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Art Glossary
Art Glossary Terms: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



The first female gallery cooperative in the United States, it was founded in 1972 in SoHo, New York City, at 97 Wooster Street and continuing into the 21st century is located at 111 Front Street in Brooklyn. It is a non-profit organization focused on promoting diversity and talent of women artists. It was organized at a time when feminism had barely affected the New York art scene and when commercial galleries were featuring male artists almost exclusively. Founding members included Louise Bourgeois, Nancy Spero and Howardena Pindell. The name evolved from the words 'Artist in Residence', which in 1972 referred to City certification, which allowed artists to live in some illegal Soho commercial spaces. Source: Wikipedia,


An ongoing research effort led by Harold Cohen, it is focused on autonomous art making machines, whose artificial intelligence has produced thousands of drawings, some with color. Cohen, an English painter, is based in California at the University of California, San Diego, having begun in 1973 at Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Lab. His work has been demonstrated world wide including the Boston Science Museum; Tate Gallery, London; and World's Fair in Tsukuba, Japan in 1985. Source:

Abbey Fellowship/Scholarship for Painters

Named for painter Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911), the Abbey Fellowships and Scholarships offer all expense paid residencies to United States and British artists to study painting at the British School at Rome, Italy. The Abbey Council administers the awards. Scholarships are usually given for nine months to emerging painters, and Fellowships are awarded for three months to mid-career painters. Among the recipients are Sidney Simon, Marta Marce, Roxy Walsh and Des Lawrence. (See British School at Rome) Sources: IIEPASSPORT Study Abroad Funding;


An Italian word that in English means 'sketch'. In fine art, the term refers to the initial drawing or outline on the canvas or the first under-painting; in sculpture the Abbozzo is the material, such as a lump of clay or chunk of wood, that has the rough form of the final piece. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"

Abilene Art League

An art organization of Abilene, Texas, dating from 1930 to the end of the 1940s with 24 initial members. By 1933, it was part of the Abilene Women's Club and held continuous exhibitions and lectures. Source: John and Deborah Powers, "Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists"

Absentee Bid

An auction bid by a person not attending the auction. Also called an "Order Bid", it can be placed by using an auction catalogue printed absentee form or by other off-site methods such as a phone-in, email method, or other arrangement agreeable to the auction house. Source:

Abstract Art/Abstraction

Terms with wide-ranging meaning, but always descriptive of artwork in which the realistic depiction of objects ranges from secondary to barely existent. Many scholars link Abstraction to that which is derivative or based on some element of reality. Although it could be argued that the dramatic landscapes of many of the Hudson River painters were abstracted to emphasize emotion rather than visual reality, Impressionism was the first major step into Abstraction and was a critical break with Realism, which shocked many viewers and stirred widespread critical commentary in Europe and America. Of the tension created among many Americans when they first encountered abstraction, Ruth Appledoorn Mead, founder of the Martha's Vineyard Art Association, said contemporary and realistic art belong together. "Learning to appreciate distortion is like learning to appreciate olives and clams." (Old Sculplin Gallery) Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism continued the march of Abstraction into the 20th Century. Terms related to abstraction include Non Objective and Non Representational, but those terms are usually associated with subject matter that is invented and totally distanced from recognizable physical images. The first purely abstract painting in the modern tradition is usually held to be a watercolor produced by Wassilj Kandinsky in about 1910. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Alfred Barr, "Art and Theory, 1900-1990"; Alfred Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Old Sculplin Gallery, Edgartown, Massachusetts

Abstract Expressionism

A term referring to an art movement in the 1940s and 1950s where the essence of the work was the artist's personal involvement based on emotion rather than a desire for realistic depiction or conformity with work by other artists. Many consider Abstract Expressionism the first truly American art movement, although it had roots both in America and Europe. Some European artists who had fled the Hitler regime to America such as Max Ernst, Fernand Leger, Hans Hofmann and Piet Mondrian, were involved along with Americans Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock. There were two aspects. Action Painting and Abstract Image Painting. Art writer Robert Coates first used the term Abstract Expressionism to describe contemporary paintings in the March 30, 1946 issue of "The New Yorker" magazine. Great proponents of the movement were critics Harold Rosenberg and Clement Greenberg. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms".

Abstract Figurative

A style description of an image that implies the shape of a human figure but in a way that is not completely realistic. The term is somewhat ambiguous because figurative has two meanings, one being the figure depicted realistically and the other being the figure with abstract elements. So the wording Abstract Figurative simply clarifies that the figure is not totally recognizable as a figure. However the suggestion of figure as subject is there. Source: Robert Atkins, "ART SPOKE"

Academic Art

Taught according to established rules in official art schools or academies, which began to proliferate from the early 18th century in Europe. London's Royal Academy and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris offered structured curriculums focused on history painting, portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and genre in that order of importance. Instruction progressed from drawing from classical statues or plaster casts to modeling from nudes to applying paint to original work. Because the 19th-century academies in Europe and America tended to be conservative and dominated by males, the term Academic Art has come to mean that which is traditional and which is the opposite of innovative or creative. In the 20th century with the advent of abstraction, the term Academic Art has negative connotations suggesting that a work is long on knowledge and technical expertise and lacking in emotional inspiration. Sources: Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"; Robert Atkins, "Artspoke"

Academic Realism/Munich School

Strongly aligned with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich Germany, Academic Realism "is the most important artistic movement of Greek Art in the 19th century with strong influences from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Munich." Characteristic style is an abundant, use of colors that overshadow figural expression, theatrical or dramatic presentation, and focus on urban and rural life with special focus on architecture. Academic Realist painters specialize in still life, portraits and landscapes, and include Theodoros Vryzakis and Dionysios Tsokos, Greek artists in residence at the Munich Academy who were from the newly freed Greece from Turkey. The movement diminished in the mid-19th century with painters moving towards impressionism, and ended when Greek painters departed from the Munich Academy to teach at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Source:


One who belongs to one of the art academies such as the National Academy of Design in New York. Also the term applies to artists who adhere to academic or traditional styles that are taught in academies. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Academie Carmen

An art school established in Paris in 1898 by James McNeill Whistler, painter and instructor, it closed in 1901 perhaps due to Whistler’s reputation as an unpredictable and difficult instructor. Among the students were Clifford Addams, Gwen John, Frederick Frieseke, Lucia Matthews, Alson Skinner Clark and Will Howe Foote. According to the AskART biography of Gwen John, Whistler claimed not to be teaching art but teaching the scientific application of paints and brushes." Source: AskART biographies

Academie de France a Rome/French Academy-Rome

Known as The French Academy in Rome, it was founded in 1666 as a branch of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture by Louis XIV. During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, it was the coveted place of study for painting, sculpture, and architecture students from France who won the Prix de Rome or Rome Prize (see Glossary). The study period was 3 to 5 years. The idea was that being in Rome gave them the opportunity to study treasures of Antiquity and the Renaissance, and in turn to use their knowledge to perpetuate those styles in Paris. These programs were interrupted by World War II, and French cultural entities lost control of the property, and enrollment expanded beyond French boundaries and to many artistic fields including music. Sources:

Academie Delacluse

Regarded as one of the more reactionary, leading edge ateliers in Paris, it was located in the Rue Notre Dame des Champs in Montparnasse. The founder was painter Auguste Joseph Delecluse (1855-1928). Primary teachers were Delecluse, Georges Callot and Paul Delance. By the early 20th century, this academie was diminishing as an influence. Among American artists who studied there are Guy Rose, Alson Skinner Clark, John Marin, Jean Mannheim and Gustave Cimiotti. The school should not be confused with the Academie Delecluze, also likely to have been located in Montparnasse but much less known than the Academie Delacluse, and founded by Eugene Delecluze, French painter and etcher who was born in 1882. Sources: Peter Hastings Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art", p. 36;; AskART database

Academie Delacluze

Likely to have been located in Montparnasse but much less known than the Academie Delacluse with whom it is sometimes confused, it was founded by Eugene Delecluze, French painter and etcher who was born in 1882. Sources: Peter Hastings Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art", p. 36;; AskART database

Academie des Beaux-Arts, Paris

See Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris

Academie Humbert

Founded in the early 20th century by portraitist Jacques Fernand Humbert in Paris, the school offered Saturday art classes conducted by Humbert and Tuesday and Thursday classes by Albert Wallet and Francois Thevenot. Tuition was 320 francs per year, and classes included nude models. Source:

Academie Ranson

It was founded in Paris in 1908 by Paul Ranson (1862-1909), who had been a student at the Academie Julian, and who, along with his wife, was a great admirer of the work of Paul Gaughin. Ranson died a year after the school opened, and his wife, France Ranson, took over as Director. It was first on Rue Henri Monnier in the 9th Arrondissement, and then on Rue Joseph Bara in the Montparnasse District. Enrollment was flexible, from a week to a year, and among the teachers were Maurice Denis, Paul Serusier and Edouard Vuillard. These teachers reflected the Nabi movement and were influential in the school's being a proponent of that style: simplification of line and color and emphasis on decoration. Beginning 1914, World War I depleted the supply of teachers, but the school survived with many alumni taking over. It closed for several years during World War II, re-opened from 1951 to 1955, and then closed that year. Source:émie_Ranson

Academie Scandinave/Scandinavian Academy

The Academie Scandinave (AKA: Maison Watteau, AKA: the Scandinavian Academy) was an art school run by Swedish, Norwegian and Danish artists housed in the former studio of Jean Antoine Watteau in Paris. It operated between 1922 and 1935 under the direction of sculptor Lena Borjeson (1879 - 1976). Teachers at the school included Scandinavians Otte Skold and Per Krohg and non Scandinavians André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Charles Dufresne, Marcel Gromaire and Emile Othon Friesz. Source: UMM Artist Information Portal. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.


A Greek word meaning ‘garden’ and specifically the garden where philosopher Plato did his teaching. From that time, the term has come to reference a variety of state-sponsored teaching institutions. During the Renaissance, art academies began to form in Europe beginning with Italy in the late 16th century, France in the 17th, England in the 18th and the United States in the 19th century. With these entities, the word Academy took on the meaning of a formal body of artists associated with unified purposes. These shared goals included the promoting of their national art, certain tenants of creating and exhibiting that art, and the conferring of special distinction with election to Academy membership---hence the word, academician. Academies are often rebelled against by innovative artists because of tendencies of academy members to embrace status quo or traditional work. Before the early 20th century, artists rebelling against the academies in America and Europe had few places to exhibit their work because museums and galleries were seldom open to rebellious movements. However, the advent of modernist galleries and museums provided venues for experimental art. In New York City, places welcoming modern art included Gallery 291 operated by Alfred Steiglitz, the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. Today there is coexistence with modernist venues and the more conservative academies including the National Academy of Design in New York, the Royal Academy in England and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in France. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms" by Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon.

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Founded in 1692 in Austria by Peter Strudl (1660-1714), painter, sculptor, and court-painter, the Academy was private and had him as its first Director until his death. Then the school closed for eleven years but reopened to become a highly prestigious institution that embraced all existing Austrian art schools. In 1877, a new building at Schillerplatz opened, and the Academy remains at that location. During the Nazi era the Academy was forced to dismiss Jewish faculty members, but after the war it was rebuilt and today has university status. In 1907 and 1908, a young man and aspiring artist named Adolf Hitler was twice denied admission. It is speculated that this denial set this watercolorist on a divergent path that affected millions of other persons---far beyond the Vienna Academy. Graduates include Egon Schiele, Oskar Laske, Joanna Gleich, and Otto Wagner. Source: Wikipedia; AskART biographies

Academy of Realist Art, Toronto

With a curriculum based on classical techniques and teaching methods of 19th century European teachers such as Jean Leon Gerome, the school is part of a system that offers instruction in London, Boston and Edinburgh as well as Toronto. Teachers in Toronto include Fernando Freitas and Juan Carlos Martinez. Source:

Academy of Saint Luke, Accademia di San Luca

Founded in 1577, it was an association of artists in Rome, Italy whose purpose was to elevate status of painters, sculptors and architects above 'mere' craftsmen. It was named for Saint Luke, the patron saint of painters' guilds, because he reportedly made a portrait of the Virgin Mary. From the late 16th century until the 20th century, the Academy was located in the Roman Forum, but now is in Palazzo Carpegna. The Academy has a collection of over 500 portraits because each member has been required to donate a work of art in perpetual memory as well as a portrait. Source: Wikipedia:

Academy Ozenfant

Founded by Amedee Ozenfant in 1932 in Paris, France, it began in a studio apartment designed by his friend, Le Corbusier. The school closed in 1936 when Ozenfant left for London.

Academy/Academie Colarossi

An art school in Paris, France, founded in the 19th century by Filippo Colarossi, an Italian sculptor. Progressive, it was known for its life model classes and unlike other academies, allowed women into these classes. The school closed in the 1930s, and Colarossi's wife burned the school archives out of bitterness with her husband's infidelity. American students included Thomas Hart Benton, Guy Pene Du Bois, George Aldrich, Cecilia Beaux, Myron Barlow, Charles Demuth, Bradley Tomlin, and Max Weber. Sources:émie_Colarossi; AskART database

Academy/Academie Grande Chaumiere

Located from 1904 at 14 Rue de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, France, it became one of the more famous art schools in Europe. It was founded by Martha Settler (1870-1945), the daughter of a Swiss architect, Eugen Stettler. For many years the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle led the school, which closed in 1958. American students included Isamu Noguchi, Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois and Adolph Gottleib. Sources:émie_de_la_Grande_Chaumière; AskART database

Academy/Academie Julian

Founded in 1868 by M. Rodolph Julian and located on the Rue de Dragon in the Latin Quarter, the facility became one of the best-known private schools in Paris in the second half of the 19th Century. The Academie began with Julian, an art student supporting himself as a wrestler and circus manager, placing a sign outside a rented building. He persuaded artists to serve as visiting professors. The school expanded to five locations throughout France, and eventually became more prestigeous than Ecole des Beaux Arts, the official state school. Many Americans with art talent took their training at the Academy Julian because of the lack of art schools in America. Well-known American artists who attended the Academie Julian include Robert Henri, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Hart Benton, Robert Rauschenberg, Cecilia Beaux, Grant Wood, Edmund Tarbell, Mary Cassatt, and Joseph Henry Sharp. The early curriculum was "strictly academic and subscribed to a literary and sentimental form of naturalism". (Phaidon) However, unlike the Ecole, Julian's curriculum was influenced by modernism. An important emphasis was student critique of each other's work rather than the professor being the all-dominant authority in the classroom. Some of the more famous teachers were William Bouguereau, Gustave Boulanger, Jules Lefebvre, Tony Robert Fleury, and Jean Leon Gerome. Sources: H. Barbara Weinberg, "The Lure of Paris"; "Phaidon Dictionary of American Art"; Ingrid Swanson, 'Anna Huntington Stanley', "American Art Review", pp. 120-121

Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze

An art academy in Florence, Italy, it was founded in 1563 by Cosimo I de Medici under the influence of Giorgio Vasari. Its first location was the Church of the Santissima Annuziata. Early Academy members were the "most eminent artistic personalities of Cosimo's court" and supervised all artistic production of the Medici realm. Included were Benvenuto Cellini, Giorgio Vasari and Michelangelo Buonarroti. The first woman member was Artemisia Gentileschi, a Baroque painter. In 1784, all art schools of drawing in Florence were brought into the Academie. There is also an art gallery, which since 1873 has housed the "David" by Michelangelo. Many other notable Renaissance works are on display in the Gallery. Source: Wikipedia,


Emphasis given to certain elements in a painting that allows the work to attract more attention; it can also refer to the details that define an object or piece of art. Source:, permission of Michael Delahunt


An object of art becoming part of a permanent collection of a museum or other collection. It is the opposite of de-accession. Source: with permission of Michael Delahunt.

Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts

Located in San Francisco at the California Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, it was founded in 1948 by Moore and Hazel Achenbach. The facility has nearly 100,000 works representing over 500 years of graphic arts from around the world, and is a vehicle for teaching, exhibitions and publications. With a library and public study center, its strength is its wide diversity of the collection, which includes the Rockefeller Collection and Ed Ruscha Graphic Arts Archive. Source: De Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

Acrylic Paint/Plastic Colors

Water-resistant paint made by mixing pigment in a solution of polymer resin. These paints or colors are also called Plastic Colors to distinguish them from Polymer Paints, which are dispersed in water. Advantages of Acrylic Paints are that they do not yellow nor fade; they dry quickly, have much durability and adhesive qualities, and are easy to remove with turpentine. A disadvantage is that they dry so quickly that subtle mixing of colors cannot occur, and they are hard on brushes. Acrylic Paints are sold commercially as Magna Colors. They are combined with Magna Varnish, a sealing solution that protects each coat so the highly soluble Magna Colors can be overpainted. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Action Painting

A painting style and method calling for vigorous physical activity, it was specifically associated with the New York School of Abstract Expressionism. Jackson Pollock often used this technique, which was an application of paint with fast, forceful, and impulsive (unplanned) motions. Process dictated the subject matter. Art critic Harold Rosenberg (1906-1978), first used the words Action Painting relative to American art in an article titled 'The American Action Painters' in "ARTnews", December 1952. He emphasized that he was describing the creative act itself---how it was done---and was not describing a school or movement. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms". Barbara Macadam; 'Not a Picture but an Event', "ARTnews", November 2007

Addy Award

An honor, it recognizes and rewards creative excellence in the art of advertising. Several award levels exist, gold and silver. The number of awards given in each category is determined by the judges, based on the relative quality of work in that category. Addy competition is open to all creative services and industry suppliers including but not limited to advertising, graphic design, photographers, printers, newspaper, radio, television, web, marketing and communication professionals as well as students studying in these areas. James Bearden won recognition for his work in graphic design. Source: Paul Monska, who also wrote AskART biography of James Bearden, who received an Addy Award.

Adolph & Clara Obrig Prize

An award for excellence of painting of the National Academy of Design. First awarded in 1935 at the annual exhibition, the prize was given to Louis Betts. Subsequent awards were made to David Aronson, Louise Fishman, Herman Rose and Walter Biggs. Adolph Obrig, born 1845 in Eberfeld, Germany, was a New York stockbroker and member of the Stock Exchange. He founded the firm Adolph Obrig & Co. in 1871. His wife was Clara Beales Obrig, born 1858, and the couple, active in the arts, lived at 1 West 72nd Street in New York City. Sources: David Dearinger, "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design"; "Who's Who in New York", p. 711; AskART database

Aerial Perspective

A landscape depiction term, it references spatial illusion. One technique of achieving Aerial Perspective is to depict atmospheric effects so that the earth seems to recede from the viewer with increasingly small objects giving a sense of distance. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques" (See Atmosphere/Atmospheric)

Aesthetic, Aesthetes, Aesthetic Movement/

Pertaining to that which arouses sensitivity to beauty and emotion, aesthetic means that which is in opposition to the practical, intellectual, or scientific. The English word 'aesthetic; is derived from the Greek "aisthetika", meaning perceptibles. Aesthetes are persons who subscribe to this philosophy and regard themselves as having special sensitivity to beauty. The Aesthetic Movement began in the late 19th century in England and was led by Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. The slogan was "Art for Art's Sake", which meant that perceptions of beauty were guides for expression, superseding all social and moral considerations. Source: Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; "Random House Dictionary"


Anagram for African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists, it was an organization formed in Chicago in the mid 1960s that addressed socio-politcal themes and used 'coolade colors' in their artwork. A leader of that movement was Wadsworth Jarrell, and others involved included Jarrell's wife, Elaine Johnson and Jeff Donaldson. Sources: AskART biography of Wadsworth Jarrell, Knoke Fine Art; 'Wadsworth A. Jarrell', "St. James Guide to Black Artists", p. 272.


An abbreviation for the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, it refers to an independent arts organization founded in 1928 in Delhi, India. AIFACS sponsors art exhibitions and makes awards throughout India. After Indian independence, many functions were transferred to three academies: Lalit Kala Akademi,Visual Arts; Sangeet Natak Akademi, Theatre Arts; and Sahitya Akademi, Literature. Every three years, twelve awards are given in each of these catagories with the highest being the Kala Samrat. Others are Kala Shree, Kala Vibhushan, and Kala Ratna. Recipients include Amitabh Banerjee. Sources: Wikipedia, AskART Biography


An implement slightly larger than a fountain pen, it is a "sophisticated spray gun" that creates a smooth, even toned finish. The device has a barrel that compresses the air and widens at the end. At the point where the air expands, it combines with paint fed from an attached container. Airbrushing is considered an illustrators' technique because the smooth result is dictated by the machine and not the artist's hand. The airbrush was patented by Charles Burdick, an Englishman, in 1893. American artists using the Airbrush technique include John Altoon, Larry Bell, Chuck Close, Audrey Flack, James Havard, Raymond Jonson, Jules Olitski and Dean St. Clair. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART Database

AK Studio

See Saugatuck (Ox Bow) School of Painting

Alabama Gulf Coast Colony

See Dixie Art Colony


A soft, pure white, translucent gypsum or calcium sulfate hydrate that can easily be cut or carved. (Alabaster referenced by ancient civilizations was a hard stone of onyx marble.) Because of its delicacy, objects made from Alabaster can only be kept indoors. The substance is found primarily in caves, and a major quarry for Alabaster is at Volterra, Italy near the marble quarries of Carrara. Many Florentine sculptors have used Alabaster, and carved Alabaster is one of the most traditional products exported from Italy. American sculptors using Alabaster include Jose de Creeft, Jacob Epstein, Chaim Gross, Allan Houser, Doug Hyde, Gaston Lachaise and Reuben Nakian. Sources: Greta Elena Couper, "An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database.

Alaska Art Project

Begun in 1937 by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, it was linked to a Works Progress Administration (WPA) program to publicize through artwork the territories and possessions of the United States: Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Administrators decided to try the project on a six-month experimental basis by sending artists only to Alaska. Included were Edwin Boyd Johnson, Merlin Pollock and John Walley from Chicago; Massachusetts artists Prescott "Mike" Jones, Karl Saxild and Vernon Smith; Minnesota artist Arthur Kerrick; and New York artists Karl Fortess, Ferdinand Lo Pinto, Austin Mecklem, Roland Mousseau and Antonio Mattei. Artists were paid $135.00 a month, and three artists brought their wives at no extra pay. They were divided into four groups and sent to various sites but returned to Ketchikan a month early because of bad weather hindering outdoor landscape painting. Sketches had to be done in between rain showers, and then reproduced later on canvas or paper in hotel rooms. The project resulted in hundreds of sketches and paintings, but due to government fear of bad publicity surrounding the difficulties of the project, the works were never exhibited together for public information. They were dispersed to school land public facilities with many of them ending up at Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood, Oregon and at McKinley Park Hotel where over 100 paintings were lost when a fire destroyed the Hotel. Sources: A. Rex Rivolo, Ph.D., AskART biography of Rudolph Saxild;


A photographic reproduction process whereby a picture is printed from a gelatin plate by using a photographic negative. The first perfected large volume mechanical copying process, it was invented in Europe in the 1870s and was promoted in New York City by Edward Bierstadt, photographer brother of Albert Bierstadt. It was named for Josef Albert (1825-1866), a Bavarian photographer, and was revolutionary in that up to 200 quality prints, indistinguishable from originals, could be made from one plate. Albert Bierstadt claimed that "1,200 per hour could be made on his brother's new steam presses." (Hendricks, 201) Sources: "The Free Dictionary"; Gordon Hendricks, "Albert Bierstadt".

Albright Art School/Buffalo Fine Arts Academy

An art school in Buffalo, New York, its predecessor was the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, founded in 1862. The Academy became the parent organization of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, a museum built between 1900 and 1905 in Buffalo, New York. The school was named for benefactor John J. Albright (1848-1931), whose fortune came from steel and coal industries. (Knox was a merchant whose store holdings grew to 596 in the early 1900s and became F.W. Woolworth Company.) Among the Art School teachers were Virginia Cuthbert Elliott, and her husband, Philip Elliott, who served as Director from 1941 to 1954. Students included Manly MacDonald and Eugene Speicher. Sources:;; AskART biographies

Albumen Prints

A variety of photographic paper print, it has a finely divided silver and gold image dispersed in a matrix of egg white, which became the most widely used photographic printing material in America in the mid to late 19th century. It did not disappear completely from photographic practice until the 1920's when photography began reflecting a wide range of human activities and social concerns. Source: James M. Reilly, Research Associate, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y. ( Submitted by M. D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia

Alice Art Collection

State-owned collection of Utah established in 1899, it is named for Alice Merrill Horne. She was a member of the state House of Representatives and sponsored a bill to create a state collection of artwork. The acquisitions, focused on Utah artists, continues today with donations from patrons. Artists represented in the collection include Hal Burrows, Donald Bearegard, Cyrus Dallin and J. Leo Fairbanks. Source:

Alkyd Resins

Sold under a variety of names these mediums are synthetic and made with a polyester (alkyd) derived from alcohol and organic acids. Alkyd resins are similar in makeup to natural resins, which are hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, especially coniferous trees, but differ because they dry quickly, which makes them excellent for oil painting, especially outdoors. The term alkyd was introduced in 1970 by Winsor & Newton, art materials manufacturing company, whose marketing promoted its virtues of being similar to acrylic paint but faster drying. Sources: Christopher Willard, 'Methods and Materials'; "American Artist Magazine", Wikipedia.

Alla Prima

A term derived from Italian, meaning “at the first”. It references a technique in which the finished painting is completed in one application of the paint, usually oil, and usually in one session or a short period of time. The result tends to be work that is smooth appearing. Alla Prima is the opposite method of creating a painting by layering coats of paint, with each coat given drying time before the next application. Sources: Jim Smyth and Brigitte Curt, 'Talking The Talk', "Plein Air Magazine", May 2005; Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


In the context of painting and sculpture, symbolic or underlying meaning conveyed by an image or images beyond the obvious visual arrangement. Allegorical works are exclusive in that they require education or “information outside the work” (Atkins). Traditionally Allegorical painting and sculpture creates a tie between the arts, literature, western religious texts", such as the Bible or Talmud, and Greek and Roman mythology. Allegory in American art had much European and English influence, and was used extensively by late 18th and 19th-century American artists, many of them having spent much time in England such as Benjamin West and Washington Allston. Many Hudson River School painters including Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey and Frederic Church did allegorical landscape paintings. The panoramic western mountain scenes of Albert Bierstadt are filled with allegorical expressions of god in nature. Ancient fables and mythological figures appear frequently in the allegorical sculptures of American sculptors working in Florence, Italy in the mid to late 19th Century: Thomas Ball, Thomas Crawford, William Couper, Daniel Chester French and Hiram Powers. Allegorical artwork in its traditional context went out of style in America in the 1940s and 50s, but Post-Modernism has returned to it with historical and figurative images. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Greta Couper, “An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour”; AskART database.

Allied Artists Association

Founded in London in 1908 by Frank Ruther, art critic of "The Sunday Times", its members organized regular non-traditional exhibitions with avant-garde artwork with no jury and each member having the right to show three works of their choosing. Paul Henry, Irish painter was a founding member, and others were Christopher Nevinson, Harold Gilman and Percy Lewis. Source:

Allied Artists of America

Founded 1914 in New York City by artists and sculptors whose goal was to further the cause of modernist or contemporary art through exhibitions, educational programs and awards for excellence. The twelve original founders were Ernest Albert, Paul Cornoyer, Marshal Fry, Edmund Greacen, Arthur Powell, Walter Hartson, William Leigh, Frederick Mulhaupt, Glenn Newell, H. Ledyard Towel, H.A. Vincent and Jules Turcas. Early annual exhibitions were held at the American Fine Arts Society Building at 215 West 57th Street. From 1949 through 1979, exhibitions were at the National Academy of Design at 89th Street and 5th Avenue. Since then other venues have been found including the World Trade Center and the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. Source:


Meaning resembling the hide of an alligator, the term describes the crackled texturing of a painted surface, which can be either intentional for effect or the result of poor preparation and/or conservation. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"


A product resulting from the combination of two or more metals that are melted and fused together, alloys tend to be stronger and more corrosion resistant than pure metals. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Almshouse Painters, Pennsylvania

Three painters committed to the Berks County Almshouse in Shillington, Pennsylvania, they were John Rasmussen, Charles Hoffman and Louis Mader. In a naive style, they painted scenes of almshouses and environs. Mader and Rasmussen imitated the style of Hoffman, of whom it was written that they were "the only types of homes he appears to have had." Source: AskART Hoffman biography; Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art".


Religious-theme artwork, it refers to carved or painted panels and statuary or sculpture that is placed on or behind the altar of a place of worship. During the Renaissance, an altarpiece was typically a triptych, meaning three painted hinged panels. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A lightweight metallic element with a protective oxide surface making it resistant to corrosion, it is available in a wide variety of colors, and can be cast and welded to create a combination of strength and lightness. American artists who have worked with aluminum include Lynda Benglis, Harry Bertoia, Alexander Calder and Mark di Suvero. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database

Amarillo Art Association

Organized in 1921 in Amarillo, Texas with 39 members, the group was devoted to supporting the artists in that city with exhibitions and lectures and the building of a collection. Source: John and Deborah Powers, "Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists"

Ambiguous Enigma

Usually found in trompe l'oeil paintings to 'fool the eye', it is a reference to perspective that has been purposely manipulated to puzzle the viewer, especially since elements of design or structure seem to move with the eye of the viewer. Source: Eric Conklin, Trompe l'Oeil painter


A reproduced photographic image created from a glass plate, it differs from a daguerreotype, which was made from a highly polished metal plate. Source: Fern and Kaplan, "Viewpoints" (Collection of Library of Congress)

America China Oil Painting Artists League

Dedicated to Realism, ACOPAL seeks to foster exchange of ideas and techniques between Chinese realist artists and their counterparts in America through workshops, discussion groups, and touring exhibitions. It was envisioned by Yuehua He and collector Peng Ling, both New Yorkers who kept ties to their homeland and in January, 2010 began exchange visits. Paul McCormack and Patricia Watwood served as the first President and Vice President, and other US members include Scott Burdick, Graydon Parrish and Thomas Valenti. The first exhibition was May 17-26, 2011 at the National Arts Club in New York, followed by a 2012 exhibition at the Butler Institute in Youngstown, Ohio. Source: Peter Trippi, 'East/West United in Realism', "Fine Art Connoisseur", June 2011.

American Abstract Artists

A group of artists in the 1930s and 1940s who, reacting against the prevalent Social Realism and American Scene painting, were dedicated to the promotion of abstraction. Their exhibitions and publications added considerable fuel to the simmering discussion of "What is art?”. The founder and first president was George Lovett Kingsland Morris, and Balcomb Greene was the first president. The AAA was formed in 1936, following the Whitney Museum's first exhibition in 1935 of American abstract art. Members of the AAA included Rhys Caparn, Ilya Bolotowsky, John Ferren, Ad Reinhardt, Burgoyne Diller, Irene Rice Pereira, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Karl Knaths and David Smith. Through their efforts, recognition for Synthetic Cubism, Geometric Abstraction, Neo-plasticism, Abstract Biomorphism, and Hard Edge Abstraction was achieved, and the way was paved for the emergence of the New York school of Abstract Expressionism. Source: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Art"

American Academy of Art, Chicago

Founded in 1923 by Frank Young, Sr., an advertising design specialist, the school continued under his supervision until 1964, when his son, Frank Young Jr. took over as Director. In 1970, Clinton E. Frank, another advertising executive served as Director until 1992, when the Bachelor of Fine Arts program was established. In the 21st century, the school offers training in both fine art and commercial art based on classical traditions with BA degrees in painting, animation and modeling, life drawing, illustration, and design. The location is 332 South Michigan Avenue. Among its graduates are Laverne Black, Joseph Abbrescia, Charlie Dye, Gil Elvgren, Richard Schmid and Arnold Friberg. Source:; AskART biographies

American Academy of Arts and Letters

An organization founded in 1898 in New York City, it began with 250 life-members: artists, writers, composers, sculptors and architects. The purpose is to recognize those Americans of the highest artistic achievement, and to foster sustained interest in Literature, Music and Fine Art through awards and prizes, exhibitions, performances and gifts to museums. The original name was the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Early members were William Dean Howells, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John LaFarge, Mark Twain and Henry James. Each member was assigned a chair in the order of election. Incorporation of the Institute was 1913 by an Act of Congress, and three years later The Academy was incorporated by Congress and signed by President Woodrow Wilson. In 1976, the two organizations merged but had two levels of membership and operated as the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1993, they chose one name--- American Academy of Arts and Letters. The headquarters are in Manhattan at 633 West 155th Street in a building designed by the architecture firm of McKim, Mead & White---all three were members. A second building is located near the headquarters and houses a 730-seat auditorium for performances. The archives have correspondence among members, original manuscripts and works of art. In 1946, the Academy began a purchase program with the goal of placing works by living American artists in museums across the country. Many of these purchases are made during their annual exhibitions held in May. This project was instituted by Maude Hassam, the wife of member Child Hassam, with a bequest of 400 of his works. She stipulated that proceeds from the sale be used to establish a fund to purchase works on paper. Academy Awards are given at the May exhibition and include the Award of Merit of $10,000.00, Jimmy Ernst Award of $5000.00, and the Richard and Hinda Rosethal Foundation for $5000.00. Sources: Website of The American Academy of Arts and Letters. "Antiques and The Arts Weekly", May 5, 2006, p.14

American Academy of Equine Artists

Organized in 1980 by ten equine artists, the goal is to maintain standards of excellence within the subject matter and "to promote the academic representation of the equine form in drawing, painting and sculpture." Patterned somewhat after the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the organization has the purpose of educating the public and creating a broad awareness and appreciation of contemporary equine art as fine art. Full membership is awarded to artists who meet certain standards in their artwork and who teach others through workshops, classrooms, seminars, etc. In addition, they must show skill not only in equine anatomy but with other subjects that may combine with equine depiction such as the human figure, landscape and backgrounds. An annual exhibition is held with submissions by guest artists as well as members. At the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, a workshop is held each year each year for drawing, sculpting and painting equine subjects. The Horse Park is also the site of an Academy Artist in Residence program. Members include Anthony Alonzo, Don Prechtel, Veryl Goodnight, Cammie Lundeen and Carol Peek. Source: The American Academy of Equine Art,

American Academy of the Fine Arts

Founded in 1802 in New York City and incorporated in 1808, the original name was the New York Academy of the Fine Arts. Exhibitions began in 1816, and the next year the name was changed to the American Academy of the Fine Arts. John Trumbull served as president from 1817 to 1835. In 1839, fire destroyed the Academy building, and by 1841, the association was terminated. Mary Bartlett Cowdrey's book "American Academy of Fine Arts" has a listing of members including Thomas Cole, Eastman Johnson, Martin Johnson Heade, George Caleb Bingham, Sanford Gifford, Thomas Doughty and Henry Inman. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; AskART database

American Academy, Rome

Founded in Rome, Italy shortly after the 1893 World's Fair Exposition in Chicago, the goal was to promote talented Americans in the fields of art, music and literature. Organizers were painters, sculptors and architects who had worked together on the Exposition, and included Augustus St. Gaudens, Charles McKim, William Mead and Christopher La Farge. They determined that young Americans should have a similar experience to what they had working together during the Exposition. The focus was on camaraderie as well as academic training; the Academy motto was "Not merely fellowships, but fellowship". The address of the Academy, which continues to operate today, is 5 Via Angelo Masina, which is an eleven-acre site atop Janiculum Hill. It attracts students in the arts and humanities including persons skilled in art, literature, music, architecture, historic preservation and landscape architecture. Attendees receive the Rome Prize, (Prix de Rome) through a national juried competition, which varies in duration from six months to two years---a difference from the original three-year enrollment. The Library is extensive and includes access to the Vatican Library. An American office of the Academy is at 7 East 60th Street in New York City. American attendees include Paul Manship, Mitchell Siporin, Raymond Saunders, Hermon MacNeil, Russell Cowles, Eugene Savage, Albert Krehbiel, Ana Mendieta, Alan Gussow and Charles Keck. Sources: Greta Elena Couper, "An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour"; website of the American Academy in Rome,; AskART database

American Aesthetic Movement

See China Painting

American Art Association of Paris

Opening on May 24, 1890 in the Latin Quarter of Paris, the AAA of Paris was a gathering place for American art students, and reinforcement of their native culture in a foreign land. (On their first Thanksgiving together, members celebrated with turkeys sent over by the Art Students League of New York.) At the time of opening, there were about 1500 American art students in Paris. Indicative of support of the French art establishment was that special guest of the opening event was Jean Leon Gerome, revered teacher of the Academie Julian. Artists seeking membership needed to be American citizens, to have their applications accepted by the Committee on Elections, and to be endorsed by two members in good standing. Formal meetings with elections, and by law matters were in October and May, but activities were continuous. Ongoing AAA programs included many social events such as fancy dress balls, stag nights, ladies' receptions, banjo and glee clubs. Also there were lectures, lantern slide shows, art exhibitions, and a series of “tableux” or living pictures based on famous paintings. Gambling and sale of liquor on the premises was forbidden. The Association, ultimately located at Number 74, Rue Notre-Dame des Champs, lasted into the mid 1920s. Members included Blendon Reed Campbell, Frederick Frieseke, Alson Skinner Smith, John Fairbanks, Abbot Fuller, Hovsep Pushman, and Irving Ramsey Wiles. New York department store owner Rodman Wanamaker served as early President. Sources: “The Art Association of Paris by Edmund Henry Wuerpel”, 1894, Times Printing Press; Peter Hastings Falk, “Who Was Who in American Art”; David Dearinger, Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design.

American Art Directory

A yearly publication dating to 1898 and continuing into the 21st century, it was originally titled "American Art Annual" and was the work of New York artist, Florence Nightingale Levy. In 1913, the Directory became the official publication of the American Federation of Arts with which Levy was associated. Later the publication became independent of the AFA. In 1952, it split into two separate publications: "American Art Directory", a location indicator and information description of US art entities such as schools, museums and art centers. The other publication is "Who's Who in American Art", is yearly and is a listing of biographical information of professional persons in American art. Source: Wikipedia,

American Art Union

An organization devoted to the public distribution by lottery of original paintings, it is credited with promoting many living American artists, shaping American taste, and creating a demand for original art, especially landscapes and genre subjects. Founded in 1844, the Art-Union existed until 1852, when the courts declared the organization illegal. By 1849, there were nearly 19,000 subscribers, each paying five dollars for which they got an original steel engraving and an opportunity to one of the 460 paintings offered that year. Among those members were George Caleb Bingham, Robert Spear Dunning, John Caleb Ward and Frederic Edwin Church, Its successor was The Apollo Association. (See Glossary) Source: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art";

American Artists Congress

Formed in 1936 with headquarters at 52 West Eighth Street in New York City, the purpose was "to take a firm stand against war and fascism", and to defend art and artists of all aesthetic persuasions. The first meeting, February 14-16, was open to the public and offered discussions on "all fundamental issues, economic, aesthetic and social, which confront the American Artist today." Stuart Davis served as Secretary. The result of the meetings was an endorsement of artists forming a union and the promoting of Social Realism as a style. However, many artists lost interest in succeeding years because the Congress became closely aligned with the Communist Party. Among the members were Theodore Roszak, William Fanning, Miriam Hofmeier and Walter Quirt. Sources: Quotes from "The Western Artist", January 1936; Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; AskART Quick Facts

American Artists Guild

A New York based entity that promotes and protects the social, economic and professional interests of graphic artists including animators, illustrators, digital artists, cartoonists, and designers. For its members, the Guild publishes a handbook on pricing services, provides training sessions, and serves as an advocate in court cases. Chapters are in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Northern California, and Seattle. Source:

American Artists Professional League

Founded in 1928 in New York City by 15 members of the Salmagundi Club led by F. Ballard Williams, its purpose was to address "the need for a national organization to meet the increasing interests in traditional realism in American art". Members are approved by a committee of the National Board of Directors. Early focus was on getting portrait commissions for members, and the AAPL, having gained national influence, oversaw the passing of a bill by the U.S. Congress "stipulating that all official portraits paid for with taxpayers' dollars were to be painted by American artists, a fact that remains in effect to this day." Other accomplishments were a color pigment research project in 1932 that improved paint quality and set national standards, updated in 1962; student art study scholarships; and yearly exhibitions of oil, water media, pastels, graphics and sculpture---selected nationally from members. Headquarters are at 47 Fifth Avenue in New York. Member names include Selden Gile, Dean Cornwell, Henry Gasser, Walter Emerson Baum, Jane Peterson, Irving Wiles, Benson Bond Moore, George Elmer Browne, William Silva and Anthony Thieme. Sources: www.americanartistsprofessionalleague; AskART database

American Artists School

A progressive, independent art school, it was founded in New York City in 1936 and linked to the socialist political movement. The building was located at 131 West Fourteenth Street. Founders included members of the John Reed Club such as Louis Schanker, William Gropper and Harry Gottlieb, who became the first director. Curriculum emphasis was on technical excellence and social realist subjects relevant to contemporary society. In 1941, the school closed, having suffered financial difficulty. It is credited as playing a positive role in linking art expression to societal issues. Among the students were Lillian Orlowsky, Theodoros Stamos, Ad Reinhardt and Elaine de Kooning. Source:

American Association of Museums

Founded in 1906, it is a non-profit entity whose members share certain standards of credibility, and organize meetings to maintain those standards through sharing of professional expertise. The AAM has published yearly museum directories for North and South America. The first President, 1906-1907, was Hermon Bumpus, Director of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Source:

American Association of Painters and Sculptors

See Association of American Painters and Sculptors

American Federation of Arts

Initially a Washington DC based organization established in 1909 by an act of Congress, the Federation was founded to broaden public awareness and appreciation of the visual arts. Particular emphasis was placed on touring original works of art throughout the United States. Eventually the Federation was headquartered in New York City and provided traveling exhibitions to its member museums and galleries. Members include Harriet Frishmuth, Eanger Couse, Jane Peterson, Hugh Breckenridge, Cecilia Beaux, Louis Tiffany, John Biggers, Maynard Dixon, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Sources: John and Deborah Powers, "Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists"; AskART Quick Facts

American Fine Arts Society

Founded in 1889 in New York City, the group led by Howard Butler erected a building at 215 West 57th Street for the purpose of art education and exhibitions. The AFAS shared the facility with the Society of American Artists, Art Students League, and the Architectural League. Butler served as President for the first 17 years. Other artist members were Herbert Denman, William Coffin, John Ward Dunsmore, John White Alexander, James Champney, William Faxon, Frank Fowler and Edwin French. Sources: David Dearinger, 'Howard Russell Baker', "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design; "New York Times", 11/24/1889; Peter Hastings Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

American Gothic

Associated with American painter, Grant Wood, the reference derives from Wood's painting titled "American Gothic". This work, in realist style, shows a stern farm couple holding a pitchfork and staring unrelentingly at the viewer. The meaning, devoid of humor, seems to be that life is all hard work, and there is no time for aesthetics or softening emotions. It is gothic in that it conveys a dark, disturbing message. (AskART)

American Impressionist Society

Founded by Florida artists William Schultz, Charlotte Dickinson, and Marjorie Bradley, of Vero Beach, and Pauline Ney, of Ellenton, the organization remains based in Vero Beach. The goal of the AIS is to promote the appreciation of the style of Impressionism with exhibitions, workshops and other media. Membership is open to all Impressionist artists and any other persons who would like to support Impressionism. Member artists enjoy outdoor painting as well as figure and still life painting in the studio. "Emphasis is always on capturing light and color, using broken brush strokes and thick impasto spots of color to create a dazzling impression of the subject". William (Bill) Schultz, co-founder and chairman of AIS, celebrated his 85th birthday in 2004 and at that time was still teaching Impressionist painting. Source: Website of the American Impressionist Society

American Institute of Architects

Headquartered in Washington DC, the A.I. A. is the professional organization for U.S. architects. It offers courses to insure ongoing education of members and to insure a positive public image of architects. The A.I.A. was founded in New York City in 1857 with the name New York Society of Architects by 13 architects including Richard Morris Hunt and Charles Babcock, and Richard Upjohn served as first President. By the 1880s chapters were forming in other cities, and the name was changed to reflect the expansion. By 2008, there were more than 300 chapters. Source:

American Numismatic Society

Founded in 1858 by a group of collectors sharing their interest in American coins and medals, AMS became a preservation and documentation organization that has done much to further medallic art in America. Many of the early members were antiquarians and learned specialists. In 1893, stimulated by the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, the organization began the serious production of medals including ones commemorating the dedication of Grant's Tomb in New York. Under the leadership of President Andrew Zabriskie, the Society decided to establish a school, but that venture, which lasted from 1900-1905, was not successful. Since 1927, the group has produced only a few medals and has become primarily a research organization. Members included Lew Lawrie, Charles Hale, Roger Burnham and Philip Paval. Source: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"

American Panorama Company

Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the company was the first large-scale company in the United States to create panoramas. It was formed by Chicago businessman William Wehner in 1885. He had observed at the 1884 Cotton Exposition in New Orleans the installation of the panorama created in Germany titled "The Battle of Sedan on September 1, 1870". Wehner's idea was to bring experienced panorama painters to the United States from Germany to create panoramas of the Civil War. August Lohr was the first German artist to sign on, and shortly after Franz Biberstein emigrated from Germany to join the company. The first studio of The American Panorama Company was at 628 Wells Street in Milwaukee, and the first two productions were "The Storming of Missionary Ridge" and "The Battle of Atlanta". The company went out of business in 1887, but several successor firms kept the industry alive. Source: Peter Merrill, "German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee: A Biographical Dictionary"

American Renaissance

The period in American culture, 1870s to the beginning of World War I, it was a time when painting, sculpture, and architecture were united in a "grand flowering" of work by persons who believed that society could be elevated by art. Underlying expressions were lofty ideals and divine truth, and the goal was encouraging people to live virtuous lives, which in turn would elevate the "spiritual life of the nation". This movement was a revival from the Italian Renaissance when commitments to painting, sculpture and architecture expressed lofty themes and taught high moral values. The ancient Greeks and Romans, with their emphasis on perfect proportions, were the model exponents. The tradition was continued in the Beaux-Arts style and teaching methods that developed in the second half of the 19th Century in the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the Paris school of fine art. Richard Morris Hunt, Henry Hobson Richardson, and Charles McKim were the first American architects to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Buildings such as the Boston Public Library designed by these men and associates such as Stanford White were expressions of the American Renaissance. Sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens and stained glass designer John La Farge were collaborators with these architects. In America, this Renaissance was appealing because it created a sense of continuum from earlier civilizations to the relatively new culture of the United States. It also introduced architecture as a discipline, and this, in turn, led to mural painting and sculpture to enhance buildings designed in this Renaissance style. Source: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"

American Scene Painting

A term broadly applied to an early 20th-century art movement that focused on subjects uniquely American, especially urban and rural America. Usually realist in style, it was an attempt to distance American art from the domination of European influences including abstraction. The movement ended with the decade of the 1930s and is not easy to define because representative artists did not have a rigidly held single style, but were "committed to the political, cultural and social problems of the moment" . . (Baigell, 'Scene' 16). American Scene painting had two distinct groups of artists: Regionalists and Social Realists, and some scholars limit the definition to Regionalists only. Social Realism was led by Robert Henri and included John Sloan, Reginald Marsh and George Luks, and their subjects often were scenes from New York City. Regionalism tends to be associated with the Midwest such as Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, Grant Wood of Iowa and John Steuart Curry of Kansas. Also known for their regionalism were Dale Nichols of Nebraska, Cameron Booth of Minnesota, Jerry Bywaters and Tom Lea of Texas, and Peter Hurd and Ward Lockwood of New Mexico. East coast American Scene painters include Ben Shahn, Stuart Davis, Charles Sheeler, Edward Hopper, Paul Sample, and Charles Burchfield. The term, 'American Scene' is likely derived from author Henry James's collection of essays and impressions titled "The American Scene". Published in 1907, the work focused on James's own rediscovery of his native land after 21 years as an expatriate. The Whitney Museum, founded in 1931 in New York City to collect only American art, was a result of the American Scene movement. Sources: Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Art" and "The American Scene"; "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Terms"

American School

A descriptive term for a painting describing a 19th century unsigned and unattributable painting in the manner of American style, it usually means realistic and somewhat romanticized. Often the work has American canvas and stretchers., courtesy of Michael Delahunt;

American Society of Classical Realism

An association of American artists dedicated to the marketing and promotion of traditional representational art, the Society was founded in 1989. The headquarters are in Minneapolis where Richard Lack is a key leader and teacher in the Classical Realist style at his Atelier Lack. The teacher who influenced him in this style was R.H. Ives Gammell of Boston. Source: AskART biographies

American Society of Contemporary Artists

An exhibiting organization of painters, sculptors and graphic artists, ASCA has approximately 100 artist members whose creative styles ranges from representational to abstract, and from themes intensely political to purely aesthetic. The group is 100 percent non profit. Members of ASCA are professional painters, sculptors, printmakers, and other graphic artists. They have taken part in group and solo shows both in the United States and abroad. The Society was founded in 1917 with the name Brooklyn Society of Artists. As its membership expanded to all parts of the United States, the Society restructured itself. In 1963, it adopted its current name and opened its membership to all qualified artists. The American Society of Contemporary Artists holds annual exhibitions of its members' works as well as additional shows during any given year. At its annual shows, the Society offers cash awards in recognition of artistic merit. Members included Uri Shulevitz, Barbara Bisgyer and Charles Keller. Source:; AskART biograhies.

American Society of Marine Artists

A national organization with regional representatives, it was founded in 1978 to recognize and promote marine art and maritime history and to encourage exponents to work together. Membership is open to anyone interested in the subject matter, and meetings are held annually. ASMA sponsors art exhibitions every couple of years, and exhibition venues include the Fry Art Museum in Seattle, Washington; Cummer Museum of Jacksonville, Florida; Cape Museum in Dennis, Massachusetts; and Vero Beach Museum in Vero Beach, Florida. Society headquarters are in Ambler, Pennsylvania. Among American artists who belong are Christopher Blossom, Marshall Joyce, Donald Demers, Jack Coggins, and Sally Swatland. Source:; AskART biographies

American Society of Miniature Painters

A turn-of-the-century group of artists devoted to a highly exacting technique of “painting in little”, members of ASMP were part of a backlash in art against the country’s fascination with technology and its devotion to 'large scale'. ASMP was founded by William Baer and Isaac Josephi in 1899 with a premier exhibition at Knoedler Galleries in New York. It was an attempt to counteract the ugliness and misery of the burgeoning industrial society. Members had renewed interest in handwork or crafts inspired by Englishmen John Ruskin and William Morris, founders of the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th Century. ASMP artists included William J. Whittemore, Eulabee Dix, Laura Coombs Hills, and Emily Drayton Taylor. Sources:; David Dearinger, "Painting and Sculpture in the Collection of The National Academy of Design"; AskART database

American Society of Painters in Water Color

Founded in 1866, the ASPWC resulted from active interest in a medium traditionally used only for sketching rather than finished paintings. That same year a collection of watercolor sketches was exhibited in New York by the French Etching Club, and founders of the ASPWC were much inspired by this collection. In December 1866, a group of eleven American painters met in the New York University Building studio of Gilbert Burling to form the Society with the purpose of promoting water color painting in the U.S. Artist Samuel Colman was elected the first President and the first exhibition was held with great success in 1867 at the National Academy of Design, whose members endorsed the Society, much adding to its prestige. For the next six years, the exhibit was held at the Academy, and in the first years, needing work to fill the walls, organizers allowed non-American artists such as Jean Gerome and Rosa Bonheur to exhibited works. In 1878, the name was changed to the American Water Color Society. Source: The University of Mississippi,; Clara Erskine, Clement Waters and Laurence Hutton, Introduction, "Artists of the Nineteenth Century and Their Works"; American Water Color Society website

American Society of Portrait Artists

The largest portrait artist organization in the world, ASPA was founded in 1987, is headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, and dedicated "to furthering the fine art of portraiture and supporting the individual artist". It is patron supported in 50 states and 34 nations, is non-profit, and is led by an advisory board who oversee a year-long program of events. "The Portrait Signature" is the international journal of the Society. Each year the Society awards the John Singer Sargent Medal to artists judged to be outstanding portrait painters. Recipients include Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth. American painters who hold or have held membership in the American Society of Portrait Painters include Charles Dana Gibson, James Earle Fraser, Leopold Seyffert, Everett Kinstler, Richard Schmid, Daniel Greene, M. Stephen Doherty, James Shannon, Albino Hinojosa, Jack Faragasso, Burt Silverman and Richard Whitney. Sources: American Society of Portrait Painters; AskART database.

American Ten (The)

(See Ten American Painters)

American Watercolor Society

American Watercolor Society is name dating to 1878 and continuing today, its roots go back to December 5, 1866 when a group of eleven painters met at the studio of Gilbert Burling in the New York University Building to form “The American Society of Painters in Water Color”. Their goal was promoting and professionally sanctioning watercolor through encouragement of fellow artists and carefully juried exhibitions. It was a post-war period when people sought beauty in their lives, and watercolor painting was becoming popular and acceptable along with oil. Also watercolor painting was taught in girls’ finishing schools as a part of becoming a cultured lady. Artist Samuel Colman was elected the first president, and other members included William Hart, William Craig, John Falconer, Edward Hooper and Constant Mayer. The newly formed society held its first exhibition in the fall of 1867, and it was the first exclusively watercolor exhibition held in America. A prestigious coup was the endorsement of this exhibition by the National Academy of Design. Of the ASPWC, there were three categories of membership: Active artists who lived in the city; Associate artists who lived away from New York including non-Americans such as Rosa Bonheur and Jean Leon Gerome; and Honorary Members or non-artist patrons. However a problem in growing their numbers was lack of a significant number of women members, but with focus on that weakness, male members dissipated that problem. In 1878, the name American Watercolor Society came into being with the merger of the American Society of Painters in Watercolor and the New York Watercolor Club. In 1941 there was a merger with New York Watercolor Club, and the name American Watercolor Society was retained. Source: "AWS" Catalogue of Thirty First International Exhibition: American Watercolor Society”; American Watercolor Society website, www.americanwatercolor


A word descriptive of a two-handled tapering jar made of fired clay and dating back to Greek civilization. The Amphora, usually decorated with elaborate painting, was used for storage of items such as olive oil, grain or wine. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

An American Place

See Gallery 291

An American Place, New York

A gallery owned by Alfred Steiglitz. See Gallery 291/Photo Secession Gallery

Analytical Cubism

An offshoot of Cubism, it was a method explored by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso between 1902-1912 of presenting a total experience whereby the subject was freed of the traditional link to a moment in time but tied to sustained existence through sensations of light, form and space. This treatment on a flat surface was the arranging of elements of the subject to convey a three-dimensional effect, showing multi-perspectives of the subject. By 1911, Picasso had carried this exploration so far that his subjects were scarcely recognizable. Source: Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art. (See Cubism in Glossary)


Derived from the Greek words "ana" (again), and "morphe" (shape), it means a distorted image whereby the observer is first deceived by a barely recognizable image, and is then directed to a viewpoint dictated by the formal construction of the painting. The spectator's eye must play a part and re-form the picture. Similar characteristics can be found in illusionist wall and ceiling painting, and in the use of accelerated and retarded perspective in architecture, urban design, theatrical stage design, where it is commonly known as forced perspective. It was used as early as 1485 by Leonardo Da Vinci, whose drawings show experiments with it. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques" Roy Behrens, "Camoupedia", 29


Structure of the human body, especially the bones and muscles, it is a subject of much focus in academic figurative painting and sculpture. In the late-19th and early-20th centuries, much controversy arose over whether women should be allowed in classes with male nude models and whether male and female students should share a classroom with a posed nude model. Today most art schools have all classes coeducational. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms";

Anderson Gallery, New York

Owned by Alfred Steiglitz. See Gallery 291/Photo Secession

Anglo-Saxon Art

Characterized by interlaced motif, it was an art style relevant to England in the fifth to eleventh centuries.


A French term, it refers to an artist whose specialty is depicting animals. Leading French Animaliers were 19th-century sculptors Charles Valton, Antoine Louis Bayre, Edouard Sandoz, Emmanuel Fremiet and painter and sculptor, Rosa Bonheur. American representatives are Henry Hudson Kitson and Anna Hyatt Huntington. Sources:; biographies

Animation, Animator

A process of photographing a series of still images, each slightly different from the other, it gives the effect of movement when projected at the rate of about 24 frames per second. The Walt Disney Studios, creators of Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, etc., used a system of painting each figure in a cartoon and the elements of the background or scene on separate sheets of transparent celluloid that were superimposed in the animation camera. When a character moved in these particular scenes, only the character had to be repainted, which saved much re-drawing. Walt Disney, persuaded that animation could be taught as a scientific method, listed the qualifications of a skilled animator: Good draftsmanship, knowledge of caricature, appreciation of acting, ability to think up gags, and understanding of mechanical aspects and detailed routine. Source: Fern and Kaplan, "Viewpoints: The Library of Congress Selection of Pictorial Treasures", 187; Bob Thomas, "Walt Disney", p. 124.


A Latin cross figure, it differs from the traditional one in that it has a loop above the cross arm. In Egypt and Assyrian art, it has been widely used as a symbol of life. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Anna Pottery

Founded by brothers Cornwall and Wallace Kirkpatrick in Anna, Illinois, the company operated from 1859 to 1896. The pottery was unique, usually jugs, flasks or mugs in animal shapes, presented as recognition to prominent persons such as mayors, governors and other dignitaries. Each handcrafted item has a story connected to its origin. Source:


A heating process that can make materials less brittle, it is used by sculptors and glass blowers to make metal and glass workable. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Anonima Group

Founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1960, it had three members: Ernst Benkert, Francis Hewitt and Ed Mieczkowski. They rejected the ego-centric, automatic style of Abstract Expressionism and worked collectively on geometric, grid based paintings that explored in-depth scientific phenomena and optical perception. Their analytic writing accompanied their paintings, which were included in the 1965 Museum of Modern Art exhibit, "Responsive Eye". However, their work was classed with Op Art, a designation they thought frivolous and demeaning because it ignored their intellectual, ongoing pursuit of the science and psychology of optic imagery. Ultimately the threesome refused to interact with the commercial art world. Overlooked by the public, they disbanded in 1971, but through their writings, drawings, paintings and teaching, they are credited with ideas which continue to influence many contemporary artists. Source: 'Anonima Group', "Wikipedia", //

Anschutz Collection

Founded by Philip Anschutz, the collection reflects his goal of amassing artwork that reflects the history of the American West. The collection spans nearly 180 years, and has over 650 paintings and drawings with more than 200 artists represented from early 1800s to the present. Anschutz made all acquisition and de-accesion decisions himself but had three key advisors. In 1989, the Collection toured the Soviet Union with great acclaim. Anschutz made his money from oil exploration, real estate, and railroads, and in 1992 purchased the Southern Pacific Railroad. He began the collection in the early 1960s when he was near graduation from the University of Kansas. He was much influenced by his mother, Marian Pfister Anschutz, who encouraged him to have wide interests. Source: "The Anschutz Collection" by Joan Carpenter Troccali.

Answer Print

A film making term, the print contains the picture and the sound to be projected and corrected. The first answer print usually needed colour corrections and exposure timing for under or over exposed scenes. At this point, the sound track still could be changed, rearranged, and another answer print made. Source: Internet, Karl Spreitz Film Collection, Maltwood Museum.


Term introduced by French-American Marcel Duchamp (ca. 1914), it is a form of art, Dada or in it’s tradition, where conventional forms and theories are rejected. Not taking seriously traditional approaches to art making, 'anti artists' may express this attitude in their use of non-conventional materials, techniques, or method of display such as Duchamp's urinal, "Fountain", 1917. Source:


A group of seven Australian 20th century artists, they rebelled against Abstract Expressionism and championed figurative art. They had a single exhibition, which was in Melbourne, August 1959. Some persons perceived them as reactionary and a threat to Australians being taken seriously in the world of modern art. Members were Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, David Boyd, John Brack, Robert Dickerson, John Perceval and Clifton Pugh. According to the former deputy director of the National Gallery of Victoria, Frances Lindsay, members of this group continue to be 'productive and innovative after many decades of practice. Source:; AskART biography of Robert Henry Dickerson


Meaning the same as Classical, antique technically references art to the fifth century A.D. However, the term has come to mean "old". During the Renaissance, Antique/Classical art was studied carefully by aspiring artists. Source: Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


Established in 1981 by Irish writers and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, it is one of Ireland's most eminent art organizations. The name derives from the Gaelic word, "aos dana", meaning people of the arts. Membership, limited to 250 living artists and set by the Arts Council, is composed of living Irish artists who have each produced original and creative work---painting, drawing, sculpture, literature and music. Source: Encyclopedia of Irish and World Art.

Apollo Association

Predecessor of the American Art Union which formed in 1844, it was organized in 1839 by James Herring of New York City to "promote the fine arts by exhibitions and the reproduction of paintings. This concept had originated in Germany and spread to Great Britain." Members in addition to Herring included John Gadsby Chapman, John Woodhouse Audubon, and James Henry Bears. Sources: American Antiquarian Society; AskART database

Applied Art

Application of aesthetic decoration to utilitarian objects, the concept was introduced during the Industrial Revolution in Britain at the end of the 19th century. Whereas fine art is intended to appeal to viewer sensitivities unrelated to practical usefulness, applied art relates to 'decorated' or visually enhanced utilitarian objects. Although the distinctions are not always pure or easy to recognize, design in the categories of industry, graphics, fashion and interiors are considered applied arts as are the fields of architecture and photography. The Arts and Crafts Movement, led by William Morris Hunt, at the end of the 19th century championed Applied Art. Source: Kimberly Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Wikipedia


An evaluation of the fair market value, it often is used to refer to what artwork would bring if sold at auction or by other means on the secondary market. Quite often the purposes of an appraisal are for insurance of the item, tax deduction, and inheritance value. In order to be valid, the appraisal must be done by a certified appraiser who usually evaluates the work by using comparables---other items that have similar characteristics. Source:


As a term in art history and criticism, it refers to the more or less direct taking over into a work of art of a real object or even an existing work of art. The practice can be tracked back to the Cubist collages and constructions of Picasso and Georges Braque made from 1912 on, in which real objects such as newspapers were included to represent themselves. Appropriation was developed much further in the readymades created by the French artist Marcel Duchamp from 1915. Most notorious of these was Fountain, a men's urinal signed, titled, and presented on a pedestal. Later, Surrealism also made extensive use of appropriation in collages and objects such as Salvador Dali's Lobster Telephone. In the late 1950s appropriated images and objects appear extensively in the work of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and in Pop art. However, the term seems to have come into use specifically in relation to certain American artists in the 1980s, notably Sherrie Levine and the artists of the Neo-Geo group particularly Jeff Koons. Sherrie Levine reproduced as her own work other works of art, including paintings by Claude Monet and Kasimir Malevich. Her aim was to create a new situation, and therefore a new meaning or set of meanings, for a familiar image. Appropriation art raises questions of originality, authenticity and authorship, and belongs to the long modernist tradition of art that questions the nature or definition of art itself. Appropriation artists were influenced by the 1934 essay by the German philosopher Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and received contemporary support from the American critic Rosalind Krauss in her 1985 book The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths. Appropriation has been used extensively by artists since the 1980s. Source: Tate Modern, London, England. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke


A French word for “Watercolor”, it refers to the drawing or painting with transparent watercolor or to the method. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Aquatint Etching

An etching or engraving process focused on tonal variations rather than linear affects, it gives the appearance of a watercolor, and is often used in conjunction with line etching. Aquatint is created by acid biting into a metal plate and involves putting granular resin over the plate, creating the design, and then immersing the plate in acid. Tonality is achieved by repeating the varnishing and immersing. Aquatint artists include Doel Reed, Jay McVicker, William Kneass and James Kidder. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art".


Linear decoration, it has interlaced lines often with botanic or fruit motifs. It was popular among the ancient Greeks and Romans. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Arche Club

A Chicago women's club organized in 1888, it was dedicated to art education, which included lectures and annual exhibitions for local artists. The name came from the Greek word for 'beginning'. By 1894, five-hundred women belonged, and fund raising from the exhibitions was used for purchases of work by women artists for the collection of the Chicago Art Institute. Earliest purchases were seven plaster sculptures by Bessie Potter Vonnoh, which made Vonnoh the first female artist represented in the Institute's collection. Source: Julie Aronson, "Bessie Potter Vonnoh"

Archibald Prize

Described as the most important prize for portraiture in Australia, it was created by J.F. Archibald, editor of "The New Bulletin" publication. Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales administer the $75,000 prize, whose criteria is that the artist be a current resident of Australia for at least 12 preceding months. Recipients include William McInnes, John Longstaff and Nora Heysen, the first woman recipient. Source: Wikipedia,; AskART biography

Archie Bray Foundation

First residency program in the United States devoted solely to ceramic artists, it is located just outside Helena, Montana on the 26-acre site of a 100-year old brick factory. Grounds are rich with clay shards, and facilities, including a dozen buildings, fifteen kilns, and private and semi-private studios, have attracted potters worldwide. Ceramic artist Kurt Weiser has served as Director, and participants utilizing the program that combines camaraderie and independence, include Richard Notkin, Rudy Autio, Peter Voulkos and Bernard Leach. Source: Michael Corriel, 'The Archie Bray Foundation', "Western Art & Architecture", pp. 136-141.

Architectural League of New York

A non-profit organization "for creative and intellectual work in architecture, urbanism, and related disciplines", it dates from 1881, when Cass Gilbert organized meetings at the Salmagundi Club for young architects. In early years, members took turns assigning sketch problems with solutions then critiqued by established architects. In 1886 it was restarted by architect Russell Sturgis with exhibitions, lectures, dinners, tours, and juried annual exhibitions. During its history, many of New York's most prominent architects have served as president, including George B. Post, Henry Hardenbergh, Grosvenor Atterbury, Raymond Hood, Ralph Walker, Wallace Harrison, and more recently, Ulrich Franzen, Robert A.M. Stern, Frances Halsband, Paul Byard, Walter Chatham, and Frank Lupo. The league embraces collaboration across the arts. Muralists and sculptors are invited to become members, and annual exhibitions have included sections for landscape architecture, painting, sculpture, and decorative arts. Source:


Collection of historical records, it includes those of individuals, corporations or government entities that meet certain criteria for permanence and are often preserved in lignin-free, pH neutral, alkaline-buffered, light controlled circumstances. A person working in an Archive is an "Archivist". The Library of Congress is a national archive for the United States.


An experimental town begun in 1970, it is located in Arizona near Cordes Junction and is an ongoing development designed by architect Paolo Soleri. Adhering to a concept he calls "arcology", the site is a demonstration of urban living in town of about 5000 population with minimal environmental impact. Source: Wikipedia,


A term coined by Francisco Rivera Rosa to describe his "paintings" with coffee on paper (derived from art + café = Arfé). Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist

Argillite/Black Slate

Argillite is a fine-grained black silt stone found in only one deposit, in Slatechuck Creek on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). It was first carved by the Haida around 1800 to make pipes for tobacco rituals performed at funerals. Among the favourite images carved on the pipes were mythical heroes such as: the Raven and Bear; European ships and sailors; indigenous tobacco plants; and dragonflies and butterflies, which were believed to transport the souls of the deceased. Sailors from ships engaged in the maritime fur trade on Haida Gwaii, from the 1820s on, purchased argillite carvings as mementos to take home to New England and Europe. As the fur trade dwindled, the Haida developed a wide range of platters, cups and miniature totem poles embellished with crest designs that appealed strongly to Victorian tastes. In the late nineteenth century, the village of Skidegate produced famous argillite carvers such as Tom Price (Chief Ninstints) [see AskART], John Robson (Chief Giatlins) and John Cross. Masset was home to Charles Edenshaw (Chief Tahayren) [see AskART], the most famous argillite carver. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, artists did not sign their works. Today, many argillite carvers carry on the tradition in both villages. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, Canada. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

Arlington 200 Art Association

See Starving Artists of North Texas

Arlington Visual Arts Association

See Starving Artists of Texas


A rigid framework, often wood or steel, used to support a sculpture or other large work while it is being made.

Armory Show-1913

An exhibition of American and European art in the 69th Regiment Armory Building in New York City, it is credited as revolutionizing the American art scene by introducing modernist styles that opened the door to abstraction. Most notably, it was the first major exhibition of modernist works from Europe in America and challenged the public attitudes towards visual art. Modifying the perception that as a single event the Show changed American art, E.P. Richardson wrote: "The Armory Show has been magnified by the human need for a myth. It is thus supposed that a single exhibition of two months created and explains, the entire subsequent course of American art. It was instead a vast, confusing ‘melange’ of some 1300 exhibits by 300 artists, including the living and the dead, European and American, a few artists now considered great and a great many more now forgotten." (2) Exhibition dates in New York were February 17 to March 15, 1913, and then it traveled that same year to venues in Chicago and Boston. Organizers led by Walt Kuhn, Walter Pach and Arthur B. Davies were members of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors. The official title of the exhibit was the International Exhibition of Modern Art because the goal was to show Americans what was happening in European art, especially in France. (German Expressionism was ignored). Another goal was to create an exhibition that countered the conservative annual exhibition of the National Academy of Design. Entrants from France included Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Wassily Kandinsky, and showcased styles were Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism and Cubism. The leading-edge works of art scandalized many viewers including many among the over 400,000 visitors in New York. Students at the Art Institute of Chicago burned effigies of the entries of Europeans Henri Matisse and Constantin Brancusi. Sources; Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Milton Brown, "The Armory Show"; Robert Atkins, "Artspoke"; E.P. Richardson, “The Ferdinand Howard Collection”, 1969 exhibition catalogue of The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts

Around the Corner Artists Group

An artist organization in Bloomington Illinois dating to 2000, its name is descriptive of the physical proximity of the artists' studios to the 100 block of West Monroe and 400 Block of North Center Streets. The group formed to increase visibility of their studio spaces, to exhibit their artwork in a working environment, to educate the public about fine art, and to offer their work for sale. Members are Joann Goetzinger, Jeffrey Little, Angel Ambrose and Darin Dawdy. Source:


"There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists." E.H. Gombrich, "The Story of Art", Introduction.

Art Academy of Cincinnati

See McMicken School of Drawing and Design

Art Association of Montreal

Founded in 1860, by art collectors, connoisseurs and artists, as a private institution, the Art Association of Montreal (now Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) is one of the first museums in North America and Canada’s first art museum. It is still one of Canada’s most important arts institutions and one of only three Canadian museums on the “The Oxford Dictionary of Art” (2004) list of “150 of the world’s leading collections of Western art” (the other two are the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto). The AAM changed its name to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1949 and became a non-profit public corporation in 1972. Additional sources: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (website) and The Canadian Encyclopedia (online version). Prepared and submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Art Barn/Salt Lake Art Center

A "nickname" for the Salt Lake City Art Center, which housed the Salt Lake City Arts Council, the Salt Lake Art Center School, and two exhibition galleries, it is near the campus of the University of Utah. The "Art Barn" was built in 1931 during the Great Depression with monies from fundraising headed by Mrs. John Jenson and 15 of her women friends. They secured monies from the City of Salt Lake, WPA, Church of Latter-Day Saints, and private donors. The goal, as stated in the newspaper, was a "Greenwich Village for Salt Lake." Originally the site was intended to be a barn at South Temple and K Street "where art lovers and artists could mingle in an informal camaraderie, but proving unfeasible, the location was changed to Reservoir Park. From its inception, with programs including a life-long learning center, it has been significant in promoting the arts. Source:; Vern Swanson, "Utah Art", p. 128; Courtesy, Anthony Christensen, Anthony's Fine Art, Salt Lake City

Art Basel Miami Beach

From the first exhibition in 2001, Art Basel has become an internationally publicized event, a place "to be seen" for art buyers and sellers, and a major forum for promotion of contemporary art. At the sixth annual event, December 6-9,2007, 43,000 people attended to view work offered by 200 galleries by more than 2000 artists from 30 countries. The location is Miami Beach, Florida, and organizers are from Art Basel, which is a division of The MCH Swiss Exhibition Limited, a fair and convention company. Sources: Anna Truxes, 'Miami Beach Gets a Reality Check', "Fine Art Connoisseur", April 2008;

Art Brut

Coined in 1945 by French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), the word is French for “raw art”. It refers to the art of Outsiders---naïve artists, the mentally ill, and the art of children---persons isolated from main society. Art Brut was often celebrated in the work of Dubuffet, who appreciated its being done for its own sake and not for concern of profit. A major collection of Art Brut work is at the Collection de l'Art Brut, founded by Dubuffet in Lausanne, Switzerland and opened in 1976. The collection is based on European art but is much expanded from that. American artists associated with this style include Ted Gordon, Henry Darger, and Inez Nathaniel Walker. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Chuck and Jan Rosenak, "Contemporary American Folk Art: A Collector's Guide"

Art Center School/College of Design

Private schools in Pasadena and Los Angeles founded in 1930, both offered undergraduate and graduate programs in art and design fields. The schools were especially appreciated by many World War II returning veterans, whose enrollment led to careers in commercial art. Enrollees include Doug Aitken, Earl Carpenter, Gary Nibblett, and Ed Mell. Source:; AskART biographies.

