William Henry Jackson: Born on April 4, 1843


From age twelve until age ninety-nine, William Henry Jackson was involved on some level with photography. After a tour of duty in the Civil War, he headed West and eventually settled in Omaha, Nebraska, where he opened a portrait photography studio with his brother Edward. As Jackson explained, however, “Portrait photography never had any charms for me, so I sought my subjects from the house-tops, and finally from the hill-tops and about the surrounding country; the taste strengthening as my successes became greater in proportion to the failures.” In 1870 he accompanied geologist Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden on an expedition across Wyoming, along the Green River, and eventually into the Yellowstone Lake area. Jackson’s images were the first published photographs of Yellowstone. Partly on the strength of these photographs, the area became America’s first national park in March 1872.

On one of several independent expeditions that he headed, Jackson also became the first to photograph the prehistoric Native American dwellings in Mesa Verde, Colorado. He finally settled in Denver, Colorado, where he worked as a commercial landscape photographer and continued to publish his photographs as postcards. 


Loren MacIver: Born February 2, 1909


Loren MacIver

Loren MacIver …was essentially a self-taught painter, having attended classes at the Art Students League only briefly at ages ten and eleven. Her work was included in group shows at New York’s Contemporary Arts Gallery in 1933 and 1942…The Museum of Modern Art acquired one of her works in 1935, well before her first one-person exhibition in 1938 at Marian Willard’s East River Gallery. From 1936 to 1939 she worked on the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration.



Tracking Loren MacIver~ http://brooklynrail.org/2008/03/artseen/tracking
Collection at The Met~ http://metmuseum.org/art/collection/search#!/search?artist=MacIver,%20Loren$Loren%20MacIver

Betty Parsons~ January 31, 1900-July 23, 1982

[Betty] Parsons’s role as a leading promoter of abstract art is well known. Less well known is that she was an artist.

“Betty led a double life,” a nephew, William P. Rayner, said. “Being an artist was her first priority. That’s why she was such a good dealer and that’s why her artists liked her.” http://www.nytimes.com/1992/06/28/nyregion/betty-parsons-s-2-lives-she-was-artist-too.html?pagewanted=all

Once referred to as “the den mother of Abstract Expressionism,” Betty Parsons was an early advocate of the great Abstract Expressionists, including Pollock, Rothko, Reinhardt, Still and Newman, long before they all achieved notoriety. Her midtown gallery, which opened in 1946 (and closed every summer so that Parsons could focus on her own art), gave the Abstract Expresionist artists their first large-scale exposure, making it one of the most prestigious art galleries in New York. In its later years, the Parsons Gallery did much to promote the works of many gay, lesbian and bisexual artists, including Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. http://www.theartstory.org/gallery-betty-parsons.htm

“I’ve learned a great deal about business, but I wasn’t a businesswoman,” Betty Parsons told Grace Lichtenstein in a profile that originally ran in the March 1979 issue of ARTnews, published just three years before Parsons’s death, in 1982. http://www.artnews.com/2017/06/16/from-the-archives-betty-parsons-gallerist-turned-artist-takes-the-spotlight-in-1979/

Throughout her storied career as a gallerist, she maintained a rigorous artistic practice, painting during weekends in her Long Island studio. Parsons’ eye for innovative talent stemmed from her own training as an artist and guided her commitment to new and emerging artists of her time, impacting the canon of Twentieth-Century art in the United States. Includes slideshow and biography~ http://www.alexandergray.com/artists/betty-parsons?view=slider#2

Barbara Kruger: Born January 26, 1945

Kruger.jpgBarbara Kruger ~ By Christopher Bollen ~ Published 02/28/13

Kruger’s spectacular corpus, spanning four decades, is often described as political—and it is. But just as much it creates these moments of internal identity confusion in which we don’t know if we are acting as victim, oppressor, or witness. Usually, we are all of the above.

Kruger famously—and perhaps, at first, inadvertently—got her training as an artist the hard way: through a full-time job as a magazine designer at Condé Nast, starting out at Mademoiselle. And while some of those early layout techniques of bold graphics inform her work, a pulsating visual-linguistic triple-take keeps all of her pieces so alive that she’s become known for her own immediately identifiable, authoritative style—even if authority is what is being questioned in the authoritative typeface.

Source: Barbara Kruger – Page – Interview Magazine


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.

Biography~ http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/edward-ruscha-1882
Where is Rocky II?~ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/documentary-mysterious-ed-ruscha-work-gets-north-american-premiere-at-lacma-962057
Edward Ruscha’s Deadpan Artistry~ http://broadstreetonline.org/2015/01/edward-ruschas-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~ http://eamesfoundation.org/
Official site of Ray and Charles Eames~ http://www.eamesoffice.com/eames-office/charles-and-ray/

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.