New Dean Cornwell Book

Armand Cabrera

The Illustrated Press is publishing a new Dean Cornwell book. This book is the first new book on Cornwell in 38 years. The original book by Patricia Broder was first published in 1978 and reprinted in 2000.

This new book is 9 x 12 inches, 224 pages and contains 260 illustrations with many full page images and is in full color. The price for the regular edition is $44.95 plus shipping. The 1978 book had less than half the images in color.

The new book has sold out of its slipcased numbered limited edition and is almost sold out of the first run of the regular edition so if you are interested in a copy make sure you order soon.

Mathias J Alten


Armand Cabrera

Alten was born in 1871 near Tier, in Gusenburg, in the Prussian Rhineland. Alten was one of four children. The Alten family immigrated to the United States in 1889 settling in Grand Rapids Michigan. The young Alten apprenticed as a decorator. By 1895 Alten was married to Bertha Schwind and the couple operating a business together Schwind and Alten, offering art supplies, frames, sign painting, fresco painting for churches and scene painting for theaters.  
In 1898 Alten decided he needed academic training to improve his work. He went to Paris to study under Benjamin Constant and Jean Paul Laurens at the Academie Julian.
Alten returned to Grand Rapids and established himself as the premier painter there. His business thrived and he taught drawing and painting classes from the live model.
Alten showed versatility for many different subjects, figurative, portraits, and landscapes but his focus was always the working class. He eschewed parlor scenes for depictions of agrarian labor and common people.

As Alten became more renowned he began holding yearly studio exhibitions with great success.  Eventually these exhibitions moved to larger public spaces as his stature grew.
In 1910 Alten and his family went to Holland for a year and painted many coastal scenes of Fishermen and their boats. On their return Alten saw a show of the Spanish painter Sorolla whose paintings of Valencia fisherman inspired Alten.  After the success of Alten’s Dutch paintings he decided to travel to Spain to paint similar subjects.
The Spanish paintings by Alten were well received in Grand Rapids upon his return in 1911. Alten’s plans for more travel in Europe were curtailed by the outbreak of World War I. Instead the artist focused on Michigan scenes and portrait commissions. After the war Alten began traveling around the United States and holding shows in Los Angeles, Detroit and New York. He painted in California, New Mexico, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida.
 His exhibition schedule and portrait commissions kept him in demand and travelling around the country throughout the decade of the 1920’s and into the 1930’s until the time of his death in 1938.


Mathias J Alten: Journey of and American Painter
Various Authors

Published by the Grand Rapids Art Museum 1998

Chauncey Foster Ryder 1868-1949

Armand Cabrera

Chauncey Foster Ryder was born in 1868 in Danbury Connecticut. Ryder studied at the Art institute of Chicago and at the Académie Julian in Paris under Jean Paul Laurens. Ryder is most often associated with the Tonalist and Post-Impressionist art movements. His work leans toward abstraction without giving up representational depictions completely.  A strong sense of design and powerful brush calligraphy are apparent in both his oils and watercolors. His use of greens and grays led to the term Ryder Green in his paintings.

 Ryder was equally skilled as a watercolorist and oil painter. Starting around 1910 he also made etchings and lithographs. He kept studios in both New York and New Haven.He was honored as an Academician of the National Academy of Design in 1914.

He is represented in over 50 Museum collections with three paintings in the Smithsonian collection. During his career, he was awarded many gold medals for both his oils and watercolors.  Some of his awards were from the National Academy, the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, The National Arts Club, The American Watercolor Society and The New York Watercolor Society.
Chauncey Foster Ryder died in Wilton, New Hampshire in 1949.

A History of American Tonalism: 1880–1920
Cleveland, David Adams
Hudson Hills Press 2010

William Bliss Baker

Armand Cabrera

William Bliss Baker was born in New York City in 1859. At 17 he began studying at the National Academy of Design with Albert Bierstadt and Mauritz De Haas. Baker showed ability from the beginning of his studies and quickly became known to art critics. Baker won the Elliott prize during his first exhibit in 1879 at the academy and in 1885 Baker won the Julius Hallgarten Prize at the Academy for his painting Woodland Brook. 

Baker built a studio named ‘The Castle’ in Clifton Park on Ballston Lake and also maintained a studio in the Knickerbocker building in New York City. Baker was just beginning his career when he died from complications following a skating accident. In his short time working he completed just over 130 paintings before his death in 1886 at the age of 27.

                                                                             The Castle
Bakers work shows a maturity and confidence for someone so young. His vision is fully formed and his statements carry authenticity and reverence for his subjects.
I couldn't find any books on WBB (Information for this bio came from Wikipedia and Quest Royal Galleries and other online sources)


Credit:  Historic photo of ‘The Castle’ from John Scherer from an article in the Daily Gazettte by Bill Buel