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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

Ellen Paul Denker

[Johann Friedrich]

(b Hettlingen, nr Hannover, Germany, June 26, 1741; d Baltimore, MD, Nov 1, 1798).

American glass manufacturer of German birth. He was associated with his brother’s mirror-glass factory in the town of Grünenplan before his venture to make table wares and utility glass in America began in 1784. With backing from investors in Bremen, Germany, Amelung brought 68 glass craftsmen and furnace equipment to the USA. He purchased an existing glasshouse near Frederick, MD, along with 2100 acres. The factory, which he named the New Bremen Glassmanufactory, had been founded by glassmakers from Henry William Stiegel’s defunct operation in Manheim, PA. It was well situated in western Maryland, not far from Baltimore, which offered a fast-growing market. Many settlers in the area were Germans, who were expected to be supportive of the enterprise. During the following decade Amelung built housing for his 400–500 workers. It is believed that he built four glasshouses.

Although Amelung’s craftsmen made window glass, bottles and table glass, the most important group of objects associated with the factory are the high-quality, wheel-engraved presentation pieces (e.g. sugar bowl, ...

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

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

(b Geneva, Jan 29, 1761; d Astoria, NY, Aug 12, 1849).

American politician and glassmaker of Swiss birth. Gallatin is best known for his public roles as Secretary of the Treasury under President Jefferson and President Madison, but he was also an important glass manufacturer. He moved to America in 1780, and in 1797 founded the New Geneva Glassworks in Western Pennsylvania. The factory began production 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

Yves Lacasse

(b Quebec City, March 10, 1795; d Quebec City, June 21, 1855).

Canadian painter, collector and politician. After studying briefly at the Quebec Seminary, in 1812 he was apprenticed to the painter and glassmaker Moses Perce (fl 1806–48). The sale in Quebec City in 1817 of part of the collection of Louis-Joseph Desjardins (1766–1848), which comprised altogether about 200 European Old Master paintings, had a decisive effect on Légaré’s career. He bought a number, which he cleaned and restored himself, and, as an almost entirely self-taught artist, found them a valuable source of inspiration, technical example and income: many of his early commissions were for large copies of religious pictures from the collection. He painted about 100 religious works but in 1828 won an honorary medal for an original secular composition, the Massacre of the Hurons by the Iroquois (Quebec, Mus. Qué.)

Légaré’s oeuvre (over 250 oils on canvas and on paper) was considerably more diverse and ambitious in subject-matter than that of such contemporaries as Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy, Antoine Plamondon and Théophile Hamel, who favoured portraiture and religious painting. He was the first Canadian-born painter to specialize in landscapes, for example ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

(b Corning, NY, June 14, 1922; d Spruce Pine, NC, Dec 13, 2013).

American glassmaker, potter and teacher. He was introduced to glass science and technology by his father, Jesse Littleton, director of research for the Corning Glass Works, and had an academic art education under the sculptor Enfred Anderson at the Corning Free Academy. He studied industrial design at the University of Michigan (1947) and then sculpture and ceramics at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI. During summer vacations he worked at Corning. Despite some early experiments in glass casting from ceramic models, Littleton worked primarily in ceramics from 1946 until the late 1950s, when he gradually realized that glassblowing could be carried out in small art studios and did not need to be confined to factory production. In 1962 in his workshop at the Toledo Museum of Art, OH, he demonstrated this idea to young artists with Dominick Labino (1910–87). He thus provided the foundation for forming studio glass courses in American universities; the first was set up in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Saint-Louis-les-Bitche, in the Münzthal (now D’Argental), Lorraine, Feb 21, 1835; d Somerville, MA, March 31, 1906),

French glassmaker, active in the USA. He was apprenticed in the Cristallerie de Saint-Louis, Lorraine (see Saint-Louis Glasshouse). In 1860 he moved to America and initially worked for Dorflinger, Christian in Brooklyn, following the company to Pennsylvania in 1865. He worked from 1867–9 for the New England Glass Company and thereafter for the Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. until ...

