1-20 of 122 results  for:

  • Writer or Scholar x
  • American Art x
  • Nineteenth-Century Art x
Clear all

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Oakland, CA, 1893; d. Shiraz, Iran, 25 Jan. 1977).

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In 1930 Ackerman was stricken with polio but taught herself to walk again. They were instrumental in preparing the 1931 Persian Art Exhibition at Burlington House, London, and the Second International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, as well as the Third Congress in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1935 and the exhibition of Iranian art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940. She visited Iran for the first time in 1964, when the shah of Iran invited Pope to revive the Asia Institute; it was associated with Pahlavi University in Shiraz until ...

Article

Jennifer Wingate

[née Pond, Adeline Valentine]

(b Boston, MA, Oct 24, 1859; d Brooklyn, NY, July 1, 1948).

American critic and author. Adams was a vocal proponent of American sculpture during the last decades of civic sculpture’s golden age. She expressed her views on the state of the field in two significant publications, The Spirit of American Sculpture (1923; reissued in 1929) and a chapter in the 1930 edition of Lorado Taft’s History of American Sculpture, as well as in regular contributions to the American Magazine of Art.

Adams was an artist herself, though writing claimed her full attention. While she was in Paris in 1887, she posed for the sculptor Herbert Adams, whom she married two years later. The resulting marble bust (1889; New York, Hisp. Soc. America) was exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, an exposition that Adams hailed for fostering a new ideal of collaboration between architects and sculptors. Adams praised the role that sculpture played in public life and promoted figurative work modeled in the French academic tradition. She admired artists like Daniel Chester French (...

Article

Isabel L. Taube

Late 19th-century movement in the arts and literature characterized by the pursuit and veneration of beauty and the fostering of close relationships among the fine and applied arts. According to its major proponents, beauty was found in imaginative creations that harmonized colours, forms, and patterns derived from Western and non-Western cultures as well as motifs from nature. The Aesthetic Movement gained momentum in England in the 1850s, achieved widespread popularity in England and the USA by the 1870s, and declined by the 1890s.

The principal ideologies and practices of British Aestheticism came to the USA through both educational and commercial channels. As early as 1873, the Scottish stained-glass designer, decorator, and art dealer Daniel Cottier opened a branch of his interior design shop in New York and played a significant role in introducing aesthetic taste and artefacts to Americans. The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, with its extensive display of industrial and decorative arts, showcased British Aestheticism and the Japanese ceramics that influenced it. British art magazines and books, especially Charles Locke Eastlake’s ...

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Detroit, MI, July 7, 1869; d Southampton, NY, Oct 18, 1956).

American architect, urban planner and writer. Atterbury studied at Yale University, New Haven, CT, and travelled in Europe. He studied architecture at Columbia University, New York and worked in the office of McKim, Mead & White before completing his architecture studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Atterbury’s early work consisted of suburban and weekend houses for wealthy industrialists, such as the Henry W. de Forest House (1898) in Cold Springs Harbor on Long Island, NY. De Forest was a leader in the philanthropic movement to improve workers’ housing, an interest that Atterbury shared; through him Atterbury was given the commission for the model housing community of Forest Hills Gardens, NY, begun in 1909 under the sponsorship of the Russell Sage Foundation; the co-planners and landscape designers were the brothers John Charles Olmsted (1852–1920) and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr (1870–1957), the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted. Atterbury developed a system of precast concrete panels to build a varied group of multiple units and town houses suggesting an English country hamlet. He continued his research into prefabrication largely at his own expense throughout his life....

Article

(b Elgin, 1838; d New York, 1925).

Scottish architect, designer and writer. Trained as an architect, he moved to Liverpool, Lancs, in 1856 and set up an architectural practice with his brother William James Audsley (b 1833) in 1863. With him he wrote Handbook of Christian Symbolism (1865), and together they designed a number of buildings in and around Liverpool, among them the Welsh Presbyterian Church, Prince’s Road, Toxteth (1865–7), Christ Church, Kensington (1870), and the church of St Margaret, Belmont Road, Anfield (1873). For the merchant William Preston they designed the church of St Mary (1873) in the grounds of his house, Ellel Grange, Lancs. Other commissions were for a synagogue and a tennis club. He was among the earliest publishers to exploit the graphic potential of chromolithography, and, contrary to other major books on ornament, he made a case for classifying designs by their basic motif rather than by nationality. He was an expert on Japanese art, lecturing on the subject and between ...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(Francisca )

(b East Los Angeles, CA, Sept 20, 1946).

