Richard Wagner~ Born May 22, 1813

Early in his career, Wagner learned both the elements and the practical, political realities of his craft by writing a handful of operas which were unenthusiastically, even angrily, received. Beginning with Rienzi (1838-40) and The Flying Dutchman (1841), however, he enjoyed a string of successes that propelled him to immortality and changed the face of music. His monumental Ring cycle of four operas — Das Rheingold (1853-54), Die Walküre (1854-56), Siegfried (1856-71) and Götterdämmerung (1869-74) — remains the most ambitious and influential contribution by any composer to the opera literature.
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/richard-wagner-mn0000958980/biography

The Brilliant, Troubled Legacy of Richard Wagner

A great music lover, Renoir was one of the first admirers of Wagner in France. At the beginning of 1882, when the painter was travelling in the south of Italy, he had the opportunity to visit Palermo where Wagner was staying. After two fruitless attempts, Renoir was finally introduced to the “maestro” who, the day before, had put the final notes to Parsifal.
The course of this meeting is well known thanks to a letter from Renoir to one of his friends, dated 15 January 1882:
http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/collections/works-in-focus/search/commentaire/commentaire_id/richard-wagner-11042.html?no_cache=1

Artist Birthday Quiz for 5/22~

The only American officially associated with the group later known as the Impressionists, this artist exhibited her work in four of their eight exhibitions, in 1879, 1880, 1881, and 1886.

This famous Belgian illustrator is often considered to be the most influential European comic artist ever and his “clear line” style was widely copied by new generation of comic artists

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/05/22/may-22/

Fats Waller: Born May 21, 1904

Waller, Fats (21 May 1904-15 Dec. 1943), jazz and popular pianist, singer, and songwriter, was born Thomas Wright Waller in New York City, the son of Edward Martin Waller, a Baptist preacher, and Adeline Lockett. From age six Waller was devoted to the piano but initially failed to practice properly or learn to read music well, because he could memorize lessons immediately. In his youth he also played reed organ in church. He studied piano, string bass, and violin at P.S. 89, which he attended to about age fourteen or fifteen. Although his girth had earned him a nickname by this time, the names Thomas and Fats appeared interchangeably (and sometimes together, as Thomas “Fats” Waller) in his professional work until at least 1931. Later in his career, and posthumously, the nickname prevailed.

Intermittently from 1919 into the mid-1920s he played organ at the Lincoln Theater in Harlem. After his mother’s death in 1920, he moved in with the family of pianist Russell Brooks, who introduced Waller to James P. Johnson. Upon discovering that Waller had learned “Carolina Shout” from Johnson’s piano roll, Johnson offered Waller piano lessons and in turn introduced him to Willie “the Lion” Smith, whom Waller replaced at Leroy’s saloon. Johnson, Smith, and Waller became the leading figures in the jazz style that came to be called stride piano, and through the decade their improvisational competitions were a fixture of Harlem rent parties.
http://www.anb.org/articles/18/18-01201.html

Norma Bassett Hall, American printmaker: Born May 21, 1889

NBHOne

Norma Bassett Hall was an American woodblock printmaker who often depicted landscapes and outdoor scenes. She was born in Halsey, Oregon. In 1910, she become a member of the inaugural class of the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon. After leaving Portland, she briefly taught in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before continuing her education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1915-1918. She also studied privately with the noted British printmaker Mabel Royds, who introduced Norma to the Japanese method of printing woodcuts on rice paper with transparent watercolors. While studying at the SAIC, Norma Bassett met and would later NBHTwomarry Arthur William Hall, a fellow student and artist. Following their marriage, they made their home in Kansas, becoming deeply involved with the state’s flourishing printmaking culture and helping to found the Prairie Print Makers. Hall, the only female among the group’s eleven charter members, designed their distinctive logo, a monogram set within a stylized sunflower. Hall and her husband divided their time and subjects between the rolling hills of Kansas and the dramatic vistas of New Mexico. In 1944 the couple permanently relocated to New Mexico, living first in Santa Fe and eventually purchasing an estate near Alcade from which they operated an art school. Bassett Hall continued to work and teach from their estate until her death in 1957. ~Wikipedia

 

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art~
http://jsma.uoregon.edu/jordan-schnitzer-museum-art-opens-first-solo-exhibition-norma-bassett-hall-1957
Biographies~
http://beyondbutler.wix.com/beyondbutler#!norma-bassett-hall-bio-link-/ccrh
http://casewardprintmaker.com/Mentor/Norma_Bassett_Hall.html
Artnet~ http://www.artnet.com/artists/norma-bassett-hall/past-auction-results

Artist Birthday Quiz for 5/21~

Which German artist of the Renaissance period revolutionized printmaking, elevating it to the level of an independent art form?

Which artist, best known for his paintings teeming with exotic flora and fauna, actually never left France despite stories to the contrary?

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/05/21/may-21/

Artist Birthday Quiz for 5/20~

Which German baroque sculptor also worked as an architect and built many state buildings in Berlin during his role as Court Architect?

Which photojournalist and his wife became LIFE magazine’s first husband and wife photographer-reporter team to be sent overseas?

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/05/20/may-20/

May 19~

Pete Townshend (1945)

art: John Entwistle
bio: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/pete-townshend/biography
video: https://youtu.be/slhQOjMHaDY

 

Grace Jones (1948)
art: Keith Haring
photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe
bio: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/grace-jones-mn0000161920/biography
video: https://youtu.be/EMypXV1YJfw

Artist Birthday Quiz for 5/19~

What Italian Renaissance artist, known for ceramic sculpture with colorful glazes, was a member of Florence’s most prestigious family of terracotta sculptors?

What painter from a famous family of early American artists was able to maintain a career for about sixty years and support herself without marrying, unusual in the 1800s?

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/05/19/may-19/

Gertrude Käsebier: Born May 18, 1852

GertrudeKasebier

Gertrude Käsebier was a leading member of the pioneering photographic known as Pictorialism, which emphasized a subjective, painterly approach to photography rather than a documentary one.  

Kasebier1Though she had long been interested in art, Käsebier only began her formal training at the Pratt Institute after her children entered high school. She planned to be a painter, but eventually switched to photography. Following classes in Paris and apprenticeships with a German photographic chemist, and a Brooklyn portrait photographer, Käsebier opened her own portrait studio in 1897.
http://nmwa.org/explore/artist-profiles/gertrude-k%C3%A4sebierKasebier2

Stieglitz included Käsebier as a founding member of the Photo-Secession, a group that argued for a more natural, less manipulated photograph. In 1899, he published five of her photos, declaring her “beyond dispute, the leading artistic portrait photographer of the day.”
GKhttp://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2012/05/12/nearly-forgotten-mother-of-modern-american-photography-gertrude-kaeseb

Library of Congress Biographical Essay: http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/womphotoj/kasebieressay.html
Library of Congress Online Catalog: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/related/?fi=name&q=K%C3%A4sebier%2C%20Gertrude%2C%201852-1934
Shorpy Photo Gallery: http://www.shorpy.com/gertrude-kasebier-photographs