American 19-20th Century Figurative Art and Portraiture



 

Introduction

This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American 19-20th Figurative Art and Portraiture." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

After articles and essays from Resource Library are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches. Following online resources may be information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:

2010- present

Rediscovering Nina Belle Ward; essay by Karla J. Niehus (6/11/15)

Grace Hudson: Painter of the Pomo People (11/13/14)

Seeking Beauty: Paintings by James Jebusa Shannon; essays by Barbara Dayer Gallati (6/5/14)

Beauty's Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America (1/17/14)

Burt and Lucy at Home: Featuring the Paintings of Burt Harwood; with texts by Jina Brenneman (10/25/13)

Red Willow: Portraits of a Town (3/7/13)

Women's Work (6/12/12)

The Paintings of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Works from a Long Island Collection; Introduction by Karl Emil Willers (12/21/11)

The Paintings of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Works from a Long Island Collection (12/17/11)

Beauty Rediscovered: Paintings by Adeline Albright Wigand & Otto Charles Wigand (12/15/11)

Embracing Elegance, 1885-1920: American Art from the Huber Family Collection (10/12/11)

Sullivan Family Legacy Exhibition; essay by V. Scott Dimond (3/28/11)

Face to Face: Portraits and the American West (2/15/11)

An American Gothic; essay by Lee Plested (2/3/11)

Facing Out, Facing In: Figurative Works from the Michener Art Museum Collection (2/3/11)

2006-2009

Out of the Background: Cecilia Beaux and the Art of Portraiture; essay by Tara Leigh Tappert (9/25/09)

Paper to Paint: Edward Hopper's "Hotel Lobby"; monograph by Harriet G. Warkel (8/5/09)

Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820-2009 (7/29/09)

Portraiture: the 19th and 20th Centuries; essay by Joseph S. Trovato (6/1/09)

The Figure in American Art: 1764-1983; essay by John I.H. Baur (1/12/09)

Thomas Eakins and The Academy; essay by Louise Lippincott (7/31/08)

Faces and Figures: Portraits from the Florence Griswold Museum (10/22/07)

Cecilia Beaux, American Figure Painter (5/31/07)

Whistler, Lithography, and the Art of Antagonism; essay by Jeffrey Ruda (1/29/07)

Painterly Controversy: William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri (1/23/07)

Self/Image: Portraiture from Copley to Close (9/6/06)

2002-2005

Pretty Women: Freer and the Ideal of Feminine Beauty (8/3/05)

Seymour Thomas: A Texas Genius Rediscovered (4/22/05)

Great Expectations: John Singer Sargent Painting Children (4/11/05)

Seeing People: Paintings from the National Academy of Design (1/17/04)

C.C.A. Christensen's Panoramas (1/6/03)

John Singer Sargent and Italy (1/3/03)

"The Only Miss Beaux": Photographs of Cecilia Beaux and her Circle; essay by Cheryl Leibold (9/2/02)

Portrait/Self-Portrait: Selections from the Permanent Collection (8/20/02)

Aimée Ernesta and Eliza Cecilia: Two Sisters, Two Choices; essay by Tara Leigh Tappert (7/25/02)

The Honesty of Thomas Eakins; essay by Don Gray (7/22/02)

Thomas Eakins (6/6/02)

An Art in Living (catalogue essay for The Art of Lucy May Stanton), by Betty Alice Fowler (5/31/02)

"The Greatest Woman Painter": Cecilia Beaux, Mary Cassatt, and Issues of Female Fame; essay by Nancy Mowll Mathews (5/30/02)

Gentle Modernist: The Art of Susan Watkins, 1875-1913 (5/25/02)

The Gilded Cage: Views of American Women, 1873 - 1921 (5/15/02)

The Art of Lucy May Stanton (5/14/02)

2000-2001

Through the Picture Plane: The Poetry in the Pictorial Space of Thomas Eakins; essay by Patrick Connors (11/17/01)

Thomas Eakins: American Realist (10/24/01)

Susan Macdowell Eakins (9/1/01)

American Indian Portraits: Elbridge Ayer Burbank in the West (1897-1910) (8/23/01)

Process on Paper: Drawings from Charles Bregler's Thomas Eakins Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (8/16/01)

Frederick Carl Frieseke: The Evolution of an American Impressionist (7/6/01)

A Brush with History: Paintings from the National Portrait Gallery (5/12/01)

William Sergeant Kendall: American Master, by Robert Austin

Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery (3/22/01)

A Studio of Her Own: Boston Women Artists, 1870 - 1940 (2/16/01)

Process on Paper: Drawings by Thomas Eakins from the Charles Bregler Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2/12/01)