Art Deco

An art style of the 1920s and 1930s, it was based on machine-inspired geometric design and modern materials such as steel, chrome, glass and a style of machine-inspired geometry. It was a stylistic successor and reaction to the popular Art Nouveau style of flowing, non geometric lines. Examples of Art Deco architecture are New York's Chrysler Building and Radio City Music Hall. Art Deco sculptors include Boris Lovet-Lorski, Alfonso Iannelli and Wilhelm Diederich, and representative painters are John McCrady and Louis Icart. Edward McKnight Kauffer was known for his boldly colored posters that could be read quickly, and Helen Dryden did fashion illustrations for "Vogue" magazine, which reflected a changing era embodying both Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Romain de Tirtoff is credited with helping define the new Art Deco look because of his cover designs for "Harper's Bazar", beginning 1915. The name, Art Deco, derives from the 1925 Paris L'Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris and credited with launching the design rage for Art Deco. Sources: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; Dan Klein, "All Color Book of Art Deco"; AskART biographies; "Art & Antiques", April 2005; Walt Reed, "The Illustrator in America".

Art Engage

Art influenced by political or social significance. French term meaning “art involved in life”.

Art for Art's Sake

An expression coined in the early 19th Century, it came to mean experimental or modernist art that was created without traditional social or religious themes. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Art Glass

A late 19th-Century glassware, it was typically hand made, elaborately decorated, expensive, and usually monochromatic colors of peach, coral, opaque white, pink-to-yellow, rose amber, and blue-gray to pink. Color shading was achieved with heat variations and chemicals. Art Glass reflected sophisticated technological advancement and was popular because it served Victorian-era taste for fancy, decorative items. The earliest shaded Art Glass was Amberina, made by the New England Glass Company from 1883 to 1888. In 1917, Libbey Glass Company, a successor company, reissued it. The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, features a wide collection of Art Glass. Source: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"

Art in America-Magazine

Founded in 1913 by Frederic Fairchild Sherman, an art collector, poet and book publisher, its premise was creating a vehicle for reaching the public about American art in a way 'cultivated' and grounded in art history. Early issues, coincided with the landmark Armory Show in New York City. In 1923, the title became "Art in America and Elsewhere", but that title was dropped in the late 1930s as being too cumbersome. However, the range of subjects remains 'elsewhere', meaning not confined to American art. For 34 years, Elizabeth Baker was editor, retiring in 2007. Source: Marcia E. Vetrocq, 'Editor's Letter', "Art in America", September 2008, p.30.

Art in Embassies Program

Founded in 1964 to showcase original American artwork in residences of United States ambassadors, the program has become a sophisticated operation. The idea was laid out in 1961 by Robert H. Thayer, special assistant to the Secretary of State. He saw the program as providing "windows through which the people of foreign countries can see American works of art of all kinds and periods." The report lay idle for two years until Deputy Undersecretary of State William A. Crockett brought it to the attention of President John F. Kennedy, whose positive reaction sent the program forward. It is a blend of art, diplomacy, culture and politics and promotes national and regional pride, making it obvious that the American aesthetic identity is vast. Art in Embassies has become an exhibition venue for several-thousand works of art in many of the 160 United States embassy residences. Ambassadors can choose the artists to be represented in their embassies and quite often select work of an artist from their home state. Frequently a curator or other art professional serves as an adviser, and the agreement is that artwork will be loaned for a three-year period. Contributors are artists, museums, individual collectors or galleries. The Department of State of the U.S. government handles shipping and insurance. Artists represented in the program include Cecilia Beaux, Lockwood De Forest, Don Eddy, Tom Haas, Francis McComas, Matt Smith and Marguerite Zorach. Sources: Gwyn Creagan, “The Collection of Ambassador & Mrs. James F. Creagan”; Genta and Michael Holmes, "Art in the Residence of the American Ambassador";; AskART biographies

Art in Living Group

Founded by Vancouver artists Fred Amess and B.C. Binning, it was a post World War II movement of massive intervention in architecture and planning. For many of the members, it was a turning away from The Artist Guild movement with allegiances to Communism and imprisonment of some of its activists. Art in Living Group exponents preached that modernist architecture had an uplifting moral and spiritual effect. The Group sponsored exhibitions of photographs and drawings of modern architecture from all over the world. As a result, many artists of Vancouver built modern style homes in the suburbs. This focus resulted in a defection in their artwork from social realist themes of The Guild Group to realistic depictions of architectural landscapes and tangible objects. Source: Scott Watson, "Vancouver Art and Artists",

Art Informal

Meaning lack of form itself, the term refers to art whose artist has no premeditated structure or conception. It was popular in the 1940s and 1950s and is often considered the European equivalent to America's Abstract Expressionism. Source: Wikipedia; See AskART Tachisme in AskART Glossary.

Art Institute of Buffalo/Buffalo Art Institute

Opened in Buffalo, New York in 1931 and operating until 1958, it was an art school operating with the University of Buffalo's School of Education so that enrollees could get university credit. The school had a reputation as attracting modernist radicals or "bohemians". Well-known faculty members were Charles Burchfield, Edwin Dickinson, Isaac Soyer and David Foster Pratt. Source:

Art Institute of Chicago/School of the Art Institu

A museum and art school in Grant Park facing Michigan Avenue in Chicago, it was incorporated in 1879 with George Armour, packing house business man, serving as first president. Since 1893 the Institute has been housed in its present building, designed in classical Beaux-Arts style by the Boston firm of Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge. New buildings and wings were added during the second half of the 20th century. Among the museum's famous collections are those of Dutch, Spanish, Flemish, and early Italian paintings, including works by El Greco, Rembrandt, and Hals. The Institute is rich in 19th-century American and French paintings; particularly well known is "La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat. Modern and contemporary American and European paintings and sculpture are also well represented. Other collections include prints and drawings dating from the 15th century; sculpture; decorative arts; and Chinese art. The Institute also includes the Ryerson Library for research and the Goodman Memorial Theater with its school of drama. Source: Internet, "The Columbia Encyclopedia", 6th Edition.

Art Institute of Ontario

See The Art Institute of Ontario

Art Matters

A grant program of travel, research and/or materials, its criteria is subversive or provocative content and "artistic practice that expands definitions of a traditional medium." Philanthropist Laura Donnelley was the founder in 1985 with the goal to further 'art that matters'. Applications are by invitation only and to internationally recognized artists, curators and other arts leaders. Projects are based on intensity of social concerns, local, regional or international. Grants vary from three-thousand to ten-thousand dollars and can fund individuals or artists working collectively. art matters has fought against conservative groups by openly referencing 'matters' such as AIDS and homosexuality. Grant recipients include Manuel Ocampo, Bryan Jackson and Shaun Leonardo. Source: "art matters",

Art Nouveau

A decorative art style prevalent between 1895 and 1905, it is characterized by sinuous vines, tendril motifs and curving, often-swirling shapes based on flowing organic forms. It was an outgrowth of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which emphasized applying art to practical, daily life objects. The name originated in France, derived from a Parisien modern-design shop of S. Bing, L'Art Nouveau (the New Art) which opened in 1895. However, the style originated more than a decade earlier, and by the end of the 19th century had various names in a variety of countries: 'Jugendstil' in Germany; 'Stile Liberty' in Italy; 'Modernista' in Spain and 'Sezessionstil' in Austria. The style quickly spread to the United States and other countries. In America, it was reflected in the paintings of Edwin Austin Abbey, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Maxfield Parrish and Alfonse Mucha, and in the architecture of Louis Sullivan. Art Nouveau Glass, with classic, simple lines, was a reaction against heavily decorated Victorian Art Glass and was made popular by Tiffany and Company, New York jewelers, and Steuben Glass Works in Corning, New York. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; Robert Atkins, "ArtSpoke"

Art of This Century Gallery, New York City

Opened October 20, 1942 at 30 West 57th Street in New York City, it was founded by Peggy Guggenheim, a prominent art collector firmly entrenched in surrealism and abstraction. She had lived much of her life as an expatriate in France, and forced back to the U.S. by World War II, she established this gallery, which remains a landmark of innovations in American art history. Its exhibitions were exclusively devoted to work by American artists, many of them first-time exhibitors such as Jackson Pollack. Also it offered interactive experiences; broke down exhibition barriers between high art and popular art; between famous artists and emerging artists; and between ‘sophisticated’ art connoisseurs and regular people who just had fun browsing around, enjoying art. Part of Guggenheim’s shock-value was locating west of 5th Avenue next door near ordinary shop keepers, rather than east of the Avenue with the established galleries such as Knoedler’s or Durand-Ruel. Artists names associated with the Gallery include Marcel Duchamp, Jimmy Ernst, Andre Breton, Hans Richter, Joseph Cornell, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, Piet Mondrian, Frieda Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning, Mark Rothko, David Hare, Alexander Calder and Pollock. Although a great success as an innovation, it closed May 31, 1947 because Guggenheim was tired of the New York art scene, and had lost money each of the five years of operation. She moved her extensive contemporary art collection permanently to her villa on the Grand Canal in Venice and lived there the remaining 32 years of her life, becoming much sought after as one of the leading international champions of modern art. Source: Mary Dearborn, Peggy Guggenheim, “Mistress of Modernism”.

Art Renewal Center

Founded in 1999 by New Jersey art collectors, Fred, Sherry and Kara Lysandra Ross with several fellow scholars, it is a non-profit foundation encouraging the re-emergence of traditional art and techniques and highlighting contemporary realism. Its website has more than 80,000 images and related information, and holds an online "Living Master" salons whose prize winners get scholarship money and special website recognition. Winners include Orley Ypon from the Philippines, Denise Mahlke and David Gluck. Source: Kelly Compton, 'A Salon for our Time', "Fine Art Connoisseur", December, 2012

Art Students League of Denver

Non accredited, it is located in the historic Sherman School at 200 Grant Street. Modeled after the Art Students League of New York, it opened in 1987 and offers students through the atelier method the chance to study with regional and nationally known artists. First-year enrollment was over 100 students. Artists who have studied there include Dix Baines, Robert Spooner, Lisa Whitney and Dena Kirk. Bill Starke has been a faculty member. Sources:; AskART biographies

Art Students League of New York

One of America's early art schools, it's list of enrollees includes hundreds of America's most famous artists. Founders' objective was encouraging professional artists to use unorthodox methods. The League opened in the fall of 1875 as a drawing and sketching class by members of the art school of the National Academy of Design, which had closed temporarily. Although the Academy school reopened in 1877, ASL participants led by Walter Shirlaw continued to operate because of the student demand for independence from the Academy. The next year, 1878, the League gained much stature when William Merritt Chase, a leader in the rebellion against the Academy, opened his painting class at the League. In 1892, the League was moved into a new building on West 57th Street, and by the end of the 1890s, nearly one-thousand students were enrolled. It continues into the 21st century with its original approaches of no entrance exams, diplomas or final exams. Students serve on the governing board and set fees, appoint instructors, and are allowed to enter any time during the year and attend classes whenever they wish. Famous teachers in addition to Chase include Robert Henri, Frank DuMond, Kenneth Miller, Thomas Eakins, John Sloan and George Bridgman. Sources: John and Deborah Powers, "Texas Painters, Sculptors and Graphic Artists"; "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; AskART biographies.

Art Therapy

Treatment using art-related activities, the goal is to help persons with mental and/or physical disabilities to overcome their limitations. Linking creative art to solving psychological problems is an approach developed by 20th-century mental-health professionals. It is based on the theory that through drawing, painting and other creative projects, people can communicate fears or other problems of the subconscious a process, and that, in turn, this process is therapeutic for the person needing treatment. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Art Workers' Coalition

An open-membership reform oriented group of New York City artists, they in January 1969, began lobbying successfully for more effective interaction between artists and museum personnel. Accomplishments included tighter control of museum exhibitions with increased representation of women and African Americans. AWC also succeeded in bringing moral opposition to the Vietnam War including public stands by key persons of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney and Jewish museums. However, representatives from the Metropolitan and Guggenheim did not participate in that activity. Members included Carl Andre, Iris Crump, Dan Graham, Lucy Lippard, Faith Ringgold and Tony Shafrazi. Source:'_Coalition

Arte Nucleare

A term applied to a style of Italian painting prevalent in the 1950s, it was a movement founded in 1951 by Enrich Baj, Sergio Dangelo, Gianni Dova, and Gianni Bertini to promote a gestural, fantastical style of avant-garde art. In their first manifesto (1952) the artists introduced the idea of ‘nuclear painting’ and made it clear that they were striving for a relevant representation of post-War humans and their precarious environment. "Arte nucleare" stood in opposition to the powers unleashed in the atomic age and expressed the general fear of imminent and uncontrollable damage from nuclear physics. The artists also reacted against the pictorial disciplines of De Stijl and all forms of geometric abstraction, pursuing instead the unpredictable effects of Surrealist automatism. In 1955, Arte Nucleare artists joined the "Mouvement International pour une Bauhaus Imaginiste" (MIBI), founded by Asger Jorn. A further manifesto was released by the Arte nucleare artists in January 1959. This warned against the negative application of new technology and also found possibilities of a positive, aesthetic development from some aspects of atomic fission. Although a few Arte nucleare exhibitions were held, the movement did not gain the currency enjoyed by its rival, Art informel, and by the early 1960s had faded from the international arena. Source:

Arte Povera

An Italian term, it was applied by art critic Germano Celant in 1967 to a group of Italian artists active in Rome, Genoa, Milan and Turin in the 1960s and 1970s. They were perceived as radical because they used everyday materials they could acquire easily and cheaply such as rope, iron, sticks, cement, twigs, and newspapers. However, the term was not intended by Celant to be a value judgment of their artwork, but instead was a reference to the fact that any low-income person could get involved because the method required little or no financial investment. Metaphorical images were characteristic of “Arte Povera”, especially ones suggesting the “redemptive power of history and art with a solid grounding in the material world”. Although many 20th and 21st century artists in western countries use found objects in their artwork, the term “Arte Povera” applies almost exclusively to Italian artists including Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Giulio Paolini and Gilbert Zorio. Source: Robert Atkins, ART SPEAK, p. 51


An art movement founded in Czechoslovakia in 1927 to oppose naturalism in art, the movement was short-lived because its members went on to become involved in poetism and eventually surrealism. Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist


From the Italian word "artigiano", it refers to a skilled worker who makes either functional or strictly decorative objects including furniture, jewelry, clothing and tools. The process is 'by hand' and is the opposite of mass production. Source: Wikipedia,

Artist-Artisan Institute, New York City

An industrial art college in New York City begun in 1888, its instructors during those early years included Florence E. Cory, textile design; Walter Shirlaw, Charles C. Curran; F. Wellington Ruckstuhl, the sculptor; and George Wharton Edwards, the well-known illustrator. The School was organized by John Ward Stinson. Submitted by Edward Bentley, Art Historian, Lansing, Michigan

Artist’s Proof

A copy or reproduction, it is outside the numbered copies of the limited edition but may be numbered with the prefix AP. By custom, the artist retains the APS for his/her personal use or sale and does not put an edition number on them. Sometimes artist's proofs are regarded as having more value, especially if they are the first prints pulled off non-lithographic plates before the plates were worn down. Source: Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Artists Equity Association

Founded in 1947, it is a national organization with state and local branches working for improved economic conditions for visual artists and for protection of their legal rights. Issues addressed are taxes, copyrights, legal protection of expression, and contracts with entities such as galleries and museums. Also offered are insurance policies. The headquarters is in Washington DC; board members are volunteers. Henry Botkin, Karl Zerbe, Louise Nevelson and Jacob Lawrence have been members as have thousands of other artists. Source: "Coast Click", New York Artists Equity Association

Artists Fund Society

Organized in 1834/35 in Philadelphia and lasting until 1937, its stated purpose was "affording relief to the families of artists deceased, and that to each widow of a member of the society is paid the sum of $2,500 on the death of her husband." John Neagle was the first President. However, problems arose because artists were asked to contribute at least one painting of a minimal value of $100.00 per year for sale at public auction or exhibition. If the work brought more, the artist could pocket the money, which meant an incentive to contribute quality work. However, problems arose as some 'committed' artists with motives of using the Society to earn money for themselves, were much more participatory than others. This self interest, especially when it was Board members, caused resentment and in some cases, left the Society with surplus, unsold artwork. The first exhibition was held in 1841 in space over two shops on Chestnut Street. Artist members included John Cranch, Worthington Whittredge, John George Brown, John Kensett, Sanford Gifford, and John Casilear. Source: "The New York Times" Archives, 'Some Inquiries in Regard to the Artist's Fund Society', March 9, 1873; Russell Weigley, et all, "Philadelphia: A 300-Year History".

Artists Who Teach

An organization founded by Leighann Foster to bring together artists who are teachers and create a climate of public respect for this uniting of both talents. Teaching subjects are not necessarily related to art. In 2009, 455 artists were members, and only artists with personal websites are considered for membership. Members are listed on the organzation's website. Source: The website of the organization, /

Artists' Fellowship, Inc.

The Artists' Fellowship, Inc. is a charitable foundation in New York City at 47 Fifth Avenue, which assists professional fine artists (painters, graphic artists, printmakers, sculptors) and their families in times of emergency, disability, or bereavement. The Artists' Fellowship's Board of Trustees and Officers all serve as volunteers in service to our community of artists. Assistance is given without expectation of repayment. One does not need to be a member of the Fellowship to receive assistance; neither does membership in the Artists' Fellowship entitle one to assistance from the foundation. Among their recognition awards are the Benjamin West Clinedinst Memorial Medal and the Gari Melchers Memorial Medal. Source:

Arts and Crafts

Practical or useful objects created to have eye appeal or artistic merit as well as utility. In this category are metalwork, fiber art, and woodwork. As a subject, arts and crafts are often taught as therapy or recreational activity. See Arts and Crafts Movement. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms" Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Terms"

Arts and Crafts Movement

A revival lasting from 1861 to 1914, the goal was to bring handcrafts to the forefront in a period when industry and mechanization were gaining cultural dominance. The Arts and Crafts Movement began in England in the last part of the 19th century, and in many countries including America, resulted in the dignifying of the private home as a place of creative expression and enjoyment of both the process and results of that expression. The founding leader was William Morris (1834-1896), an English aristocrat who designed wallpapers, fabrics, furniture and books and did weaving and dye staining. He asserted that "a work of utility might be a work of art, if we cared to make it so." Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud inadvertently gave voice to the movement with his comment, "a chair is rarely just a chair." For Morris, the motivation to rebel came from his anger at the harmful effects of the Industrial Revolution on people's lives. He observed that not only was their health being ruined by air pollution, but their creative talents were thwarted by machines replacing domestic tasks such as furniture making, textile design, etc. Launching a 'do-it-yourself-movement, Morris set out to equate applied art with fine art and to formalize education in the Applied Arts by paying close attention to quality and intended use of materials. It was an influence whose success not only empowered the middle class generally but dignified the labor of women in that it elevated to an art form domestic tasks such as sewing, quilting, china painting, needle pointing and pottery making. Indicative of these changes was that needlepoint was exhibited as a fine art along with painting and sculpture at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Morris promoted his ideas through his company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company, composed of painters, designers and architects. In 1888, the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society held their first show in England, and in 1897, Boston hosted the First American Society of Arts and Crafts exhibition. The movement then spread throughout Europe and was a strong influence on Walter Gropius in his founding of the Bauhaus School in Germany. In America, the Arts and Crafts Movement resulted in academic respect for folk art and public respect for it as a part of fine art. In 2004, the Los Angeles County Museum launched a traveling exhibition titled “The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America”. Organized by Decorative Arts Curator Wendy Kaplan and focused on the heyday of the movement, 1890 to 1910, it was the first museum exhibition to explore the international impact of the movement. Exhibited were more than 300 objects, with furniture being dominant, but included were jewelry, ceramics, textiles, stained glass, book bindings, tapestries and hand-printed wall paper. In America, leading architectural promoters were architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Hobson Richardson, and strong supporters included furniture maker Gustav Stickley. American artists who became part of the movement include Arthur Mathews, Lucia Matthews, Birge Harrison, John Fabian Carlson, Hermann Murphy, Blanche Lazzell, Anna and Albert Valentien, Zulma Steele-Parker and Reginald Machell. Sources: Art Review, “The New York Times”, July 26, 2005, B5; Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Terms"; "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; Judith Newton & Carol Weiss, "Skirting the Issue".

Arts Club of Montreal/Montreal Arts Club

Referred to by several names, the correct name is Arts Club. Nearly 100 years old, it was founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1912 to "promote, stimulate and encourage development of art in all forms." Members included William Brymmer, Alexander Young Jackson, Robert Pilot and Loren Bouchard. Source:

Arts for the Parks

A name given to exhibitions of the National Park Foundation, its promoters are a non-profit group formed in the 1980s with the stated goal to identify and promote artists "whose paintings best captured the 'essence' of the landscapes, wildlife, and history of the more than 300 units of our National Park System. The first exhibition was in 1987, and from that time until recently, Arts for the Parks exhibitions became annual events with a focus to promote landscape as subject matter in American art. However, in 2006, it was announced that the Arts for the Parks exhibition may be terminated because the owners announced that, although they would entertain an offer of buying, they wanted to retire. Also controversy had arisen because participating artists were required to sign documents that released them from copyright control of their entries. The 2006 Arts for the Parks winner, possibly the last one, was Maron Hylton for "One of the Fallen". Other participants include Michael B. Coleman, Ted Feeley, and Wilson Hurley. Sources: Peter Hassrick, "Drawn to Yellowstone"; Judy Archibald, 'Art Beat', "Wildlife Art", January/ February 2007, p. 93.


A national organization founded in 1980 in New York City by Lila Harnett, art professional from Arizona, its purpose is to bring together professional visual arts women for greater understanding and appreciation. Headquarters are in New York, and regional chapters are in Washington DC, Northern California, Southern California and Boston. Each year an annual conference is held in New York City, and Distinguished Service to the Visual Arts Awards are given to women professionals. Recipients include Elizabeth Baker, Editor of "Art in America"; Agnes Gund, President Emeritus of the Museum of Modern Art; and Paula Cooper, Director of the Paula Cooper Gallery. Source:


A word that means "nausea" in Spanish, it was used by a Chicano four-member art group in East Los Angeles in the 1970s. Their purpose was to expand the definition of Chicano art beyond murals and posters with a wide range of art forms including conceptual art, street performances, and photo montage. Members included Patssi Valdez, the only woman; Harry Gamboa, photographer; and painters Willie Herron and Gronk Nicandro. Source: Website of The Target Corporation,

Ashcan School

A term loosely applied to the first 20th-century notable American art movement, it is a term first used by Holger Cahill and Alfred Barr in their 1934 book, "Art in America". Commonality of 'Ashcan' painters was realistic, often shocking depiction of New York City life as they saw it such as street people reliant upon leavings in 'ashcans'. Robert Henri was the leader, and others were Everett Shinn, George Bellows, John Sloan and George Luks. All had been newspaper illustrators, who operated as reporters and not reformers. Ashcan School painters are sometimes confused with 1930s Social Realists and with The Eight. However, Social Realists were dedicated messengers of social change, and The Eight pertains only to a group of eight artists who exhibited together at the Macbeth Gallery in 1908 (see Glossary). Source: "Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"


Three-dimensional or sculptural work, it is the media counterpart of collage, which is two-dimensional. It composed of non-art materials, often found objects, that are seemingly unrelated but when 'assembled', create a unity. It originated with the Cubism of Pablo Picasso and George Braque, who, in 1913, made the first Assemblage, which was a guitar made of sheet metal. Peter Selz and William Seitz, curators at the Museum of Modern Art, created the name in 1961 with an exhibition of objects they titled "The Art of Assemblage". American Assemblage artists include Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Louise Nevelson, Joseph Cornell, Edward Kienholz, Lee Bontecou, Escobar Marisol, Richard Stankiewicz, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Pierre Arman and Red Grooms. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; AskART database.

Associated American Artists

Founded in 1934 in New York City during the Depression era, its purpose was to make fine art available to the “masses”---people who could not afford originals. Working with the AAA, executives of 50 department stores agreed to display and sell for five dollars each prints of artist members, who included Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Luigi Lucioni, Grant Wood, Raphael Soyer, Reginald Marsh, Isabel Bishop and Adolf Dehn. By the mid 1900s, the Association had expanded in scope to fabric design and a line of pottery called Stonelain. Involved as potters were Gwen Lux, Joseph Hirsh, William Solni and Frances Server. Sources:;;;

Association of American Painters and Sculptors

The organization that sponsored the landmark Armory Show exhibition of 1913, it was formed in 1911 by a group of New York artists who were dissatisfied with working within the exhibition and stylistic constraints of the National Academy of Design. Organizers did not espouse any specific style or subject matter of art, but had the common goal of casting aside restrictions they regarded as inhibiting. The immediate aim of the group was to find suitable exhibition space for young American artists and to "lead the public taste in art, rather than follow it". After preliminary meetings between painters including Jerome Myers, Elmer MacRae, and Walt Kuhn, they held a meeting at the Madison Gallery on December 16, 1911 to create a new artists’ organization. At a subsequent meeting on January 2, 1912, they elected officers and began to discuss exhibition plans. The president, Julian Alden Weir, who had been elected in 'absentia', resigned, so the leadership passed to Arthur B. Davies. The revolutionary Armory Show of 1913 was then organized by AAPS members, who sent invitations, which included European modernists. The result was an introduction of their styles including Cubism in America. For many years, the extensive financial records of this Armory Show appeared to be lost, but were found in 1958 at the Bush-Holley House during its restoration at Cos Cob Connecticut. The home had been the Holley Inn, and Elmer MacRae, the treasurer of the AAPS, married Constant Holley. The couple lived at the Bush-Holley House from 1900 until his death in 1958, and the treasurer's records and other papers were found among his possessions. Source: Milton Brown, "The Story of the Armory Show"

Association of Medical Illustrators

Founded in 1945 at Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago by 30 medical illustrators, it's purpose is to advance life sciences, medicine and healthcare by using visual media professionals. In 2012, the AMI had over 800 members in four continents. Among the founders were Tom Jones, Willard Shepard, Muriel McLatchie, Elizabeth Brodel and Elon Clark. Source:

Association of Women Painters and Sculptors

See National Association of Women Artists


Unbalanced, meaning a form whose sides are not identical, it is an effect often used to make objects or figures more realistic. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Atelier (Canada)

Atelier was a short lived Montreal art school and art association founded in 1931 by John Lyman, Hazen Sise (architect 1906 – 1974), George Holt (painter 1902), Elizabeth Frost (painter born ?), and André Biéler. It is considered by many to be the first art school and art organization in Canada dedicated to modernism, artistic formalism and specifically the School of Paris. Other members included Goodridge Roberts, Edwin Holgate and Marc-Aurele Fortin. The association had two exhibitions, March – April 1932 and May 1933, both at the Henry Morgan Galleries. The Atelier folded after less than two years of existence, however it served the purpose of bringing contemporary like minded artists together for discussion and exhibition and paved the way for future efforts like the Eastern Group of Painters (1938) and the Contemporary Art Society (1939). Sources: “Four Decades: The Canadian Group of Painters and Their Contemporaries, 1930 – 1970” (1972), by Paul Duval; “Canadian Painting in the Thirties” (1975), by Charles C. Hill. All artists mentioned except those with brackets after their names have their own pages in AskART. Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Atelier 17

A printmaking workshop, it was founded in 1927 in Paris by Stanley Hayter, an English painter, and then moved to New York in 1940. Atelier 17 was first associated with the New School of Social Research, but in 1945, moved to its own quarters on Eighth Street. Hayter served as Director until his return to Paris in 1950, and members including Karl Schrag and Peter Grippe served in that leadership capacity. Unique to Atelier 17 were Hayter's pioneering techniques with copper and zinc plate engraving, free-line engraving, drilled plates and deep etching. The signature of the workshop was its democratic structure, breaking with the traditional hierarchic French engraving studios by insisting on a cooperative approach to labour and technical discoveries. Hayter, like many associated with his workshop, was a surrealist and attracted artists of that and other abstract styles. American participants included Jackson Pollock, Louise Nevelson, Max Ernst, Andre Masson, Yves Tanguy, Robert Motherwell, Gabor Peterdi, Sue Fuller, Minna Citron, Nahum Tschacbasov, Harriet FeBland, Franz Kline and Mauricio Lasansky. Peterdi and Lasansky have been especially active in carrying on the movement. In 1944, the Museum of Modern Art had an exhibition of Atelier 17 prints. Sources: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; AskART Database

Atelier/Atelier Libre

French for the English term, “artist’s workshop,” it is a place where an artist teaches students and/or has apprentices working under his/her supervision. The term "atelier libre" is French for a studio where a nude model poses at fixed times so that students can draw without paying a teacher or tuition. Source: Ralph Mayer, "Art Terms and Techniques"

Athens School of Fine Arts

The premier art school of Greece, it was founded in 1837 with departments of Crafts, Industrial Arts and Fine Arts. The Fine Arts section is the 'real ancestor' of the School today. In 1910, women were accepted for the first time into the school. Source:

Atmospheric Perspective

A device for suggesting three-dimensional depth on a two-dimensional surface, it creates a sense of distance with a blurring effect--- indistinct, misty and often more blue in color. See Aerial Perspective. Source: Kimberly Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms".


A feeling or mood created pictorially, it is a manipulation of light and perspective to highlight objects in the distance so they seem both far away and jarringly close. Influenced by foreign artists such as Claude Lorraine and J.M.W. Turner, Hudson River School landscape painters such as Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey and Asher Durand brought the style to America. Sources: Kimberly Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; James Flexner, "History of American Painting", Vol. III.

Attic Club

Founded in 1909 in Minneapolis by a group of 13 artists, it was an organization for social and exhibition purposes. Early members were Lee Mero, Theodore Keane, Edwin Dawes, and August Kaiser. The Club held exhibitions, gave teas, costume balls, etc. Source: Larry Greeley, AskART biography of Lee Mero.


An indicator of signature status, it means that the authorship of a work of art is not confirmed, but that on documentary or stylistic grounds, it can be assigned to a particular artist. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


Floor covering and tapestry, usually large and handwoven, it is associated with royalty and elegant living. It is made in the department of Creuse in Central France and dates back to 1743. The name is synonymous with flat woven French carpet. Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Audubon Artists/Audubon Society

A group of painters, sculptors, drawing and graphic artists, it was named in 1942 for the ornithologist John James Audubon. The purpose of the organization, which became national but was founded as a regional group in New York City in 1941, is art discussion, exhibition and education. The goals have remained the same, but since incorporation in 1946, membership has become national although annual exhibitions are held in New York City. The first annual exhibitions were held at the National Academy of Design in New York City, and then from 1980 moved to other venues including the National Arts Club and the Institute of Arts and Letters. From 1997, the Salmagundi Club has been the site with Audubon exhibitions held in two parts, the first being two weeks of Aquamedia, Graphics and Sculpture, and the second two weeks being oil paintings. Noted American artists who have served as Presidents of Audubon Artists are David Beynon Pena, Marion Roller, Stephen McNeely, Judith Weller, Guy Pene du Bois, Hughie Lee-Smith, Frederic Whitaker and Umberto Romano. Source: Jan Gary, Historian,; AskART database.

Audubon Society of Artists

See Audubon Artists

Australian Art Association

Founded in 1912 in Melbourne, Australia, its original members included by John Mahter, Max Meldrum, Frederick McCubbin and Walter Withers. Source: Wikipedia,


A technique of creating a work of art without conscious effort, thought or will, it has emphasis on intuition and spontaneity rather than planned composition. Automatism underlies 20th-century abstract art, especially Abstract Expressionism. Automatism was a deliberate method sometimes employed by the Surrealists including Andre Breton and Max Ernst and Action Painters such as Jackson Pollock. Some persons equate Automatism with doodling, but doodling, when used as a formal term, is regarded as a process of conscious selection. The theory of Automatism is traced to 17th-century philosophers Rene Descartes and Thomas Hobbes and to Thomas Huxley in the 19th century. Huxley stated that "our mental conditions are simply the symbols in consciousness of the changes which take place automatically in the organism." (Britannica) In the late 19th century, Automatism with its emphasis on intuition, accident and irrationality gained strength through the movements of Dada, Futurism and Collages. Sources: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".


Les Automatistes were a group of Quebec artists and intellectuals in the 1940s and 50s. They came together around avant-garde painter and teacher Paul-Emile Borduas. Although inspired by surrealism and particularly by the concept of automatism, Les Automatistes extricated themselves from the illusionistic bias of that movement and applied its principles to abstraction. The group exhibited at the studio of dancer Franziska Boas (1902 -1988) in New York in 1946, four times in Montreal (1946, 1947, 1951,1954) and once in Paris (1947), all relatively small venues. In 1948, Borduas, who was an activist for the separation of church and state in Quebec, wrote and his fellow Automatistes signed, a manifesto called Refus Global which became one of the pillars of the Quiet Revolution, a period of intense social change in Quebec. Les Automatistes, in addition to Borduas, were Jean-Paul Riopelle, Fernand Leduc, Françoise Sullivan, Marcel Barbeau, Pierre Gauvreau, Marcelle Ferron, Jean-Paul Mousseau (see all previous in AskART), Madeleine Arbour, Bruno Cormier, Claude Gauvreau, Muriel Guilbault, Thérèse Leduc, Maurice Perron, Louise Renaud and Françoise Riopelle. Source: “The Dictionary of Art” edited by Jane Turner (see AskART book references). Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, Canada

Avant Garde

In art vocabulary, it is a term meaning departure from the existing norm and being ahead of one's time. The word is tied to a French word meaning "advance guard", and is a description of a group involved in the invention and application of new ideas and techniques in an original or experimental way. Some avant-garde artworks are intended to shock those who are accustomed to traditional, established styles. Thus the term can also refer to that which is extreme or outlandish. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"; Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"


A method of creating a glass colored print that was popular in the 17th and early 18th centuries. It is done by placing a print over a piece of glass and then over-painting it from the rear to give the appearance of being painted directly onto the glass. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".


The "part of the composition in the pictorial arts that appears to be farthest from the viewer." Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Bacone College

A four-year liberal arts college, it was founded in 1880 in Muskogee, Oklahoma by the American Baptist Church. In 2005, Bacone College was accredited as a four-year college. It has been a source of education, including art study, for many Native-American young people, especially of the Five Nations: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole. Included among those students are artists Woodrow "Woody Crumbo", Dick West, Fred Beaver, Brent Greenwood, Merlin Little Thunder, Alfred Momaday, Diane O'Leary, Virginia Stroud, Darwin Tsoodle and Chief Terry Saul. Sources:; AskART biographies;;

Baffle Painting

World War I term for camouflage, it was the "application of conspicuous, abstract geometric shapes on a ship's surface as a deterrent against German submarine attacks." Source: Roy R. Behrens, "Camoupedia"

Baghdad Modern Art Group

A post World War II art movement in the Middle East, the aim was to promote artwork that combined modernist and traditional creativity. The point of departure was "seeking inspiration from tradition through modern styles and cultural vision." Source: 'Shakir Hassan Al Said', "Wikipedia", (Accessed 6/3/2013)


Dutch artists working in Rome in the mid-17th century, they were followers of Pieter van Laer (1592-1642) and depicted anecdotal and low-life genre scenes of contemporary Italian life. Van Laer is credited as originator of the name 'Bamboccianti'. He had a deformed body, which earned him the nickname of il Bamboccio (large baby) and his followers were 'little babies' or Bamboccianti. Source:


A ribbon or long scroll, which is carved or painted. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Banff Centre

See Banff School of Fine Arts

Banff School of Fine Arts

Founded in 1933 in Banff, Alberta by the University of Alberta as an experimental theatre school, it took the name of Banff School of Fine Arts in 1935, and today is known as Banff Centre. A non-degree granting institution located at Tunnel Mountain in Banff National Park, it is an arts educational institution as well as conference complex. Among art students have been Tib Beament, Dorothy Knowles and Joseph Plaskett, and teachers have included William Ewen, Takao Tanabe, and Anne Savage. Sources: Wikipedia,; AskART biographies

Barbizon School

A group of French naturalist painters, their approach to painting, beginning in the 1830s, opened the door to Plein-Air Painting, Impressionism, and Social Realism. Barbizon School painters were based in the village of Barbizon, France on the outskirts of the Forest of Fontainebleau. Most were landscape painters who expressed fascination with changing seasons, changing times of day and the effects of light on the landscape. Barbizon artists had no agreed-upon style, but were revolutionary because of their commitment to portraying nature as a worthwhile subject in its own right rather than something that was so remote that it could only be expressed through romanticized and sublime images. In other words, nature was something that could be experienced personally and painted subjectively and not just romantically or philosophically. Barbizon School painters often included toiling peasants in their landscapes---persons who had little time or inclination towards 'contemplation' of nature. This approach was also revolutionary in prevailing approaches to fine art, which showed preferences for genteel subjects such as aristocrats basking in the beauty of their surroundings. Barbizon artists are considered the first "plein-air" painters, those who painted directly in the outdoors rather than completing their scenes in studios from sketches. Chief among the original French Barbizon painters were Camille Corot, Francois Millet, Theodore Rousseau, and Charles Daubigny. American painters much influenced by the Barbizon School were George Inness, Homer Martin, Alexander Wyant, William Morris Hunt aand Wyatt Eaton. Eaton and Hunt lived near Millet at Barbizon. Sources: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Barnes School of Art

Founded by Wilfred Molson Barnes in Montreal in 1905, the school had students taught by Barnes including Freda Pemberton-Smith, Gerard Perrault, Lorne Holland Bouchard and Albert Sexton. The exact length of time the school operated could not be determined, but according to Gerard Perrault’s biography he attended it from 1922 to 1927 indicating it was still open in the late 1920s. Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists" (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references). Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke

Barnes School, Williams Family of Painters

Referencing the Williams family of English Victorian landscape painters, the group is composed of Edward Williams (1781-1855), his six sons and several grandchildren. The name derived from the Barnes area of London, south of the Thames, where the Williams family artists had their studios. Here they lived and worked together with their father, Edward, in a communal artist setting in a large house with a studio that they shared at 32 Castelnau Villas. Barnes today is part of the urban sprawl of London, but much of it was rural countryside in Victorian times. Situated close to the Thames River, there were quiet marshes beneath windmills, farms where horses pulled plows, and wheel-rutted dirt roads running past country inns or through shaded glens. These were the scenes that the Williams brothers captured on canvas during their early years as painters. It is thought that the name was first used in "Athenaeum" magazine, July 15, 1855, in the obituary of the father, Edward Williams. Source: "Williams family of painters", Wikipedia, (Accessed 5/10/2013)


A theatrical style of painting and sculpture characterization, "often florid, exuberant, and emotional" with heavy ornamentation that came to be considered grotesque. (Britannica, 634) The style, intended to evoke compelling effects of drama and grandeur, developed in Italy at the end of the 16th century and continued into the 17th Century. The subject was usually religious. The movement spread throughout Europe and employed strong sense of movement and contrast between light and dark. Caravaggio (1573-1610) is considered the first Baroque artist by many scholars because of his religious subject matter and dramatic use of light and dark (chiaroscuro). Other Baroque painters were Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) and Diego Velasquez (1599-1660). Sources: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms".

Bas Relief

Sculpture in which figures project only slightly from a background, as on a coin, it is also known as low relief sculpture. Among Bas Relief American Sculptors are Marguerite Blasingame, Janet Scudder,Rene Chambellan, William Couper, William Couper, James Earle Fraser, Achille Perelli and Robert Graham. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database


The imaginary line upon which all capital Letters and most lower-case letters rest. Source: Bob Bahr, "Drawing" magazine, Spring 2006, pp. 83

Batchelder School of Design

Opened in 1909 in Pasadena, California, it was a teaching and business venue for its founder, Ernest Batchelder, a New Hampshire native artist who also taught at the Throop Institute in Pasadena. The Batchelder School facilities were adjacent to Batchelder's design shop and home. Of the location, it was written: "possibly no other art school in the country occupies a more picturesque site or artistic quarters than the new Batchelder Craft Shop and School of Design on Arroyo Drive overlooking the beauties of the Arroyo Seco." Instruction included painting, embroidery, metal design and copper work, the latter two subjects taught by Douglas Donaldson. Among students were Mary Cecilia Wheeler. The school closed during the 1930s Depression. Sources: (quote); Edan Hughes, AskART biography.


A technique of producing designs on fabric through a series of wax treatments and dyes, the process originated thousands of years ago, likely in China. The Javanese of Indonesia advanced the skill and produced richly colored textiles. The batik process begins with a design sketched on fabric, usually silk. The artist has to visualize the finished piece from a negative image, because light and dark areas are reversed during the process. A wax resist is applied to the lighter areas, and then the fabric is immersed in dye with the wax areas repelling the dye. The process continues with colors dyed on top of each other, often seeping through cracked places in the wax. When the work is finished the artist removes the wax by ironing the fabric between absorbent layers of cloth. Usually the pieces are mounted on a backing and displayed under glass to protect the colors. American batik artists include Mary Tannahill, Grace Betts, Leo Twiggs, Tanasko Milovich, Sammy Lynn, Louise Wilson, Katalin Ehling and Linda Szabo. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds, Richard Seddon; "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART Database


A design school founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany by Walter Gropius who said of the program: "The Bauhaus strives to combine all the arts---sculpture, painting, applied art and visual art---as the inseparable components of a new architecture." The curriculum promoted reconciliation between aesthetics and utilitarianism. Followers asserted that art should be an intrinsic part of society, rather than set aside in an isolated sphere, and that applied art should be upgraded in educational status. The name "Bauhaus" in German means 'Building House' in English. With his school, Gropius was determined to establish a working partnership as well as philosophical link between artists and "Bauhutten", the masonry or building guilds in Germany. Enrolled artists in the early years included Paul Klee, Laszlo Maholy-Nagy and Lyonel Feininger. In 1933, Hitler closed the school, which he viewed as a threat to Nazism and which, from 1926 had been re-located to Dessau. The separation of theoretical and practical curriculum was abandoned with that move. Dessau teachers such as Josef Albers combined the subjects. The focus was on a community of artists working together, sharing ideas, with de-emphasis on teacher superiority over students. In 1926, Gropius left as did several others including Moholy-Nagy. Architect Hannes Meyer then ran the school until 1930, when Mies van der Rohe took over. In 1932, the Institute moved to Berlin, and the next year the school closed. However, Bauhaus methods continued to have widespread influence and were taken to America by Moholy-Nagy and Josef Albers. In Chicago, Moholy-Nagy opened the New Bauhaus, later named the Institute of Design. In North Carolina, Josef Albers taught Bauhaus philosophy when he joined the staff of Black Mountain College. Sources: "Phaidon, Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art";

Bay Area Figurative

The application of Abstract Expressionist technique to realistic subject matter, it was a style of painting prevalent in the Bay Area of San Francisco, California from the 1940s to 1960s. Bay Area Figurative painting began with teachers at the California School of Fine Art. Leading artists were David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliviera, Paul Wonner and Elmer Bischoff. The movement was a reaction to the popular Abstract Expressionism in New York. In the Bay area style, images were still quite abstract and painted with much expressionist style, but there was a rejection of total abstraction. Elements of realism such as human figures could be seen. However, these figures seldom conveyed a sense of human vitality or realism and were more like elements in a still life. For many, the Bay Area Figurative movement marked the end of the dominance of Abstract Expressionism and the return of some realism to 20th century art. Elmer Bischoff told critic Thomas Albright that Abstract Expressionism was "playing itself dry. I can only compare it to the end of a love affair." Source: Robert Atkins, "ArtSpeak"

Bayeux Tapestry

An embroidered cloth on linen and not an actual tapestry, it is about 230 feet long and with fifty scenes depicts events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. It is thought that Bishop Odo, half brother of William, commissioned the work in the 1070s. It was rediscovered in 1729 in the Bayeux Cathedral and is now exhibited at the Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux, Normandy, France. Source: "Wikipedia",

Beardsley Limner

One of several but unidentified portrait painters active in New England and New York in the several decades following the American Revolution, the name derives from two of the earliest-known portraits whose subjects were Hezekiah and Elizabeth Davis Beardsley. Scholars have linked fifteen portraits under the name of Beardsley Limner, all completed from 1785 to the early 19th century. Subjects lived along the Boston Post Road in Massachusetts and Connecticut and appear to be prosperous but not upper-class aristocrats. Something of the life of this painter(s) can be found by tracing the history of the subjects. Source: Christine Skeeles Schloss, Essay in "American Folk Painters of Three Centuries" by Jean Lipman and Tom Armstrong.


Subjective words, these are commonly used to describe pleasing visual responses and often used to express a positive reaction to natural phenomena or to a work of art. These words result from "the satisfaction the mind derives from contemplating any image that has been organized and ordered into a unified whole." Components of the 'whole' in either nature or art expression include shape, color, line, tone, proportion and atmospherics. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A French term for “high arts”, it refers to the curriculum basis for art students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the official state school founded in Paris in the late 19th century. Beaux Arts education was a combination of learning history of major art movements, and then painting and sculpting in studios based on work of leading artists of those movements. Emphasis was on Roman, Renaissance and Baroque styles and methods. Source: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"

Beaver Hall Group/Hall Hill Group

The Beaver Hall Group was an association of Quebec artists, which officially began its existence in 1920. Under the leadership of A.Y. Jackson, the group attracted and fostered the work of artists interested in the newest European trends and unconcerned about the consequences of cold-shouldering traditional approaches to subject representation. Remarkably, unlike its Ontario counterpart, the Group of Seven, the Beaver Hall Group had a large contingent of female artists, and though the Group prided itself on its eschewal of any bias-related to class, gender, or artistic preference, it seems to have been especially hospitable to women and proved an excellent springboard for their careers. The first group only existed for two years (1920 - 1922). It consisted of artists, most of whom had studios at 305 Beaver Hall Hill, Montreal. After the group disbanded for financial reasons, some of the women artists still used the studios. They were joined by other women artists and this group of painters was later to become known as The Beaver Hall Hill Group. The members of the original (formal) group were James Crockart, Jeanne de Crèvecœur, Adrien Hébert, Henri Hébert, Randolph S. Hewton, Edwin Holgate, Alexander Y. Jackson, John Y. Johnstone, Mabel Lockerby, Henrietta Mabel May, Darrell Morrissey, Lilias Torrance Newton, Hal Ross Perrigard, Robert Wakeman Pilot, Sarah M. Robertson, Sybil Robertson, Anne Savage, Adam Sheriff Scott, Regina Seiden and William Thurstan Topham. The second group included Nora Collyer, Emily Coonan, Prudence Heward, Mabel Lockerby, Henrietta Mabel May, Kathleen Moir Morris, Lilias Torrance Newton, Sarah Robertson, Anne Savage and Ethel Seath. Sources: Jacques Des Rochers, Curator of Canadian Art, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; and the book "The Women of Beaver Hall: Canadian Modernist Painters" (2005) by Evelyn Walters. Source: Written and submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Belfast Rambler's Sketching Club

See Royal Ulster Academy

Belle Epoque

A French term meaning "beautiful era", it refers to a 'beautiful' time in that country's history from late 19th century to the beginning of World War I. France and its neighbors seemed to be on peaceful terms, and because of innovations and a general sense of contentment, life seemed to be easy and happy. Art Nouveau and Impressionism developed during this period as did the cabaret, cinema, and cancan dance. The spirit of "La Belle Epoque" spread to other countries as well. Source:Époque

Ben-Day Dot

Refers to a method of painting, it was made famous by Roy Lichtenstein (see AskART) in his Pop Art enlarged cartoon strip images. The style mimics a printing process invented by and named after Benjamin Day (see AskART) in 1879. It inexpensively printed comic strips using a system in which dots in a limited range of colors – black, red, yellow, blue – are overlaid or placed side by side to produce different tones. Source: “Techniques of the Great Masters of Art” (1985), by David A. Anfam, et al; New Burlington Books, London, England (559 pgs., color). Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Bengal School of Art, Bengal School

Originating in Bengal, India in the early 20th century, its subjects were nationalism and style was modernist. It was led by Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951). Source: 'Bengal School of Art', "Wikipedia"

Benjamin West Clinedinst Memorial Award

Established in 1947 to commemorate the distinctive art career of Benjamin West Clinedinst, it is given in New York City by Artists' Fellowship, Inc. Among the award winners are Georg Lober, Daniel Greene and Chen Chi. Source: Artists' Fellowship, Inc.,


Mostly Dutch and Flemish painters, etchers, sculptors and poets, it was active as an exclusive social and intellectual Society in Rome from about 1620 to 1720. Members were known for Bacchic or drunken initiations, which often lasted 24 hours or more and ending with a march to the Temple of Bacchus. In addition to shared rowdiness, the Society was renowned for its high level of intellectual discussions. Members included Peter van Leiden, Cornelis Poelenburgh van Utrecht, and Wouter Crabeth van der Gou as well as other members of the Golden Age of Dutch Painting. Source: Wikipedia,

Berkeley School

It was a name given to an informal core group of artists around Hans Hofmann, pioneering Abstract Expressionist, when he taught at the University of California at Berkeley during the summers of 1930 and 1931. Among Berkeley School artists were Erle Loran, John Haley, Worth Ryder, Margaret Peterson, Virginia McRae, Leah Rinne Hamilton, and Mine Okubo. Source: Patricia Trenton, "Independent Spirits", p. 32.

Berlin Academy of Fine Arts

Founded in 1696 by Frederick III of Brandenburg with the intention of having a place for discussion and sharing of ideas, the original name was Prussian Academy of Arts. Today the Berlin Academy is the arts council of the government. Membership is by election of the general assembly and is limited to 500 persons. Source: Wikipedia,

Berlin/Berliner Secession

An association of artists founded in 1898 in Berlin, it was initiated by 65 young artists seeking an alternative to the conservative state-run Association of Berlin Artists. A factor in prompting the defection was the rejection of a painting by modernist Walter Leistikow. Max Liebermann was the first president of the Secession. The Cassirer Gallery in Berlin was a primary exhibition venue for the painters and sculptors Renee Sintenis, Lovis Corinth, Lyonel Feininger, Max Beckmann and Kathe Kollwitz. Source: Peter Paret: "The Berlin Secession: Modernism and Its Enemies in Imperial German", cited on Wikipedia; AskART biographies


A decorative or rare object of art, notably small.

Biedermeier Movement

Arising in the early 19th century in the German states, Austrian empire and Denmark, it was a reaction of simplicity among fine artists and their collectors against the prevalent lavish expressions of Rococo and Neo-Classical styles. Representative artists included Europeans Eduard Gaertner and Jakob Alt. Source: Franz Schulze, 'Biedermeier Unbound', "Art in America", 12/2006

Billy De Beck Memorial Award

See Reuben Award


A substance mixed with pigment, it holds raw pigment in such a way that it becomes workable in a painting medium. Its purpose is to weld the pigment granules into some sort of shape---liquid, semi-liquid or solid---where brush, knife or hands can carry the color to the canvas or paper. In oil paint, raw pigment is usually combined with a linseed oil binder to form a fluid paint. Watercolor's binder is gum Arabic, and pastel is bound with gum tragacanth. Joe Singer writes in his book, "How to Paint Portraits in Pastel" that 'it is often the binder and not the pigment that is the main cause for the deterioration of paintings, especially oil.' Source: Roger Dunbier, PhD, Unpublished essay on Mediums.

Biomorphic Art

Abstract art, it has shapes that resemble living organisms, are rounded and graceful appearing, and have the contours of plants and animals rather than hard-lined geometric forms. Surrealist painter Yves Tanguy often used Biomorphic shapes in his paintings as did Wiliiam Baziotes, Roland Flexner, Charles Howard, Frank Lobdell, Charles Shaw, Jim Waid and Richard Pousette-Dart. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database


A 20th century art movement linked to Art Nouveau and Surrealism, it references abstract images suggestive of organic shapes found in nature. The term originated in 1935 with British writer, Geoffrey Grigson, and was used by Alfred Barr in a 1936 exhibition of Cubism and Abstraction. Artists whose work is biomorphic include sculptors Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi and Barbara Hepworth; and painters Yves Tanguy, Desmond Morris and Robert Matta. Source: Wikipedia,

Bird's Eye View

Depiction of a scene as if observed from a point in space by a 'flying bird' directly over the subject, the view includes the entire spread of the subject with a high horizon line allowing most of the composition to lie below it. Some Bird's-Eye Views are panoramic, as wide as three feet, and drawn by hand with the purpose of giving highly, accurate details including placement of trees. Bird's Eye Views, popular in the 19th century, pre-dated the common use of photographs to convey information. Much of the knowledge today of this subject comes from the research of John W. Reps, professor emeritus of city and regional planning at Cornell University and scholar on the history of American urban planning. He is among the first scholars to recognize city views as highly valuable historical documents. His book, "Cities on Stone, focuses on the historical origins of the Bird's Eye View. Source: Dr. Ron Tyler, "Texas Bird's-Eye Views"

Birla Academy of Art and Culture

In South Calcutta, India, it was established in 1966 by foremost Indian industrialists, Sri & Smt B.K. Birla, with the purpose of fostering culture in India with emphasis on making visual and performing arts available widely to the public. Its eleven-story building was completed in 1965, and with educational and exhibition facilities, is regarded as one of the foremost art galleries in India. (Also, See AIFACS entry in AskART Glossary)


Ceramic ware that has been fired but not glazed. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Black Arts Movement

An expression of discontent and aspirations of Black America during the turbulent sixties and seventies, it followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Many African Americans became more convinced that the strategies of the Civil Rights Movement were not enough to meet their needs nor deal with the increased hostility of white America. Thus, Black America shifted its interest from the Civil Rights movement with its emphasis on integration and equality to Black Liberation with its emphasis on nationalism, self-determination and separation, socially and culturally. As sensitive members of the black community, some black artists decided to join the struggle, in what came to known as the Black Arts Movement. Larry Neal defined the Black Arts Movement as being radically opposed to any concept of the artist that alienates him from his community. Black Arts is the aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept. As such, it envisions an art that speaks directly to the needs and aspirations of Black America. It proposes a separate symbolism, mythology, critique and iconology. The distinctive visions that unite the art of Mari Evans and Nelson Stevens exemplify the spirit of the movement. Source: Editorial Review, "Resistance, Insurgence and Identity" by Robert L. Douglas,

Black Light Test

An ultraviolet light, it is used to authenticate paintings and other collectibles including art glass and porcelain. Ultraviolet rays react differently to various materials and reveal characteristics that are not visible to the naked eye. With the Black Light, one can distinguish between old and new and determine whether or not a work has been touched up or created recently when offered as antique. Modern paint becomes fluorescent under a black light, which, of course, can be the indicator that a work, described as much older, is in fact recently painted. Source:

Black Mountain College

Active from 1933 to 1957 in the mountains of North Carolina near Asheville, the school was a totally unique American college because of the commitment to art study and practice as the underpinning of liberal arts education, and also to democratic, communal living. Intermixed, faculty and students shared in the practical daily life activities of growing food, cooking, cleaning, building construction, etc. A founding leader was John Rice, a scholar and rebel from Rollins College, who was dedicated to John Dewey's principles of progressive education. Its founding date coincided with the defection of many German intellectuals from the Hitler regime, and of the closing of the Bauhaus (see Glossary listing) because of Nazi persecution. Many of these defectors including Josef Albers and his wife Annie Albers became Black Mountain teachers as did Jose De Creeft, Willem de Kooning, Jack Tworkov and Peter Voulkos. Among student enrollees were John Angus Chamberlain, Cy Twombly, Ruth Asawa, and Robert Rauschenberg. Many associated with the school were mavericks such as the previously listed as well as John Cage, Jacob Lawrence, Elaine de Kooning, Dorothea Rockburne and Ben Shahn. Source: “Black Mountain College: An Introduction”,; AskART database

Blanche E. Colman Award

Awarded every year since 1959, it was established under the will of Blanche E. Colman, an art instructor at Boston University. The grants, administered from the office of her foundation in Boston, are made each year to New England artists "who have completed their formal education, have exhibited considerable talent in the area of painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, mixed media and photography and exhibit financial need." Recipients include Sally Curcio, Claire Beckett, and Julie Graham. Sources: biographies

Blaue Reiter (der)

See Blue Rider/Der Blaue Reiter


(1) To allow a wash of watercolor or other thin medium to run into and combine with another area of color. (2) To make artwork, that is to be reproduced by printing, larger than the final page size so that, when the page is trimmed, there is no margin. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Bleeding through

The gradual visibility of under layers of paint, caused when oil-based pigments of the upper layers become transparent with the passage of time. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Raised marks that appear on oil painting when dampness attacks the back of the canvas or when the pigment adheres incompletely because of initial dampness, oiliness, or non-absorbency. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Block Print/Block Printing

A relief prints made from wood blocks and now a nearly forgotten art, it is also known as a woodcut. Block Printing, the universal means of illustrating books and magazines in the 19th century, is the oldest of all the relief processes. "Harper's", "Scribner's", and "Century" were magazines especially noted for their skilled block printers. Photo mechanical halftones replaced this process in the 1890s. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"


A film on the surface of an oil painting that has been improperly varnished or stored, it first appears as an opaque blue tinge, which turns white, yellow, and eventually black as the condition, sometimes known as a 'chill, advances. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Bloomsbury Group

An informal association in London, 1906-1918, of artists, writers and critics, it is credited with introducing modern art and literature to Britain. The name is from Bloomsbury, the northwest section of London where leaders Virginia Stephen Woolf and Vanessa Stephen Bell lived. The group began with male friendships of writer-students at Cambridge University and continued with intertwined friendships and romances. Critic and curator Roger Fry, who converted to modern art in 1906 when he was exposed to the work of Paul Cezanne, was the most prominent figure of the Bloomsbury Group. He organized a Post-Impressionist art exhibition at Grafton Galleries in London in 1912, and entered his own work plus that of Clive Bell, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. In their artwork, the focus was on vivid Fauve colors, simplified forms and fragmentation as influenced by Cubism. In 1913, the Bloomsbury Group applied their aesthetic to functional, handmade items such as rugs and tableware and, with the financial help of writer George Bernard Shaw, oversaw the making of those types of items through an entity they named Omega Workshops. Described as a "curious amalgam of the idealistic socialism of the Arts and Crafts Movement" and chic "Aestheticism, this arts and crafts endeavor flourished for a few years but folded in 1919 with the pressures of World War I and the unwillingness of people to spend money on non-essentials. Source: Robert Atkins, "Artspoke"

Blown Glass

Glass that has been formed or shaped by blowing air through a tube into a semi-molten mass of glass, it was pioneered as studio art in the United States by Englishman, John Burton. Dale Chihuly, born 1941, is credited with making blown glass of such unique design and quality that the medium has earned the description of fine art. In 1971, Chihuly, with financial support from Anne and John Hauberg, established Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. It has become the largest educational center in the world for glass artists. Among students have been Nicholas Africano, Toots Zynsky, Hank Adams and Mary Shaffer. Sources:;; AskART biographies

Blue Rider/"Der Blaue Reiter"/ German Expressionsi

A term first used in 1903 by Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky for the title of one of his paintings, it was then applied to a group with Kandinsky active from 1911 to 1914 in Munich and also to the almanac they published. Their idea was to stimulate physical sensations in viewers of their artwork through abstract, expressionist styles. The first "Blaue Reiter" exhibition was held at the Galerie Thannhauser in Munich in December 1911, and included work by Russian Futurists, David and Vladimir Burliuk; French Orphists such as Robert Delaunay; and German Expressionists. World War I ended the association, especially with the deaths of leaders Franz Marc and Auguste Macke. Albert Bloch is the only American artist associated with the group. \An offshoot of the Spiritualist part of "Der Blaue Reiter" surfaced at the Bauhaus School in the 1920s with the name "Die Blauen Vier" or Blue Four under the influence of Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Lyonel Feininger. Source: Robert Atkins, "ART SPOKE

Blue Rose

Russian painters active just previous to the 1905 Revolution. They reacted to the current oppressions with work that spoke of "mysticism and detachment". Many of their paintings were shadow-ridden, mist filled impressionist landscapes with grotesque forms---suggesting that something 'not good' was happening. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Body Art

A movement related to Conceptual Art, it is a precursor to Performance Art in the United States, Europe and Australia in the late 1960s through the 1970s, and often expressive of sex and drug themes. Artists used their bodies as a medium; exhibited in public or private performances and through videos and photographs. "Frequently motivated by masochistic or spiritual intentions, body art varied enormously. Chris Burden had himself shot; Gina Pane cut herself in precise tatters with razor blades, . . .and Ann Mendieta created earthen silhouettes of herself in poses reminiscent of ancient goddess figures from the Near East." Other body artists were Linda Montano, Tom Marioni, Gilbert & George and Bruce Nauman. Source: Robert Atkins, "ARTSPEAK"

Body colors

Pigments which possess "body," or opacity, in contrast to transparent pigments.

Bohemian Club

Not to be confused with the Bohemian Sketch Club of New York City or of Buffalo, New York, the Bohemian Club is a private men’s club in San Francisco, established in 1872. The club house is at 624 Taylor Street. Members are voted in for being outstanding in their professional fields and include architects, designers, journalists, artists, vintners, writers, actors, and businessmen. The club has gone on to claim a veritable ‘who’s who’ of American art. Some notable artist names on the roster are Thomas Hill, Jules Tavernier, William Keith, Jules Pages, Maurice Logan, John Gamble, Maynard Dixon, and Millard Sheets. Source:; AskART database.

Bohemianism, Bohemians

A way of life with roots from the Bohemian region of Czechoslovakia where it was thought that many gypsies lived. The term originated in France, and was first used in the early 19th Century in reference to an alternative lifestyle of the "avant-garde", characterized by anti-intellectual philosophies and anti-bourgeois lifestyle. Among 'bohemians' were artists, writers, actors and musicians who were often associated with "non-marital sexual relations, frugality, and/or voluntary poverty." Source:

Book Art

Bound text of single or limited editions that were custom illustrated and/or decorated and generally produced before the 19th Century when mass printmaking methods were not available. The method in western civilization is linked to medieval manuscript illumination by Catholic Church monks, and then to books created with movable type invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th Century. Book Art, often with Art Nouveau motifs, was promoted by members of the late 19th and early 20th Century Arts and Crafts Movement in England and America. Also, Bauhaus School curriculum, influenced by Russian Constructivism, promoted individualizing books with original designs, and among those artists were Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Herbert Bayer. In 2005, an exhibition of Book Arts was held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. Curated by Krystyna Wasserman, it featured works from the collection of the museum, which is the only one in America featuring contemporary Book Art. Book Artists Carol Barton and Molly Van Nice were represented. Sources: Robert Atkins, ART SPOKE;

Boston Art Academy

Founded in 1853 by William Henry Titcombe, it was located at 460 Washington Street in the Liberty Tree building in Boston. It was the city's first art school and lasted more than twenty-five years. Source: Doug Nelson, Art Historian, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Boston Art Club

Founded in 1854 in Boston, Massachusetts, its purpose was exhibition and promotion of local artists, especially French paintings by the increasingly popular Barbizon School. Underlying this focus was the desire to form a democratic organization whose members cooperated in sales promotion of both well known and lesser-known artists, and worked for art education for themselves as well as the general public. Early founding members included Joseph Alexander Ames, Benjamin Champney and Samuel Lancaster Gerry. By the 1870s, the Club, with regular exhibitions of works hung 'salon' style, was an active influence in the community. In 1882, a permanent clubhouse was built on Newbury Street in Boston's 'Back Bay area. The Club, with 250 members, both artists and art collectors, continues to be active into 21st Century. However, the wars and economic depression of the early 20th Century caused the closure of the Club House, but members remain connected through the Internet. A major focus is working with art museums to place paintings in circulating exhibitions. Sources: Dane G. Hansen Museum, Logan, KS,;

Boston Athenaeum

Founded in 1807 as a library and museum "similar to that of the Athenaeum and Lyceum of Liverpool in Great Britain", it has, from that time, played a major role in the cultural life of Boston. The B.A. grew from the Anthology Society, formed in 1805 by Bostonians to publish a magazine, "The Monthly Anthology and Boston Review". The institution had rapid growth, acquiring books, art and artifacts and adding an art gallery for exhibitions of American and European art. By 1851, it had one of the largest libraries in the US, and today has over half a million volumes with emphasis on New England subjects. The B.A. has been housed in a series of buildings, and since 1849, has been in a building on Beacon Street. It has five floors of galleries, and extensive collections of maps, rare books, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, prints and photographs. Since 1966 it has been a National Historic Landmark. Source:

Boston Five

A group of modernist painters active in Boston, they created expressive landscapes with an emphasis on a fauvist palette. Members of this group were: Harley Perkins, Charles Sidney Hopkinson, Charles Hovey Pepper, Marion Monks Chase and Carl Gordon Cutler. Beginning in 1920 and over the next 25 years, the group exhibited their works together at the Boston Art Club, Vose Galleries and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard. Source: AskART biography of Harley Perkins.

Boston Normal Art School

A school with cramped quarters, which many of the major Boston artists had attended when they were young, it is little known today. But at one time it was among the most important and influential art schools in America. Inspired by European models, Massachusetts had opened a series of “Normal Schools,” which were specifically dedicated to the training of teachers. These gradually evolved into teacher’s colleges. The Normal Art School was opened in 1873, and given the mission of training art teachers. This meant not simply the training of fine artists and commercial illustrators who could turn to teaching, but the Normal Art School placed an emphasis on developing a curriculum that enabled its students to teach art to children. Joseph de Camp was Newcombe’s teacher and mentor at the Normal Art School. Like all of the portrait painters from the “Boston School,” Joseph de Camp was a brilliant draftsman. When he took over the portrait program at the Normal Art School in 1903, the school had begun to shift its emphasis, and an increasing number of students were enrolling with the intention of becoming fine artists rather than teachers. Written by Jeffrey Morseburg, Art Scholar and Appraiser

Boston School

A distinct local style in Boston in the late 19th and early 20th centuries linked to teachers and students of the Museum of Fine Arts School. Paintings of the Boston School are distinctive for their focus on beauty, excellent craftsmanship, and solid structure. Favored subjects were portraits, especially of elegant women, as well as tastefully presented interiors, sun-filled landscapes, and impeccably arranged still life. Narrative genre scenes and laboring people were avoided as subjects. Otto Grundmann (1844-1890), early teacher at the Museum School, is credited for giving the School "its most distinctive characteristic, the old Dutch tradition of observing and rendering the most subtle aspects of color" and "careful study of composition". (Falk) Among Grundmann's students were Edmund Tarbell and Frank Benson, and they, as subsequent teachers at the school, became the most prominent representatives of the Boston School of painting. The circle of painters had studios in the Fenway Studio Building on Ipswich Street or in their homes. Generally they were close personal friends who exhibited together and critiqued each other's works. Other Boston School painters were Frank Benson, Robert Gammell, Abbott Graves, Ellen Day Hale, Lillian Westcott Hale, Aldro Hubbard, Elizabeth Paxton, Lilla Perry and Charles Woodbury. Sources: "A Studio of Her Own" by Erica Hirshler; "Who Was Who in American Art" by Peter Falk

Boston Society of Watercolor Painters

See New England Watercolor Society

Boston Watercolor Society

See New England Watercolor Society


An Italian term meaning workshop or studio, it refers to a place where an aspiring Italian artist learns from a master artist. The term also pertains to a workshop where assistants help a painter or sculptor execute a work that bears the signature of the supervising artist---the Master. During the Italian Renaissance, about 30 "botteghe" were in Florence, and one of the more famous was overseen by Leonardo Da Vinci. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Bought In

A term used by auction houses for works of art that do not sell, either because there were no bids or the bidding did not meet the reserve price, and therefore remains the property of the owner. Source:

Box Art

Art using the box format, Box Art is a genre inspired by the box form, an element in our daily lives, familiar as containers, as a three-dimensional form with or without the possibility to open. The box becomes a vehicle of expression, which can both contain and expand the artist's world. The surface can also become the important thing. Box Art combines many methods: sculpture, painting, printmaking, assemblage, collage, video, audio etc. Box Art artists include Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Kurt Schwitters and Louise Nevelson. A small group of artists headed by Joseph Cornell, the preeminent box artist, have made the box the main vehicle of their artistic production. Written and submitted by Jerry Williams, Box Artist

Brackenwood Art Colony

An early 20th-Century gathering place for artists at the home site of Margaret and Peter Camfferman at Whidbey Island in Washington state. The couple, who were abstract painters, built a home by hand on their property, near Langley, in 1915, and called their place Brackenwood. The site, now part of a street in Langley, included cabins for visiting artists, and was especially noted as a gathering place for artists interested in modernist styles. The Art Colony flourished from 1916 until Peter's death in 1957. Associated with the Camffermans were many members of the Women Painters of Washington; the Puget Sound Group, which was all male painters; and art faculty and students associated at the University of Washington. The Camffermans were some of the early modernist painters in the Northwest. Sources: David Martin, Martin-Zambito Fine Art, Seattle, WA: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; Robert Ladd, Washington state art collector

Brandywine School of Illustration Art

A collective name given to the students of illustrator Howard Pyle (1853-1911) because of their school's physical location in the Brandywine River Valley between Delaware and Pennsylvania, and because of their revolutionary approach to illustration art under his direction. The Brandywine School of illustration was a departure from seemingly frozen stage-set motifs of characters in stories to 'up close' and 'in-your-face' dramatic poses. In other words, the viewer is pulled in emotionally and denied the safe haven of objectivity. Prominent names of the Brandywine School are Maxfield Parrish, Violet Oakley, Jessie Willcox Smith, Harvey Dunn, Stanley Arthurs, Frank Schoonover and N.C. Wyeth. Sources:; Walt Reed, "The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000".


An alloy of copper and zinc, usually with two to one proportion and with yellow or golden coloration. Because of the addition of zinc and sometimes small amounts of other metals, brass is stronger and harder than copper, but it is also malleable. Inscribed brass plates with descriptive information have been used traditionally to label formal or academic religious, historical and portrait paintings. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Bread and Cheese Club

A literary salon organized in 1822 in New York City by novelist James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851). The purpose was to reinforce mutual dedication to democratic principles and to celebrating the beauty of the landscape through writing, painting and promoting of patronage of authors and artists whose work was in accord with their goals. The Club remained active until Cooper left for Europe in 1826. Among members were William Cullen Bryant, a writer; Samuel F.B. Morse, an historical genre painter; and James Kent, a Federalist judge. Sources: Andrew Wilton and Tim Barringer, "American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States 1820-1880";

Breakfast Piece

A type of still life painting of rich colors and precisely depicted dining table foods such as fruit, bread, cheese and wine. Artists from the Netherlands, especially Haarlem, originated the style in the early 1600s. Osias Beert (c. 1580-1624) and Willem Claesz Heda (1594-1680) were well known for 'breakfast piece' paintings. Source:; Wikipedia

Breckenridge Summer School of Art

Founded by Hugh Breckenridge at Gloucester, Massachusetts in the mid-1920s, it had a curriculum leaning towards abstraction, which reflected the adopted style of its founder. Source: Mary Lublin/David Dearinger, 'Hugh Henry Beckenridge', "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design."


The effects of a darker color on a work, usually spotted or streaked.

