1966 / Painted wood / 16 5/8”x19 1/4”x3 3/4” / The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
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1958 / Oil on canvas / 90”x60 1/8” / Anderson Collection at Stanford University, California
Previous March 14 posts:
1997 / Hand embellished lithograph / 30 1/2”x37 3/4” / Various private collections
February 27, 1924: Samella Sanders Lewis, artist, art historian, author and educator, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Lewis earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampton University in 1945 and her Master of Arts degree in 1948 and Ph. D. in 1951 from Ohio State University. She was the first African American woman to receive a doctorate in fine arts and art history. Lewis became chair of the Fine Arts Department at Florida A&M University in 1952. From 1969 to 1984, she was professor of art history at Scripps College. She founded Contemporary Crafts in 1969, the first African American owned art publishing house. Lewis founded the International Review of African American Art in 1975 and was a co-founder of the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles, California in 1976. Lewis published “African American Art and Artists,” a history of African American art since the colonial era, in 1978. She has also published works on Elizabeth Catlett and Richmond Barthe.
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.
Anna Atkins was born Anna Children in the town of Tonbridge in the English county of Kent. Her mother died soon after she was born and Anna was raised by her father John George Children, who was a chemist, mineralogist, and zoologist. Anna was particularly interested in plant collecting and botany, and in 1823 illustrated her father’s translation of a book on the subject of shells with her own engravings.
Through her father, Atkins knew Sir John Herschel, the inventor of the process known as “cyanotype”. This process, originated in the 1840s, was one of the first non-silver technologies used to create photographic images. It later evolved into the process known by the term “blueprint”, those blue background reproductions of large architectural and mechanical drawings. William Henry Fox Talbot, another acquaintance of the Atkins family, improved upon the chemistry to create what he called the “calotype” and this became the basis for all subsequent negative/positive processes.
Anna Atkins recognized that photographic processes were an excellent method to accurately illustrate scientific studies. She began work on her first book British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions using the cyanotype process, which today is often referred to as sun printing. This was a 12-part privately published series which Atkins worked on from 1843 to 1853. Anna Atkins is considered to be the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images. However, since it was privately published, her mentor Sir John Herschel is the person credited with producing the first commercially published book illustrated with photographs (The Pencil of Nature, 1844).
Atkins followed her series with two other volumes, British and Foreign Ferns and British and Foreign Flowering Plants and Ferns. Atkins collaborated on these books with Anne Austen Dixon, a close childhood friend and incidentally a distant cousin of the novelist Jane Austen. Additionally, Atkins published several other non-botanical volumes, including a memoir of her father.
Atkins died on June 9th, 1871 at age 72. The cause of death was given as “paralysis, rheumatism, and exhaustion”.
~The Misty Miss Christy
“Anna Atkins published the first book with photographs. Here are a few of them.”
“The Cyanotype Process”
The New York Public Library Digital Collections: “Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions”
Remembering Diane Arbus
Arbus is most known for her photographs of social deviants or “freaks.” “There’s a quality of legend about freaks,” Arbus said. “Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”
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’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