Archive for the ‘American Art’ Category

Arnold Genthe | Miss Helen Chamberlain with Buzzer the cat, May 28, 1918 | Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

“It is told that at the age of four, when I was taken by the nurse to look at my newly arrived brother Hugo, I seriously remarked, ‘I’d like a little kitten better.’ I am fond of dogs, but cats have always meant more to me, and they have been the wise and sympathetic companions of many a solitary hour.”

 –Arnold Genthe, As I Remember (1936)

Arnold Genthe is best remembered for his photos of San Francisco’s Chinatown, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and his portraits of notables, from celebrities to politicians. Maybe that list should also include cats.

A self-taught photographer, Genthe opened a portrait studio in San Francisco in the late 1890s. His clientele grew to include personages like silent actress Nance O’Neil, theater legend Sarah Bernhardt, poet Nora May French, and author Jack London. In 1911 Genthe moved to New York City, where he concentrated primarily on portraiture, photographing such towering figures as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and John D. Rockefeller. And all the while, he was photographing cats. Among the more than 1,000 images of Genthe’s photographs in the Library of Congress Collection in the Artstor Digital Library, there are 82 that include cats, usually accompanying women, but occasionally alone. More than half of these feature his beloved cat Buzzer (or perhaps that should be “Buzzers,” as he used that name for four cats).

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Our slide show is made up of some highlights featuring Buzzer; search the Artstor Digital Library for Genthe and cat to see all of the photographer’s feline friends.

Giovanni Garcia-Fenech

Arnold Genthe | Buzzer the cat, 1912 | Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

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Albrecht Durer | St. John Beholding the Seven Golden Candlesticks (Jesus appearing in the clouds) | Wetmore Print Collection, Connecticut College, New London

ARTstor and Connecticut College have partnered to release more than 600 images from the Wetmore Print Collection to the Digital Library. This collection features work by artists from across Europe and the United States, including William Blake, Rembrandt, John Sloan, Annibale Carracci, Canaletto, David Teniers, Claude Lorrain, and many others.

View the collection in the Digital Library: http://library.artstor.org/library/collection/ctcollege_asian or enter the Keyword Search: asian conncoll.

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the Connecticut College page.

Related collections:

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Eduardo Carrillo | Down The Lane, 1991-1992 | Museo Eduardo Carrillo | Image and original data courtesy of the Estate of Eduardo Carrillo

ARTstor has collaborated with the Museo Eduardo Carrillo to share nearly 30 images of works by the Californian painter in the Digital Library.

Born in 1937 in Los Angeles, California, Eduardo Carrillo was a pivotal figure in the Los Angeles Chicano Art Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Carrillo’s paintings often refer to history, religion, and mythology. His still lifes, landscapes, and empty rooms from the early 1960s show the influence of the Spanish masters, imbued with magic realism. In the 1970s, social themes and the human figure became central to his work, which increasingly included murals.

The Museo Eduardo Carrillo was founded to extend the artist’s work into the world through exhibitions, Web presence, and publications.

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the Museo Eduardo Carrillo collection page.

Related collections:

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi | Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Suke no tsubone and Shin chunagon Taira no Tomomori, 1867 | Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College

ARTstor and the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College are now sharing more than 700 images of works from the permanent collection in the Digital Library. The collection in ARTstor consists of highlights from several special collections. The Gallery houses a teaching collection of Japanese woodblock prints and illustrated books from the late 17th century to late 20th century, featuring works by the artists Yoshu Chikanobu (1838-1912) and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). The Marer Collection of contemporary ceramics is international in scope, comprising American, British, Japanese, Korean, and Mexican works. The Young Collection focuses on Impressionist oil paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists, including George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, William Glackens, Frederick Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, Maurice Prendergast, and Theodore Robinson, among others. Another important teaching collection traces the history of photography with a selection works from the 19th through the 21st century. Finally, there is the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection, which comprises works by contemporary artists with a special focus on art by women and African-American artists, such as Elizabeth Catlett, Samella Lewis, Faith Ringgold, and Alison Saar.