Bristol Board

A stiff cardboard that has smooth finish and is suitable for drawing and painting with water-based paint. It can be used on both sides and is popular for ink drawing and diagrams because of the sharpness of effect that can be achieved. The U.S. Patent Office specifies that Bristol Board must be used for trademark and patent drawings. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Bristol Savages Artists' Society, England

Called together in Bristol, England in 1894 by a group organized by artist Ernest Ehlers, the goal was to fill a need for friendship among like-talented men. The formal organization occurred in 1904, and they have had weekly meetings between October and May, most of them at the Royal Hotel on College Green in Bristol. Exhibitions, the results of many member sketching trips together, have been ongoing with the 101st occurring in 2011. Source: Bristol Savages,


See Young British Artists

British Columbia Society of Artists/Fine Arts

One of the first chartered art associations in western Canada and the first in the province of B.C., the British Columbia Society of Fine Arts was incorporated in 1909 and folded in 1967. Its primary activity was holding annual exhibitions and traveling exhibitions. Emily Carr and Thomas Fripp were among the society’s 20 founding members; Fripp its first President. Through the years the membership of the British Columbia Society of Artists, as it became known in 1949, included many of the province’s greatest artists including Alistair Bell, Bertram Binning, Molly Bobak, John Koerner, J.W.G. MacDonald, Toni Onley, Charles H. Scott, Herbert Siebner, Jack Shadbolt, Gordon A. Smith, and William Weston. Sources: Archives Canada; Vancouver Art Gallery; “Art and Architecture in Canada” (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson; and "The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction" (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar. Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

British School at Rome

A residential school in Rome, Italy near the Borghese Gardens and founded in 1901 as a centre for archaeological research, it now houses a Faculty of Arts for Architecture, Sculpture and Painting. Painters are recipients of Abbey Scholarships and Abbey Fellowships, and are housed in "superbly modern studios." The school is named for Edwin Austin Abbey, an American who spent much of his career in England and Italy, and was active in founding the school. Upon his death in 1911, his widow provided memorial funds to build seven-studio apartments, which are used for recipients of the Abbey Awards. (See Glossary)

Broadmoor Art Academy/Colorado Springs Fine Art Ce

Flourishing in Colorado Springs from 1919 to 1935 in a structure at the foot of Pikes Peak, the Broadmoor Academy with its traditional approaches to creating art, was an important cultural center in the Rocky Mountain West. Its successor from 1935 to 1945 was the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. At the time of the Broadmoor Academy’s beginning, wealthy Colorado Springs residents Julie and Spencer Penrose, who founded the Broadmoor Hotel, donated their home at 30 West Dale Street to fulfill their dream to have an art school that emphasized realism and easel painting and also serve as a center for the performing arts. John Fabian Carlson and Robert Reid were the first teachers. Other prominent teachers were Birger Sandzen, Randall Davey, Ernest Lawson, and Lloyd Moylan. In 1926, the Academy became affiliated with Colorado College, and four years later Boardman Robinson was hired as instructor, later becoming Director. In 1934, the Penrose residence was torn down, and replaced by the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, which opened in 1935 as the successor institution to the Broadmoor Academy. That year, Robinson resigned due to ill health, and shortly after the school declined. Major factors were the removal of Robinson, who had been the primary guiding force, and the advent of abstraction with its disdain of realism, especially landscape painting. Sources: John and Deborah Powers, "Texas Painters, Sculptors and Graphic Artists"; “Pike’s Peak Vision: The Broadmoor Art Academy”;


An alloy of copper and tin, sometimes containing small proportions of other elements such as zinc or phosphorus. It is stronger, harder, and more durable than brass, and has been used extensively since antiquity for cast sculpture. When used correctly, it will "replicate a three-dimensional model with such exactness that details as subtle as the artist's fingerprints can be reproduced." (Conner, 157) During the 19th century in Europe and America, bronze and marble were equally popular in sculpture, but bronze took precedence in the 20th century because it required less hard labor for the sculptor, did not require a huge staff of artisans, was more durable when finished, and could be reproduced without much additional attention from the sculptor. Bronze alloys vary in color from a silvery hue to a rich, coppery red. Today U.S. standard bronze is composed of 90% copper, 7% tin, and 3% zinc. From 1800 BC bronze has been one of the more useful materials to humanity. The Egyptians, Greeks and Persians used it extensively, and Florence, Italy under the rule of the Medici family, became a center for bronze casting. The name is likely derived from the Italian word "bruno" or brown. The earliest casting method for bronze was pouring the hot liquid into a design cut in stone. Sand molds were used for simple objects, and the Greeks pioneered methods of making large pieces repeatedly from an original model. In the 19th century, a method of bronze electrotyping was devised for making exact copies of antique and others sculptures. Bronze foundries were set up at Naples for making reproductions of statuary excavated at Pompeii, and the copies became popular items in Victorian-style homes in the late 19th century. In Paris, methods were developed for adding color to bronze, which unaltered had a golden-brown coloration that eventually became dark. Additional zinc added golden tones; lead added a blue-grey tint; tin and silver in high content imparted a black patina; and mercury was used for gilding, but that process proved poisonous. Unearthed bronzes vary in coloration depending upon the composition of the soil, and ones found underwater have an olive-green color and hard surface if they have been submerged for long periods. American sculptors known for work in bronze include Frederick Remington, Charles Russell, David Smith, William Zorach, Harriet Frishmuth, Glenna Goodacre, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Paul Manship, James Earle Fraser and Daniel Chester French. Sources: Greta Elena Couper, "An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour"; Janis Conner and Thayer Tolles, 'Double Take', "The Magazine Antiques", November 2006.


Painting plaster casts so they appear to be made from bronze. A finish called Vert Antique is the substance commonly used to achieve the effect of a bronze with patina. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Brooklyn Society of Artists

Forerunner of the American Society of Contemporary Artists, the BSA was founded in 1917 by 44 male and female artists, who sought more artistic freedom at a time when many "modernist" influences were changing the direction of American art. The goal of BSA members was to expand their exhibition opportunities, and throughout its history, the Brooklyn Museum was a frequent venue for those exhibitions. Until 1919, membership was limited to artists living or working in Brooklyn, but then was amended to artists outside of Brooklyn. By the 1960s, the Society had over 60 patron members. In 1963, the BSA voted to change its name to the American Society of Contemporary Artists. BSA artist members included Jacob Lawrence, Chaim Gross, Adolph Gottlieb, and Minna Citron. Source: "The History of American Society of Contemporary Artists" by Frank Mann and Charles Keller,

Brooklyn Society of Etchers

See American Society of Etchers

Brooklyn Society of Miniature Painters (Brooklyn,

Founded by Nicholas [AKA: Nicolas] S. Macsoud in 1915; he served frequently as President from its founding until 1927. Charlotte E. Field also served as President for several years during the 1915 to 1927 period; afterwards, Edith Sawyer and Alexandrina R. Harris served as Presidents successively. The Inaugural Exhibition was at the Brooklyn Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1915. Subsequent exhibitions took place at the Hotel Bossart, Brooklyn and, most frequently, at the Brooklyn Museum. The last exhibition was at the National Arts Club, New York City in 1938. The society appears to have folded in 1939. Source: Wes & Rachelle Siegrist Art of Wildlife (website). Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.


The combination of all three primary colors (red, blue, yellow) in unequal proportions, dominated by red. Brown paints readily available from the artists' color menu are: Brown Madder; Brown Ochre; Brown Pink; Burnt Sienna; Burnt Umber; Madder Brown; Mars Brown; Raw Sienna; Raw Umber; Rowney Transparent Brown; Sepia and Vandyke Brown. Source: Ralph Mayer, "Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Brown and Bigelow

A publishing company based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, its specialty is advertising of products and calendars. It was founded in 1896 by Herbert Huse Bigelow and Hirm Brown. From 1925, a tradition began of publishing the Boy Scouts of America calendars, many illustrated by Norman Rockwell. Other illustrators for the company were Maxfield Parrish, Clair Fry, Cassius Coolidge and Rolf Armstrong. The company also was noted for hiring hundreds of ex-convicts. In the late 1940s, it was one of the biggest calendar printing companies in the world. Source: Wikipedia,

Brown County Indiana/Hoosier Group

A large Indiana state part, it is about 60 miles south of Indianapolis and close to the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. Nashville is the primary town of the park. The area with picturesque, lush scenery has been a mecca for artists, beginning with the Brown County impressionist painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of them became known as the Hoosier Group because of their regional ties. Leaders were Theodore Steele, J. Ottis Adams, Louis Griffith, and William Forsyth. Source: biographies;

Brushians (The Brushians)

An informal group of landscape painters from Portland, Maine. Their leader was George Frederick Morse who began the association in 1860. Many of the members are not well-known, but their work is historically significant because of the images they left of the Portland area including the coast. Other members included: C.F. Kimball, Harvard Armstrong, Henry Clark, Edward Griffin, John Calvin Stevens, John Weed, Frederick Thompson, Frank Bowie, John T. Wood, John Calvin Stevens, Frederick Ilsley, G.C. McKim, Tom O'Neil, Walter Bailey, Millard Baldwin, Charles Fuller and Clifford Crocker. Source: Elaine Ward Casazza, "The Brushians"; Maine Memory Network,


The characteristic way each artist brushes paint onto a support.

Bucks County Artists

See "New Hope Impressionists" and "New Hope Modernists"

Buffalo Art Institute

See Art Institute of Buffalo

Buffalo Fine Arts Academy

See Albright Art School

Buffalo Print Club

Formed in 1931 in Buffalo, New York, the Club began under the leadership of Kevin B. O'Callahan, who served as President from 1931 to 1952. It brought together many of Buffalo's finest print makers to share equipment, ideas and expertise. They set up presses and work tables in the basement of the Albright Art Gallery and met evenings twice a week. Although the Club is largely forgotten today, having begun to dwindle in membership in the late 1940s, "its advocacy of printmaking stimulated national recognition through exhibitions and the placement of prints in public and private collections" including prestigious additions to the Library of Congress. Artist members included Niels Yde Andersen, Ruth Percival and John Stewart. Later print collectors became a part of the membership. Source: Meibohm Fine Arts,


A rod-shaped tool, also called a graver, with wooden handle and a variety of shaped points in a variety of sizes used for steel engraving. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


The act of rubbing greenware (clay) with any smooth tool to polish it, and tighten the surface.

Butler Institute of American Art

Opened in 1919 in Youngstown, Ohio with leadership and funding of industrialist Joseph G. Butler, Jr., it was the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to American Art. Architects in Beaux Arts Style were McKim, Mead and White, and the goal of Butler was to expose the many foreigners that were settling in Ohio to American culture. Into the 21st century, it has stayed with its original mission statement and has examples of nearly every art style, movement and artists representing those areas. Source: 'Butler Institute of America Art', "The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia", by Richard Sisson, Christian Zacher and Andrew Cayton.

Butter Sculpture

Sculpture carved from butter, it has its roots in ancient Tibetan Buddhist art where it symbolized impermanence. It is a method first publicly introduced at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 with a sculpture, "Dreaming Iolanthe" by Caroline Brooks, exhibited in a tub of ice. She became known as the 'Butter Woman', and subsequently patented the method because she felt that butter was a much more sensitive surface for making plaster molds than clay. From the time of its introduction at the Centennial Exhibition, Butter Sculpture became a regular feature at many state and regional fairs and continues into the 21st Century. However, some persons think it is a disservice to the credibility of women as sculptors. Of the 1876 exhibition, it was written that "the unfortunate 'Iolanthe' became the butt of many jokes and some bitterness; many more important exhibits and works of art were forgotten." (Weimann, 3) However, another critic wrote: “it was the best sculpture at the fair.” (Rubinstein, 93) Sources: Jeanne Madeline Weimann, "The Fair Women"; Pamela Simpson, "A Look at Women's History and Butter Sculpture as Art",;; Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein, “American Women Sculptors”, p. 93yn


A projection, usually on the outside of a building and across from a major point of stress. Source: Julia Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"


An auction entry that was not sold at an auction, usually because of not achieving the preset minimum price set by the auction house and/or the consignor. Source:

Buyer's Premium

The amount above the hammer price that is taken by the auction house for the handling of the transaction. Source:

Byam Shaw School of Art

Founded in 1910 in London by artists John Byam Shaw and Rex Vicat Cole as a school of drawing and painting, it remains as a school of Fine Art. In 2003, it became part of the University of London by joining the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Source:

Byrdcliffe Art Colony

Organized in 1902, it was located in a beautiful rural setting on Mount Guardian near Woodstock, New York. Ralph Radcliffe-Whitehead, a wealthy Englishman was the founder. He was a student of fellow Englishman, John Ruskin, and committed to the Arts and Crafts Movement espoused by Ruskin and William Morris in England. Whitehead's goal was to create an arts and crafts environment in America that adhered to Ruskin's ideals that everyday objects should have aesthetic qualities. Whitehead purchased 1500 acres of land, seven farms, and oversaw the construction of 30 buildings that stood as "textbook example of a utopian Arts and Crafts community". The emphasis was on brotherhood and artistic collaboration, and one of the earliest committed American artists was Bolton Brown, who influenced Whitehead to settle at Woodstock. Ironically Whitehead and other supporters of the Colony used money from industrialist fortunes to finance their philosophical opposition. The name Byrdcliff combines part of the middle name of Whitehead with that of his Philadelphia-born wife, Jane Byrd McCall. Artists came from all over the United States and created pottery, textiles, metalwork, and furniture. Among these artists were Dawson Dawson Watson, Herman Dudley Murphy, Bruno Zimm, Zula Steele, John Fabian Carlson, Birge Harrison, Carl Eric Lindin, Leonard Ochtman, Gino Perera, William Schumacher; Miss Dewing Woodward, Jane Whitehead and, of course, Ralph Whitehead who became proficient at pottery. The Colony was never a financial success but continuing to function, is remembered as a key part of the Arts and Crafts Movement in America and is an ongoing center for creativity. Many objects in a variety of art forms have been produced including furniture, ceramics, and oil paintings. The art colony was also draw for liberated artistic women, who were involved in all aspects of daily life. A local historian claims, ''It was one of the few places creative women who didn't want to be housewives could go in those days.''Sources: Treadway Toomey Galleries, Catalogue of 5/23/2004; (See Arts and Crafts Movement); David Cook Galleries.

Byzantine Art/Byzantium

Distinct stylized, often iconic art from A.D. 330 until the mid-15th Century, it was from Byzantium, which was ancient Constantinople when it was capital of the Greek Empire before the Turks invaded. Subjects were usually religious, and styles ranged from Oriental to Greek Classical Realism to French Gothic. European Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches have had much Byzantine Art in frescoes, stained glass, mosaics, statuary and paintings. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Julia Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

C.S. Hammitt's School of Art

See Clawson S. Hammitt's School of Art

Cabinet Portrait

An oil painting that is larger than a miniature but smaller than life size. The term is applied to late 18th and 19th century portraits in Classical Realist style. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Cadmium Red

A brilliant color, dense, opaque and permanent, made from cadmium sulfide and cadmium selenide. Cadmium is a chemical element of soft, metal, found with zinc ores and said to be cancer causing. It is used primarily in batteries and pigments, especially in plastic products. For pigments, the shades are light red, which replaced the less reliable vermilion, and deep red or maroon, which first appeared in Germany where it was introduced in 1907 by de Haen. By 1919, American artists were using Cadmium Red. It is available in a pure grade or with cadmium-barium, which has cadmium sulfate as part of the pigment and which is preferred by most artists. In 1942, the term 'cadmium-barium' was adopted by the Paint Standard, the entity which establishes environmental criteria for paint. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques";

Cadmium Yellow

Made from cadmium sulfide, a metal often found with zinc ores and said to be cancer causing. It is frequently used in batteries and pigments. Cadmium Yellow was discovered in 1817 in Germany by Friedrich Strohmeyer. Because of scarcity of the metal, it was several years before it was used by artists. By 1829, German artists were using the color, and several years later it appeared in France. It was made in England by the mid-19th Century, and was in New York by the early 1840s. The color of Cadmium Yellow is brilliant, dense, opaque and permanent. Shades range from pale and light or lemon to medium or deep golden to orange. Cadmium Yellow can be obtained in a pure grade or with barium sulfate; the latter being preferred by most artists because it is just as permanent but not as strong in color. In 1942, the term 'cadmium-barium' was adopted by the Paint Standard, the entity which establishes environmental criteria for paint. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; //

Calendar Painting

A painting possessing a pleasant subject matter, rarely coupled with lasting art value.

California Art Club

Founded in 1906 by ten Los Angeles painters as the Painter's Club, its successor, the California Art Club became the most important art organization in Southern California. The Painter's Club had the commitment of meeting regularly, critiquing each other's work, and holding regular exhibitions. Membership was limited to males only. By 1909, the group had disbanded but quickly reorganized, not only with male painters, but with sculptors and females, and with the new name, California Art Club. William Wendt served as President for the first six years. Most of the early artist members painted landscapes in the Barbizon manner of rural subjects, rich colors, and interplay of sunlight and shadow. However, palettes lightened under influence of clear California atmosphere and generally sunny climate, and of artists returning from France where Impressionism and plein-air painting were major art movements. A "Los Angeles Times" reviewer, April 8, 1917, wrote of the 1917 California Art Club exhibition . . ."there was a time when artists thought they could paint without light and when air was hardly considered. That time seems prehistoric to us now, but it was really only a few years ago. Today the search for light and air is pursued with enthusiasm and we refuse to consider seriously the picture that is without them." During the Depression, membership lagged, but in 1993, Pasadena painter Peter Adams spearheaded a revival and served as CAC President. By the year 2000, there were several thousand members, including 45 signature members, 350 artist members, and 1300 patron members. Artist members include Mabel Alvarez, Clyde Forsythe, Samuel Hyde Harris, Kevin Macpherson, Franz Bischoff, Jessie Botke, Maurice Braun and Guy Rose. Sources: website of the California Art Club; Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, "California Art: 450 Years of Painting & Other Media"; AskART database.

California College of Arts and Crafts

Founded by Frederick Meyer in 1907 with the name School of the California Guild of Arts and Crafts, it was renamed California College of Arts and Crafts in 1936. Meyer, a cabinet maker and teacher at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, had a vision of education for artists and designers that integrated both theory and practice. These ideas were tied to the late 19th century the Arts and Crafts Movement, which spread to the U.S. from Europe and which addressed industrial aesthetics of the machine age. The school, which grew dramatically after World War II, continues today at its original location at Broadway and College Avenue in Oakland on the four acre James Treadwell estate. Meyer remained president until 1944. The school, on the forefront of almost every art movement, offers 20 undergraduate programs. Teachers include Robert Bechtle, Nathan Oliveira, and Manuel Neri, and among the students have been Ralph Goings, Gene Kloss and Maurice Logan. Sources:; AskART biographies

California College of the Arts

See California College of Arts and Crafts

California Decorative Style

The California expression of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Leaders were Arthur and Lucia Mathews. Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"

California Institute of Arts

See Chouinard Art Institute

California School of Design/Mark Hopkins Institute

Established in 1874, the California School of Design began as the San Francisco Art Association School of Design and was established by the San Francisco Art Association led by President William Alvord. A collection of casts for students to copy was donated by the French government as a thank you for relief-fund gifts France had received earlier from San Francisco citizens after the Franco-Prussian War. Each School session ended with an exhibition of work by the students. Virgil Williams became the first director and served until his death in 1886. One of its most influential Directors was Arthur Mathews, who in 1890, followed Emil Carlsen who had directed from 1886. Mathews injected many French ideas of painting into the curriculum, and his teaching from the Institute of his own Tonalist style caused that style to dominate painting in Northern California for many years. Among distinguished faculty members were Thomas Hill, Amedee Joullin, Raymond Dabb Yelland and Oscar Kunath. In 1893, the name became the Mark Hopkins Institute, which became affiliated with the University of California. Other name changes have occurred. From 1906 to 1916, it was the San Francisco Institute of Art; from 1916 to 1961, California School of Fine Arts; and from 1961 to the present, San Francisco Art Institute. Source: Robert Howe Fletcher, editor, “The California School of Design: Supplement of the Mark Hopkins Institute Review of Art”, June, 1902, Vol. 1, No. 5.

California Style

A movement in watercolor painting that flourished in California between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s and "gave the traditional watercolor medium a bold new look". Leaders were a group of young artists studying at the Chouinard Art Institute and included Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, Lee Blair, Tom Craig, Barse Miller, Paul Sample, Hardie Gramatky, Emil Kosa, Jr., James Patrick and Phil Paradise. These early exponents of the California Style were members of the California Water Color Society. They and their followers painted boldly and directly in realist style onto large sheets of paper with minimal sketching and often allowed the white of the paper to show through. Their subject matter was the landscape and genre of Southern California. In Northern California, representative leaders were Dong Kingman, George Post, and Maurice Logan. Source: Gordon McClelland and Jay Last, "The California Style"

California Water Color Society

An association that by the end of the 20th century has become the largest regional water media organization in California, its resources are dedicated to the artistic growth of artists of all ages, and to the awarding of scholarship funds to students to help further their study of art. The California Water Color Society was established to provide an exhibition venue for watercolor paintings to encourage artists in that medium and to further public appreciation of watercolor. It was one of the most important art clubs to form in California after World War I, although New York had clubs devoted to watercolor from the mid 19th century. Originally there were fourteen members of the CWCS, and Dana Bartlett was the first president. The first exhibition was held in 1921 at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. Artists entering work were Marion Wachtel, Carl Oscar Borg, William Ritschel, Donna Schuster, Dana Bartlett, Hanson Puthuff, John Cotton, Edouard Vysekal, Charles L.A. Smith, Henri De Kruif, Max Wieczorek, Karl Yens, Crafts Watson and Birger Sandzen. Throughout the 1920s, the California Water Color Society grew to over 100 members, and most of them were represented by galleries, which in turn were a promotional vehicle for the watercolors. (Winslow Homer is generally credited by art historians as the first artist to treat watercolor with the same respect as oils.) In 1975, the Society voted to become the National Watercolor Society. Sources: Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, "California Watercolors, 1850-1970"; Nancy Moure, "California Art";


Described as handwriting as art, in printing and drawing, Calligraphy is a free and rhythmic use of line to accentuate design, and often has more focus on design than legibility. Lettering pens are the primary tool used in modern Calligraphy, and quill pens or fine brushes were used in Medieval manuscripts. Japanese wood-block prints and Chinese scrolls have much Calligraphy, and the term derives from Oriental art, which often has little distinction between painting and handwriting. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


Invented in 1840 by William Henry Fox, an Englishman, it was a photographic process that produced a paper negative from which supposedly unlimited photographic prints could be made. Unlike the daguerreotype process, which utilized a unique metal plate, Calotypes opened the door to using photography in publishing. However, the grainy texture of the Calotype paper was its fatal flaw, and it was replaced by 1860 with the glass-plate negative. Source: Robert Atkins, "Artspoke", p. 76


A painting or decoration done in varying shades of the same color. A monochrome painting. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"

Camden Town Group

Just before World War I a group of English artists founded the Camden Town Group of British painters, named from the London district in which Walter Sickert, one of the founders, lived and whose studio the group used for meetings. This group including Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore, Lucient Pissarro, Wyndham Lewis and Charles Ginner had been meeting informally since 1905, but was officially established in 1911. However, it was short lived after three financially unsuccessful exhibitions at the Carfax Gallery, whose owner, Arthur Clifton, then declined to hold more. Members then accepted the invitation of William Marchant of the Goupil Gallery with larger premises to exhibit, and, with his insistence they expand in size, they formed The London Group. The original Camden Town Group was influenced by Post-Impressionism and Expressionism, but concentrated on scenes of often drab suburban life. Sickert himself said he preferred the kitchen to the drawing room as a scene for paintings. While the painterly handling of the works inspired comparison to Impressionism, and the emotional tone suggested a narrative* more akin to genre painting, specifically Degas's Interior, the documentary realism of the Camden Town paintings was without precedent in British art. These and other works were painted in heavy impasto and narrow tonal range. Many other obese nudes were painted at this time, in which the 'fleshiness' of the figures is connected to the thickness of the paint, devices that were later adapted by Lucian Freud. The influence of these paintings on successive generations of British artists has been noted in the works of Freud, David Bomberg, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Howard Hodgkin, and Leon Kossoff. Source:; AskART biography of Robert Bevan

Camera Lucida

A term from an Italian word meaning "light chamber", it was an optical device invented in 1674 by Richard Hooke and redesigned and patented in 1807 by William Hyde Wollaston. A Camera Lucida projects an image on a surface so that it can be traced. The technique is used by many commercial artists because of the ease of copying accurately and also because the mechanism allows for size variations. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Camera Obscura

An optical device, it is usually a box with a small peephole through which an object outside is reflected by a double convex lens onto a surface. From there, the image can be traced, and if desired, made larger or smaller proportionately. This method insures accuracy and flexibility, which was especially handy for topographical artists commissioned to return from explorer expeditions with accurate drawings. "Camera obscura" is an Italian term dating to Renaissance inventor Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472), who popularized the method, which, in turn, dated back to principles of Aristotle. Today "Camera Obscura" is practically obsolete, replaced by its successor, the camera. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Camera Original

The film exposed in the camera, which remains the first and most important source for the image. Source:


The art of deception, it had its birth in American during World War I and is the disguising of identity by manipulating colors and materials. Camouflage Artist Sherry Edmundson Fry described it as "humbug, disguise and concealment of military things, the art of making them look like something harmless and uninteresting to an observer." (19) Abbott Handerson Thayer, beginning with the Spanish-American War, is regarded as the artist champion of modern camouflage. During World War I, the U.S. government created an American Camouflage Corps with department subsidiaries, and since then camouflage art has continued to play an important military role. During World War II, the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, seeking to add value to the war effort, designed a Camouflage course. Camouflage artists include Homer Saint-Gaudens, Augustus Dunbier, William Twigg-Smith, Walter Wendell Arnett and Everett Longley Warner. Source, Roy R. Behrens, "Camoupedia".

Canada Council for the Arts

Created in 1957, it is located in Ottawa and is the federal government's principal instrument for supporting the arts. The Council's mandate from the Parliament of Canada is "to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts." It carries out this work chiefly by providing grants and services to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations in dance, interdisciplinary art, media arts, music, opera, theatre, writing, publishing and the visual arts. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, British Columbia. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia –

Canadian Art Club, Toronto

The Canadian Art Club was first organized in Toronto in 1907 by disgruntled members of the Ontario Society of Artists (see AskART Glossary). They resigned the O.S.A. and formed the club over a dispute with O.S.A. President F.M. Bell-Smith’s opposition to the selection of paintings for purchase by the Ontario government and for their perception of restrictions imposed on them by senior members of the O.S.A. Membership to the club was by invitation only and included artists and collectors. Its focus was on exhibiting the highest quality art with "a Canadian Spirit". It is viewed by Charles C. Hill, the author of "The Group of Seven – Art for a Nation", and by Lawren Harris (founder of the Group of Seven) as a model and stimulus for the eventual formation of the Group of Seven (see AskART Glossary). The club had its first exhibition in 1908 and it’s last in 1915. Its demise is largely attributed to the death, in 1913, of its primary driving force Edmund Morris. Artist members included, Albert Curtis Williamson, William E. Atkinson, Homer Watson, Archibald Browne, Horatio Walker, William Brymner, Maurice Cullen, Marc-Aurele de Foy Suzor-Cote, Ernest Lawson, A. Phimister Proctor, James Wilson Morrice and Franklin Brownell (see all artists in AskART). Sources: "The Group of Seven- Art for A Nation" (1995), by Charles C. Hill and "A Concise History of Canadian Painting" (1973), by Dennis Reid (see AskART Book references). Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association

Established in 2004, it was a not-for-profit organization whose central purpose is to hand out the annual Joe Shuster Awards [named after the co-creator of Superman] for Canadian Comic Book Creators – and by doing so, give recognition to — and raise awareness of — the efforts made by Canadians who make, publish and sell comic books, webcomics and graphic novels. Courtesy, M.D. Silverbrooke, Source: The Joe Shuster Awards –

Canadian Group of Painters

Formed in Toronto, Ontario in 1933 as the successor to the Group of Seven (see AskART Glossary), its primary purposes were to exhibit work by its members, to encourage ‘more modern ideas of technique and subject' and, like the G7, make themselves "felt as a countrywide influence in terms of the creative spirit."* Whereas, the Group of Seven was primarily composed of male English speaking landscape painters from Toronto, the scope of the CGP was intended to be more diverse and progressive. Thus, its membership was modernist artists from many different regions of Canada; its accepted subject matter included figurative, portrait and abstract works in addition to landscapes; and of the 28 original members 9 were women. Oddly, its first exhibition, in the summer of 1933, was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey and was sponsored by the H.J. Heinz Company (its second show was in November of that year at the Art Gallery of Toronto). Thereafter, they had annual November exhibitions at various venues across Canada. The Group expanded over the years, and many of the best-known Canadian artists exhibited with it up to the time it disbanded in 1969. Sources: "Four Decades - The Canadian Group of Painters and their contemporaries - 1930 - 1970" (1972), by Paul Duval and "The Group of Seven - Art for a Nation"(1995), by Charles C. Hill. * Lawren Harris to L.L.Fitzgerald (1933). Written and submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Canadian Heritage Information Network

A Canadian government association of 1300 museums, whose website shows the location, description, and in some cases photos of works of art in the museum. Source: M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia

Canadian Museums Association

Founded in 1947 by representatives of the National Gallery of Canada and 13 other museums, its purpose is to insure uniform standards and training across the country. It has about 2000 members, and activities include conferences, professional development workshops, and national research projects such as "Canadians and their Pasts". Source: Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Canadian Society of Graphic Art

See Print and Drawing Council of Canada.

Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour

Founded in 1925 in the library of the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto, to promote watercolour painting and exhibitions, member names include Fritz Brandtner, Thomas Hodgson, Jack Shadbolt, Doris McCarthy and Pegi Macleod. Founding leaders were rebellious in their promotion of watercolour as a medium worthy of respect equal to oil painting, and included Frederic (Fed) Brigden, considered the Dean of Canadian watercolour, as well as A.J. Casson and Franklin Carmichael. Sources: website of Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour; AskART database

Canadian Women Artists History Initiative

A collaborative endeavor, it brings resources and researchers together to enhance scholarship on historical women artists in Canada. Based in the Department of History at Concordia University in Montreal, they foster and circulate research into women's contributions to the cultural and material history of Canada. Their focus is on the period prior to 1967. They also maintain a documentation centre and web-based research tools. They welcome participation from scholars across the country and donations of research materials. Their three areas of concern are: (1) Activities - research programming; events; conferences; workshops; teaching; publications. (2) Artist Database - Databases and tools for researchers. (3) Documentation Centre - They have files on over 750 Canadian women artists born before 1925 (1965 for architecture) and working across a broad range of media including painting and drawing, craft, photography, sculpture, illustration, design and architecture. Source:; Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke


A heavy, woven fabric used for support for artwork, usually oil paintings, and considered desirable by painters because of the regular texture and flexibility. The negative is that canvas can expand or contract by weather circumstances over the years. Usually canvas is sold by rolls and is made of sturdy Belgian linen. Cotton canvas is an inferior substitute. After being cut to size, canvas, in order to be usable for painters, must be stretched over a frame and primed. Many artists buy pre-stretched and pre-primed canvas. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Canvas Board

Cardboard or pasteboard, which has been primed so it is ready to receive oil paint. It is cheap, handy because it is sold in stock sizes, and portable for outdoor sketching, but not recommended for paintings intended to last a long time. Canvas board is good practice material for beginning and/or quick-sketching artists. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Cape Cod Art Association

Located in Barnstable Village on Cape Cod, it was founded in 1948 as a non-profit organization for art education and exhibitions for members and open juried exhibitions. Source: website of the Cape Cod Art Association


An informal group of wood engravers in East Orange, New Jersey in the late 1880s. In 1885, they hired William Baer to give them drawing lessons at five dollars a class, which was held at Brick Church. Source: David Dearinger, "Painting and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design".


A compound of silicon and carbon, it is found in nature as Moissanite, and as powder has been mass produced since 1893 as an abrasive. Silicon carbide is another name for it. Print makers such as Joan Miro used Carborundum to create relief on etching plates. Sources: Wikipedia: "Silicon carbide"; AskART biography of Joan Miro.


A surface with layers of pasted paper, with top sheet often being of better quality than the other sheets. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

CARFAC: Canadian Artists' Representation

In 1968, CARFAC was established in response to artists' perception that their crucial contribution to society was not fairly compensated. As a result, CAR established minimum fee schedules outlining recommended rates for compensating artists, a practice which CARFAC continues. It was because of the early activism of CAR members that in 1976, Canada became the first country in the world to pay exhibition fees to artists, with the Canada Council for the Arts making payment of fees to artists based on the CARFAC fee schedule a requirement for eligibility for funding to public art galleries. After many more years of lobbying, the Copyright Act was amended in 1988, recognizing artists' role as primary producers of culture by giving them legal entitlement to exhibition and other fees. Today, CARFAC and its provincial affiliates work on many of the same issues, ensuring that artists are fairly compensated for the valuable contributions that they make to society and that artists' rights are respected by those with whom they engage in business. In addition, CARFAC and its affiliates have developed programming, publications and products to help artists reach their professional goals.” Source: CARFAC (Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, BC)


A picture, usually a portrait or figures with exaggerated, often humorously distorted features to convey satire---foibles of society, institutions, etc. It is a style often used by newspaper illustrators and cartoonists. The name likely derives from the Carracci Circle, a group of satirical cartoonists, in 16th-century Rome. Well known satirists in history include Englishman William Hogarth (1697-1764) and Frenchman, Honore Daumier (1808-1879). Among noted American caricaturists are Albert Hirschfeld, Gaston Lachaise, Saul Steinberg, David Levine and William Auerbach-Levy. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database

Carmel Art Association

Founded in 1927 in Carmel, California, the Carmel Art Association has the only gallery in Carmel that shows exclusively work by local artists. The Association is composed of local artists, selected by their peers. It is the second oldest operating non-profit artist cooperative in the United States, and exists to provide its members with a permanent art gallery, to advance knowledge of, and interest in the arts, and to create a spirit of cooperation and fellowship among artists and the community. Prominent early members included Percy Gray, Armin Hansen, Henrietta Shore, John Cunningham, Ferdinand Burgdorff and Elizabeth Strong. The first formative gathering was in the home of Josephine Culbertson and Ida Johnson. Guest speaker was Ada Belle Champlin from the Laguna Beach Art Association, and she talked about the advantages of forming a local art association. The first space was in the Seven Arts Building at Lincoln Street and Ocean Avenue. Rent was thirty dollars a month, and Miss Kathryn Corrigan was the Curator. Since then the space has been expanded and annual exhibits are held as are lectures and demonstrations. The first exhibit was miniature paintings called "Thumb-box Sketches", and a show with miniatures became an annual event. Sources: William Stone, President, "Celebrating 75 Years of Local Art", Carmel Art Association 1927-2002,


Red pigment made from cochineal, insects found in Mexico, it was important to artists for paintings and women as a cosmetic in the mid-16th to 19th centuries. Carmine first appeared in Spain in 1560. Burnt Carmine, made by roasting Carmine, was a purple-brown color. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Carnegie Foundation Grant

Established by Andrew Carnegie through the Carnegie Corporation, the grant money is provided successful applicangs for education with the goal of creating "ladders on which the aspiring can rise". The corporation was founded in 1911 with an endowment of $135 million dollars, the largest single philanthropic trust ever established. Grants are for varying possibilities including foreign study. Artist recipients include Agnes Addison, Augusta Savage, Norman Lewis and John Fabian Carlson. Sources: AskART database;

Carnegie Institute of Technology

See Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie International

A series of art exhibits intended to bring cutting-edge art to Pittsburgh. The modern art shows were initiated beginning 1896 by Pittsburgh philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and held in his three-story, Renaissance style Carnegie Museum of Art. The exhibition, actually an evolving series of exhibitions, has become one of the premier modern art exhibition venues in the United States. Its organization has changed from being a juried annual, to a biennial to a triennial. At times it was a one-person exhibition and then a two-person show. Beginning in the last quarter of the 20th Century, it has been held every four years with an in-house curator and a committee of outside advisers. Among participating artists are Andrew Wyeth, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis and Kenneth Adams. Sources: Gregory Volk, 'Let's Get Metaphysical', "Art in America", March 2005; AskART database

Carnegie Mellon University

Known as Carnegie Mellon, it is a private research school in Pittsburgh. It began as Carnegie Technical School founded in 1900, then was named Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912, and in 1967, Carnegie Institute merged with Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to become Carnegie Mellon University. Seven independent schools are part of this University including a College of Fine Arts. Among the Fine Art students have been Ryan McGinness, Philip Pearlstein, Ross Bleckner, and Hobson Pittman. Teachers include Edward Dufner, Everett Warner, and Ralph Holmes. Sources: Wikipedia: Carnegie Mellon University; AskART biographies.

Carolina Art Association

Formed in 1857 by Charleston, South Carolina business and professional persons with the purpose of promoting fine arts in the state. The first exhibition was April, 1858, with 176 borrowed works from private collections. Through membership dues and special events, Association members raised enough money to buy works of art for a collection that, thanks to an initial endowment of $100,000 by James Gibbes, Sr., led to the founding of the Gibbes Museum of Art. The opening was April, 1905, and that same year, women, for the first time, were allowed into Association membership. Active female exhibiting artists included Elizabeth Verner, Alice Smith and Leila Waring. Alfred Hutty was a prestigious teacher and was sponsored by the Association for classes at the Museum. Source:

Carolingian Art

European art from the 8th and 9th centuries, its beginning was with the reign of Charlemagne and the ending with Louis the Pious. This Middle Age period, inspired by the vision of Charlemagne who wanted to revive the fine arts styles of ancient Rome, was unique because of the focus on Classical Roman art. The center was the court of the Emperor at Aachen. The movement was much reflected in monasteries with illuminated manuscripts that reflected Roman and Byzantine models. The Carolingian workshops became known for their workmanship in gold, silver and gems. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Carrara Marble

A famous kind of marble, known for its purity and named for the Carrara district of about 500 quarries in Italy near the towns of Apuania and Carrara. However, this high-quality marble is only about ten percent of the stone excavated, and the lesser-quality material is widely in demand for tombstones, building exteriors, pavement, etc. The quarries lie in the mountains above the town of Carrara. From a description provided in the late 19th-century, when many American sculptors were living nearby and using the marble, it is learned that the marble was quarried by dynamite, which created fragments. Then thousands of workmen, suspended by ropes, cut the fragments into blocks, which were hauled by oxen-drawn wagons to a railway that took them into the town of Carrara. There several thousand workmen refined the marble for the many sculptors, working from studios in Carrara, and for transport to other destinations such as the American sculptors’ colony in Florence that included Hiram Powers, his sons Preston Powers and Longworth Powers, Thomas Ball, Daniel Chester French, Joel Hart and William Couper. The origins of Carrara Marble go back millions of years when the region was covered by water, which left a deep limestone bed from the layers of many dead organisms when the water receded. Heat and pressure then formed mountains, which condensed the limestone into hard crystalline rock of which the purist is white Seravezza, used extensively by ancient Romans. However, with the collapse of the Roman Empire, the quarries ceased to be used until the eleventh century when townspeople such as the Pisans were building cathedrals. Carrara is especially associated with the sculpture of Michelangelo in the 15th century during the Italian Renaissance. Today the quarries of Carrara are still used, although large-scale dynamiting has been replaced by more controlled methods of drilling holes along excavation lines, inserting wooden plugs that fill with water, expand and form cracks. Metal wedges are inserted into the cracks to ply the blocks loose. Then a small bit of dynamiting moves the blocks to a position where they can be sliced by a special wire into desired shapes. Marble has grain, similar to meat, and must be carved by the dictates of the grain. Trucks carry the marble to the town of Carrara or to nearby beaches for loading onto ships. As a result of the intense quarrying activity, “remnants of marble dust and stone fragments covered the hillsides like snow and caused the rivers to resemble milk. The workers walked the streets like apparitions, painted white by the dust.” (71) Today Carrara remains the largest center for the processing of marble, and seventy percent of the exported marble in the world is shipped from its port. The supply is thought to be “endless” and the marble quality remains constant, with newly-quarried marble easily matched to marble quarried many years earlier, thus facilitating repairs and replacement to damaged areas in buildings or sculptures made from Carrara Marble. Source: Greta Elena Couper, “An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour”.

Carrig-Rohane Frame

Frames created by painters Hermann Dudley Murphy, Charles Prendergast and W. Alfred Thulin in the early 20th century, they were named for the home and studio of Murphy in Winchester, Massachusetts. The motivation grew from the tenet of the prevailing Aesthetic Movement, a commitment they shared that art expression should be total in all aspects of the work. In the spirit of James McNeill Whistler, who taught the philosophy of the Aesthetic Movement to American artists in Europe including Murphy, Hermann Murphy began building frames for his paintings shortly after his return from Europe in 1897. When he moved to Winchester in 1903, he was joined in a framing business by Charles Prendergast and later by W. Alfred Thullin. Working from a shop in the basement of Murphy’s home, the artists produced frames inscribed "Carrig-Rohane". They were hand-carved gold-leafed frames and became popular because they suited the gentle images of the Tonalist style of paintings by many of the leading artists of the time. In 1905, these artist-framers moved their shop to Boston. At first the frames were carved according to Murphy’s designs, but eventually the company hired artists, and the shop entered into a partnership whereby the business merged with Vose Galleries of Boston. Source: Spanierman Galleries, LLC; Hermann Dudley Murphy', "The Poetic Vision: American Tonalism", 2005 Gallery exhibition catalogue.

Carte de Visite Photographs

Small albumen prints mounted on cards 2-1/2 by 4 inches, which were wildly popular and made for decades in countries around the world. The format was an international standard; for the first time, relatives and friends could exchange portraits, knowing they would find a place in the recipient's family album--whether that album was located in Brooklyn, Berlin or Brazil. In addition, unlike earlier photographs made with such processes as the daguerreotype and ambrotype, cartes de visite could be sent through the mail without the need for a bulky case and fragile cover-glass. Their small size also made them relatively inexpensive, and they became so widespread that by 1863 Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes would write, "Card portraits, as everybody knows, have become the social currency, the 'green-backs' of civilization." The vast majority of cartes depict individuals or couples posed in the studio; the small size of the format appears to leave little room for more complex subject matter. But perhaps out of necessity (for example, a frontier photographer limited to a single camera), cartes de visite were also made of groups and landscapes and even as pioneering examples of photojournalism. Sometimes it seems as if the early photographers who made these small images were trying to capture the world around them on a tiny patch of paper and cardboard. Judging their work more than a century later, it can be argued that in many cases they succeeded. Source: The American Museum of Photography. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia


The study and practice of map making, it is built "on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively." (Wikipedia) The earliest map is thought to be a wall painting from 700 B.C. depicting the ancient Anatolian city of Catalhoyuk. Among American artists who did frontier mapmaking are Sanford Gifford, William Bradford, Albert Bierstadt, Ralph Blakelock, Thomas Cole, Martin Heade, and Fitz Hugh Lane. Sources: Wikipedia; AskART biographies


A humorous drawing, often for a newspaper or magazine, the term dates to Europe during the Renaissance to describe an exact-to-size drawing for a painting, tapestry or mural. The cartoonist then could use several methods to use the drawing as the guide for the completed work including poking holes with a needle around the outline to receive powdered pigment. The word cartoon is from the Italian word "cartone", which was a reference to the paper on which the drawing was done. Noted American cartoonists include Thomas Nast, James Swinnerton, James Thurber, Rube Goldberg, Walt Disney, Peter Arno, Bill Mauldlin, Charles Adams, Jules Feiffer, Al Capp, Ernie Bushmiller, Herb Block, Patrick Oliphant, Chic Young and George Harriman. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database.


A scroll-shaped ornamentation, usually oval or lozenge-shaped, it is used for holding or framing an inscription such as in a plate attached to a painting that has the title and artist. The Egyptians used Cartouches for featuring the title and name of a king. They were used frequently in the 16th and 17th centuries on the covers of books to showcase the titles. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


Sculpture terms for a person (carver) or process (carving), it involved incising a hard material such as wood, varieties of stones, and metal into a form and the resulting shape. Among fine-art specialists, the finished piece is usually referred to as sculpture rather than carving unless it is by a naive or amateur artist. However, some contemporary sculptors are referring to themselves as Carvers. Cutting tools used by Carvers include hammers, mallets, chisels, knives, points and adzes. During the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo did his own marble carving, usually working alone from a sketch of one-tenth size. Sculptors working with marble such as the neo-classical American sculptors in Italy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had studio assistants who, working from the design of the sculptor, did most of the actual stonework or carving. In America, some of the earliest wood carvers were church decorators such as early 19th century Jose Aragon of New Mexico and Norwegian-American Herbjorn Gausta. William Rush who lived in Pennsylvania in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was noted for his carved wood figureheads for ships. Among folk artists is a strong tradition of direct carving such as Henry Church who did rock carving, and Sulton Rogers of Mississippi, who did fanciful and sometimes erotic woodcarvings. Twentieth-century fine-art sculptors whose names are associated with stone, wood, and metal carving include Gaston Lachaise, who worked with marble and alabaster as well as bronze; Nicolai Fechin, who carved primitive-looking wood figures; and Louise Nevelson, whose signature work is carved wood assemblages. Likely the most famous name in American art linked to carving is Gutzom Borglum, who designed and oversaw the creation of the Presidents carved from the rock at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Sometimes referenced as “sculpture with dynamite” (Samuels 58), it remains one of the most massive carvings in this country. Comparable in size, however, might be the work of sculptors known for Earthworks, carvings into the earth to alter natural environment such as the efforts of Michael Heizer or Robert Smithson. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Greta Elena Couper, “An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour”; Masayo Duus, "The Life of Isamu Noguchi"; Harold and Peggy Samuels, “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West”; AskART database


An architectural term associated with Greek classical style, it is descriptive of a graceful female figure in flowing robe serving as a column supporting an entablature. The word derives from the young women of Caryae in Laconia who did ritual dances at the festival of Artemis. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Milk protein based, it is used as a binder in colors for paintings, as an adhesive, and also as a binder for gesso when preparing grounds for painting. When mixed with water and dry pigments, it makes an excellent paint. The base is a yellow powder that is made by drying the curd of skim milk. It was first widely used in the 19th century, and some historians think it was used earlier by painters and sculptors of early civilizations. It is known that a glue from curd was used by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Hebrews, and it is mentioned as an adhesive in 11th-century manuscripts. However as a binder in paint it is not referenced earlier than the 18th century. More recently it has has been very popular for commercial illustration until acrylics became highly developed. American artists who have used casein include Hans Hofmann Paul Cadmus, Oscar Bluemner, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Emil Bisttram and Fairfield Porter. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART Biographies


A method used by sculptors, it allows them to make copies of their work by using materials such as clay, metal or plastic; placing the material in a mold; and allowing it to harden so that it takes on the shape of the confining mold. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms";

Catalog Raisonne

A comprehensive catalog, it is intended to be a complete listing of an artist's work with descriptions. Source: Wikipedia

Catalogue Raisonne

A complete, annotated catalogue listing and/or illustrating all known works of a particular artist, it provides details, in particular, of the present condition, photographs, chronology, and provenance of each work. Source:

Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club

Established in 1896 by Catharine Lorillard Wolfe (1828-1887) a prominent New York philanthropist, the purpose is to support and encourage New York City women artists and to gain public recognition for them through exhibitions. Wolfe was a collector of leading-edge art, and the only woman among the 106 founders of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Early members of the Art Club included Harriet Frishmuth, Blanche Lazzell, Laura Mitchell; Margaret Stuber Pearson, and Josephine Paddock. Sources:; Wikepedia; AskART database

Cave Art

Pictorial paintings, drawings and carvings from the Stone Age and first found in the Altamira Caves in Spain in 1879, the best-known cave art is at Lascaux in France. It is believed that the designs have religious or magical significance and were usually done with charcoal or natural pigments mixed with fats. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A soft ceramic glaze with iron content, it is created by reduction through fire whereby red iron oxide is reduced to black. Resulting colors include olive green, gray-green or gray. Celadon Ware is associated with the Sung Dynasty in China and valued for its resemblance to jade. Many westerners find it highly collectible. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A marketing name for the first synthetic plastic, celluloid looks like elephant ivory. One of the first uses was in 1876 with billiard ball production. Later, plastics were acceptable unto themselves instead of serving as an imitator of more "valuable" products. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Celtic Art

An art term, it is descriptive of decorative art in France and England between the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Most surviving examples are decorated weapons, wood carvings, musical instruments, pottery and jewelry. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Centennial Exposition, 1876, Philadelphia

Officially the first world's fair held in the United States, its location was Philadelphia in Fairmount Park along the Schuylkill River. It opened in May and closed in November, 1876. Nearly 10 million people attended to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Each state had exhibition space with displays to coordinate with the Exposition's official title, which was "International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mines". American artists represented include John James Audubon, Colin Campbell Cooper, Edward Lamson Henry, Lily Martin Spencer Thomas Hill, Edward Redfield, Augustus St. Gaudens, and Eliza Greatorex. Sources:; AskART biographies

Center for Creative Photography

Research center and museum at the University of Arizona, Tucson, it was founded in 1975 and has work by over sixty of the most famous American photographers such as Edward Weston and Ansel Adams. Over 80,000 images representing 2,000 photographers are also in the collection, which are available for research. Source: "Center for Creative Photography," Wikipedia

Central Ontario School of Art and Design

See Ontario College of Art, Ontario College of Art and Design University

Central School of Arts and Crafts, London

Established in 1896 by the London County Council "to encourage the industrial application of decorative art", it was developed by William R. Lethaby, architect and its first Principal. It is located in Southampton Row. In January 1986, the school became part of the newly formed London Institute; three years later it merged with the St. Martin's School of Art and became Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design. It is now part of the London University of the Arts. The curriculum has broadened from its initial focus on arts and crafts to include industrial design and also offers furniture making, printing, book design, silver and goldsmithing, textiles, theatre and ceramics. Source:,

Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art/CCCA

With the acronym of CCCA, it is a work in progress with the overall objective of broadening public awareness of contemporary Canadian Art in Canada. It is under the auspices of the Canadian Art Database Project to document the careers of some of Canada's leading professional artists, designers, art writers and curators, as well as some important Canadian art institutions and organizations that have helped shape the Canadian art scene since the 1960s. The CCCA is also taking on additional projects containing information that informs and lays the groundwork for the core project. A wide range of previously hard to access material [images, texts, media works, and related ephemera] from a variety of sources across Canada is being assembled into the fully searchable, bilingual, database. The Canadian Art Database Project currently holds 54,000+ images and 600+ video and audio clips by 600+ artists and designers; and 2,400+ texts by 200+ writers and curators." Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian, West Vancouver, Canada. Source: Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art;

Century Association

An elite New York City private club established in 1847, its members included painters, sculptors, authors, architects, and other persons with deep interest in letters and the fine arts. Among the members were John Bunyan Bristol, Gifford Beal, Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer and Theodore Wores. The Association grew out of the Sketch Club, which had been founded by William Cullen Bryant and friends in 1829. The Century Association was located at 46 East 8th Street in Greenwich Village from 1852 to 1857, and since 1891, at 7 West 43st Street in a club house designed by Stanford White. The Association has an art collection, and an ongoing tradition of exhibitions by its members. In 1989, after a tremendous "row", the club began admitting women members. Sources:; AskART database

Century of Progress International Exposition, 1933

A Chicago World's Fair along the Lake Michigan shoreline between 12th and 39th Streets to celebrate the city's centennial. The theme was innovation and technology, and featured was the 'innovation' of a Sky Ride on which persons could ride the entire length of the exhibition. Also introduced were Cadillac limousines and "Homes of Tomorrow". An exhibition of American art included work by Robert Riggs, Gaston Lachaise, Lee Lawrie, Augustus Tack, and Henry Tanner. Sources:; AskART biographies


The art of making objects of clay and then firing them in a kiln, it is one of the ancient arts and embraces porcelain, earthenware and sculpted figures. The coil method is one of the most common ways of building pottery, and other methods are building with slabs and potter's wheels. Persons who make wares of earthenware and porcelain are called ceramists. The Archie Bray Foundation near Helena, Montana is the only American residency program focused solely on ceramics. Among well-known American ceramists are Peter Voulkos, William King, Hanum Tschacbasov, Marilyn Levine, Adaline Kent, David Gilhooly, William Artis, and Beatrice Wood. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database


The art of modeling with wax, it is especially used for death masks. Ceroplastic artists include Raphael Beck, Ball Hughes and Reuben Moulthrop. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Cerulean Blue

A bright, deep blue of permanent pigment from cobalt stannate, its process was perfected in Germany in 1805 by a man named Hopfner. It was introduced in England in 1870 with the name of coeruleum, from the Latin word "caeruleum", meaning sky blue. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".


A name no longer in use, it is a term for white, lead-based paint. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


The name for white drawing material, it is called Native Chalk, when derived from calcium carbonate or limestone, and Precipitated Chalk, when made from artificial calcium carbonate. Chalks can be used by themselves or mixed with pigments for color and gum binder to make pastels. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Chalk Talks

Lectures or speeches supplemented by drawings or other visual aids, Thomas Beard (1842-1905) is credited as being the originator, and was for many years a lecturer at Chautauqua in upstate New York. He used chalk and blackboards to illustrate his presentations. The term has taken on the broad meaning of that which is supplemented with visual materials. Among American chalk-talk artists are Signe Larson, Joseph Willis, Frances Karlsson and Charles Morgan. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; AskART Database

Chaloner Fellowship

Offered by the National Academy of Design in New York City, it was funded by the Chaloner Foundation from 1915 to 1984. It was a much coveted prize of $10,000 to fund three years of study in Europe with a rent-free studio and travel allowance. Founded in 1890 and named for attorney John Armstrong Chaloner, it was directed to figure drawing and painting specialists. Recipients include Michael Lenson, Herbert Fink, Louis Lucioni, Judith Allen, Lawton Parker, Bryson Burroughs and Frede Vidar. Source:,9171,882820,00.html; AskART database


Black drawing material made of slowly charred wood and available in varying degrees of hardness, it is one of the oldest materials used for drawing and is manipulated with the thumb or a "stump", a special crayon-shaped implement. Because of susceptibility to smudging, the finished charcoal drawing needs to be sprayed with a fixative in order to be permanent. Many artists do preliminary drawings with charcoal. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Charcoal Club

Actually two clubs with the same name in separate cities, a Charcoal Club was established in 1883 in Baltimore, and another was organized in Philadelphia. Rebellion against tradition underlay both entities, but other than similar purpose they shared no direct ties. In Philadelphia, rebellion against the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts was the primary motive. The Philadelphia Charcoal Club remains the better known. Leaders were Robert Henri and John Sloan and other members included Everett Shinn, William Glackens, George Luks, Stirling Calder and Edward Davis. Most of them studied with Thomas Anshutz. Their literary heroes were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emile Zola, and Henry David Thoreau. This Charcoal Club dissipated in the late 1900s when Henri and Sloan and some of the others moved to New York City and took up Social Realist painting, which was an extension of their non-academic commitments in painting. In Baltimore, The Charcoal Club was a reaction against the prudishness of Baltimore residents who perceived that using nude models was indecent behavior. There the Charcoal Club provided nude models, and one of its most prominent members was Adalbert Volck, a Baltimore dentist and local artist. The Club also assisted in the formation of a Sketch Club, the Art Club of Baltimore and the Bal des Arts. For many years, the wealth of many of the members allowed palatial surroundings for meetings, but that standard diminished with dwindling membership. In the late 20th century, The Charcoal Club still existed in Baltimore, but membership numbered less than fifty. In its prime, The Club held weekly meetings, frequent exhibitions and other social functions. Its historical papers from 1888 to 1970 are in the Maryland Historical Society. Sources:;

Charleston Renaissance

A term referencing the years 1915 to 1940, citizens of Charleston, South Carolina focused on revitalizing their city from its economic and cultural stagnation after the Civil War. Local artists became very active by using their greatest assets---"beauty, tradition and romance"--- to honor the past and give direction to the future. Artists and other civic leaders formed The Southern Art League in 1921 in Charleston to promote art and artist of the region. Prominent as leading Charleston Renaissance artists were Elizabeth O'Neill Varner, Alfred Hutty, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith and Anna Heyward Taylor. Source: Martha R. Severens, "The Charleston Renaissance"

Chase School of Art/New York School

Named for William Merritt Chase, founder and teacher, the School began in 1896 in New York City as the Chase School of Art. Two years later, it was renamed the The New York School of Art. Chase taught there until 1907, and Robert Henri was on the faculty from 1902 to 1908. The impetus for Chase to start the school was his displeasure with the methods of the Art Students League where he was for many years a leading teacher. He did not like forcing students to draw first from the antique before they could use color and express their own imagination. He said: "I prefer that my pupils begin to draw from life. . . .For a youngster to go into a classroom filled with casts of the antique is as disheartening as to go to a graveyard." (Pisano 24) At the Chase School students did not have to pass admission tests, nor enter competitions, and they could begin by working directly from life and not plaster models. Sources: Judith Newton & Carol Weiss, "Skirting the Issue"; Ron Pisano, "A Leading Spirit in American Art"; Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art".


A sculpture term it is descriptive of a person who does ornamental work on surfaces or who does surface finishing of a bronze cast by chiseling and polishing it, thus removing small imperfections and seams left by the castings. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Chelsea College of Art and Design

Located at 16 John Islip Street, Millbank, in London next to Tate Britain Museum, it dates back to the late 19th century and is one of the schools challenging traditional academic art curriculum. It is now part of a three-college partnership with Camberwell College of Arts and Wimbledon College of Art within the University of the Arts, London.Alumni include Anthony Caro, Helen Chadwick, David Hockney and Anish Kapoor. Source:

Chelsea School of Art and Design

See Chelsea College


An Italian word that means light (chiaro) and dark (scuro), it is used to describe artwork that has a pronounced balance and contrast between light and dark. The technique dates to Italian Renaissance methods of creating spatial and depth illusions around figures in a composition. Rembrandt and DaVinci were especially noted as painters of chiaroscuro. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Chicago Academy of Design

Founded in 1866 by 35 artists in Chicago in a studio on Dearborn Street, it had a tuition free school with an art gallery and, like European academies, Full Academicians and Associate Academicians. Classes cost $10.00 per month and met every day. In 1870, a new facility opened at 66 West Adams Street. However, the Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed the building, and subsequent debt led to the Academy's dissolution in 1879. It was replaced with the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, which in 1882 changed its name to the Art Institute of Chicago. Among teachers of the CAD were John Drury, Henry Chapman Ford; John Vanderpoel, George Healy and Annie Shaw. These teachers became the first full member of the Academy. Sources:; AskART database

Chicago Academy of Fine Arts

Predecessor of the Art Institute of Chicago, and successor to the Chicago Academy of Design, this entity was incorporated in 1879 and bought the assets of the Chicago Academy of Design. In 1882, it was replaced in building and name by the Art Institute of Chicago. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art";

Chicago Exposition of 1893

A celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, this Exposition, officially called the World's Columbian Exposition, was a huge fair held on 686 acres of undeveloped land in Jackson Park in Chicago. Members of the United States Congress selected the site and designated Frederick Law Olmsted as designer of the specific site. Augustus Saint-Gaudens was Supervisor of Sculpture, whose official style was Classical. A huge lagoon was installed in the central area of the exhibition buildings. Exhibits featured technological progress, architecture, sculpture, and decorative arts. A midway had an amusement park and pavilions for states and nations. The name White City was given to the Fair because the main buildings were made of plaster and horsehair, a temporary material that was gleaming white. There were 200 buildings, displays from 79 countries and 38 states. Highly attended, the event was an unprecedented success of showing the amenities and progress of modern life. Source: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"

Chicago Imagism: Monster Roster and Hairy Who

A general term for an art movement in the mid 1960s, it was a loose association of Chicago artists focused on making art that was individual, incendiary, and irreverent---the opposite of what they regarded as pretentious 'high art'. Styles included primitivism, expressionism, assemblage and surrealism, and subjects often referenced sex and violence. Their ‘in-your-face'-anger and assertive autonomy, even from each other, set them apart from developing abstract art movements in the East and West coasts. Imagists briefly came together in exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center. Major influences were Roberto Matta and Ray Yoshida, teachers at the Chicago Art Institute, and Illinois painter and graphics artists, Seymour Rosofsky. Other participants were Roger Brown, Leon Golub, Gladys Nilsson, James Nutt, H.C. Westermann, Ed Paschke and Ellen Lanyon, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Karl Wirsum, and Barbara Rossi. Critic Franz Schulze dubbed the group’s 1950s generation including Golub, Lanyon and Rosofsky the “Monster Roster”. The 1960s generation of Brown, Nilsson, Paschke, Nutt and Westermann called themselves the “Hairy Who”. Sources: Robert Atkins, ART SPEAK; Tom Butler, Director, Columbus Museum, Georgia.

Chicago School of Design

See Illinois Institute of Design

Chicago Society of Artists

Organized in 1887, the CSA claims to be the oldest continuing association of artists in the United States. Its goals are the advancement of art in the Chicago area and encouragement of productivity through exhibitions and education. Membership includes painters, print makers, sculptors, photographers, art critics and art educators. Prominent artists associated with the CSA are Adam Albright. Ralph Clarkson, JOseph Kleitsch and LeRoy Nieman. Sources:; AskART biographies

Chicago Society of Etchers

Organized by Bertha Evelyn Clausen Jaques in 1910 and dissolved in 1972, the Chicago Society of Etchers had membership and exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Under the leadership of Jaques, the Society initiated the 20th-century revival of etching, a medium that had been much overlooked by American art professionals as well as the general public. Prominent members included Cornelius Botke, Ralph Fabri, Gene Kloss, Leon Pescheret and Maltby Sykes. Sources:;; //

China Painting

A handicraft activity popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was the decoration of chinaware and provided a creative outlet for women, who, in that period, had little encouragement for their art talents. China paint was applied with special brushes on white porcelain, and then was fired in a kiln. China Painting was not only a popular hobby diversion for females of that era but was also a source of income because of the public demand for hand-painted porcelain. This interest stemmed from the McMicken School of Design in Cincinnati, where a group of female students organized in 1874 an exhibition of exquisitely over-glazed hand-painted china pieces for the Cincinnati Room of the Women's Pavilion at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Nineteenth century women artists who did China Painting include Cecilia Beaux, Celia Thaxter, Margaret Overbeck, Margaret Cantwell and Ellsworth Woodward. Judy Chicago greatly expanded the creative potential of China Painting in the late 20th Century. Sources: Alice A. Carter, "Cecilia Beaux, A Modern Painter in the Gilded Age", p. 63; Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques". AskART biographies

China Trade Painters

A term referencing work by a large body of paintings made by anonymous Chinese artists for export trade to the United States and Europe, the paintings were produced after trade was opened with Chinese ports specifically for this market. They constitute an important segment of marine art history and are well recognized by art historians and widely represented by marine galleries and major international marine museums such as the Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts and the Marine Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Source: Catherine Boisseau, Roger King Gallery of Fine Art Newport, Rhode Island

Chinese Artists Association

The principal national institution for Chinese art, it was created in 1949 and has its headquarters in Beijing. By 2011, it had more than 6,000 members. Committees are established for Oil Painting, Prints, Fresco, Animation and Children's Art. Its monthly publication is "Fine Arts". Sources: Wikipedia' China Culture,


A French term referring to that which is Chinese, it was a recurring theme in European art from the 17th century. Often an attempt to imitate Chinese porcelain, it "is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China". Source: Wikipedia,

Chouinard Art Institute

In Los Angeles from 1921 to 1972, the school was located at 741 South Grand Avenue by landscape painter and art educator, Nelbert Chouinard. the Institute was in operation under her direction until her death in 1961. She had been teaching at the Otis Art Institute and found the enrollment so heavy that she founded her own school to provide uncrowded classrooms. During its years of operation, the Institute had over 50,000 students and 400 teachers, many whom were well known such as Alexander Archipenko, Ed Ruscha, Rico Lebrun, Millard Sheets, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Emil Kosa Jr., Kenneth Price and Stanton MacDonald-Wright. In 1935, the state of California gave the school non-profit status, and by 1955, the school was granting Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees. Walt Disney was one of the main supporters of the school. After Chouinard’s death in 1961, the Institute was merged with the Louisiana Conservator of Music and took the name of California Institute of Arts. It closed in 1972 due to infighting and the firing of most of the staff. A major factor in the closing was the lack of acceptance of modernist movements such as Conceptualism, Bay Area Figurative, etc. Sources: Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”; Peter Falk, “Who Was Who in American Art”; James R. Pahl,;


A joint term for the hue and saturation but not the value (dark or light) of color. See Intensity


A lithograph with color, it is the result of a late 19th-century process involving separate stones for each color. The best known and one of the earliest proponents was Julius Bien, a German. The biggest challenge in chromolithography is aligning the paper perfectly when moving from color to color on the respective stones holding each color. Source: Joel Oppenheimer 35th Anniversary Catalogue of The Natural History Art Gallery.


See Divisionism


Composed or adorned with gold and ivory and sometimes bronze such as certain objects made in ancient Greece, it is a sculpture term. The technique, whose origins seem unknown, was used by the Greeks such as Phidias for cult statues within temples, and in some cases had precious stones and glass added for detailing. In the early 20th century Art-Deco sculptors such as Demetre Chiparus and Josef Lorenzl used the method. Sources: 'Chryselephantine', Wikipedia; AskART biography of Josef Lorenzl

Chrystalline Glaze

A glaze for ceramics that, when fired it forms well defined crystal patterns. Zinc silicate is the most successful crystalline glaze but other substances are used. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Cider Painters of America

Founded in Dallas, Pennsylvania in 1983 to create public awareness of miniature art. The name is deliberately light hearted because members want viewers of miniature art to enjoy themselves. Artists are given size restrictions for their CPA submissions to exhibitions, and an anuual exhibit is held once a year. The work must be smaller than 3" X 5" and in non-traditional medias. Source:

Cigar Store Indian

The cigar store Indian originated as a tradition not in the United States, but in Europe, where carved “Virginie men,” as Native Americans were called by Europeans, were used to advertise the sale of tobacco, an American crop. Tobacconists in America picked up the trend as a means of advertising and making their storefronts distinctive. The folklore about Cigar Store Indians in the late 18th century suggests that they provided a visual marker, much like a barber’s striped pole, for customers who were illiterate, or, in the following century, for the swelling population of immigrants that spoke different languages. Samuel Robb was arguably the most famous carver of these trade figures in the late 19th century. These statues faded from use with the introduction of sidewalk obstruction laws in 1910; stores sold their statues and they gradually disappeared. Speculations that some of these figures might have been used for firewood or other scrap during the Great Depression serve as one explanation for why 19th century cigar store Indians can be found today in such drastically reduced numbers. But by the 1990s, when cigars themselves were gaining widespread popularity, these trade figures experienced a similar comeback, both in the field of replicas and in the surging appreciation—and value—of those original carvings that still exist. Source: "Samuel A Robb Cigar Store Indian Press Release, material culture, //

Cincinnati Art Club

Established in 1890 by artists and supporters of fine art, the goal was to promote fellowship and share knowledge about making and appreciating art. Early meetings were held in homes with artist members bringing, for critique, painting and drawing subjects they had been assigned at the previous meeting. Artist Frank Duveneck was one of the key supporters, beginning 1896, and his Sunday life demonstrations were especially popular. After his death, the Memorial Day tradition began of Club members making a pilgrimage to his grave. Other prominent early artist members were Henry Farny, Edward Potthast and Joseph Sharp. Expanded activities were theatricals, dinners and costume parties, although these activities were later set aside for more serious art pursuits. In 1924, the Club was moved into its own building at 527 East Third Street in downtown Cincinnati. Source: Carol Cyran, Cincinnati Art Club exhibition catalogue, "Herman and Bessie Wessel"


Refers to the sixteenth century, especially in Italian culture.




The French for CHIAROSCURO.


An art movement that began in the 1950s, it was influenced by Surrealism and Futurism, characterised by a photorealistic style of painting. Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist

Clarence H. White School of Modern Photography

Founded in New York City in 1914 by photographer Clarence White, joined by Max Weber and Paul Lewis Anderson, curriculum focused on design, composition and art theory. It was also a breaking away from the dominant personality of Alfred Stieglitz, whom White and his associates perceived as excluding talented photographers including women from his circle of acceptance. Underlying philosophy of the school was encouraging students to follow personal visions rather prevalent art movement asserted by others such as Stieglitz. Photography was treated as both a fine art and practical art, and women were especially encouraged such as Laura Gilpin and Margaret Bourke-White. Summer sessions were held in Canaan, Connecticut and Woodstock, New York. Clarence White died in 1925, but the school continued under the direction of his wife, Jane White, until 1940 when she retired. Source: Wikipedia,

Clark Collection

Begun in the late 20th Century by Thomas Clark with an oil sketch by Irving Ramsey Wiles, it is a collection focused on pre-1940 Impressionist work. Clark, from upstate New York, has bequeathed the artwork to The Hyde Collection Museum. Among the represented artists are Harry Aiken Vincent, Aldro Thompson Hibbard, Walter Emerson Baum, and Anne Ramsdell Congdon. Source: Erin Coe, 'Impressionist Paintings from the Clark Collection', "American Art Review", February 2010.


Belonging to Greek and Roman antiquity, the term is used to describe art in conformity with the standards of the ancient Greeks and Romans and their emphasis on simplicity of line, symmetry and dignity of subject matter. Source: Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"

Classical Abstraction

The exercise of rigorous intellectual discipline and technical control in abstract painting and sculpture, it is contrasted with the free style of Abstract Expressionism and exemplified in the art of Piet Mondrian, Casimir Malevich, Ben Nicholson, and Barbara Hepworth. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Classical Realism-Contemporary

An artistic style, it encompasses the highest principles of traditional representational art from the ancient Greeks to the present day and references careful and accurate drawing, balanced design, harmonious color and skillful craftsmanship. Figure and still life painting are favored subjects. The term was first used by Richard Lack (1928), was taught by him in the Lack Atelier in Minneapolis, and promoted in his "Classical Realism Quarterly". Among Classical Realist artists are Jacob Collins, Robert Gammell, Frederick Hart, Joseph McGurl, Stephen Gjertson and Michael Whelan. Sources:;; AskART database


In the broadest artistic sense, art based on the study of classical models, that emphasizes qualities characteristically Greek and Roman in style and spirit, i.e. reason, objectivity, discipline, restraint, order, harmony and subjects referencing ancient Classical writers such as Homer, Plato and Aristotle. Classicism with its chief proponent Jean-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) was prevalent in France in the early to mid 1800s. However, by the end of the century proponents of Romanticism such as Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), Realism with Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), and Impressionism led by Claude Monet blotted out the dominance of Classicism with its limited reach to only classically educated persons. Source: Professor Richard Brettell, Teaching Company lecture, From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism.

Claude Lorrain Glass/Diminishing Glass

A device used to reduce and simplify views of landscapes, the Claude Glass reflects the scene through a dark, convex lens, reduces and isolates color tones, and in the process, loses definition. The term is named for French artist, Claude Lorrain, who is said to have devised such an instrument. Many of the prints and drawings produced with the aid of the Claude Glass are monochrome. This device, also known as Diminishing Glass, reduces dazzle and allows the eye to dwell on the motif, which helps the artist to make the analysis of the scene in tonal terms, un-distracted by color. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Clawson Hammitt's School of Art

Founded in Wilmington, Delaware in 1882 and run for the next 30 years by its founder, it is said to be the first school of art in the state of Delaware. From 1883 to 1890, it was called the Delaware School of Art, and then took the name of Clawson S. Hammitt's School of Art or the C.S. Hammitt School of Art. It was located in the Wilmington Public Library at Eighth and Market Streets. Founder was Clawson Hammitt, (1857-1927), a leading arts figure in late 19th century Wilmington. Source: Delaware Art Museum,


An earthy material that is malleable or easily shaped when moist but hard when fired, it is composed primarily of fine particles of hydrous aluminum silicates and other minerals. Clay is used for brick, tile, pottery, ceramics and the initial shaping of much sculpture that is ultimately cast in bronze. Source: "Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary"

Clay Club

Founded in 1928 by Dorothea Denslow in Greenwich Village in a converted stable next to the Whitney Museum, it became an informal sculptor's workshop of about 50 participants. Of them, it was written: "Members get so carried away with making little terra-cotta animals, casting huge plaster nudes and hammering away at hard stone that they sometimes work the whole night till dawn." A kiln was on the premises for firing the sculpture. Among members were Muriel Kelsey and George Gerny. Source: LIFE magazine, July 8, 1946, pp. 101-102.

Cleveland Institute of Art

See Cleveland School of Art

Cleveland School of Art

Founded in 1881 with the name Western Reserve School of Design for Women, it was renamed in 1891 and kept the name Cleveland School of Art until 1948 when it became Cleveland Institute of Art. During the 1930s Depression, it was a center of much Federal Art Project (WPA) activity including exhibitions, and during World War II, map making and medical drawing were added to the basic curriculum of drawing, painting, and sculpture. It is an historically acclaimed art school, and contributes significantly to the culture of Cleveland. Among its graduates are Robert Mangold, Victor Schreckengost, Charles Burchfield, Clarence Carter and Richard Anuszkiewicz. Source: Wikipedia; AskART biographies

Cleves Romanticism

Named for Cleves, Germany, it is a mid-19th century German and Dutch painting style blending realism and atmospherics. The region, with the Ruhr and Rhine Rivers, offered panoramic views of valleys and forests, which inspired painters such as Barend Koekkoek (1803-1862). He moved there from Holland and established a landscape painting academy, whose students, patterning themselves from him, named the painting style, Cleves Romanticism. Source: Wikipedia, Barend Koekkoek

Cliff Dwellers

A men's club organized in Chicago in 1907, it was composed of resident and non-resident elected fine arts professionals, and originally named the Attic Club, was re-named Cliff Dwellers in 1909 from a reference used by Hamlin Garland in an opening ceremony. The Club’s goal was uniting forces to strengthen fine arts in Chicago. Organizing members included William Dean Howells, John T. Mc Cutcheon, Lorado Taft and Wallace Rice. Hamlin Garland was the moving spirit and served as first president. The meeting building, completed in 1908, was atop Orchestra Hall, and in 1996 was moved to the 22nd floor penthouse of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street. Membership is now opened to women. Sources: Google Books, "The Cliff Dwellers", published by R.F. Seymour Company, 1910;

Cloisonne , Cloisonnism

Referring both to a method and a style, these word describe the method, cloisonne, which is metal-decorating whereby the colored areas are separated by flattened wire or metal strips and are then filled with porcelain enamel powders or paste, fired, smoothed and polished. The method was used extensively during the Byzantine era and throughout the Middle Ages in Western Europe. It is also popular in modern-day China and Japan. Cloisonnism is a style of painting named by critic Edouard Dujardin and inspired by stained glass. Its characteristic is flat regions of carefully separated colors delineated by black contour outlines. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART biography of Louis Anquetin


A post World War II modernist movement of artists and writers whose name is derived from the three native cities of the participants: Copenhagen, Belgium and Amsterdam. Members included Guillaume Corneille, Carl Henning Pedersen, Pierre Alechinsky and Karel Appel. The group was part of the post World War II western movement of rebelling against censorship and control of art expression during the Nazi-Germany era. Focusing on color, form and nature, they urged freedom and vitality in their painting. They exhibited together from 1948 to 1951, and, showing influences of primitive art, tended to use violent-appearing brushwork and saturated color. Source: Robert Atkins, ART SPEAK; Obituary of Corneille by Liz Robbins, "The New York Times", 9/7/2010


A method of forming pottery or sculpture from rolls of clay, it is done in a continuous spiral that is smoothed together to form the sides of a jar or pot. Coiling requires the use of much water and slow drying to prevent cracking, and with small pieces, the potter remains seated and rotates the clay, always keeping the palm of the hand to the outside. Source:

Cold Color

Any of the colors in the range from blue to green, it, when applied to a surface, contrasts with the other colors and then appears to retreat, giving an impression of depth. (See WARM COLORS and AERIAL PERSPECTIVE) Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Cold Painted Bronze

Refers to pieces cast in Vienna, they were decorated in several layers with so called dust paint; the know-how for the mix of this kind of paint has been lost. The color was not fired hence "cold painted". The painting was carried out mainly by women working at home, a typical cottage industry. Among foundry owners producing these objects was one owned by Franz Bergmann (1861-1936) in Vienna. Source: Bermann AskART biography.


