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Sharon Matt Atkins

(b Oakland, CA, Aug 26, 1925; d Tucson, AZ, June 4, 2009).

American painter, printmaker and teacher. Colescott produced highly expressive and gestural paintings that addressed a wide range of social and cultural themes and challenged stereotypes. Interested in issues of race, gender and power, his work critiqued the representation of minorities in literature, history, art and popular culture. Stylistically, his work is indebted to European modernism, particularly Cubism and Expressionism, but also makes references to African sculpture, African American art and post–World War II American styles.

Colescott was introduced to art at an early age. His mother was a pianist and his father was a classically-trained violinist and jazz musician. Through his parents’ social circles, he often found himself surrounded by creative individuals as he was growing up, like his artistic mentor, the sculptor Sargent Johnson (1888–1967). Colescott received his BA in 1949 and later his MFA in 1952 from the University of California, Berkeley. He also studied with ...

Article

Native American (Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache), 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1 April 1943, in Los Angeles.

Sculptor, painter, printmaker, jewellery maker.

The Chiricahua Apache artist Bob Haozous, son of the well-known Apache sculptor Allan Houser (Haozous is the indigenous name which became Houser when anglicised), is a noted figure in his own right, having the distinction of contributing work to two Venice Biennales (...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 19 August 1949, in Pasadena.

Painter (including gouache), collage artist, draughtsman, performance artist, lithographer. Stage sets, stage costumes.

Robert Kushner studied at the University of California, San Diego, where he received a BA. In 1971 he travelled in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Europe and India with Amy Goldin. He lives and works in New York. His early work in the 1970s was performance art in which his costumes (or lack of them) were as important as the performance. He was a founder of the Pattern and Decorative movement of the 1970s, and his numerous decorative works are inspired by Matisse. He views his work as a continuation and update of a vast conservative tradition, and believes in the importance of beauty in everyday life....

Article

Louis Kaplan

(Howard)

(b Boston, MA, May 1832; d Boston, MA, May 16, 1884).

American engraver, spirit photographer, and inventor. Mumler worked first as an engraver in the jewellery firm of Bigelow, Kennard, and Co. before taking up photography. In 1862, he claimed to have developed a haunted photographic self-portrait that contained the ‘spirit’ of a deceased female cousin, even though a more naturalistic explanation viewed it as a double exposure produced on an already used plate. Working with his wife Hannah, who was a clairvoyant and medium, Mumler went into business producing such spirit photographs as cartes-de-visite for the bereaved and the curious on a full-time basis.

The success of Mumler’s spirit photography must be understood in relation to the growth of Spiritualism as a popular religious movement and the belief that communication with the dead was possible. For Spiritualist leaders such as Andrew Jackson Davis (1826–1910), Mumler’s images offered visible proof of a new medium for spirit communication and communion. However, Mumler left Boston amid scandal when a few of the spirits in his photographs were found to still be alive. Relocating to New York in the late 1860s, he opened a studio at 630 Broadway....

Article

Native American (Warm Springs, Wasco and Yakima), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1943, in Oregon.

Ceramicist, glass artist, mask-maker, jewellery artist, printmaker, sculptor. Public art.

‘Giving voice to my ancestors’ is a central concern of the Pacific Northwest and Oregon-based artist Lillian Pitt. Much of the work she creates in a variety of media (ceramics, glass, bronze, and other materials) contains a strong awareness of the deep histories of her peoples and their 12,000-year existence in the Columbia River Basin in Oregon. Born and raised at Warm Springs Indian Reservation near Madras, Oregon, she directly descends from the three tribal peoples based there after a historic treaty removed them from their homelands along the Columbia River....

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1 January 1735, in Boston (Massachusetts); died 10 May 1818, in Boston.

Engraver (burin), jeweller, goldsmith.

Paul Revere learned the art of gold and silversmithing from his father. He also studied copper plate engraving and produced illustrations for books and magazines. He distinguished himself in the American War of Independence, and is remembered for an engraved plaque he made on this subject after Henry Pelham....

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 8 October 1930, in New York.

Painter, engraver, sculptor, mosaicist, performance artist, mixed media. Figure compositions, scenes with figures. Murals, costumes.

Faith Ringgold trained at City University, New York. While still in New York, in 1971 she co-founded, with Kay Brown, ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 7 January 1909, in Lincoln (Nebraska); died 24 May 2003.

Engraver (including linocuts), draughtswoman. Stage costumes.

Ruth G. Waddy attended the University of Minnesota from 1927 to 1928 and moved to Chicago in 1929. Later, after she moved to California, she studied at the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles. She co-founded the Art West Association in Los Angeles in the 1960s....