Anders Zorn

Anders Zorn

By
Armand Cabrera

Anders Zorn was born in Mora, Sweden on February 18, 1860. Although his mother never married Zorn’s father and Anders never met him, Anders was acknowledged and allowed to carry his father’s name. His grandparents raised Zorn. At the age of 15, Zorn attended the Royal Academy in Stockholm.


His initial interest was sculpture, but he later switched to watercolors. In 1880, one of his watercolor paintings was recognized at the student exhibition. This introduced him to Stockholm society and many commissions soon followed. Zorn married Emma Lamm in 1885.

In 1887, the Zorn’s spent time in St. Ives in Cornwall, England. It was here he changed his medium to oils. His second oil painting was exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1888 and was bought by the French State.

Zorn’s oil portraits launched him into international acclaim. The use of a limited palette of red, yellow, black and white added an economy and unity to his paintings. His ability to capture the individual character of his models and his bravura brushwork attracted many patrons.

Zorn also embraced naturalism; painting models outdoors or in natural settings for the sitter instead of the artist’s studio.

In 1893, Zorn was chosen to supervise the Columbian World Fair in Chicago, Illinois. This was the first of many lucrative trips to the USA for Zorn and his wife. He received many portrait commissions from American society—including several Presidents and Isabella Stewart Gardner, the most prominent American art patron of the time.

In 1896, the Zorn’s returned to Sweden and began to build Zorngarden in Mora. The Zorn’s helped to preserve folk culture of Mora, establishing a music contest and schools in the area. Zorn is credited with creating a folk music revival in Sweden. Zorn was also a successful sculptor and etcher producing nearly 300 etchings in his career.

Zorn died on August 22,1920.

Emma survived Anders by 21 years. She created a museum in his honor and continued the philanthropic work to preserve the ancient culture of Dalarna, and the folk dialect and traditions of Mora started with her husband.


Bibliography
Zorn Swedish Painter and World Traveler
Gerda Boethius
English Text

Anders ZornAlbert Engstrom
Swedish Text

Zorn’s Engraved Work
Two Volumes
Karl Asplund
English Text

Quote
Where others found inspiration in dreams I found it in Nature. Many have called that a lack of imagination. I gladly call it a love of reality.~ Anders Zorn

Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt


By
Armand Cabrera

Mary Cassatt was born in Allegheny City, (Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania in 1844, the daughter of Robert Simpson Cassatt and Katherine Kelso Johnston. Cassatt’s father was a stockbroker and real estate investor. When Cassatt was seven, her family moved to Europe—first living in France and then in Germany. They returned to America in 1855.

Cassatt enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1861. After four years, Cassatt became dissatisfied with the curriculum at the Academy and decided to pursue independent study of the Masters in the museums of France, Italy and Spain. In the 1860’s, this decision was unthinkable for most Victorian women born into a well-to-do family. The idea of women pursuing a career—let alone a career in art—was vulgar to most of society and would have risen more than a few eyebrows. Cassatt prevailed over her family’s protestations and moved to Paris. In Paris, she briefly studied in the Atelier of Charles Chaplin and then studied on her own.


In 1871, Cassatt fled France at the outbreak of the Franco Prussian War and returned to America. Later, she moved to Parma, Italy where she studied engraving at the Parma Academy. While in Italy, her first painting was accepted into the Paris Salon under the name of “Mary Stevenson”.

In 1874, she returned to Paris. Cassatt admired the work of Manet and Degas. Although she continued to submit to the Salon, she was sympathetic towards the goals of the younger artists. These artists sought the right to freely exhibit their work without the restrictive jury process followed by the salons. In 1877, she was rejected from the Salon Show and never submitted again. Cassatt later met Degas. He admired her work and invited her to show with the Impressionists. She participated in four Impressionist shows–the only American to do so. Cassatt focused on capturing modern women in natural settings. Her strong composition and drawing skills set her apart from most of the other Impressionists. She was a fine printmaker and produced groundbreaking work in that field. Cassatt was instrumental in seeing that Impressionist’s works were collected in America. She helped build the Havemeyer Collection which contained many fine examples of Manet, Monet and Degas work. In 1892, Cassatt created a mural for the Chicago Columbian Exhibition. With the sales from her second One Woman Show, Cassatt bought a 17th Century Manor in the Oise Valley in France. It became her summer home for the rest of her life.

Mary Cassatt developed cataracts in 1915, forcing her to abandon her painting the last ten years of her life. She died in 1926.


Bibliography

Mary Cassatt: Modern WomanArt Institute of Chicago
Abrams

Mary Cassatt Oils and PastelsE. John Bullard
Watson Guptill

Mary CassattNancy Mowll Mathews
Abrams

Quote

I have tried to express the modern woman in the fashions of our day, the sweetness of childhood, the charm of womanhood if I have not conveyed some sense of that charm, in one word if I have not been absolutely feminine, then I have failed.~ Mary Cassatt

Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam


By
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.

