Ellsworth Kelly had his first solo exhibit at the Galerie Arnaud, Paris, in 1951. He’s considered an iconic innovator in American art, but it wasn’t until 1957, when the Whitney Museum of American Art bought his Atlantic painting, that he began to get the recognition that he deserved.
Maurice Prendergast was one of America’s most original painters. His works, although labeled Impressionist, have both a European and American sensibility, but are unlike the works of other artists of his time. Maurice Prendergast, 1913 Prendergast was, during much of his lifetime, a painter’s painter. It wasn’t until around the start of World War 1, [...]
In spite of being born into poverty in the small village of Liozna, near Vitebsk, part of the Russian Empire, where, as a Jew, his movements were restricted and his options limited, Chagall managed to maintain an optimism that still resonates with people throughout the world.
Nichols spent fifteen years in Chicago, working as a commercial illustrator. He was not just a talented painter, but also a skilled lithographer, wood carver, designer, writer and an advocate of the use of fine art in commercialism.
I consider myself an animal part of nature, not a Homo sapien. Like the deer, the bear and the other small whatever else are out there, all the other small things and I feel totally at home there, completely and absolutely at home in the woods.” The backpack that Neil Welliver took with him, when he went [...]
Julio Larraz began his career as political cartoonist whose work was published in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. He has become one of the world’s most important contemporary Latin American painters, with his work in major museums and galleries around the world. Just this year, his work has been included in shows in both Milan and Houston.
Orville Bulman’s paintings are joyful, whimsical and playful. It’s hard to imagine that his paintings of lush jungles, tigers, giraffe and elegant Haitian women and men, were created by a businessman who was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Lillian said that her husband Anthony Thieme often insisted that “‘he was born fifty years too late.” He was born in Rotterdam in 1888 and became an American citizen in 1935. “He disliked the rush and roar of the modern age” she said, “… this conflict was always within him, the longing to paint peace and quiet, beauty and harmony, yet confronted daily with the ugliness of modernity.”
Like his older brother, Louis, William Glackens began his career as an illustrator. McClure’s Magazine sent him to Cuba, to cover the Spanish-American War. His drawings, like The Night After San Juan, clearly illustrate the devastation and sadness of war.
Tom Wesselmann spent much of his young adult life searching for his identity, both as an artist and a human being. Born and raised in a middle class family in Cincinnati, Wesselmann knew he wanted to be an artist, but wasn’t sure how to go about fulfilling his aspirations. “I had no point of view.” he said “I hadn’t seen paintings. I hadn’t seen anything. I hadn’t gone to galleries yet or to museums.”
Roy Lichtenstein was inducted into the US Army and sent to England just before Christmas in 1944. Although his induction interrupted his studies at the Art Students League, Lichtenstein’s time in London had a profound influence on his work.
The work of Jasper Johns has never fit into any category. Not a minimalist, abstract expressionist, Dadaist, modernist or Pop artist, Johns influenced all of those art movements, but his style remains distinctly his own. Jasper Johns in his Pearl Street studio. 1955 What Johns did for the artists who have come after him, was [...]
Alexander Calder turned 71 in 1969. He was still playful, energetic and continued to create fantastic drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures but, like all humans, Calder had to deal with the events that accompany the aging process. He lost two of his closest friends, Marcel Duchamp and Ben Shahn, and was beginning to feel the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. It was Duchamp who named Calder’s original works mobiles and who remained a great friend, until Duchamp’s death, in 1968.
From his studio window in Manhattan, Guy C. Wiggins could look down Madison Avenue and see the Metropolitan Life Tower which, in 1912, was the tallest building in the world. The design of the elegant Met Life Tower was based on St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice.
Andrew Wyeth would have been 100 years old in July and probably would have skipped the celebrations and gone out to paint instead. Wyeth died, in 2009, at age 91, at his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He was buried in Cushing, Maine, the place where he spent his summers and produced many of his greatest works, including Christina’s World .