View the collection in the Digital Library.

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery (Scripps College) collection page.

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On June 4, 1919, U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote, and sent it to the states for ratification. To celebrate this momentous anniversary, we are featuring an essay by Stacy C. Hollander, senior curator and director of exhibitions at the American Folk Art Museum, on an anonymous 19th-century artist’s “Crazy” quilt (i.e., a quilt with no repeating motifs) and its message about women’s suffrage.

Artist unidentified; initialed “J.F.R.” | Cleveland-Hendricks Crazy Quilt, Cleveland-Hendricks Crazy Quilt | American Folk Art Museum, folkartmuseum.org

The constitutional amendment giving the vote to American women was not ratified until 1920. Therefore, the unidentified maker of this quilt voiced her political sentiments in one of the only socially acceptable means available to her in the late nineteenth century. Using the idiom of the Crazy quilt, she constructed a strong statement of Democratic sympathies in a highly fashionable format.

The strutting rooster prominently featured in the center of the quilt was an emblem often used by the Democratic Party during the 1880s and 1890s, particularly in Grover Cleveland’s presidential campaign. Below the rooster are portraits of two unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidates: Samuel J. Tilden of New York, who ran in 1876, and Winfield S. Hancock of Pennsylvania, the candidate in 1880. These fabrics, originally parts of printed campaign banners, evidently were saved by the maker until after Grover Cleveland’s successful bid in the 1884 campaign. Cleveland and his running mate, Thomas A. Hendricks, are shown in the upper corners of the central block. A Cleveland-Hendricks inaugural ribbon, dated March 4, 1885, with an image of an American flag and pileus, is placed above.

In addition to the political references that abound on this textile, the quiltmaker included elements more typically associated with the Crazy quilt aesthetic, including Japanese-inspired corner fans, a small handheld fan, flowers, stars, and a crescent moon. The Japan pavilion at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876 is often cited as a significant contributing factor to the development of the American Crazy quilt. The design principles of the Aesthetic Movement, which emphasized surface ornamentation and exoticism, also influenced the direction of American quiltmaking in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Both come together artfully in this contained Crazy quilt.

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Chinese | Covered Box with Design of Scholar and Attendant in a Landscape, late 16th-early 17th century | Image and original data provided by Saint Louis Art Museum, slam.org/

ARTstor and the Saint Louis Art Museum are pleased to announce that an additional 236 images of works from the museum’s permanent collection are now available in the Digital Library. The collection in ARTstor represents highlights from the museum’s permanent collection of more than 30,000 objects. Encyclopedic in scope, the museum’s holdings encompass works from all cultures and across all time periods, with particular strengths in a number of areas, including Oceanic art, Pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes, and European and American art from the late 19th and 20th centuries, especially 20th century German art.

View the collection: http://library.artstor.org/library/collection/stlouis

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the Saint Louis Art Museum collection page.

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ARTstor is partnering with the Romare Bearden Foundation to share nearly 1,000 images of works by American artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988) in the Digital Library. These works represent the breadth of Bearden’s enormous output, from his early paintings executed in a range of styles to his pioneering collage work, which highlights his unique combination of painting and collage materials drawn from popular sources. Throughout, Bearden’s art displays his deep engagement with the African American community and the Civil Rights movement.

The Romare Bearden Foundation was established in 1990 as a nonprofit organization by the artist’s estate to preserve and perpetuate his legacy. The Foundation continues to honor Bearden’s artistic legacy by supporting educational programs, special projects, exhibitions, scholarships, and publications that deepen appreciation of and access to Bearden’s art and life. The Foundation also continues Bearden’s work within the artistic community by supporting the intellectual and creative development of up-and-coming African American artists and scholars.

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the Romare Bearden Foundation page.

Related collections:

The Cleveland Museum of Art Collection; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Collection; The Museum of Modern Art: Painting and Sculpture; Saint Louis Art Museum; Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection; Freedman Gallery (Albright College)

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Dorothea Lange | The Road West | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art |

Documentary photographer and photojournalist Dorothea Lange was born on May 26, 1895. Her photographs for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) depicted the human impact of the Great Depression and were tremendously influential, both politically and in the field of documentary photography.