Article

Peter Bermingham

(b Richmond, VA, Nov 10, 1827; d New York, March 31, 1912).

American painter and stained-glass designer. He grew up in Clarksville, TN, where his stepfather was a tailor and his mother a milliner. In 1846 his request to be accepted as Asher B. Durand’s pupil was turned down, but Newman managed three years later to exhibit in the American Art-Union in New York. In 1850 he studied with Thomas Couture in Paris for five months. On a second trip to Paris in 1854, he visited Jean-François Millet in Barbizon. He worked as a portrait painter and occasional teacher of drawing, before serving briefly as an artillery lieutenant in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, he apparently remained in New York, apart from a trip to Barbizon in 1882 and to Paris in 1908.

Although in 1872–3 he advertised himself as a portrait painter in Nashville, TN, and in the 1870s worked briefly as a stained-glass designer, Newman was primarily a painter of small compositions with a few figures, usually with a well-known religious, literary, or secular theme. One of his favourite subjects was the Virgin and Child (e.g. ...

Article

Bailey Van Hook

(b Bergen Heights, NJ, June 10, 1874; d Philadelphia, PA, Feb 25, 1961).

American painter, illustrator, stained-glass artist and author. Although she worked as an illustrator early on, Oakley is remembered as a muralist. Oakley attended the Art Students League, New York, Académie Montparnasse, Paris, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, but, most importantly, a class in illustration with Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute, Philadelphia. Pyle teamed her together with Jessie Willcox Smith (1863–1935) to illustrate an edition of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline (1897). Smith and Oakley and another illustrator, Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871–1954), rented adjoining studios in Philadelphia and subsequently lived together in a supportive camaraderie until Green’s marriage in 1911. During her brief career as an illustrator, Oakley completed over 100 illustrations, mostly for novels and short stories.

In 1900 she created a stained-glass window on speculation, which led to a major commission for stained-glass windows, mural decoration and a mosaic altarpiece for a church in Manhattan. That project brought her to the attention of architect Joseph Huston (...

Article

Jean A. Follett

(b Boston, MA, 1842; d Boston, MA, 1910).

American architect, stained-glass designer, furniture designer, and photographer. Preston was the son of Jonathan Preston (1801–88), a successful builder in Boston. William completed a year’s study at the Lawrence Scientific School in Cambridge, MA (later incorporated into Harvard University), and then went to Paris where he enrolled briefly in the Atelier Douillard. He returned to Boston in 1861 to work with his father, with whom he remained in partnership until the latter’s death. William then practised independently until his own death.

Preston was a prolific architect, designing over 740 buildings in the course of a career spanning 50 years. His early work was in the French Renaissance style, as seen in his Boston Society of Natural History building (1861–4), a tripartite structure with its floor levels arranged to equate with the proportions of the base, shaft, and capital of a Classical column. It has monumental Corinthian columns and pilasters and a central pediment flanked by a balustraded parapet. He worked in a typically eclectic manner during the 1870s and became an extremely fine designer in the Queen Anne Revival style in the 1880s and early 1890s. The varied massing, stained-glass windows, terracotta, moulded brick, and carved-wood detail of the John D. Sturtevant House (...

Article

Mary Chou

(b Highland Park, NJ, April 16, 1940).

American painter . In 1962 Snyder earned a BA in sociology from Douglass College in New Brunswick, NJ. From 1964 to 1966 she attended Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, where she graduated with an MFA. Snyder is well known for her highly expressive, tactile paintings filled with narrative, symbolism and politics.

In the early 1970s Snyder gained fame for her stroke paintings, in which bold brushstrokes in vivid colours traverse the width of the canvas, leaving pools and drips of paint in their path. Applied over a grid loosely sketched with pencil on canvas, these gestural marks both enforce and obscure the geometry and orderly containment of the grid (e.g. Lines and Strokes , 1969; artist’s col.). In contrast to Minimalism and colour field paintings, Snyder’s vibrant, energetic and expressive strokes seem to tell a story. Music has always been an integral part of her artistic process, as evidenced in such early works as ...