When Grant Wood’s American Gothic was first exhibited, it was a hit in Chicago and a flop in Iowa. It won Wood a bronze medal at the 1930 annual exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, was purchased by the Art Institute for its permanent collection and made Wood famous. The response in Cedar Rapids, where Woods [...]
Cassatt moved to Paris in 1866, when she was twenty two years old. Her mother, sister Lydia and family friends acted as chaperones. Women were not accepted at the École des Beaux-Arts, so she studied privately and got a permit to copy paintings at the Louvre. Copyists at the Louvre, mostly women, were allowed to copy the works of the great masters but had to leave their work, unsigned, with the museum.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries American artists copied the techniques, and worked in the shadows of, European watercolorists. Watercolors in America were used to make maps, record forays into the country and illustrate texts. Winslow Homer’s watercolor paintings changed all that and influenced many other painters to produce such great works in watercolors that, [...]
George Bellows was not only one of America’s greatest painters and printmakers but also a chronicler of the social changes occurring in New York in the early twentieth century. Encouraged to draw the world around him by Ashcan painter and teacher, Robert Henri, Bellows painted urban landscapes which were often beautiful and, just as often, attacked by [...]
Avery was born in 1885, in Altmar, a small town in upstate New York. His father was a tanner, who moved the family to a small town near Hartford, Connecticut when Avery was thirteen. The youngest of four children, Avery help to support the family by doing factory work, starting at age sixteen.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was one of America's brightest, most talented and original artists. His works currently command some of the highest prices at auction around the world. Andy WarholJean-Michel Basquiat, 1982 Early Life and Education Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn on December 22, 1960. Basquiat had two younger sisters. His older brother died shortly before Basquiat [...]
Gifford Beal was an American painter, printmaker and muralist, whose early work was associated with the Ashcan School. Early Life and Education Gifford Beal was born in New York in 1879, the youngest of six children. His father, William Reynolds Beal, his oldest brother, Reynolds Beal, and his niece, Marjorie Acker, were all accomplished painters. Beal’s formal [...]
James Carroll Beckwith was an American painter whose powerful portraits, murals and paintings of historical monuments are part of permanent museum collections around the world. He signed his work Carroll Beckwith. Early Life and Education James Carroll Beckwith was born in Hannibal, Missouri in 1852, and raised in Chicago, where his father opened a wholesale grocery business. [...]
George Bellows (1882-1925)photograph c.1920 by Nickolas Muray George Bellows turned down an offer to play baseball with the Cincinnati Reds and, instead, became one of the greatest American painters and chroniclers of the twentieth century. Early Life and Career Bellows was born in 1882, in Columbus, Ohio. Bellows mother was 40, and his father 50, [...]
Frank Weston Benson was one of America's greatest Impressionist painters. He was one of The Ten who exhibited together in order to advance creativity and originality in American art. Benson was extremely masterful with oils and watercolors and the etchings he did, of wildlife, hunting and fishing, were so in demand that the wildlife and sporting print itself [...]
Thomas Hart Benton Painting The Rape of Persephone, 1938 Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) chronicled the beauty, joys and sorrows of everyday life in America, until the day he died. Early Life Benton was born in 1889 in Neosho, Missouri, the oldest of four children. He spent much of his childhood and adolescence in Washington, D.C., [...]
Oscar Bluemner was called The Vermillionaire by other artists because of his use of brilliant reds and bold colors. Bluemner was a driving force in the creation of American Modernism. Early Life and Education Oscar Bluemner was born in Prenzlau, Germany in 1876, to a family of artists and artisans. In 1885, Bluemner was given a solo exhibition at [...]
John George Brown was one of the most popular artists in America at the turn of the twentieth century. His empathetic, and highly skilled, portrayal of children on the streets of New York made him a successful artist, whose works have been exhibited and sought out by collectors for more than a century. Early Life and Education [...]