Bibliography
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

Elizabeth Forbes

Elizabeth A. Forbes


By
Armand Cabrera

Elizabeth Armstrong was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1859. Her father encouraged her artistic abilities. He died of a stroke after sending Elizabeth and her mother (as chaperone) to school in England. Elizabeth returned to Canada in 1878. Elizabeth and her mother soon moved to New York where Elizabeth enrolled in the Art Students League. Elizabeth stayed at the League for three years, studying with William Merritt Chase. Chase was a strong proponent of painting from life and encouraged his students to do the same. Chase directed Elizabeth to continue her studies in Munich, where Chase had been trained. In Munich, Elizabeth confronted many difficult barriers. Being a woman and Canadian-born, she suffered much discrimination. After only five months of study, Elizabeth chose to return to Canada to escape the prejudice.


In 1882, Elizabeth persuaded her mother to move again. This time they traveled to Pont Avon, Brittany. There she participated in an active and lively art colony dedicated to outdoor study. In 1885, Elizabeth and her mother continued on to Newlyn. By this time, an uncle in London helped to establish a market for Elizabeth’s watercolors and etchings. It was in Newlyn where she met her future husband, the painter, Stanhope Forbes. They married in 1889. At that time, Stanhope was considered the leader of the Newlyn style.

Elizabeth was extremely hard-working and prolific; her marriage did little to change her habits. She showed her work at the Grosvenor Gallery in London as well as at the Royal Academy and the Society of British Artists. She won a Gold Medal in 1893 at the Chicago Exhibition. She also raised a son, taught classes, wrote poetry and edited The Paperchase, a magazine produced for the Newlyn artists. Elizabeth’s sensitive paintings of children were recognized for their fine draughtsmanship and color.

Elizabeth owned a movable studio on wheels. She would take this studio to locations and paint her models at the scene. Tragically, Elizabeth died in 1912 at the age of 53.


Bibliography
Stanhope Forbes and the Newlyn SchoolCarolyn Fox
David and Charles Publishers

The Good Simple Life: Artists Colonies in America and Europe
Michael Jacobs
Phaidon Press

Quote

It becomes a duel a l’outrance between artist and model, till at last, with the conviction that inextinguishable hatred has been kindled in those childish breasts the painter…returns on his road. But the children keep no grudges; the same rows of smiling eyes watch for my coming the next day and the duel begins anew…~Elizabeth Forbes talking about using children as models.

Theodore Robinson

Theodore Robinson

By
Armand Cabrera

Theodore Robinson was born in Wisconsin in 1852. At his mother’s encouragement, he enrolled in the Chicago Academy of Fine Art. His schooling was cut short by chronic asthma, which was aggravated by Chicago’s cold weather. Robinson returned home until he could save enough money for his education. In 1874, he enrolled in the National Academy of Design in New York City.


In 1875, Robinson, a teacher and other students at the academy formed “The Art Students League of New York”. Robinson split his studies between the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. In 1876, Robinson traveled to Paris to study with Carolus Duran. For reasons that are not clear, Robinson found Duran’s teaching unsatisfactory.

Robinson began to study with Jean Leon Gerome, a popular teacher of American students. Gerome was the foremost proponent of the Academic style. Gerome’s classes focused on accurately portraying the figure. An excellent student, Robinson was honored by having a portrait accepted into the annual Paris Salon. Robinson took some time off from his studies to join his friends in Grez, a small village outside the forest of Fontainebleau. In Grez, the students painted from life. It was here that Robinson became fascinated with the Impressionist idea of recording modern experience painted from life.

Robinson returned to New York in 1879. A few years later, he took a job teaching and creating mural projects for a decorating company. In 1884, Robinson traveled to Giverny. He met Monet and forged a friendship that lasted the rest of his life. For the rest of his life, Robinson split his time between Europe and America.

In France, Robinson began melding his formal training with the new ideas of Impressionism. He developed his own, personal style of Impressionism. In 1890, he was awarded the Web Prize at the Society of American Artists Show for his painting, “Winter Landscape”. It was the first Impressionist painting to ever receive the award.
Robinson refined his technique over the next few years, garnering acclaim and awards in America. Tragically, at only 43 years of age, Robinson died after succumbing to his plaguing asthma.


Bibliography
Theodore Robinson
Michael Owen, D. Scott Atkinson, Brian Paul Clamp
Owen Gallery Exhibition Catalogue

Cos Cob Art ColonySusan Larkin
Yale University Press

In Monet’s Light: Theodore Robinson in Giverny
Sona Johnston
Baltimore Museum of Art

Quote
Although the possibilities are very great for the moderns (impressionists) they must draw without ceasing…and with the brilliancy and light of real outdoors-combine with austerity, the sobriety that has always characterized good painting.
-Theodore Robinson