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Article

David Tatham

(b New York, April 21, 1775; d Jersey City, NJ, Jan 17, 1870).

American wood-engraver. Anderson was the first important American wood-engraver. He was self-taught and made woodcuts for newspapers at the age of 12. Between c. 1792 and 1798, when he studied and practised medicine, he engraved wood as a secondary occupation, but following the death of his family in the yellow fever epidemic of 1798, he abandoned medicine and worked as a graphic artist. He was an early follower of Thomas Bewick’s white-line style. He usually engraved the designs of others, such as Benjamin West, but he was a skilful and original draughtsman, as can be seen in his illustrations for Durell’s edition of Homer’s Iliad (New York, 1808). He exhibited frequently at the American Academy and was a founder-member of the National Academy of Design (1825). Anderson spent his long and prolific career in New York, engraving mainly for book publishers and magazines but also producing pictorial matter for printed ephemera. He worked steadily until the late 1850s, cut his last blocks in ...

Article

Amy Meyers

(b Castle Hedingham, Essex, March 24, 1682; d London, Dec 23, 1749).

English naturalist, painter and graphic artist active in the American colonies. His scientific expeditions to the British colonies in North America and the Caribbean (1712–19 and 1722–6) resulted in the first fully illustrated survey of the flora and fauna of the British Colonies in the Americas. The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731–47) contains 220 hand-coloured etchings. Catesby received lessons in etching from Joseph Goupy and executed most of the plates after his own drawings in graphite, gouache and watercolour. He also produced several plates after drawings by John White, Georg Dionysius Ehret, Everhard Kick and Claude Aubriet.

Catesby moved against the 18th-century trend in the natural sciences to portray Creation as a neatly ordered hierarchy of clearly definable parts. His pictures helped to promote a revolutionary view of the cosmos as a complex system of interdependent elements and forces. Instead of depicting organisms in the conventional manner as isolated specimens against an empty page, he produced tight compositional arrangements in which animals and plants from similar environments reflect one another’s forms. Catesby’s radical images of an integrated cosmos influenced eminent English and American naturalists, including George Edwards (...

Article

Gerald W. R. Ward

(b Boston, MA, Jan 5, 1656; d Boston, Aug 20, 1722).

American silversmith, goldsmith and engraver. The son of a cooper, Coney probably served his apprenticeship with Jeremiah Dummer (1645–1718) of Boston. Coney may have engraved the plates for the first banknotes printed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1690 and certainly engraved the plates for those issued in 1702. His patrons included important citizens of Boston, churches throughout New England, local societies and Harvard College. Active as a silversmith and goldsmith for 45 years, he produced objects in three distinct styles—that of the late 17th century (characterized by engraved and flat-chased ornament and scrollwork), the early Baroque and the late Baroque (or Queen Anne)—and introduced specialized forms to New England, for example the monteith and chocolatepot. Although derived directly from the English silversmithing tradition and thus not innovative in design, Coney’s work exhibits excellent craftsmanship in all technical aspects of gold- and silversmithing. Two lobed sugar-boxes (Boston, MA, Mus. F. A., and Manchester, NH, Currier Gal. A.), a large, gadrooned, two-handled cup (...

Article

Maurie D. McInnis

(b Bristol, 1756; d Charleston, SC, May 2, 1811).

American painter and engraver of English birth. Coram immigrated to America on 1 March 1769 following an older brother who was established as a merchant in Charleston, SC. He eventually took over his brother’s business and also advertised himself as an engraver by 1778. He engraved a wide variety of cards and shop bills as well as currency for the state of South Carolina. He referred to himself as “self-taught,” which he was initially, but he also received instruction after 1772 from the portrait painter Henry Benbridge. In turn, Coram instructed the painter Charles Fraser.

At least as early as 1791, Coram began a sketchbook of landscape scenes entitled Sketches, Taken from W. Gilpin’s Observations on the River Wye and Several Parts of South Wales (priv. col.). These sketches demonstrate that Coram was studying the engraved images from the works of the immensely popular English author the Reverend William Gilpin whose numerous volumes published in the mid-18th century helped to disseminate an understanding of the picturesque. Another sketchbook entitled ...

Article

David M. Sokol

(b Philadelphia, PA, June 23, 1822; d Claymont, DE, March 27, 1888).

American illustrator and printmaker. After being exposed early to the Neo-classical style of John Flaxman, Darley began his career as an illustrator in Philadelphia in 1842. Following a sketching trip west of the Mississippi during the summer of that year, he produced outline drawings that were adapted into lithographs appearing in Scenes in Indian Life (1843). His early book illustrations were published in periodicals such as Democratic Review and Godey’s Magazine. Working in line drawing, lithography and wood- and steel-engraving, his first major success was his series of illustrations for John Frost’s Pictorial History of the United States (1844).