Orville Bulman was a mostly self taught, mid-twentieth century American artist, whose work was inspired by his trips to Haiti and the American South. His many solo shows were usually sold out before the doors officially opened. Many collectors, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, had several of his paintings.
Charles Burchfield was an American artist, known for his startling, dreamlike watercolor landscapes and lithographs. Early Life and Education Charles Burchfield was born in Ashtabula Harbor in 1893. He was raised in Salem, in Ohio, by his widowed mother. Many of Burchfield’s paintings are of views from the house in Salem, and of the house itself, where [...]
Marc Chagall painted a world filled with color, light and fantasy and brought an inimitable style of his own to twentieth century art. Early Life and Education Marc Chagall was born Moishe Segal in 1887 in the city of Vitebsk, now part of Belarus. He was the eldest of nine children in a household that was very [...]
Artist Alexander Calder with his works ‘Edgar Varese’ & ‘Untitled,’ Sache, France, 1963Photograph by Ugo Mulas Early Life Alexander Calder was born in Lawton, Pennsylvania, in 1898, to a family of talented artists. His grandfather, Alexander Milner Calder was a sculptor, who emigrated from Scotland to Philadelphia in 1868. He is best known for his [...]
Mary Cassatt, after 1900Frederick Arnold Sweet Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C. At a time when women were groomed to marry, stay at home and have children, Mary Cassatt was determined to make a career of painting. Through talent and sheer will, she did just that, and became one of America’s most [...]
Elizabeth Catlett (April 15, 1915 – April 2, 2012) was an American and Mexican graphic artist and sculptor best known for her depictions of the African-American experience in the 20th century, which often focused on the female experience. She was born and raised in Washington, D.C. to parents working in education, and was the grandchild of freed [...]
Marc Chagall | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Marc Chagall painted a world filled with color, light and fantasy and brought an inimitable style of his own to twentieth century art. Early Life and Education Marc Chagall was born Moishe Segal in 1887 in the city of Vitebsk, now part of Belarus. He was the [...]
Charles Caryl Coleman was an American painter, associated with the Aesthetic Movement, who found his muse on the island of Capri. Early Life Charles Caryl Coleman was born in Buffalo, New York in 1840. Coleman studied with noted painter William Holbrook Beard, who lived in Buffalo for a brief time to help create an art community, which [...]
John Steuart Curry was an American Regionalist painter, illustrator, muralist and printmaker. His paintings of rural America were a comfort to many during the Great Depression. Early Life and Education John Stuart Curry was born in 1897 in Dunavant, Kansas, a town whose population was just 85 people in 1910. His parents, Smith and Margaret Curry, were [...]
Stuart Davis was an American painter whose European influences, combined with his American sensibilities, made him one of the most important modern painters of the twentieth century. Early Life and Education Stuart Davis was born in 1892, to a family that encouraged his talents from an early age. His father, Edward Wyatt Davis, was the art editor [...]
Maria Oakey Dewing was an American flower painter, and an important role model for women in the arts at the turn of the twentieth century. Early Life and Education Maria Oakey was born in New York City in 1845. She was the fifth of ten children born to Sally and William Oakey. William Oakey was in the [...]
Richard Diebenkorn was born April 22, 1922 in Portland, Oregon. Richard Diebenkorn was an American abstract expressionist painter, who marched to the beat of his own drummer, ignoring art trends and painting the light and landscapes that he glimpsed from his Ocean Park studio. Early Life and Education Richard Diebenkorn was born in Portland, Oregon [...]
Walton Ford in his studio, 2017 Walton Ford is an American artist, whose works combine history, science and mythology to explore the effects that humans and the environment have on birds and mammals. Early Life and Education Walton Ford was born in Larchmont, New York in 1960, one of four children. Walton's father, Enfield Berry [...]
Jean Dubuffet was a French painter and sculptor who brought a wild and savage style of art to post-war France and America. “Man’s need for art is absolutely primordial,” he said, “as strong as, and perhaps stronger than, our need for bread. Without bread, we die of hunger, but without art we die of boredom.” Early Life [...]