A Brush with History: Paintings from the National Portrait Gallery (1/19/01)

Virginia Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery (12/26/00)

John Singer Sargent (11/22/00)

American Indian Portraits: Elbridge Ayer Burbank in the West (1897-1910) (11/17/00)

The Gist of Drawings: Works on Paper by John Sloan (11/3/00)

Woman's World, 1880-1920: from Object to Subject (7/19/00)

Celebrating 200 Years: Du Pont Family Portraits (7/18/00)

Picturing Gentility: Portraits of Women in American Art (7/11/00)

John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Wertheimer Family (3/15/00)

John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Wertheimer Family (3/3/00)

1998-2000

John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Wertheimer Family (9/26/99)

John Singer Sargent (7/8/99)

John Singer Sargent in Houston Collections (9/21/98)

 

From other websites:

Alexander O. Levy: American Painter, Art Deco Artist, an exhibit held November 14, 2014 - March 29, 2015 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Includes essay by Scott Propeack, chief curator, Burchfield Penney Art Center. Accessed February, 2016.

American Faces: A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity is a 2017 exhibit at the Middlebury College Museum of Art which says: "American Faces: A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity, which opens February 17 at the Middlebury College Museum of Art, brings together ninety portraits from more than twenty collections to explore and explain why Americans have been fascinated with images of themselves for more than 300 years." Accessed 3/17

American Figurative Paintings Presented by Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers is a 2017 exhibit at the Huntington Museum of Art which says: "This exhibit will showcase a sampling of American paintings in the collection of the Huntington Museum of Art that feature the human form." Accessed 4/17

Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th Century American Art, an exhibit held June 29 - September 30, 2013 at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Includes videos. Accessed March, 2015.

Becoming the Butterfly, Portraits of James McNeill Whistler, an exhibit held April 30 - August 4, 2013 at the University of Virginia Art Museum. Includes exhibit extended object labels. Accessed May, 2015.

Charles Banks Wilson: The Artist as Historian, an exhibit held at the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art. Accessed April, 2015.

Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal is a 2014 exhibit at the Frick Art & Historical Center which says: "Celebrated for his sparkling canvases of women in outdoor settings, Charles Courtney Curran (1861-1942) brought the broken brushstrokes and sun-drenched palette of Impressionist painting to a distinctly American landscape, capturing the dappled sunlight, deep shadows, and scudding clouds of locations on Lake Erie and in the mountain hamlet of Cragsmoor, New York." Also see artdaily.com article. Accessed 2/17

Don Shelton website: Mr. Shelton wrote to TFAO: "I collect miniature portraits, especially American ones.  The overall collection is titled "Artists and Ancestors". There are over 300 American miniature portraits in the American section of the collection and they are illustrated and "published" on my website which has a home page at www.portrait-miniature.blogspot.com together with comprehensive research notes. I believe it to be one of the larger private collections of American miniatures in existence." Accessed August, 2015.

Eye on the Collection: Artful Poses, an exhibit held February 1 - March 30, 2014 at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy. Includes illustrated checklist. Accessed January, 2016.

Figuration in American Art: Selections from the Danforth Art Permanent Collection at North Hill is a 2016-18 exhibit at the Danforth Museum of Art which says: "This exhibition, composed of select works from Danforth Art's Permanent Collection, explores trends in figuration in American Art from the nineteenth century to the present day, tracing how subject and environment changed to reflect the time in which the work was created. Differing modes of representation reveal how artists chose to depict the figure across social, economic, and cultural divides, and provide a vital visual narrative." Accessed 1/17

Frank W. Benson: American Impressionist, an exhibit held September 29, 2000 to February 18, 2001 at the Peabody Essex Museum. Includes interactive website. Accessed April, 2015.

Gilded Age to Great War: Milton Bancroft and His Art was a 2016 exhibit at Indiana University of Pennsylvania Museum which says: "The exhibit relates the story of American artist Milton Herbert Bancroft and the struggles and triumphs of his career from the late 19th century through World War I -- a period of major social, cultural, and artistic change in America and Europe. It is also the story of preserving his artistic legacy for future generations." See a 26 min. Sep 14, 2016 YouTube documentary "IUP: The Milton Bancroft Art Conservation Project Documentary" about the artist and conservation of his paintings and "University Museum at IUP presents Gilded Age to Great War: Milton Bancroft and His Art" 3 min curator's tour of the exhibit. Accessed 10/16

The Golden Twenties: Portraits and Figure Paintings by Joseph Kleitsch is a 2017 exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art which says: "The Golden Twenties is the first museum exhibition to assemble Kleitsch's remarkable portraits and figure paintings. With a jewel-toned palette influenced by his native Hungary and a lighter, golden palette developed after his arrival in California, the works demonstrate the artist's exceptional ability to reveal the unique personality, demeanor, and essence of each subject." Also see the press release. Accessed 4/17

Human Connections: Figural Art from the Bruce Museum Collection, an exhibit held February 12, 2011 - June 5, 2011 at the Bruce Museum. From the Bruce Museum. Accessed May, 2014

Langdon Kihn: An American Story, an exhibit held March 22 - May 11, 2014 at the Foosaner Art Museum. Information includes curator essay by Dr. Clifford R. Bragdon, FASA, biography and images. Accessed February, 2016.