After moving to New York in 1848, Darley dominated the field of American illustration with his illustrations of Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper’s tales and novels. He produced about 500 illustrations for Cooper’s novels and a similar number for Benson J. Lossing’s Our Country (1875–7...

Article

David M. Sokol

(b Cheshire, CT, 1754; d New Haven, CT, Jan 31, 1832).

American engraver. Doolittle learnt to engrave in metal through his apprenticeship to a silversmith. His career as an independent craftsman was interrupted by army service during the American Revolution, during which time he met Ralph Earl, whose drawings of battle scenes, including the battles of Lexington and Concord, Doolittle was later to engrave on copper. The success of these historical scenes, for example A View of the Town of Concord, published in New Haven in 1775, enabled Doolittle to abandon his trade as a silversmith. Responding to patriotic demand for images of the new American leaders, Doolittle engraved likenesses of successive American presidents, including George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. The tribute to Washington he first issued in 1788, A Display of the United States of America (1794; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.), was reworked five times. He also engraved book illustrations, scenic views, and bookplates. Although not the first engraver in America, as he was later to claim, Doolittle was the only one of his generation to attempt to expand beyond service work to original compositions on a regular basis....

Article

Sandra Paikowsky

(b ?London, c. 1769; d Kingston, Jamaica, Aug 9, 1819).

English painter and engraver, active in North America. He studied drawing at the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1790. His three documented British mezzotint portraits after others’ originals include that of John Lewis (c. 1793; London, Richmond Pub. Lib.). In 1794 he moved to the USA as part of the influx of British artists. Field spent 14 years working as a successful miniaturist in Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA, Washington, DC, and Boston, MA. He was patronized by, among others, George and Martha Washington and several signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Field’s works combined the painterly Georgian manner with the pragmatic, linear style of traditional American portraiture.

In 1808 he left the USA for Halifax, NS, a city then enjoying great affluence as a British military base. While known only as a miniaturist in America, Field produced more than 50 major oil portraits, such as Bishop Charles Inglis (...

Article

Richard H. Saunders

(b Boston, MA, Dec 7, 1727; d Margate, Kent, Sept 16, 1792).

English painter, engraver and auctioneer of American birth. In 1742 he was apprenticed to the Boston engraver Thomas Johnston, though he abandoned engraving for painting (e.g. the group portrait of his own family, the Greenwood-Lee Family, c. 1747; Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.). In 1752 he went to Paramaribo, Surinam, where in the space of five years he painted 113 portraits, which he recorded along with numerous other events and observations in a notebook. While there he painted his best-known work, Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam (c. 1752–8; St Louis, MO, A. Mus.). It is the only tavern scene conversation piece painted in colonial America and was most likely inspired by a print of William Hogarth’s Midnight Modern Conversation (New Haven, CT, Yale Cent. Brit. A).

Greenwood remained in Surinam until May 1758, when he departed for Amsterdam, where he helped reopen the Amsterdam Art Academy, returned to engraving and produced numerous mezzotints. While in the Low Countries he began buying Dutch Old Masters for English collectors and moved to London by ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(fl 1732–67).

American portrait painter, japanner and engraver, active in Boston. His workshop on Ann Street advertised ‘Japaning, Gilding, Painting, Varnishing’; he also engraved maps, music and clock faces. A tall clock (c. 1749–56; Winterthur, DE, Du Pont Winterthur Mus.) japanned by Johnston is one of the finest surviving examples of japanned work in colonial America....

Article

David M. Sokol

(b Cheshire, CT, April 1, 1755; d Newark, NJ, Dec 12, 1811).

American silversmith and engraver. After training as a silversmith, he responded to the growing demand for copperplate-engraving by launching his own business in Newark in the 1770s, advertising in the New York and New Jersey newspapers as an engraver of tea sets and as a copperplate printer. Engraving bookplates, broadsides and occasional portraits provided his staple income; in later years, after American Independence, he was also able to meet the demand of nascent banks for individualized, intricately designed banknotes to counter forgery. Although the ephemeral nature of his work makes it difficult to evaluate his talent within the broader context of contemporary engraving, he achieved sufficient status to be elected as the representative of the Engravers’ Association to the Federal Procession of 1788. Three of his sons, Samuel Maverick, Andrew Maverick and the best-known, Peter Maverick (1780–1871), also became printmakers. The last established a partnership with Asher B. Durand between ...

Article

Carey Rote

(b Boston, MA, Jan 1, 1735; d Boston, May 10, 1818).