Among her many other achievements, Lange received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1941, photographed the forced evacuation of Japanese Americans to relocation camps in 1942, and co-founded the photography magazine Aperture in 1952. She died on October 11, 1965.

This haunting photograph depicting highway U.S. 54, the west-bound route taken by many families who hoped to find work in California, comes to us from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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ARTstor is collaborating with The Corcoran Gallery of Art to share approximately 1,150 images from the Gallery’s permanent collection in the Digital Library. The collection will focus primarily on American works from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, as well as some European works.

Founded in 1869 by William Wilson Corcoran, the Corcoran Gallery of Art is the oldest and largest non-federal art museum in Washington, D.C. The Gallery’s collection includes works by Rembrandt, Delacroix, Degas, Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent, Monet, Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Gene Davis, and many others. The Corcoran Gallery of Art is associated with the Corcoran College of Art + Design, a private college founded in 1890 that offers graduate and undergraduate degrees.


Related collections:

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Burt Glinn | Writer Jack Kerouac reads at Seven Arts Café, New York City, 1959 | Image and original data provided by Magnum Photos, magnumphotos.com | ©Burt Glinn / Magnum Photos

While the 1950s are popularly remembered as a decade of “button down” conformity, the postwar era saw the rise of two groups of American writers and artists who broke with tradition and social norms in an exaltation of unfettered personal expression.

The Beat Generation scandalized the country with their licentious lives and confessional writings. Allen Ginsberg’s rousing poem Howl (1956), Jack Kerouac’s semi-fictional novel On the Road (1957), and William S. Burroughs’s acerbic satire Naked Lunch (1959) spurned materialism, reveled in sexuality, and celebrated the use of illegal drugs. The writers were in turn reviled as “beatniks,” conflating the popular conception of bohemia with juvenile delinquency, another perceived social threat of the times.

Burt Glinn | A back table at The Five Spot. From left to right: sculptor David Smith, painter Helen Frankenthaler (back to camera), art guru Frank O’Hara, painter Larry Rivers, painter Grace Hartigan, unidentified man, sculptor Anita Huffington, and poet Kenneth Koch, New York City, 1957 | Image and original data provided by Magnum Photos, magnumphotos.com | ©Burt Glinn / Magnum Photos

The Abstract Expressionists, a loose group of modern artists that included Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman, were breaking boundaries in the visual arts at roughly the same time. While they did not make their equally unconventional personal lives public, their work elicited the same type of shocked reactions from the media and the public as the Beats did, such as Pollock being called “Jack the Dripper” in a famous 1956 article in Time titled “The Wild Ones” (partly in reference to “The Wild One,” a film about motorcycle gangs starring Marlon Brando).

Legendary Magnum photographer Burt Glinn captured many of the key protagonists in these movements in the late 1950s. In the images included here, we see a table at the legendary jazz club the Five Spot that includes sculptor David Smith, painters Helen Frankenthaler, Larry Rivers, and Grace Hartigan, and poets Kenneth Koch and Frank O’Hara. There are also iconic images of Jack Kerouac performing at the Seven Arts Café, and Frankenthaler and Hartigan with fellow painter Joan Mitchell at an art opening.

You can find these and many other fascinating photographs of these seminal figures in the Magnum Photos collection in the ARTstor Digital Library. Search for upper bohemians to find Glinn’s 1957 series that includes writers and artists of the Abstract Expressionist scene, and beatniks to see his 1959 series on the writers and poets of the Beat Generation.

- Giovanni Garcia-Fenech

Burt Glinn | Painters Joan Mitchell (left), Helen Frankenthaler (center), and Grace Hartigan (right) at the opening of an exhibition of Frankenthaler paintings, New York City, 1957 | Image and original data provided by Magnum Photos, magnumphotos.com | ©Burt Glinn / Magnum Photos

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