American muralist, activist and teacher. Born to Mexican–American parents, Baca is recognized as one of the leading muralists in the USA. She was involved from a young age in activism, including the Chicano Movement, the antiwar protest and Women’s Liberation. She studied art at California State University, Northridge, where she received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Baca started teaching art in 1970 in East Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and became interested in the ways murals could involve youth, allowing them to express their experiences. She founded the City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974, which evolved into the Social and Public Resource Center, a community arts organization, where she served as artistic director. She held five summer mural workshops from 1976 through 1983 for teenagers and community artists to help her paint a huge mural on the ethnic history of Los Angeles, called the ...

Article

Kristin E. Larsen

(b Elizabeth, NJ, May 11, 1905; d Seadrift, CA, Nov 21, 1964).

American writer and educator. She was an advocate for modern housing design and early federal housing programs. Born into an affluent family, Bauer briefly sought college training in architecture but attained the majority of her architecture and housing policy skills in the field. During a trip to Europe in 1926, Bauer discovered a passion for modern architecture. Writing an article that gained the attention of urban critic Lewis Mumford, she embarked on a subsequent visit in 1930 with letters of introduction to some of the most renowned European architects of the day, including Ernst May and Walter Gropius. She not only learned about housing design to maximize light and air and to utilize the site to advantage, but also investigated the benefits of large-scale development techniques and government support for housing. As a key contributor to the Museum of Modern Art’s 1933 exhibit on International Design, Bauer argued for greater recognition of housing as a centerpiece of the new modern aesthetic. In her groundbreaking book ...

Article

Leland M. Roth

(Esther)

(b East Hampton, NY, Sept 6, 1800; d Elmira, NY, May 12, 1878).

American writer. Daughter of the influential Presbyterian minister, Lyman Beecher (1775–1863), she was one of eight children. The education of women was her mission; she focused on making them better writers, speakers, but most especially, more efficient household managers and homemakers. Her books included works on improving domestic design. In The Elements of Mental and Moral Philosophy (1831) she advanced her view of the superiority of women, and the following book, A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841), was enormously popular. The house designs she began to publish in 1841 were conventional spatially and technically. She rapidly improved her architectural knowledge and in 1869 published with her sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–96), her most influential book, The American Woman’s Home. Included were plans for a model house arranged to maximize functional use and to minimize housekeeping drudgery. The latest inventions were incorporated, including water-closets, indoor plumbing, ventilation systems, central heating and gas illumination. Beecher also reproduced plans for a tenement house and settlement houses for the urban poor, as well as schemes for a suburban church, schoolhouse and a residence for two female missionary teachers. There is also discussion of a Model Christian Neighbourhood, in which ten to twelve families share a common bakehouse and laundry with mechanized washing equipment....

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Hartland, CT, June 15, 1773; d Springfield, MA, July 26, 1845).

American architect and writer. Benjamin was one of the most influential architect–writers of the first half of the 19th century in the USA and was trained as a housewright in rural Connecticut between 1787 and 1794. Two of his earliest commissions, the carving of Ionic capitals (1794) for the Oliver Phelps House in Suffield, CT, and the construction of an elliptical staircase (1795) in Charles Bulfinch’s Connecticut State Capitol at Hartford, reveal an exceptional ability with architectural geometry that was to help to determine the direction of his career. Benjamin worked as a housewright in a succession of towns along the Connecticut River during the 1790s. In 1797, dissatisfied with the publications of William Pain, an English popularizer of the Neo-classical style of Robert Adam, Benjamin wrote The Country Builder’s Assistant, a modest handbook for carpenters that was the first such work by an American writer. In ...

Article

(b Argos, Greece, Feb 13, 1837; d Burlington, VT, July 19, 1914).

American writer and artist. Private lessons in painting led Benjamin to illustrate many of his writings on art and travel. After graduating from Williams College, Williamstown, MA, in 1859 he served as assistant librarian in the New York State Library. He wrote his first book on art, What Is Art or Art Theories and Methods Concisely Stated, in 1877, followed by three articles published in Harper’s Monthly Magazine concerning art in Europe. These articles, addressing English, French, and German contemporary art, formed the basis of Contemporary Art in Europe, also published in 1877. Thereafter he wrote Our American Artists (1879) and Art in America: A Critical and Historical Sketch (1880), as well as several articles for Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Benjamin’s writings tended to champion recent art. The second series of Our American Artists, written for young people, provided a helpful critical approach to, as well as much information on, contemporary artists. Besides illustrating many of his articles he enjoyed some success as a marine painter....

