Stanhope Forbes

Stanhope Forbes

Armand Cabrera

Stanhope Forbes was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1857. When he was eleven, Forbes began drawing at the encouragement of family friends who took him on sketching trips. In college, Forbes began studying under John Sparkes. Sparkes emphasized drawing from casts and models, as opposed to copying drawings by the masters. Forbes enrolled in the Royal Academy School and briefly studied under Millias, Leghton and Alma Tadema.

In 1880, Forbes traveled to France, enrolling in the studio of Leon Bonnat near Montmartre. In Bonnat’s classes, Forbes was trained to paint from life. However, Bonnat did not sympathize with outdoor painting that was becoming popular with the students at the time. By 1881, Forbes was working in Cancale with other students who revered painting outdoors. The sale of a figure painting to the Walker Art Gallery so inspired Forbes that he dedicated his career to outdoor figure work.

Forbes finished his two years of study in France and returned home to England where he was anxious to establish himself as an artist. He began searching for a picturesque village to paint. He settled on Newlyn in Cornwall. Artists had been visiting the coast of Cornwall for years. A recently built rail stop to Penzance, only a few miles from Newlyn, allowed artists to live in the area and still have easy access to London and their galleries. Because of Forbes’ financial and critical success, he was considered the leader of the Newlyn Colony.

In 1886, he became engaged to Elizabeth Armstrong—an artist who had come to Newlyn to paint the year before. They married in 1889.

Forbes fidelity to outdoor figure work required a Herculean effort. He did not believe in painting nature as is compositionally and so each painting required much planning.

One of his most successful works, “A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach” is 4 feet by 5 feet, with more than 26 figures. For this painting, Forbes had to contend with the challenges of weather and changing effects of light. To complicate matters, models were often unreliable.

Many of Forbes paintings were finished over months, not days, requiring the complexity equal to a movie set. To avoid losing precious time when the weather was inclement, Forbes painted interior scenes. Usually he was working on at least two paintings at the same time—one outdoor and one interior. His greatest successes came during the 1880’s and 1890’s. Forbes continued to paint Newlyn and its citizens for the rest of his life. He died in 1947 at the age of 90.

Stanhope Forbes and the Newlyn SchoolCaroline Fox
1993 David and Charles Publishing

The Good and Simple Life Artist Colonies in Europe and America
Michael Jacobs
1985 Phaidon Press

QuoteTo plant one’s easel down in the full view of all and work away in the midst of a large congregation needs a good deal of courage: but it takes even more to boldly ask some perfect stranger to pose for one under such trying conditions. But our principles demanded it and convinced of their virtue, I always strove to be consistent to them.
-Stanhope Forbes

Thomas Moran

Thomas MoranBy
Armand Cabrera

Thomas Moran was born in 1837 in Bolton, England—the fifth of seven children. His father was a handloom weaver. The industrial revolution motivated the family to move to the United States to escape unemployment and poverty. The Moran family settled in Kensington, near Philadelphia. Thomas Moran’s older brother, Edward, was the first to pursue art and become a successful marine painter. Young Thomas never had any formal training but was influenced by his older brother and his brother’s studio mate, John Hamilton. Thomas began frequenting his brother’s studio by 1855 and accompanied him on sketching trips. In 1862, the brothers returned to England to study the works of J.W.M. Turner. Thomas made copies of the paintings he saw at the National Gallery, trying to replicate the color and luminosity of Turner.

When Thomas returned to America, he found work as both a fine artist and a commercial illustrator. In 1871, at the request of Scribner’s Magazine, he was to redraw an amateur’s sketches of a trip to the Yellowstone region in Wyoming. Based on the unusual terrain in the sketches, Thomas decided to visit Yellowstone for himself. He borrowed money so he could accompany a survey party that was returning to the area later that year. The trip so inspired the young artist that he dedicated his life to the depiction of the American West.