A technique named for the French word 'coller' meaning 'to glue'. The process involves creating a visual two-dimensional image by gluing together bits of paper, fabric or other natural or manufactured materials to a ground, usually canvas or panel. The introduction of collage as a fine-art method began in 1912 in Paris when Georges Braque purchased a roll of paper in a store in Avignon. In his studio he combined pieces of that paper with charcoal to make the first collage recognized as being more than just a simple home-crafts project. His method was copied by his friend Pablo Picasso, who made the first high-art collage, "Still Life with Chair Caning". It was a chair-caned patterned oilcloth glued to canvas. Shortly after he and Braque made "papiers colles", which are collages made from cut papers, and is linked to the 19th-century pastime of "papiers colles", an art recreation whereby decorative items were made with pasted pieces of colored paper. After World War I, Dada artists made Collages from found objects such as street debris, and Surrealists did Collages from materials that had more symbolic, psychological meaning. Collage in three-dimensional form is called Assemblage and Construction Sculpture. Noted American collage artists are Robert Motherwell, Frank Stella, James Rosenquist, Joseph Cornell, Romare Bearden, Conrad Marca Relli, Vito Acconci, Bruce Conner, Miriam Schapiro, Dorothea Rockburne and Judy Chicago. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"; Robert Atkins, "Artspoke"; AskART database.

Collagraph, Intaglio Print

A print or reproduction, it is made from a block composed of a variety of materials layered on top of each other, becoming a collage. This printmaking method is innovative because standard blocks are made from only one material such as wood in woodblocks and stone for lithographs. Mary Beth Rust of Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia described the Collagraph technique of painter and printmaker Treacy Ziegler: "Treacy first lays a black ink block on the paper. She then uses layers of oil, which are hand pulled through her printing press to create positive space. Each Collagraph is composed of the black ink, then up to about seven layers of color. Since they are hand pulled, each comes out differently, making them all original works. Another artist known for collagraphs is Clare Romano, who with her husband John Ross has written a book, "The Complete Collagraph." Sources: Mary Beth Rust; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; American Design Ltd.


See Wet Plate


A process developed for inexpensive and large volume mechanical printing before the widespread use of still cheaper offset litho, it has results very similar to photography. However, the process is no longer used commercially. It involves a collotype plate made by coating a sheet glass that is pre-coated with a layer of gelatin that has been carefully dried and broken into a finely-grained pattern. The plate is then exposed in contact with the negative by using a UV light source. To make prints, the plate is dampened with a slightly acid glycerine/water mixture, then wiped and blotted before inking with lithographic ink using a roller. Paper is then put on top of the plate and covered before being printed using relatively light pressure, either in a lithographic press or by hand using a firm roller. Sources:

Color Field Painting

The natural successor to Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s and 1960s, Color Field painting was especially influenced by Jackson Pollock and his technique of staining canvases with paint. C.F. painters divorced themselves from the emotive qualities of Abstract Expressionism to create flat, impersonal works, often on a large scale to suppress the artist's feelings with a transcendent beauty. This style "offered a deliberate challenge to the angst-ridden, tough guy paintings" of the Abstract Expressionists according to Karen Wilkin, author of the 1990 book "Kenneth Noland." Key influential Color Field painters were Noland, Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Helen Frankenthaller, Ron Davis, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and Ellsworth Kelly. The movement's chief public exponent was New York art critic, Clement Greenberg, and other promoters were Andre Emmerich, New York Dealer, Michael Fried, writer, and editors of "Artforum" magazine. Source: New York Graphic Society, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database

Color Perspective


Color Print

A printmaking process utilizing separate blocks, stones, plates or silk-screen stencils to make an impression for each basic color in the resulting print. Sometimes color is added by overprinting of the basic colors. Lithography, silkscreen and woodcuts are best suited for color printing. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Color Theory

In artwork, ideas that relate to mixing color,and creating contrasts to suggest light and dark, warm and cool, distance and aerial perspective. A part of Color Theory is that some colors lose their intensity when paired with other colors, and some colors create much differing impressions dependent upon the size of the color block. Source: Maggie Price, "The Pastel Journal", October 2005, p. 17

Color Wheel

A circular grid with mounted colored paper disks that represent the colors based on color theory, it is used for color theory demonstration purposes and clearly shows the relationships colors have with each other (complimentary, secondary, tertiary, opposite, etc.) Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


1) Pigments, paints, dyes and/or inks mixed together to create hues, tones, intensity and complimentary colors. 2) Paint prepared for an artist's use including oil, watercolor, tempera, gouache, acrylic, and casein. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Colorado Artists Guild

See Denver Artists Guild

Colorado Springs Fine Art Center

See Broadmoor Art Academy

Colored Pencil

A pigmented drawing pencil, it is made with chromatic pigments rather than graphite. Artists noted for colored pencil drawing include Carrie Ballantyne, Steve DiBenedetto, Don Eddy, Mark Grotjahn, Bill Traylor, David Korty, and Fritz Vogt. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database

Colored Pencil Society of America

Founded in 1990, it supports artists working with colored pencil. Over 1600 drawing specialists are members in the United States and 14 other countries. A national board directs the organization whose goal is to educate the public about colored pencil fine art. District chapters organize exhibitions and workshops within regions. Each year, an international exhibition is held. To join, an artist must be 18 years of age or older. Members are not juried in, but entries for the International Exhibition are determined by a jury. Members whose work is in three or more international exhibitions are eligible for Signature Status, the highest level of membership. Artist members include William Berry, Kay Dewar, Sheri Greves-Neilson, Linda Lucas-Hardy, Sharon Mazgaj and Ronni Wadler. Source:; AskART database


A tool for measuring or determining color or chromaticity by comparing with synthesized color. "The typical colorimeter has a built-in standard light source, three colored filters, photoelectric cells or phototubes, a standard reflecting surface, and in modern types, photoelectric cells and electronic circuits to replace the human eye as the receptor and thus speed up results." Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A general term, it is applied to artists who focus on rich use of color as a method and/or subject. In comic book art, a colorist is an artist who adds color with airbrush or watercolor to black and white lines. Professional colorists include Jack Adler, Christina Strain and Steve Oliff. Sources:; AskART database

Columbian Academy of Painting

One of the earliest art schools in the United States and the first in New York City, it was founded in the early 1790s by prominent, wealthy New Yorkers who wanted drawing instruction for their children. Robert R. Livingston was a leading influence. Scottish painters and brothers Archibald and Alexander Robertson were the early teachers. They taught watercolor, not oil, painting and introduced landscape subjects, which were counter to the prevailing European-influenced historical genre in classical style. Sources: James Flexner, "The Light of Distant Skies", 116; John Howat, "The Hudson River and Its Painters", 30

Columbian Exposition, 1893

See Chicago Exposition of 1893

Columbianum Society of Artists

Founded in 1794 in Philadelphia, it was the first art organization in America. A cooperative society of thirty artists including William Rush, Charles Willson Peale, Joseph Cerrachi, and Johann Eckstein, they sponsored one exhibition, and then terminated their activities. Sources: Ralph Sessions, "William Rush and the American Figurehead"; Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Combat Artist

An artist officially assigned by publications or government entities to record battles and military life during war time, names include Edward Lamson Henry, David Gilmour Blythe, and Winslow Homer in the Civil War; Frederic Remington in the Spanish American War; George Bellows in World War I; Gilbert Bundy, Tom Lovell, and Mead Schaeffer in World War II. Source: AskART biographies

Comic Strip

A group of cartoons, also called "funnies", they are arranged in narrative sequence and have been published in American newspapers since the late 19th-Century. Comic Strips appear in serial form and are dependent for drawing interest upon an exaggerated figure rather than a story line. Their value is purely entertainment, and they have become one of the most popular forms of visual media. Early comic strips were influenced by Englishman William Hogarth (1697-1764) and Frenchman Honore Daumier (1808-1879). In America, Lyonel Feininger began doing comics as early as 1906. In the mid 1950s, many American artists took up comic-strip art to comment on daily life trivia, and some artists such as Roy Lichtenstein incorporated them into their fine-art painting in a style known as Pop Art. Well-known comic strip artists are Ernie Bushmiller ("Nancy"), Al Capp ("Lil Abner"), George Herriman ("Krazy Kat"), Hank Ketcham ("Dennis the Menace"), Charles Schulz ("Peanuts") and Chic Young ("Dagwood"). Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; Ron Goulart, "The Encyclopedia of American Comics"

Commercial Art School-Chicago

See Ray Vogue Art School

Commercial Art/Commercial Artists

Traditionally general references distinguishing visual image making, usually painting or drawing for money-making entities, from "fine art" or that which is done primarily from personal expression and not use by businesses. Among use of work by "Commercial artists", many of them called Illustrators, is ad copy, logos and text illustrations for periodicals, newspapers and books. However, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the perception that Fine Art is superior to Commercial Art has softened because of growing appreciation of the skills of Commercial Artists and the blurring of uses of their work. Also new respect has developed for the talents of commercial artists such as Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, and Maxfield Parrish. Sources: Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database

Complementary Colors

Colors regarded as being in extreme contrast to each other, the 'complement' of a primary color, either red, yellow or blue, is achieved by mixing the other two primary colors together. For example, the complementary color of red is green, created by mixing yellow and blue. When juxtaposed, complementary colors intensify each other. Complements of intermediate colors, colors between primary and secondary colors, are shown on a Color Circle. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Composite color

A color formed by mixing two or more hues or tints. See color.


The organization of form in a work of art, i.e., the disposition of shapes, masses, areas of light and dark, etc. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Computer Art/Digital

A method of producing art by a programmed computer, the term dates to the mid 1960s. Results are often regarded as beautiful and creative. Because of the wide range of variations, computer art has no consistent style nor can traditional criteria be applied to its production. Some regard Computer Art as inferior or not legitimate art because it is not generated from human creativity, but others are fascinated by it because of its innovation of bringing together in a 'creative' way elements of the sciences and humanities. Madrid University in Spain has had a collaborative program between artists and mathematicians, and Buenos Aires and Amsterdam as well as universities in Italy and Germany have computer-art centers. The 1970 Venice Biennale initiated a section on Computer Art. Early United States exhibitions included the "World Exhibition of Computer Graphics" at Howard Wise Gallery, New York in 1965, and in 1966, a traveling exhibition was sponsored by the Western Assocation of Art. American computer artists include Arthur Brody, Jeff Flower, Melissa Zink, , Peter Bardazzi, Neil Meitzler, Carol, Flax, Patti Held, Leroy Lamis, Frahn Koerner and Jeffrey Shaw. Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"; AskART database

Conceptual Art

An art form made popular in the mid 1960s through the 1970s, it has been described as a "document of the artist's thinking". The term became an all-embracing term for art forms that fit neither the description of painting nor sculpture and included Performance Art, Video Art and Earth Art. The theory is that art exists for its own sake. Known also as Idea Art, it came to widespread public awareness through the 1967 summer issue of "Artforum", in an article by Sol LeWitt. However, artists Henry Flint and Edward Kienholz had written earlier about Conceptual Art, which was a reaction against the impersonality of Minimalism and the commercialism of Pop Art. Joseph Kosuth in a 1969 essay also wrote what has been described as a "founding text of Conceptualism". (Princenthal). In that writing, he asserted that philosophy was dead and was replaced by art based on thought and material aspects that were disposable. Conceptual artists include Kosuth, Marina Abramovic, Adrian Piper, John Baldessari, Mel Bochner, James Lee Byars, Dan Graham, On Kawara, Yoko Ono, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim and Richard Tuttle. Sources: Robert Atkins, "ArtSpeak"; Nancy Princenthal, 'Reading Between the Lines', "Art in America", March 2005.

Concrete Art

A term invented in 1930, it references abstract art based on geometry, form and color and not nature. In other words, the art is an independent object, divorced from subtle messages such as social concerns, and does not have meaning beyond its external appearance. (What you see is what you get!) Josef Albers, 1933 emigrant from Germany to America, was the major proponent, and his student Max Bill coined the term. Concrete art as an expression of objectivity often gives the appearance of having been created by a machine. The term has gone out of vogue, but descendant styles include Color Field painting, the rebellion of abstract artists against the complicated messages of the Abstract Expressionists. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Confrerie Pictura

An association of forty-eight artists in The Hague, it was founded in 1656 by local painters, sculptors and printmakers to promote their work more effectively. They were rebelling against the Guild of Saint Luke, which was weighted down by outdated church affiliations. The leader was Adriaen Hanneman, and membership included Willem Doudijns, Augustinus Terwesten and Robert Duval. Source: Wikipedia,

Connecticut Academy of Fine Art

Established in 1910 in Avon, Connecticut, the goal of founders was to promote artists of their region through an Annual Salon and through juried membership admission. The Academy continues into the 21st Century. Founders include Charles Noel Flagg, Carl Ringius and Robert Brandegee. Source:


Persons credited by art professionals with excellent aesthetic judgment, they are judged to have a special knowledge that allows them to collect art in a focused, tasteful manner. Connoisseurship is the method or process of attribution of 'connoisseurs'. Source: Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A far-reaching term, it refers to the restoration of damaged artwork and also to the preservation for long-term care. If conservation is handled correctly, scientific determination of materials will be done before any conservation processes begins. Conservation methods date back to antiquity when Greek and Roman artisans repaired sculpture and continued forward through the Renaissance into modern times. In 1564 "The Last Judgment" mural by Michelangelo was restored only 24 years after its completion. Until the 19th century, artists ground their own paints and, knowing their "recipes", were quite often the best ones to restore their own work. However, with the onset of factory made paints and variations in quality, persons with special knowledge of the range of paints became professional conservators. In 1888, the Staatlich Museum in Berlin developed the first scientific laboratory for Conservation. In 1928, the Fogg Museum at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts organized, for the first time, a laboratory that brought together art historians, scientists and restorers to analyze reasons for deterioration of works of art and solutions. An important part of Conservation is making sure that the process does not do damage to original mediums--in other words, does not alter the integrity of the artwork. The American Institute for Conservation sets a code of ethics and is an organization to which many professional conservators belong. Source: Arthur W. Schultze, General Editor, "Caring for Your Collections", Harry N. Abrams Press, 1992, p. 12.


The owner of a work of art that is being offered at auction. Source:


A process of assembling or building a work of art. In sculpture, the term can refer to building the piece with varying components on the premises where it is to be shown. Many of these constructions are meant to be temporary and are disassembled after the exhibition is over. Source: Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Constructive Universalism

A style developed by pioneer artist Torres-Garcia, it reflects the artist's passion, in his words, for "geometry, order, synthesis, construction and rhythm." A gridded ideogram-like structure, often based on the proportions of the Golden Section, is made up of compartment-like rectangles. Within each cell there are different signs that have a strong linguistic quality and relate to autobiographical, mathematical, spiritual, or metaphysical concerns. Within his fairly well defined repertory of signs and symbols, there are frequent references to the pre-Hispanic world including ideas about the relationship of man to the cosmos. Source: Museum of the Americas.

Constructivism, Constructivist, Tatlinism, Product

A modern aesthetic movement, it was founded in Russia in 1913 by Vladimir Tatlin (1885-1953). The underlying theory is that a work of art should be an autonomous object with a life of its own and that it should reflect economy and precision. The style is non objective, and the materials are often iron, tin, wood, glass, plaster, and plastic, an attempt to bridge the gap between everyday life and art. It was first called Tatlinism when it appeared about 1913 in the work of Vladimir Tatlin. Another early name was Production Art with focus on creating artist engineers. Dynamism and kinetic art were outgrowths, and Antoine Pevsner, Alexander Rodchenko, and Naum Gabo brought the movement to the United States. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Conte Crayon

Named for Nicholas Conte, who developed the first lead pencil in 1790, the term "conte" became a trade name for a brand of French crayons made from a unique compound of compressed pigments with a chalk binder. Conte crayons, available in black, red and brown, are free from grease, making them acceptable for lithographic drawing. Conte Crayon artists include George Bellows, Oscar Bluemner, Paul Cadmus, Philip Evergood and Marsden Hartley. Source: Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"; AskART database

Contemporary Arts Society, Montreal

Founded in 1939 by artist John Lyman who then served as its first president, the CAS purpose was to promote Canadian public awareness of modern art by bringing together artists of "non-Academic tendencies." Joint exhibitions became a part of their agenda. Twenty-five names were on the initial list with most of them being "French-influenced post impressionists". The roster included Fritz Brandtner, Stanley Cosgrove, Philip Surrey, Louis Muhlstock, and Paul-Emile Borduas. In May, 1939, membership opened to non-artists, many whom were collectors, critics, and teachers, and most whom lived in Montreal. At that time, CAS also held its first exhibition, "Art of Our Day", an overview of modernist art in Canadian collections. By the mid-1940s, nearly every prominent modernist painter in Montreal was a member, but the group became divisive as some members, such as Paul Borduas, were perceived as increasingly 'radical' relative to other members. CAS, having met its goals, especially in Montreal, terminated in 1948. Sources: Christoper Varley,; M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Contemporary/Contemporary Art

Traditionally referencing a time period that is immediate or concurrent, the word Contemporary and especially the term Contemporary Art are applied so broadly and used so loosely relative to both chronology and style that it is difficult to make any definitive explanation. Persons using the word Contemporary to denote a time period usually mean artwork of any style that dates from the mid 20th Century and beyond. However, when applied to style, the door seems wide open and includes Contemporary Realism, Conceptualism, Installation and Performance and Digital Art. Relative to style, use of the word often means artwork that "pushes the boundaries of people's perception" and "includes things that people consider immoral or taboo" in art expression such as persons engaging in sex acts or mediums such as bodily fluids or excrement. Contemporary Art should not be confused with Modern Art, which generally applies to art production from the late 19th Century to the end of the 1960s. Source:


The message conveyed by a work of art – its subject matter and whatever the artist hopes to convey by that subject matter, it should not be confused with context (the work’s environment) or form (the physical characteristics of a work). Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Circumstances in which a work of art is interpreted or created, it includes an involved assessment of the artist’s values, upbringing, attitudes, education, the environment in which the work was created, the work’s purpose, and the artwork is interpreted.

Contour/Contour Drawing

The outline or boundary of a form, or the illusion of a line enclosing form, Contour Drawing was made popular as a teaching and working method by Kimon Nicolaides in his book, "The Natural Way". It refers to the artist focusing on the outline of their subject and then drawing one continuous line, without lifting the pencil, to create the image. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".


A spiral twist pose of the human form, the head and shoulders face in a different direction from the hips and legs. Developed in late ancient Greek era and much admired and used by Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo and Verrochio, it is sometimes referred to as “weight shift”. Source: Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


Lines that go towards the same point

Conversation Piece

A painting that shows a group of people, usually relations or close friends, in conversation in a relaxed home environment. In keeping with the informal atmosphere of the work, these paintings, which were especially popular in Britain in the eighteenth century, are generally fairly small. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A meeting for conversation or discussion, it usually refers to art. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke. Source: The Free Dictionary

Conversion Board

An electronic board, it is placed at auction by some houses to display the bids as they are made. It then translates them into approximations of some other currencies based on the exchange rate of the previous business day. Source:

Cool Colors

Colors that suggest cool sensations and lie within the green-violet half of the color circle. Blue is dominant. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Cooper Union

A privately funded institution in the East Village of Manhattan, New York City, it was founded in 1859 as "a radical new model of American higher education." In 2009, the enrollment was 918 students, and the endowment was $598.2 million. The mission reflects the belief of its founder, Peter Cooper, that education should be 'free as air and water' and available with no racial or religious discrimination to all persons. However, admission is selective because it is based for architecture and engineering students on SAT scores, and for artist applicants, on a 'home-test' spanning a four-week period and involving responses to visual pieces and a portfolio submission. Unique is that the school offers full-tuition scholarships to every admitted student. Funding grew from Cooper's fortune as a glue factory and railroad industrialist and inventor including America's first steam engine. Admission Degrees are offered in Architecture, Fine Art, and Engineering. Among artist enrollees are Eva Hesse, Howard Christy, Donald Beachler, Conrad Marca-Relli, Ralph Blakelock, Catherine Critcher, Maria Dewing, Lon Megargee, Lee Krasner, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Sources:; AskART database

Copley Collection

Over the years amassed by dealer and surrealist artist William Nelson Copley, it became one of the world's most respected collections of Surrealist art. Included was Man Ray's unforgettable image of large red lips floating above the landscape. The first part of the collection, the Surrealists, was sold at auction by Sotheby's in 1979 for $6.7 million, at the time the highest total for the auction of a single owner's collection in the United States. In 1993, Christie's auctioned off the contemporary works from the collection. Sources:;

Copley Master

The highest distinction for artists of Boston's Copley Society of Art, America's oldest art association, it is based on competitive review in juried exhibitions. Recipients include Doug Rugh, Richard Schmid; Joseph McGurl and Candace Whittemore Lovely. See Copley Society (Glossary entry) Sources:; AskART Biographies

Copley Society

The oldest non-profit art association in the United States, the Copley Society now represents more than 700 artist members nationwide. Also known as Co|So, it is dedicated to fostering interest in the visual arts through member exhibitions, outreach educational programs, workshops, lectures and the advancement of the careers of emerging and young artists. The Copley Society dates to 1879 when the School of the Museum of Fine Arts opened in Copley Square on the site of what is now the Copley Hotel. One of the students, Alice Spencer Tinkham, promoted the idea of establishing an organization to promote art and its study in Boston, and the response led to the formation of the Boston Art Students Association. The first president was H. Winthrop Peirce, and the group sponsored exhibitions, classes and social gatherings. In 1891, it was renamed the Copley Society. In 1913, the Copley Society hosted in Boston the New York Armory Show that rocked the world of many art-focused Americans because of the introduction of abstract art from Europe. In this exhibit, Marcel DuChamp's "Nude Descending the Stairs" introduced modernism to Boston and the nation. In 1957, The Copley Society settled into its current home at 158 Newbury Street, which has bi-level galleries and offices. Members include Thomas Allen, Dwight Blaney, Joseph Enneking, Charles Davis, Philip Hale, Ignaz Gaugengigl, Abbott Graves. Sources:; AskART database

Copper/Copper Engraving

A reddish-brown metallic element that is a malleable and effective conductor of heat and electricity, it is used in the manufacturing of brass and bronze alloys. When exposed to or combined with oxygen, copper takes on a greenish color called patina. Copper is used in sculpture and etching. Among sculptors using copper are Carl Bertoia, Carl Andre, Claire Falkenstein, Robert Graham, Robert Smithson and Donald Judd, and copper engravers or etchers, those who incise lines on copperplate, include Gene Kloss, Gabor Peterdi, Adalbert Volck, James Akin, John Held, Sr., and Stephen Scott Young. One of the earliest copper engravings was a pre-Revolutionary War scene of the Boston Massacre by Paul Revere. It appeared in "Royal American Magazine" in 1774 and 1775. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Anne Gilbert, "American Illustrator Art"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database

Coppini Academy of Fine Arts

Founded in San Antonio, Texas in 1945 by Pompeo Coppini and his student, Waldine Tauch, it continues to operate into the 21st Century. Source: Williams American Art Galleries, AskART biography.


Duplicate of a work of art, and a method frequently used before the invention of color photography and copy machines by involving one or more artists to make replicas of originals. Many art schools have copying of work of master artists as part of their curriculum, particularly in academies. This copy method helped students understand methods and techniques of 'professionals'. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A term coined in 1993 by painter and cartoonist Nik Swider, it describes his style of painting. Source: Danie C. Boyer, Artist

Cornish Colony, New Hampshire

In the early years of the 20th century, the Cornish Artists’ Colony in Cornish, New Hampshire was one of the more popular places for creative fine art activity in the eastern United States. Between 1895 and 1925, nearly 100 artists, sculptors, writers, designers, and well-known politicians chose Cornish as the area where they wanted to live, either full time or during the summer months. The natural beauty of Cornish was what originally attracted its many settlers. With views across the Connecticut River Valley to Mount Ascutney in Vermont, the idyllic rolling-hill scenery resembled an Italian landscape. Created were countless paintings, sculptures, writings, as well as gardens continue "to plant seeds of inspiration". The name Cornish, although referencing the town in New Hampshire, is more reflective of a state of mind and a sense of beautiful place rather than a solid geographical location. The Colony was in fact spread out over Windsor, Vermont, as well as the villages of Plainfield and Cornish in New Hampshire. Windsor was the mailing address for the entire area and the arrival point of most of the colonists, who usually came from New York City, which was a grueling nine-hour train ride. Members of the colony in some ways epitomized the American Renaissance in their attempts to recreate the ideals of a past golden age. This ‘golden age vision’ could describe the sculpture of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the first artist resident of the Colony, and Herbert Adams, as well as paintings by Maxfield Parrish, George de Forest Brush, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Henry O. Walker, Henry B. Fuller and Kenyon Cox. Source: Alma Gilbert Smith, Director of the Cornish Colony Museum

Cornwall Artists Index

A project sponsored by the Hypatia Trust and the constituent organizations contributing to the West Cornwall Arts Archive, the WCAA is an umbrella group working together to collect and make available books, archival material, slides, auction catalogues, artists' archives, photographic collections (including scrap books) and other ephemera and documents relating to the arts and literature of West Cornwall from the 1880s to the present day. The aim is to list all artists to the present-day who have worked and exhibited in the art colonies of Cornwall – wherever in the county the artists' studios have been. General bibliographical references, and hopefully, in future, illustration for the individual artists, is welcomed.” Source: West Cornwall Arts Archive –

Corten/Cor-Ten Steel

Corten (or Cor-Ten) steel is the trademark name of a product developed in the 1930s by United States Steel for the fabrication of rail cars. Its chemical composition promotes the early formation of an adhering protective layer of rust when exposed to the elements. The protective layer constantly develops and regenerates over time, reacting to the pollutants in the atmosphere. Its unique look and naturally oxidizing finish (after 6 or 7 years it can look like bronze) make it especially desirable for many architectural projects and as a medium for outdoor sculpture. Currently, Richard Serra is probably the most famous artist using it as a sculpture medium. Sources:;; and “The State of the Art” (1987), by Arthur C. Danto; Prentice Hall Press. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Cos Cob Art Colony

A lively colony of artists between 1890 to 1920 and located at Cos Cob, which was a section of Greenwich, Connecticut. There American Impressionism took shape under the direction of John Twachtman, Childe Hassam, Theodore Robinson, and J. Alden Weir. Through association with younger artists in Cos Cob, these older men passed on their techniques and style. Source: Susan Larkin, 'The Cos Cob Art Colony', "American Art Review", 2/2001.


Costumbrismo (sometimes anglicized as Costumbrism) is the literary or pictorial interpretation of local everyday life, mannerisms, and customs, primarily in the Hispanic scene, and particularly in the 19th century. Costumbrismo is related both to artistic realism and to Romanticism, sharing the Romantic interest in expression as against simple representation and the romantic and realist focus on precise representation of particular times and places, rather than of humanity in the abstract. It is often satiric and even moralizing, but unlike proper realism does not usually offer or even imply any particular analysis of the society it depicts. When not satiric, its approach to quaint folkloric detail often has a romanticizing aspect. Costumbrismo can be found in any of the visual or literary arts; by extension, the term can also be applied to certain approaches to collecting folkloric objects, as well. Originally found in short essays and later in novels, costumbrismo is often found in the zarzuelas of the 19th century, especially in the género chico. Costumbrista museums deal with folklore and local art and costumbrista festivals celebrate local customs and artisans and their work. Source:


A type of "automatic" or "involuntary" surrealist sculpture produced by pouring a molten material (such as wax, molten metal, or chocolate) into cold water. Source: Daniel Boyer, Artist


Compositional elements usually arranged in tiers at the side of a painting to direct the eye into the center picture space, it is a device, such as clumps of trees, groups of figures and buildings, which is common in baroque painting. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Country Sketch Group, New Jersey

Founded in 1898 by Van Dearing Perrine and Maurice Sterne and active until 1912, they were plein-air painters who roamed the countryside around Ridgefield, New Jersey, and also hung around together in a lower Broadway loft in New York City. The group was unique in that it was established by and for artists without a sanctioning body, and also for its activity both in rural and urban areas. In 1901, the group, exhibited together at the Art Institute of Chicago. Other members included Jaime E. Carret, William Glackens, Jonas Lie, and Charles Hawthorne. Sources: Ruth Pasquine, 'James E. Carret', "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design", Volume One, 1826-1925;

Cours Critcher

School founded in Washington DC in 1905 by Catherine Critcher to help American Art Students gain entrance to French schools. Richard Emil Miller and Charles Hoffbauer were teachers as was Critcher. The school only lasted several years. Source: Ruth Pasquine, 'Catharine Carter Critcher', "Painting and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design"

Cowan Pottery

One of the more important potteries in United States ceramic history, Cowan Pottery established widespread public awareness of pottery as an art. Many of the sculptors, designers and ceramists went on to long and distinguished careers in the arts and industrial design. Among them were Victor Shreckengost, Waylande Gregory, Paul Manship, Paul Bogatay, Richard Hummell, Edris Eckhardt as well as, Edward Winter and Thelma Frazier (Winter). The founder and chief designer for many years was R. Guy Cowan, born in 1884 in East Liverpool, Ohio. He studied ceramics at the New York State School of Ceramics at Alfred. He founded the Cowan Pottery Studio in Lakewood, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland) in 1912. While Cowan served in World War I, the studio closed but reopened with a new studio with nine kilns and a small pottery showroom. During the 20's', the studio prospered and had a 1200 outlet nationwide distribution including Marshall Field of Chicago, Wanamaker's of Philadelphia, Kauffman of Pittsburgh, Ovington of New York and Halle's of Cleveland. By 1928, there was a staff of 35 people and production was 175,000 single pieces a year. However the stock market crash of 1929 began the companies decline because many of the handmade pieces required much time and money investment in compensating the potters, and people were financially unable to purchase the pottery. The company closed in December 1931. Sources: Mike Hickman, Pottery Collector;

Cowboy Artists of America/CA

Founded in 1965 in Sedona, Arizona by western artists Joe Beeler, Charlie Dye, John Hampton, and George Phippen, it is dedicated to promoting the subject matter and realist style of painting and sculpture in the tradition of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Artists become members by election of current members with the understanding that members will participate in annual exhibitions with up to seven pieces of totally new work, and also will be on the annual trail ride and camp out in a western location of special interest. In 2009, the CAA, with its annual exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum, had 23 living active artist members, seven living emeritus members, and 24 deceased artist members. Source: "CA Cowboy Artists of America, 44th Annual Exhibition, 2009", Catalogue published by the Phoenix Art Museum.


(See ‘Craquelure’)


Aptitude, skill, and manual dexterity in the use of tools and materials.

Cragsmoor Art Colony

Established in the 1870s at Cragsmoor, New York, the colony was founded by artists wishing to escape New York City for the quiet rural setting and beauty of the nearby Shawangunk Mountains. Although most of the members were not primarily landscapists, they did paint the local surroundings and found the local people unique subjects. As a group, the artists tended to stay together and had a rich communal life. Edward Lamson Henry was the first recognized painter in Cragsmoor, arriving in 1872. He invited other artists who accepted his invitation including Frederick Dellenbaugh, Eliza Greatorex, William Holbrook Beard, and John George Brown. Although Henry was the aesthetic leader, the financial support was supplied by Eliza Hartshorn who bought land and buildings and hired Dellenbaugh as her architect. The Colony continued into the 20th century with Charles Courtney Curran being the most renowned of the second generation. Sources:; Steve Shipp, "American Art Colonies, 1850-1930", Chapter 4.

Cranbrook Academy of Art

An art school established in 1927 at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the school was especially prestigious during the 1930s and 1940s when several artists from Milwaukee were there. Students included Lennart Anderson, Harry Bertoia, David Cargil, Paul Evans, Audrey Flack, Frank Gallo and Duane Hanson. Carl Milles, Richard DeVore, Leza McVewy and Harry Bertoia were on the faculty. Sources: Peter C. Merrill, "German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee"; AskART database


The network of cracks which sometimes appears on paint and varnish of an oil painting as the paint ages and settles. Also known as CRACKLE. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


Commonly used as a general term for wax-based drawing sticks used by children, but technically any drawing material in stick form can be classified as a crayon including pastels, charcoal and chalk. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

CRAYON Magazine

Published in New York City from 1855 to 1861, it was owned and edited by William Stillman and John Duran and was a journal devoted to the graphic arts and related literature. It began as a weekly of 16 pages, and in 1856 with growing readership became a 32-page monthly. Much of its underlying philosophy came from John Ruskin and his aestheticism. By 1861, CRAYON had "run its course" and in "financial trouble" closed that year. Source: 'The Crayon',"Rossetti Archive",

Cream of Wheat Illustrators

Illustrators for a breakfast "porridge" created in the late 19th century from a flour mill in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the company subsequently moved to Minneapolis. Cream of Wheat became a national sensation because of the high quality of the flour and the national ad campaign that involved 58 of the most famous American artists of the Golden Age of Illustration. The first ads, utilizing the newly introduced four-color printing process, appeared in the "Ladies Home Journal" in 1898. Logo for Cream of Wheat was Rastus, an affable black man in red, white and blue attire offering forth a bowl of cereal. Among the illustrators were N.C. Wyeth, Edward Brewer, Helen Mason, Maud Fangel, William Cahill, James Reeve Stuart, B. Cory Kilvert, Al Capp, and John Rae. Source:;

Crepe Paper

Tissue paper coated with sizing, it has been "creped" or creased to create gathers. The raw material is paper pulp, and crepe is produced on a paper machine that has special equipment to create the product. Jesus Reyes Ferreira is an artist known for painting and drawing on crepe paper. Source: AskART biography; Wikipedia

Cresson Traveling Scholarship

Named for artist William Emlen Cresson, the scholarship was endowed at the Pennsylvania Academy by his parents in memory of their very promising young son who died at age 25. He entered the Pennsylvania Academy in 1860 at age 17 and was described as "a good painter, preferring poetical subjects and forever sketching". Among Cresson Scholarship winners are Daniel Garber, Walter Anderson, Clarence Henkle, Louis Betts, Barse Miller and Roy Nuse. Sources: William Patterson & David Zellin, "Thomas Eakins and His Fellow Artists at the Philadelphia Sketch Club"; AskART database

Crimson, Crimson Lake

A deep red color, it is derived from the word 'kermes', which is an insect-based dye source "from which the obsolete pigment crimson lake was made." Crimson Lake is a ruby-red pigment with bluish undertones used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks to achieve transparent ruby red and rose pink effects. It was supplanted by carmine, a stronger pigment. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Critcher School of Painting

Opened in 1919 and operated until 1940 on Connecticut Avenue in Washington DC, it was founded by Catharine Critcher and her sister, Louisa Kennon Critcher. Sculptor Clara Hill was a teacher as well as the Critcher sisters. Luisa died in 1939, and the next year, Catharine, who was spending much time in New Mexico, closed the school. Source: AskART biographies

Crop Art

Artwork made with agricultural products, it includes Seed Art, which is mosaic style; Crop Circles or images of intricate designs made in fields such as wheat and rye; and Landscape Art made by carving into the land. Lillian Colton is known for Seed mosaics, which, made from Minnesota grown crops, won her much recognition at the Minnesota State Fairs. Stan Herd's name is synonymous with Crop Art; and farmers around the world have created Crop Circles. Examples of Crop Art include The Corn Palace of Mitchell, and flower laden floats in the Rose Bowl Parade. South Dakota. Source:

Crop Circles

See Crop Art


See Hatching

Crypt Group

Referring to an episode in the history of the artists' colony in Britain at St Ives, Cornwall it was a rebellion by one artist group against another. From its foundation in 1927 the St Ives Society of Artists was the dominating exhibition society of St Ives. In 1939 Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo moved to St Ives forming the core of what became a strong modern group in the colony. From about 1943 the St Ives Society sought to integrate the modern artists into its exhibitions, but in practice their work tended to be hung in the least prominent places in the former church used for the exhibitions. In 1947 the modern artists began to organize separate exhibitions most notably in the crypt of the church itself. They became known as the Crypt Group. There were two shows in 1947 and a third in 1948. The split between modern and more traditional St Ives artists was confirmed later in 1947, when the notoriously reactionary Sir Alfred Munnings was elected President of the Society. However, also in 1948, the members of the Crypt Group became founding members of the Penwith Society of Arts. This finally established a separate identity for the modern artists in St Ives, and the Crypt Group had no further reason to exist. Principal members included Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon, John Wells, Bryan Wynter. Source: Tate Collection,

Crystal Palace Exhibition, 1851

Held in Hyde Park, London, in 1851, the exhibition had examples from many countries and 14,000 exhibitors of industrial progress, generated by the Industrial Revolution. The space was in The Crystal Palace, a cast iron and glass building of 990,000 square feet that got its name from the staff of the satirical magazine, "Punch". Panoramic painter and architecture designer, Henry Lewis (1819-1904) was the General Art Manager, and Joseph Paxton was designer of the building. At the close of the exhibition, the Crystal Palace was moved to Sydenham Hill in a wealthy area, and in 1836 was destroyed by fire. Sources:; Peter Hastings Falk, "Who Was who in American Art".


An early 1900s modern art movement, Cubism focused on exploring relationships between images, perspectives and materials, and opened the door to Abstraction. Cubism began in Paris with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The term 'Cubist' was a derisive description by a critic of a geometric landscape painting done by Braque in 1908. Juan Gris, the originator of Collage, joined Picasso and Braque in 1910. Originating influences on Cubism included geometric-shaped paintings of Paul Cezanne, Post-Impressionisms’ emphasis on flat picture surfaces, and Picasso's fascination with the abstraction he perceived in African tribal masks. Aspects of Cubism were Analytical Cubism and Synthetic Cubism (see Glossary). By 1914, the Cubist movement as an organizing force officially terminated with the beginning of World War I. But its effects remain today. "Almost all later art, figurative and abstract, two and three-dimensional, random or hieratic, was conditioned in some way by these new dimensions of reality." (Phaidon) Other French artists associated with Cubism concepts were Fernand Leger, Marcel Duchamp and Nicholas Delauney. In America, leading Cubist painters and sculptors include Max Weber, Man Ray, Karl Knaths, Patrick Henry Bruce, Stuart Davis, Jan Matulka, Lyonel Feininger, Jacques Lipchitz, Alexander Archipenko, Louise Nevelson, Ilya Bolotowsky and Marguerite Zorach. Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; AskART database.


A type of surrealist collage in which an image is cut into a number of equal squares and the squares are then reassembled. Source: Daniel Boyer, Artist

Cumberland Market Group

A short-lived group of English painters lasting from 1914 to 1919, it was named for Cumberland Market in London where founding member Robert Bevan rented a studio in this hay and straw market area called Camden Town. Here Bevan, Harold Gilman, Charles Ginner and John Nash held Saturday afternoon ‘at homes’. They were later joined by Edward McKnight Kauffer and C.R.W. Nevinson. The group was opposed to decorative aspects of post-Impressionism and were dedicated to exploring shapes and colours of London daily life. They exhibited only once, in May 1915 at the Goupil Gallery and continued to meet and held classes, but dissolved in 1919 with the death of Howard Gilman. Source: Wikipedia,

Cumming School of Art

Founded in 1895 by Charles Atherton Cumming, who had been a teacher at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, it had the original name of Des Moines Academy of Art. Because it was so successful due to Cumming's leadership, it was renamed for him in 1900. He was a teacher there as was Marie Giles, and students included Merlin Enabnit, Lee Allen, and Louise Orwig. Sources: AskART Quick Facts; Iowa Pathways,


A person who oversees the care of private and public collections. Usually the person is assigned not only the maintenance of the collection but the acquisition of objects that continue the focus of and education about the existing works. Many colleges now offer courses in Curatorial professions. Source: Wikipedia-free encyclopedia

Currier & Ives

A lithography firm opened by Nathaniel Currier in 1834. it became the most famous and longest-operating printing company in America, generating more than 7500 images. The name remains synonymous with ‘truly American’ images, beginning with disaster-subject prints and moving onto sentimental and social realist genre, portraits of founding father’s, colonial-era images, Revolutionary and Civil War pictures, maritime, trains and Western frontier expansion. The company’s first widely circulated print, “Ruins of the Merchants’ Exchange N.Y. after the Destructive Conflagration of Decbr. 16 & 17, 1835”, was an illustration of the 1834 fire that destroyed much of New York’s business district. Perceiving that disaster subjects sold, the firm created more prints and made those as well as others available to the public at an affordable price. Currier had several business partners, but James Merritt Ives was the most significant in that he encouraged most of the print subjects that generated the company’s lasting reputation. In addition to images created by both Currier and Ives, many well-known artists worked for Currier & Ives including Eastman Johnson, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, Louis Maurer, James Butterworth, William Aiken Walker, Napoleon Sarony and George Durrie. In June 2006, the Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, Massachusetts held an exhibition of hand-colored lithographs titled “Currier & Ives: An American Panorama”. Sources: Heather Haskell & Liz Sommer, ‘Currier & Ives: An American Panorama’, “American Art Review”, November-December 2005.


Stressing the use of curved lines as opposed to rectilinear which stresses straight lines. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Cycladic Art

Art of Neolithic settlers, 2500 to 2000 B.C., in central Aegean islands called the Cyclades, which included Naxos, Paros and Delos. Characteristic of Cycladic Art were formal qualities that remain "universally esteemed". Included are marble statues, vases carved from stone with holes drilled for thongs, "water mirrors, palettes and fine pottery." Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms".


A distinctive method of painting 'in the grand manner' and popular during the Victorian era, it was a type of panoramic painting exhibited on a cylindrical platform. A viewer standing in the middle of the cylinder has a 360 degree view of the painting; the goal is to make the viewer feel as though they are standing in the midst of an event, usually dramatic and historical, or a famous place. A particularly famous cyclorama of that time was the "Battle of Gettysburg" by Henri Philippoteaux. Source: wikipedia, Felix Emmanuel Philippoteaux


A roll of inked material, it is used to apply ink to a block or plate for graphic reproductions and to blend oil colors. Dabbers were prevalent in the 19th Century for printmaking but, except for engraving, were replaced by Breyers or rollers. In engraving, the Dabber is still used to force ink into etched or incised lines. For oil painting, Dabbers can create smooth fields of colors and glazes. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Dachau Moss

An art colony location north of Dachau, Germany via Munich, it is in a landscape noted for its appeal to artists because of the visual richness of the meadowland, and pine and swamp forests. Karl Seeger is credited as the founder of the art colony, and others attracted to it include Rudolf Epp, Adolf Hoelzel and Wilhelm Leibl. Source: Wikipedia: Dachau Moss


A word meaning "hobby horse" in French, and "yes, yes" in Slavic, it is linked to poet, Tristan Tzara, who reportedly stabbed a penknife in a dictionary in a random place, and it landed on the nonsense word "Dada". The term was applied to an international movement among intellectuals in the fine arts, drama, and literature, and grew from a gathering in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916 at a club called Cabaret Voltaire. The movement traveled to other major centers including New York City, Berlin, Cologne, Hanover and Paris. Viewed historically, Dada was short lived, and by 1924, was essentially over, but it remains an effective reminder of revolt against World War I and the resulting expressions of cynicism. The loss of more than ten-million persons in that war and the fact that modern technology could cause such havoc led to the bitterness reflected by the Dada artists. Dadaists used improvised, sarcastic expressions of intuition and irrationality to send the message that only that which was absurd could have meaning in a world supposedly rational and yet was so destructive. Among Dada artists were Marcel Duchamp, Jean Arp, Francis Picabia, and Max Ernst. Some of them appropriated ready-made, traditionally unacceptable items for art work such as found objects. Duchamp, expressing Dadaism, did a painting of Mona Lisa with a mustache. Dada was a forerunner of Surrealism, Collage, Performance Art and Found Art. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"; Robert Atkins, "Artspeak"; Alan Riding, "The New York Times", October 12, 2005.


An obsolete method of photography invented in 1839, it is now considered the first practical photographic process. Joseph Nicephore Niepce and Louis Jacques Daguerre, a French landscape painter and illusionist stage-set creator, were the inventors. The resulting picture, the Daguerreotype, is one-of-a-kind and made on a silver-coated copper surface sensitized by iodine and exposed to mercury vapor. A key factor in the success of Daguerreotypes was the promotion by the French government to counter publicity of a similar process created by Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot. The method, first used by expedition leader John C. Fremont in 1842, proved valuable in documenting explorations of the American West for the U.S. government, which in turn, stirred financial support for more expeditions. By the 1850s, millions of portrait Daguerreotypes had been made around the world. However, the process had drawbacks in that it was expensive; the plates were fragile; they were difficult to copy; and they required lengthy time for exposure and bright light for the recording onto the plate. By 1860, Calotype photography had replaced the Daguerreotype. American photographers who did Daguerreotypes include William Hazen Kimball, Noah North, Samuel Bemis, Solomon Nunes Carvalho, and James Wallace Black. Sources: "The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia"; "The Random House Dictionary of the English Language"; Robert Atkins, "Art Spoke"; "Salt Lake City Tribune", 12/10/1995; AskART database.

Dallas Nine

A group of regionalist painters, print makers, and sculptors who depicted the Southwest, especially Texas, they were active in Dallas, in the 1930s and early 1940s. Jerry Bywaters was their leading spokesperson. In numbers they were seldom 'nine' because the group expanded and contracted. Names most closely associated with the movement were ones who unsuccessfully lobbied the Texas Centennial Commission to decorate in 1936 the walls of the Hall of State, which was the main building of the Centennial Exposition in Dallas. Dallas Nine original members were Jerry Bywaters, Thomas M. Stell, Jr., Harry P. Carnohan, Otis M. Dozier, Alexandre Hogue, William Lester, Everett Spruce, John Douglass, and Perry Nichols. Others associated with the group were Charles T. Bowling, James Buchanan Winn, Russell Vernon Hunter, Merritt T. Mauzey, Florence McClung, Don Brown, Lloyd Goff, Dorothy Austin, Michael G. Owen, Allie Victoria Tennant and Octavio Medellin. Source:

Dango Sculpture

The name given by Nebraskan Jun Kaneko to his Zen-like ceramic sculptures whose shapes are tall and oval, sometimes as big as seven feet in height. Source: Patrick Sheehan,'ArtTalk', ARTnews, March 2006, p. 37

Danube School

A name given to sixteenth-century landscape painters working in the Danube Valley in Europe, it described a movement especially significant because of the introduction of figures as integral parts of the landscape. Albrecht Altdorfer, Lucas Cranach and Wolf Huber are names associated with the Danube School. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Darby School of Painting

Founded as a summer art school in Darby, Pennsylvania in 1898 by painters Hugh Breckenridge and Thomas Anshutz, professors at the Pennsylvania Academy, it emphasized plein-air landscape painting and individuality of expression and self reliance. In 1900, the school was moved to Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. The school's founding was at the height of "America's enthusiasm for summer art schools situated within idyllic settings". Source: Traditional Fine Arts Online,

Daum Glassworks, Nancy Daum

One of the most famous glass works in Europe known for its richly colored Art Nouveau vases, it is located in Nancy, France. Combining location and name of founding family, it is also known by the name Nancy Daum. It's heydey was 1890 to 1930, but the company remains in operation led by the heirs of the founder, Jean Daum (1825-1885) of Alsace. In 1875, he co- financed "Verrerie Sainte Catherine", which produced glass for watches and mirrors. It failed financially, so Daum took over the operation and changed the name to "Verrierie the Nancy". His sons Jean Auguste (1853-1909) and Antonin (1864-1931) joined the business, which expanded with electricity to stunning color-illuminating tablelamps. These won much attention at the 1900 Paris World's Fair. During World War I, the company made medical glass and post-war manufactured the glass for the steam ship, Le Normandie.

David C Driskell Prize

Established in 2005, at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, the Prize is "the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of African-American art and art history. The award of $25,000.00 is intended for an individual in the beginning or middle of their career whose work is considered an important contribution to African-American art or history." Source: Lyndsey Walker, 'Black Art is Alive and Well', "Art Business News", 2/2005, p. 16.

Day Glo Color

See Fluorescent Paint

Dayton Art Institute/Dayton Museum of Arts

Founded in 1919 as the Dayton Museum of Arts, it began as a traditional art school. Founding patrons included Orville Wright, and the Patterson brothers, and the original site was a downtown mansion, which was outgrown after the first decade. Julia Shaw Carnell, a community leader, pledged 2 million dollars to construct a new building with the understanding that the community would then support it---which it has done. The building in Italian Renaissance style was completed in 1930, and with 60,000 square feet was modeled after two Italian Villas, Villa d'Este near Rome, and Villa Farnese at Caprarola. It overlooks the Miami River, and in 1994 had a 22 million dollar renovation. Source:;

Dazzle Painting

One of the most appealing and successful devices of camouflage painting, the method, whose name is a play on words of 'razzle dazzle', pertains to the manipulating of brightly colored, high contrast disruptive shapes." It was a method first applied to ships during World War I, and painter Norman Wilkinson is credited with naming and activating the method by proposing it to the British Admiralty in 1917. The purpose was to guard against torpedo attacks by creating deceitful visual information about directions in which vessels were headed. Source: Roy H. Behrens, "Camoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage"

De Stijl/Neo Plasticism

Descriptive of a group of Dutch painters, architects, sculptors and writers under the leadership of Theo van Doesburg, the term De Stijl is a Dutch word meaning Style in English. The group, founded in 1917, was totally committed to abstraction. Members asserted they could achieve a pure, universal art by using only primary colors, and black and white, and rectangular lines. Between 1917 and 1928, they published a journal, "De Stijl", whose purpose was to make 'modern man receptive to what is new in the visual arts'. Founding members of De Stijl included painters Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck and Wilmos Huszar, and sculptor Georges Vantongerloo. De Stijl has become synonymous with Neo-Plasticism, the name of their Manifesto published in 1920 and the descriptive term preferred by Mondrian. The influence of the group in promoting minimal elements was long lasting on architecture, commercial and industrial designs, graphics and painting. De Stijl was promoted by the Bauhaus School of Design. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms".


A term often related to private and public art collections, it means removal of artwork either by exchange or sale. Museum Directors often use de-accession as a method of maintaining the focus of the museum

Dead Color

Any color used to underpaint an oil painting on canvas, it usually is a dull brown, gray or green. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Death Mask

A cast made from the face of a deceased person, it is achieved by oiling the skin, applying plaster, and then removing the plaster when it is hardened. Ancient Egyptians made these masks of thin plates of gold. Before photography, the method was used as a way to record the likeness of a person, and sometimes sculptors used Death Masks to create a posthumous portrait of the person, especially ones well known. Among painters and sculptors who created likenesses from death masks are Raphael Beck, Karl Gerhardt, John Browere and Nellie Verne Walker. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques; AskART database

Decadent Art

A derogatory term for expressions of artists and writers of the Aesthetic Movement in England in the last two decades of the 19th Century, it was directed against people who were judged to be more concerned about form and beauty than subject and moral uplift. Aubrey Beardsley and his drawings, associated with Art Nouveau, were often criticized for his Decadent Art. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A painting process for making fractal or branching patterns, it is accomplished by putting viscous paint on a piece of stiff paper fastened to a table. The paper is covered with another piece of paper. Then applied pressure, which spreads the paint, and the sheets pulled apart, will result in branching patterns on both sheets. Those patterns can be changed with repeats of this process. The term was coined in 18th century France when it was done with gouache and ink, and became a childrens' game of blotting. For many, it is appealing because of its liberating unpredictability. Sources: Yale University,;;

Deckle Edge

The ragged edge of hand-made paper, it sometimes is simulated on machine made paper. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


From the French word decoller, which means unstick, it is the opposite of collage, which is building up of layers. Decollage is the tearing away of layers of paper or other fine art materials to expose under layers to create an effect. It is associated with New Realism, especially Poster Art based on the temporary and the principal of intentional and spontaneous destruction. Poster artist Wolf Vostell edited a magazine he named "Decollage". Source: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"; Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

Decorative Art

A term for applied art, meaning it is created with the purpose of embellishing a useful object such as a vase or architectural column. Decorative Art can also exist by itself as pure ornamentation. Decorative artists include ceramist R. Guy Cowan; architectural decorator Rene Paul Chambellan, and ornamental painter John Ritto Penniman. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database


One who applies his or her craftsmanship to adorning an art object, it often is not the person who did the design.


A French word meaning to decorate a surface by covering it completely with cut-out paper designs. The finished object is also called a Decoupage. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Originally created to lure game birds to their death, hand carved working (e.g. made for hunting) wildfowl decoys have been considered folk art and collected as such for almost 100 years. Most working decoys are made of wood (cedar, pine, balsa, etc.), however, they can also be made of cork or mixed mediums, and they can be solid or hollowed out. Working decoys are carved and painted to be highly visible lifelike models (at least from a distance) of the ducks, geese, shorebirds and other game species they were designed to lure. Unlike most folk art, working decoys were not created or decorated for the aesthetic appreciation of the user; beautiful as many working decoys are, fundamentally they are unembellished utilitarian objects – hunting equipment designed only to attract birds. Since no part of them was decorated or enhanced to appeal to a human viewer, working decoys would not naturally be classed as Fine Art or Applied Art. Consequently, the discussion of working decoys as an art form conceptually expands the definition of art in a modern and quite Duchampian way. A North American invention, decoys were first fashioned with reeds and feathers by Native Americans over 1000 years ago. Since then, decoys made of various things like rocks, mud and stuffed dead birds have been used in North America. The modern wood decoy originated in the early 19th century. Its development coincided with the mass slaughter of migratory birds and the ultimate extinction of several bird species. Collecting decoys as art began in the early 20th century after the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 put professional hunters (aka: market hunters), the primary users of decoys, out of business and thus made most of the decoys and decoy carvers redundant. Joel Barber (1877 – 1952), a New York architect, was one of the most prominent early collectors and promoters (author of “Wild Fowl Decoys”) of decoys as art, he bought his first decoy in 1918 (Engers p.301). Important early decoy carvers were almost always avid pre-Act of 1918 hunters such as Lothrop Holmes, Anthony Elmer Crowell, Thomas Gelston and Thomas Chambers. Please note: the above discussion refers only to purpose built hunting decoys; hand carved decorative and miniature decoys were, on the other hand, created solely for aesthetic appreciation, not for hunting, and as such were always considered fine art sculptures. Since 1913 there have been organized competitions amongst carvers of these highly detailed decorative decoys. Sources: “Collecting Antique Bird Decoys and Duck Calls: An Identification and Price Guide” (2003), by Carl Luckey and Russell E. Lewis; “The Great Book of Wildfowl Decoys” (2000), edited by Joe Engers; and “Wild Fowl Decoys” (1934), by Joel Barber. Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Degenerate Art

A term applied to artwork in Germany during the Hitler era, it was considered a threat to the Nazis because it was counter to their political message. Many artists, later well known, fell under that label including some after their death such as Paul Gaughin, and Vincent Van Gogh. Other artists whose work was regarded as Degenerate and were publicly threatened and labeled are Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Max Beckmann, George Grosz and Theodore Fried. Beginning 1937, Hitler and other members of the Third Reich put together a list of what they classified as "degenerate" art, and toured Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, etc. parading the art and names of the artists they considered anathema to their principles. The living artists, many of whom were scattered throughout Europe, lived in danger of their lives, and many of the collectors of their art throughout Europe, hid or destroyed the art for fear of reprisals. The artists had no control over who was chosen or for what reason. Conversely, Hitler put forward what he considered art reflective of the superhuman race dealing with "modernism" and fair skinned blonds indicative of the "purity" of race. After the war, the artists whose art was chosen for these exhibits were considered celebrities. However, much of their artwork as well as the 'degenerate' art had been damaged or completely destroyed in temporary storage areas such as caves, chimneys, etc. Sources: Milton J. Ellenbogen, Trustee of the Theodore Fried Estate; AskART Biographies

Del Monte Art Gallery

Exhibition space opened in 1907 at the Del Monte Hotel, famous as a resort in Monterey, California, and built by the Southern Pacific Railroad, this was the first gallery dedicated exclusively to California artists. The venue was established by artists who had fled the fire and earthquake of San Francisco. With 40 artists exhibiting annually, it was a key factor in establishing the area of Monterey and Carmel as an art center. Prominent among exhibiting artists were Armin Hansen, Euphemia Fortune, William Keith, Will Sparks and Gottardo Piazzoni. Sources: William Gerdts, 'American Tonalism, Essay in "Poetic Vision: American Tonalism", Spanierman Galleries, LLC exhibition catalogue, 2005; AskART database

Del., Delin

Latin derivative from "delineavit", translated in English in means "he drew it". The term is used in printmaking following the name of an artist to signify that the artist was responsible for the original design, as distinct from being simply the engraver. "Inc" and "Sculp" refer to the person who engraved the plate, often different from the artist who did the original design. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


See Academie Delacluse

Delaware School of Art

See Clawson S. Hammitt's School of Art

Delft, Delftware

Earthenware, it is named for its place of origin in the Netherlands in the 17th Century. Opaque enamel is the covering and cobalt blue the decoration. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques

Den Frie Udstilling/The Free Exhibition

Denmark's oldest artist group, The Free Exhibition was founded in 1891 by a group of avant-garde artists who were having their paintings regularly refused at the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition. Founding members and exhibitors included Johan Rohde, Agnes Slott-Moller, Harald Slott-Moller, Theodor Philipsen, Jens Ferdinand Willumsen, Vilhelm Hammershoi, Joakim Skovgaard, Neils Skovgaard, Kristian Zahrtmann Julius Paulsen and Peder Severin Kroyer. The first exhibition opened on March 26, 1891 at the Art Gallery Kleis in Copenhagen. It was a great success, viewed by more than 20,000 paying guests. In 1893 Paul Gauguin exhibited with them and subsequently Edvard Munch, Carl-Henning Pedersen, Richard Mortensen, Robert Jacobsen, Soren Georg Jensen, Ole Schwalbe and Sonja Ferlov Mancoba have exhibited at Den Frie Udstilling. The association and organization are still dedicated to artistic freedom and avant-garde art and put on about eight exhibitions a year in The Free Exhibition Building at East Gate Station in Copenhagen (see all artists mentioned in AskART). Sources: The Free Exhibition Building/ The Free Center for Contemporary Art ( and Prepared and contributed by M.D.Silverbrooke

Denver Art Club

Formed in 1893 in Denver, Colorado as an exhibition venue for local artists, the Club was the forerunner of the Denver Art Museum. At the time of its origin, DAC was supported by the family of artist and founding member Anne Evans (1871-1941), who lived in a home where meetings were held. The structure is now the Byers-Evans House Museum. Among early artist members were Charles Partridge Adams, Frank Sauerwein, Richard Tallant and George Platt. Source: Traditional Fine Arts Online,; AskART database

Denver Artists Guild/Colorado Artists Guild

In 1928-29 a group of 52 Colorado artists banded together to form the Denver Artists Guild with goals “to encourage the practice and appreciation of the fine arts and to promote the highest professional standards in original art.” These founders were a diverse group geographically and stylistically with influences of Impressionism, Cubism, Expressionism and later Abstraction. Some of the better known founders include Vance Kirkland, Arnold Ronnebeck, Gladys Caldwell Fisher and John Edward Thompson. Source: Deborah Wadsworth, curator of “Denver Artists Guild Founders – Fifty-Two Originals” show at Denver Public Library, 2009

Des Moines Academy of Art

See Cumming School of Art

Deseret Academy of Fine Arts

Founded in Salt Lake City in 1863 by John Tullidge, George Ottinger, and Dan Weggeland, it was a short-lived school for teaching art. Source: Anthony Fine Art, Salt Lake City; J. Willard Marriott Library, U. of Utah.

Desert Art Center

The oldest and largest non-profit art association in Cochella Valley, California, it was founded in 1950 on Highway 111 in Cathedral City by artists and friends of the arts. Three years later, the DAC was moved to 444 South Indian Avenue in Palm Springs, and the organization continues into the 21st Century. It is a place for exhibitions and artist demonstrations and also an "Art Mart" for artwork sales on weekends. Active artist members have been Jimmy Swinnerton, William Darling, Agnes Pelton and Carl Bray. Source: "Treasury of Living Art", DAC publication, 1970.


The plan of elements of a composition as pre-planned by architects, painters and sculptors, it involves line, shapes, symmetry, spatial relationships and rhythm. Color and texture and emotional expression are not a part of Design. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


The mixing of postwar and contemporary art with design objects, it blurs the lines between the traditional definitions of fine art and design. The Movement is dated from the mid-1990s when Christie's London began design sales and to a spring 2000 sale at Christie's New York when Philippe Segálot, worldwide head of contemporary art, interspersed design objects by Marc Newson and Shiro Kuramata with paintings and sculpture by Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. The buying response was very moderate, but since then the combination has caught on and seems a pairing "well suited to the newest wave of collectors and their eclectic decorating style." (126) A major player in promoting Design-As-Art is Chicagoan Richard Wright and his Wright auctions, begun in 2000 shortly after the Christie's sale. He offered design objects in eye-catching catalogues. About the same time, Phillips, de Pury & Company, began 20-21st Century Design Art sales. In 2003, Sotheby's changed the name of the 20th-Century Decorative Arts to 20th Century Design. Source: Jeannie Rosenfeld, ‘Turning the Tables’, “ARTnews”, March 2006, p. 126-127


One who creates the plan to produce an object, the term usually implies that the person was not the executor of the work but is the arranger of the formal elements such as line, shape, angles, color dynamics, etc. Designer is a term used for persons who apply these principles to art and utilitarian objects, and interior and exterior architecture. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Dessus de Porte

Popular in the 18th Century, the term describes a horizontal painting created to be hung over a doorway. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts

Influenced by the late 19th Century Arts and Crafts begun in England, which was a reaction against mass production, this entity was patterned after the Arts and Crafts Society in Boston. The DSAC was founded in 1906 with George Booth, managing editor of the "Detroit News". as President. In 1916, the Society became the first Arts and Crafts organization in America to construct its own building, located at 47 Watson Street. In 1926, the Society had a school, The Society of Arts and Crafts School of Art, now the Center for Creative Studies. In 1929, work by Alexander Calder was introduced by the Society in Detroit, as well as other modernist American artists. By the early 21st Century, the Society was not functioning, but the School remains. The Society's legacy is that it thrived as a counter influence in Detroit at the time the city became the world's leading center of industrial production, and it also melded aspects of industry into aesthetics. A defining moment had been the Society's introduction of the automobile as an art form. The Ford family subsequently gave much money to the School, which expanded into a four year college with a degree given in industrial design. Source: Internet: Society of Arts and Crafts.html;

Dia Art Foundation

A non-profit organization founded in 1974 by Houston arts patron Philippa Menil, it initiates, supports, exhibits and preserves contemporary art objects. By 2007, its endowment was $57 million dollars. Support is given to special projects whose nature and/or size would not attract other funding sources. The name "Dia" is from the Greek word for "through", meaning enabling. The Foundation also maintains long-term site specific sites including work by Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd. Source: Wikipedia,

Die Brucke (The Bridge)

A German Expressionist movement of violent colours, a sense of doom figural distorion and emotional humanism, it was organized in Dresden in 1905 by architecture students, who were also painters. The intent was to create a style to "bridge" the prevalent Romantic painting with the encroaching modernist Expressionism. In doing this, they looked back to early German artists such as Albrecht Durer and Matthias Grunewald, and forward to their own ideas that focused on expressing inner emotions and stark social realism. The four original members were Fritz Bleyl (1880-1966); Erich Heckel (1883-1970); Ernst Kirchner (1880-1938); and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884-1976). "Die Brucke", along with "Der Blaue Reiter" group (The Blue Rider) were the two groups fundamental to the success of the Expressionist movement. Source: Wikipedia referencing of Peter Selz, "German Expressionist Painting", p. 78; Johans Borman Fine Art biography of Adolph Jentsch.


Creating objects from sheet metal, it is a process that involves making the outline on the metal, cutting it out with tools, filing the rough edges, and then if wanted, applying images or words onto the metal. Engraving and die-sinker artists include Segastian Genot, Elijah Dickens, Moritz Furst, and Emil Sigel. Sources: Peter Hastings Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art";

Diesinker, Diesinking

An engravier of dies, these are shapes on hard-blocks materials such as wood or steel whose openings serve as shape molds for stamping designs on coins or medals. The process dates to the early 1800s in America. Charles Cushing Wright was one of the first engravers who also did die sinking and other early engravers involved in the process were William Barber, Salathiel Ellis and Moritz Furst. Sources: AskART biographies,

Digital Art

See Computer Art


A term originally applied to three-dimensional appearing scenes, often with a painted background, and lit and viewed through a peephole, it gives a three-dimensional effect. The term, Diorama, also applies to the viewing light box, which was invented in 1822 by L.J.M. Daguerre. In the 20 and 21st centuries, dioramas refer to three-dimensional backgrounds for exhibitions such as for realistic wildlife exhibits in natural history museums. Often the lighting is adjusted to create atmospheric effects. Unlike expansive, eye-catching dioramas of the 19th Century such as those by Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Church, modern dioramas usually function as backdrops to exhibits such as stuffed mammals and birds or commercial business exhibits. These later American dioramists include Joseph Cerveau, J. Perry Wilson, Frank MacKenzie, William Leigh, Francis Lee Jacques, Clarence Rosenkrantz, Hobart Nichols, Peter George, Earle Heika, Joe Halko, Dudley Blakely and D. Alanson Spencer. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms";; AskART database


A British term for a container for oils and mediums, it clips to the side of the palette. Source: Kimberley Reynolds, Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A painting or relief carving on two hinged panels so it can be opened and closed like a book, it is usually an altarpiece but is also a technique used by modernist artists. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Direct Carving (Also See Carver, Carving)

Beginning in France in the 1890s with sculptor Joseph Bernard, direct carving was a method of creating a single sculpture and was a departure from traditional processes of bronze sculpture that led to multiple copies and employment of studio assistants. Direct carving involves only the carver, his/her tools, and the medium, which traditionally is stone, marble, or wood. A shared commitment of direct carvers is remaining true to the inherent properties of the medium, meaning to respect the integrity of the lines and texture and to let those entities guide the creative hand. Direct Carving received international attention when work by sculptors such as Constantin Brancusi and Ossip Zadkine used that method in their entries that appeared at the 1913 New York Armory Show. In America, Chaim Gross, Jose de Creeft, and Seymour Lipton were pioneers of the method in the early 20th century, and direct carving has continued among succeeding generations including Elfriede Abbe in the 1960s. Sources: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"; AskART Database

Direct Painting

See Alla Prima


An Italian word meaning 'design' or 'drawing', in Italian art the term has been applied "to all the visual arts as well as to the specific elements that the word denotes." The assertion of the superiority of "disegno" over color has led to conflicts among academic artists. Source: Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A term for bulk or wall paints and not to be confused with fresco, 'distemper' is prepared from water, powder colors, and simple glue or casein binders and is often used for stage scenery or decoration when permanence is not important. The term is not used in the United States where equivalents are Calcimine and Scenic colours. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Any change of visual perception made by an artist, it alters what is normally regarded as realistic. Often affected are size, position, or general character. Distortion is a term also used for any degree of personal or subjective interpretation of natural forms. Artists throughout history have consciously used Distortian including Gothic sculptors and painters,Mannerists such as El Greco; and Cubists, Surrealists and Expressionists including Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and Vincent Van Gogh. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Divisionism, Divisioniste, Chromoluminarism

A Neo-Impressionist style of painting, it was founded with the name Chromoluminarism by Georges Seurat in the mid 1880s in France. It is closely related to Pointillism and is distinctive from Impressionism for its separation of colors into individual dots, which are intended to interact optically on the viewer. This approach of juxtaposing pigments and manipulating light allowed the artist to avoid pre-mixing colors on a palette. Seurat's masterpiece, "La Grande Jatte" is the most famous example of the style. Other artists associated or influenced by Divisionism were Maximilien Luce, Camile and Lucien Pissaro, Georges Lemmen and Yvonne Canu. Source: Wikipedia

Dixie Art Colony, Alabama Gulf Coast Colony

First located in Mobile County, Alabama from the early 1930s to the late 1940s and then in the fishing villages of Bayou La Batre and Coden on Alabama's western Gulf Coast between 1946 and 1953, the Dixie Art Colony evolved into the Alabama Gulf Coast Colony. Artists gathered at the latter colony from spring to fall and lived communally and painted the local scenery "en plein aire". The Dixie Art Colony was part of a more widespread post-United States Civil-War movement that continued into the 20th century. It was composed of a group of women artists working together to promote their art and that of women generally in Alabama during the first half of the 20th century. Kelly Fitzpatrick, a popular male artist, was the key leader and taught at the Colony school at Deatsville, Alabama. Women artists included Doris Thompson, Arrie Plummer, Anne Goldthwaite and Sallie Carmichael. In those days in the South, women artists were not taken seriously, and art was something condoned from them as long as they did not try to elevate their art to a professional level. As part of their activities, they organized painting excursions to the Gulf Coast, and in May 1946, a second colony formed as a result of these excursions and the effort of Genevieve Southerland. Called the Alabama Gulf Coast Colony, added members included Frances Elizabeth Harris, William Bush, George Bryant and Carlos Alpha "Shiney" Moon. Southerland served as Director, and Fitzpatrick and Moon were art instructors. The Colony dissolved in 1953 with the death of three key members (Fitzpatrick, Southerland and Moon) within a hundred days of each other. Sources: Lynn Barstis Williams, 'South Alabama's Art Colony 1946-1953, "American Art Review", February 2006, pp. 158-165; James R. Nelson, "Birmingham News", 10/31/2004.


From the French word "docere", meaning to guide, the word docent means guide and refers to a museum volunteer who has been trained to give educational tours.

Documenta Kassel

An exhibition of modern and contemporary art held every five years for 100 days in Kassel, Germany, it was founded by artist and teacher Arnold Bode in 1955. Originally it was part of Kassel's hosting of the Federal Horticultural Show. The first "documenta" featured artists highly influential on modern art such as Picasso and Kandinsky, but recently most of the entries are site specific. June 2012 is the beginning date of the next "documenta", an invented word intended to mean a documentation of modern art. Source: Wikipedia;

Documentation, Documentary Art

In fine art, the word with two meanings. Traditionally it has referred to mediums that record events or people such as photographs, videos or written materials. However, with the advent of Conceptual Art, especially Earth Art and Performance Art, Documentation is the recording of quickly passing moments such as "The Gates" of Jean-Claude Christo and Javacheff Christo in Central Park in New York City in 2005, or out-of-the way earthworks such as those by Michael Heiser in Nevada. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Doll & Richards Gallery

Established 1866, and incorporated in 1902 in Boston, Massachusetts, it was a highly prominent gallery with artists of enduring reputation such as Winslow Homer, Frank Vining Smith, Edward Redfield, and William Stanley Haseltine. After the original owners, it sold in 1941 to Arthur McKean, to 1962 to Maurice Goldberg, and to Jeanne and Paul Sylva in 1973. Archives are in the Frick Colledtion in New York City. Source:

Dolphin Fellowship; Dolphin Medal

Established as non-monetary recognitions by the American Water Color Society, both awards are set up for the promotion of watercolor. The Fellowship is given only to painters as an incentive to create award-winning paintings that advance the medium of watercolor. Criteria is the accumulation of five points derived from a system established at AWS exhibitions. The Dolphin Medal is not an award for painting but an award to persons promoting watercolor including philanthropists and other volunteers as well as artists. Among Dolphin Medal Winners are Robert Hale, Ogden Pleissner, Millard Sheets, Andrew Wyeth, Betty Lou Schlemm, and Dong Kingman. Source: The American Watercolor Society


A principle of visual organization, it suggests that certain elements should assume more importance than others in the same composition. It contributes to the organic unity by emphasizing the fact that there is one main feature and that other elements are subordinate to it.