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(b Butrimonys, Alytus County, Lithuania, June 26, 1865; d Settignano, Italy, Oct 6, 1959).

American art historian, critic, and connoisseur. Berenson was perhaps the single most influential art historian in the USA for much of the 20th century. As the leading scholar and authority on Italian Renaissance art, his opinion greatly influenced American art museums and collectors, whom he guided in the purchase of many important works of art. His pupils and disciples became the curators of many of the world’s great museums. His dealings with art galleries also made him a highly controversial figure.

Born to Albert and Julia Valvrojenski in Lithuania, Berenson immigrated to Boston, MA, with his family in 1875, at which time his surname was changed to Berenson. Later called ‘BB’ by friends and family, he dropped the ‘h’ from his first name around 1915. Jewish by birth, he converted to Christianity and was baptized in 1885. He attended Boston Latin School, Boston University, and finally Harvard University, where he studied under Charles Eliot Norton and received a BA in ...

Article

Gretchen G. Fox

(b Frankfurt am Main, April 7, 1858; d New York, June 26, 1941).

American financier, collector, museum official and philanthropist of German birth. He entered banking in Germany and immigrated to New York as a young man, becoming a partner in 1893 in Lazard Frères. He retired in 1925 to devote his time to art collecting and philanthropy, favouring causes connected with the arts, medicine and Jewish social services. His wife Florence, née Meyer (1872–1930), whose family were noted philanthropists, was his partner in these activities. After World War I they formed a foundation for the support of French artists, a model for 20th-century arts funding. A longtime finance officer of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Blumenthal became its seventh president in 1934, guiding it through the Depression. He and his wife maintained collections in their château near Grasse and in a sizeable home in Paris. Their showplace mansion at 50 E 70th Street (destr. 1943) housed their New York collections. Its central feature was a 16th-century Spanish castle courtyard (now New York, Met., ...

Article

Aldona Jonaitis

(b Minden, Westphalia, July 1858; d New York, Dec 21, 1942).

American anthropologist and art historian of German birth. Trained as a physical scientist at the University of Kiel, he became interested in anthropology soon after receiving his doctorate in 1881. He immigrated to the USA in 1888 and became curator of ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in 1895. The following year he also began to teach at Columbia University, where he worked full-time from 1905 until his retirement in 1936.

Boas’s first publications on art consisted largely of descriptions of artefacts made by the native population of the north-west coast of North America (see Native North American art, §XVIII), but by 1888 he had begun to reconstruct the history of this art. Between 1896 and 1900 he demonstrated the inadequacy of the then-prevalent evolutionistic theory that art degenerated from realism to abstraction and proposed that conventionalization in the art of the northwest coast resulted from attempts to represent as many characteristics of an animal as possible even if this resulted in a distortion of the image, as, for example, when an animal was split down the middle and flattened out so that both sides could be depicted in a two-dimensional medium. After ...

Article

Susanne Anderson-Riedel

(b St Louis, MO, March 17, 1933; d Los Angeles, CA, Oct 18, 2008).

American art historian. Boime, a leading social art historian in the 20th century, received his education at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) (BA in Art History, 1961) and Columbia University (MA 1963; PhD 1968). He taught at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook (1968–72), SUNY Binghamton (1972–8), and at UCLA (1978–2008). Boime’s publications focus primarily on 19th-century European art, interpreted from a political, social and cultural perspective. Boime also published in the areas of 19th- and 20th-century American art. Central to his scholarship is the historical and socio-political expression of the aesthetic object. His research highlights previously unknown or unrecognized artists and subjects, such as the French academic painter Thomas Couture (1980) or the representation of blacks in 19th-century art (1990). Boime offers radically new readings for major artists, monuments and movements, with a focus on the historical value of the aesthetic object. In his first book, ...

Article

Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

(b Richmond, VA, Feb 24, 1883; d Glen Head, Long Island, NY, Feb 1, 1951).

American architect, preservationist, author, and editor. His wealthy patrician family provided the opportunity for a fine education and connections to future clients. In 1906 he received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Columbia University. His education continued in Rome at the American Academy through receipt of the McKim Fellowship in Architecture in 1907. In 1908 he passed the entrance examination for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and remained in Paris until 1909.

Best known for his residential work, Bottomley combined his extensive knowledge of architectural history with his own observations to produce personal interpretations of past styles. Of his approximately 186 commissions, 90 were located in New York and 51 in Virginia. His most recognized residential commissions are found on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA. Produced during the 1920s and 1930s, these residences, like many of his other projects, have exteriors inspired by nearby 18th-century James River Georgian mansions. Their interiors deviate from the Georgian models with creatively arranged plans that display a particular delight in the use of curving stairs within a variety of different shaped foyers....