Edmund Dulac was a French-born, naturalized British painter, author and illustrator, whose work is as charming and sought after today as it was when he created it, in the first half of the twentieth century. Early Life and Education Edmund Dulac was born in Toulouse, France in 1882. Although he showed a penchant for drawing and painting [...]
Mabel Dwight (1876-1955) was one of America’s leading lithography artists in the first half of the twentieth century. She was a keen and compassionate observer of the human condition. Dwight, an only child, was burnin Cincinnati, raised in New Orleans and traveled extensively throughout her life. She studied painting at the Hopkins School of Art in San [...]
John Joseph Enneking (1841-1916) was one of America’s first great impressionist painters. After the loss of his parents when he was young, and being wounded and taken prisoner by the Confederates while serving as a Union soldier during the Civil War, Enneking went to Boston to begin his career as an artist. He studied in Paris and [...]
Richard Estes was born in 1932 in Kewanee, Illinois, but moved to Chicago at an early age. He remained there to study at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1950s, where his training centered on figure drawing and traditional academic painting, the style that interested him most. Estes is one of the foremost proponents of the Photo-Realist movement, [...]
Frederick Frieseke (1874-1939) was born in Michigan. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York, and left for France in 1898, when he was twenty four. He remained in France for the rest of his life, and was the most popular living American artist at the height of his [...]
Abbott Fuller Graves (1859-1936) was an American artist, illustrator and educator who studied in Paris with Georges Jeannin, one of the most famous flower painters in Europe. Graves taught at the Cowles Art School in Boston and, in 1891, opened his own art school in Kenebunkport, Maine. Graves kept his connection with Jeannin, make occasional tips to [...]
Jack Lorimer Gray was a Canadian artist, with strong ties to West Palm Beach, who was as much at home at sea as on land, and is best known for his maritime paintings. Early Life and Education Jack Lorimer Gray, circa 1967 Jack Lorimer Gray was the only child of Scottish parents, who emigrated to [...]
Born in Rochester, New York, Emile Gruppe (1896-1978) became a renowned New England landscape and marine painter. Although he is best known for his variety of Impressionistic landscapes, he also painted figures and portraits. His modern style was largely inherited from French Impressionist Claude Monet. "Lily Pads," date and location unknown, one of Gruppes landscapes, attests to [...]
Born in Richmond, Virginia, Robert Gwathmey (1903-1988) became an artist known for his Social Realist depictions of life in the rural South. He was one of the first white artists to create dignified images of African-American people and did so in a style that was modernist with many geometric forms and bold colororation. He spent most of [...]
Keith Haring in 1985.Photo by David Howard Keith Haring was an American street artist and activist, whose easily recognizable work has been inspirational to his admirers around the world. Early Life and Education Keith Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1958 and raised in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He was the oldest, and only son, of [...]
Through his work and deeds, Childe Hassam helped to bring Impressionism to mainstream America. Early Years Frederick Childe Hassam was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. His father’s cutlery business was destroyed in the Great Boston Fire of 1872. Although an uncle offered to send him to Harvard, Hassam chose, instead, to take a job to help support his [...]
Born Robert Henry Cozad in Cincinnati, Ohio, he became one of the leading personalities in American art, known for his teaching skills, ethnic portraits, especially spirited children, and insistence that artists should adhere to social realism and give rein to their own artistic instincts. During his growing up years, he lived between Cincinnati and Cozad, Nebraska, founded [...]
David Hockney at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which has an exhibition of newly painted portraits. "When I’m in the studio, I feel like I’m 30," he says. "But when I leave it, I know I’m 80." (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times) Early Years and Education David Hockney was born in the [...]
David Hockney is one of the most brilliant and venerated artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Hockney set up residence in California in 1964, and painted the swimming pools that are commonplace in California but a rarity in his home country of England. His paintings resonated with people around the world and have become modern icons.