Thomas Moran never painted with oils while traveling; instead he preferred to make sketches in watercolor, gouache and pencil and later translate these into his great pictures. He was not interested in recording nature literally. For Thomas, the truth was in his impression of the place. He used all means at his disposal to heighten the effect he was after.

It is believed that Thomas Moran’s paintings helped to secure Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon as National Parks. His paintings, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Chasm of the Colorado and Mountain of the Holy Cross became icons of the American Landscape.

At the turn of the century, Thomas Moran was attacked for being outdated. However, Moran’s paintings never fell out of favor with the public. He enjoyed continued artistic success until his death at the age of ninety.

Thomas MoranNancy K. Anderson
Yale University Press

Splendors of the American West: Thomas Moran’s Art of the Grand Canyon and YellowstoneAnne Morand, Joni L. Kinsey, Mary Panzer
Birmingham Museum of Art

Thomas Moran The Field Sketches, 1856-1923Anne Morand
University of Oklahoma Press

In working I use my memory. This I have trained from youth, so that while sketching I impress indelibly upon my memory the features of the landscape and the combinations of coloring so that when back in the studio the watercolor will recall vividly all the striking peculiarities of the scenes visited. ~Thomas Moran

Frederick Mulhaupt

Frederick MulhauptBy
Armand Cabrera

Frederick Mulhaupt was born in Rockport, Missouri on March 28th, 1871. As a boy, he operated a newspaper stand in Dodge City, Kansas. After moving to Kansas City, Missouri, he apprenticed to a sign painter and studied at the Kansas City School of Design. His interest in art brought him to Chicago to study at the Art Institute there. Mulhaupt was one of the founding members of the Palette and Chisel Club in Chicago. The Club was organized so evening students from the Institute who worked during the week could paint the figure during the day on weekends. Mulhaupt became an instructor at the institute in 1902, teaching figure classes.

In 1904, Mulhaupt moved to New York to further his career. From there, he traveled to Paris and lived there for several years and continued his artistic training. While in Paris, he traveled to St. Ives in Cornwall, England. It may have been there that Mulhaupt became interested in depictions of harbor scenes and the working life of the fishermen.

On his return to the United States, Mulhaupt again settled in New York. Beginning in 1907, he summered in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It was in Gloucester that Mulhaupt’s powers as an artist came into full bloom. After marrying Agnes Kingsley in 1921, they moved to Gloucester the following year and remained there fulltime.

Mulhaupt’s depictions of Cape Ann and the surrounding area offered an endless opportunity for the painter. His depictions of the working harbor of Gloucester brought Mulhaupt much recognition. He was a member of the Salmagundi Club in New York and was voted to the National Academy of Design in 1926. He was a founding member of the North Shore Art Association and exhibited in the shows every year from 1923 until his death in 1938. Mulhaupt died at his easel of a heart attack.

Frederick J. Mulhaupt
Dean of the Cape Ann School
Kathleen Kienholz/ North Shore Art Association

QuoteThere were many painters in Gloucester in the old days that were more exact than he was…but many of these painters might just as well have been painting in England or Norway. Mulhaupt got the smell of Gloucester on Canvas. He captured the mood of the place.
~Emile A. Gruppe

Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

Armand Cabrera

Frederick Childe Hassam was born on October 17, 1859 in Dorchester Massachusetts. His name (pronounced HASS um) is a corruption of the English surname Horsham. In his late teens, Hassam worked as a wood engraver. He later pursued illustration while attending the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts. In 1882, Hassam presented his first of many Solo Exhibitions. This show, which contained over 50 watercolors of New England landscape subjects, was held at Williams and Everett Gallery in Boston—one of the city’s oldest galleries. In 1883, Hassam made his first trip to Europe. On his return to Boston, Hassam held another show at the Williams and Everett Gallery with more than 60 watercolors from his travels.

Hassam was married in 1884 to Kathleen Maude Doane and the couple moved to Boston’s South End. It was here that Hassam began to paint the city motifs for which he would become famous. These early paintings, while not true impressionism in execution, shared the same concern for modern subject matter. The paintings show more consideration for subtle tonal variations than bright color.

