Frances Benjamin Johnston: Born January 15, 1864

Many women, as well as men, who earned modest reputations with their camera in the 1890s, took up the craft as a hobby…
Johnston, however, took up photography as a business; it was no idle amusement for her. “I have not been able to lose sight of the pecuniary side,” she emphasized, “though for the sake of money or anything else I would never publish a photograph which fell below the standard I have set for myself.”

Frances Benjamin Johnston~
Library of Congress~

Barbara Hepworth: Born January 10, 1903


Barbara Hepworth was a British sculptor, who was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1903. She was a leading figure in the international art scene throughout a career spanning five decades. ~Who is Barbara Hepworth?


Official site~

Edward Ruscha: Born December 16, 1937

Stopping off in New York City on his way back
[from Europe], he paid a call on Leo Castelli, whose gallery showed Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella. No introduction, no calling beforehand—he just walked in with the Paris paintings under his arm. Castelli, all European charm and suavity, said that Ruscha’s work looked interesting, and told him to stay in touch. Ruscha stayed in touch for twelve years, visiting the gallery on his occasional trips to New York, and in 1973 Castelli became his New York dealer. Ruscha never seriously considered moving East. “That was too big a decision, and too big a jump,” he told me. “It just didn’t feel like it was meant to be.” He wanted to live in Los Angeles, and by the time he returned from Europe he knew that the only thing he could possibly be was an artist. “I could see I was just born for the job, born to watch paint dry,” he said.

Where is Rocky II?~
Edward Ruscha’s Deadpan Artistry~


How Kandinsky helped create abstract art

Lyrical (from Sounds) (1911) by Wassily Kandinsky

Facts within art history aren’t always as solidly verifiable as we would like them to be. Can we say with certainty that Wassily Kandinsky, born on this day, 16 December [4 Dec. Old Style], in 1866, was the first abstract painter?

Read more here:  How Kandinsky helped create abstract art | Art | Agenda | Phaidon

Ray Eames: Born December 15, 1912

Ray-Ray was the nickname given to Bernice Alexandra Kaiser by her family. Beyond that, little is known of her childhood in Sacramento, although Ray’s artistic talent was evidently recognized early on. After high school she left California with her widowed mother for New York City, where she studied with the German Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann and exhibited her paintings. After her mother’s death, Ray left New York for further training at the Art Academy in Cranbrook, Michigan, where Charles Eames was one of her teachers and mentors. After divorcing his first wife, Charles married Ray in 1941 in Chicago. The couple left immediately for Southern California, where they opened a design office.

An extraordinary personal and artistic collaboration began with this move, an unusually creative
partnership that resulted in innovative designs for furniture, houses, monuments, exhibitions
—even toys.

Eames Foundation~
Official site of Ray and Charles Eames~

JF Auburtin: Born December 2, 1866

Jean Francis Auburtin was a 19th Century Symbolist painter, an heir of Impressionism, influenced by Japonisme, and sometimes referred to as “the Symbolist of the Sea”. Born December 2, 1866, Auburtin was apprenticed early to the painter Louis-Theodore Devilly.  He then enrolled at the Alsatian School of Paris in 1875 where he met his future wife Marthe Deloy, a sister of one of his classmates. After further education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Auburtin found himself attracted to painting the cliffs and the ever-changing effects of light on the sea and as a result lived in various locations that offered these views. Auburtin mainly painted in gouache and watercolor, depicting the Normandy coastline, the sea, and later in life figures of dancers. At the end of the nineteenth century, Auburtin became interested in Japanese art and began a small collection of prints, some painted by the famous Japanese painter Hokusaï, which influenced his own work in no small measure. Jean Francis Auburtin rose to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor. From 1904 onwards he lived in Varengeville; when he died in 1930 he was buried in the cliff-top cemetery of Varengeville-sur-Mer, which is also the final resting place of Georges Braque.