Dominion Gallery of Fine Art, Montreal

The Dominion Gallery of Fine Art, first located in the Keefer Building on St. Catherine Street West in Montreal, was founded by Rose Millman in December 1941. Max Stern, a recent émigré from Germany, joined the Gallery as managing director in October 1942. He became Millman's business partner in 1944 and purchased the Gallery outright in 1947. In 1950, Stern moved the business to 1438 Sherbrooke Street. From the outset, the Dominion Gallery mainly promoted art by living Canadian artists. The inaugural exhibition at the gallery, held in March 1943, featured paintings by Goodridge Roberts (1904-1974). The Roberts exhibition was the first in a series at the Dominion Gallery during the 1940s devoted to contemporary Canadian artists, Jacques Godefroy de Tonnancour (1917-2005), Paul-Emile Borduas (1905-1960), John Lyman (1886-1967), Emily Carr (1871-1945), and Stanley Cosgrove (1911-2002) among them. The Dominion Gallery was the first gallery in Canada to provide artists with a guaranteed annual income, allowing them to devote time to their art without the necessity of having to earn a livelihood by other means. In all, the Dominion supported thirty-two Canadian artists with contracts. Having exhibited and sold mostly contemporary Canadian works during the 1940s and early 1950s, the Dominion Gallery changed course in the mid 1950s, when it became more actively involved in selling international art. Especially important was Stern's focus on international sculpture, an interest aided by the lifting of Canada's import duty on sculpture in 1956. Over the next few years the Dominion Gallery developed the largest private collection of international sculpture in Canada, selling works by such artists as Henry Moore (1898-1986), Hans Arp (1886-1966), Aristide Maillol (1861-1944), Emilio Greco (1913-1995), and Marino Marini (1901-1980). The Gallery also promoted the work of Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), becoming the agent for the sale of Rodin sculptures from the Musée Rodin in the early 1960s. In 1967, on the fiftieth anniversary of Rodin's death, the Gallery paid tribute to the artist with a major exhibition of his work. Following Max Stern's death in 1987, the Dominion Gallery continued to organize important exhibitions of Canadian and international art under the direction of Michel Moreault, an employee of the gallery since October 1968. The Gallery was closed in December 2000. The Dominion Gallery building and name was purchased by Robert Landau in 2001 and reopened in 2005. Source:

Don Pittman Wildlife Art Prize

A cash award of $3,000, it is for Exceptional Artistic Merit for a Wildlife Painting or Sculpture exhibited at the annual Prix de West show at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. It is sponsored by Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman and carries a cash award of three-thousand dollars. Recipients include Greg Beecham, Dave Wade, Bob Kuhn and Ken Carlson. Sources: National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; AskART database

Double Image

In painting and drawing, a figure or object that appears in more than one place such as a human figure that also appears as part of the geography such as in a hillside. Pavel Tchelitchew, 1898-1957, was particularly noted for his double images. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A sculpture term, it refers to the depiction of a lone figure on a battlefield or one charging with a bayonet to represent the bravery of many soldiers. These sculpted figures originated with the Civil War, and the name came from the British, who said that the gold-colored buttons on American uniforms looked like dumplings or doughboys. Many small communities had doughboy monuments, but three nationally known sculptors made the genre a fine art: Martin Milmore, John Quincy Adams Ward, and Randolph Rogers. Also creating doughboys were Avard Fairbanks, Ernest Viquesney, Joseph Mora and Humberto Pedretti. Sources: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"; AskART database

Downtown Gallery/Edith Halpert

Founded in Greenwich Village, New York City at 113 West 13th Street in 1926 by Edith Gregor Halpert, it stayed in the gallery business for forty-four years. The Gallery was unique because it was one of the earliest in America devoted to American art, the earliest to sell and promote modern art, the first in America to be operated by a woman, and the first gallery to promote folk art and work by black artists such as Jacob Lawrence. Halpert was also the first American dealer "to print on every sales receipt that the copyright was held by the artist and gallery---not the purchaser. Abby Rockefeller and Stanley Marcus were some of her biggest clients, and other collectors were Eleanor Roosevelt, Paul Mellon and Marshall Field III. Among her artists were Stuart Davis, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Charles Sheeler. In 1940, Halpert moved her gallery out of Greenwich Village to a six-story mansion at 43 East 51st Street. Source: Lindsay Pollock, "The Girl with the Gallery", 2006.

Draftsman, Draughtsman

A person who specializes in drawing, it has traditionally has been one of the basics of art education. For architecture and mechanical drawing, a draftsman is a person who converts concepts into drawings that meet professional standards. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


The technique of applying paint over a rough surface, the goal is to create uneven appearance and untouched depressions. It results in broken areas of color with irregularities so that under color shows through. In the Intaglio printmaking process, dragging or scruffing is leaving a film of ink on the surface of the plate, resulting in a less stark contrast between the printed lines and the background. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Drapery Painter, Draperyman

Employed by other artists, usually portraitists, to finish their work, they were specialists in paintings clothing and other accessories. Defined as subcontractors rather than studio assistants they seem to have emerged in the Netherlands in the late 17th century, and by the mid 18th century, most of the leading British portraitists employed them excepting Gainsborough and Hogarth. Joseph Van Aken was known as "doyen of the draperyman's profession. Source: Oxford Dictionary of Art online,


Lines on a surface, usually paper, of shapes and forms, it creates distinguishing linearity. Drawing techniques vary widely with sharp delineation achieved with pencil and or pen/ink. Watercolor generally gives a more delicate effect, and more painterly effects can be created with wax crayon, chalk, pastel, and charcoal. Some drawings are the finished product, and others are sketches for a grander piece of work. It is said that one of the foundations of every civilization is drawing. In our modern world, “every building, every car, every cardboard coffee cup was likely first a drawing on a piece of paper as a set of lines that would eventually form the architecture of our lives.” (Maynard) On the seal of the Art Students League in Manhattan is the Latin motto "Nulla Dies Sine Linea", meaning "No Day Without a Line." (Rubenstein) American artists known for drawing include Chuck Close, Alexander Calder, Robert Cottingham, and Cy Twombly. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Edith Zimmerman, ‘Sketchbook’, “Drawing” magazine, Spring 2006, p. 8; Ephraim Rubenstein, “Drawing” magazine, Spring 2006, p. 61; AskART database.

Drawing Board

Also known as Illustration Board, it is traditonally a squared and smoothed wood panel that an artist can use for attaching drawing paper. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Drawing Center, New York City

Founded in 1977 in a warehouse at 137 Greene Street in SoHo by Martha Beck, an art curator, it is now located at 35 Wooster Street. The Center is an alternative museum to showcase both emerging artists and the art of drawing, which Beck valued because it so often was the first 'creative flash' that led to the more polished and finished artwork. Among artists featured early in their careers were Antonio Gaudi, Terry Winters, Nancy Dwyer, Carroll Dunham and Richard Bosman. The first year of operation 125,000 visitors attended, and strong support of the Center has continued with architectural drawings often being exhibited such as those by Andrea Palladio, Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. Source: Obituary of Martha Beck by Paul Vitello, January 22, 2014 in "The New York Times".

Drawing from Nature

Sketching outdoors and then finishing in the studio, it has tradionally been part of the academic training of artists. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Drawing from the Antique

Making a copy with charcoal, chalk or pen and ink of classical sculpture, it is precise and accurate and from either the original or a white plaster copy. Making skillful, exact copies has traditionally been required for entry into life-drawing classes, especially in the traditional art classrooms in America in the late 18th and 19th-century. In the 1870s, Cecilia Beaux, then a teen-age art student, was required to "draw from the antique", something she found tedious and boring but eventually credited as critical to her professional development. She wrote: "I had been taught by this exercise, if I chose to apply it, every rule of linear and aerial perspective." (Carter 37). Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Alice Carter, "Cecilia Beaux".

Drawing Paper

A smooth, hard-surfaced paper with dull finish and water resistance, it is used by artists for sketching or finished drawings. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Drawing Society of Canada

Devoted to artists who specialize in pen and pencil work, it places more emphasis on advocacy of those mediums than activities. Its mission is to educate the public about drawing, to collect Canadian drawings, and to encourage artists to draw, especially the figure. The Society was established in 1998 by Peter Leclerc and Gerrit Verstraete. Source:

Drawing Table

A table with adjustable top, it allows slanting at various angles and often adjustable in height. Many Drawing Tables have built-in measuring tools, grids and special lighting. Usually the tables are lightweight and sometimes can be folded up for storage and portabilility. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Dream Catchers Artists Guild

Founded in 1983 in Aberdeen, South Dakota by Sioux Indian artists, their goal was setting of standards, establishing of markets and educating of artists and the general public about Indian art related to the Lakota culture. Among original organizers were Richard Red Owl, Don Ruleaux and Vic Runnels. Source: Patrick D. Lester, "The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters"

Drier, Siccative

A compound obtained from several metals including lead, iron, mangonese and cobalt it accelerates the drying process when added to oil paint. However, pigments affect the drying process so some colors with driers added respond more quickly than others. Cobalt drier is regarded as the most effective. Siccative is another word for Drier, and Retardent is the opposite of Drier. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Drip Painting, Gestural Painting

Applying paint to a ground such as canvas by dripping or pouring the paint, it is a method used early in the 20th Century by experimental artists including Max Ernst. The goal of Drip Painters was to explore and enjoy the physical process of applying paint. It came to international attention beginning the 1940s with Action Painters in New York City, especially Jackson Pollock, who began Drip Painting in 1947. His method was to lay the canvas on the floor and drip the paint with energetic arm-swinging motions. Source: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art" (Also see Gestural Painting, Gesturalism)


French for humorous and often fantastic pen drawings, it often shows animals behaving as humans. Droleries are found in the margins of Medieval manuscripts. Source: Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"


A humorous picture, especially one that has animals dressed as human beings or engaged in human activites. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Drummond Light

A dissolving lantern light method, it was a 19th century method which enabled the operator to blend one picture into the next without interruption. Sometimes the effects could be quite disconcerting. Of a Drummond Light show arranged in 1851 in New Bedford, Massachusetts by Albert Bierstadt, a newspaper reporter wrote: "The dissolving of one picture into another sometimes develops the most grotesque conjunction of objects. A lady daintily tripping over dry ground is suddenly plunged to the ankles in a brawling stream; or a man sitting securely upon a prostrate log is transferred to the back of an ox." (17) Source: Gordon Henricks, "Albert Bierstadt"

Dry Mount

A two-dimensional work such as a photograph or print, it is attached to cardboard backing with a thin sheet of tissue placed between the paper and the mount. The Dry Mount is secured by being touched quickly with an electronically heated Tacking Iron, which makes it thoroughly bound with the application of heat and pressure called a Dry Mount Press. Dry Mounting is used more for commercial purposes than fine art. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A technique used with watercolors, acrylics and inks, the brush, only slightly moist with water, is held almost flat against the paper to achieve a broken or mottled effect. In oil painting, the equivalent process is called Dragging. Drybrush artists include John Marin, Andrew Wyeth, Charles McIlhenney, and Doug Higgins. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms.


An intaglio printmaking technique, similar to engraving, the result is lines with slightly ragged edges because the burr or raised area created with the incising remains, unlike engraving where it is polished away. The first intaglio proofs that are pulled are of the best quality and most collectible because the burr wears away in the printing process. American artists noted for drypoint include James Smillie, Chauncey Ryder, Edward Hopper and Gertrude Albright. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART biographies

Dublin Metropolitan School of Art

See National College of Art and Design, Dublin


A type of textile used for canvas. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Duck Stamps and Prints

Limited-edition wildlife works available in federal and state issues, the federal duck-stamp print is the most collectible wildlife art in the United States. The duck stamp itself is a hunting license stamp dating from 1934 and issued by the federal government. From that time, the series has been uninterrupted, and each stamp is accompanied by a limited edition print series. After three years, all remaining stamps and prints are destroyed, which controls the numbers for collectors. Jay Norwood Darling, a cartoonist and conservationalist, created the first federal duck stamp design in 1934 when the U.S. Congress enacted the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act. From that time, possession of that stamp was a requirement for holding a hunting license, and revenues were directed towards wildlife conservation. Other Duck Stamp designers are Frank Benson, Robert Bateman, Guy Coheleach, Lynn Bogue Hunt, Aiden Ripley and David Maass. Source: Joe McCaddin, "Duck Stamps and Prints"; AskART database

Ducks Unlimited

Because it is an organization dedicated to conserving, restoring, and managing wetlands for North American waterfowl, many artists have committed their talents to boosting the cause including design of an official Ducks Unlimited Stamp. Ducks Unlimited artists include Robert K. Abbett, Henry Curieux Adamson, Lee Cable, Ken Carlson, Guy Coheleach, Robert Deurloo, Lynn Bogue Hunt, Carl Knuth, David Maass, Dan Ostermiller, Terry Redlin, John Seerye-Lester, and Paco Young. Sources: website of Ducks Unlimited; AskART biographies.


Referring to something which is pliant or flexible, the word in fine art is often used to describe metal, which is easily shaped and capable of being thinned into wire. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


An Italian word for the Thirteenth Century, especially for Italian art of that period. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Durand-Ruel Gallery/Galleries

Operated in Paris and London by Paul Durand-Ruel (1831-1922), a French art dealer, his galleries became known for the early exhibitions of Impressionism. "During the final three decades of the 19th century Paul Durand-Ruel became the best known art dealer and most important commercial advocate of French Impressionism in the world. He succeeded in establishing the market for Impressionism in the United States as well as in Europe. Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, are among the important Impressionist artists that Durand-Ruel helped to establish." Source: Wikipedia, Paul Durand-Ruel.

Dusseldorf Academy/School

An art academy founded in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1767, it is best known for the emotion infused genre landscape style of painting taught there in the 1830s and 1840s. Many American artists studied in Dusseldorf including Albert Bierstadt who was much influenced by the Romanticism of the genre landscapes, a style known as the Dusseldorf School. Other noted American artists at the Dusseldorf School were Emanuel Leutze, Edward Beyer, Worthington Whittredge and William Morris Hunt. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database

Dusseldorf School of Painting

See Dusseldorf Academy

Dutch Golden Age

Spanning the 17th century in Holland, it was a time when this area was among the most famous in the world for its wide-ranging trade, scientific and military ascendancy and excellence in the arts. Dutch Golden Age Painters included Johannes Vermeer, Jan Van Steen, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Rembrandt Van Rijn. Source: Wikipedia,

Duveneck's Boys

Students of Frank Duveneck, they studied with him in the late 19th century, both in Munich at the Munich Academy and then in Florence, Italy. Among the "boys" were William Merritt Chase and John Henry Twachtman. Source: Traditional Fine Arts Online,


Giving an effect of movement, vitality, or energy, the term is often used in art criticism to describe a work of art that conveys excitement or power. See Dynamic Symmetry. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Dynamic Symmetry

A theory linked to ancient Egyptian and Greek art, it is linked to the 5th Century BC by Jay Hambidge, 1867-1924, who introduced the existence of such a theory in his 1917 treatise, "Dynamic Symmetry". Subsequently he did much more writing and promotion of the subject, which held that works of art could be considered symmetrical if they held to the kinetic symmetry or balanced lines of nature such as that found in pine cones and sunflowers. This theory did not apply to the static geometric symmetry of inanimate forms. In other words, a composition could be symmetrical if there is a sense of symmetry between various areas around the object regardless of the correspondences of the length of the lines. Artists associated with Dynamic Symmetry in addition to Jay Hambidge are Ralph Johonnot, Irving Manoir, Julian Bowes, David Carter, Elanor Colburn, Emil Bisttram and Howard Giles. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Peter Hastings Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

E.P. Taylor Research Library

Located at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, it began informally in 1906, and was actualized in 1933 through the stimulus of a grant and donation of 200 books from the Carnegie Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA. Its collection now includes over 165,000 volumes for general art information and in-depth research in the history of art; over 50,000 sales and auction catalogues; over 40,000 documentation files on Canadian art and artists; and rare books from the 16th to the 21st centuries; as well as photographs, multimedia, digital and microform collections. The Library is a leading Canadian study centre for advanced research in art history. It is open to the visiting public, and the museum and academic communities at large. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke; Source: E.P. Taylor Research Library & Archives –

Eagle's Nest Art Colony

A group of Chicago artists and writers, they decided to remain in the Chicago area after the Columbian Exposition of 1893 to encourage each others' art endeavors. To escape the heat and overcrowded city, they spent summers at a farm in Bass Lake, Indiana, but an outbreak of malaria led them to look for a new location. Chicago attorney Wallace Heckman, an arts patron, offered them the use of his summer estate, Ganymede Farm near Oregon, Illinois in Ogle County along the Rock River. Colony representatives signed a lease with him in the summer of 1898, and the document was in force as long as one of the founding members remained alive. Ralph Clarkson, the last member, died in 1942. The colony was called "Eagles' Nest," referring to a tall, dead cedar tree that clung to the high riverbank. For nearly 50 years, Eagles' Nest was a popular home for creative people. The original group included painters Ralph Clarkson, Charles Francis Browne and Oliver Dennet Grove; writers Hamlin Garland, Henry B. Fuller and Horace Spencer Fiske; architects Irving D. and Allen B. Pond; sculptors Lorado Taft and Nellie Walker; organist Clarence Dickinson; and University of Chicago Secretary James Spencer Dickerson. Although sculptor Taft was the moving spirit behind the colony, it continued to flourish until 1942, six years after his death. About a year after the last of the artists and their families left the colony, Illinois' Gov. Lowden died, and the former Eagles' Nest land was purchased as a memorial park. Sources:;; Betty Madden, "The Eagle's Nest Art Colony Collection"

Early Christian Art

A term to describe art, it was used to make the distinction of Christian Art from Byzantine Art. The focus was on the message rather than the creative abilities of the artists, which has led many critics to regard the expression as inferior to the Classicism of its predecessors. Early Christian Art had its own iconography. Its sculptors were were known for their elaborately carved sargophagi and ivories, and the two-dimensional artists did paintings in catacombs, mosaics and manuscript illuminations. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Early English Style

A style of English Gothic architecture, it was prevalent from 1190 to 1280 AD. Characteristic was the lancet style window, meaning it did not have a dividing vertical structure between the panes of glass. Source: Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

Early Modern Before 1950

An umbrella term descriptive of abstract styles introduced in America, it references a period beginning with the 1913 Armory Show in New York City. The Show introduced modernist or abstract styles from Europe including Cubism and Constructivism. These influences encouraged American artists to experiment with a variety of styles beyond the prevalent Realism and Impressionism.

Earth Art/Earthworks

A work of art, it is made either from sod or earth or resulting from modification of a portion of land. The first exhibition of Earth Art was in 1968 in New York City and had entries mostly composed of natural materials as mediums. Included were a pile of dirt by Robert Morris and boxes filled with rocks by Robert Smithson. Earth Art proved radical because from that time, many of its exponents actually went into the environment, often in remote places, and created landscape-altering works. Some of these projects have had permanent effects on the land such as Michael Heizer's "Nevada Depressions," a series of trenches in the desert. In another work, "Double Negative" of 1969 and 1970, Heiser, worked near the Virgin River Mesa in Nevada, and using bulldozers, displaced 240,000 tons of dirt. He called the result "Double Negative". Some Earth Art is impermanent such as Dennis Oppenheim's patterns in snow or the wrapping in plastic and rope of the Australia coastline in 1969 by Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude Christo. A common desire shared by Earth Artists has been to circumvent the gallery-museum-collector pattern and to demonstrate interest in ecology and geology. Today the movement has gone in many directions and even claims an early 20th-century forbear, Gustom Borglum, who carved the presidential portraits in Mount Rushmore. In addition to those already mentioned, Earth Artists include Herbert Bayer, Isamu Noguchi, Del Geist, Andrew Leicester, Alan Saret, Claes Oldenberg, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt and Walter De Maria. Sources: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art; database

Earth Colors

Pigments that exist naturally in the earth, they are in the form of clays, rocks or earths, for example yellow ochre, terra verte, umber and Venetian red that derive from metal oxide. Source: Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"


Ceramic ware, it is usually coarse, opaque and reddish in color, fired in the lowest temperature ranges, under 2,000F. It is used for domestic ware, glazed, or unglazed. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A freestanding device, it is for holding the ground (panel, canvas, etc.) upon which an artist paints. A studio easel usually has a rectangular base and an adjustable tray and grips to hold the ground. A sketching or field easel is generally lighter in weight, smaller and portable with folding capacity. Most of them have three legs, with two of the same length in the front and a longer back leg. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Easel Picture

Any small painting created at an easel, it is usually done with the intent of framing. Sometimes, however, the work remains unframed and displayed on the easel, and then is called a Cabinet Picture. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

East Los Streetscapers

One of the first groups to begin the muralist movement amongst Chicanos in southern California in the 1970s, they also did multi-media work including sculpture and tile making. Founders were Wayne Alaniz Healy and Paul Botella. Source: website of The Target Corporation:

East Village

A reference to East Greenwich Village artists, it pertained to the mid and early 1980s when it was transitioning with experimental art and galleries from a working class neighborhood to gentrification. Through artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and styles of Pop Art, Graffiti Art Performance Art, Neo Geo, etc., the message was that art was embracing capitalistic commerce and turning away from publicly funded support. However, the mid 1980s saw the demise of the movement when many galleries moved to SoHo where rents were cheapers and buyers more active. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Eastern Group of Painters

Founded as a collective in Montreal, Quebec in 1938 by artists, its purpose was the promotion of painting primarily for aesthetic reasons---art for art's sake. It was a reaction against a perceived prevalent assertion that art should be to promote nationalism. It was also a reaction against the publicity dominance of the Group of Seven. Eastern Group members included Alexander Bercovitch, Eric Goldberg, Jor Smith and John Lyman. Source:


A word with two meanings, it is the first coat of underpainting in an oil painting or an oil sketch for a finished painting, especially for a proposed portrait. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Ecce Home

Latin for "Behold the Man", the term often appears in Renaissance Art in crucifixion scenes when Jesus Christ, wearing tattered robes, is presented to the Jews by Pontius Pilate before Jesus is crucified. Pontius Pilate replies: "Ecce Home". Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"


See Ecclecticism

Ecclecticism, Ecclectic

A theory that a painter should select the best from schools and teachers and then choose and combine into one's own artwork. Traditionally Ecclecticism has been said to have been promoted by the Carraci family in the late 16th Century at the Academy of Bologna, Italy. However, some scholars have challenged that attribution as the origin. Ecclectic is a term used to describe the process whereby an artist borrows features and ideas from a variety of respected sources and combines them in his/her art. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"


An oval beveled needle, it is used for etching and line engraving. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Ecole des Arts Decoratifs

Located at Rue d'Ulm in Paris, France, the school was a major influence in the Art Deco movement of the 1920s. Its teaching curriculum includes fashion, textiles, engraving, animation and industrial design. Its beginning goes back to 1766 when French painter Jean-Jacques Bacheler (1724-1806) got a patent for the founding of the school from Louis XV. Bacheler's purpose was to offer training in applying creative art to manufactured goods. The name until 1877 was Royal Free School of Art (Ecole Royale Gratuite de Dessin). Among its alumni are Fernand Leger, Leon Dabo, Alain Seguin and Jean-Claude Denis. Source: Wikipedia: "Ecole nationale superieure des arts decoratifs"

Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris

The term, Ecole des Beaux Arts, in general usage refers to 'schools of fine art' in France, of which the most famous is the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, which has also held the name of Ecole des Beaux Arts, and Academie des Beaux Arts. (Other Ecoles des Beaux Arts are located at Dijon, Bourges, and Nancy.) History of the Ecole Nationale is tied to the first school name, Academie des Beaux Arts, established in 1648 by Cardinal Mazarin to educate the most talented art students. Located on the left bank across from the Louvre, it was, for many years, the official state institution to maintain high fine-art standards in France. Louis XIV selected graduates to decorate Versailles. Rules of learning included rigid classical studies, drawing and sculpting from "antique" models, and adhering to certain standards about geometric proportion, perspective, and rendering of anatomy. The "Ecole" closed in 1793 under the chaos caused by rebelling artists led by Jacques-Louis David. It re-opened in 1816, and in 1863 became independent from the government. Women were first admitted in 1897. Many Americans have studied there, especially from the mid-19th through early 20th centuries. Among American students have been Robert Henri, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Archipenko, Gutzom Borglum, Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database; Wikipedia

Ecole Des Beaux-Arts, Montreal

The Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montréal (Montreal School of Fine Arts) was founded in 1922. Edmond Dyonnet, Alfred Laliberté and Marc-Aurele de Foy Suzor-Cote were instrumental in persuading the Quebec Provincial Government to create the school. Charles Maillard was its first director, serving from 1923 to 1944. It offered courses in architecture and fine arts to train painters, sculptors, decorators and designers for trade and industry, as well as teachers for arts education. In 1969, it was among several schools that were merged to form the University of Quebec at Montreal. The Ecole des Beaux-Arts alumni include some of Canada’s greatest artists such as Goodridge Roberts, Jean Paul Riopelle, Marian Scott, Guido Molinari, Stanley Cosgrove, Paul Emile Borduas, Pegi Nicol MacLeod, Jean Paul Lemieux, Fernand Leduc and Rita Letendre. Sources: The University of Quebec at Montreal and “Painting in Canada: a history” (1966), by J. Russell Harper. Contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs

See Ecole des Arts Decoratifs


Any painted, sculpted, or drawn figure depicting the muscles of the human body without skin. Practiced by Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472, Italian), a theorist and Renaissance architect. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A copy of an original such as a lithograph proof from the artist's drawing on a stone. The term also pertains to a painting that is a direct copy from an original. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Edgefield Stoneware

Named for a 19th-century pottery operation in the Edgefield District in southwestern South Carolina, the company was founded by Lewis Miles who used slave labor and took advantage of the rich deposits of clay and kaolin. Cherokee Indians and American colonists had earlier taken advantage and shown the area's pottery potential. Miles' chief artist was a skilled African-American who, after emancipation, took the surname of Drake. Pots made by him are often signed "L. Miles and Dave" followed by a date and sometimes poetry by Dave. In the 21st century, "Edgefield pottery in general and Dave's work in particular--is widely recognized as evocative evidence of life in antebellum South Carolina." Source: John M. Bryan, "Magazine Antiques", July 2008, p. 40.

Edith Halpert Gallery

See Downtown Gallery


In bronze sculpture and printmaking, it is the number of pieces/images made from a single mold/plate and authorized by the artist.

Egg Tempera

Paint for which egg yolk is the binder, it is mixed with water and pigment, and when exposed to air and sunlight, it becomes very durable. The process is from the ancient Egyptians whose sarcophagi are decorated with egg tempera that is still intact today. It is very fast drying so does not lend itself to blending very well. Egg tempera was the primary form of painting until the introduction of oils in the 15th century. At first, and in some cases still today, oils were painted over the tempera painting to enhance the darker colors. Some of the more famous painters to use egg tempera in the 20th and 21st centuries have been Andrew Weyth, Robert Vickery, and Paul Cadmus. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon , "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Egyptian Art

Art from ancient Egypt, it dates from about 3200 BC to 332 BC when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. Most of the items were funereal and from the tombs of the Pharoahs--the Pyramids. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Eight Masters of Nanjing

A group of 17th century Chinese painters, they lived in Nanjing and were leaders of the Nanjing School. Members were Gong Xian, Fan Qi, Ye Xin, Zou Zhe, Gao Cen, Hu Zao, Wu Hong and Xie Sun. Source: Wikipedia

Eight, The

An influential and innovative American group of eight artists, members were Arthur Davies; Maurice Prendergast; Ernest Lawson; Robert Henri (the unofficial leader); George Luks; William J. Glackens; John Sloan and Everett Shinn. Later, George Wesley Bellows became an associate. Officially formed in 1907, the artists had been associated since the 1880s in Philadelphia. They shared the common goal of rebelling against the sentimental genre scenes of the popular American painters and the rigid academic tradition imported from Europe. The Eight, not to be confused with the Ash Can School, held only one exhibition as a group, and this event was at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City in 1908. Source: Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Art"

Eisner Awards

With the full name of Will Eisner Awards, they are given at the annual Comic-Con International convention in San Diego to recognize especially skilled comic book professionals. They were created in 1987 as a successor to Kirby Awards, which were discontinued that year. There are 34 categories with winners being nominated by a five-member panel, and then voted on by selected comic book professionals. The most prestigious among the awards is the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame. Recipients in that category include Chester Gould, Georges Herriman, Al Capp and Harvey Kurtzman. Source: Word IQ; Wikipedia


A natural gold or silver alloy, it is pale gold and used for jewelry making. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Eleusinian Marble

Black marble, it is from Attica, Greece and was popular in ancient Greece for decoration such as friezes and interiors. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Elgin Marbles

'Elgin Marbles' is a popular term that in its widest use may refer to the collection of stone objects - sculptures, inscriptions and architectural features - acquired by Lord Elgin during his time as ambassador to the Ottoman court of the Sultan in Istanbul. More specifically, and more usually, it is used to refer to those sculptures, inscriptions and architectural features that he acquired in Athens between 1801 and 1805. These objects were purchased by the British Parliament from Lord Elgin in 1816 and presented by Parliament to the British Museum. The collection includes sculptures from the Parthenon, roughly half of what now survives: 247 feet of the original 524 feet of frieze; 15 of 92 metopes; 17 figures from the pediments, and various other pieces of architecture. It also includes objects from other buildings on the Acropolis: the Erechtheion, the Propylaia, and the Temple of Athena Nike. In the nineteenth century, the term 'Elgin Marbles' was used to describe the collection, which was housed in the Elgin Room at the British Museum, completed in 1832, where it remained until the Duveen Gallery (Room 18) was built. Material from the Parthenon was dispersed both before and after Elgin's time. The remainder of the surviving sculptures that are not in Athens are in museums in various locations across Europe. The British Museum also has other fragments from the Parthenon acquired from collections that have no connection with Lord Elgin. Source: The British Museum -

Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award

Charles G. Greenshields of Montreal established The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation in 1955, in memory of his mother. The foundation aids worthy artists who need further training or other assistance during the early stages of their careers. Awards are limited to candidates working in painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Work must be representational or figurative – abstract or non-representational art is precluded by the terms of the Foundation's Charter. The Foundation will also not accept applications from commercial artists, photographers, video artists, filmmakers, craftmakers, or any artist whose work falls primarily into these categories. To be eligible for a grant, candidates are required to have already started or completed training in an established school of art and/or demonstrate, through past work and future plans, a commitment to making art a lifetime career. Each grant is $12,500 (Canadian). The Foundation welcomes applications throughout the year; applicants from any country are welcome, and there is no deadline for sending the application form. Previous awardees include Tib Beament, Steven Assael and Esther Wertheimer. Sources: The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation –; and VSA – Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Ellipse Guide

A template for commercial art and architectural drawing for drawing oval shapes. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A technique of creating raised figures or relief designs on a surface. The method is to stamp the surface with a pair of matched dies in a press. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A term referring to the loss of flexibility and dryness of a ground or support for a painting. Reportedly linen has the least chance of this damage occurring. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Emerald Green

The most vivid, brilliant green pigment in an artist's palette, it is copper aceto-arsenite, which makes it dangerous because it is poisonous. Under the name of Paris Green, it has been used as an insecticide. For an artist, it is unpredictable because mixed with some colors, it can cause everything to turn brown and ultimately to fade. Emerald Green is known in Europe as "Schweinfurt" green for the German town where it was invented by F.W. Russ and Wilhelm Sattler in 1814. Two years later it was on the market. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Emma Lake Artists' Workshops

A summer workshop, it was first held in 1955 for professional artists at Emma Lake in northern Saskatchewan. Founders were Arthur McKay and Kenneth Lochhead, teachers at the Regina School of Art, who wanted a venue to bring in outside professionals to expose participants to the 'larger world of art'. Sponsored by the Regina School of Art, the annual workshop program was discontinued after 1995. Over the four decades, about 80 artists served as outside sources beginning with Vancouver artist Jack Shadbolt and including Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski and Anthony Caro. The program became one of the driving forces of Canadian Modernism. Sources: "The Canadian Encyclopedia"; M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.


A painting medium it will not mix such as oil and water, or water and resin, unless combined by the addition of an emulsifying agent. Emulsifying agents can be 'natural' such as egg-yolk, albumen and lecithin. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

En Camaieu

A painting in a single color. (See also GRISAILLE)

En Plein Air

See Plein-Air Painting


A word with several meanings, the term can pertain to a ceramic or vitreous porcelain glaze that can be applied to a surface as a pottery or metal finish and then fused to that surface in a kiln. The result is usually smooth and lustrous. Enamel is also a fluid paint that either air dries or is baked to a hard, glossy finish. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Enamel Arts Foundation

Celebrating the brilliant color and rich, layered depth of modern and contemporary enamels with focus on American art, it is located at 1704 Armacost Avenue in Los Angeles. The purpose is public awareness and appreciation of modernist enameling as a vibrant art form. The Foundation also has a collection, publishes books and maintains an archive. The collection includes enamel work by Ida Cole, Harold Helwig, Richard Loving and Jessica Calderwood. Source:

Encaustic, Encaustic Painting

An ancient technique, pigments are mixed with molten wax and painted onto a surface where they are fused by the application of heat. The word is derived from the Greek "enkaustikos", meaning 'burning in', which in modern usage is the last part of the process. Ancient Greeks did encaustic mural painting and heated their wax colors on a copper or silver palette over a metal drum filled with burning charcoal. Ancient Romans also used the method for decorative work and for protective coating on ships. Today Encaustic Painting is successful because of control temperatures through electric heating devices that allow all application signs to disappear, leaving an even, dry surface that can be polished to a low sheen. Among artists noted for using Encaustic are Ferdinand Warren, Manuel Pailos, Elaine Sturtevant, Robert Ryman and Victor Brauner. Sources: Ralph Mayer, “A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques”; Peter and Linda Murray, “The Penguin Dictionary of Art & Artists”


A printmaking method, it is done with a burin, a sharp tool, used to scratch lines into a hard surface such as metal or wood. A pre 20th-century artist described as an engraver likely worked in any of the intaglio methods of etching, engraving, or drypoint. Etchers were often referred to as "gravers," and persons with this training were much sought after in the 19th Century before the advent of photo reproductions and other technological advances. In 1825, President Andrew Jackson closed the National Bank of the United States, which meant that local banks personnel were on their own relative to issuing and controlling currency and also were independent in hiring trained engravers to imprint their currency. As a result, engraving skills brought financial remuneration, and many of America’s respected art schools opened because of the demands for trained “gravers”. In turn, many poor young men and a few women acquired skills that later transferred to fine-art painting. It was the beginning of formal art-school education in the United States. Sources: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; James Flexner, “History of American Painting”, Vol. III, p. 54; James Thorn, 'Distilled Spirit: Asher Durand', Ulster


A process of increasing size, for artwork, if skillful, it is done without changing the scale of the parts. A slide projector is often used to magnify the size of an artist's sketch so that the projection in actual size can be superimposed on the ground of the final work. This projection is especially handy with murals. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


See Frieze/Entablature


Slight swelling in depiction of the shaft of a column, it was invented by the ancient Greeks to overcome the illusion of concavity when parallel-sided or regularly tapered columns were used together. Source: Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

Environmental Art, Environments

Large-scale outdoor art, it is large enough for viewers to enter and move about, and experience first hand as well as observe. Environmental Art was introduced in the late 1950s as a part of the breaking down between barriers of art and life. An early example of Environmental Art was "Store" by Claes Oldenberg (1961-1962). He rented an actual store, made 'saleable' goods in the back room, marketed plaster and cloth sculptures in the front, and displayed his 'wares' in the display window. One of the most spectacular 'environments' was done by Andy Warhol who did a room of floating, helium-filled pillows. One wall was covered silk screened with cow-image wallpaper. Other Environmental Artists are Louise Nevelson who did bas reliefs that covered entire walls; Herbert Ferber who built sculpture rooms; Les Levine who covered room spaces with mylar; and Dan Flavin who created 'rooms' of flourescent light. Mark di Suvero built huge constructions from junk material that people could climb on; Tony Smith made space-frame structures for the Corcoran Gallery and the 1971 World's Fair in Osaka. Sources: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"


Deciphering and interpreting ancient inscriptions carved on stone, clay, metal or other hard surfaces, it is a primary method that archaeologists use to understand the past. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Epoxy Resin

See Resins

Epreuve d’artiste

A French term for Artist's Proof, it was the artist’s set of prints used for copyright purposes. Sometimes it was abbreviated “E.A”.


In fine art, it is a word used to describe balance of compositional entities such as shape, spatial qualities, color and linearity. A work without equilibrium can seem aesthetically unpleasant to some viewers. However, many avant-garde artists deliberately violate rules of "equilibrium" as part of their rebellion against conventional art. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".

Eric Pape School of Art

Founded in Boston in 1898, it was founded by Eric Pape, 1870-1938. He served as Director and Head Instructor. Among its distinguished students were NC Wyeth, Robert Owen, and Henrietta Mears. Source: AskART biographies; Oxford Gallery inc.


A coarse grass grown in Spain and North Africa, it is used in the production of paper, especially in England. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A French word, it refers to a preliminary sketch for a painting, sculpture or drawing. The "esquisse" is the vehicle for working out the details and can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional such as clay for sculpture. When it is used by English-speaking artists, it is considered an affectation. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A process of making a design on a hard surface such as glass or metal plate, it was pioneered in the early 1600s with Parmigianino (1503-1540) being one of the earliest to experiment with the process. On glass it can be scraped with a sharp object, and if it is on a metal plate, it is called intaglio. The plate is first coated with a layer of soft wax on which the design is applied by the artist with a sharp needle. Then the etcher uses controlled acid immersion to burn the drawing into the plate where the needle has scratched away the waxy substance. The original print made with this process is called an etching. Famous etchers include George Charles Aid, James Whistler, Leonard Baskin, Gene Kloss, and Gustave Baumann. Source: Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques; AskART database

Ethel Wickes School of Art

Operated in San Francisco around 1928, it was founded by watercolor artist Ethel Wickes (1872-1940). Source: Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1780-1940

Etruscan Art

Art of the people of ancient Tuscany, known as Etruria, it was established by 7th Century BC in the central part of Italy and ended about 3rd Century BC. During the 6th Century BC, Etruscans ruled Rome but by the 3rd Century BC they were under Roman domination. Funereal art found in the tombs of the Etruscans had happy expressions including the carved and painted daily-life scenes. Included in Etruscan art were murals, terra cotta figures, pottery, painted vases, ivory, gold jewelry and bronze. Some of the most remarkable surviving examples are in the tombs at the ancient Etruscan city of Tarquinia, and have scenes of religion, hunting, fishing and athletic contests. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

Eugene Lang College, The New School

Part of the New School for Social Research, (since 1972 the New School), it is a seminar style, liberal arts pre-college program funded by Eugene and Theresa Lang. It is located at West 11th Street of 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village. With the exception of an introductory class about New York City and two semesters of essay writing, the curriculum is chosen by the students based on their goals and interests. Class offerings include avant-garde topics such as 'Punk and Noise'and 'Queer Culture'. Alumni include Natalie Ascensios. Source: 'Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts', "Wikipedia", Accessed 10/28/2014.


Latin for 'out of thankfulness', it means dedicated to God for blessings and thankfulness. Usually the word is a painted or sculptured image, and occasionally the donor is depicted in the work. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution

Held in Rome from 1932 to 1934, it featured visual images of Fascist propaganda telling the evolution of Italian history from 1914 to Mussolini's March on Rome, October 1922. Mussolini opened the exhibit, which attracted about four million visitors. Dino Alfieri was the Director and Designer, and Luigi Frddi and Cipriano Efisio Oppo worked with him. Source: 'Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution', "Wikipedia","


A philosophy rejecting universal truths or ethical systems including Christianity, its ideas are traced to late 19th Century Danish writer, Soren Kierkegaard, and carried forward in France by Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. The underlying idea is that responsibility for ethical behavior is placed on the individual. This assertion was especially popular with people disillusioned by World War II. In the 1940s and 1950s, Existentialism was widespread in the visual arts because artists felt the need to impose their own self expression of order in the face of chaos. American artist Robert Motherwell expressed these ideas in his paintings, which he described as "ordered chaos". Existentialism influences much American modernist painting including Abstract Expressionism, Bay Area Figurative, and Expressionism. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Exploded View

A rendering for illustration or mechanical drawing of a complex object, each of its parts are shown separately in the same scale and in relation to each other so that they can be better understood visually. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Explorers Club

Founded in 1904 in New York City, member focus is a "wide-ranging fascination for the world's wilder places", visiting them, and collecting artwork and artifacts reflecting those places. Club meetings are famous for the prominence of the attendees such as John D. Rockefeller and Charles Lindbergh, formal dinners with displays of wild animals, and exotic dishes featuring foods from geographical places of interest. The Club has a distinguished collection of paintings, sculptures and artifacts. Represented American artists include Arctic-scene painters Albert Operti and Frank Wilbert Stokes and portraitists Robert Brackman and Edwin Tappan Adney, whose subjects were Arctic explorers Admirals Peary and Amundsen. From 1965, the Club's lavishly appointed quarters have been the residence of Stephen Carlton Clark, heir to the Singer Sewing Machine Company, and founder of Cooperstown's Baseball Hall of Fame. It is a six-story Tudor-style building at 46 East 70th Street, and when occupied by the Clark family, housed one of the premier art collections in New York City. Source: Robert McCracken Peck, 'The Explorers Club', "Magazine Antiques", December 2004

Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et I

A World's Fair in Paris, France from April to October 1925, its title's became the derivative for the term Art Deco because of the entries of sleek machines, stylized fountains, and lightening-flashed motifs. The location was between the esplanade of the Les Invalides and the entrances of the Grand Palais and Petit Palais. Although many countries participated, a goal for the hosts was to show with fashionable luxury market industrial and decorative products, Paris "reigned supreme" in spite of the ravages of World War I. Source: Wikipedia,

Exposition Universelle in Paris

First held May 15 to November 15, 1855 as a promotion by Napolean III in response to London's 1851 Great Exhibition, it led to other late 19th century world exhibitions including 1878, 1889, 1900. The 1855 event, held on the Champs Elysees, attracted 20,000 exhibitors from 34 countries, and reportedly had over 5 million visitors. The Exposition Universelle of 1889 celebrated the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, and the main symbol and entrance to the Fair was the Eiffel Tower. In 1900, the Exposition attracted more than 50 million visitors to celebrate in the "City of Light" progress of the past and optimism for the future of western civilization. There were nearly 80,000 exhibits from 60 countries including "paintings in all genres stacked high on the walls, and booths filled with display cases cluttered with objects, giving the look of an enormous exotic bazaar." Art styles were in transformation between historical modes and the style of the 'day', Art Nouveau. Also it was the era of the Arts and Crafts Movement with emphasis on pride in workmanship. In 2008, the Cleveland Museum of Art held an exhibition of some of the fine art including Tiffany jewelry and Lalique crystal that had been shown at the Paris Exposition. Sources: Harrison, 'Exposition Universelle in Paris', "The Magazine Antiques", October 2008.

Expositions/Worlds Fairs

Cultural-themed displays from countries around the world, Expositions in western culture began with the 1851 International Exposition in London. This event marked the first time extensive displays of technology and fine and industrial art were brought together in one venue. Held regularly from that time into the mid 20th century, these events became known by other names including World Fairs and Exhibitions. Many Expositions, all intended to focus on progress, had commemorative titles such the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia of 1876 celebrating the countries 100th year birthday; and Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 in St. Louis, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Purchase. These exhibitions "shrunk the world", stirred competition among countries, and had lasting influence on architecture, engineering, agriculture and fine art. With technological advances in circulating information through cinema, television and computers, the appeal of International Expositions has declined. Sources: Robert Atkins, ART SPOKE

Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award

A prize for "best portrayal of the American Cowboy" of the annual exhibition, Prix de West, it is given at The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The award, sponsored by Bob and Nedra Funk, includes a medal and three-thousand dollars. Recipients include Bill Anton, Carrie Ballantyne, Mehl Lawson and Tim Cox. Sources: The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; AskART database


Art in which the emotions of an artist are paramount over a rational and faithful-to-life rendering of subject matter, it is conveyed by distortion of color, surface and shapes. Because of emphasis on carefully-executed method, Impressionism is the opposite of Expressionism. The term Expressionism appears to have been coined by Herwarth Walden in 1911 in the publication, "Sturm", which he served as editor. Originally the term referenced all modernist or progressive movements from the inception of Cubism and Fauvism. Today, the meaning is more specific in that it refers to one specific early 20th century art movement emanating primarily from Germany. Much Expressionism was prompted by desires for social reform, psychological and spiritual issues. Expressionist style was simple, bold and colorful with large areas of unbroken color and dramatic brushwork. Although the movement remains associated with modernism, it had roots further back historically. Late Medieval and early Renaissance Expressionist artists were Hieronymus Bosch (fl 1488-1516) and Matthias Grunewald,(fl 1475-1528). Spanish artist El Greco (1541-1614) had dramatic Expressionist distortion in his figure paintings. In the 19th Century, Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) and Paul Gaughin (1848-1903) led the first phase of what is officially defined by art historians as the Expressionist movement. From France, the movement spread to Germany and to Norway where Edward Munch (1863-1944) embraced the style. American artists much influenced by Expressionism include Marsden Hartley, George Grosz, Max Weber, Ben Shahn, Ivan Albright, Abraham Ratner, Jack Levine, Karl Knaths and Philip Evergood. After World War II in America, elements of Expressionism evolved into Abstract Expressionism. Sources: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; Robert Atkins, ART SPOKE

Exquisite Corpse

A game adapted to drawing, collage and computer and even to playing through the mail, it derives from a word game called "Exquisite Corpse" whereby the first participant makes part of a drawing ending in lines going just over the fold of a piece of paper. It is folded in such a way that the second participant cannot see what the first drew except these lines, from which the second continues the drawing, and so on. Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist


Any substance added to a material to increase its bulk, it is called a filler if its purpose is to cheapen pure material. However, extenders can also increase working qualities such as diluting excessive color. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Substance added to a material to increase its bulk, it is a filler that dilutes purity and cheapens the product. However, many artists find extenders desirable because they can control mediums such as the intensity of colors and the consistency of printing inks to achieve transparency, etc. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A typography term, it references the part of a letter that extends below or above the baseline such as the letter p (below) and d (above). Source: Bob Bahr, "Drawing" magazine, Spring 2006, pp. 83


The perceived line that runs across a painting, it is level with the viewer's eye. This perspective allows the viewer to imagine where the artist was in relation to his or her subject. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Julia M Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

F., Fec., Fecit

Latin notations for 'he made', it follows the artist's name on a painting or sculpture, or on an original print to distinguish the artist from the engraver, print maker and/or publisher. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

F/64/ Straight Photography

An optical term, it is descriptive of a photography movement in San Francisco from 1932 to 1935. It was founded by Ansel Adams and Willard Van Dyke and coined from the aperture setting on the camera lens that provides maximum clarity. Participants including Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, Henry Swift, Dorothea Lange, Peter Stackpole and John Paul Edwards were determined to make photography a distinctive technique of straightforward image presentation and to turn away from the "anecdotal pictorial photography of the turn of the century." The inaugural F/64 exhibition was in 1932 at the M.H. De Young Museum in San Francisco, and is credited as being the first museum exhibition in America devoted exclusively to photography. Although the group ceased consciously working together, F/64 has remained very much a part of photography and came to be known as Straight Photography. Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; Ron Goulart, "The Encyclopedia of American Comics"


A copy of a work of art that is not intended to be a fake and is labeled as a copy. Source: Julia M. Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"


From the French name for the Italian village of Faenza, a famous pottery town from the 16th century, the original meaning related to earthenware from that town. However in England and the United States, it has come to refer to pottery which has a fine oxide tin glaze applied to pale buff earthenware and or to describe a wide variety of painted ware pottery. It is thought that the earliest forms came from Iran or the Middle East before the ninth century. Source: Wikipedia

Fair Market Value

An appraisal term, it reflects the appraiser's judgment of a realistic price for a work of art for a buyer or seller. Source:


A copy of an existing work of art or a work, it is usually done in careful imitation of a well-known artist's style. It is distinguished from a COPY or studio version because the intention is to deceive. (See also ATTRIBUTION, FORGERY and PROVENANCE) Source: Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques

Fall River Evening Drawing School

Robert Spear Dunning and John Grouard founded the Fall River Evening Drawing School in 1870 in Fall River, Maine, a milling town. The school lasted into the early 1900s, and the curriculum focus was on highly realistic, "trompe l'oeil" still-life painting. It is said that no other community in the 19th century was so much known for still life painting. Students included Albert Monroe, Abbie Zuill, and Bryant Chaping. Source: Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"; Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Famous Artists School

Founded in Westport, Connecticut in 1948 by 'famous' artists and illustrators including Harold von Schmidt, Norman Rockwell and Austin Briggs, it was intended as an art school open to 'everyone, everywhere'. The focus was on specialty areas of illustration with each of the founders plus many other illustrators serving as faculty members teaching their particular skill. The school, now located in Wilton, Connecticut, continues to function into the 21st century, having been acquired in 1981 by Cortina Learning International, a home study course company. Source:

Fan Brush

A fan-shaped brush, it is used for delicate blending of paints and for creating soft, delicate effects. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Fascist Art

It is a name given to chauvinist, propaganda-based art that was promoted and approved or sanctioned by Benito Mussolini, the right-wing political dictator of Italy during World II, who rose to power beginning in 1922. Because of Mussolini's determination to promote modernist ways or revolutionary approaches in society, the resulting avant-garde works were called Fascist Art. One of the groups aligned with it were Futurists "whose bellicosity, anti-feminism, glorification of technology and understanding of propaganda techniques made them natural allies of Mussolini." Italian artists in the 1920s who did 'Fascist Art' were Carlo Carra and Marino Mariani. Fascist Art as a formal movement terminated in 1943, with the weakening and then defeat of Mussolini and his causes. Source: Robert Atkins, "ART SPOKE"

Fast Colors

Colors that resist fading, the term as applied to textile dyeing refers to the life of the product in that the pigments will not lighten with exposure to sunlight. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A ceramic term, it refers to clay, which has great plasticity and can be added to drier clay to make it more workable. Ball Clay and Bentonite are fat clays. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Fat Over Lean

A rule of thumb for painters in oil, it is a term referring to the building up of layers in an oil painting and the fact it is essential that each layer has more oil then the one below it. The reason is that as the paint dries, the top layers are flexible enough to accommodate shrinkage and settling without cracking. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


French word for "wild beast”, it was coined by critic Louis Vauxcelles in 1905 in Paris when he saw at the Salon D’Automne the first exhibitions of its exponents. Fauvists were a group of Post-Impressionist Parisian painters who were shocking in their flamboyant and sensuous use of color. Among them were Henri Matisse, Georges Rouault, Maurice de Vlaminck, Andre Derain , Georges Braque and Raoul Duffy. Fauvism as an art movement is not easily definable because the description came from outsiders and not from any association of artists who formally agreed upon style or objectives. Although interest in Fauvism was relatively short lived because of the introduction of Cubism and focus on form rather than color, the influence remains in the work of many artists whose expressionist works are driven by color rather than geometry. American artists reflecting the Fauves’ innovative use of color include Arthur Carles, Arthur Dove, Maurice Prendergast, Alfred Maurer, John Marin, Abraham Walkowitz and Max Weber. In 1908, Alfred Stieglitz introduced work by Matisse to New Yorkers at his Photo-Secession Gallery, and most of the Fauves from France exhibited there for several succeeding years. Many of them also exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show in New York. Sources: “The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art”; “Phaidon Dictionary of American Art”; Hilton Kramer, (quotation) "The Turn of the Century", p. 137.

Fayum Portrait

A portrait of a dead person painted on their linen shroud or on the mummy case of the deceased, it was an innovation of Coptic Art in Egypt in the Seventh Century BC and is named for Fayum, a province in Egypt. Source: Julia Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

Federal Art Project

A U.S. Government agency, it was formed during the Depression to provide employment for artists. See WPA (Works Progress Administration)

Federation of British Artists/FBA

An umbrella organization in London, England of nine art societies, based in Mall Galleries next to Trafalgar Square, the entity is dedicated to "academic refinement" with a focus, which has "deliberately set its face against modernity and all that modernity represents." These FBA societies, with 614 members in 2010, exist for art education including demonstrations, workshops, exhibition organization of members and non-members, and weekly life-drawing classes. Society member groups are Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Society of Marine Artists, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, New English Art Club, The Pastel Society, Society of Wildlife Artists, and Hesketh Hubbard Art Society. Source

Federation of Canadian Artists

Founded in 1941 by a group of Canadian artists including former Group of Seven member Lawren Harris, it was an outgrowth of the Kingston Conference (see Glossary). The Federation continues operation into the 21st Century, and has eleven chapters throughout Canada. The purpose is to "invite first time and advanced artists to explore and expand their talents through lectures and courses in drawing, mixed-media and oil, acrylic and water color painting." It is a non-profit organization funded by membership dues, exhibition sales, corporate and individual donations, and foundation grants. Source: Federation of Canadian Artists website:

Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors

Founded in 1940 in New York City, it has been an exhibiting organization with an elected membership whose goal was to make the public and press more aware of the importance and diversity of non-academic art. The Federation united artists who had philosophical problems with the conservative American Artists Congress and developed what was, at the time, a unique method of encouraging museums to include contemporary works of art in their collections. Members would find donors to purchase the works, and then approach museums to accept them. As a result, museums across the country began accepting contemporary art.. Members included Wil Barnet, Joseph Solman, Dorothy Eisner, Joseph Albers, Stuart Davis, Earl Kerkum and Louise Nevelson. Source:; AskART biography of Earl Kerkam.


A crystalline mineral with aluminum silicates, it is used as fusion in porcelain and ceramic glazes. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Felix Meritis

Meaning 'Happy Through Merit' in English translation, it was a society operating in Amsterdam from 1777 to 1888. In 1788, the Society building was completed with the same name. Felix Meritis was inspired by enlightenment ideals and promoted arts and sciences with programs, exhibitions and awards. Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony" was first played in the Felix Meritis Concert Hall. Source: Wikipedia, Felix Meritis

Felt Tip Pens, Magic Marker

Pens also known as fountain brushes, the most common name is Magic Marker, the popular commercial Felt-Tip Pen. As a drawing and coloring device, these pens are easily controlled and have colored ink reservoirs of soluble dies that make them handy for sketching. However, they are not permanent enough for lasting fine art. The tips are available in a number of shapes from blunt to fine point. They are considered non-toxic. American artists who have used these markers on 'finished' artwork include Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Source: WordNet; AskART database; Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Female School of Art, London

See South Kensington School of Art, London

Feminist Art

Art expression by women addressing issues pertinent to their lives, these issued included comparable status with men in the work world, contemporary roles in society, and treatment of women within their native cultures. It is a movement that began in the 1960s, primarily in Great Britain and the United States. Women considered feminist artists include Judy Chicago, Lynda Benglis, Rebecca Horn, Cindy Sherman and Faith Ringgold. Source: Robert Atkins, "ARTSPEAK".

Femme Fatale

A French term meaning "deadly woman" or one who destroys innocent manhood, it relates to images of "femme fatales" who have played a big role in western art and literature in the post-Civil War decades of the 19th Century. This theme reflected uneasiness about women's roles, which were shifting from domesticity to the marketplace, meaning the 'fair sex' was increasingly obvious in open society. Opposite of the "Femme Fatale" was the 'Victorian woman', who appeared to be a saint, and whose role was making the home a sanctuary of purity and quiet for her husband and children. In reaction, some of the portrayals of emerging women ("femme fatales") from those constraints showed females cavorting in nature such as nudes posed in forests or in startling situations such as the nude woman sitting nude on the grass by fully clothed men at the picnic in Manet's painting, "Le Dejeuner sur l'Herbe". Among "femme fatale" artists are Edvard Munch, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Paul Klee, Gustav Klimt and Aubrey Beardsley. Source: Robert Atkins, "ART SPOKE"

Fenway Studio Building

Located at 30 Ipswich Street in Boston, the building housed studios of many of the best-known painters of Boston in the early 20th Century. These painters were members of the Boston School, meaning they were either students or teachers at the Boston Museum School and painted genteel subjects in a realist style. Fenway studio artists included Philip Hale, Lilian Westcott, and Charles Woodbury. Source: Erica Hirshler, "A Studio of Her Own"

Ferrer Modern School-New York

Founded in New York City on St. Mark's Place in the Lower East Side in 1911 and commonly called Ferrer Center, it was named for Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, free education advocate, who had just been executed in Spain. The school, with emphasis on freedom of thought, was started by well-known anarchists including Emma Goldman. Among teachers were philosopher Will Durant and artists Robert Henri and George Bellows. Man Ray was a student. Source:


A decorative design with graceful curved, looped lines, it is descriptive of decorative carving or painting with garlands, flowers and leaves arranged between two supports with vine-like ribbons that repeat the same motif. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques

Fete Champetre

A French term for country festival, it refers to paintings of country festivals such as Bruegel's "Dance of the Peasants." Source: Julia M. Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms, Revised

Fete Galante

A scene of an elegant, festive occasion in an open-air setting, depicting dancing, musicales, comedy, etc., it was introduced by Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) and became a specialty of French rococo art. Source: Julia M. Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms, Revised


To remove extraneous material in ceramic and sculpture such as rough edges, it is done with a fettling knife. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Fiber Revolution

Fiber Revolution is a network of professional textile artists combining their knowledge and experience in marketing to exhibit and sell their artwork. The goal is to provide greater visibility for their art while educating the public about fiber art as an exciting art form. Although the art is constructed from fabric, it is not meant to lie at the foot of the bed, but rather to hang on the wall like an oil or watercolor painting. The artists, exhibiting their work under the Fiber Revolution name, use fiber as their medium dying it, painting it, cutting it, tearing it, stamping it, fusing it and embellishing it. The final step, stitching through the layers of fabric, brings a dimensional depth to the artwork that mere paint cannot. The artists of Fiber Revolution invite you to view and enjoy their work. Members include Gwyned Trefethen. Source:

Fiberglass, Fiberglas

Strong, durable, non-flammable glass with hair-like filaments, fiberglass in sculpture reinforces polymer resins. Fiberglas is a trade name for glass cloth. Artists who use fiberglass include Pierre Arman, Alexander Calder, Antony Gormley and Niki de Saint Phalle Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART biographies

Field and Stream

See Sporting Art

Fiesta Ware

Ceramic glazed solid color pottery, it was introduced in 1936 by the Homer Laughlin China Company of Newell, West Virginia. Company Art Director Frederick Hurten Rhead is credited as conceiving and designing Fiesta Ware, which was unique as the first widely mass-produced solid color, plain line and relatively heavy dinnerware in the USA. It was a radical departure from Victorian era influenced china. The company declined during World War II, especially when the uranium oxide used in its most popular orange-red color was usurped by the government for atomic energy. After a production lag, the company re-started production in 1986. Source: Wikipedia,

Fifteen Colorado Artists

Known as "15 Colorado Artists", this group including 10 University of Denver art faculty members laid the ground work for modern, abstract art in Colorado. Participants broke away from the conventional Denver Artist's Guild, which was tied to popular, realist western scenes such as those painted Alfred Wands. Underscoring the direction and commitment of the 15 was a 1948 exhibition. Participants included William Sanderson, Mina Conant, Paul Kauver Smith, Eo Kirchner, Frank Vavra, John Billmyer, Richard Sorby and Nadine Drummond. Typical of the public reaction was the review by Lee Casey of the "Rocky Mountain News": He observed that "decadent Parisians" had begun to influence art in the West, and "Santa Fe has been damaged by it and Denver has not wholly escaped the blight." He concludes that "within a few years an original Picasso or Cézanne will be valued mainly for the frame." Source: Michael Pagilia, Denver Westword Arts, June 22, 2011,; AskART biography of Nadine Drummond.


A word with two meanings, one having to do with drawing and painting the human figure and the other as an all-encompassing term for describing that which is representational---making the distinction between Abstraction and Realism. Paul Feltus, figurative painter, defines the first meaning as a painting whose subject is the human figure and which works "in formal terms, quite apart from their image and their associations, suggested meanings, narrative content, and so on." In addition to being about the figure itself, Feltus says that "it is also a complex fitting together of shapes that can be appreciated as such." The latter definition is much broader in that it pertains to recognizable subjects such as landscape, still life, portraits, figures, etc. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Paul Feltus, 'The Composition of Paintings: An Artist's Perspective', "American Arts Quarterly", Fall 2005, p. 56.


In painting and sculpture, it is a reference to the depiction of the human body, and in design, it refers to a repeated decorative motif such as a vine or flower. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Symbolic human, animal or mythological figures, they have, from earliest times, been hand carved and placed on the prow of sailing vessels. They are linked to a tradition of folk-art wood carvers in early 17th century America. The first known figureheads are small and usually busts of human beings. These were followed by erect, free standing, larger figures made for clipper ships, and conforming to the speed and sleek design of the ship, leaned far forward. The last of these free standing ones were carved in the 1870s and 1880s. After the American Revolution and with the U.S. Congress commissioning of six frigates in 1794, figureheads appeared with a wide range of subjects including symbolic and mythological human and animal figures, marine forms such as dolphins and alligators, national heroes and the American eagle. Well-known figurehead carvers were members of the Skillin family of Boston---John Skillin (1746-1800), Simeon Skillin Jr.(1756-1806) and Simeon Skillin Sr. (1716-1778). Other carvers were Samuel McIntyre (1757-1811) of Salem, Massachusetts; and William Rush (1756-1833) of Philadelphia who operated an active figurehead-carving shop for fifty years. Sources: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; Ralph Sessions, 'William Rush and the American Figurehead', "The Magazine Antiques", November 2005, pp. 148-153


A small statue, bronze or pottery, it is ten inches in size or smaller. American artists noted for figurines include Bessie Potter Vonnoh, Wayman Adams, Charles Russell and Ernest Viquesney. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".


A Dutch term meaning 'fine painters' in English, it refers to a group of Leiden artists who painted small, highly finished pictures---often enamel smooth domestic genre subjects, rich in accessory details. Gerrit Dou, student of Rembrandt, was a leader of this method. Source: J.Paul Getty Museum,


Fine wire, usually gold or silver, it is shaped into intricate designs that either stand alone for their design qualities or serve as outlines for jewelry and other ornamental work. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Fin De Siecle

A French term whose English meaning is 'end of the century', it refers primarily to Art Nouveau and aestheticism of the 1890’s or late 19th Century. It is sometimes termed “decadent art” because it was considered overly, self-consciously 'sophisticated'. An artist best known for this period was Englishman Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898). Source: Julia M. Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

Fine Art

A term traditionally applied to visual expression that is created for aesthetic significance, it is distinct from craft or applied art, which has practical use. Included are architecture, music, painting, and sculpture. However, those distinctions are not so clear in contemporary art, which pushes those boundaries. The modern notion of 'fine art' can be traced back to the Renaissance when there was a strong movement, led by Leonardo da Vinci, to demonstrate that the painter in particular was practicing an intellectual and not a manual skill. Sources: Julia Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".

Fine Arts Federation

Representing the arts organizations of the United States, the group formed in 1909 in New York City with the goal of setting high standards in the arts and awakening public conscience on these matters. One of the Federation's major projects was establishing guidelines for war memorials, which proliferated following World Wars I and II. FAF criteria included using professionally trained sculptors, designers and architects. Several-hundred chapters grew across the country. The Federation sponsored a circulating exhibition, a lecture series, and had a monthly publication, "American Magazine of Art". It also published once a year "The Art Annual", a directory of artists across the country, and the predecessor of "Who's Who in American Art". Source: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"

Finger Painting/Finger Paints

Applying paint to a surface with fingers, it is an activity that became popular in the 1930s with new emphasis on art activities for children. Finger paints, specially made for this process, are non toxic and removable with water. Sometimes combined with other mediums, it has been practiced at various times by Chinese artists. Source: Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


In architecture and furniture, it is a term referring to the finishing ornamentation at the top of the piece. Sometimes the finial is functional, such as when it is a device used to lock elements together such as a lampshade to a lamp. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


The surface texture---glossy, rough, matte---of a work of art, the word "patina" also means finish when referencing sculpture. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Firestone Collection of Canadian Art

The Firestone Collection of Canadian Art spans the modern period (1900-1980). Originally established by Ottawa residents O.J. and Isobel Firestone in the early 1950s, the collection contains approximately 1,600 works by a number of influential Canadian artists, including A.Y. Jackson, Emily Carr, Jack Shadbolt, Paul-Émile Borduas, Rita Letendre, and Ghitta Caiserman. There are a wide variety of paintings, a large number of sketches, and many prominent sculptural works, and an unusually high number of women artists represented for a collection from this era. The large majority of works were obtained directly from the artists, many of whom maintained relationships with the Firestone family. The Firestones first acquired works by members of the Group of Seven, which make up more than half the Collection. They subsequently procured work from more Ontario artists, and followed with those by Francophone and Anglophone artists from Quebec, works by artists from the Atlantic provinces, the Prairie provinces, and finally Western Canada. In 1972, the Firestones donated their collection to the Ontario Heritage Foundation to ensure that it remained available to the public. In 1992, the Foundation transferred ownership of the collection to the City of Ottawa, which became responsible for its conservation and public access. Since 1992, The Ottawa Art Gallery has cared for and displayed the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art in a series of rotating exhibitions featuring specific artists, art historical themes and art movements. Source: The Ottawa Art Gallery,


Heating pottery or sculpture in a kiln or open fire, the purpose is to harden the clay permanently and fuse the enamel to the piece. The temperature needed to mature the clay varies with the type of body used. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Five Kiowa

See Kiowa Five


A transparent liquid, it consists of a binder and solvent that protects artwork from smudging or damage. Fixatives for charcoal and pencil drawings usually have a small amount of resin dissolved in alcohol. Pastel fixatives are not a total covering but only prevent the pastel from dusting away, which explains why many pastel artists cover their paintings with glass. Fixatives are applied with a sprayer, mouth blower or atomizer. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Floating Signature

The signature of the artist applied over the finish, this term pertains to the signature placed on top of the varnish. Floating Signatures are not integrated into the works and are likely to be removed if the painting is cleaned or restored. Often a Floating Signature is fraudulent, and seeing one on a work of art is a signal to an authenticator that the work may be a forgery. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Florence Academy of Art

Founded in 1991 in Florence, Italy by Daniel Graves, the school is dedicated to a traditional curriculum of progressing from cast drawings to drawing from the model, and moving from monochromes to color. His philosophy is that laudable painting and sculpture "demands a return to discipline in art, to canons of beauty, and to the direct study of nature and the Old Masters as the foundation for great painting. Students include Ron Cheek, Andrea Smith and Tony Sisti. Source: Kelly Compton, 'Andrea Smith', "Fine Art Connoisseur", June 2008, p. 66; biography of Daniel Graves.

Florida Highwaymen

A group of African-American landscape painters in Florida in the 1950s and 1960s, they painted fanciful landscapes and skyscapes---usually billowing clouds over bodies of water. Members were James Gibson, Harold Newton, and Alfred Hair, and they were influenced by Albert Backus, the Dean of Florida Painters. These artists painted on Upson Board, a product used by roofers, and then they framed with crown molding and marketed the works from the trunk of their cars. Source: Neal Auction Company

Fluorescent Paint

Paint made from synthetic pigments, it creates a glowing light and strong, luminous colors. A well-known trade name is Day Glo Colors. They are long-lasting enough for decoration but are too likely to fade for use in fine art intended for permanence. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


An international art movement of loosely affiliated American, Asian and European artists, it was the precursor of Performance and Conceptual Art. Fluxus began in Germany and spread to New York as well as California, Japan and other European countries. The word Fluxus first appeared in 1961 on a New York Gallery A/G lecture series invitation written by George Maciunas. Fluxus, in several languages, means flow or change, and is a state of mind rather than a style. Participating artists have mutual social goals of changing middle-class values about art, music and literature, and these subjects are more important to them than shared aesthetics. Pioneering Fluxus artists staged mixed-media simultaneous, often cacophonous, aggressively loud events or 'happenings' that were "demonstrations of the libidinal energy and anarchy generally associated with the '60s". Included were street spectacles, guerrilla theatre, Haiku-length poems and electronic music performances. Prominent Fluxus artists were Maciunas, Geoffrey Hendricks, Nam June Paik, Allan Kaprow, George Brecht, Joseph Beuys, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Ben Vautier and Yoko Ono. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Ken Johnson, "NY Times" obituary of George Brecht, 12/15/2008, A29.

Folk Art

The visual expression of academically untrained artists, it includes paintings, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, costume, needlework, implements, and tools. Jean Lipman, editor of "Art in America" and folk-art scholar, wrote that folk art "is based upon an essentially non-optical vision. It is a style depending upon what the artist knew rather than upon what he saw, and so the facts of physical reality were largely sifted through the mind and personality of the painter." The degree of excellence "depends upon the clarity, energy, and coherence of the artist's mental picture rather than upon the beauty or interest actually inherent in the subject matter..." (Forward) According to the "Britannica Encyclopedia", there are several categories of Folk Art: 1) Decorative that includes the fraktur (document decorating) artists and needle workers 2) Anonymous creations, that is by little-known painters and sculptors who worked for practical purposes such as commercial sign makers and carvers of headstones and decoys 3) Painting and sculpture from self-taught folk artists. All share the commonality of being produced outside the mainstream of American art, meaning at the time of creation, the artists had no background of academic art-school training, no involvement with organized advertising of their work, publicity receptions, etc. Among the best-known American folk artists are John Kane, Edward Hicks, Jacob Maentel, Rufus Porter, Ammi Phillips, Horace Pippin, Grandma Moses, Joseph Pickett, Morris Hirshfield, Clementine Hunter, Bill Traylor and Howard Finster. Sources: "American Folk Painters of Three Centuries" by Jean Lipman and Tom Armstrong; The "Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"; AskART database.

Follower of....

A description of an unknown artist who has created a work that appears like that of a famous artist. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Folly Cove Designers

A group of artists in the Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts area, they were committed to the Arts and Crafts Movement and the philosophies of Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios, who taught a design course, beginning 1938, in Folly Cove in north Gloucester. Her theory was that the world was a beautiful place and that combining expression of fine art for utilitarian objects within the home was a worthy goal. She taught block printing designs based on the crafting of designs from nature to mirror what she perceived as rules of nature---dark and light, sizing, repetition and reflection. On completing the course, students were invited to submit a design carved in linoleum, and if it was accepted, it was marketed as a Folly Cove Design. The first exhibition of Folly Cove Designs was in 1940 in the Demetrious studio, and in 1941, the decision was made to create a formal entity called Folly Cove Designers. Folly Cove Designs then were distributed by the American Crafts and Cooperative Council. By 1945, Lord and Taylor Company bought exclusive rights to five of the designs for their department stores. In 1948, the Designers opened “The Barn” in Folly Cove for summer sales, but the following year, the organization dissolved. Other artists associated with the Folly Cove Designers were Ida Bruno, George Demetrios and Mabel Greer. The Cape Ann Museum has a collection dedicated to Folly Cove Designers. Source: Courtesy Sandi Brockway,

Font, Typeface

See Typeface/Font

Fontainebleau Prize

A forty-five hundred dollar award by the Center for Architecture in New York City, it pays tuition for the institution's summer architectural or music program at the Ecole des Beaux Arts historic chateau in Fontainebleu, France. Recipients include Helen Levin and James Michael Newell. Source:

Forces Nouvelles

A reactionary movement, it was against an apparent intellectualism in the arts. The group, founded in Paris, France in the 1930s, was influenced by modernist leaning artists including George de La Tour Le Nain and Paul Chardin. Leading members and founders of Forces Nouvelles were Pierre Tal-coat, Robert Humblot, George Rohner and Raymond Moisset. They worked from emotive expressionist techniques, later experimenting with the abstract. Source: Papillon Gallery, Hollywood CA

Fore-edge painting

A painting on the edge of a book opposite the spine, occasionally on the top edge, it is visible when the book is fanned slightly. Landscape is the most common subject. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


One of the zones of linear perspective in fine art, it is the part of the composition that appears to be closest to the viewer. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Forensic Art

Composing imagery based on second-hand information, it is derived either from description of witnesses or from remains of dead bodies. Usually the purpose is for identification of victims related to criminal activity. Karen Taylor of Austin, Texas, is a Forensic Artist whose work is used to solve many crimes, to find missing persons, and for educational programs. Source: Edith Zimmerman, 'Understanding Faces In and Out', "Drawing", Summer 2006


The application of perspective to forms, its purposes is to create the illusion of three-dimensionality and depth. To foreshorten is to depict two-dimensional images with the same perspective as the viewer actually would see them. Thus objects protruding in the foreground are made to recede. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A work of art with the signature of an artist who was not the artist, it means that the signature is fake and is signed with the intent to defraud by assigning the name of a famous artist to work done by a lesser-known painter or sculptor. Rarely is the work a copy, but is usually offered as a newly-discovered work. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Shaping metal with hammers while it is hot, it is the method for making wrought iron.