American silversmith, engraver and metalworker. He was trained as a silversmith by his father, Apollos Rivoire (1702–54), who anglicized his name to Paul Revere in 1730. After his father’s death, Revere took over the family silver business. He was an active participant in the American Revolution (1775–83). As a member of the Sons of Liberty, he acted as a courier, taking dispatches from Boston to the other colonies, a role described in Henry W. Longfellow’s poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (1860). By 1764 Revere had begun working in copper-engraving, creating portraits, cartoons and advertisements. He is best known for his engravings of political events of the American Revolutionary War, for example the Landing of the Troops (1768; see exh. cat., p. 120, pl. 155) and the Boston Massacre (1770; see Brown and others, p. 92, pl. 110). The latter is similar to an engraving by Henry Pelham (...

Article

[St-Mesmin]

(b Dijon, March 12, 1770; d Dijon, June 23, 1852).

French engraver, painter and museum director, active in the USA. He went to New York in 1793 as a refugee from the French Revolution and by 1796 had taught himself the techniques of engraving. From Thomas Bluget de Valdenuit (1763–1846), his partner in 1796–7, he learnt to take profile portraits in the manner used by Gilles-Louis Chrétien (1754–1811) in Paris in the 1780s and 1790s. Between 1796 and 1810 Saint-Mémin made about 900 bust-length profile portraits using a pantographic drawing device called a physiognotrace. Each black-and-white chalk portrait was drawn on beige paper (c. 540×400 mm) that was first coated with a pink wash. The drawing was then reduced onto a square copperplate about one-tenth its size, engraved in a circular border and printed.

Saint-Mémin worked in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Richmond, VA, and Charleston, SC. He paid great attention to individualizing his portraits, and his success provoked contemporary artists to imitate his use of a mechanical drawing device. His many portraits include ...

Article

Robert G. Stewart

(b Princeton, MA, Nov 26, 1761; d Princeton, MA, July 6, 1817).

American painter, engraver and museum keeper. Although nothing is known about his artistic training, his earliest dated painting, a copy of John Singleton Copley’s portrait of the Reverend Samuel Cooper (Lancaster, MA, Town Lib.), signed and dated July 1784, shows he was an accomplished artist. His original portraits also show the influence of Copley. The stiff poses and expressionless faces of his sitters reveal his limited anatomical knowledge. In 1789, Harvard University accepted Savage’s offer to paint for it a portrait of George Washington (Cambridge, MA, Fogg). This gave him the opportunity to paint his best-known work, The Washington Family (Washington, DC, N.G.A.), from which his engraving of 10 March 1798 was taken. Contemporary critics regarded this portrait as portraying Washington as serene and venerable, but comparisons with his later portraits show the expression to be wooden and stoic.

Savage worked in Boston (1785–9), New York (1789–91...

Article

Wendy Wick Reaves

(b New York, c. 1773; d New Harmony, IN, 1832).

American engraver. He was significant for his role in introducing the English method of stippled portraiture to America. Stauffer called him the ‘first American-born professional engraver to produce really meritorious work’. Tiebout learnt to engrave while apprenticed to New York silversmith John Burger (fl 1786–1807). In 1789 and the early 1790s Tiebout’s engravings appeared regularly in books and periodicals such as the New York Magazine. In 1793 he went to London, where he studied with the printmaker James Heath and issued his much acclaimed stipple engraving of the American statesman and diplomat John Jay (1795).

Returning to New York in 1796, Tiebout published handsome stipple portraits of the politician and soldier George Clinton (1796), the soldier Horatio Gates (1798), the naval officer Thomas Truxtun (1799) and others. Although most American engravers had combined stippling with line work, Tiebout’s portraits were produced from an almost entirely stippled plate in the English manner. With the English-born engraver ...

Article

Monroe H. Fabian

(b Bordentown, NJ, July 16, 1756; d Philadelphia, PA, Sept 13, 1793).

American painter, sculptor and engraver. He probably received his first art training from his mother, the wax modeler Patience Wright. After the death of his father in 1769, he was placed in the Academy in Philadelphia, while Patience opened a waxworks in New York. In 1772 she moved to London to open a studio and waxworks there; by the spring of 1775 Joseph joined her and was the first American-born student admitted to the Royal Academy Schools, where he won a silver medal for ‘the best model of an Academy figure’ in December 1778. In 1780 he exhibited publicly for the first time with Portrait of a Man in the annual exhibition of the Society of Artists of Great Britain. In that year he caused a scandal at the Royal Academy by exhibiting a portrait of his mother modelling a head of King Charles II, while busts of King George III and Queen Charlotte looked on (ex-artist’s col.). He went to Paris in ...