With the critical success of his paintings and a steady income from illustration, Hassam decided to go to Paris in 1886 for further study. He and his wife settled in Montmartre near Paris and Hassam enrolled in the Academie Julian where he studied under Jules LeFebvre. After a year and a half of study, Hassam was dissatisfied with the Academie. He turned his attention to exhibiting in Paris and displayed his work at the Paris salons of 1887 and 1888. Participating in the Exposition Universelle of 1889, he received a Bronze Medal. In 1889, Hassam and his wife returned to America. He was 30 years old.

Hassam and his wife moved to New York City. Hassam became active in many art organizations. He founded “The Ten” which included Willard Metcalf, William Merrit Chase and Frank Benson, among others. Although Hassam downplayed his European experience, it significantly affected his painting style. Hassam’s brushwork became more broken in application and his palette lightened.

Hassam was considered the foremost proponent of American Impressionism during his lifetime. He garnered critical acclaim as well as great financial success. After World War I, Hassam’s finest paintings regularly sold for $10,000 or more and his income from painting sales was rumored to be $100,000 in 1920. He died in East Hampton, New York in 1935.

Childe Hassam American Impressionist
H. Barbara Weinberg
Yale University Press

Childe Hassam: An Island Garden Revisited
David Park Curry
Yale University Press

The Flag Paintings of Childe HassamIlene Susan Fort
National Gallery of Art

QuoteThe man who will go down to posterity is the man who paints his own time and the scenes of everyday life around him. ~ Childe Hassam

Maynard Dixon

Maynard Dixon

Armand Cabrera

Lafayette Maynard Dixon Was born in 1875 in Fresno CA. He began drawing at age seven and was encouraged by his mother and grandfather to develop his talent. Growing up on his grandfathers ranch Maynard had plenty of subject matter for his art. At sixteen his father died and the family soon moved to Alameda CA where Maynard enrolled in the San Francisco School of Design across the bay to study under Arthur Mathews. His time at the school was short though. Maynard who was used to working from life felt stifled in the classroom working from castes and after a few months he quit school.

He became acquainted with Raymond Yelland who helped Dixon with oils and watercolors. Maynard acknowledged Yelland as the only worthwhile professional help he received as an artist.
In 1893 Maynard made many sketching trips in California and moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in Illustration. He began working for the Overland Monthly and the Morning Call. It was in the pages of these magazines where Maynard sharpened his picture making skills. In 1899 He accepted the position of Art Director for William Randolph Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner. In 1900 Maynard began to feel the strain of constant deadlines and began taking trips to the rest of the western states around California. His travels throughout the Southwest solidified his connection to the Native American culture that had intrigued him his whole life. It was during this time he adopted the symbol of the thunderbird replacing his signature with this icon.

In 1905 he married Lillian West they had one child. Displaced by the great quake and fire of 1906 in San Francisco Maynard lost almost everything he owned. He headed to New York with his family to work for Harpers and other National magazines but the big city was not for him by 1912 he was back in San Francisco.

Maynard gave up illustration to pursue easel painting and mural work. He divorced his first wife in 1920 and Married Dorothea Lange a successful photographer, they had two children.

When the depression hit in 1929 Maynard worked on murals for the WPA in 1935 he divorced again and married artist Edith Hamlin in 1937.
Maynard had always suffered from asthma and rheumatism and as his health deteriorated he moved to Tucson to help his illness. He and his new wife split their time between Tucson Mount Carmel Utah. Maynard Dixon died in Tucson in 1946 at the age of 71.



Desert Dreams: The Art and Life of Maynard DixonDonald J. Hagerty
Peregrine Smith Books

Maynard Dixon Artist of the West
Wesley Burnside
Brigham Young University Press

Quote My object has always been to get as close to the real thing as possible- people animals and country. The melodramatic Wild West idea is not for me the big possibility. The more lasting qualities are in the quiet and more broadly human aspects of Western life.
-Maynard Dixon