A word often used interchangeably with 'shape', it has two meanings among artists: 1) shape or groupings of individual masses 2) characteristics that establish an artwork's identity and are the products of an artist's overall organization. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Derived from the word 'form', 'formal' refers to prescribed rules and traditional methods relative to that which gives a work of art form---shape, size, color, scale, etc. In England and the United States, Formalism is generally associated with modern art and especially with critics Clement Greenberg, Clive Bell and Roger Fry. They sought to develop a systematic approach of analyzing formal qualities of artwork rather than using social context or the artist's declared intent. With Formalism, they hoped to have a method of critiquing artwork with line, shape, color, etc. regardless of its place of origin. Clement Greenberg especially applied Formalism to his reviews of Abstract Expressionist painters in New York City. However, Pop Artists undercut the method because social message was the only basis of their painting. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"


Laminated sheets of resin, it is sold in a variety of opaque colors. American artists using formica as a medium include Richard Artschwager, Donald Deskey, William Ebendorf, and Frank Owens Gehry. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database

Fort Worth Circle

A varied group of men and women comprised the Fort Worth Circle with some of the best-known artists being Blanche McVeigh, Dickson Reeder, Veronica Helfensteller, Evaline Sellors, Flora Blanc Reeder, Wm. Kelly Fearing, Cynthia Brants, Bill Bomar, McKie Trotter, and Bror Utter. Perhaps most influential, however, were Dickson and Flora Reeder, whose home became a forum for the exchange of new ideas that they gathered on their travels. Although the styles of these artists were quite distinct from one another, common influences shaped the work of many in the group. Cubism, with flattened, shifting planes, structural grid, and roots in primitive art, colored the works of Dickson Reeder, George Grammer, Bill Bomar, Cynthia Brants, Bror Utter, and David Brownlow, among others. Surrealist interest in fantastic and dreamlike imagery influenced the work of Veronica Helfensteller, Kelly Fearing, and Flora Blanc Reeder, as well as that of Dickson Reeder, Bill Bomar, and Bror Utter. Although some of the Fort Worth artists worked in a number of modes the group as a whole moved beyond the earthy subject matter of Regionalism, which had dominated Texas art since the early 1930s. Source: The Old Jail Art Center

Foulis Academy of Painting

Founded by Robert and Andrew Foulis, mid-18th century book publishers in Glasgow, Scotland, they diverted their energies to establishing an institution to encourage the fine arts. They spent their money on that endeavor, which led to financial ruin and the demise of the Academy. One of their students was David Allan (1744-1796), Source: Wikipedia; David Allan AskART biography

Found Object

From the French words "objet trouve", the term in art vocabulary applies to artwork created with objects that are 'found', rather than being traditionally used art mediums, and are then incorporated into artwork. The method comes from the tenet of Surrealism that any object can become a work of art. Found Objects pre-exist unto themselves rather than being made as art mediums such as oil, bronze, etc. The use of Found Objects in art expression began in France in the early 20th century with Dadaists and Surrealists including Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp. Their focus was to shift attention away from the physical act of creation. After World War II, artists used Found Objects for personal social messages such as commentary on a throw-away society. An example would be the use of mannequins by Edward Kienholz to symbolize a line-up of emotionless people. Artists in America using found objects include Joseph Cornell, Pierre Arman, Marlene Dumas, and Marcel Duchamp. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART datbase

Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies

A non-profit organization, it was founded in 1986 to fill a perceived gap on government funding for upkeep and permanent art of American embassies worldwide. Founders were three former wives of ambassadors: Carol Price, Wendy Luers, Leonore Annenberg, and Lee McGrath, then Director of the State Department's Art in Embassies program. In contrast to the Art in Embassies approach, which is to borrow artwork temporarily to suit the taste of the ambassadors, FAPE buys site-specific work for the outside. One of the earliest acquisitions was a bronze sculpture by Joel Shapiro in 1999 for the Ottawa American Embassy. Other artists involved are Ellsworth Kelly, Sol Le Witt, Louise Bourgeois, Maya Lin, Laura Owens and Russell Crotty. Source: Michelle Falkenstein, 'International News', "ARTnews", Summer, 2008


A factory where sculpture made from metal castings is finalized, the facility turns metals into parts "by melting them into a liquid, pouring the metal in a mold, and removing the mold material" after it is solid. The molded material is the sculpture. Source:

Four Abstract Classicists

A 1959 Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition curated by Jules Langsner, it showcased for the first time hard edge, cool abstract painting. Featured was work by Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley and John McLaughlin. Non-emotional and focused solely on color and method, the artwork was a reaction against emotion-driven abstract expressionism. Source: Wikipedia,

Fourteenth Street School

An informal term, it describes a group of New York City painters in the early 1950s whose studios were in the vicinity of Fourteenth Street and Union Square. They shared affiliation as students and/or teachers at the Art Students League, commitment to urban realism, and the influence of the Ashcan School of painting of the 1920s and 1930s. Kenneth Hayes Miller was the leader, and others were Isabel Bishop, Raphael Soyer, Reginald Marsh, Edward Laning and Moses Soyer. The studio location offered abundant subject matter for these artists, whose canvases reflected the cultural diversity and "lively spectacle of humanity" on the streets around them. In August, 2011, the University of Virginia Art Museum opened an exhibition focusing on this group. Sources: "Antiques & Fine Art", 2012,;


A discoloration, it is characterized by brown spots on works of art in books, prints, paintings, etc., due to dampness, and mold. Bleaching processes can remove these stains. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A decorated Pennsylvania-Dutch document, especially a wedding, birth or baptismal certificate in 18th-century America, it served not only as historical records for families but as works of art in colonial America. The writing in ink was linked to German Gothic calligraphy, and the ornamentation usually in watercolor, often had botanics, birds, florals and other design motifs. Among 18th-century American fraktur artists are Karl Munch, Johannes Spangenberg, Martin Brechall, John Van Minian, Henry Young, Jacob Leith, Moses Connor Jr., Rev. George Geistweite, Christian Mertel and Daniel Otto. David Ellinger and Garnett French are 20th-century fraktur artists. Donald A. Shelley was the first scholar to attempt a classification of fraktur art by artists and by school, and documented his conclusions in his 1961 book, "The Fraktur Writings or the Illuminated Manuscripts of the Pennsylvania Germans". Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database, "Maine Antique Digest", June 2007.


A protective and/or enhancing border surrounding a picture, it is usually constructed from wood molding and may involve staining, gilding, carving and decorating. Frame-making skills involve joinery and tasteful selection of materials, colors and textures that will be appropriate for the work of art. Earliest known picture frames date back to portraits in Pompeii, Italy. In the 17th through 19th centuries, artists in Europe worked with their frame makers, and portrait painters including Gilbert Stuart in America offered their patrons a choice of frames. It is likely that the burnished gold picture frame was used in the pre-electric light era as a method to reflect light into the painting. Then when more lighting was available and homes were built with large windows, much more simple frames were used. Today, most framing is done after the picture is completed without pre-consultation with a framer. Some artists make their own frames. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Johanna E. Moore, 'Restoring the Relationship of Artist/Patron/Framemaker', "Antiques and the Arts Weekly", July 21, 2006

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper

A newspaper founded in the 1860s by Englishman, Henry Carter, 1821-1880, he, as a young man, took the name of Frank Leslie in order to foil his parents who discouraged his interest in drawing. Using the Leslie pseudonym, Carter sold illustrations to the London News, for whom he worked before immigrating to America where he was employed briefly by circus owner P.T. Barnum. Continuing to use the name of Frank Leslie, he began his own publication, and quickly learned that sensationalism sold and serious subjects did not. His motto became: “Never shoot over the reader’s head.” Playing the biggest role in the publication other than Frank Leslie, was his wife, Miriam Follin, a talented writer who led the kind of life that fascinated readers. Her escapades fed scandal mongers, and her writing style and subjects were perfect for the readers of "Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News". From her western travels, she provided the first coverage of the transcontinental railroad, wrote about Brigham Young and polygamy in Utah, and did articles on Chinatown, Yosemite, and gold mining. When her husband died in 1880, Leslie’s publishing company was deep in debt, but knowing her husband’s name to be the valuable branding, she legally changed her name to Frank Leslie. The assassination of President Garfield gave the newspaper a big boost in readership, which saved the paper financially and in turn, allowed it to thrive through the 1890s. During its last ten years, management was left primarily to staff members because Mrs. Leslie traveled extensively and then had ill health. She sold the business in 1902. Among illustrators for Leslie’s were William Waud, William Henry Shelton, Francis Schell, Thomas Nast, Edwin Forbes, Charles Graham, Paul Frenzeny, Benjamin Clinedinst, Henry Ogden and Will Bradley. Sources: Graphic Comm Central,; Walt Reed, The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000

Frederic Remington Award

Established in 1990 to honor exceptional artistic merit, it is an annual cash award of $3000. sponsored by Russ and Dortha Salder of Oklahoma for the Prix de West Invitational Exhibition at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City. Winners include William Acheff, Ronald Riddick, Clyde Aspevig, Mehl Lawson, and Curt Walters. Source: "Milestones", Traditional Fine Arts Online,

Free Academy of New York

Founded in 1847 in New York City by wealthy businessman Townsend Harris, it was a prep school and college to educate male children of immigrants who seldom had credentials to get admitted to established colleges. It was the first in the US of what became a system of minicipal-supported colleges. The curriculum included drawing, and Peter Paul Duggan became a Professor of Drawing. In 1866, the school was renamed College of the City of New York and subsequently City University of New York (CUNY). Source: Wikipedia,;; AskART biography

French Art Mission

See Mormon Art Missionaries

French Impressionism

See Impressionism, French


An Italian word meaning fresh, it refers to pigments dispersed in water applied to wet plaster, and is traditionally the most common technique used for indoor mural painting, The plaster, being the only source of white, serves both as ground and binder, and also provides the lights and highlights for the finished work. Fresco painting was used in many of the early civilizations including the Minoan in Crete and throughout Europe. The highest stage of development was during the Renaissance in Catholic churches. After the 17th Century, the use of fresco declined but had a big revival in Mexico in the early 20th Century with muralists Diego Rivera, Jose Orozco, and David Siqueiros, and in the United States in the 1930s with the Federal Art Project and later with Benjamin Long who studied fresco painting for eight years in Italy. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; William Kloss, "The World's Greatest Paintings" The Great Courses Guidebook; AskART biography of Benjamin Long, IV.


A classical architecture term, it refers to the middle section or entablature that rests on the columns. Often it is decorated with relief designs and figures. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms.


A process of making a rubbing from a raised or textured surface, it involves laying paper over the surface and using black lead, charcoal or crayon for rubbing. Max Ernst used the technique in his Surrealist collages as did other Surrealists because the textural effects stirred unconscious images in the imagination. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Fugitive Pigment

Color that fades either with over-exposure to light or atmospheric pollution, it also tends to darken when mixed with other substances. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A method developed by surrealist painter Wolfgang Paalen, impressions are made on a piece of paper or canvas by flames or smoke from a lamp or candle. Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist


An art movement founded by Norm Magnusson, it's basic tenets are that Art should be as much fun to look at as it is to think about, and Art should be intellectually engaging without being intellectually elitist. An example is Magnusson's planned I-75 Project of placing historical theme markers in each of the rest stops along the Interstate Highway, which is 1,775 miles long. Source:

Funk Art

Artwork with subject matter and style intended to offend by being vulgar and shockingly narrative, it is offbeat, sensuous and direct with a heavy influence from earlier anti-war movements such as DADA and NEO-DADA. The term, Funk Art, refers to a movement born in the San Francisco area during the 1960s, and it was made official with the 1967 exhibition "Funk". The word funk derives from funky, a musical term. Peter Selz, then director of the University Art Museum in Berkeley, gave the name to the movement. Artists involved were Robert Arneson, Clayton Bailey, Bruce Conner, Roy De Forest, Mel Henderson, Robert Hudson, Richard Shaw, and William Wiley. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Furnish Painters

A loosely organized group of early 20th century Danish painters, they formed on the Danish island of Funen. Kristian Zahrtmann, teacher at the Artists Studio School in Copenhagen, was a strong influence on these artists who departed from the traditions of the Danish Academy and "ventured into Naturalism and Realism." Some who tried to disparage their style called them "peasant" or "farmer" painters. Other members were Fritz Syberg, Peter Hansen, Christine Larsen, Harald Giersing, Johannes Larsen and Poul Christiansen. Source: "Furnish Painters", Wikipedia,


The joining or melting together of medals by heat or welding. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Fusion des Arts

A Montreal group of artists who worked on collaborative projects between 1964 and 1969, its members included printmaker Richard Lacroix, painter Henry Saxe, sculptor Francois Soucy, architect Francois Rousseau and designer Yves Robillard. Their main objective was to establish a new relationship between the arts and the public for the purposes of creating and distributing art. They perceived the traditional visual art categories such as painting and sculpture to be restricting and isolating, their goal was common art language. The resulting works combined new materials and technology and experimented with sensory awareness through touch, sound, vision and movement. They frequently exhibited these happenings and performances outside of a traditional art gallery setting. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia (online); “Déclics, art et société: le Québec des années 1960 et 1970” (1999), by Rose Marie Arbour; and “Art and Architecture in Canada” (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson. Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.


An art movement founded in Italy in 1909 by artist Filippo Marinetti, its followers demanded revolution, action and annihilation of the thinking of the past. The focus was elements of the future---speed and energetic movement made possible by technology. Futurism had strength until the end of World War I, and eventually was taken over by the Nazis to justify implementing a New Era. Futurist artist, Gino Severini, one of the Italian founders of the movement, depicted human figures in motion, while American Frank Stella concentrated on the dynamic quality of modern technological life. To illustrate the potential of fast-moving machinery and its affect on people, Stella painted scenes of the roller coaster ride at Coney Island. His scenes reflected one of the primary characteristics of Futurism, which was to create such compelling movement in his artwork that the viewer was pulled immediately into the action and never allowed the luxury of just being an onlooker. Other artists linked to Futurism are Max Weber, David Burliuk, and Morris Kantor. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART biographies.

Gag Art

An infrequently used name for Pop Art. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


The lower part of figurative sculpture, it is unfinished or tapered while the top part is finished or realistic. Many Egyptian and Greek temples have these tapered pillars. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Gainsborough Studios

Located at 222 Central Park South in New York City, it was an artist studio-apartment cooperative founded by Colin Cooper, Elliot Daingerfield and August Franzen. The building, completed in 1908 with 30 units and 16 stories, was designed by Charles Buckham and Isodore Konti. The facade and interior were ornate with Ionic columns, white terra cotta, friezes with classical themes, multi-colored tiles and a middle niche with the bust of painter Thomas Gainsborough. Franzen, who had special admiration for this artist, is credited with the name. In 1988, the building, after extensive renovation, was given New York City Landmark designation. Originally artists including Cooper, Daingerfield and Franzen were the primary occupants but gradually it became a mix of owners. Source: Christopher Gray, 'Streetscapes', "The New York Times", July 10, 1988; August Franzen AskART biography

Gall Nut/Nutgall

The round swelling formed on an oak tree from an insect sting, it is used in the preparation of writing ink. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Gallery 291/Photo-Secession Gallery

Located at 291 Fifth Avenue in New York City and usually referred to as "291", this Gallery was opened in 1905 by photographer Alfred Stieglitz with the original goal being to exhibit photography. But in 1907, Stieglitz broadened the scope to include avant-garde painting, sculpture and graphic arts with the hope of showing that photography could hold its own on an equal level with the other visual arts. Gallery 291 then became the center of contemporary, leading-edge American and European art in America with the first American exhibitions of work by Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, and Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brancusi. From 1909, American modernists were featured including Marsden Hartley, Alfred Maurer, John Marin, Arthur Carles, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Max Weber, Elie Nadelman, Arthur Dove, and Georgia O'Keeffe, whom Steiglitz married and promoted her career. From 1903 to 1917, "Camera Work" was the Gallery's official publication. Gallery 291 closed in 1917 when the building was torn down. Successor galleries opened by Steiglitz were Anderson Galleries from 1925 to 1929, and An American Place from 1920 to 1946. Source: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"

Gallery Picture

A large painting and normally one in which the figures are life-size or larger, it must therefore be hung in spacious surroundings. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Gallery Tone

A term used euphemistically in the 19th Century, it referenced the yellow coloration of a painting whose varnish had darkened with grime. This look used to be considered desirable, but the modern preference seems to be for the clean, restored look. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A small porcelain container, it can be used by painters to hold their oil paints. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Galvanized Metal

Usually iron or steel and used in welded sculpture, it is coated with electroplated zinc so it is resistant to weather. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A clear, transparent yellow substance, it is obtained from yellow gum-resin from a variety of trees grown in India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. It is not suitable for oil painting, but is effective in gilding and watercolor because of its transparency. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A design formed by the junction of four gammas of the Greek alphabet, examples include Swastikas and Greek Crosses. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Gardena High School Collection

A now-valuable collection of early California Impressionist paintings, it is owned by Gardena High School in Los Angeles. The paintings were acquired beginning with the graduating class in 1919, a year the school principal, John Whitely, suggested that each senior class purchase a painting as a parting gift to the school. Students held fund raisers and then visited artists' studios to make the selections. Once the selection was made, studio talks and special receptions were held. In 1999, educator Dr Robert Detweiler worked with others including Joan Irvine Smith, Jean Stern, and representatives of the W.M. Keck Foundation to hold a special exhibition of the paintings, "Painted Light: California Impressionist Paintings from the Gardena High School". Among artists represented are Maynard Dixon, Guy Rose, Franz Bischoff, Armin Hansen, Jesse Botke, Frank Tenney Johnson, Jean Mannheim and Edgar Payne. Source: Jean Stern, "Painted Light: California Impressionist Paintings"


Meaning "grotesque", it is a building decoration, common to Gothic architecture that is an open mouth projecting from an upper gutter of a building to carry water away from the walls. Source: Julia Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"

Garnet Paper

Used for smoothing gesso in the preparation of grounds for paintings, it is pink colored abrasive paper coated with fine fragments of garnet and resembles sandpaper. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Gary Melchers Memorial Medal

Established in 1947 by Artists' Fellowship, Inc., it is dedicated to the distinguished career of Gari Melchers. Source: Artists' Fellowship, Inc.


An artist's young apprentice or studio boy. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A hammer of the auctioneer, it is used when the bidding is closed. Source:

Gees Bend

A Quilt cooperative in Gee's Bend, Alabama, members are known for their original designs and compositions. Their work has been described as "more often associated with the inventiveness and power of the leading 20th-century abstract painters than it is with textile making." The quilting tradition in Gee's Bend goes back to the time when that area was a plantation owned by Joseph Gee. Female slaves pieced together strips of cloth to make bedcovers for the time when they lived in unheated shacks, but along the way "they developed a distinctive style, noted for its lively improvisations and geometric simplicity." By the 21st century, more than 50 women are part of the Collective with every quilt being unique and individually produced. Source: 'The Quilts of Gees Bend', Wikipedia,

General Idea/Miss General Idea

A Toronto-based collaborative art movement founded in 1968 by George Saia, Ronald Gabe, and Michael Tims, it lasted until the deaths of Saia and Gabe in 1994. Each man took a new name to use as an artist, and these names are respectively Jorge Zontal, Felix Partz and AA Bronson. Working as a trio to be freed "from the tyranny of individual genius", they functioned artistically as a single entity called Miss General Idea. Their intent was to make fun of contemporary art, media promoting it, and museum exhibitions. Their mediums were installation sculpture, films, performances, photographs and publications including their own magazine called "File". In the 1980s, AIDS was a major focus of their efforts, and Miss General Idea created and distributed mass-produced (multiples) posters, billboards, stamps, lottery tickets and other electronic images. They also did cynical commentary works about pharmaceutical companies' research methods for AIDS medications. Spreading their messages, the creating of Multiples was a key component, and in 1974, Miss General Idea established a multiples distribution center called Art Metropole. Included in their multiples were humorous and sardonic references to modern art. They also kept a regular exhibition schedule. After Zontal and Partz died of AIDS, Bronson felt as though he had lost his own identify and produced many works dealing with death, survival and moving on in order to rebuild himself with a new self image. In 2003, the Galerie Frederic Giroux in Paris hosted an exhibition of his work, "AA Bronson Healer". In January 2003, a traveling exhibition titled "General Idea: Editions, 1967-1996" was organized by Barbara Fischer for the Blackwood Gallery of the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Source: Peter Gallo, 'The Enduring Ephemera of General Idea', "Art in America", March 2005, pp. 81-83.

Genesee Group of Painters, Geneseeans

This group of representational painters were active in the Genesee River Valley near Rochester, New York, in the early 20th Century. Dedicated to resisting European modernism, which increasingly was influencing American painters, they sought through plein-air painting to capture the Spirit of Place through their regional landscapes. Among the members were Milton Holm and Carl Peters. Source: R.H. Love Galleries, courtesy, Michael Worley, Ph.D


A subject for many artists, it is depiction of people going about human interactive activities such as domestic chores, moving into frontiers, fighting or socializing. Genre paintings are often narrative, and because they eschew 'lofty' subjects such as religious symbolism and mythology, it was not until the 17th century that they gained respect as 'high art'. Dutch 17th-century artists Jan Steen, Jan Vermeer, and Pieter de Hooch first used genre as subject matter. In American painting, the word genre was first used in the mid-19th century to describe works that showed daily life. Among noted American genre artists are William Sidney Mount, Thomas Waterman Wood, Seymour Joseph Guy, Edward Lamson Henry, John Joseph Brown and Enoch Wood Perry. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"

Geometric Abstraction

An art style popularized in the 20th century, it refers to artwork whose subjects are shapes based on simple geometry such as straight lines, circles, squares and rectangles. In contrast to Abstract Expressionist painting, Geometric Abstract shape colors are distinct, not blended, and often are delineated by bold colors. Pioneering Geometric Abstract painters were the Russian, Kasimir Malelvich (1878-1935), and Dutchman, Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). American sculptors and painters include include Carl Andre, Frank Stella, Patrick Henry Bruce, and Allan d'Arcangelo. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART biographies.

Geometric Shapes

Shapes created by exact mathematical law.

German Expressionism

See Blue Rider/"Der Blaue Reiter and "Die Brucke"/The Bridge

Gershon Iskowitz Prize

In 1985, to recognize the value of the Canada Council's assistance to him over the years, Gershon Iskowitz established The Gershon Iskowitz Foundation, and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, which awards $25,000 annually to a mature, practicing artist. The prize includes an exhibition of the recipient’s works at the Art Gallery of Ontario accompanied by a publication. It is considered one of the most prestigious visual arts awards in the country. Artists who have earned the prize include Betty Goodwin, Jack Shadbolt, Stan Douglas and Shirley Wiitasalo.Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.


A ground made of gypsum (gesso in Italian) or chalk mixed with water or glue to provide a dense, brilliantly white absorbent surface for tempera and some types of oil painting, it is usually applied to a panel in several coats before painting begins. The first application, a coarse undercoat, is called "gesso grosso"; the final application is a fine surface coat known as "gesso sottile". However, modern painters usually do only one coat because pre-smoothed panels can be purchased. When applied to flat panels, frames, or furniture, the gesso is usually sanded until very smooth and ivory-like. It is never used with canvas as it would be too brittle. Sources: Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A German word for form, figure or shape, in fine art it is used to describe the "phenomenon that the total effect of an object may seem greater than the sum of its constituent parts." In other words, Gestalt is the process whereby the mind of the viewer selects sensations from the totality of images in an artwork and mentally re-shapes it into an image and sensation that makes sense to the viewer. The theory was first put forth in the 1930s in Germany and England. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Gestural Painting, Gesturalism

A term to describe artwork whose purpose is to express personal "handwriting" or subjectivity of the artist, the activity reflects the emotions of the artist. Frenchman Edouard Manet pioneered Gesturalism as did Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. Jackson Pollock is arguably the most famous American gestural artist with his Drip Paintings that he created with arm-swinging gestures. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak" (Also, see Drip Painting)


A French word pronounced 'zheeclay,' it is is derived from the verb gicler meaning to splash, and references the process of making fine art prints from a digital source. This blend of art and technology produces copies with a higher resolution and broader color range than such other copy methods such as lithography or serigraphy. Source: /

Gilded Age

A term based on the word "gilded" or covered with gold, it refers to a period of extravagance in America between the end of the Civil War and the end of the 19th Century. It was a time when America changed from an agricultural to industrial based society, which meant the growth of a middle class and big fortunes for some industrial tycoon families such as Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Astors, Carnegies and Forbes. Painters and sculptors reflected this era through idealized and expansionist themed genre, portraits, monumental statues and industrial scenes. Examples are works by Thomas Eakins, Eastman Johnson, Winslow Homer, Augustus St. Gaudens, Daniel Chester French, John Ferguson Weir and Albert Pinkham Ryder. Source: Shirley Glubok, "The Art of America in the Gilded Age".

Gilded, Gilding, Gilting

Referencing surfaces covered with gold or metal leaf, the process creates the appearance of solid or inlaid gold or metal. The word "Gilding" is derived from the word Gold, but the term in recent times has come to reference metals as well as gold. The gilded leaf is used in painting and sculpture and often for decorative affects. Gilding can be applied either to a tacky base that has been sized with glue, gesso or thick oil varnish and then burnished, or it can be glued to any un-sized surface but then cannot be burnished. The method of Gilding dates back to the ancient Egyptians and Chinese, to Old Testament Biblical figures and Ancient Greeks. In the Middle Ages, Gilding was used for manuscript illumination, lettering and for backgrounds of paintings. It reached its most popular time in Europe and America during the Victorian Era of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries when ornate decoration was very popular. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Gilder's Cushion

A pad about 6 to 12 inches in surface covered with cotton batting over a piece of suede, it is used to flatten gold leaf so that it can be cut and applied by the Gilder. The Cushion attaches to the thumb and secures the gold leaf from drafts so that it is absolutely flat. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Gilder's Knife

A knife used to cut metal leaf into the desired size and shape for application. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Gilder's Tip

An implement used to gather up fragile gold leaves so they can be carried to the gilding area, it is brush-like with a row of camel hair of varying density protruding from two cards, about four inches wide. In order to pick up the metal leaf, the Gilder runs the brush through his own hair to make the tip slightly oily so that the leaf will attach. A Gilder's Tip is usually necessary only with fragile gold leaf because other metals are heavy enough not to need the Tip. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Gilder's Wax

A combination of beeswax with verdigris or some other acidic substance, it is used to accent the color of gold and provide a warm tone to the surface when gold leaf has been applied to another metal. The applied Wax is then burned off, and the gilded surface is cleaned with acid. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


An Italian word meaning in English, 'a day's work', the term refers to the amount of painting work the muralist can do in one day before the plaster dries. On very high walls, the plastering and fresco painting is done horizontally, with the scaffolding being lowered gradually as the sections are completed. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A sculptured effigy of a deceased person, it is usually part of a tomb monument. Gisants were often part of Gothic sepulchral monuments in Europe, sometimes with death emphasized by depictions of crawling vermin. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Giverny, France

A French town, its name has become synonymous with Impressionism because its most famous resident was Claude Monet, one of the first Impressionists. Origins of the Giverny art colony date to 1887, when a small band of artists, including Americans Willard Metcalf, Louis Ritter, Theodore Wendel and John Leslie Breck "discovered" the village. Claude Monet, by then known to the American artists through both Parisian and American exhibitions, had settled there in 1883. He was receptive at first to having "disciples" learn from him, but soon tired of the invasion. The first group of artists painted primarily landscapes, and the second group focused on depicting family life, especially the female figure in the intimacy of the artist's own garden or private interior setting. World War I (1914) marked the end of an era for the art colony, but the place with its Monet gardens remains a tourist attraction. Sources: William Gerdts, "Monet's Giverny: An Impressionist Colony"; AskART biographies

Glare Aesthetic

An emphasis on brilliant effects of light, it is a method used to reinforce strong outlines. Many of paintings of Walter Ufer (1876-1936) represent this light-filled style. Source: AskART Ufer biography

Glascow School

A group of artists from Scotland, primarily landscape painters, who were active in the late 19th Century, they rejected prevalent tenets of Academic painting and painted with French influences in the more modernist, Barbizon style of 'en plein air' or painting in the open air. Their subjects were Scottish, such as rather conventional scenes of the countryside or wildlife in marshes, etc. The Glascow School was England's late 19th-century contribution to western art, but the movement peaked after their exhibition in 1890 at the Grosvenor Gallery in London. Source: Robert Atkins, "ART SPOKE"

Glasgow Boys

A collective of painters in Scotland, members interpreted and expanded Impressionist and Post-impressionist painting by using recognizable scenes of Glasgow, and producing true-to-nature paintings. Their naturalistic, plein-air paintings were innovative, new to this time period. Also strong influences were Japanese prints, French Realism and painting by Jules Bastien-Lepage and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Glasgow Boys included Joseph Crawhall, Thomas Millie Dow, Sir James Guthrie, George Henry, E. A. Hornel, and E. A. Walton. David Gauld, William Kennedy, Sir John Lavery, Stuart Park, William Wells, Sir D. Y. Cameron, Alexander Roche, Arthur Melville, Thomas Corsan Morton, James McLachlan Nairn, Sir George Pirie and J. Quinton Pringle. James Paterson and William York Macgregor were leading figures in the group, which used to meet at Macgregor's studio. Source: Wikipedia,

Glasgow Girls

A group of Scottish female designers and artists, they focused on continuing the tradition of china painting into the 1940s and 1950 by hand painting ceramics with floral designs. Included were Margaret and Frances MacDonald, Jessie M. King, Annie French, Jessie Wylie Newbery, Ann Macbeth, Bessie MacNicol, Norah Neilson Gray, Stansmore Dean, Eleanor Allen Moore, De Courcy Lewthwaite Dewar and Chris J Fergusson (Chrissie Stark) (1876–1957). (See Glossary entry, Glasgow School). Source: Wikipedia,

Glasgow School

A group of modern painters and designers, they were influential in Scotland between the 1870s and early 20th century. They reflected the economic boom at the end of the 19th century, and pursued modernist styles such as Art Nouveau in the fields of architecture, interior design and painting. Source: Wikipedia.

Glasgow School of Art

Scotland's only independent art school offering university level programming, it is affiliated with the University of Glasgow. Disciplines include Fine Art Photography, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Environmental Art, Product Design, Textiles, Jewellery, Interior Design, Digital Culture and Architecture. It was founded in 1853, and "has produced most of Scotland's leading contemporary artists including since 2005, 30 percent of the Turner Prize nominees." Among students have been Chantal Joffe, Simon Starling and Nathan Coley. Source: Wikipedia,

Glass Blowing

See Blown Glass

Glass Painting

A term that has two meanings, it can refer to a process of kiln-fired painting on glass, whose fragments are used for stained-glass windows; and also to unfired painting with oil or gouache directly onto sheets of glass to be viewed from the underside. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Glassine Paper

Smooth, glossy paper used in packaging and by conservators. it is used as facing in the lining of an oil painting. The adhesive is wax, which can easily be peeled away with light heat application. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A very thin, transparent colored paint, it is applied over a dried painted surface to alter the appearance and color of the surface. In ceramics, Glaze is a thin, vitreous coating fused to the piece with the high heat of the kiln process. Glazing paintings was done in Europe by the Old Masters. Restoration can remove Glaze. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds, Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Gobelins, Gobelin Tapestry

Fabric dyers who date back to the middle of the 15th Century in Paris, their name of Gobelins has become synonymous with tapestry making for royalty beginning with Louis XIV. The Gobelins Manufactury is located in Paris at 42 Avenue des Gobelins, and the Ministry of Culture is now in charge of the operation, which has expanded far beyond the Gobelin family. Gobelins also ran a Tapestry School, where one of the first American women students was Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau. Source:; AskART biography

Gold Leaf

Thin, delicate sheets of gold, they are usually obtained from a book of 25 three-inch sheets that can be removed individually by a delicate process. Gold Leaf, which is literally gold beaten into flat leaves, can be put on board or paper. Because gold is inert, it does not tarnish, so it retains its ability to lend elegance to works of art. A person correctly applying Gold Leaf first puts down sizing, lets it dry until sticky, and then attaches it to the sized surface by using a small brush and a leaf lifter, which is a small piece of clear plastic activated by rubbing it on one's arm to charge it with static electricity. Then the the leaf-lifter is used to pick up the delicate sheets of gold, usually in three-inch squares between tissue paper, and places them on the sized surface. The next step is burnishing, which is rubbing the leaf so that it adheres. Standard Gold Leaf is 23.5 carats, with about 2000 leaves weighing one ounce. However, variations are available such as lemon gold (18.5 carats) and pale gold (16 carats). Gold Leaf can enhance a work by suggesting grandeur or wealth or divinity as expressed in the artwork of Judeo-Christian religion. It has been used throughout western history on sculpture, church domes, picture frames, decorations, manuscript illuminations, and religious paintings suggesting haloes, etc. Sources: Anne Heywood, 'All That Glitters is Gold', "The Pastel Journal", December 2005, pp. 23; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".

Golden Age of Danish Painting

Referencing the first half of the 19th century, it was a period of creativity in Danish art, music and architecture, much influenced by German Romanticism. Fine art painter Christoffer Eckersberg has been called the "Father" of this Golden Age of Artists, and others aligned with it are Wilhelm Bendz, Christen Kobke, Martinus Rorbye, Constantin Hansen and Wilhelm Marstrand. Source: Wikipedia,

Golden Gate International Exposition

Held 1939 from February through October, and in 1940 from May 25 through September, the location was San Francisco at Treasure Island, which was built for this World's Fair. It was a celebration of recognition of the completion of the city's two new bridges, The Golden Gate Bridge, finished 1937, and The Oakland Bay Bridge, dedicated in 1936. The Fair theme was Pageant of the Pacific, "primarily showcasing the goods of nations bordering the Pacific Ocean." Hundreds of American artists exhibited their work in the Gallery of Arts and Sciences including many from California such as Claire Falkenstein, Rowena Abdy, Maurice Braun, Alice Chittenden, Armin Hansen, Edgar Payne, Nicolai Fechin. The International Business Machines Corporation assembled a Contemporary Art section, with representatives from each of the 48 states plus Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and District of Columbia. Sources: Wikipedia; AskART biographhies; Bakkom Collection, St. Paul MN

Golden Section, Golden Mean, Golden Ratio

A theory of proportion, it has been used for centuries by artists in painting compositions and is based on proportions found in nature. It is a division of sections whereby the smaller one is the same proportion to the larger as the larger is to the whole work, a ratio of of approximately 5 to 8: A(the whole) is to B (the larger section) as B is to C (the smaller section). The name Golden Section was first used in the nineteenth century, but the proportion itself dates back to the work of the Greek mathematician, Euclid. In the early fifteenth century the Italian mathematician, Luca Pacioli, wrote a book on the subject called "Divina Proportione", which was illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci and used in his "Last Supper" composition. This influential work led to the widespread use of the Golden Section by many Renaissance and later artists and architects. Source: Wikipedia:


A precise, realist Chinese painting method of painting, it requires drawing with fine lines to represent exact likenesses and then washing and adding of ink and color, layer by layer. It is the opposite of spontaneous, sketchy or expressive. The name is derived from the Chinese word "gong chin", which means tidy or meticulous in English. The method dates back about 2000 years to the Han Dynasty, a period of political stability and respect for tradition. Gongbi peaked between the 7th and 13th centuries, when wealthy people took special interest in supporting its artists, who needed financial guarantee because they had to give total commitment to the process. Some 20/21st century Chinese artists practice the method including Pang Zouyu. Source: Wikipedia,

Gotham Art School

Opened at 695 Broadway in New York City in 1880, the school was intended to provide flexibly scheduled art classes. The "New York Times", January 15, 1888 carried the following information: "The design of the institution is to give a chance for instruction to those who work week days and who have a taste for art. There is a ladies' class in the morning in drawing from cast and life, an evening class for men and boys, and there are Sunday classes for those who cannot come at any other time. . . .Altogether there are about 60 students recruited from nearly all classes---compositors, artisans and bookkeepers. The fees are $6 a month, and $2 a month for cast work." Teachers included Frederick Moynihan and H. Siddons Mowbray, and among students who became well known are Charles Cookman, Otto Stark and Jules Goodman. The school was supported by artist patrons including Augustus St. Gaudens and William Merritt Chase. Source: "The New York Times" archives.

Gothic Architecture

A style dominate in Europe from the 12th to the 15th centuries, it is noted for pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and often large areas of stained glass. It is especially prevalent in the great cathedrals of Europe such as Notre Dame in Paris with flying buttresses, "which made possible thin stone walls and an airy interior space." Sources: Wikipedia; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Watercolor based, it is made opaque by the addition of white pigments and sometimes with a glue binder and lightens considerably from drying. Unlike transparent watercolor, gouache does not allow whiteness of the paper to show through the paint. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Goupil and Company

See Knoedler Gallery

Government School of Design, London

See South Kensington School of Art, London

Governor General's Awards, Canada

Given as recognition for Visual and Media Arts, they are Canada's foremost distinctions for excellence in these disciplines and were created in 1999 by the Governor General of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. The Canada Council funds and administers the awards. Up to eight prizes are awarded annually to artists for distinguished career achievement in architecture, independent film and video, or audio and new media. Each prize is valued at $25,000. Source: Canada Council for the Arts. Among recipients are Fernand Leduc, Alexander Colville, Charles Gagnon, Gathie Falk and Michael Snow. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, British Columbia

Graffiti Art/Street Art

Graffiti, an Italian word for 'scratches', refers to an art form most popular during the 1970s and 1980s, but still alive today. Graffiti Art results from artists who create images, usually with paint, in a manner that appears to be sloppy, undisciplined, and defiant-seeming image making by street kids on the surfaces of city structures. The formal practice of graffiti goes back to the Egyptians, but was not thought of as an art form until the 1970s when artists began imitating the 'scratchings' of street teens in the New York subway stations. Some artists such as Crash, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were acknowledged as Graffiti artists by the art world, but interest faded when Graffiti Art arrived on canvases into the galleries of New York. In the 21st century, artists such as Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee and Swoon continue the tradition. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak". "ARTnews", 11/2008; AskART biographies

Graham Art Medal

An award of the Brooklyn Institute, it was named for Augustus Graham (1776-1851), a manufacturer, philanthropist, and founder of the Apprentices' Library, a facility of lectures and entertainment for working men. Under his leadership, it grew into the Brooklyn Institute, later named the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The Graham Art Medal is given each year for outstanding contribution to the Museum. An early recipient was Ernest Albert (1857-1946). Source:; ASkART biography.

Grand Central Academy of Art

Established in New York City in the fall of 2006 by Jacob Collins for the teaching of Classical Realist painting, it is a four-year program and an extension of Collins' Water Street Atelier, which is offered in the same building. However, the Academy space is larger; and the curriculum is more structured in that it includes copying works of art, and classes in anatomy, dissection, composition and art history. Enrollment is about 15 students. Teachers include Collins, Scott Waddell, Patrick Connors and Edward Minoff. Sources:;

Grand Central Art Galleries

Formed in 1923 by artists led by Edmund Greacen and managed by art dealer Erwin Barrie, it had sprawling showrooms on the top floor over Grand Central Station, and at first was one of the "strongest citadels of conservatism" relative to art style. The Galleries began as an entity of non-profit cooperatives for artists, where they could exhibit their work and also store it for ongoing exhibitions. Businessmen provided the capital; artists paid their dues with artwork; and later traveling exhibitions were organized by members. However special recognition came in 1934, when art dealer Edith Halpert staged a show there called "33 Moderns", described in "Time" magazine as "the biggest event in the campaign to modernize U.S. art since the Armory Show of 1913." Artist members included Lamar Dodd, Burt Procter, Henry Hensche, Frederick Frieseke, James Earle Fraser, John Singer Sargent and Guy Wiggins. Sources: Lindsay Pollock, "A Girl With a Gallery", p. 174; AskART biographies

Grand Central School of Art

Founded in 1923 in New York City by John Singer Sargent, Edmund Greacen and Walter Leighton Clark, it was operated by members of the cooperative, Grand Central Art Galleries. Sargent and Daniel Chester French served as first Directors in the facility, which was a 7,000 square foot space on the 7th Floor of the east wing of the Grand Central Terminal. The first year enrollment was about 400 students, and the school expanded rapidly, becoming one of the largest art schools in the city. Among the teachers were Harvey Dunn, Dean Cornwell, Nicolai Fechin and Arshile Gorky, and students included Ken Riley, Gerald Delano, Charles Addams and Norman Rockwell. The school, which held summer sessions in Eastport, Maine, closed in 1944. Despite similarities in name, the Grand Central School of Art had no relationship to the Grand Central Academy of Art. Sources: Wikipedia, Grand Central School of Art; AskART biographies

Grand Detour Art Colony

In 1898 Chicagoan Wallace Heckman invited Lorado Taft, Charles Francis Browne, Ralph Clarkson, Hamlin Garland, Henry Blake Fuller and other artists to establish a summer retreat and workplace on his Oregon property overlooking the Rock River now known as Taft Campus at Lowden State Park. The colony was named Eagle’s Nest Association for the ancient gnarled cedar tree which stood for many years on the bluff. The Oregon public library, designed by two of the architects from the colony, houses a collection of art done by various Eagle’s Nest members. Grand Detour artist colony developed as an offshoot of the Eagle’s Nest artist camp when member and landscape painter Charles Francis Browne began bringing students to Grand Detour where they spent several weeks each summer painting and sketching in the village and along the Rock River. Grand Detour was a quiet, peaceful and picturesque village at this time. There were two hotels, the Sheffield and the Colonial Inn, which provided room and board at a reasonable cost. Vacant houses were used for storing art supplies and paintings. Most of the artists in the Grand Detour art group were summer residents, but after the Sheffield Hotel burned down in 1928, several built homes on the west side of the village along the Rock River. Six artists were most prominent in this group, with John Nolf as their unofficial leader. A short distance from Nolf’s house was that of Holger Jensen, a year-round resident. Oscar Soellner built a small cottage and spent summers here with his family. Water color painter Fred Garner lived in the stately old house built in the early days of Grand Detour by Willard House. Garner was most active in the day-to-day life of the village. Mattie Lietz stayed at the Colonial Inn. Dixon native Agnes Ferguson built her house on a bluff with an imposing view of the river and was the last member of the art group when she died in 1985. Beside painting and holding exhibitions, most of these artists supplemented their income by conducting art classes and some of the later local artists took lessons from members of the Grand Detour art group. Among these were Eunice Schuler, Hazel Howell and Charles Kested. The heyday of the Grand Detour art group was the 1920s through the 1940s. By the mid-1950s a majority of the artists had died, but their paintings, especially of local scenes, can be found in many area homes and the Loveland Community House in Dixon. Written by Duane Paulsen, historian of the Grand Detour Art Colony.

Grand Manner

An aesthetic of idealism first applied to history painting and then portraiture, its proponents avoided realism and used visual metaphors to suggest noble qualities. In the 18th century, it was especially prevalent in Britain where Sir Joshua Reynolds promoted the method in Royal Academy lectures. Other Grand Manner proponents were Peter Paul Rubens, Thomas Gainsborough and Anthony Van Dyck. Source Wikipedia:

Grand Marais Art Colony

Oldest art colony in Minnesota, it is located on the north shore of Lake Superior. Its founding dates to 1947 when Birney Quick (1912-1981) took students to Artist' Point for plein-air painting classes, which were often followed by an evening fish fry. Today participants are housed and offered studio space and classes in the village of Grand Marais. Until 1958, the Colony was administered by the Minneapolis School of Art, but that entity's supervision has been replaced by an Art Colony Board of Director. An annual juried plein-air painting exhibition and sale is held with many family events. Sources:;

Graphic Arts/Graphics

Terms referring to multiple replica arts in which original prints are created with lines, marks, or other characteristics on a flat surface, usually paper. Processes include aquatint, drypoint, etching, line engraving, lithography, mezzotint, monotype, serigraphy, stipple engraving, woodcuts, wood engravings, and mixed media where several of these methods are combined. "A trend of the late 1960s is to shorten the term graphic arts to graphics, which refers not only to the techniques but also to the individual prints." Sources: Julia M. Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A soft black form of carbon, it is used in pencils which then are used for writing, drawing or marking. Like charcoal and having no relationship to lead, graphite is a higher form of coal and is closely related to diamonds. "It is metallic in appearance, and almost glassy, which accounts for its sheen when applied in concentration." Today graphite is easily obtainable, but it used to be a rare commodity. The Borrower's Mine in the Lake District in England became the chief early source of graphite. Dating from the 1600s, this graphite was first used only by local herdsmen to mark their sheep, but the demand became worldwide with the discovery that graphite could be put in a stylus and then make a consistent dark line. In the art market, graphite drawings tend not to bring high-dollar prices, but some artists such as Chuck Close are exceptions. Source: Bob Bahr, ‘Graphite: The Drawer’s Humble Tool’. “Drawing” magazine, Summer 2007; AskART database


See Burin

Gray's School of Art

In Aberdeen, Scotland, it was founded in 1885 by local businessman John Gray and originally was housed adjacent to the Aberdeen Art Gallery. In 1966, it moved to a building on the Gardee campus of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, where it is integrated into curriculum options.It is one of the oldest established fine-art institutions in Scotland, and opened with 96 day students and 322 evening students. Notable alumni include Josephine Broekhuizen, Robert Brough and Callum Innes. Sources: Robert Gordon University online; Wikipedia, "Gray's School of Art"

Greason School of Painting

See Saugatuck (Ox Bow) School of Painting

Greek Cross

Cross with four arms of equal length, it is often used as the basis for churches having a centralized plan, especially in Byzantine architecture. Source: Julia M. Ehresmann, The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"


Finished pottery or sculpture, it has been allowed to dry rather than fired. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

GreenWood (Green-Wood) Cemetery Collection

A collection, its focus is representative art by each of the 220 artists buried in the Greenwood Cemetery of Brooklyn, which dates back to the 1830s. Among the prominent deceased New York 'inhabitants' are William Merritt Chase, Louis Tiffany, John La Farge and Philip Evergood. Beginning in 2004, Richard Moylan, Cemetery President, has led the budget-supported art acquisition project whose artworks are housed at the Cemetery. Although some dollar amounts, such as those of Jean-Michel Basquiat, are beyond the collection price range, others, including an early portrait by Eastman Johnson, have been affordable. Special collection pieces are the George Catlin portrait of New York Governor De Witt Clinton, and the life-size bronze bear that sits astride the grave monument of William Holbrook Beard. The Greenwood Cemetery Collection project is adding up to Brooklyn's most monumental art collection. Literally." Source: Glenn Collins, 'Green-Wood Cemetery Builds a Collection', "New York Times", 12,7/2008, p. 37

Gregory Fellowships, University of Leeds

Teaching fellowships established by Leeds University, England between 1950 and 1980, they were established by E.C. Gregory whose goal was to bring younger, vanguard artists into contact with the country's young aspiring artists. Fellowships were established in Poetry, Music, Painting and Sculpture. Recipients in painting include Trevor Bell, Terry Frost and Norman Stevens. Among Sculptor recipients were Kenneth Armitage and Austin Wright. Source: University of Leeds,


The village setting in the late 19th century of a French art colony near Fontainebleu, it was 70 kilometers south of Paris on the Seine River and was influenced by romantic realist painters Jules Bastien-Lepage and Alfred Sisley. Unlike many of his American peers who went to Giverny with Impressionist Claude Monet, Robert Vonnoh was at Grez-sur Loring much of the time between 1887 and 1891. Other resident American painters were Birge Harrison, Kenyon Cox and Alexander Wyant. Other notable 'colonists' were Swedish artist Carl Larsson; English composer Frederick Delius; and American writer, Robert Louis Stevenson. Also spending much time there was a group of Scottish Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, known as The Glasgow Boys including James Guthrie and James Nairn. Sources: Colby & Atkinson, "Footprints of the Past";


Pronounced Gri-Zay, the term is derived from the French term "gris" (grey), and refers to monochrome painting executed entirely in shades of gray. Historically the method of Grisaille has been used by artists in several ways: 1) Preliminary sketch where tonal values are worked out before using color. 2) As under painting for an actual work of art, something that was used extensively by the Old Masters. 3) A teaching method whereby educators illustrate line and shape or composition with Grisaille before letting the students proceed to using color. 4) Depicting objects intended to represent the color gray for actual gray objects such as marble statues or temple columns depicted often in Renaissance paintings. Source: Butch Krieger, 'Shades of Gray', "The Artists Magazine";

Grolier Club

Founded in New York City in 1884 and continuing into the 21st century with nearly 800 elected members, it is dedicated to promoting books as art---quality of images, paper and cover artwork. The Club dates to January, 1884, when book collector Robert Hoe convened nine men who "shared the opinion that the arts of printing and typography in late 19th-century America were in need of reform. They named themselves for French bibliophile, Jean Grolier (1489-1565). Today's members hold to original goals of maintaining a collection of exemplary books, sponsoring educational programs and publishing books that meet their criteria. Source: The Grolier Club, Wikipedia


Of several meanings, it is the surface to which paint is applied as well as a coating material used in preparation of the surface to receive paint. For canvas, a ground of oil and white pigment is commonly used, and on boards or panels, gesso (chalk and glue) is applied. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Group of Seven/G7

An association of artists questing for a distinctinve Canadian style, it was a movement that shaped the vision of how Canadians saw their own country and that left a legacy that continues to provoke debate and discussion. The Group began to form in 1913 when Lawren Harris convinced A.Y. Jackson to move to Toronto from Montreal. In that same year, Lawren Stewart Harris and J.E.H. MacDonald visited the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York to view an exhibition of Scandinavian paintings. That show was a flashpoint for the creation of the Group. In 1920, seven artists – Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley, Frank Johnston, Franklin Carmichael and A.Y. Jackson – decided, for the first time, to exhibit as the Group of Seven. The formal founding of the Group was its first exhibition, which opened at the Art Gallery of Toronto in May 1920. Tom Thomson would not live to see the birth of the Group of Seven. Yet, despite his untimely death in 1917, Thomson’s name became synonymous with the Group. His sketches and finished canvases created a painting style truly representative of the Canadian landscape and experience. Despite its name, the Group of Seven membership eventually grew to include ten artists. Frank Johnston only exhibited in one of the 1920 exhibitions before resigning from the Group. Following this, A.J. Casson joined the Group in 1926. In an effort to widen the geographical base beyond Toronto, Edwin Holgate of Montreal was asked to join in 1930. L.L. FitzGerald (of Winnipeg) joined the Group in 1932. From its birth in 1920 to the early 1930s, the Group was immensely influential. The final Group of Seven exhibition was held in 1931. Source: The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Source: M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Group of Twelve-Seattle

An informal association of Seattle artists interested in modern art, they banded together around 1935 and disbanded about five years later. In 1937, they published a catalogue, "Some Work of the Group of Twelve" and also exhibited locally. Members were: Kenneth Callahan, Margaret Gove Camfferman, Peter M. Camfferman, Elizabeth A. Cooper, Earl T. Fields, Takuichi Fujii, Morris Graves, Walter F. Isaacs, Kenjiro Nomura, Ambrose Patterson, Viola Patterson, Kamekichi Tokita. Source: David Martin, Martin-Zambito Fine Art, Seattle, WA

Guerrilla Girls

A group of women artists, in 1985, their focus is on public awareness of discrimination against female artists. They assumed the names of dead women artists and in their guise performed in a touring show wearing gorilla masks to cover their own identities. Since their founding, over 100 women have worked on the Guerrilla Girls' project including the making of posters and producing of "Guerrilla Girls on Tour", which with text, visuals and humor make their point. Emphasizing that women artists are grouped with women generally to be perceived as sex objects rather than creative individuals, Guerrilla Girls have published a book, 2003, "Bitches, Bimbos and Ballbreakers". Sources:;

Guggenheim Fellowship

Intended as 'mid-career' arts recognitions, recipients are about 220 persons each year judged to have shown exceptional ability in art production or scholarship. Duration is six and 12 months, and average dollar amount of each one is $43,000, enough to insure a block of time free of preoccupation with making money. There is no stipulation as to how the award period is spent. The program began in 1925 with the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. There are two separate competitions, Canada and/or the United States and Latin America and/or the Caribbean. Artist recipients include Robert Colescott, Emil Bisttram, Karel Appel, Peter Blume, Giorgio Cavallon and Walter De Maria. Sources:; AskART biographies.

Guild of Boston Artists

An association founded in 1914 of painters and sculptors, criteria for membership was schooling in the Boston area and dedication to realistic modeling and traditional craftsmanship over modernism. Most of the 42 founding members had studied together at the Boston Museum School with well-known teachers Edmund Tarbell, Frank Benson, Philip Hale and William Paxton. Early Guild members included Lilla Cabot Perry, Marguerite Stuber Pearson and Lilian Westcott Hale. The Association, active into the 21st Century, is located on Newbury Street in Boston where yearly exhibitions are held. Source;

Guild of Saint Luke

An organization in post-medieval Europe of painters, sculptors, illuminators and dealers, its name is taken from the Evangelist Luke, the patron saint of artists, who allegedly painted a portrait of the Virgin Mary. The Guild was especially prevalent in the Low Countries and in cities such as Antwerp, Delft and Bruges. Strength of the Guild diminished in the 17th century in part because of tensions between local artists and ones imported as court painters or to serve wealthy mercantile patrons. Source:

Guildhall Art Gallery

Housing the art collection of the City of London, England, the Gallery is in a structure built in 1999, which replaces and is adjacent to the site of historic Guildhall destroyed by The Blitz of 1941. Originally built in 1885 on the site of London's Roman amphi-theatre, the Gallery has about 4,000 works of art. The centerpiece of the largest gallery is "The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar" by John Singleton Copley. Source: "Guildhall Art Gallery", Wikipedia,

Gum Arabic

A binder used in watercolors, gum tempera and ceramics for glaze, it is, made from the gum of the acacia tree, which is traditionally associated with Arabia. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Gund Collection

A collection of western art housed in Indianapolis at the Eiteljorg Museum, it was created by George Gund (1888-1966, a Cleveland businessman. Gund was born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and was raised in Seattle, where as a child he learned to ride horses. Although his family subsequently settled in Cleveland, he never forgot his love of the West, which translated to his collection of paintings, lithographs and sculpture representing the "West of the Horse". Included are works by Alfred Jacob Miller, Charles Bird King, Frederic Remington, Charles Schreyvogel, Charles Russell, Frank Tenney Johnson and Henry Farny. Gund also collected western landscapes such as paintings by Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt. Honoring Gund's wishes, his family sponsored a traveling exhibition of the collection, which toured for two decades before settling into a permanent home at the Eiteljorg in 2002. Source: Susan Campbell, 'The Gund Collection at the Eiteljorg Museum', "American Art Review", February 2006, pp. 100-101.

Guohua, Guo Hua

Traditional Chinese painting, it is distinguished from Western art because it is painted on xuan (silk) with a Chinese brush, Chinese ink and mineral and vegetable pigments. Source:

Gutai Art Association

Led by Osaka-based artist Yiro Yoshihara, it became the major experimental postwar Japanese art movement whose proponents pioneered "happenings"and "performance art". It became popular in Europe and America. The Japanese word "gutai" means 'concrete' or embodiment', and the method involved the artist's body being a direct part of the medium such as Kazuo Shiraga rolling in clay or the concrete he so often used in his work of art. Source: Wikipedia; Museum of Modern Art, New York; AskART biography of Kazuo Shiraga.

Hagenbund (Hagen Society)

An art collective in Vienna that formed in 1899, it was active until 1930. After 1918, the formal language of the Hagenbund came to dominate artistic activity in Vienna, and in the 1920s it provided the most important focus for new artistic currents. Among its members during this period were Oskar Laske, Anton Hanak, Carry Hauser, George Merkel, Sergius Pauser, Otto Rudolf Schatz, Albin Egger-Lienz and Oskar Kokoschka. The group favored a distinct Art Nouveau style based on folk art such as the work of Aubrey Beardsley, and their lasting influence was largely through their illustrations. The name is from Herr Haagen, the landlord of an inn where artist members often met. Early members were Heinrich Lefler and Joseph Urban, who originally had worked and exhibited within the conservative Vienna Künstlerhaus, but now, like the Vienna Secession, rebelled against the establishment and formed their own organization. Source: Richard Rhoda Fine Art; Oxford Grove Art

Hague School

A late 19th century, 1860 to 1890, group of painters in The Hague, they were heavily influenced in style by the Tonalism of the French Barbizon school, which led to them also being referred to as The Gray School. Of special focus were light, atmospherics and realism as perceived by the 'first generation' group including Anton Mauve, Joseph Israels, Willem Maris, Hendrik Willem Mesdag and Willem Roelofs. The name was coined in 1875 by critic Jacob van Santen Kolff, who also used descriptions of paintings by its artists as having "bad weather effect" and "gray moods." The movement had much anti-academic influence throughout the Netherlands and on American art because of the many artists such as Henry Ward Ranger and Colin Campbell Cooper who joined Hague School descendant artists at colonies at the peasant communities of Laren and Oosterbeck. These places were appealing when the The Hague with its city environment lost its appeal. Many Hague School successor artists became Impressionists. Source: Wikipedia.

Haida Art

A term referencing art of the indigenous people of the Northwest coast of North America whose ancestral home was known as "Haida Gwaii". It is located in the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of British Columbia and the southern half of Prince of Wales Island in the Alaska Panhandle. Haida art is the major component of Northwest coast Indian art, and its most recognized element is the totem pole. Abundant red cedar, fishing, and wild animals were the mainstay of the culture. The population died off from exposure to smallpox brought by foreign visitors in the 18th Century. Today much of the population lives on reservations on Graham Island, one of the Charlotte Islands. Many contemporary Haida artists, intending to revive the traditions based on these Haidic peoples, are in west-coast cities such as Vancouver, Victoria and Prince Rupert. Of this group, the best known master Haidic artist of the 20th Century was Bill Reid, whose grand father was a Haida silversmith. Other modern Haida artists are Jim Hart, Robert Davidson, Todd Jason Baker, Joe David, Glen Wood and Glenn Schworak. Sources: M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.;;

Hairy Who

See Chicago Imagism


A term with several meanings, the first is a reference to a process patented in 1881 by Frederick Eugene Ives that allowed photographic reproduction of images by photographing the original art through a screen. The word referred to the value of the resulting color, which was a shade of grey, or ‘half’ white and ‘half’ black. The earliest Halftone method was limited to ‘tones’ of blacks and whites and revolutionized illustration art because it preserved the integrity of the original art and omitted block printing and the need for engravers. Later in that decade, development of the four-color process allowed the first use of full color in books and magazines. A second definition of Halftone is that of a transition color that a painter uses to move from light to dark. It is basically a unifier of the light and dark sides of an object in a painting. In watercolor, the Halftone is accomplished with a clean semi-moist brush with which the artist blends or softens the edge where needed. In oil, Halftones are achieved by mixing light and dark colors together. Sources: Editor, ‘American Illustration’, “American Arts Quarterly”, Winter 2006, p. 40; Ralph Mayer, “A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques”; Lydia A Miniter, Oradell New Jersey, “American Artist”, 6/2002

Hamilton King Award

Created in 1965 in memory of Hamilton King, it is one of illustration's most prestigious honors. Presented each year to a Society of Illustrators member for outstanding accomplishment and repeated excellence, the award selection is made by former recipients of the award and it spotlights one of the artist's best works for that year. It can only be received once in their lifetime. Past winners include Carol Anthony, Bernie Fuchs, Mark English, Doug Johnson, Wilson McLean, Robert Peak and Edward Sorel. Source: The Society of Illustrators. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Hammer Price

The winning bid for an auction lot, meaning the price committed for the work at the time the auctioneer uses the hammer to indicate the bidding is closed. Source:

Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis

A cultural outgrowth of economic expansion in Minneapolis in the 1880s and 1890s, the HGM was organized in 1904 by a group of women whose "emphasis was on the handcraft process and truth to materials." In 1907, a building was constructed for the Guild at 89 South 10th Street in downtown Minneapolis, and in 1918, the Guild's program was incorporated into the Art Department of the University of Minnesota. Education was a primary focus of the Handicraft Guild, and among the teachers were Mary Moulton Cheney, a graphic designer and Director of the Minneapolis School of Fine Art; and Ernest Batchelder from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Other activities included exhibitions and sales of work by members. With egalitarian motives, they signed their pieces only with the cipher HG and not their own names. Work included metal pieces, ceramics, jewelry, prints, weaving and baskets. Source:

Handmade Paper

A hand-crafted support used for drawing, printmaking and water-based painting, it has become popular among 20th-Century American artists including Roland Poska, Mary Judge and Raquel Rabinovich. Each sheet of paper is unique and has slight variations of thickness, color and texture. The best quality Handmade Paper is a European invention made from pure linen rag pulp. The process begins by dipping individual screens or moulds into vats of the pulp. Removed, the screens are manipulated so the pulp is evenly spread across the mesh; excess water is removed and the pulp is dried with the screen's edges being framed by a deckle, a screenless frame resting above the mold. The removal of the deckle creates a ragged edge on the paper---an identifying characteristic of Handmade Paper although the ragged-edge effect is replicated commercially. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database

Hanna Barbera Studios

Opened in 1957 in Los Angeles by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbara, former MGM animation specialists, it was an animation studio "that dominated North American television animation during the second half of the 20th Century." It lasted until 2001 when it was absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation. Artists who worked for Hanna Barbera include Gary Niblett, Pete Alvarado, Alex Toth and Robert Caples. Sources:; AskART database


Description of unplanned multi-media theatrical events intended to break down the division between art and life, it was a movement that took hold in America in the 1950s, but had been practiced in Europe and Japan. The term was explained by originator Allan Kaprow as "an assemblage of events performed or perceived in more than one time and place. . . . an environmental artwork activated by performers and viewers." Composer John Cage was a strong influence with his classes at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and then at the New School for Social Research in New York. Kaprow first used the name to describe his show in 1959 at Reuben Gallery in New York, calling it "18 Happenings in 6 Parts". The 'happening' occupied three rooms and included persons reading texts, posing mime-like, playing music and painting on canvas. On cue, the audience was moved through the rooms and became active participants rather than passive viewers. Kaprow also challenged them to make sense of seemingly disconnected events, offering involvement but little assistance in resolution. Artists who became part of Happenings did not have formal organization, which likely led to more diversity of expression. Names linked to the movement in addition to Kaprow are Red Grooms, Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Carolee Schneemann and Robert Whitman. Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Alfred Leslie participated in the first Happening with Kaprow. A forerunner of Happenings is the Dada movement "with their chance-derived arrangements". Related to Happenings are Fluxus and Performance Art, and a successor is Pop Art. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak";

Hard Edge Painting

A term descriptive of paintings whose surfaces are treated as a single flat unit with emphasis on symmetry and geometry and limited areas of color that are separated from one another by 'hard edges'. The phrase was first used as a formal description in Los Angeles in 1958 by critic Jules Langsner to describe West Coast painting by artists rebelling against the prevalent East-Coast subjective styles of Expressionism and Gesturalism, exemplified in New York by Jackson Pollock and other Abstract Expressionists. Hard-Edge Painting was popular through the 1950s, and was practiced by such painters as Kenneth Noland, Ellsworth Kelly, and Karl Benjamin, Ad Reinhardt, Leon Polk Smith, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothco and Alexander Liberman. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"

Harlem Renaissance

A movement among African-American painters, writers and theatre persons, it celebrated their unique culture and in turn, stirred social revolt against racism. It was centered in the Harlem section of New York City from 1920 through the economic Depression of the 1930s and was a response to a time of civil unrest when many blacks were moving from rural areas to cities. The term "The New Negro", coined by sociologist Alain LeRoy Locke, became rallying words. The movement began with literary discussions in Greenwich Village in south Manhattan, and remained more a literary force than expressions of painters and sculptors although many were active including Jacob Lawrence, Augusta Savage, Ernest Crichlow, Hale Woodruff, John Biggers, Lois Mailou Jones, Raymond Barthe, E Simms Campbell, Aaron Douglas, Richard Nugent, James Van Der Zee and Charles Alston. Sources:; Paul P. Reuben, “Harlem Renaissance-A Brief Introduction”,; Robert Atkins, "Art Spoke".

Harmon Foundation

An outreach entity in New York City to encourage artistic achievements of Black Americans, the Foundation was created in 1922 by William E Harmon (1862-1928). He was a Caucasion real-estate developer whose interest was promoting not only the fine arts but accomplishments in business, education, farming, literature, music, race relations, religious service and science. In addition to serving as a patron of the arts entity, the Harmon Foundation flourished as a business that subsidized, marketed, and profited from its sales of African-American works of art. A 1944 Harmon Foundation exhibition, "Portraits of Outstanding Americans of Negro Origin,", had the goal of reversing racial intolerance by showing the accomplishments of contemporary African Americans. With entries by 148 artists, it opened at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC on May 2nd, and then traveled around the United States for the next ten years. The exhibition, the first one in America devoted to African-American painting, is credited with improving public perception of Black Americans. Participants included Archibald Motley, Aaron Douglas and Augusta Savage.

Harmon Foundation Award

Established in 1926 by William E. Harmon (1862-1928), it was a cash prize from his Foundation, set up in 1922, for emerging African-American artists. Harmon was intrigued by the talent he was seeing among this group, especially in Harlem of New York City. Prizes were $400.00 each and were in the categories of music, literature, visual arts, science, industry, education and race relations. This attention brought much prestige to the recipients who included William H. Johnson, Augusta Savage, Aaron Douglas and Palmer Hayden. In 1928, the Foundation held the first art exhibition devoted exclusively to African-American artists. Source: artsedge.

Harper's Weekly/Monthly/Magazine

Published from 1857 to 1916, it carried illustrations of many of the most famous American artists of that period, which, in turn, had major influence on the American public’s perceptions of public figures and events. "Harper’s Weekly" is named for brothers who together established a New York printing firm, Harper & Brothers: They were James, John, Joseph and Fletcher, and they became the largest book publisher in the country. Fletcher Harper, aware of the popularity of the “London Illustrated News”, began “Harper’s Monthly” in 1850, and initially the focus was on publishing writings by established English authors such as Charles Dickens and William Thackeray. With the first press run of 7,500 copies selling out immediately, the publication became so successful that in 1857, “Harper’s Weekly” was launched. Three years later, the circulation reached 200,000 copies. “Harper’s” association with illustration began with the hiring of Thomas Nast, who did caricatures of political figures that played a major role in people’s perceptions of politicians. Other illustrators who worked for the magazine were Winslow Homer, Charles Dana Gibson, Howard Pyle, James Flagg, Maxfield Parrish and Frederic Remington. Edwin Austin Abbey worked for them for years, having risen through the ranks and then being sent by Harper's to England to research settings for a novel. He lived there the remainder of his life and for many years, continued to send illustrations. The descendant of “Harper’s Weekly” is “Harper’s Magazine”, which is published into the 21st Century. Sources:;'s_Magazine; Walter Reed, "The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000".

Harvey Awards

Named after Harvey Kurtzman and founded in 1988, the recognition is one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. Called 'Harveys', they recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories, ranging from Best Artist to the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame. They are the only industry awards both nominated by and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. Courtesy, M.D. Silverbrooke. Source: The Harvey Awards –

Harwood Foundation

The first gallery of Taos, New Mexico, it was established in the early 1920s by Elizabeth Harwood, Paris trained artist, in memory of her artist husband, Bert Harwood. The couple had settled in Taos in 1918, and upon his death in 1923, she created on their home site the Foundation, which had a large exhibition gallery, library, studios and meeting room for use by Taos artists as well as the general public. Upon the death of Elizabeth Harwood, the University of New Mexico took over administration in accordance with her will. Source: Arrell Morgan Gibson, "The Santa Fe and Taos Colonies"

Haskell Institute/Haskell Indian Nations Universit

A Lawrence, Kansas learning institution for post-high school education of United States Indian Tribe members, the school was formed as an industrial training facility in 1884, and originally was a boarding school. Curriculum emphasis was on Indians becoming 'constructive' members of white society. Named for Dudley Haskell, U.S. Congressman from Kansas, it began offering college level classes in 1927, and in 1970 became exclusively a college level school, which continues into the 21st Century. With 12 historic buildings, it became a National Historic Landmark in 1961. Graduate Indian artists include Allan Houser, Fred Beaver, William Standing and Doc Nevaquaya. Source: Wikipedia; AskART database

Hastings School of Art

An art school in Hastings, England, it is at Brassey Institute in the Library building. In 1982, this art department, with its many Victorian casts, moved to Sussex Coast College Hastings. Students include Harold Gilman, Frank Dobson and Jean Rees. Source:


A technique of modeling, it indicates tone and suggests light and shade in drawing or tempera painting by using closely set parallel lines. If done skillfully, the effect is subtle and complementary to the artwork, and if overdone, it can look like amateurish like "fancy pyrotechnical linework." (Gheno) German Renaissance artist and etcher, Albrecht Durer, was known for skillful hatching, a method he used of weaving lines around his faces and figures and short strokes to emphasize wrinkles and bony. With him one stroke led to another, and the hatching became almost spiritual. In his drawing, Italian artist Michelangelo did hatching that emphasized bony, hard muscles and appeared almost burnished looking. Charles Dana Gibson is an example of a 20th-century American artist who effectively used hatching. Also illustrators Frank and Joseph Leyendecker stirred much attention for a cross-hatch method they perfected from a secret recipe which utilized oil but combined the speed effect of pencil with the visual impact of color. This method allowed them to work more quickly than their peers, which stirred much jealousy. Sources: Dan Gheno, 'Making Better Lines, Making Better Lines', "Drawing" magazine, Spring 2006, pp.39-56; AskART biographies

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts

A crafts school in Montville on the coast of Deer Isle, Maine, it was founded in 1950 on Haystack Mountain, a former location, and was designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes. The school has no permanent faculty nor does it offer academic degrees, but it offers workshops of one to three weeks in ceramics, fibers, glass, metals, wood and graphics. Teachers include founder Francis Merritt, Judith Salomon, Alice Spencer, and Jonathan Leo Fairbanks. Among Artists who have attendeded are Sean Albert, Victor Cicansky and Jane DeDecker. Sources: Wikipedia,; AskART biographies

Heatherley School of Fine Art, London

Named after Thomas Heatherley, who served as principal, the school was founded in 1845 and is one of the oldest independent art schools in London. Its focus is portraiture, figurative painting and sculpture. Among its attendee names are those of Burne Jones, Kate Greenaway, and Walter Sickert. Source: Wikipedia,

Heidelberg School

An important late 19th century Australian art movement, it has been described as Australian Impressionism. Sidney Dickenson, art critic, coined the term in 1891 when reviewing paintings done in the Heidelberg area east of Melbourne by Arthur Streeton and Walter Withers. Since that time, "Heidelberg School" has taken on broader meaning to refer to "plein-air" impressionists painters of the late 19th century. Source: Wikipedia,

Heliconian Club-Toronto

A club founded in 1909 of elected members, their purpose was to provide mutual social and intellectual support for women actively engaged in the arts professions: Art, Drama, Music and Literature. The name is a reference to Mount Helicon, the mythical abode of the Greek Muses. The meeting place is an historic building at 35 Hazelton Avenue in Yorkville on the outskirts of Toronto. Source:

Helvetica Typeface

The most common typeface in American society, "you see it on police cars, on garbage trucks. You know a typeface has arrived when it appears on a garbage truck." It is also the official typeface of the New York subway system. "For many graphic designers, the decades-old rule still holds: When in doubt, use Helvetica." It is "sans serif", meaning no accentuating lines or decorative touches, and is simple and plain and easy to read. Max Miedinger of Switzerland created this typeface in 1957 for the Haas'sche Schriftgiesserei type-design foundry in Switzerland. The name is the ancient Roman word for Switzerland. The typeface Ariel is a near clone of Helvetica, and is the Microsoft alteration intended to avoid licensing fees. Source: Bob Bahr, "Drawing" magazine, Spring 2006, pp. 83

Heraldic Art, Heraldist

Pertaining historically to the art of designing, displaying, describing, and recording coats of arms and badges of military heroics, the term has come to include family crests, bookplates and symbolic images for corporations and other public and private entities. Origins of heraldry date back over 900 years and "lie in the need to distinguish participants in combat when their faces were hidden by iron and steel helmets." An artist who emblazons these insignias is a heraldist, and is someone whose skills remain in demand. William Barton, 1754-1817, was the heraldist who designed the U.S. Coat of Arms. Other 18th to 21th century heraldic artists are Henry Hays, Jr., Martha Bessey, John Coles Sr., Edwin Adney, and John Christopher Gore who comes from a family of heraldic artists. Source:; AskART biographies

Heroic Statues

Sculpted figures depicting important persons within their culture, they are often life-size or bigger and placed in public venues. Commissions supported many 19th-century sculptors in an era called the Gilded Age, which was a period of celebrating male power, especially high profile political leaders and military figures. Prominent American sculptors noted for heroic statues are Daniel Chester French, who did several studies of Abraham Lincoln including the sitting Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial; Augustus St. Gaudens, whose work included many Civil War figures such as Admiral David Farragut and William Tecumseh Sherman; and Rudolph Evans who did the over-life size bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson at the Jefferson Memorial. Sources: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"; AskART biographies

Herron School of Art

See John Herron Art Institute

Hesketh Hubbard Art Society

See Federation of British Artists

High Renaissance

See Renaissance

High Style

See Historical Painting/High Style


A group of young African-American landscape and skyscape painters, these artists painted their way out of the despair awaiting them as workers in Florida citrus groves and packing houses of the 1950s. Original members were James Gibson, Alfred Hair, Harold Newton and Livingston Roberts. The only female member was Mary Ann Carroll. Their major influence was Albert Backus (1906-1991), a white man often referred to as the Dean of Florida painters who had a fanciful formula involving huge cumulus clouds billowing over the ocean. The Highwaymen created hybrid versions of his style, and their work is sometimes characterized as motel art. Typically they painted on inexpensive materials such as Upson board, a roofer's material, and they sold their work out of the trunks of their cars. With paintings still wet, they loaded their vehicles and traveled the state's east coast, selling them door-to-door and store-to-store, in restaurants, offices, courthouses, and bank lobbies. In succeeding decades, however, Highwaymen paintings were consigned to attics and garage sales. Their work has been rediscovered in the mid 1990's, and today is recognized as the work of American folk artists. Sources: Neal Auction Company; Art Link International; AskART biographies

Historical Painting/High Style

Known as "high style", Historical Painting dominated European and American art in the 18th and early 19th centuries and was 'fathered by the rising scientific spirit' of the times. Its earliest proponent was Johann Winckelmann (1717-1768), art theorist, described as "yoking the art of the past to bourgeois needs." It was a replacement of the religious subjects of the Renaissance with grand-scale historical heroes, accuracy of time and place, reverence for the ancients of Rome and Greece, appeal to reason rather than emotion, banishment of anything sensuous, cold colors and purity of outline. The goal was betterment of humankind through lofty subjects, which meant that still life, genre, and portraits were mundane and unacceptable. High Style American painters were Benjamin West, John Trumbull and Ralph Earl. Source: James Thomas Flexner, "History of American Painting", Vol. III

Hite Art Institute

Founded in 1946 by the bequest of Allen R. and Marcia S. Hite, it is part of The Department of Fine Arts at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Degrees from B.A. to Ph.Ds are offered in a variety of disciplines including painting, sculpture, curating, fiber, graphic and interior design. Source: "The Hite Art Institute",

Hite Art Scholarship

An award from The Hite Art Institute, a department of the Department of Fine Arts of the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Recipients are funded for study at the Institute's studio art program. Source: "The Hite Art Institute",

Holbein Studio Building, The Holbein Studios

Located at 154 West 55th Street in New York City, the studio location was created in the late 1880s across from a row of stables built by financier Charles T. Barney between 6th and 7th Avenues. They were "far enough away from 5th Avenue that the noises and smells were unobtrusive; yet near enough to prevent a long wait for one's carriage." Barney was a collector of 12th to 15th century European art and had only disdain for 'upstart' American artists. But sculptor Jonathan Scott Hartley persuaded Barney that he could get income by converting the unused upper levels of the stables into artist studio space. The venture proved so successful that Barney funded construction of a studio building in 1888 on the opposite side of the street. It was named the Holbein Studio Building. Designed by Bassett Jones, it was a three-story Romanesque Revival style structure with steep mansard roof, excellent lighting and handsome features such as massive doors with ornate iron hardware. Over the entrance was a large terra-cotta sign with the word 'Studio'. "Struggling and not-so struggling artists rented the studios" including E. Leon Durand, Bruce Crane, J. Mortimer Lichtenhauer, Edward Dufner and August Franzen. In the 1920s, the building was converted into a movie theatre and playhouse, and in the 1980s the ground floor was gutted and became a truck entrance, leaving only the facade of the upper story. Source: "Daytonian in Manhattan: The Stories Behind the Buildings", John Newberry []

Hoosier Salon

Created in 1925 by a group calling themselves Daughters of Indiana, these original founders were Chicago women who determined that artists of Indiana needed more encouragement. They organized exhibitions as a method for recognition and painting sales. The leader was Estella King, a native of Peru, Indiana, who chaired the Art Committee. They chose the name, Hoosier Salon, to combine the slang name for Indiana with the more formal name used for art exhibitions. The first exhibition of the Hoosier Salon was March 1925 in the art galleries of Marshall Field & Company in Chicago. From that time, the exhibitions have had generally high attendance and financial success except during the Depression and World War II. The exhibitions continued at Marshall Field department store galleries from 1925-1941. Succeeding venues were William H. Block Company, 1942 to 1977, and L.S. Ayres & Company, 1978-1989. In the 1990s and forward, the Hoosier Salon exhibitions were at the Indiana State Museum, and beginning 2013, the Salon will open every August at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. Exhibitor names include John Ottis Adams, Johann Berthelsen, Daniel Garber, Ada Shulz and Hale Woodruff. Source: Judith Newton and Carol Weiss, "A Grand Tradition: The Art and Artists of the Hoosier Salon, 1925-1990"; Tracey Frugoli, 'The Hoosier Salon', "Fine Art Connoisseur", December 2012.