Article

Raymond Vézina

(b Acadie, Qué., Oct 21, 1827; d Lachenaie, Qué., Aug 27, 1916).

Canadian architect, painter, sculptor, writer and teacher. He studied law in Montreal (1848–50), also attending classes under the Quebec painter Théophile Hamel until 1851. In 1852 Bourassa went to Italy, staying there for three years. Inspired by Victor Cousin’s treatise Du vrai, du beau, du bien (Paris, 1826, rev. 2/1853), which popularized a philosophy of eclecticism, he sought to influence artistic trends in Canada not only through promoting art as a means of developing moral and intellectual values but through encouraging state patronage of the arts.

Among Bourassa’s early paintings are portraits of his parents (1851; Quebec, Mus. Qué.) and of such leading churchmen as J.O. Archambault (St-Hyacinthe, Semin.). His first architectural work was the church of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Montreal (begun 1872), for which he and a group of pupils also produced paintings and sculptures (in situ). Like several of Bourassa’s projects, this was influenced by the work of Hippolyte Flandrin. In ...

Article

Stephen Murray

(b New York, Jan 13, 1927; d New York, Nov 26, 1973).

American scholar of Gothic architecture. He majored in classics at Yale University and served in the US Army in Europe (1945–6), where he encountered the great monuments of Gothic architecture. He completed his doctoral degree at Yale, also studying medieval architecture and archaeology at the Ecole des Chartes and the Institut d’Art et Archéologie in Paris, and engaging in excavations at Bourges Cathedral (1950–52). His doctoral dissertation on Bourges was directed by Sumner McKnight Crosby.

Branner taught for a year at Yale (1952) before accepting a teaching position at the University of Kansas (1954). Between 1957 and his death he taught in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, New York, with a brief spell at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. As a teacher, Robert Branner energized the study of medieval art in a vital and lasting way.

Although he is remembered principally as a most prolific scholar of Gothic architecture, Branner’s considerable list of publications includes topics in medieval manuscript production, architectural drawing, painting, luxury arts, and monumental sculpture. Each of Branner’s three great books on Gothic architecture brought a different approach. ...

Article

Christine Mehring

(b Cologne, 1941).

American art historian, critic, and teacher of German birth. The significance of Buchloh’s work lies in its expansion of the modern art canon, demonstration of a critical potential of art and straddling of micro and macro levels of history. Buchloh’s scholarship on art made in postwar Europe or from unconventional media has broadened previous, particularly American, understandings of modern art. While a committed historian, Buchloh always also assumes the role of critic, insisting on the critical responsibility of art vis à vis history and the present while cautious about its limits. He maintains that one core function of art is to present the illusion, if not the realization, of a suspension of power (Neo-Avantgarde, p. xxiv). In keeping with this, Buchloh often writes on artists of his own generation whose practice and thinking he knows intimately, and on artists who share his commitment, most importantly conceptual artists of the late 1960s and 1970s. Buchloh’s combined roles as historian and critic spearheaded the merger of art history and art criticism that today defines writing on postwar art. Finally, Buchloh’s thinking interweaves macro and micro perspectives on art, anchoring broad historical arguments in formal and material details, or demonstrating, as in his writings on the “neo-avantgarde,” historical and hermeneutic differences between seemingly similar artistic practices and similarities between ones seemingly different. Buchloh, in short, demonstrates to many why art matters....

Article

David van Zanten

(b Henderson, NY, Sept 4, 1846; d Heidelberg, Germany, June 1, 1912).

American architect, urban planner and writer. The most active and successful architect, urban planner and organizer in the years around 1900, Burnham, with his partner John Wellborn Root, created a series of original and distinctive early skyscrapers in Chicago in the 1880s. Burnham’s urban plans, particularly those for Washington, DC (1901–2), and Chicago (1906–9), made a crucial contribution to the creation of monumental city centres with a great emphasis on parks.

In 1854 Burnham’s established New England family settled in Chicago. His father, ambitious for his son, sent him for tutoring and to a preparatory school in Waltham, MA (1863). He failed the entrance examinations for both Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and Yale University, New Haven, CT, before returning in 1867 to Chicago where his father placed him temporarily in the office of the engineer and architect William Le Baron Jenney. After two years of fruitless adventures in the West (...

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 ...