Lee Godie: Self-Portraits is a 2016 exhibit at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art which says: "A prolific self-taught artist and a fixture on the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago, Lee Godie (1908-1994) became well-known in the Chicago arts scene in the 1960s. Self-portraits are prevalent throughout Godie's portfolio of work but most significant are those taken in automatic photo booths in Chicago bus stations." Coverage includes curator's essay. Accessed 3/17

Nicolai Fechin is a 2013 exhibit at the Frye Art Museum which says: "The exhibition Nicolai Fechin, curated by Frye Director Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, provides a rare opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of this important émigré painter. With fifty-five paintings and drawings from the holdings of the Frye Art Museum, museums in the United States, and private lenders in both Russia and the United States, Nicolai Fechin concentrates on the early Russian period of the artist's career, a period in which the Frye Art Museum has particular strength, and concludes with paintings from Fechin's time in Taos and California." Accessed 3/17 Also see Nicolai Fechin from Resource Library

Picturing Identity: The Allure of Portraiture is a 2012-13 exhibit at the Figge Art Museum which says: "Critical approaches to portraiture observe that portraits are by definition always of and about someone but who this person is and how he/she is perceived depends on number of factors. In addition to being a product of a sitter's sense of how they would like to be represented, the artist's perception of the sitter, and the viewer's interpretation of the finished product, portraits are informed by the social and historical values and beliefs that frame these very perceptions." Accessed 2/17

Prominent Figures of the West from The T.B. Walker Collection of Portraits by Henry H. Cross, an exhibit held November 18, 2012 - March 31, 2013 at the Gilcrease Museum. Includes images of selected works in the exhibit. Accessed August, 2015.

This Kind of Bird Flies Backward: Paintings by Joan Brown, an exhibit held October 14, 2011 - March 11, 2012 at the San Jose Museum of Art. Includes essay by Jodi Throckmorton, Associate Curator, San Jose Museum of Art, and videos. Accessed March, 2015.

Viola Frey, an exhibit held March 4 - July 26, 2015 at the di Rosa Preserve. Includes exhibit brochure. Accessed December, 2015.

BBC presents Master Photographers: Andre Kertesz (1983) BBC series; part 1 9:54; part 2 10:20; part 3 7:32; part 4 3:52 Accessed May, 2015.

BBC News offers Diane Arbus exhibition opens at V&A The Victoria and Albert Museum is holding a major exhibition of the work of New York photographer Diane Arbus. Martin Barnes, curator of photography at the V&A Museum, described her contribution to the art of photography. Accessed May, 2015.

The WGBH/Boston Forum Network is an audio and video streaming web site dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures, including a number of videos on Art and Architecture. Partners include a number of museums, colleges, universities and other cultural organizations. See listings of related videos in this catalogue indexed by partner name. Old South Meeting House partnered with the WGBH Forum Network for Deaf Artist: The World of John Brewster, Jr.,(32 minutes) a lecture by Harlan Lane, psychologist, historian and distinguished professor at Northeastern University, examines this extraordinary American portrait artist and how his memberships within multiple worlds (Puritan, Federalist elite, Deaf and Art) converged to leave an enduring legacy. [September 23, 2004] Accessed May, 2015.

The San Diego Museum of Art produced a video titled Portrait of Mrs. Robert Henri, available online through ArtBabble. According to ArtBabble, "Robert Henri studied at both the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Though Thomas Eakins was no longer teaching at the Academy when Henri arrived, Eakins was immensely influential for Henri, who regarded him as the superior portrait painter in the United States and followed Eakins's bluntly realist style. Accessed June, 2015.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum's Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Art presents a one hour 15 min. video from the Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Art titled Looking at John Singer Sargent, September 15, 2010, by Erica Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Accessed August, 2015.

 

DVD/VHS videos:

Seth Eastman: Painting the Dakota showcases the unique body of work of one of the most significant American artists to the nineteenth century. This hour-long documentary takes viewers back vividly to the period and explore Eastman's complex relationship with his subjects.
 

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format.

 

Go to Figurative and Portrait Art: 18-19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century

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