Hoosier School of Painters, Hoosier Group

Moving into the Midwest, Impressionism was promoted by The Hoosier School of painters, based in Indianapolis, Indiana. This movement was at its height of importance between 1890 and 1907. Members are credited with deliberately promoting an American style of Impressionism, rather than one that leaned heavily upon the French influence. The most prominent member and leader was Theodore Steele. Other painters associated with that locale and movement were Otto Stark, William Forsyth, John Ottis Adams, and Richard Buckner Gruelle. Primary subject matter was the Indiana countryside, especially nearby Brown County, where they did plein-air painting. Steele, who lived until 1926, built a Brown County home known as the “House of the Singing Winds”. This place became the gathering spot of many Hoosier School adherents. Source: William Gerdts, "American Impressionism, Henry Gallery"


Horizontalism, a 21st century abstract art movement, began in 2010 in Bellport Village, NY. A group of artists in residency at Gallery 125 realized they all worked from above, in a horizontal fashion, on the floor or a table. The Horizontalists distinguish themselves as a group that pours, paints, drips, scrapes, and abrades pigments on horizontal surfaces as they bear down from above onto floors or tables rather than on easels or walls. They also generally use non-traditional implements, i.e. not brushes, but action, trowels and hawks, gravity, centrifugal force, sanders, glues, glass pipes, etc. to draw and paint. Horizontalism is also characterized by the fact that the art transcends self-reflective, cathartic processes. The Horizontalists are not just trying to work out their emotions and thoughts. They are questioning everything about our world, in a subtle, often minimalist way. They arose along side the socio-political movements that germinated as a result of the new forms of internet-based social organization, similar to the way the activist of the Occupy movement formed in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. As the world becomes increasingly more flat, and globalization now infiltrates more and more of our lives, these artists are examining the ramifications of this and creative processes with no geographic barriers. The Horizontalists have grown in an electronic grassroots fashion, connecting via the internet and social media, which is the way they believe new powerful movements in art will be defined in the future. Says Horizontalist John Perreault, one of the founding members, "When their paintings made on the horizontal are tilted to the vertical and hung on walls, the viewer sees aerial abstractions, maps of process, beautiful bird’s-eye views, and glimpses of spatial, psychological, and semantic disorientation. We are not turning painting upside down; we are turning painting on its side." Credit for this essay is given to Lisette Ruch

Hors Commerce

Meaning before business, it is a sculpture and graphic reference to casts and pulled prints, which were designated for business use only such as promotional advertising, sales examples, exhibitions and competitions. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"

Hospitalfield, Allan-Fraser Institute

Scotland's first school of fine art, it is a center for education for artists, musicians and writers and is located on the estate of the Frasers of Hospitalfied, owned by the family of the wife of artist Patrick Allan (1813-1890. Moving to the estate, which dated to the medieval era, he added his wife's family name, and directed a massive building and maintenance program. On Allan-Fraser's death, the place became a trust to insure the continuance it original purpose. Beneficiaries include Scottish painter Joan Eardley and Canadian painter Adam Sheriff Scott. Source:

Houston Art League/Houston Public School Art League

Organized in 1900 as the Houston Public School Art League, four women were founders: Mrs. Robert S. Lovett, Miss Lydia Adkisson, Miss Roberta Lavender and Miss Cara Redwood. Their idea was to bring art education to school students by showing examples of fine art in the classrooms. One 'masterpiece', a replica plaster of Paris nude "Venus de Milo" was offered to Central High School and brought accusations of moral corruption. In 1913, League members shortened their name to Houston Art League, setting its sights on raising money to open a fine arts museum in the city. Resulting was The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which opened in 1924. Emma Richardson Cherry was the first woman to have a solo exhibit at the museum. Source: The Heritage Society, Houston, Texas

Hudson River School

A term referencing both an early 19th-Century style of landscape painting and the region where the style began, it embraces the Hudson River Valley of New York state, and the styles of Realism, Luminism, and Romanticism. Typical paintings had dramatic mountain vistas and bucolic, serene country views. The School, originating in the early 1800s, was the first truly American school of painting, emphatically divorced from European influence. The name first appeared in the "New York Tribune", by a derisive critic who tagged the work as provincial. However, the term survived as a description of unmistakably American painting and of enduring aesthetic quality. About seventy artists are linked to the movement, which began with Thomas Cole in 1825 and includes Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, Asher Durand, John Frederick Kensett and Jasper Cropsey. The region of the Hudson River School of painters expanded far beyond the Hudson River Valley to include the Berkshires of New York, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, shorelines of New Jersey and Rhode Island, and meadow lands in New York, eastern New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. Source: James Flexner, "History of American Painting", Volume III, pp. 220-221, 241.

Hudson Valley Art Association

Primary Art Association of the Hudson River Valley region of New York state, this organization was located in Yonkers. It was founded in 1928 by artists of the region in the studio of Jasper Cropsey, 1823-1900, Hudson River Valley painter. For many years, the Association functioned as a local art society, but later it became regional, attracting exhibitors from the New England states, and others in the eastern United States. Only realistic style art is accepted in the exhibitions, and each spring the Association holds a show in the Exhibition Galleries of the Newington-Cropsey Foundation at Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Members include Max Bieberman, Clarence Chatterton, Frank DuMond and Aldro Hubbard. Source: AskART biographies;


See Value/Hue

Hugo Award

A annual recognition sponsored by the World Science Fiction Society, it is given to illustrators for excellence in Science Fiction. It is named for Hugo Gernsback, described as "The Father of Magazine Science Fiction". Recipients include Fran Frazetta, Michael Wheland, George Barr and John Schoenherr. Sources:; AskART biographies

Hugo Boss Prize

An award of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, it is recognition to artists worldwide for profound contributions to contemporary style art. The name and the funding is from the Hugo Boss clothing designer company of New York. The first prize was given in the 1990s, and among American winners are Matthew Barney (1996) and Rirkrit Tiravanija (2004). Source: Joan Young, Curator, Solomon Guggenheim Museum;

Hull House School of Art

Founded in the 1890s at the Hull House in Chicago, the Art School furthered one of the goals of Hull House founders Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr to reach out and create a sense of community and cultural enhancement through educational program, especially for the poor in slum dwellings. Starr became the force behind the art education curriculum and organized art classes starting with just drawing classes several evenings a week. Then the program expanded by adding painting, sculpture, clay modeling, basket weaving, bookbinding, etc., creating a combination of practical application and creative aesthetic challenges. Many visiting artists and Hull House residents worked or volunteered for the Art School training with some being professors at the nearby universities and art schools in the area such as from the Art Institute of Chicago. Women were especially active. The Butler Art Gallery, created in 1891, was the first addition to the old Hull Mansion and became the venue for regular exhibitions and for the art classes. By 1892, the fine arts program was primarily under the direction of Enella Benedict, who established the actual School of Art in the Hull-House. The School lasted until the mid 1960s when the House was demolished. Artists associated with the School included Emily Edwards, Myrtle French and Alice De Wolf Kellogg. Source: Illinois Women Artist Project,

Hussian School of Art

Founded in 1946 and incorporated in 1965 in Philadelphia at 5th and Market Streets by John Hussian, lecturer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it is dedicated to both commercial and fine art education. Former students include Peter Sculthorpe. Source:

Hyperrealism, Hyperrealistic

A 20th and 21st century style of painting and sculpture that gives the appearance of "a high resolution photograph", it is realism more 'real' visually than photo realism. However, many artists such as Chuck Close, Don Eddy and Ralph Goings are described interchangeably as hyper-real and photo-real. The term, Hyperrealism, was coined by Frenchman, Isy Brachot in 1973. Source:


A venerated representation of a subject, usually a painting or mosaics,it references religious subjects and is particularly associated with Byzantine, Russian and Greek Orthodox churches. Icons first appeared as objects of devotion as Christian cult images at the end of the fifth century. In Russia, the production of icons has continued into the 20th Century. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A word with several meanings, one being a work of art that is composed of venerated symbols shared by a cultural group. An example would be the painting, "The Annunciation" by Jan Van Eyck (1385-1441). A second meaning is the study of images and symbols in works of art. The term Iconography is derived from the Greek, which translated to English means "story written out by symbols." Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A general term, it refers to graphic symbols of ideas or concepts and embraces both Pictograms and Logograms. It is a Pictogram if it has physical resemblance to the idea such as an X through a circle indicating no U-Turn. Or if it is descriptive of symbolic writing systems such as hieroglyphs or Sumerian cuneiform, it is a Logogram. Source: Ideogram, Wikipedia,

Illinois Institute of Design

Founded in 1937 in Chicago, the leader was Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, who had taught at the Bauhaus in Germany from 1923 to 1928 and was invited to Chicago by the Board of the Chicago Association of Art and Industry to start a school of industrial design. He named it the New Bauhaus, and it was housed in the Prairie Avenue mansion, which had been owned by Marshall Field. Financially stressed the school closed in 1938, but reopened the next year as the Chicago School of Design, having received support from Walter Paepcke, Chair of the Container Corporation of America. In 1944, it became the Institute of Design, and in 1949 became part of the Illinois Institute of Technology university system. Source:

Illinois Institute of Technology

See Illinois Institute of Design


From the French term "enlumine", meaning to brighten and associated with gold and silver, it is the art of manuscript decoration with designs, calligraphy and pictures. Illumination was especially prevalent in Medieval art but declined after the 15th Century. Egyptian papyrus rolls including "The Book of the Dead" are the oldest discovered Illuminations and continued through the Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilizations and also into the Middle East. In Medieval Europe, Catholic monks did most of the manuscript illumination. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A pictorial technique to convey through unreality a sense of reality, the method often employs light and shadow and perspective to manipulate the visual response. Illusionism dates back to Roman wall painting and relief sculpture, and in American art is related to Trompe l'Oeil (fool-the-eye) painting as well as Magic Realism and Photo Realism. American painters who used illusionism include James Carter, Anna Eliza Hardy, William Harnett, Aaron Bohrod, John Singleton Copley, and Charles Rain. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART biographies.

Illustration Academy, Kansas

A summer school of intense workshop immersion, it is located in Fairway, Kansas. Its mission is to shorten the span between schooling and career illustration assignment. Driven by real-world examples and deadlines, the students are encouraged to focus on concepts, techniques, and to pursue a personal point of view to make their work unique. Along side the technical demonstrations of media and life drawing skills, the Academy focuses on the functional business practices in the field of illustration. These include self-promotion, advertising, contracts, taxes and accounting. Among teachers are John English, George Pratt and Brett Watkinson.

Illustration Board, Drawing Board

Cardboard on which paper has been pasted, it has a variance of quality from the finest to cheap drawing paper. Illustration Board is used by illustrators and draftsmen and others creating two-dimensional visuals intended for much handling and reproduction. It is not durable for permanent fine art. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Pictures created to supplement, promote and interpret printed text such as books, advertisements and magazines, illustration brought prestige to many who became highly adept such as N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Joseph Pennell, Maxfield Parrish and Howard Pyle. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database

Ilya Repin Arts Academy, State Academic Institute

An institution founded in 1757, it remains the largest arts educational institution and one of the most important scientific centers in Russia. For almost two and a half centuries the Academy has been promoting the traditional and classical fine art of Russia and plays a key part in the preservation of its native style. Presently there are more than seven-hundred students during the day and over five hundred attending evening courses at the Academy taught by 100 professors, associate professors, and 60 other teachers. The Academy has five faculties: Fine Art, Graphic Arts, Sculpture, Architecture, and Art Theory and History. Source: http://www./Ilya+Repin+St.+Petersburg+State+Academic+Institute+of++Fine+Arts,+Sculpture+and+Architecture/408.html


See Chicago Imagism


See Precisionist Painters


A thick, juicy, or lumpy and multi-layered application of paint, it is appled to canvas or other ground support. Emphasis is on texture and obvious paint strokes, as distinguished from a smooth, flat surface. Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh was noted for his Impasto technique. American artists that used Impasto include Joan Brown, Frank Duveneck, David Park, and Nicolai Fechin. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database

Imperial Academy of Arts

See Russian Academy of Arts


Considered the first significant modern art movement because of deviating from academic realism and opening the door to abstraction, it is a painting style focused on changing effects of light and color. Often done outdoors, "en plein aire", and facilitated in late 19th century France by the invention of oil paint in tubes, it is achieved with disconnected, hastily applied brush strokes. Impressionism was publically introduced with an 1874 Paris exhibition that included Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Pierre Renoir, Camille Pisarro and Berthe Morisot. Monet's painting, "Sunrise", prompted critic Louis Leroy to refer to it snidely as "Impressionism", and the name stayed with the style. Two schools of Impressionism have evolved---American and French with French Impressionists less concerned with form than the Americans. Source: Charles Moffat, "The Birth of Impressionism",


A style that evolved from French Impressionism, it was brought to the United States by many of the American art students who were in Paris in late 19th century France when the movement began. However, the Americans tended not to be as deviating from realism as the French. Chief exponents were William Merritt Chase, who in 1878, founded one of the first outdoor painting schools, which was at Shinnecock on Long Island; and his student, Charles Hawthorne, who founded the Cape Cod School of Art at Provincetown in 1899. They espoused painting 'en plein aire' (finishing the work on location in the open air), and depicting the changing effects of light with masses of color while modeling and defining the forms with distinct color variations. Source: Cynthia McBride, McBride Gallery, Annapolis, MD

In Situ

Meaning 'on site' or 'in place', the term references the creation of artwork at the location where it remains as something permanently installed. It can also refer to restoring a work of art in its permanent location such as a painting hanging on the wall. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Independents (New Hope, Pennsylvania)

See New Hope Modernists

Indian Group of Seven

See Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation

Indian River School

A name applied to Floridian artists in the 1950’s and 1960’s, they were heavily influenced by nature. Most of the artists in this movement were African American. Their work is characterized by quick strokes and eschews traditional methods of paintings.? Their main influence was a man named A.E. Backus, a Bohemian white man who mentored the group of young black artists. The group used to congregate in his studio and learned to paint from ‘Beanie’ (as he was called) as a way out of their lower class labor jobs. ?? Their work was powerful, dramatic yet captured the serenity and beauty of the Florida countryside. No one knows how many artists A.E. Backus mentored, but experts put the number at about 20, many of whom he put through college. Many are still painting and sell their work in galleries and online. Note some of their work is difficult to find because it exists in only private collections.? Members of the group in addition Backus include ?Don Brown?, James Hutchinson?, Therese Knowles?, Margaret Z. Smith, Julie Enders?, Annie Nobles Miller?, Jackie Schindehette and Jackie Brice. Online Source: Written By Melissa Montgomery "The Indian River School of Art", The Art Institutes, (Accessed 5/19/2013)

Indian Space Painters

Coined in 1943, it was an association of New York artists inspired by a 1936 Museum of Modern Art exhibition focused on abstraction, symbolism and mysticism of Indian art. Members had met as students at the Art Students League, and also had studied privately with modernist Hans Hoffman. Steve Wheeler was founder; Howard Daum coined the term; and others included Peter Busa, Robert Barrell, Gertrude Barrer, Ruth Lewin, Helen DeMott and Will Barnet. The ISP held only one exhibition, which was in 1946 at Gallery Neuf on East 79th Street. Abstract Expressionism was the 'death knell' for the public interest in the groups originality. Source: Joseph Jacobs, 'Indian Space Painters', "Art & Antiques", February 2007, p. 59

Industrial Design

Applied art, it is machine made rather than hand created but retains aesthetic concerns of fine art relative to shape, quality of materials, colors, texture, sound and comfort to the user. Source: “Wikipedia/Industrial Design” (See Applied Art)


Plein-air painters given the name from a 1996 exhibition, they paint in a "fluid expressionist" style and are dedicated to the legacy of the early Monterey Peninsula Art Colony led by Armin Hansen and William Ritschel. Informalists focus on special atmospherics and often lesser-known areas rather than tourist-popular landmarks. Members are Jeff Daniel Smith, Cyndra Bradford, Johnny Apodaca, Gerard Martin, Jr., Richard Woodson, Barry John Raybould, Mark Farina, and Howard Bradford, whose Carmel Galerie Plein Aire has exhibited their work. Source:


A surrealist technique, it is the opposite of collage: rather than pieces being glued together to make a composite image as in collage, pieces are cut away from an existing picture to make an image. Source: Daniel Boyer, Artist

Ink/Ink Drawing

A colored fluid, it has several types: 1)Writing Ink from Tannic and Gallic acids and dye, which creates a strong, black stain on paper. This ink remains legible for centuries if kept away from direct light, but it fades and changes color, so is not sufficient for drawing. 2) Drawing Ink, often called India Ink in the U.S., and popular among commercial artists because the image is sharp, reproduces well and is long-lasting. It consists of carbon pigments such as lampblack in a water binder of shellac or borax and has added preservative. When dry, it is water-resistant so it can be combined with water-soluble mediums. 3) Printmaking Ink, which has thick paste, oil-paint consistency and is bound in a drying oil. It is usually applied to a printing surface with rollers so it covers evenly and thinly. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


Part of the traditional comic book or graphic novel process, the inker, usually working with black India ink, gives permanency to the initial work of the line-drawing penciller. Sometimes the same person is penciller and inker. Frequently the penciller receives most of the public credit as creator, but often, in fact, the skill of the inker has led to the finished product, which has made the work popular with the public. Source:

Inkpot Awards

Since 1974, Comic-Con International has awarded them annually for lifetime achievement. The categories include: Comic Arts, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Illustration, and Fandom/Committee. Some of the awardees are Mort Drucker, Will Eisner, Hal Foster, Ted (Dr. Seuss) Geisel, Chester Gould, Chuck Jones, Hank Ketcham, Jack Kirby, Mell Lazarus, Don Martin, Patrick Oliphant, Charles Schulz and Joe Shuster. Source: San Diego Comic-Con International –

Inlay (Intarsia, Marquetry, Parquetry)

In woodworking, a technique in which small pieces of wood, veneer or other materials, often with varying grains and colors, are glued together within a solid piece. Intarsia is the Italian word for Inlay. Marquetry is mosaic pieces of Inlay that form a pattern, and Parquetry is Marquetry with a geometric pattern. Herter Brothers, a 19th-century New York furniture making and decorating firm, were famous for skillful Inlay work, especially Marquetry, sometimes with mother of pearl. During the Depression of the 1930s, this type of decorating was uncommon, but in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, it is having a resurgence. Source: Nancy A. Ruhling, 'Making Its Mark', "Art & Antiques", December 2006.


A conservation process, it is repairing by retouching and/or coloring a damaged area of a piece of art so that it blends with the rest of the work. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A term meaning to write, print, or engrave, it can also refer to dedication (inscription) to a person or event. Source: Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary

Insect Music

A type of surrealist collage, it was invented by Penelope Rosemont and refers to collage whose background is sheet music. Source: Daniel Boyer, Artist


A term originally applied to the hanging or arranging of artwork for exhibition, its meaning has changed since the 1970s, primarily in the United States. Now the term also refers to site-specific artwork. Often this type of installation is composed of many items which create a message-bearing environment. Late 20th-century installation artists include Mathew Barney, Nayland Blake, Christian Boltanski, Walter De Maria, Chris Burden and Kiki Smith. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Institute Allende, Instituto Allende

In San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, it is an art school organized in the late 1940s and housed in a Spanish Colonial building dating to 1734. Founders were Cossio del Pomar, James Pinto, Stirling Dickenson, Enrique Martinez and Nell Harris, wife of Martinez. By 1960, the Institute, which has international enrollment, was offering offering a B.F.A. degree in visual arts through the University of Guanajuato. Twenty-first century workshops include Drawing, Painting, Jewelry, Weaving and Photography. Among North American Institute students have been William Kurelek, Ronald York Wilson, and Robert Bruce, and teachers include Richard Kozlow, Eleanor Coen and Leonard Brooks. Sources:; AskART biographies

Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe

Focused on Native American art, it is a college chartered by the U.S. Congress and created by Executive Order of President John F. Kennedy in 1962. The curriculum includes museum studies, studio art, creative writing and media art, and students can obtain either two or four-year undergraduate degrees. Among the faculty members have been Allen Houser, Fritz Scholder and Melanie Yazzie. Source:

Institute of Painters in Water Colours

See Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours


See Collagraph/Intaglio Print


See Inlay/Intarsia


The degree of purity or brilliance of a color, the term is also known as Chroma or Saturation. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

International Association of Art Critics

With the acronym AICA, it is a non-governmental division of UNESCO founded in 1950 with the objective of supporting art criticism in all forms worldwide and to keep pace with its changing disciplines. AICA’s head office is in Paris, and personnel oversee world-wide activities of the Association’s several-thousand members, who are grouped into 62 different Sections. Expenses are entirely financed by subscriptions of three-levels of membership: Ordinary Members, Honorary Members and Patrons. Membership is restricted to art scholars, and candidates are elected by their peers with secret ballots. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia. Source: International Association of Art Critics

International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers

A professional artists’ society, it was founded in 1898 by James McNeill Whistler who served as its president until his death in 1903, when the post of President was filled by Auguste Rodin. The society’s purpose was 'To promote the study, practice, and knowledge of sculpture, painting, etching, lithographing, engraving, and kindred arts in England and elsewhere. The objective was to familiarize the public with the principal work that was being done on the Continent and in America and the leading movements, and to encourage the development of individual art in England in the three branches: Sculpture, Painting and Engraving.' The society’s activities included an art union, exhibitions open to non-members, exhibitions for members only, musical entertainment and social events. Works for exhibitions were selected by an elected jury. Society members were elected only after participation in an ISSPG exhibition, or by invitation of the council. The society appears to have held at least one exhibition in a London location almost every year (with the possible exceptions of 1902, 1903, 1920, 1923 and 1924) from its founding until it was dissolved in 1925. Members included Alexander Kellock Brown, Alfred Drury, Alfred Gilbert, John Lavery, and Thomas Stirling Lee. Source:' The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [, accessed 28 Jan 2015]. Prepared and submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

International Style

A term coined in 1932 by architects Philip Johnson and Henry Russell Hitchcock, it applies to modernist architecture cubic shapes, great open spaces including large windows, and absence of disruptive visual affects such as moldings. Adopted widely in the mid to late 20th century, many office buildings reflected the International Style, and subsequently were criticized for being bland and debasing of the word "architecture". However some buildings such as Lincoln Center in New York City and Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska, both designed by Johnson, have been cited as structures of immense distinction with their sweeping openness, marble exteriors, etc. Source: Gail Leggio, 'Homegrown', "American Arts Quarterly", Winter 2006, p.24


A French term from the 1890s, its English translation is 'intimate' and references artwork of Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, prominent artists of that period who combined aggressive modernism with cozy, 'intimate' domestic genre scenes. A frequent subject was a female figure oblivious to being watched. French "Intimism" often involved scenes of raucous night life with female nudes, drinking and cabaret. American "Intimism" was tamer with females arranging flowers or other 'lady-like' domestic activity. Source: Robert Atkins, ART SPOKE; 'Art Terms', "Quarterly", Richard Love Gallery, Fall-Winter 2008


The final or painted coat of plaster on fresco, it usually has five parts lime putty and seven parts sand or marble dust. Application is to small sections with a trowel and finish is with a float or flat-faced tool. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Inuit are the Aboriginal people of Arctic Canada. About 45,000 Inuit live in 53 communities in: Nunatsiavut (Labrador); Nunavik (Quebec); Nunavut; and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories. Each of these four Inuit groups have settled land claims. These Inuit regions cover one-third of Canada's land mass. The word "Inuit" means "the people" in the Inuit language called, Inuktitut and is the term by which Inuit refer to themselves. The term "Eskimo," applied to Inuit by European explorers, is no longer used in Canada. The Canadian constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal people: Indians, Métis and Inuit. Source: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke whose source is the Canadian government website

Inuit Art

Before the arrival of Europeans, the concept of creating objects for primarily aesthetic purposes – art – does not appear to have existed among the Inuit people or their predecessors the Thule and Dorset. While many of the items produced by these “prehistoric” people, such as combs, needle cases, harpoon heads, masks, and amulets, are now appreciated, as artifacts, for their craftsmanship, their original purpose was entirely functional and utilitarian, motivated by the physical need to survive, and therefore they would not naturally fall into the categories of Fine Art or Applied Art. In the 16th century this changed; then the Inuit began creating things that could be defined as art. These dolls, replica tools and animal figurines, carved from ivory, antler or bone were souvenir trade items to be exchanged with whalers, sailors and explorers who had begun visiting the Arctic. However, the dedicated production of carvings and prints, for the art market, didn’t begin among the Inuit until the 1950s. Coincidentally, like the pre-16th century utilitarian objects, the creation of these fine art objects by the Inuit was fundamentally motivated by the physical need to survive. From the start of this modern period, Inuit Art was seen by Canadian authorities as a solution to the evolving economic problems of the eastern Canadian Arctic, where, largely due to dwindling game animals, the traditionally nomadic Inuit began settling in communities where they became dependent on consumer goods and needed money to buy them. Engaging the Inuit in making art was seen as a means of assimilating them into this modern economy. The creation of the Inuit Art business was largely facilitated by the government of Canada which provided instruction and supervision through co-operatives and a central marketing agency. James A. Houston (see AskART), the civil administrator for Cape Dorset (near the south west end of Baffin Island) was a key figure in this development. In response to a successful sale, by the Canadian Handicrafts Guild (now Canadian Guild of Crafts) in Montreal in 1949, he organized an Inuit carving industry in the early 1950s and he started an Inuit print industry in 1957. Since then, carving and printmaking have become a major source of income among the Inuit. Most modern Inuit artists can be classified as either carvers, sculptors, print makers or draftsmen. Their mediums include stone, ivory, antler, whalebone (see glossary), animal bones, mixed mediums, stone cut prints, stencils, lithography, graphite, ink and colored pencil. Their subjects are predominantly narrative or illustrative; they include portraits, figures, Inuit genre, traditional ceremonies, family, hunting and fishing activities, Arctic animals, birds, shamans, legends, fantasy, eroticism and mythology. Their styles include Expressionism, Fauvism, Minimalism, Naïve Art, Primitive Art, Realism and Surrealism; pure Abstraction is rare. Important 20th and 21st century Inuit artists include Akeeaktashuk, George Arluk, Karoo Ashevak, Kenojuak Ashevak, Luke Iksiktaaryuk, John Kavik, and John Pangnark. Sources: Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.; “Sculpture of the Inuit” (1972), by George Swinton (see AskART book references); and “The Canadian Encyclopedia” Second Edition (1988), edited by James H. Marsh (see AskART book references). Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Inuit Artists' Print Database

The Inuit Artists' Print Database assembles information on over 8000 prints produced by Canadian Inuit artists from 1957 to the present. The information derives from the inspection of prints in many collections. It is not a catalogue of prints in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. The database is an online version of the Inuit Artists Print Workbook, edited by Sandra B. Barz (3rd edition. New York: Arts & Culture of the North, 2004). It is designed to help researchers, museum staff, exhibition curators, collectors, dealers and anyone interested in Inuit prints to identify them and to learn more about them. It can be accessed at the following link: Source: National Gallery of Canada. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Inuit Disc Number

Refers to the Canadian government disc numbers, they were issued to the Inuit (Eskimos) starting in the 1940s and continued into the 1970s. They were imprinted on fibre discs and were to be worn around the neck. The disc numbers were to be used in place of names. The numbers were preceded by an E or W indicating if the wearer came from the Eastern or Western Arctic. The next single or double digit stood for where the wearer came from. The last one to four numbers were particular to that person. The numbering system was used in what is now the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. It is these disc numbers that Inuit artists from that time period inscribe on the bottoms of their sculptures. "Project Surname" was initiated to replace the disc numbers of the Inuit with first and last names. From 1968 to 1971 Abe Okpik travelled through the former Northwest Territories speaking with families, explaining the need for first and last names. When the project was over every Inuit had a first and last name. For a disc number translator see Source: Inuit Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.


A small, rebelious mid-century group of 28 artists, it included Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Clyford Still, Theodoros Stamos and Hedda Sterne, the only female participant. In 1950, they challenged artwork in Metropolitan Museum of Art's juried exhibition, held to decide additions to the museum's contemporary art. 'Irascibles' banded together and signed a petition accusing the curator and director of loading the jury with critics hostile to "advanced art," particularly Abstract Expressionism. This demonstration proved a great catalyst for the movement, drawing significant press coverage and public awareness. Source: Levis Fine Art

Irish Exhibition of Living Art

Founded in 1943 in Dublin and continuing into the 21st century, it has, through annual exhibitions, been the major vehicle for introducing avant-garde art into Irish culture and to loosening the dominant grip of the traditionalists" promoted by the Royal Hibernian Academy. Early IELA members included Maine Jellett, Evie Hone, James Sleator, Louis le Brocquy and Sean O'Sullivan, and later participating artists included Brian Maguire, Michael Mulclalhy and Michael Kane. Source: Online Encyclopedia of Irish and World Art,

Island Arts & Crafts Society

See Victoria Sketch Club


A suffix that forms a noun that refers to a theory or doctrine. "The rapid proliferation of isms characterized modernism's artistic and intellectual ferment" such as in the words Expressionism, Impressionism, and Futurism. Source: Robert Atkins, ART SPOKE


See Wanderers


Animal tusk material, it is hard, calcareous and creamy white. Source are elephants, walrus, hippopotamus and narwhal or medium-sized toothed whales. Since ancient times, ivory has been used for carving because it has desirable appearance, is easily carved with sharp steel tools and is durable and long lasting. Negatives are tendency to warp and scarcity, especially in recent times when laws protecting animal sources have been enacted. Modern substitutes are plastics made to resemble Ivory. Eskimos are most noted among American artists for their carving of ivory such as Johnny Aculiak and Happy Jack Angokwazhuk. Other artists painted miniature portraits on ivory such as George Baker, John Carlin, and Eulabee Dix. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART Biographies

J. Sanford Saltus Award

A prize of the American Numismatic Society, it is named for J. Sanford Saltus, one of the founders and librarian of the Salmagundi Club in New York City. It is the most prestigious award for medallic art, and was established in 1919 by Saltus, a dedicated member of the American Numismatic Society. He initially gave five-thousand dollars for striking the medals. James Earle Fraser was the first recipient, and Laura Gardin Fraser was the first woman to win the award. Other winners include Paul Manship, John F. Flanagan, Gertrude Lathrop and Sidney Waugh. Sources: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"; AskART biographies

Jack of Diamonds, Knave of Diamonds

A group of Moscow artists founded in 1909 and active until 1917, Jack of Diamonds launched modernist art in Russia and represented the country's pre-revolutionary culture. It stirred much controversy beginning 1910, with its Moscow exhibition, "Knave of Diamonds", which featured French Cubist paintings and work of four Russian artists who had been expelled by the Moscow Art School. The exhibition name came from Mikhail Larionov, who simply liked the sound of it. Members included Robert Falk, Alexander Kuprin, Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Gontcharova and Kazimir Malevich. Source: 'Jack of Diamonds',"Wikipedia",


A hard stone ranging in color from white to deep green, it has been used for carving since prehistoric times, and, although difficult to carve, it is especially popular in the Orient for delicate work and ornamentation. It has two components, Nephrite and Jadeite, and the name is tied to French and Spanish words meaning loin, because of its early association with curing loin and kidney ailments. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; 'Jade", "Wikipedia"

James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award

Recognition of "exceptional artistic merit" by judges of the annual Prix de West exhibition of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, the prize carries a cash award of three-thousand dollars. It is named for western sculptor James Earle Fraser. Recipients include Gerald Balciar, Glenna Goodacre, Richard Greeves and Tim Shinabarger. Sources: National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; AskART database

James Gallery, New York

An artist-run cooperative at 70 East 12th Street in New York City, it was founded in 1954 by students of Hans Hofmann. Source: Betty Krulik Fine Art Limited


Japan refers to several types of quick drying, clear and colored varnishes that are used for decorative work, sign painting or industrial products such as ironware. It is too brittle for fine-art or permanent painting. Japanning means using Japan and dating from the 17th Century, refers to "the European imitation of Asian lacquerwork". Margaret Mellor-Gill, Philadelphia artist, was known for her 18th century method of Japanning. Source:; Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, "Who Was Who in American Art". Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques


A French term used frequently in western culture to refer to the influence on western art of Japanese arts and crafts, especially during the latter part of the 19th Century. This influence was especially notable after the 1850s when trade routes flourished between the East and West because of the 'opening with Japan' by Commodore Perry. Included in Japonisme is porcelain, fans, lacquerware, scrolls, woodblock prints and paintings. The reason the common western word to describe such items is French is that the Parisiens were the most avid admirers and collectors of objects influenced by "Japonisme". In painting, Claude Monet did a portrait of his wife in a kimono; James McNeill Whistler, emulating the Japanese, adapted a butterfly signature for his paintings. Vincent Van Gogh said: "Japanese art---we all had that in common." Public reception was high for "Japonisme" in the mid 1800s because academic art was seeming tiresome to many persons, and modernist art trends were just entering the art scene. Japanese art combined both formal and somewhat abstract qualities, and seemed much refreshing in a period open to aesthetic exploration. Source: Robert Atkins, ART SPOKE


Yellow, brown or dark green, and occasionally black or blue, it is a compact and opaque type of quartz. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Jasper Ware

Multi-colored ceramic ware, it was developed by Josiah Wedgewood in England in 1774 and is widely used for cameos and bas reliefs. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A fine hard stoneware, it was developed by Josiah Wedgwood in England in the late 18th Century and said to be perfected in 1774. It is noted for its matte finish and variety of colors, although the most famous is a rich blue, known as Wedgwood Blue. The name comes from jasper, which are the mineral oxides used for staining. Classical white figures are applied after the coloration. Source: Wikipedia: Jaspwerware

Jennie Sesnan Gold Medal

A premium prize offered by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts beginning 1901, it was the first regular prize in America offered for landscape painting. Among winners are John Fulton Folinsbee, Edward Willis Redfield, Walter Baum, Francis Speight and Thomas Hart Benton. Source: Frank Goodyear, Jr., 'American Landscape Painting, 1795-1875", "In This Academy-Pennyslvania Academy of the Fine Arts", p. 122

Jepson Art Institute

Founded in 1945 in Los Angeles at 2861 West 7th Street by artist Herbert Jepson, it had a curriculum focused on modernist theories, experimental figure drawing and printmaking, especially serigraphy, which was pioneered at the school. In 1953, the school closed. Instructors included Jepson, Rico Lebrun and Francis de Erdely, and notable alumni students were Wallace Berman, Frank Chamberlin and Vincent Price. Source:

Jessie Dow Prize

Named after the 19th and early 20th-century brewing heiress, philanthropist and Governor of the Art Association of Montreal, the prize is awarded by the Art Association of Montreal [now Montreal Museum of Fine Arts] at their Annual Spring Exhibitions for excellence in oil, watercolor, and sculpture (added 1957). It is considered the most prestigious Canadian art award and, offered from 1908 to 1965, is the most long running. Among recipients are Leon Bellefleur, Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith, Helen McNicoll, Jack Shadbolt and William Brymner. In 2001, an exhibition of Jessie Dow Prize winners was held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, February 3 to March 11. Sources: Canadian Association of New York; AskART database; and “Canadian Men and Women of the Time: A Handbook of Canadian Biography of Living Characters” (1912), edited by Henry James Morgan. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke

Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art

Founded in 1976 in Dover, New Jersey, by comic book artist Joe Kubert and his wife, Muriel, it is a three-year technical school of comic illustration. Instructors include Joe Kubert and his comic-book illustrator son, Adam and Andy Kubert. Source:

Joe Plaskett Foundation Award

Created in 2005 by Canadian artist Joseph Plaskett, born 1918, it is one of the largest visual-arts awards in Canada. This annual prize of $25,000. is eligible exclusively to painters from across Canada who are studying for their Master of Fine Arts degree or who have just attained that degree and are deserving of support for a one-year residency in Europe. Plaskett's motive for creating the award was the life-long positive influence he received from the Emily Carr Scholarship he earned in 1946. Plaskett Award recipients include Vitaly Medvedovsky, Nam Duc Nguyen, Todd Tremeer, Ehryn Torrell, Jennifer Lefodrt, and Mark Neufeld. Source:

Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Award

Presented for outstanding achievement to comic book, novel, and web comic illustrators, it was created in 2005 by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association, and named for Joe Shuster (1914-1992), Canadian born creator of "Superman". Winners are chosen from a ballot put forth to the Canadian public by a nominating committee of industry journalists and comic-illustration fans. Source:

John Herron Art Institute

With buildings at 16th and Pennsylvania Streets in Indianapolis, it was dedicated in 1906 on the mansion site of John Herron, Indianapolis business who gifted $225,000.00 for the school, which was the second USA school dedicated primarily to art education. First faculty members included Brown County painters Theodore Steele, J. Ottis Adams, Otto Stark, Richard Gruelle and William Forsyth. The school expanded in 1929 and 1967, but in 2004 was absorbed into the campus of Purdue University-Indianapolis in downtown Indianapolis. Source: Wikipedia

Jolly Daubers

A group of art students who painted with Frank Heath in California, the association was forerunner of the Santa Cruz Art League, which Heath then served as the first president. Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940".


See Art Nouveau. Named after the journal "Die Jugend", the term in German means 'youth'.


A German word for youth style, it is a reference to Art Nouveau and named for the magazine "Jugend", which promoted the style. Source:

Jugtown Pottery

Jugtown Pottery, a working pottery and American Craft Shop,it iis located in Westmoore, eight miles south of Seagrove, North Carolina. Founders were Jacques and Juliana Busbee, who began stamping Jugtown pieces in 1922. Today's owners keep the traditions of the founders: local clays with copper reds, greens and iron earth tones; simple lines and shapes; occasional decoration; gas or wood firing, and glazes of wood ash. Among Jugtown pottery pieces are tableware, jugs, candlesticks, vases, bowls and jars. Source:

Julia A. Shaw Memorial Prize, National Academy of Design

A recognition award established by Samuel T. Show through the National Academy of Design, it is recognition for artistic merit in figure painting or sculpture by a woman. Recipients include Josephine Miles Lewis, Mary Macmonnies, Laura Gardin Fraser, Charlotte Coman, Susan Watkins and Margaret Cresson. Source: Mark Brock, "Selections II", Brock Gallery, Carlisle, MA; Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia and Google; AskART biographies

Julian Levy Gallery

Located at 602 Madison Avenue in New York City between 1931 and 1949, it was only one of a few galleries in the city at that time. The Gallery was known for exhibitions of Surrealism, avant-garde photography and films. Represented artists included Dorothea Tanning, Max Ernst, Friedo Kahlo, and Joseph Cornell. It is credited as a major influence on artists who pioneered Abstract Expressionism. Source: The

Julius Hallgarten Prize, National Academy of Desig

Begun in 1883 with seventeen thousand dollars for National Academy School scholarships from Julius Hallgarten, a New York Stock Exchange business man, it has become a highly prestigious recognition and was the first regular prize offered at the annual exhibitions. Stipulation is that the recipient be under age 35. Julius Hallgarten died at age 42, but his son, Albert Hallgarten continued to support the Academy. Recipients include Charles Curran, Wilbur Reaser, Daniel Garber, Gifford Beal, and Jonas Lie. Source: David Dearinger, "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design"; AskART biographies

Junge Wilde, Neue Wilde

A German word for wild youth, Junge Wilde refers to young artists in Germany in the late 1970s and early 1980s who rebelled against academic authority and did expressive paintings, using emotion-driven colors and brushstrokes. Jorg Immendorff (1945-2007)of Dusseldorf was one of the leaders. Sources: Wikipedia; "ARTnews", Summer 2007, p. 100

Junk Art

Throw-away materials, the term by artists derived from their use of junk as a medium because it reflects practices of western cultures who operate as though 'things' can be thrown away because they can easily be replaced. Kurt Schwitters, German artist, was one of the pioneers, using items he found in the streets. Junk Art gained a reputation as a legitimate art form after World War II with the huge increase in easily-replaced manufactured items. Representative artists include Lee Bontecou, Richard Stankiewicz, John Chamberlain, Mark DiSuvero, Robert Raushenberg, Louise Nevelson and Jean Tinguely. Stankiewicz worked with discarded industrial items; Bontecue with canvas from weathered tarpaulin; Nevelson from wood of destroyed homes; and Chamberlain from smashed automobile parts. Watts Towers by sculptor Simon Rodia in Los Angeles is an isolated but exemplary piece of junk art in that it is an accumulation of discards that “grew” between 1921 and 1954. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"

Kachina Dolls

Carved painted figures from cottonwood of the Hopi Indian culture, they are believed to function as messengers between the spiritual and physical worlds. Among the Hopi, it is believed that although Kachinas are spirits of deities and deceased ancestors, the carvings should be treasured and used as teaching tools and home decoration, but not be objects of worship. Most of the dolls were carved in the 19th century. The Heard Museum of Phoenix and Southwest Museum in Los Angeles have the most representative collections of Kachinas. Well-known Hopi Kachina doll carvers include Arlo and Dan Namingha, Tony Briones and Kucha White Bear. Source: Sonja Haller, "The Phoenix Republic", March 12, 2011; Wikipedia, "Hopi Kachina Dolls"

Kalo Foundation

Dedicated to preserving the artistic heritage of Park Ridge, Illinois, it was composed of artisan and crafts workers active in the time period spanning the late early 19th century Arts and Crafts Movement to mid-century Modernism. Represented artists include Clara Barck Welles, Albert and Dulah Evans Krehbiel, Grant Wood, and Alfonso Ianneli. The Kalo Arts Crafts Community was located in Park Ridge at 322 Grant Place, and offered training in silversmithing, metal ware, jewelry making, and other items such as hand-crafted greeting cards by Dulah Krehbiel. Many of the items were sold in the Kalo Shop where Grant Wood was employed. In 2007 and 2008, the Kalo Foundation hosted exhibitions of works by Ianelli and the Krehbiels. Source: Don Ryan, website of Kalo Foundation

Kansas City Art Institute

Founded in 1885 in Kansas City, Missouri, it is a four-year accredited college of art and design. Its origins date back to the local Sketch Club, whose meetings were held in private homes and at the Deardorf Building at 11th & Main in downtown Kansas City. In 1922, the school moved to 44th and Warwick Boulevard, on eight acres of land adjacent to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In 1935, Thomas Hart Benton, having been at the Art Students League in New York City, joined the KCAI faculty, which gave the school a prestige boost. Distinguished students include John Steuart Curry, Ernest Lawson, Dan Christensen, James Boren, John Falter, and Paul Jenkins. Sources: Wikipedia, "Kansas City Art Institute"; AskART biographies

Kansas City Society of Artists

Kansas City writers and artists, they organized in 1921 "to increase the efficiency of the working and exhibiting artist members." The Society grew to about 50 members, and in 1930 they began meeting at 1718 Holly Street, an abandoned hotel and former saloon. Some of the members such as Gertrude Lighton, Gale Stockwell, Peg Kittinger and Richardson Rome occupied studios in the building, which also had a lunchroom known for its "tempting entrees". In 1934, the Society hosted the first solo exhibition of member Thomas Hart Benton, then teaching in New York City. It also held annual spring juried exhibitions at the Kansas City Art Institute, and every two weeks at Holly Street featured work of one member. Regarded as avant-garde, the Society, which lasted into the 1940s, was referred to as a "glamorous, new version of Bohemia." Among their group in addition to studio occupants mentioned above were Anna Allenbach, President; Walter Bailey, Vice President; and members Edd Spencer, and Emma Siboni. Sources: 1937 "American Art Directory";, Courtesy Karl Marxhausen, Kansas City Artist and Art Historian


White clay used in the production of porcelain, it is the purist form of clay found in Kao-ling, a province of China. Source: Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques.


A furnace or oven, it is built of heat-resistant materials and lined with brick or stone for firing pottery, glass and sculpture. Kilns may be fueled by gas, oil or electricity, the latter which allows easier temperature control. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Kinetic Art

A term descriptive of movement, either mechanical, hand or natural, it is usually applied to sculpture including mobiles and stabiles. Kinetic Art was first used in 1913 as an art form in reference to work by Dada artist, Marcel Duchamp, who placed a spinning bicycle wheel on a stool and called it sculpture. Other 20th-century names associated with kineticism are Alexander Calder, Yaacov Agam and George Rickey. In 1955 an exhibition, “Le Mouvement,” in Paris put kinetic art on the map by showcasing motion-conscious work of Duchamp, Calder, Jean Tinguely, and Victor Vasarely. Today, the method includes work with lasers, computers and other high-tech methods. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Robert Breer AskART biography

Kingston Conference

A 1941 conference of about 150 Canadian Artists held at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario (June 26-28), it was led by Andre Bieler and sponsored by National Gallery of Canada and Carnegie Corporation. The stated purpose was to discuss the position of the artist in Canadian Society (subjects: aesthetics, democracy, history, etc.) and technical methods of art production (subjects: solvents, varnishes, resins, etc.) in light of modern research. The result was the formation of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the first nationwide organization of its type. See Glossary entry, Federation of Canadian Artists. Source: "Art and Architecture in Canada" (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson. Submitted by Michael D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Victoria, British Columbia.

Kiowa Five

Referring to Oklahoma Indian artists, they gained international reputation when they exhibited with an expanded group of 31 Indian artists at the 1928 Expo in Prague, Poland. Original 'five' members were Spencer Asah, Jack Hokeah, Steven Mopope, Monroe Tsatoke and Lois Smoky. Sponsors were Susie Peters, a teacher in Anardko, Oklahoma at the Kiowa agency, and Oscar Brousse Jacobson, Director of the Art Department at the University of Oklahoma. In 1926, he arranged for the "Five Kiowas" to have studio space, materials, and instruction at the University. Other Indian artists followed into the program, and the expanded group included Native Americans from across the United States. During the Depression of the 1930s, Jacobson supported them and got them many commissions as muralists. Source: Peter Falk, Editor, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Kit Kat Club

Several associations, it included an early 18th century club in London of strong political and literary associations and a New York group of illustrators and newspaper artists in the early 20th century. They met in a 14th Street studio to draw from models, hold exhibitions, auctions and a ball. Members included John Costigan, William Ostrander and Carl Hecker. Sources: "Wikipedia"; "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design", p. 115; AskART biography of Carl Hecker.


A 36" X 28" format for portraits of dignitaries in England, it was replaced in 1735 as the "reigning standard" with measurements of 30" X 25" for bust length and 50" X 40" for three quarter length. Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1743), Baroque portrait artist, founder of England's first art academy, and court painter to four kings popularized the "kit-kat" sizes. The name derived from the portrait subjects first used in the new format because they were members in London of the Kit-Cat Club, an upper-class group of political and literary figures who gathered at the Kit-Cat, a tavern owned by Christopher Cat (Kat), famous for its mutton pies called 'kit-kats'. Source:

Kitchen Still Life

Food subject still life scenes, they give implied presence of the cook outside the frame, and also give a more human element than most still-life subjects. This method echoed the work of the Dutch and Spanish Masters of still life, particularly painting by Jean Simeon Chardin and, to a lesser degree, Johannes Vermeer. Source: Abby M. Taylor Fine Art


Artifacts regarded as unsophisticated attempts at art, the term includes such items as lamps in the shape of luminous fish, Elvis Presley paintings on velvet, and salt and pepper shakers resembling cacti. The word is derived from the German verb "verkitschen", meaning in English 'to make cheap'. Exemplifying Kitsch objects are a result of the industrial age where items, including so-called art, can be made quickly and cheaply. "The New York Times" critic Clement Greenberg referred to "Kitsch" as "rear-guard" art---"the epitome of all that is spurious in the life of our time". The advent of Pop Art with Andy Warhol and his signature soup cans made the definition of Kitsch less clear. One of the goals of many modernist artists is to obscure the differences between low and high art. Work of Kenny Scharf and Julie Wachtel are examples of 'sophisticated' Kitsch artists. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Knockers Club

Precursor of the Silvermine Guild, which played a role in establishing the Silvermine School of Art in 1924, it was an informal group early affiliated with the Silvermine Art Colony in New Canaan, Connecticut. The Knockers Club was a name artists gave themselves because of meeting on Sundays in sculptor Solon Borglum's barn and critiquing or "knocking" each other's work. Members included George Avison, Edmund Ashe, Howard Hildebrandt, Justin Gurelle and John Vassos. Solon Borglum died in 1922, and the group dissipated because of losing their organizer.Source:; AskART biographies of George Avison and Howard Hildebrandt.

Knoedler Gallery

Established in 1852 by Michael Knoedler, it was a successor company to Goupil and Company, established in 1848 in New York City as the first American art gallery. Goupil was a French publishing company that focused much of their market on selling to Americans, and their early success was lithographs of "Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emanuel Leutze. Knoedler had an established reputation in New York, and after the gallery had his name, continued to have the Goupil financial backing. However, he correctly perceived that in order to be an American gallery he needed to handle American art. As a result the subject of George Washington commanded much of the attention of the Knoedler Gallery including copies of Washington portraits by Gilbert Stuart as well as the work by Leutze. American artists whose work has been carried by Knoedler include Willem de Kooning, Eulabee Dix, Mary Foote, Cecilia Beaux and Barnett Newman. Source: DeCourcy E. McIntosh, 'Fair and Square', "The Magazine Antiques", February 2006, 69-73; AskART biographies

Kokoon Arts Club

One of the more active art clubs in Cleveland, Ohio between 1911 and 1940, it had the reputation for "unconventional activities and espousal of 'new' art. Among its activities were exhibitions and guest artist lectures. Founders were Carl Moellman and William Sommer, who patterned the organization after avant-garde New York art groups that were seeking alternatives to academic art. Other members included Carl Binder, Henry Keller, William Zorach, August Biehle and Charles Burchfield. The Kokoon Club, which for many years excluded women, became especially known for its annual 'Bal Masques', celebrations of Cleveland's bohemian community by featuring "unconventional costumes, exotic dances, opening processions, enormous props and clashing decorations". The Club's original location was a tailor's shop in East 36th Street, but in 1921, it moved to 2121 East 21st Street. Club membership declined because of economic stress during the Depression years and also with increasing acceptance of modernist, abstract art. Source: "The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History",

Kootenay School of the Arts

Located in Nelson, British Columbia and part of Selkirk College, the school is dedicated to preparing art students to make a living with their skills in art, craft, and design. The curriculum emphasizes studio work, and the majority of faculty members earn a living with one or more of these skills. Graduates include Carl Beam and Sara Lawless. Sources:; AskART biographies

Kootz Gallery, New York City

The gallery that introduced Abstract Expressionism to the American public, it was founded in 1945 by motion picture account executive Samuel Kootz at 15 East 57th Street, New York City and was later relocated to 600 Madison Avenue. Clement Greenberg, "New York Times" art critic and promoter of Abstract Expressionism, worked closely with Kootz Gallery by writing promotional reviews and sending emerging artists to the venue. Among artists whose reputations grew from Kootz Gallery association were Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, William Baziotes and Mark Rothko. In 1966, Kootz closed his gallery because of dismay at what he regarded as the takeover of art promotion by "merchants". Source:

L'Art Informel

See Tachisme

l'Exposition Universelle de Paris

See Exposition Universelle

Labronico Group, Group Labronico

Organized in 1920 to seek formal recognition of artists of Livorno, Italy, the original group was 15 artists including Renato Natali, John Zannacchini, Ferruccio Rontini and Gino Romiti whose studio was the organizing meeting place. They committed to at least one group exhibition a year. A first order of business was memorializing Mario Puccini (1869-1920) through proper burial because his work had been deeply rooted in depictions of Livorno. The name "labronico' in Italian means 'livornese'. Source:; AskART biographies


A term with several meanings, it can refer to a natural resin from trees or to various clear industrial coatings to protect artwork. "Lacquer films are glossy, hard, and resistant to wear and weathering." Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A Latin term with an English meaning of "gap" or void, it is used by art historians to refer to a missing part of a painting, manuscript or other artwork that resulted from damage. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Lalit Kala Akademi

The National Academy of Arts in India, it was founded shortly after India gained its independence in 1947. Its mission is supporting fine arts in India with national and international exhibitions, scholarships, and a fellow program. Source:

Lambent Fellowship in the Arts

Established in 2008 by the Tides Foundation, a San Francisco based non-profit, the goal is "to support diversity" and reward contemporary artists whose work connects aesthetics and social justice. New York City, New Orleans and Nairobi are focus cities, and artist recipients receive $21,000. in installments of three years for unrestricted activity. Lambent Fellowships have been given to artists Sanford Biggers, Elana Herzog, Yoko Inoue and Bradley McCallum. Source:;; AskART records.

Lambeth School of Art

Founded in London in 1854 by William Gregory, it was first a night school associated with St. Mary the Less Church on Black Prince Road. Nearby had been the potter's studio of Henry Doulton, and he became an early supporter of the school and also employed some of its graduates for his business, Royal Doulton. In 1860, the school moved to Millers Lane, now called St. Oswald's Place, at Vauxhall Gardens. In 1879, it became part of the City and Guilds of London Institute with the the South London School of Technical Art. In 1938, the name changed to City and Guilds of London Art School. Students include Arthur Rackham, Elmer Wachtel, Gordon Hope Grant, John Massey Rhind and Henry Poole. John Sparkes was a late 19th century teacher there, who encouraged women artists and is credited as a chief influence in the art of china painting. Sources: Wikipedia/Lambeth School of Art; AskART biographies; Anthea Callen, "Women Artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, 1870-1914"

Land Art

See Earth Art/Earthworks

Landon School of Illustration and Cartooning

A mail-order correspondence course "that trained a generation of famous cartoonists in drawing for publication, it was founded in 1909 by Charles N. Landon and lasted until his death in 1936. He managed the Art Department of "The Cleveland Press" from 1900 to 1912, and then was Art Director of the NEA syndicate. Among its students were Fred Taylor, Carl Barks, Milton Caniff, John Garvin and Chic Young. Source: Wikipedia:


A type of surrealist collage invented by Penelope Rosemont in which pieces of a landscape image or images are cut apart and reassembled to form a new landscape. Later the landscapade was developed into the landscapade mask, in which a face is made out of pieces of landscape. Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist


A general term, it is used in art description for any depiction of natural scenery that is land and not water based. In this context, figures, buildings, animals, etc. are of secondary importance. In America, landscape painting did not gain in popularity until the 19th-century, and the Hudson River School of painters was the earliest formalization. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Landscape Art

See Crop Art

Landscape Club of Washington DC

See Washington Society of Landscape Painters

Landseer Scholarship

Recognition from the Royal Academy of London, it is a traveling scholarship award named for Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873), who was a long time exhibiting member of the Academy. Source: Internet---Gleeson White, "The Master Painters of Britain"

Lapis Lazuli

A semi-precious blue stone, it is often used in jewelry and can be found in Chile, Europe and Afghanistan. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Laren, Holland, The Laren School

With the 'crumbling' of The Hague School of Tonalist artists in Holland in the late 1880s, the village of Laren attracted plein-aire and other impressionist painters who sought bucolic, heathland subjects. Among active Laren School artists between 1880 and 1900 were Anton Mauve, Jozef Israels and Albert Neuhuys. Source: Wikipedia


Paint that is made from water soluble synthetic resin, it is named for a fluid that comes from rubber latex plants. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Latimer Art Club

One of the founding organizations of the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, it was named for landscape painter Lorenzo Latimer (1857-1941). The Club was organized by students of Latimer, who for 19 years beginning 1916 traveled to Reno to teach classes. Minerva Pierce was the first President, and members included Dora Groesbeck and Nevada Riley. For many years, the Club was the only art organization in Nevada. In 1967, it formed the Sierra Nevada Museum of Art, whose name changed to the Nevada Museum of Art. Source:

Layton School of Art

Founded in Milwaukee in 1920 at 158 Mason Street, the School became the area's center of art education. It was especially important during the Depression era of the 1930s. The first director was Charlotte Russell Partridge, and she served until her retirement in 1954. Edward Lewandowski was her successor. In 1974, the school reportedly closed, but later it reopened at 4650 North Port Washington Road. Faculty members included Karl Priebe and Knute Heldner, and among the students were Edmund Lewandowski, Walter Quirt, Chet La More and Ora Lee Baker. Sources: Wikipedia: Layton School of Art; AskART biographies. Peter Merrill, "German-American Artists in Milwaukee"

League of American Pen Women

Founded in 1897 by journalists Marian Longfellow Donoghue, Margaret Sullivan Burke and Anna Sanborn Hamilton, the League of American Pen Women began as a “progressive press union” for the female writers of Washington, D.C. From its beginning the League welcomed artists, musicians, poets and teachers; however professional credentials in their field were required of all members. In 1921, with 35 branches in various states, the association changed its name to the National League of American Pen Women. In the ensuing years the League has hosted writing competitions, art exhibitions and special events to showcase the works of members and others. The NLAPW currently has over 120 branches in 36 states and is still headquartered in Washington, D.C. Source: National League of American Pen Women. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Ledger Art

Narrative expression of Plains Indians' painting and drawing on paper or cloth, it was a method for recording events from the 1860s to the 1930s but is used by some contemporary Indian artists. The best-known ledger artists were at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida in the mid 1870s and were members of Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho and Caddo tribes. These Indians were imprisoned by the U.S. Army to prevent the Indians from protecting their buffalo. Source:

Legend Painting

See Woodland School of Art

Leonardo Da Vinci Art School

Founded in 1923 by sculptor Onorio Rutolo, it was funded by the Italian-American community in New York City to provide academic art teaching to talented young men and women from the working poor. It was first located in Manhattan's Lower East Side at 10th street off of Avenue A. The school, during two decades of existence, had many students who later went on to become famous artists including Isamu Noguchi and Elaine de Kooning. Source: Sam Raskin, son of Anne Raskin, in AskART biography of his mother.

Les Automatistes

See Automatistes

Les Plasticiens

A Montreal group of abstract artists formed in reaction to Automatism and Abstract Expressionism, their name is a reference to Neo-Plasticism (De Stijl). Founders were Louis Belzile, Jean-Paul Jérôme, Rodolphe de Repentigny (Jauran), and Fernand Toupin. They announced their formation with the publication of a manifesto (February 10, 1955) outlining their objectives and philosophy. Fundamentally, it was to create paintings with technical harmony between the plastic elements of tone, texture, form and line. This would be achieved by exerting more control in design and application than the Automatistes or the Abstract Expressionists. And, there would be no conscious regard for any possible meaning or reference to the real world. Their works were, ideally; geometric, with only the suggestion of two-dimensional space and ultimately no texture. The group existed until 1959; however, in 1956, it was partially absorbed into the larger Non-Figurative Artists' Association of Montreal, which included abstract artists of various persuasions. Other artists associated with Les Plasticiens, or influenced by them, are Guido Molinari, Claude Tousignant, Fernand Leduc, Yves Gaucher, Jacques Hurtubise and Charles Gagnon. (All artists mentioned are in AskART and all terms mentioned are in the AskART Glossary). Sources: Francois - Marc Gagnon “The Canadian Encyclopedia”; D. Burnett and M.Schiff “Contemporary Canadian Art”; and J.R. Harper “Painting in Canada” (see all in AskART book references). Written and submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.


A synthesis of writing and visual art, Lettrism or Lettrisme was founded by the Romanian born French artist Isidore Isou in the mid 1940s. This avant-garde movement was associated with the Situationist [see AskART glossary] branch of the Anarchist family and became the art that dominated posters and barricades in the Paris Spring of 1968. Lettrisme is a form of visual poetry: using calligraphic techniques it began by artists superimposing letters on various objects from furniture to film. This practice foreshadowed layering and other computer techniques, and because of this it is sometimes called hypergraphie. Both Mail art and contemporary Graffiti art, which share many of the Lettrisme’s basic characteristics, could be said to have evolved out of Lettrisme. Other artists, in addition to Isidore Isou, who have been associated with the style are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Douglas James Johnson, J.V. Martin, Mimmo Domenico Rotella, Ben Vautier, Joao Vieira, and Jacques Villegle. Source: Tate Modern. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Life Size

A sculpture and painting term, it references figure works that are made the actual size of the model. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Lift-Ground Etching

See Sugar-Lift Etching

Light and Space Art

Art expression focused on sensory perceptions rather than traditional fine-art mediums and ideas, it began as a 20th Century art movement. Among its exponents is Robert Irwin with his installations of constantly changing projected light on walls. To achieve the impressions of change, he often filters his light through transparent scrims. Other artists associated with the movement are James Turrell and Eric Orr. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Lighton Studio, Kansas City, Missouri

A refurbished vacant, old brick building dating to the 1880s, it was located at 1718 Holly Street near Kersey Coates Drive in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1929, led by artist and civic leader Gertrude Woolf Lighton, it became a three story studio building whose rent ranged from $5.00 to $40.00 monthly. Occupants included Coah Henry, Gertruce Freyman and Evalyn Miller. It was also an exhibition venue and meeting place for the Kansas City Society of Artists. A popular tea-room site had Oriental decor, bohemian atmosphere and 'sophisticated' cuisine such as Studio Chicken with rich sherry cheese sauce. Lighton Studio flourished for ten years and waned at the beginning of World War II. Source: Karl Marxhausen,

Limited Edition

A controlled or set number of copies, it applies to literature and art, and in art is a term related to copies of two and three dimensional works. Once the 'limit' of copies is determined, the plate, mold, or die is thrown away---an assurance of uniqueness to collectors. The practice of making limited editions originated with etchings and drypoint because increased use on the plates created wear that led to decreased quality of work. Source: Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


Derived from a Latin word that means to draw or paint on a surface, the term in American art is applied to self-taught, often itinerant artists of the 18th and early 19th centuries in the Northeastern United States. However, it is also descriptive of later artists such as Richard Ciccimarra, who founded a movement in Canada to revive the Limner method. Regarded as unsophisticated, these artists and their art are frequently described as naive because they worked from a set of generic templates for poses and backgrounds and filled in faces, which often were simplistic due to the lack of skill and/or the lack of time of the Limner. Also, early limners worked in an era when most persons with art talent did not have schools available to them unless they had enough money to study in Europe. Source: "Antiques and The Arts Weekly", November 25, 2005, p. 17

Limners-Victoria, Canada

A group of 18 Victoria-area artists active in the late 1960s, they formally organized in 1971 to socialize and discuss their mutual interest in art. Unlike most art associations, their "reason to be" was primarily social because most were isolated, having their own studios. As members aged, gatherings became increasingly casual. In November 2005, the Moore Gallery of Victoria held an exhibition of work by the members including Maxwell Bates, Richard Ciccimarra, Walter Dexter, Herbert Siebner, Jack Wilkinson and Eliza Mayhew. Source: Brian Grison, Canadian Exhibition Review: "British Columbia: The Limners, Nov. 10-Nov 17, 2005",

Limoge Porcelain

A hard-paste porcelain produced by factories near the city of Limoges, France, it dates to the late 18th Century. The city, known from the 12th Century for its vitreous enamel production, was established for Limoges production in 1771 following the discovery of local supplies of kaolin. Production was placed under the patronage of the French monarchy, and after the French Revolution, was established by a private company including Haviland. Source: "Limoges Porcelain", Wikipedia


A mark made by an instrument as it is drawn across a surface.

Line Drawing

Revealing of a three dimensional form by using a pencil or pen that provides the outline, which coincides with the internal linear features, it allows the artist to emphasize anatomical features and landmarks. The lines are lighter if light is hitting the subject and dark with shadows. Source: Mark G. Mitchell, "Sight-Size and More at SORA", Drawing, Summer 2007

Linear Perspective

Referring to the dominance of line rather than mass, it is a method of depicting three-dimensional depth on a flat or two-dimensional surface. Linear perspective has two main precepts: 1)Forms that are meant to be perceived as faraway from the viewer are made smaller than those meant to be seen as close. 2)Parallel lines receding into the distance converge at a point on the horizon line known as the vanishing point. Sources: Julia M. Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


The most popular canvas 'ground' for artist paintings, it is made of fiber from the flax plant, and is regarded as superior because of its strength, stability and capacity to retain its texture after the ground has been applied. Most of the linen for artists' canvas is unbleached and comes from Belgium and Ireland. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Linien I and II

An artists association and forum for revolutionary art in Denmark in the 1930s and 1940s, the name was taken for the Danish word for 'line" and the focus was on Abstraction and Symbolism. The group's exhibitions of 177 works in Copenhagen created wide international participation, and the last one was held in 1939. After the Second World War, the association was revived as Linien II with emphasis on Concrete art. Founders of Linien I were Vilhelm Bjerke-Petersen who had studied under Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee; Ejler Bille and Richard Mortensen. Source: Wikipedia, //


Often referred to as ‘RELINING’, it is the application of a second canvas to the back of a painting for stabilization purposes. Source: Julia M. Ehresmann, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms


A relief print, it is made from a linoleum block. American printmakers using the Linocut method include Wharton Esherick, Juliette Fraser, Emmy Lou Packard, and Ruth Ann Christmann-Wickens. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database.

Linoleum Cut Block

A printing device, it is constructed of battleship linoleum glued to a block of wood and made type-high so it can be cut into with special tools. Linoleum is desirable because it is soft and easily carved in relief and durable for many copies. To make a print, the block is inked with a brayer and printed like a woodcut method either by hand or with a press. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"

Listed Artist

A term commonly used by appraisers, it describes an artist who is 'listed' in standard art reference books. In American art, those books include "Who Was Who in American Art" by Peter Falk; "Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide" by Ray Davenport; "Mallett's Index of Artists" by Daniel Trowbridge Mallett; and "Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers" by Glenn Opitz, Editor.


A litho-press printing process, it involves a surface, such as a stone or sheet aluminum which is treated chemically so that ink adheres only to selected portions. Usually the design is made with a grease pencil on a special lithograph stone, which is then wetted, leaving an even layer of water over the surface; the area marked by the grease pencil accepts the layer of ink. Lithography dates to 1798 in Solnhofen, Germany to Alois Senefelder. One of the first American lithographers was Rembrandt Peale, who recognized it as a way of making inexpensive copies of his work. The first commercially successful lithographs were made by David Claypool Johnston. Other American lithographers are Glenn Coleman, Peter Moran, Mabel Dwight, Elizabeth Olds and Alfred Howland. A pioneering American was Nathaniel Currier who formed a business with James Ives, which grew into the earliest and subsequently famous lithography firm of Currier & Ives. Their need for illustrators brought public attention to many American artists. Sources: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; 'Museum Accessions', "The Magazine Antiques", August 2006; AskART biographies.


Realistic pictures created by a process of light passing through translucent panes of porcelain, it is a method invented and patented in 1827 by Baron Paul Charles de Bourgoing. The attraction is that the light passing through creates a three-dimensional effect. Although developed in France, the process was perfected in Prussia. The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in Hartford, Connecticut houses some of the lithophane collection of Samuel Colt, arms manufacturer, who used over 100 of them, purchased in Berlin, as window decorations in his Hartford mansion. Source: Herbert G. Houze, 'Samuel Colt's Porcelain Transparencies', "The Magazine Antiques", April 2006, pp. 106-115.

