel St–Georges, Beirut, though by the late 1940s he had begun to simplify the style of his work. In 1950 he moved to New York, where his paintings became increasingly abstract, consisting of flat forms of brilliant colour with hard straight edges. Although he was influenced by the artistic life around him, and by his acquaintance with Rothko, Hans Hofmann and Ad Reinhardt, he did not join any group or movement. He became an American citizen in ...

Article

Robert M. Craig

[New Formalism]

Architectural movement of the 1950s and 1960s. New Formalism was a reaction to the so-called “Miesian” aesthetic of corporate America during the 1950s; the architecture of the glass curtain wall. Rejecting the modernist generation’s abstract functionalist design based on volume and surface skin, Formalist architects instead sought a more articulate, representational, and expressive language of architecture. They reshaped building elements, both structural and formal, and reintroduced historic references and styles to the design of buildings. When fashionably adorned with a “new ornamentalism,” the more stylized Formalist buildings became Mannerist in expression.

In 1961, Nikolaus Pevsner recognized a “return to historicism” in architecture, which demonstrated that even pioneer modernists had become sources for revivalist interest and architectural form-making by the third quarter of the 20th century. Stimulated by New Formalism, a younger generation soon brought forth a “post-modern” language of design, sometimes disturbingly artificial and weak, sometimes “complex and contradictory,” but always seeking to be newly validated by history. Its best expressions constituted a “new classicism”; its worst evidenced by what Charles Jencks described as the “carnivalesque” in architecture....

Article

Gordon Campbell

American glasshouse founded in Philadelphia in 1861 by William Gillinder, an English glassworker who had moved to America in 1854. For the first few years it was called Franklin Flint Works, and manufactured glass chimneys and glassware. When William’s sons, James and Frederic, joined the company in 1867, the name was changed to Gillinder & Sons and the product range expanded. In 1876 the company built and operated a complete glass factory on the Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, making and selling popular pressed souvenir pieces as well as cut and engraved glass. The attention that Gillinder's displays of cut glass attracted at the exhibition led to a boom in the cut-glass industry. In 1912 the brothers William and James Gillinder bought the Bronx and Ryal glasshouse in Port Jervis, NY, and operated there as the Gillinder Brothers. The Philadelpha glasshouse closed in the 1930s, but the Port Jervis factory continues to produce fine glass....

Article

Gordon Campbell

American glasshouse established in 1885 in Meriden, CT by Philip Handel (1866–1914); in 1900 a second factory was opened in New York City. The company was best-known for its Art Nouveau shades for gas and electric lamps; some shades were leaded and some reverse-painted with plants, animals and landscapes. In ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(b El Paso, TX, Jul 30, 1940; d Hondo, NM, Jun 13, 2006).

Hispanic American sculptor and printmaker. He specialized in larger-than-life, vibrantly colored, fiberglass, and epoxy sculptures that celebrate humanity and reflect his Mexican American heritage. He was also an accomplished printmaker (lithographs and etchings) and draftsman (colored-pencil drawings). As the “Godfather” of Chicano art, the artist of working-class people and mentor to numerous Hispanic artists, he played an important role in bringing Chicano sensibilities into mainstream art.

Born the son of an illegal immigrant, Jiménez grew up in El Paso, TX, where he learned to weld, wire, and airbrush in his father’s neon-sign shop. After receiving a BFA in 1964 at the University of Texas at Austin, and a brief stay in Mexico City, he moved to New York City where he worked with Seymour Lipton (1903–1986) and found success parodying 1960s American pop culture in his work.

In the early 1970s he returned to the Southwest (eventually dividing his time between El Paso and Hondo, NM), where he gained success and controversy as a sculptor of outdoor figures. Drawing inspiration from the social realist Mexican and Works Progress Administration (WPA) murals, he combined large scale, color, and pose to create a dramatic and heroic effect in his work. Like the New Mexican ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b New York, May 31, 1929; d Los Angeles, CA, Feb 5, 1999).

American painter. Krushenick studied at the Art Students League, New York (1948–50), and Hans Hoffman School, New York, and organized window displays at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1951–7), before running an art gallery (1958–62). He experimented with various styles as a student, from Expressionist and Picasso-esque abstraction to figuration, but he began to be recognized in the early 1960s for comical, hard-edged abstraction, executed in vivid acrylics. These were clearly influenced by Matisse’s cut paper collages of the 1950s, but Krushenick’s interest in Abstract Expressionism also led him to suggest the extension of his forms beyond the edges of the canvas. Typically, his pictures of this period included weaving motifs reminiscent of netting; these were boldly defined by thick black lines that divided the pictures into animated shapes filled with areas of syncopated primary colour. Untitled (1962; see 1972 exh. cat., p. 33) is typical in its combination of webbing with a looping line. Toward the end of the 1960s he began to experiment with shaped canvases: ...

Article

Henry Adams

(b New York, March 31, 1835; d Newport, RI, Nov 14, 1910).

American painter, decorative artist, and writer. He grew up in New York in a prosperous and cultivated French-speaking household. He received his first artistic training at the age of six from his maternal grandfather, an amateur architect and miniature painter. While at Columbia Grammar School, he learnt English watercolour techniques and afterwards studied briefly with George Inness’s teacher, the landscape painter Régis-François Gignoux. In 1856, while touring Europe, he spent a few weeks in Thomas Couture’s studio. Returning to New York via England, he was impressed by the Pre-Raphaelite paintings at the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition of 1857 and later said that they had influenced him when he began to paint. In 1859 he decided to devote himself to art and moved to Newport, RI, to study with William Morris Hunt.

Unlike Hunt, who never broke away from the manner of Couture and Jean-François Millet, La Farge rapidly evolved a highly original and personal style characterized by free brushwork, unusual colour harmonies, and great delicacy of feeling (...

Article

Gordon Campbell and Jane Shadel Spillman

(b 1910; (d 1987).

American glassmaker. He worked in the glass industry, where he invented the fibre used for the insulating tiles that cover the Columbia space shuttle. In 1965 he left the industry and established a studio in Grand Rapids, OH, where he made blown-glass pieces, many of them with extraordinary colour effects made possible by his knowledge of glass chemistry. He was, together with ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

American glass factory founded by William L. Libbey (1827–83), who had owned the New England Glass Co. in Cambridge, MA, since 1872. In 1888 his son Edward Drummond Libbey (1854–1925) decided to close the factory during a long strike and to take advantage of the natural gas available in the Midwest. When the firm again made glass in 1888, it was as the W. L. Libbey & Son Co. of Toledo, OH; in 1892 it became the Libbey Glass Co. The success of the Libbey Glass Co. enabled Edward Drummond Libbey to help found the Toledo Museum of Art, OH, in 1901 and to bequeath to it his collection of European paintings, supplemented by a trust provided by his estate.

Many fashionable cut-glass patterns were produced at Libbey during the so-called ‘Brilliant period’ between 1880 and 1915, and Libbey produced some magnificent exhibition pieces, including a cut-glass table 813 mm high and a cut-glass floor lamp nearly 1.5 m high. The firm’s major product was a more popular line of goods made from blanks; these had previously been pressed in a metal mould in the pattern to be cut, thus avoiding the expense of mould-blowing blanks and marking them for cutting. As one of the most important American cut-glass factories at the time, the firm erected a large crystal palace for the ...