August 21, 2011 |
Jonathan Westervelt Warner, known as Jack, has spent more than half his 94 years building up an impressive collection of American fine and decorative arts - between 700 and 800 objects made over nearly two centuries. Until recently, the public could visit the collection at the institution he created in 2003 to display it, the Westervelt-Warner Museum of American Art in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he lives. But over the last year, and particularly in recent months, the Warner collection has been sundered, and some of its more important paintings have been sold.
June 19, 2011 |
Alfred Jacob Miller was one of a half-dozen American artists, some foreign-born, who introduced the Western frontier, particularly indigenous cultures, to American art. This happened mainly in the 1830s, when Miller and his contemporaries ventured beyond the Mississippi River into the Great Plains, as far as the Rocky Mountains. The first to go, perhaps the most prolific and best-known Indian painter, was George Catlin, a native of Wilkes-Barre, who traveled up the Missouri River for 2,000 miles with an American Fur Co. expedition in 1832.
June 3, 2011 |
The twin catalogs for next weekend's sale of modern and contemporary arts and crafts at the Rago Arts and Auction Center present a history of the movements and creators of the last 110 years, from the well-established to the up-and-coming. Just as remarkable is the sale itself. The more than 1,300 lots of furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, and decorative art for sale at the two-day event in Lambertville include works by many of the best-known names in an abundance seldom seen.
March 21, 2011 |
Mary Cassatt's style of composing lifelike paintings of mothers and children with abstract detail and deliberate brushstrokes solidified her stature in the 19th-century art scene, but this Philadelphia-raised artist's influence travels beyond her maternal subjects. Kathy Foster, the curator of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, credits Cassatt, who attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before moving to Paris, as a "wedge" in bringing Impressionistic paintings to the U.S. "Mary Cassatt was not a bohemian," Foster said.
March 8, 2011 |
Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that a masterpiece in the basement goes unnoticed for more than half a century. It is a wonder, however, when a neglected nothing, a dirty ragamuffin of a painting, is suddenly noticed amid a quarter-million stored confreres - is pulled out, looked at, looked at more closely, and finally recognized for what it really is beneath the soot, the grime, the clouded varnish: a treasure. This is precisely what happened with George Inness' 1851 landscape Twilight on the Campagna , acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1945 as part of a bequest from Judge Alex Simpson Jr., then shipped to storage Siberia in the early 1950s.
October 24, 2010 |
Visitors to the Barnes Foundation eventually discover that there's much more to its extraordinary display than its renowned groups of impressionist, postimpressionist, and early modern paintings. There is, for instance, a sizable body of American art that accounts for about a quarter of the works installed in the Merion galleries. One room, Gallery 12, is devoted entirely to the American artists Albert C. Barnes knew and collected in depth. Despite this, and the fact that at least two American works hang in each gallery, in the public's perception the American artists continue to be eclipsed by European stars such as Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso, and Matisse.
March 12, 2010 |
An oil painting by the leader of the Scalp Level School, a southwestern Pennsylvania art colony that predated the Brandywine and Bucks County impressionists, will be for sale this afternoon. Alderfer Auction and Appraisal's sale in Hatfield will offer 200 lots of American and European paintings, including the oil by George Hetzel, probably the best-known artist southwestern Pennsylvania had produced until the advent of Andy Warhol. The Scalp Level School took its name from its location, a once bucolic town southeast of Johnstown where around 1830 an art gallery opened that became a nucleus for area artists.
February 14, 2010 |
John Walker McCoubrey, 86, an emeritus professor in the department of art history at the University of Pennsylvania, died of kidney failure Tuesday at his home in University City. Dr. McCoubrey was awarded a Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching just four years after joining Penn's faculty in 1964. That same year he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to study in London. He had previously studied in Paris on a Fulbright Fellowship. He was also recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
February 5, 2010 |
Black History Month will be marked Feb. 23 in New York with a major sale of works by African American artists, including several with Philadelphia ties. But earlier there will be another auction of local historic significance: the liquidation of Richman's Ice Cream in South Jersey's Salem County. The company's huge white art deco building near the intersection of Route 40 and Kings Highway, a few miles east of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, had long been not only a landmark but also a mecca for motorists who would go there to get the freshly produced ice cream that was distributed throughout the region.
November 14, 2009 |
Si Lewen begins his paintings as he sleeps. Images crowd his dreams until one rises above the rest to wake him and beg to be put on canvas. Lewen always obliges. "My art is my life, my world," he said from the Foulkeways at Gwynedd apartment he shares with his wife, Rennie. They moved there from New Paltz, N.Y., two years ago to be near their daughter, Nina Kardon, and her family, who live in Ambler. Lewen - whose work once was exhibited in the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and galleries in New York and around the country - has been painting for most of his 91 years.