Little Galleries of the Photo Secession/291

Opened in New York City in 1905 by photographer Alfred Stieglitz, it was an exhibition and gathering place for the Photo-Secession group, photographers committed to experimental methods of manipulating the camera rather than just taking conventional pictures. A lasting effect was bringing photography into the realm of art along with painting, sculpture, etc. The gallery, whose name was shortened to 291 for its address on lower Fifth Avenue, also pioneered the exhibiting of work by avant-garde European painters and sculptors such as Henri Matisse, Auguste Rodin, Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso. In 1917 the gallery closed, a major reason being that participants were distanced by the overbearing personality of Stieglitz who served as Gallery Director. Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica Online; Wikipedia

Little Gallery, San Diego

Opened in 1923 in San Diego by Beatrice de Lack Krombach, a local arts personality, it was a venue for national and regional artists, many whose names remain famous such as Lockwood de Forest, Maynard Dixon, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Maurice Braun, Charles Reiffel, and Alfred Mitchell. In addition to exhibitions, Krombach held literary Salons. Source: San Diego Historical Society;

Livre d'Artiste

‘A distinctive product of French modernism, the "livre d’artiste" came into being at the end of the 19th century and matured through the 20th. The genre was intrinsically eccentric in form, predicated on an urbane European cosmopolitanism and developing markets for avant-garde (predominantly Cubist, Surrealist, and Symbolist) experimentation. Spearheaded most significantly by gallery owners turned publishers (notably Ambroise Vollard and Henry Kahnweiler, among others) who commissioned an astonishing range of visual artists, every "livre d’artiste" was also a team endeavor. Modern masters were enlisted along with young upstarts, and matched with poems and prose ranging from the experimental to the traditional; from there, each project required papermakers, printers, typesetters, etc. – a myriad of skilled craftsmen. Although always inventive, "livres d’artistes" are distinguished by several elements: printed by specialty ateliers, in relatively small, limited editions, the volumes feature original images juxtaposed in relation to text. Commonly encased in boxes, the folios are comprised of sheets of carefully selected handmade paper, often unbound and frequently oversized, and sometimes cut and folded to unusual effect; the text is handset in distinctive typefaces, in flexible and perhaps stylized relation to the page size.’ Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson and Andy Warhol are some of the artists who have collaborated on "livre d’artiste" works. Source: University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Logan Medal of the Arts

Named for Josephine Hancock Logan, founder of the Society for Sanity in Art, it is awarded to exhibiting members of the Society of Western Art, a branch of the SSA, in recognition for quality of realist art. Source: Wikipedia


See Ideogram

London Group

An artists' exhibition society from London, England, it was founded in 1913 by artists to challenge the conservative domination of the Royal Academy. Members included Walter Sickert, Wyndham Lewis, Matthew Smith and Henri Gaudier-Breska. The group continues to meet into the 21st century, and tries to hold at least one exhibition a year. Source: Wikipedia,

London Transport Museum Artists

Referencing artists who created publicity posters in the 1930s, they were promoting and expressing their pride in the London Transport network of underground trains, buses and trams. Then it was regarded as the world’s most progressive public transport system and a role model of enlightened corporate patronage of contemporary art and design. Eminent artists involved included Man Ray and Graham Sutherland, who did posters; Paul Nash, who designed upholstery fabric for seats of trains, trams and buses; Hans Schleger and László Moholy-Nagy, who did general design work; and the poet, John Betjeman, who wrote its tourist leaflets. Source: Design Museum, London, England –, Courtesy M.D. Silverbrooke

Long Beach International Sculpture Symposium

In 1965, Professor Kenneth Glenn of California State University at Long Beach and Kosso Eloul organized this Symposium. Patterned after several such symposia held in Europe, the Long Beach symposium was the first event of its kind held in the United States. More importantly, it was a significant experiment in the formal collaboration of art and technology. Each of the invited artists (selected from a worldwide roster of distinguished sculptors) was paired with an industrial sponsor who provided technological assistance in the form of expertise, access to facilities, equipment, and materials. The on-campus site also provided students with the opportunity to observe and assist established artists in an environment that was very different from the usual classroom activities. The final result included works by Kengiro Azuma, Andre Bloc, Kosso Eloul, Clare Falkenstein, Gabriel Kohn, Piotr Kowalski, Rita Letendre, Robert Gray Murray and Joop J. Beljon. The sculpture was spread throughout the 322 acre campus. Since then more works have been added. The collection currently includes additional works by Woods Davy, Guy Dill, Bryan Hunt, Robert Irwin and Terry Schoonhoven as well as works by Eugenia Butler, Michael A. Davis, Frederick Fisher, Maren Hassinger, Tom Van Sant and Richard Turner. Source: California State University at Long Beach University Art Museum. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art

Located in Van Nuys, California, it is a school for teaching traditional and modern representational drawing, painting and sculpture. Included is an Atelier Program for full-time students and a Studio Sessions Program for persons who pursue art part time or professional artists who want to supplement their education. Instructors include David Leffel, Aaron Westerburg, and Sherrie McGraw. Source:

Los Carpinteros

Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters) are three Havana, Cuba artists: Daboberto Rodriguez Sanchez, Marco Antonio Castillo Valdes and Alexandre Arrechea. Associated since 1991, and adopting their name in 1994, the trio worked together until the departure of Alexandre Arrechea in June 2003. The decision to renounce individual authorship refers back to an older guild tradition of artisans and skilled laborers and the merging of architecture, design, and sculpture. However, Los Carpinteros express it in unexpected and often humorous ways, and create installations and drawings that negotiate the space between the functional and the nonfunctional. Source:

Los Cinco Pintores

Representing a new generation of painters in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this group was regarded as the "wild bunch" in the post World War I era. Members were Fremont Ellis, Willard Nash, Walter Mruk, Josef Bakos and Will Shuster. They were bound together by their awe for the New Mexico environment, their fear of encroaching civilization, and their desperate need to record this era before it passed. They asserted that art should speak to everyone, ranging from peasants to sophisticates, and they wanted to awaken laborers to keener art sophistication, thus developing latent art instincts. They consigned their paintings for traveling exhibitions to factories, mines, and farming towns--wherever laborers could be reached. They held their first of several annual exhibitions in the Art Museum of Santa Fe in December 1921. At that time, these artists were all under the age of thirty, non-European trained, and they painted in modernist, somewhat abstract styles. John Sloan was very encouraging of their efforts. The group, all close friends, only stayed together several years because their art philosophies developed in a variety of directions. Source: Arrell Morgan Gibson,"The Santa Fe and Taos Colonies: Age of the Muses, 1900-1942", pp. 72-72.

Los Four

A collaboration of Chicano artists in Los Angeles who, in 1973, formed an art collective, their goal was to bring Chicano street art to the attention of the mainstream art community of Los Angeles. The next year, the University of California at Irvine held an exhibition for the group, and the show then traveled to the Oakland Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Artists involved were Frank Romero, Roberto de la Rocha, Gilbert Lujan and Carlos Almaraz. Source: Website of the Target Corporation,

Los Ochos Pintores (The Eight Painters)

Transplanted artists from the eastern United States to Taos, New Mexico, they became founders of the early 20th century Taos Art Colony. Members were Joseph Sharp, Ernest Blumenschein, Bert Geer Phillips, Victor Higgins, Eanger Couse, Walter Ufer, Buck Dunton and Ernest Berninghaus. They had sophisticated art training, and most were successful illustrators. Of the eight, Couse was the last to move permanently to Taos, doing so in 1927. They banded together to have marketing strength to sell their paintings, and in 1912, formed an expanded group, Taos Society of Artists. Source: Arrell Morgan Gibson, "The Santa Fe and Taos Colonies".

Lost Colony: Artists of St. Augustine

A gathering of artists in St. Augustine, Florida on the north coast of Florida, just off the Atlantic Ocean, they were fascinated by a city settled by a Spanish explorer in 1565 because of its picturesque qualities and chance to escape urban chaos. Martin Johnson Heade led the way in 1883. Then several years later in 1887, the luxurious Hotel Ponce de Leon and other smaller, quaint hotels attracted so many people that St. Augustine was called the "Newport of the South". Henry Flagler, builder of the Ponce de Leon, erected a long building with artist studios on the grounds as an added attraction, and throughout most of the 1890s, artists lived and worked for periods of time in the city. However, in the late 1890s, the city experienced economic decline, and tourists as well as Flagler moved farther south. Other artists associated with the Colony are Reynolds Beal, Arthur Diehl, Charles Hawthorne, Harry L. Hoffman and Henrich Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer was a latecomer who first arrived in 1920, and by then, according to him the art scene "had just about disappeared". Source: Robert Wilson Torchia, "Lost Colony: The Artists of St. Augustine, 1930-1950", from Resource Library Magazine, Traditional Fine Arts on Line.

Lost Wax Method

A method used to make sculpture that dates back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, it involves the creation of an original piece, usually in clay, and a foundry where the following process occurs: 1)A plaster mold is made of the original. 2)A gelatin mold is made from the plaster mold. 3)The inside of the gelatin mold is coated with molten wax to form a hollow wax mold that is packed with sand. 4)The sculptor can touch up or correct the piece. 5)Rods of wax are attached to the wax model. 6)The entire figure is covered in heat resistant plaster or clay. 7)Metal pins are inserted to keep the object in place. 8)The whole structure is placed in an oven and baked until the plaster mold has become dry, and the hot wax has been released through the vents created by the melting of the wax rods. 9)The mold is then packed in sand. 10)Bronze is poured through vents in the space left by the melted or lost wax. 11)Cooled, the cast is shed of the inner sand. 12)It is cleaned and finished. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


An auction term, it refers to an object or group of objects, which are sold together at auction and assigned a number. Source:

Lotos Club

Established in New York City in 1870, it is one of the oldest literary clubs in the United States. Founded as a men's social club of prominent artists and business professionals including Mark Twain, it is noted in American art history for hosting the first exhibition of Tonalist painting in the United States. Club headquarters from 1892 to 1909 was at 556-558 Fifth Avenue; from 1910 to 1947, it was at 110 West Fifty-seventh Street; and in the late 20th and 21st centuries, it is at 5 East 65th Street. In February 1896, because of the dedication to Tonalist painting of committee member William T. Evans, the Lotos Club hosted a breakthrough American Tonalist exhibition. Entrants with work were eight men: Albert Blakelock, George Bogert, George Inness, Homer Dodge Martin, Robert Minor, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Henry Ward Ranger, and Alexander Wyant. Sources: Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, "Who Was Who in American Art"; Ralph Sessions, 'Introduction', and Jack Becker, essay, 'Championing Tonal Painting' in "The Poetic Vision: American Tonalism", (Spanierman Galleries exhibition catalogue, 2005)

Louis-Philippe Hebert Prize

In 1971, the St-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montréal honored the memory of sculptor Louis-Philippe Hébert by creating the Prix Louis-Philippe Hébert (medal), given to an artist of outstanding ability and stature in Québec arts. It is not awarded on a regular basis. In 1971, Fernand Leduc was a recipient. The last artist awarded was Jocelyne Alloucherie in 1998. Sources: The St-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montréal (phone call) and the Canadian Encyclopedia.; Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase, the Exposition was held in 1904 in St. Louis with the theme of manifest destiny. Emphasis was more on history than progress, and participating artists, nearly 900, expressed this theme through allegory and narrative. Exhibiting artists included John White Alexander, Worthington Whittredge, Robert Henri, Thomas Anshutz, Karl Bitter and Cecilia Beaux Source: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"; AskART biographies

Loveland Sculpture Invitational

An annual sculpture exhibition in Loveland, Colorado, it was founded several years after the exhibition, Sculpture in the Park, and held nearby at the same time to accommodate a second group of sculptors. It is located on the grounds of Loveland High School, and has featured sculpture by Cammie Lundeen, Chris Navarro and George Lundeen. Source: Editor, 'Rocky Mountains Best of the West', "Southwest Art", July 2006, p. 96

Lowbrow Art

A kind of populist art, it is intended to convey a sense of humor and poke fun at convention. It has roots in 1950s popular 'street' culture, especially southern California hot rods, babes, and surfing, and always is presented through realist or representational art. It is basically aligned with illustration, and most of the practitioners come from that background with emphasis on the commercial side, including tattoo art and comic books. The first lowbrow artists, Williams and Gary Panter (1950-), were also underground cartoonists, and early lowbrow art shows were held in alternative galleries in Los Angleles. Robert Williams founded highly popular magazine "Juxtapoz" in 1994 with a group of artists and collectors, and it brought the movement broad attention around the world. Other artists currently working in this style are Camille Rose Garcia, Todd Shorr, Mark Ryden, Tim Biskup, Gary Baseman, and Anthony Ausgang. Sources: Paul Karlstrom PhD; the website wikipedia;; Submitted by Teta Collins

Lowell Art Association

Founded in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1878 to preserve and collect work by New England Regional artists, the Association has exhibition space in the Whistler House Museum, which it owns and operates. It claims to be the nation's oldest incorporated art association on record. Included in the collection is work by museum namesake, James McNeill Whistler as well as Benjamin Mather, Thomas Lawson and Aldro Hibbard. Source:

Lowell Institute

Established in 1848 in Boston, Massachusetts for educational purposes, the Institute was named for and endowed with a bequest of $237,000. by John Lowell, Jr., who died in 1836. Members of the Lowell family have continued to be involved as trustees and administrators. The Institute offers both popular and erudite lectures, and also began classes in drawing and design, which have been taken over by schools. In 1952, Institute personnel created WGBH radio, whose foundation is now one of the producers in the U.S. of public television. American artists who have studied at Lowell Institute include Willard Metcalf, Alfred Bricher, Robert Harris, and Frank Shapleigh. Source: Wikipedia,; AskART biographies

Luci' d'Artista

An exhibition of large-scale light installations, it is one of Italy's leading cultural events, launched in 1998 in Turin, Italy. The event is administered by the city's cultural services department, and is funded by corporate sponsors and an entity of regional government. Selection of artists is by government officials and curatorial staff of Castello di Rivoli, a Turin contemporary art museum. Participating installation artists include Mario Merz, Daniel Buren, Rebecca Horn, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gilberto Zorio and Joseph Kusuth. Source: David Ebony, 'Italy's Northern Lights', "Art in America", February 2008.

Lumiere Technology

A multi-spectral digitization technology, it derives from a camera developed by French photographer Pascal Cotte. This LT camera projects a ray of light across the painting being studied and reveals many aspects of the painting not seen by the naked eye. LT scans have 240 million digital pixels, a huge pixel increase over previous scanners, which insures that nothing goes unnoticed in the painting. One of the many benefits is virtual restoration, meaning an image created that shows what the painting will look like after restoration. Development of the LT camera was funded by the European Union through a grant to Pascal Cotte whose company, Lumiere Technology, does the scanning. Source: Kelly Compton, 'A World of Art, No Longer Invisible', "Fine Art Connoisseur", April 2008, p. 55


A style made popular by 19th Century American Hudson River School landscape painters, it "dealt with phenomena seen through a saturating light that united compositional elements into a spatial whole."(Goodyear, 133) Major characteristic are glowing light and atmospherics, the playing with the effects of light on natural forms to convey allegorical themes, especially the suggestion that God is revealed in nature. However, the descriptive name, Luminism, did not appear until the 1950s when art historian John I.H. Baur used it in an article titled 'American Luminism' in "Perspectives U.S.A." Luminist painters have never been united under a 'school' of painting, but in 1980, a large exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. titled "American Light: The Luminist Movement 1850-1875" brought together works in one venue of many artists employing the style. Hudson River School luminist artists include Albert Bierstadt, Sanford Gifford, George Inness and Martin Johnson Heade. By the end of the 19th Century, the Barbizon style of painting, focused on misty, poetic qualities away from natural landscape, replaced the popularity of Luminism. Source: Frank H. Goodyear, Jr., 'American Landscape Painting, 1795-1875', "In this Academy"; Andrew Wilton and John Wilmerding, "American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States 1820-1880".


A process of developing photographs on canvas, it was used by the artist/photographer, Michael Jay Knigin, for his series, "Japanese Suite". These were city skyline scenes 'luminosed' on canvas and enhanced with hand-painted images. Source: Leonard Davenport Fine Arts biography of Knigin on


Appearance of giving off light, it has a diffuse glow which conveys a sense of the light coming from within. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A semicircular panel with a painting, it is often over a doorway or window with the lines of the painting corresponding with the flowing line of the Lunette. An example would be a Renaissance scene with a Pieta. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms".

Lyme Art Association

Founded at the art colony of Old Lyme, Connecticut in 1914 by artists including Childe Hassam, Carleton Wiggins and William Chadwick, the goal was facilitating exhibitions of the colony's landscape painters. In 1921, an Association Gallery opened. Designed by New York architect Charles Platt, it was the first self-financed gallery of an American art Colony. However, in the next two decades interest in the exhibitions waned because of intransigent dedication of its exhibitors to Impressionism in the face of changing tastes towards modernism. The Association had financial problems, and by the late 1930s was considerably weakened. Association rules were that membership was open only to artists owning property in Lyme and living there a certain number of weeks each year. Frederick Sexton was anxious enough to join the Lyme Art Association that he bought land from Guy Wiggins and built a home there. Shortly, in 1936, he was elected to membership, and years later was very angered when the Association relaxed those rules and allowed artists who lived within a twenty-five mile radius of Lyme to be members. Sources: William Benton Museum of Art, “Connecticut and American Impressionism”; Helen K. Fusscas, “Frederick Sexton, 1889-1975”; William Gerdts, “American Impressionism” (221-227.

Lyrical Abstraction

Tied to the beginnings of Abstract Expressionism and breaking away from Realism, it was a strong abstract art movement against Minimalism in the 1960s and 1970s. Adjectives associated with the style are intuitive, loose, spontaneous, illusionist, expressive, emotional, sensual and harmonious. Larry Aldrich, founder of the Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, is credited as the originator of the name, Lyrical Abstraction. American artists known for Lyricism include Ronald Bloore, Jean McEwen, Jack Shadbolt and Marion Scott. Sources: The Free Dictionary; AskART biographies; Wikipedia: "Lyrical Abstraction"

MacArthur Foundation Grants

Based in Chicago, it is active in 60 countries. Each grant is funded with $500,000. with no strings attached by funds set aside by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, publishers of "Reader's Digest" magazine. The grants are directed to Global Security and Sustainability and to persons expressing those themes. Artist recipients include Ida Applebroog, Eva Laramee, David Macauley, Joan Snyder, Kara Walker, Julie Mehretu, and Whitfield Lovel. Sources:; AskART biographies

Macbeth Gallery

Opened in 1892, this was the first commercial gallery in New York City to develop an active and successful business dealing exclusively in American art. Owner was William Macbeth, and his success was doubly important to American painters in that it inspired others to follow in his footsteps. The enormous publicity that these sales generated were a major factor in creating demand for contemporary American painting. Of his exhibits and those by other small galleries with the same purpose, Macbeth was quoted as saying in the publication, "Art Notes", January 1897, that they "offer to picture lovers the best opportunity for properly studying the work of individual groups or schools of painters." Artists who exhibited at Macbeth Gallery include Arthur Davies, Colin Campbell Cooper, Katherine Dreier, Robert Henri, William Keith, and Edward Hopper. Sources: Jack Becker, essay: 'Championing Tonal Painting', "The Poetic Vision: American Tonalism", Spanierman Galleries LLC, Exhibition Catalogue, 2005; AskART biographies


An impressionist Italian style of painting, the name is derived from the Italian word "macchie", meaning blotches and dabs in English and associated with a group of artists who met at the Caffè Michelangelo in Florence around 1860 and rebelled against prevailing academic strictures. Also, they were living at a time when many Italians were crusading for democracy, and the Academy was symbolic of resistance to those ideas. The name "Macchiaioli" became ‘official’ after a critic of the Italian newspaper, "Gazzetta del Popolo", used the term to deride the style’s willfully sketchy, indefinite qualities. Sources: Excerpted from writing by Clarice Zdanski for the AskART Bulletin Board section of the artist Jerry Ross; Wikipedia,

MacDowell Art Colony

Located at Peterborough, New Hampshire at the home property of Marian and Edward MacDowell, it was established in 1906 as a memorial to Edward. Aware he was dying, his wife commissioned Helen Farnsworth Mears to do a bas-relief portrait of him, and while Mears worked, the couple planned the art colony, which they intended to be a retreat for people in all the arts. Notably successful, it has become a place where writers, poets, artists and musicians can work quietly for long periods of time in natural surroundings. Underlying Marian MacDowell's special interest in the retreat was her belief that her husband's health problems resulted from the noise and tensions of New York City, where he had spent so much of his career. In 1907, Helen Farnsworth Mears, and her sister, Mary, became the first recipients of a MacDowell Fellowship. Other artists who have been awarded the Fellowship are Charlotte Blass, Paul Burlin, Lawrence Calcagno, Raymond Jonson, Nan Sheets, John Raimondi and Helen Wilson. Sources: AskART database; Charlotte Rubinstein, "American Women Artists", p. 102

MacDowell Club

Organized in 1905 to support the MacDowell Colony, the fine arts retreat in New Hampshire and "to nurture the fine arts and protect them against the coldness of a commercial age", the organization had branches around the country as part of a social movement to promote music and art in America. In New York, the old Metropolitan Opera House was the first location, and was replaced by several more spacious accommodations including the old Marquand stable buildings at 166 East 73rd Street where a massive fire broke out in 1935. Exhibiting members included Edward Hopper, George Bellows and Helen Farnsworth Mears. Source: Wikipedia,; "New York Times", May 14, 1911

MacDowell Fellowship

See MacDowell Art Colony

MADI Movement

An international art movement embracing all branches of art and promoting geometric abstraction and irregular shapes, it started in Buenos Aires in 1946 with Gyula Kosice, Hungarian-Argentinian artist and poet, and Carmelo Arden Quin, painter, sculptor and writer of Uruguay. The name is derived from the Republican motto in the Spanish Civil War of "Madri, Madri, no pasaran". Meaning in English, "Madrid, Madrid, they will not make it", it was the response of citizens to invading French forces. Source: Wikipedia,

Magic Marker

See Felt-Tip Pen

Magic Realism

A rather vague term that describes a painting style intended to stir mystery and aesthetic challenge because of combining easy-to-understand realistic images with unlikely juxtapositions or the invasion of "something too strange to believe". (Wikipedia) The phrase originated in 1923 when German critic Franz Roh used it to describe the "dreamlike symbolic art of de Chirico and his Italian cohorts." (Duncan) In the 1943 exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art titled "American Realists and Magic Realists", the term became more widely known as a description of a fantastic, exaggerated imagery by artists such as Paul Cadmus, O. Louis Guglielmi, Philip Curtis and Ivan Albright.; Source: Michael Duncan, 'Heretics of the Heartland', "Art in America", February 2006; p.98; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; 'Magic Realism', "Wikipedia"

Mahl Stick

A stick or thin pole about three feet in length, made of bamboo or a dowel, with a ball shaped pad at one end, it is useful in oil painting for avoiding the touching of the surface. It is used by resting the ball end on the edge of the canvas or easel or a dry place on the canvas, holding the other end up with the non-painting hand, and then supporting the brush on the stick while painting. Source: Painting, (For illustration see Photo of Winston Churchill with Mahl Stick in his AskART record)

Mahlstick Club

A short lived Toronto artists association, it was an offshoot of the Toronto Art Students League and a predecessor to the Graphic Arts Club (later the Canadian Society of Graphic Art). The Mahlstick Club (AKA: Maulstick Club) was formed in 1899 and folded in 1903. Its objectives included bringing members together for life drawing and sketching classes, the promotion of distinctly Canadian art, and organizing exhibitions. The meetings also included extracurricular activities such as sing-songs and martial arts – boxing, fencing and singlesticks. Its members included John William Beatty, Frederick H. Brigden, Thomas Garland Greene, Fred Haines, Robert Holmes, Charles Jefferys, J.E.H. MacDonald, Thomas Wesley McLean, Norman Price, and Albert Henry Robson. Sources: Canadian Art - Its Origin and Development” (1943), by William Colgate; and “A National Soul: Canadian Mural Painting, 1860s – 1930s” (2002), by Marylin Jean McKay (see AskART book references). Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Mail Art

Small-scale art whose senders used the U.S. Mail for distribution, it consists of envelopes that are drawn or painted on or contain collages or the like, on which there may be "artistamps" (stamps designed by an artist and not valid for postage) or rubber-stamping. Participants in mail-art networks generally accept the unwritten rule that mail art is freely exchanged and if shown in exhibitions, the exhibitions are non-juried and open to everyone. Works are generally not returned to the artist. Mail artists include Eleanor Antin, On Kawara, Yoko Ono, Sarah Jackson, and Tom Marioni, who sent mail-art announcing his fictitious 1973 appointment as Director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Sources: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist; Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Majorelle Blue

A very intense shade of blue invented and trademarked by Jacques Majorelle, French painter, it was inspired by the 12 acre botanical garden he created in Marrakech, Morocco in the 1920s. The color appears in many of his paintings of the garden. Source: AskART biography of Jacques Majorelle

Mall Galleries, London

See Federation of British Artists

Manchester School of Painters

Formed by a number of disgruntled young vanguard English painters in the 1870s, they were deeply influenced by the artist, Joseph Knight(1837-1909) who was a successful painter, etcher and photographer. He was the founder member of the group. Knight painted how “he” desired and refused to conform to traditional Art School rules (like those taught at the Manchester School of Art), and this rebelliousness appealed to his young admirers. Twice weekly they would meet at Knight’s studio in York Place behind the Union Chapel in Oxford Road, Manchester to discuss new ways to develop their techniques. Other members of the group were Joshua Hague, James Davies, Frederick Jackson and John Herbert Partington. Submitted by V. Bianco, whose source was Wikipedia,


The European hosted Biennial of Contemporary Art, it was first held in Rotterdam in 1996 with 72 artists from 30 selected countries and representatives from 16 museums and 36 public spaces. Manifesta continues, and the 1912 event was held in the region of Limburg, Belgium. In 2010, the Manifesta was described in the "Wall Street Journal" as "stunning in its scope and uncompromisingly experimental in its approach. Source:


In art, a public declaration or exposition in print of the theories and directions of a movement which invariably challenges the status quo. Manifestos related to art are credited to William Blake, English visionary artist, who mounted painted prints in a London hosiery shop to encourage public patronage of art, something that he believed was being ignored. In 1855, Gustave Courbet challenged academic authorities with a manifesto exhibition of paintings counter to Salon rules. In the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, manifestos issued by artists are a familiar method including assertions by futurists, expressionists and dadaists such as Man Ray. Source: Robert Atkins, "ARTSPEAK"


A term coming from Italian 'maniera' or 'in style', it was applied to art of late 16th and early 17th-century Europe, which revealed the 'manner' or personal expression of the artist. Characteristic was exaggeration, and expression of emotion---a turning away from the humanism of the High Renaissance. The artwork is characterized by a dramatic use of space and light and a tendency toward elongated figures such as in the painting of El Greco. The movement occurred after the Sack of Rome in 1527 and developed among the pupils of two masters of the integrated classical moment, with Raphael's assistant Giulio Romano and among the students of Andrea del Sarto, whose studio produced the quintessentially Mannerist painters Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino." Source:


In sculpture, it is a small-scale model in wax or clay, made as a preliminary sketch or prototype of the planned finished work. If the proposed completed work was a commission or competition piece, the "maquette" was often presented to the client or the competition judges for decisions before further work was done. Maquettes have become collectible, especially if by well-known artists, and one of the museums specializing collecting them is the Museo dei Bozzetti in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sources: with permission of Michael Delahunt;


A limestone of high quality, it ranges from granular to compact in texture and is capable of taking high polish. Marble is used especially in architecture and sculpture, and Carrara marble, a pure white stone, from the Appenine Mountains in Carrara, Italy is regarded by many sculptors as the finest in the world. Donatello, Michelangelo and Antonio Canova used Carrara marble for their masterpieces during the Renaissance in Italy. Nineteenth and twentieth-century American sculptors noted for marble carving include Isamu Noguchi, Augustus Saint Gaudens, Hiram Powers, Thomas Crawford, Hezekiah Augur and Edmonia Lewis. Sources:; database; Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Marblehead Pottery

Begun in 1904 in Marblehead, Massachusetts by Dr. Herbert J. Hall, it was a small pottery studio for teaching ceramics as a convalescing activity for his Devereax sanitarium patients. The company lasted to 1938 and grew into a highly successful pottery business. Arthur Baggs became the Director in 1905, and under his influence the signature style was "hand-incised or surface painted geometric designs on grounds of lightly contrasting colors." In 1915, Baggs became the owner, and in 1920, the focus was directed to making production art pottery with pebbled matte finishes in blue, green, pink, yellow, brown or gray. Quality control was maintained, and employee numbers seldom exceeded more than six to eight people. Sources:; Schiffer Books;

Maritime Art Association, Canada

Founded in 1935 by Walter Abell a professor at Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia) and the MAA’s first President and by Harry McCurry assistant director of the National Gallery of Canada, it had funding by the Carnegie Corporation. The Maritime Art Association's stated intentions were: (1) to carry out promotional and educational activities in the Canadian maritime provinces (east coast),(2) to increase the general public's knowledge and appreciation of art, and (3) to encourage art activities by uniting all interested groups and individuals. Throughout its existence the primary activity of the MAA involved the organization and circulation of exhibitions. It organized an annual traveling exhibition of its members' works, as well as bringing in exhibitions from galleries and associations outside the region – such as the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Society of Painter-Etchers & Engravers. Additional activities included the publication of the magazine "Maritime Arts" in the early 1940's (it became “Canadian Art Magazine in 1943, artscanada in 1967 and ceased publishing in 1983), and the book "Maritime Artists Vol.1" in 1967 (a proposed second volume never made it past the planning stage). By the 1960's, with a number of artists and gallery administrators critical of the quality of some of the work in MAA exhibitions, the debate arose as to what facet of the artistic community the Association should represent. In 1980 the executive stated its intention to represent the interests of working professional artists throughout the entire Atlantic region. The Association appears to have folded at that point. Its artist members included: Miller Gore Brittain, Elizabeth Styring Nutt, Dorothy Oxborough, and Leroy Judson Zwicker. Sources: Archives Canada; National Gallery of Canada; Denis Longchamps, Administrator at The Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, Concordia University; and “The History of Painting in Canada” (1974), by Barry Lord (see AskART book references). Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Mark Hopkins Institute

See California School of Design


A medium that Fairfield Porter is said to have made well known, it was 'discovered' by Jacques Maroger and publicized in his book, "The Secret Formulas and Techniques of the Old Masters". The goal of Maroger and then Porter was to create an effect with oil paintings similar to that of the Old Masters. Maroger's 'secret' formula was using white lead as the main ingredient combined with linseed oil, which acts as a drying agent and preservative of the oil paint color layers. White lead is also helpful in conserving paintings in varying environmental conditions. Porter's recipe was cooking a mixture of 1 part lead carbonate, 1 part bees wax, and 10 parts of linseed oil. According to Justin Spring in his biography, "Fairfield Porter: A Life in Art," Porter met Jacques Maroger at Parsons School of Design, and Maroger had developed the medium as a slow-drying, stable medium. Today it is available in art-supply stores. Sources: "American Artist" magazine, 12/2002; Chapellier Galleries label.


From a French word meaning 'sticky' in English, it is a technique of adhering a completed canvas painting to a panel or wall with a thin coat of adhesive so that the image can become a mural. Glues for this process, which dates back at least 3,000 years, have been from rabbit skin or white lead ore. A positive of this process rather than direct application of paint to fresco is that the painting can be removed with minimal damage. Many of J.M.W. Turner's paintings in the Tate Gallery, London, have been 'marouflaged'. Source:


See Inlay/Intarsia/Marquetry/Parquetry

Marshall Collection

An American art collection of Nancy and William Marshall of Peoria, Illinois, the focus is paintings by artists who studied abroad and whose style reflects the period between Impressionism and Modernism, late 19th and early 20th centuries. Subjects are quiet, picturesque landscapes and portraits, especially children of artists painted by the artist. In 1999, the collection toured with the opening exhibition at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland. Other venues were Huntsville Museum of Art, Albrecht Kemper Museum and Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences in Peoria. An accompanying catalogue, "The Marshall Collection", was co-authored by Richard Love, Chicago Art Dealer, and William Marshall with an introduction by Jean Woods, Director of the Washington County Museum. Following this exhibition, a portion of the collection was loaned to the Residence of the American Ambassador in Dublin, Ireland. Sources: "The Marshall Collection"; personal interview with William Marshall.

Martha's Vineyard Art Association

Founded in 1954 on Martha's Vineyard at Edgartown, Massachusetts at what is now the Old Sculpin Gallery, painter Ruth Appledoorn Mead (1894-1994) was the organizing force. From 1933, she and several friends began gathering regularly to paint by an Edgartown shack across the street from the boat-building shop of Manuel Swartz Roberts. At first they had no thought of exhibiting their work, but when Manuel Roberts offered to sell them his building for several thousand dollars, Mead spearheaded the purchase and the ensuing exhibition Association. Material provided by the Old Sculpin Gallery in 2005 states that "Ruth Mead's teaching, lively paintings, and her vision and leadership set a high standard for the arts on the Vineyard that continues with the work of the Martha's Vineyard Art Association today." Source: Scott Wilder, art researcher.

Marvel Comics

Founded in New York City as "Timely Publications" in 1939, it has become a blockbuster success with comic-book superheroes. The company began with comic books featuring "Captain America" and the "Human Torch". Stan Lee was hired in 1939, and from 1941 to 1972, he served as editor of the Marvel Comics line. Jack Kirby, hired in 1961, is credited as ushering in "The Marvel Age of Comics" with The Fantastic Four: Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Might Thor and X-Men.

Mary Smith Prize

An annual prize of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, it had a one-hundred dollar stipend until 1960 and three-hundred dollars from that time forward. It was established in 1879 by Russell Smith in honor of his deceased daughter, who had been a student at the Academy and whose dying wish was an Academy prize in her name. Selection criteria was the best painting by a woman resident of Philadelphia regardless of the subject. Recipients include Susan Macdowell, Cecilia Beaux, Jessie Willcox Smith and Martha Walter. Sources: Stephanie Strass; Peter Hastings Falk, "The Annual Exhibition Record of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts".

Maryland Institute/College of Art

Offering courses in art and design and exhibition galleries, it is one of the oldest art colleges in America, having been founded in 1826 with the name Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts. The main campus is located along Mount Royal Avenue near downtown Baltimore, and has evolved from several structures with the first one destroyed by fire in 1835. Founder was John Latrobe, son of Benjamin Latrobe who was architect of the United States Capitol. Claribel and Etta Cone were especially active patronesses, and under their auspices, the Institute galleries hosted in 1923 the first public showing in America of work by Henri Matisse. Students include William Rinehart, Lee Gatch Jr., Robert Gwathmey, William Leigh, and Morris Louis. Among the teachers have been Israel Hershberg, Eugene Leake, and Alfred Jensen. Sources: Wikipedia, Maryland Institute College of Art; AskART biographies


A brown building board one-eighth inch thick, it is perfectly smooth on one side and criss-crossed with marks of a wire screen on the other. It was invented by William Mason in 1924, first went into production in 1926 by the Masonite Corporation of Chicago, and by 1929 was being widely used. It is sometimes marked Genuine Masonite Presdwood. Masonite is made without binder and by exploding wood fiber under a steam pressure of 1000 pounds per square inch. Refined pulp is then pressed with heat, and interlocking fibers form a permanent hard mass. During the process, the fibers are impregnated with a small amount of sizing compound made of parafin, which provides a water-proof quality. Artists like to paint on masonite because of its durability, and moisture resistance. Source: Ralph Meyer, "The Artists Handbook"; Masonite International Corporation as submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector


Three-dimensional form, often implying bulk, density and weight

Mass Drawing

Illuminating a solid with a dark background, the focus is then on rendering nature in value gradations that reveal the three-dimensionality of a form. Mark G. Mitchell, "Sight-Size and More at SORA", Drawing, Summer 2007

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

See Massachusetts School of Art

Massachusetts Normal Art School

See Massachusetts School of Art

Massachusetts School of Art

The nation's first independent public college of art and design, it opened in 1873 as Massachusetts Normal Art School. The goal was to educate students in the creative process, which in turn would lead to mind, body and spiritual development. It continues today as Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Among its students are Donald Demers, Z.S. Liang and Losi Mailou Jones. Source:;


Material used to protect and present works of art on paper, it is constructed from sheets of stiff paperboard. Mats usually are hinged and joined together with tape so that the bottom part, usually quite thin and smooth, supports the work; and the other, often textured and colored, provides the window or opening for viewing. Poor quality wood-pulp mat board made from bleached, unrefined wood pulp, is the most common matting, but should be avoided because it darkens and becomes brittle. Persons wishing quality Matting should request conservation-quality mat board that has a neutral or alkaline pH of 7 or above when manufactured. There are three kinds: rag board made from cotton rags, buffered rag board that has calcium or magnesium carbonate to neutralize acidity, and conservation board made from chemically purified wood pulp. Source: Arthur W. Schultz, "Caring for Your Collections", Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, p. 42-43.


Flat, non-glossy; having a dull surface appearance.

Matte Artist

Matte Artists, Assistant Matte Artists and Apprentice Matte Artists use traditional and digital tools to create a scene employing photographic-like painting combined with live action to create the illusion of reality without having to build an entire structure or going to a specific location for a necessary background or terrain. The photographic painting executed by the Matte Artist will contain this visual information. The Matte Artist may work with the producer, director or Production Designer to determine what portion of the scene requires painting and how the final product should appear. Often a preliminary concept sketch is required. Matte Artists also work with previs and with the VFX supervisor during the pre-production design of the effects shots, completing the work in the post-production phase. In traditional Matte Painting, the Matte Artist must ensure that certain requirements are met at the time the live action "plate" is shot; e.g., placement of the camera, lens choice, camera steadiness and lack of action crossing the matte line separating the live action plate and painting. After the plate is shot, the matte painter must create the painting and supervise the combining of painting and plate by selecting exposures for correct color matches. Most contemporary Matte Painting consists of digital set extensions and the creation of virtual environments. The digital Matte Artist, often working with a team of other computer artists, is no longer confined to 2D painting and static composition. A modern Matte Artist creates in a 3D virtual environment that permits and encourages camera movement and perspective changes. The Matte Artist is knowledgeable about composition, lighting, atmosphere, color, perspective, camera lenses, story, and movement or action and has training in art, photography and computer software. Source: "Illustrators, Storyboard Artists and Matte Artists,"Art Directors Guild,

McMicken School of Drawing and Design

In Cincinnati, the school was established in 1869 with a grant of one million dollars to the city from Charles McMicken. Shortly after the University of Cincinnati absorbed the school, but in 1887, the school changed its name to Art Academy of Cincinnati and also changed affiliation from the University to become the school of the Cincinnati Art Museum. Artists who studied at the School include Robert Blum, Kenyon Cox and Claude Hirst. Sources: Ohio History Central, An Online Encyclopedia; AskART Biographies


Short for Mechanical Art, it was a movement that surfaced in 1963, uniting a handful of artists including Gianni Bertini, Pol Bury, Mimmo Rotella and Alain Jacquet. They employed photographic methods to transfer to canvas a composition or collage with an iconography taken directly from magazines. This method allowed reproducing mechanical images through painterly means and enabled its practitioners to produce numerous versions of the same picture, dealing a decisive blow to the notion of an “original work”. Source: Archivio Gianni Bertini:

Mechanics' Institute, New York City

Opened as a tuition-free day school in 1820 in New York City by the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen for the children of its members, it was a forerunner of the public school system. With the advent of the public school system and meeting the need of educating persons in the building and construction industries, it received the name Mechanics' Institute in 1858. Still in operation and remaining tuition free and supported by endowment, the school has nearly 200,000 alumni and offers curriculum of Construction Documents, Design, Electrical Technology, Historic Preservation, Plumbing Design, Project Management and Facilities Management. Among the alumni are Arthur Saaf, Samuel Armstrong and Walter Steinhilber. Source:; AskART biographies

Medal Collectors of America

See Society of Medalists

Medallic Art Company Ltd.

A major source of U.S. commemorative medals and awards, and the oldest and largest private mint in the United States, it was founded in 1903 in New York City by Henry Weil, a French sculptor. In 1972, the company headquarters were moved to Danbury, Connecticut, and in 1997 to its present location of Dayton, Nevada, close to the famous Comstock Lode silver mines and Nevada gold fields. Among artists who have worked for the Company are Alexander Sterling Calder, Robert Aitken, Cyrus Dallin, and Janet De Coux. Sources: Susan Luftschein, "One Hundred Years of American Medallic Art";

Medallic Art/Medals

Relief prints called medals, usually in bronze and made from a metal engraving plate, Medallic art was an outgrowth of the realist figurative sculpture movement in the late 19th century. It was facilitated by the development of the reducing machine combined with sophisticated methods of engraving. Henri Chapu, who had refined low relief, taught medallic art at the Academy Julian in Paris. His American students John Flanagan, Hermon MacNeil and Bela Lyon Pratt brought medallic art to America, along with Olin Warner and Augustus Saint Gaudens. In 1893, Saint Gaudens created the award medal for the Chicago Exposition, which set a precedent for medals to be awarded at future national events. Also the reproduction of medals became a model for marketing of small-scale sculpture. Medals are a flat piece of shaped metal with design and often inscription and are given as special recognition. They reached their height of popularity between 1900 and World War I, when soldiers received medals for bravery. Tiffanys and Gorham were among the companies that mass produced them. Source: Donald Martin Reynolds,"Masters of American Sculpture;" Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"


A circular object "that has been sculpted, molded, cast, struck, stamped or some way rendered with an insignia, portrait" or other artistic expression," it often serves as a commemorative object. Persons creating medallions are known as medalists, and many were/are well known sculptors such as Edward Bartholomew, James Earle Fraser, Glenna Goodacare, and Augustus St. Gaudens. Sources: Wikipedia, "Medallion"; AskART biographies.

Media Art/Video Art

An American art movement, it began in the 1970s and was directed towards mass media such as television, commercial posters, videos and billboards. The term Media Art, in this context, does not reference media in the traditional use of the word as it relates to oil, bronze, etc. Media Art is a descendant of Pop Art and its artists tend to be highly critical of mass media, presenting it primarily as a bad influence, a propaganda tool. Media Artists include Chris Burden and Jenny Holzer. See Video Art. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Medieval Art

Art of the Middle Ages ca. 500 A.D. through the 14th century, it was a time period immediately prior to the Renaissance and covers a vast scope of both time and place including Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Art historians attempt to classify medieval art into major periods and styles, often with some difficulty. A generally accepted scheme includes Early Christian art, Migration Period art, Byzantine art, Insular art, Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque art, and Gothic art, as well as many other periods within these central styles. In addition each region, mostly during the period in the process of becoming nations or cultures, had its own distinct artistic style, such as Anglo-Saxon art or Norse art. Medieval art was produced in many media including sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, mosaics, fresco wall-paintings, textiles, including tapestry. Especially in the early part of the period, works in the so-called "minor arts" or decorative arts, such as metalwork, ivory carving, enamel and embroidery using precious metals, were probably more highly valued than paintings or monumental sculpture. Artists working at this time had little sense of their own art history, and Renaissance historians have tended to dismiss it as barbarous and the period as the "Dark Ages", a time between Classical and Renaissance. However, scholars have learned that many pieces created during this period are worthy of respect and much more sophistication that traditionally thought. Source: 'Medieval Art', "Wikipedia",


The material used to create a work of art, it can include the binder for paint such as oil and other properties for painting, sculpture and conceptual art such as pastel, watercolor, bronze, aluminum, marble, found objects, mixed media, etc. Source: AskART

Meissen Porelain/China

The first European developed hard-paste porcelain, it began in 1708 with the creativity of Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus. After his death that same year, Johann Friedrich Böttger continued his work and brought porcelain to the market, often earning credit for the invention. Meissen porcelain production near Dresden, started in 1710 and attracted artists and artisans whose product dominated the style of European porcelain until 1756, and is still in business in the 21st Century with the name Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen GmbH. Its signature logo, the crossed swords, was introduced in 1720 to protect its production; the mark of the crossed swords is one of the oldest trademarks in existence. Source:

Memory Painting

Paintings with themes of 'memories of youth' and 'disappearing life-styles', these expressions are by artists who see life getting increasingly complex, which, in turn causes them to think back sentimentally to days that were more simple. American Memory Painters include Clementine Hunter, Annie Wellborn and Aaron Birnbaum. Source: Chuck and Jan Rosenak, "Contemporary American Folk Art: A Collector's Guide"

Memphis Academy/College of Art

Deliberately kept small, independent, private and not-for-profit, it has an enrollment of about 300 students. It was founded in 1925 as The Memphis Academy of Art and was first housed in Memphis, Tennessee in the Goyer-Lee House in Victorian Village. In 1959, it moved into its current Overton Park location at 1930 Poplar Avenue behind the Memphis Brooks Museum. Known since the 1980s as the Memphis Collage of Art, it offers degrees of Bachelor and Masters of Fine Art. Sources: Wikipedia, "Memphis College of Art"; Frederic Koeppel, "The Commercial Appeal', newspaper, 2/3/2009.


Any of various opaque, fusible, ductile and usually lustrous substances that are good conductors of electricity and heat, it is a material used by many American sculptors and craftspersons working in contemporary styles such as Alexander Calder, Thomas Markusen, John Chamberlain, Alexander Liberman and Alfred Baker. Sources: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, biographies

Metropolitan Museum of Art

With increased economic prosperity after the Civil War, the American art scene burgeoned in New York City. One of the most important private picture galleries in the Village belonged to John Taylor Johnston. In 1870 he and a group of friends met there to found the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Johnson as its first president. After opening briefly in temporary quarters, the museum was transferred in 1873 to No. 126 West 14th Street, where it remained until 1879, when it moved to its present home uptown on Central Park. Source:

Mexican Artistic Renaissance

Started in the 1920's by the Mexican School of Art, this renaissance began with the San Carlos Academy movement whose leaders were Ignacio Asúnsolo and Jose Clemente Orozco. It emerged out of the students’ and teachers’ discontent with traditional paintings methods (Academicism). Driving the movement was close contact the young artists had with the problems of Mexico and its people. Resulting was marked critical realism by the painters of the time including Raul Anguiano. Source:


An engraving technique, it is on a copper plate that has been worked with a tool called a rocker, a crescent-shaped instrument with sharp teeth on the curve of the crescent. Marks cover the entire plate, and are made with a rocking motion. Then the copper plate is burnished or smoothed in areas by the artist. When the mezzotint is made, only the scored areas retain the ink and create the design. The smooth areas are the non-colored part of the image. Gatja Rothe, working with Edward Weston, was especially noted for mezzotint. Source: "Joel Oppenheimer" 35th Anniversary Catalogue, 2004, of the Natural Art Gallery;

Middle Ground

That portion of an artwork between the foreground and background.

Midwest Art Exhibition

Founded in Lindsborg, Kansas in 1899, it developed from the Easter art exhibition and is held annually at the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery. Founders were Birger Sandzen, Carl Lotave and Gustav (G.N.) Malm. Source: Malm biography on, submitted by Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery.

Milwaukee Art Institute

Founded in 1916, it was an outgrowth of the Milwaukee Art Society that began in 1910 to foster the arts in the city. Samuel Buckner was first president of the Institute, located at 456 Jefferson Street and then 772 North Jefferson Street. In 1957, the old building was demolished and replaced by the Milwaukee Art Center, which in the 21st century housed about 30,000 works of art in over 40 galleries. Source: Peter C. Merrill, "German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee; Milwaukee Art Museum website,

Mimbres Pottery

Named for the Mimbres Valley, this pottery was created by Mogollon peoples, an ancient culture on the southern periphery of the Anasazi in what is now the state of Arizona. It is commonly decorated with designs of animals and human figures and has large geometric designs. Often the black and white bowls are associated with death and called mortuary bowls because they have a hole in the bottom. Archaeologists think this hole was made after they were fired as a symbolic killing of the object to be buried with a dead person. Sources:'Mimbres Pottery', "Wikipedia", // (Accessed 5/18/2013; "Native American Art of the Southwest" by Linda Eaton


Artwork created when a mimeograph sheet is peeled apart, the backing is thrown away and the front is the artwork. Peeling the sheet apart makes very strange and interesting patterns. You can see some reproductions of mimeograms in Penelope Rosemont's book, "Surrealist Experiences". Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist

Mineral Painting

See Stereochromy


A Japanese folk art movement in Japan during the 1920s and 1930s, it was founded by Japanese philosopher Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961), who was inspired by a 1916 visit to Korea, where he observed the native crafts. By 1926, he had launched the movement in Japan, culminating in 1936 with the establishment of the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum in Meguro, Tokyo. Among "mingei" artists are Keisuke Serizawa and Sadao Watanabe. Some scholars credit as a major influence William Morris and the western Arts and Crafts Movement. Other scholars refute the east-west connection of the movements. Source: 'Mingei',"Wikipedia",//; Askart biographies

Miniature Artists of America

The first invitational organization to honor outstanding miniature artists, it was founded in Clearwater, Florida in 1985. Members are chosen from award winners in major U.S. non-profit miniature exhibits and from candidates nominated by three Signature Members and elected after a jury review. No more than ten candidates are selected in a given year. MAA does not have open competitive exhibits but circulates traveling exhibits of members' works. Primary goals of MAA are to further understanding of miniature art and encourage artists and art lovers to join in the miniature art resurgence. MAA played a major role in recent efforts to bring together miniature art societies world-wide, which resulted in formation of World Federation of Miniaturists in London in November 1995. Members of MAA include Dean Lamont Mitchell, Carlton Plummer and Douglas Downs and Wes Siegrist. Sources: //; AskART biographies


A mid 20th century style, emphasis is on lines, shapes, and sometimes colors with the goal of countering with bare essentials elaborate lines and colors of geometric abstraction. Minimalist works characteristically look and feel sparse, spare, restricted or empty. Art historian Barbara Rose is credited with first using the term in an article titled 'ABC Art' in the October 1965 issue of "Art in America." She described "art pared down to a minimum." Among Minimalist artists are Agnes Martin, Robert Ryman, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, and Frank Stella. Although the general public seems never to have warmed to Minimalism, corporate collection managers did because the artworks accented many International Style office buildings, which were built in the mid 20th Century. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

Minna Walker Smith Prize

In memory of Connecticut Impressionist painter Minna Walker Smith (1883-1960, the Prize was awarded by the American Watercolor Society for excellence in watercolor painting from from 1964 until 1994. Source: AskART biography of the artist, courtesy of Edward K. Bentley

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

See Minneapolis School of Fine Arts

Minneapolis School of Fine Arts

Founded in 1886 with the name School of Fine Arts, the first class had 28 students of which 26 were women. In 1910, the name was changed to Minneapolis School of Art, and in 1970, changed again, becoming Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In the 21st Century, the school offers degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science and Master of Fine Arts. The campus is at 2501 Stevens Avenue next to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Alumni include Adolf, Wanda Gag, James Rosenquist, and Peter Seitz. Source: Wikipedia

Minnesota Museum of American Art

See St. Paul School of Fine Arts

Mir iskusstva

In English translation, meaning World of Art, "Mir iskusstva" was the name of the magazine, which was the 'voice' of an early 20th century movement, which revolutionized and upgraded Russian art. It was founded in 1898 by a group of students including Leon Bakst, Alexandre Benois, Konstantin Somov, Eugene Lansere and Dmitry Filosofov. Their goal was to promote artistic individualism, raise artistic standards in an industrialized society, adopt the principles of Art Nouveau, gain an understanding of earlier art eras such as 18th century Rococo, and create a light airy effect in their paintings with watercolor and gouache. They held exhibitions, the last being 1927, and were generally successful in making change, which spread to ballet and theatre. Source:

Miss General Idea

See General Idea

Mixed-Media/Multi Media

In painting, the term has traditionally been applied to combined media in two-dimensional work such as acrylic and watercolor or gouache and tempera. However, with the many experiments of contemporary artists, especially sculptors, the term Mixed-Media or Multi-Media is now applied to the combining into a single work of art a variety of materials, many of them groundbreaking. Examples of combinations that fall into the newer definition are wood, pebbles, bones, glass, plastic, paper, oil paint, found objects and metals. Source: Lonnie Dunbier, AskART.

Mobile, Stabile

Terms originally coined to describe innovative sculpture created by Alexander Calder, mobiles are hanging, movable sculpture, and stabiles rest on the ground and may have some moving parts but are generally immobile. In the 1920s, Calder began experimenting with constructions that involved motion, and by 1932, he had his first wind-driven Mobiles. Usually Mobiles are hung from ceilings, but some of Calder's are suspended in the air from a base. From the late 1930s, Calder was creating Stabiles, which are characteristically abstract black metal sheets bolted or welded together. By the 1960s, he was doing many of these for outdoor settings, and some were large enough that people could walk through them. Source: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"


As a sculpture term, it is shaping a form in plastic material, such as clay, wax, or plaster, and in drawing, painting, or printmaking, the illusion of three-dimensionality on a flat surface created by simulating effects of light and shadow. Source: with permission of Michael Delahunt

Modern Art

A term with elusive meaning, it generally refers to art which is groundbreaking stylistically and/or technically from that which has been accepted historically or is currently prevalent. Spanish writer, Jose Ortega Y Gasset wrote in "Arts Yearbook": "Modern art will always have the masses against it. It is essentially unpopular; moreover it is anti-popular." Now acceptable styles that have been referred to as 'modern art' include Impressionism, Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism. Source: Editors, "Arts Yearbook 1", p. 9 (See Modernism)


With several meanings, it can refer to that which is striving to be current in appearance and/or style but is pretentious and lacking in refinement. Also, it can pertain to 1920s and 1930s architecture and design in Europe and the U.S. typified by straight lines and tubular chromed steel frames. Source:

Modernism, Modernist

Focused on a period in western art from the 1860s through the 1970s, it is elusive to define because of pertaining to being non-traditional, which meant a variety of emerging styles especially if it was counter to academic standards espoused by the National Academy of Design, regarded as a "coterie of conservative artists." Early 'modernists' artists such as Gustave Courbet, Paul Cezanne and Edouard Manet in France rebelled against tradition by depicting contemporary life instead of historical subjects. When Modernism came to America, it was shaped by much of what was going on in Europe, especially with Impressionism at the turn of the 19th Century. Modernism took hold full force with the introduction of Cubism, Futurism and other isms at the 1913 Armory Show in New York City, and was then followed by Social Realism as espoused by Robert Henri and other AshCan School painters and their 'indelicate' subjects such as street people, prostitutes and other victims of American poverty. Many modern art themes were based on the new industrialism and secularism and its challenges to middle-class values, which increasingly displaced formal religion. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Martha Severins, 'What Modern Looked Like', "American Art Review", November 2005, p. 126; Arrell Morrill Gibson, "The Santa Fe and Taos Colonies"


See Art Nouveau.

Monhegan Island Artist Colony

Monhegan Island, Maine, 12 miles off the mid-Maine coast and two miles long, became an art colony because of visual attraction provided by its marine and agricultural activity. The first documented artist was Aaron Shattuck, who arrived in 1858. From that time for the next 30 years, the island was an especially active artist colony with residents including Robert Henri, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Reuben Tam, Elena Jahn and Jamie Wyeth. The area continues to attract artists, but is less defined as a Colony. Source: Edward L. Deci, 'The Monhegan Island Art Colony',"Traditional Fine Arts Online",


Having only one color, the term is descriptive of work in which one hue – perhaps with variations of value and intensity – predominates. Source: AskART, Lonnie Dunbier


A 1960s Japanese avant-garde art movement, it was Japan's first contemporary art activity to gain international attention. The Monoha school rejected Western notions of representation, choosing to focus on relationships of materials and subjects of the world at large, encouraging the fluid co-existence of numerous beings, concepts and experiences. Ufan Lee was a leader of the group. Source: Wikipedia,


A print made alone rather than in an edition of more than one copy, it is usually created by painting on a sheet or slab of glass and transferring this still-wet painting to a sheet of paper held firmly on the glass. The print is created by rubbing the back of the paper with a smooth implement, such as a large hardwood spoon. The painting from which the print is made may also be done on a polished plate, in which case it may be either printed by hand or transferred to the paper by running the plate and paper through an etching press. The purpose of doing a Monotype instead of an original painting is to obtain a special surface quality or texture. Some of the first examples of monotypes by American artists came from Frank Duveneck and his circle including Otto Bacher in Venice. They were printed on Bacher's printing press, and visiting the studio to learn the technique was James McNeill Whistler. Pat Martin Bates is a contemporary Canadian artist who specializes in monoprints. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

Monster Roster

See Chicago Imagism


A picture composed of other existing illustrations, pictures, photographs, newspaper clippings, etc.,it is arranged so they combine to create a new or original image. In filmmaking it was a technique created by Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948) a Russian who worked in silent films. He arranged and edited series of short shots "to condense space, time and information." Source: "Montage" and "Sergei Eisenstein", Wikipedia

Montreal School of Fine Arts

See Ecole Des Beaux-Arts, Montreal

Montserrat College of Art/School of Visual Arts

Founded in 1970 in Beverly, Massachusetts by the North Shore Community Arts Foundation at the suggestion of Joseph Jeswald, it was first called Montserrat School of Visual Art. It's name changed when it became a four-year residential college in the mid 1980s affiliated with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design. The name is from the Montserrat section of Beverly where the school was located. Among its alumni are sculptor Carlos Dorrien; book illustrator Giles Laroche; and Massachusetts painter, T.M. Nicholas. Source: Wikipedia,; AskART biographies


A defined space to honor a person, event, or concept, the word is derived from the Latin "monere", meaning to remind. Monuments are reminders of collective values, beliefs and traditions, and often focus on the mysteries of life such as death and war and deities. Monuments that make the most lasting impressions tend to have compelling balance between architecture, sculpture and location such as the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials in Washington DC. In Western history, religious expression was the first incentive for building monuments and included ziggurats (built on a platform), pyramids, obelisks, domes, columns and allegorical and representational sculpture. Twentieth-century monument builders sometimes depart from these traditions by using abstract sculpture, gardens, or unadorned space to encourage contemplation such as the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. Americans noted for monument sculpture include Alexander Stirling Calder, Augustus St. Gaudens and Daniel Chester French. Source: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"; AskART biographies.

Monuments Men

A group of approximately 345 men and women from thirteen nations, they worked to protect monuments and other artworks from the destruction of World War II. They were especially focused on rescuing and returning to rightful owners artwork confiscated by the Nazis. Monuments Men, which included museum directors, artists, architects, curators and art historians, remained in Europe for up to six years following the War. After this service, many of them became prominent figures in the art world such as founders of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the New York City Ballet. Source: website of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art,

Moore College of Art

See Philadelphia School of Design

Mormon Art Missionaries, French Art Mission

Sponsored by the LDS (Latter Day Saints) branch of the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City, male artists in the 1890s traveled to Paris, France to get formal art training at Academie Julian so they could skillfully execute murals and canvas paintings for the Church. Among the group were Herman Haag, Lorus Pratt, John Hafen, Myra Sawyer, Rose Hartwell, Edwin Evans and John B. Fairbanks. Many of them such as Hafen were influenced away from Realism and purely religious subjects by French styles of Tonalism and Impressionism and by French landscape painters. Source: Anthony's Fine Art, Information to AskART


One of the oldest of decorative arts, the method was popular with ancient Romans and Greeks. Earliest found examples date to fifth century BC and are composed of pebbles and shells the Greeks called "tesserae," meaning small arranged pieces. Colored glass, marble, stone and wood have also become mosaics media and are held in place by grout. Churches of Constantinople, Venice and Ravenna have excellent examples of Byzantine mosaics. Although the art is not much in vogue in the 21st century, some American artists are noted for Mosaic designs including murals such as Millard Sheets, Louis Tiffany, Jeanne Reynal, Helen Bruton, Jean Varda, Max Spivak, Ezra Winter and Emmy Lou Packard. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database

Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architect

One of the largest art institutions in Russia, it was founded in 1865 by the merger of a private college begun in 1832 and the Palace School of Architecture, established in 1749. It has been a competitor of the state-run St. Petersburg Academy of Arts for largest school in the country. Today its art curriculum is part of the Sirikov Art Institute in Moscow and architecture is at the Moscow Architectural Institute, the latter occupying the historical Moscow School. Source

Mountain School of Art

A short-lived art school, it was in Salt Lake City, Utah in the early 1930s. Gordon Cope was a teacher there. Source: Anthony Christensen, Anthony's Fine Art, Salt Lake City.

Mountie Artists

See Potlatch Collection


In the visual arts, it is the opposite of ethno-centricity, which is fear of supporting many cultures, familiar and unfamiliar. Multi-culturalists want to reach out beyond American and European subjects to Asia, Africa and non-white cultures within and outside the United States. The movement began in the late 1980s to reach out to persons who are part of the tremendous migration of non-whites to America, and to counter the racist responses of some US citizens. Since then, many American museum curators have held exhibitions on the basis of the artists' ethnic, racial and gender identities. In New York in 1990, the most comprehensive American Multicultural exhibit was held, with simultaneous presentations at the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Studio Museum of Harlem. Conservatives assailed the shows for promoting the lowering of artistic standards of quality. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"


Three-dimensional artwork produced in quantity by industrial or serigraphic processes, these copies or reproductions have a long tradition beginning with two-dimensional works. However, in 1955, artists Yaacov Agam and Jean Tinguely suggested to Parisien art dealer, Denise Rene, that a process could be developed for three dimensional works . Four years later, Editions M.A.T. was formed in Paris, and this company produced multiples of one-hundreds for sculptors including Tinguely, Man Ray, Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp. From that time, Multiples have been popular for collectors. As opposed to being valued for their uniqueness, Multiples are valued by their conveyance of the visual image. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"

Muncie Art School

A school of art instruction that operated for two years in Muncie, Indiana, it opened in 1889 and closed in the spring of 1891. William Forsyth (1854-1935) and J. Ottis Adams (1851-1927) were primary instructors. "Despite appealing to the more affluent members of Muncie society, especially the women, the school was not a place of idle pastimes. Its thrity-five pupils worked diligently, and when the Muncie Art School was closed late in spring 1891, the more serious among them sought additional training." (85). Among the students were Winifred Brady who married her teacher, J. Ottis Adams and became a well-known still life painter. Source: Judith Vale Newton and Carole Ann Weiss, "Skirting the Issue"

Munich Academy of Fine Arts, Royal Academy of Munich

Founded in 1808 by Maximilian I of Bavaria in Munich, it is one of the oldest and is the Royal Academy of Germany, especially known for teaching emphasis on Academic Realist. Many American artists studied there including William Merritt Chase, Frank Duveneck, Augustus Dunbier, Josef Albers and Joseph Henry Sharp. In 1953, the name changed to Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. Sources: Wikipedia; AskART biographies

Munich School of Painting

A style innovated by American artists led by Frank Duveneck in Munich in the 1870s and 1880s,it was realism combined with "dashing brushwork of quickly applied blocks of color, omitting the careful blending of traditional methods. Among the artists' favorite subjects were young boys or older men from working class neighborhoods. The style, a precursor to Social Realism, was a major influence in overthrowing the Hudson River School style of painting. Source: Traditional Fine Arts Online,

Munich Secession

The name for a landmark modernist art movement in Germany begun in 1892 in Munich, it focused on replacement of traditional methods and representational styles with Abstraction. Among artists involved were Lovis Corinth, Paul Klee, Franz Von Stuck and Wassily Kandinsky. Special attention occurred in 1899 when Kandinsky wrote a widely-circulated essay on the subject and described the group's "bold negation of aged models." Munich Secession was the first outside of France of a number of modernist art groups including Berlin, Austria and Belgium, which separated from what the artists regarded as oppression from the traditional academies. George Hirth, editor of Jugend (youth in English) coined the term to represent rebellious spirit. Sources: 'Secession', "Wikipedia";; (See Secession Art)


Any large-scale wall decoration done in painting, fresco, mosaic, or other medium.

Mural Town

The modern "mural town" tourism industry began in 1982 in the sawmill-based Canadian town of Chemainus (Pop.3,500) on Vancouver Island. Planned closure of the sawmill, its main source of employment, was a major economic threat, but that was softened but the ingenuity of resident Karl Schutz. Drawing from his observations in Romania where nuns raised funds by showing visitors old murals in their convents, he suggested Chemainus do the same by creating its own historic murals. Today the town attracts between 350,000 and 450,000 visitors a year, thanks to its murals painted by invited contemporary artists. Some of the first murals were painted by Harry Heine, Harold Lloyd Lyon, Ernest Marza and Paul Ygartua (see all in AskART). The saw mill reopened in 1985. As of 2009 the town has 42 murals with more in the works. Other mural towns include Stony Plain, Alberta; Ely, Nevada; Ottawa, Illinois; Katikati, New Zealand; and Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland. Source: "The Chemainus Murals" (1998), by Cynthia Bunbury and Gregg Perry, published by The Chemainus Festival of the Murals Society, Chemainus, B.C. ( 90 pgs, colour). Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, BC


A building, place or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition and educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historical, or artistic value. The word Museum is derived from the Latin muses, meaning “a source of inspiration,” or “to be absorbed in one’s thoughts.” Source:


A group of young Parisian artists who exhibited together from 1891 to 1899, they took their name from the Hebrew word for "prophets". Leaders were Paul Serusier, Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Ranson and Maurice Denis, and leading influence was Paul Gauguin. Underlying doctrine was distortions of colour, composition and subjects so that these elements reflected artists' own perceptions and not necessarily reality. Applied to both easel painting and the decorative arts, Nabis artwork was a precursor to "art nouveau". The last Nabis exhibition was in 1899 at Durand-Ruel Gallery. Source: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"

Naive Art

The result of artists' simplified approached to creativity and often work of artists lacking formal training, it is the rendering of literal images. Naive artists are usually zealous in their commitment to making art because it comes from their inner beings. The artwork of many of them may appear childlike but often is consistent in quality and has elements borrowed from art history. Media is wide-ranging from standard painting and sculpture to mixed media. In contrast to Naive Art, Folk Art, reflects a specific culture and not the artist's mental processes. A common mistake is to group Naive and Folk Art together. Naive Style tends to have bright colors, much detailing and little perspective or depth. In sculpture, quite often found objects are utilized. Some modernist artists with much interest in primitivism affect the naive style. However true Naive Art is nearly synonymous with Outsider Art and "is the product of an individual psyche rather than communal history". But Outsider Art has a slightly more narrow connotation because it is the artwork of people outside the mainstream of society such as people in mental institutions and prisons. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak".

Nakhoni Script

Also known as 'fingernail script', it is an Iranian invention, and resulted from artists searching for new methods for innovations. It is a method whereby the artist embosses and makes writing or images such as flowers, birds and landscapes apparent only through a slight pressure of the fingernails on the back of a delicate piece of paper. In Iran, Alireza Astaneh practices Nakhoni Script. Source: AskART biography of Nakhoni Script.

Nancy Daum

See Daum Glassworks

Nanyang School

A style of art, it was largely concerned with the integration of traditional Chinese art forms with modern developments in Western art, depicting the vivid context of Southeast Asia as their main subject matter. Nanyang style paintings are characterized by rural scenes, migrant culture, simple color schemes, and a mixture of Southeast Asian themes and Western compositional techniques. Most Nanyang works are Chinese ink and color or oil on canvas. Source: AskART biographies of Soo Peing Cheong

Narrative Art

Art which tells a story, it usually is self-explanatory, being from either recognizable daily-life scenes or from familiar folk stories. It was prevalent during the Renaissance with familiarstories from the Bible or the Classics. In the 19th Century, genre scenes became popular in America and often told a story such as a soldier leaving for war, etc. Modernist artists up to the 1960s avoided Narrative Art because they were more interested in abstraction or works with themes less easy to read. However, movements of the second half of the 20th Century such as Pop Art, Figurative, Calligraphic and Performance Art have reintroduced Narrative Art. Modern Narrative artists include Jerome Witkin, Roy Kerswill, and Faith Ringgold, who inscribes messages on her painted quilts. Among 19th-Century narrative artists are John Quidor, James Hamilton, Edward Moran, John Chapman and Otis Bass. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; AskART Database

National Academy of Design

Founded in New York City in 1825 as an art school, museum and association of professional artists to maintain high, academic standards, it was the most important art institution in America in the 19th Century. Setting the standard nationally for art excellence, its existence was key to making New York an early center of the American art world. Only male artists were allowed membership until 1831 when women were admitted. Samuel F.B. Morse was the first president, and the three original members were Morse, Asher Durand and William Dunlap. In turn, they invited other artist members. Listings in NAD annual spring exhibitions for many years brought prestige and important, career-building credentials to member artists, and provided viewers with leading edge artwork. However, rebellions against academic strictures of NAD began in the 1870s with the introduction of European modernism, and continued into the 20th century with Robert Henri’s Social Realism and the ‘shocking’ abstract art of the 1912 Armory Show. Today, the National Academy of Design offers education and exhibitions, but its value is described as being more historic than contemporary. Sources: Matthew Baigell, “Dictionary of American Art”, Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., “The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art”.

National Academy of Western Artists

A group affiliated with the The National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, their goal is promotion by exhibition of Western Art. Academy exhibitions are titled Prix de West, and the museum name has changed to The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Source: The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

National Art Training School, London

See South Kensington School of Art, London

National Arts Club

Located in two brownstones at 14 and 15 Gramercy Park South in New York City, the National Arts Club was founded in 1898 by Charles de Kay, art and literary critic, 1848-1935. His goal was to educate the public on the merits of American Art and to bring together some of America's foremost artists and collectors to encourage widespread support. The original membership campaign brought in 1200 charter members. Membership peaked in 1920 with 1800 persons and began to decline after World War II. However, in 1985, the Club experienced a revival, and numbers in the late 1990s leveled at about 2000 names. Immediately upon its founding exhibitions were organized, and in 1906 the move was made to the current headquarters. The NAC has its own art collection, begun in 1909, and housed in the headquarters, formerly the home of former New York Governor Samuel Tilden. Source: "California Art Club Newsletter", 2/2002, Elaine Adams.

National Association of Women Artists

Founded in 1889 as a non-profit, member-supported organization of women in the fine arts with the name of New York Women's Club, it remains the oldest active professional women's art group. The names changed beginning 1913, when it became Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. From 1916 to 1941, it was the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, and from 1941 forward, the name has been National Association of Women Artists. However, primary purposes remained the same, which are to encourage and promote creativity of women in the visual arts and to promote public awareness about them. NAWA sponsors year-round juried exhibitions for members and exhibitions that travel worldwide. Founding members of what was then called the New York Women's Club included Anita C. Ashley, Adele Francis Bedell, Elizabeth S. Cheever, Grace Fitz-Randolph and Edith Mitchill Prellwitz. Among later members after the first name change are Louise Nevelson, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Malvina Hoffman, Anne Goldthwaite, Elizabeth Nourse, Theresa Bernstein, Claude Hirst, Charlotte Coman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Anna Hyatt Huntington and Alice Schille. Sources:; Peter Falk, Art Historian; Submitted 2014 by Susan G. Hammond, Executive Director of NAWA

National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors

See National Association of Women Artists

National Cartoonists Society

An organization of professional cartoonists formed in 1946, its origin stemmed from cartoonists who got together to entertain U.S. troops, and finding they enjoyed each other, decided to meet on a regular basis. Membership is limited to professional cartoonists with the purpose of advancing "the ideals and standards of professional cartooning in its many forms" and to encourage public acceptance of cartooning. The organization annually gives the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. Members include Fred Harman, Joe Kubert and Bill Watterson. Source: Wikipedia: National Cartoonists Society; AskART biographies

National College of Art and Design, Dublin

Linked to Robert West, who gave private drawing lessons in Dublin, the school formed in 1746 when the Dublin Society of Artists took over his lessons and operated three schools: Figure Drawing, Landscape, and Ornamental and Architectural Drawing. In 1811, the School of Modelling was added, and in 1854, the Department of Science and Art in London began oversight. In 1877, the entities combined into The Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, and 12 years later it became the National College of Art and Design. The main campus in on Thomas Street in the historic area of Dublin. Source:

National Gallery of Victoria

An art gallery and museum in Melbourne, Australia, it was founded in 1861. It is the oldest and largest public museum in Australia, and since 2003 has two locations: Melbourne Arts Precinct and Federation Square. The collection has over 65,000 works, old and modern. Source: Wikipedia,

National Institute of Arts and Letters

See American Academy of Arts and Letters

National League of American Pen Women

See League of American Pen Women

National Medal of Arts

An award created by the U.S. Congress in 1984, it is an honor for artists and artist patrons. Selections are made by a committee of the National Endowment for the Arts, and presentations are made by Presidents of the United States. Sculptor Robert Graham designed the Medal. Recipients include Louise Nevelson, Georgia O'Keeffe, Andrew Wyeth, Jasper Johns and Willem de Kooning. Source:

National Portrait Gallery

A museum in London, England at St. Martin's off Trafalgar Square, it houses portrait paintings of famous, historically important British citizens, now totaling about 10,000 works. Selection is by significance of the sitter, not the artist. It opened in 1856, and is the first gallery/museum in the world dedicated solely to portraiture. Source: Wikipedia,

National Sculpture Society

The oldest organization of professional sculptors in the United States, the NSS is composed of master sculptors and architects dedicated to excellence in idealized figurative sculpture in classical realist or Beaux-Arts style. Daniel Chester French, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Richard Morris Hunt, and Stanford White founded the NSS in New York City in 1893, the same year as the Chicago Exposition. The first president of the National Sculpture Society was John Quincy Adams Ward. The Chicago Exposition was a turning point in collaboration between architects and sculptors and launched the success of many NSS members. The purpose of the organization was and remains to open public and private markets for sculptors. Early members were quite successful in dominating public commissions as long as they had architectural work and a nation that wanted to honor heroic individuals with their style of work. However members dating from the mid 20th century have not been as successful marketing traditional figurative sculpture with because of the popularity of more modernist styles and lessening demands for realist style commemorative artwork. Source: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture";

National Society of Painters in Casein

See National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic

National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic

Founded in the early 1950s to give artists a chance to exhibit their casein and/or acrylic artwork, regardless of style or subject matter, it was first named The National Society of Painters in Casein. Some years later when acrylic became commercially popular with artists, that category was added to the name of the organization whose president was then Ralph Fabri. Other artist members include Louis Lozowick, Elias Newman and Xavier Barile, and today about 30 states are represented. Sources: Website of The NSPC&A; AskART Biographies

National Watercolor Society

Founded in 1920 as the California Water Color Society, its members are dedicated to a new appreciation of a medium long associated with merely sketching. The name of the Society has changed twice since that time: first in 1967, to California National Watercolor Society; then in 1975, when the members voted to become simply the National Watercolor Society. Its headquarters are now in San Pedro, California and the goals of its members are quality exhibitions and accompanying educational programs and materials. Members include Harley Brown, Francis de Erdelyi and Dean Mitchell. Source: 'National Watercolor Society', "Wikipedia",; AskART biographies/

Native Chalk

See Chalk

Naturalism, Naturalist

As observed in 'nature' or the natural world, it is descriptive in fine art of a style close to realism, although it may have elements of lighting and color effects that border on abstraction. Paintings by Jules Bastein-Lepage are described as Naturalist because they have a direct and non-sentimental approach to genre subjects, are drawn from Naturalist authors such as Emile Zola, and are combined with the interest in natural light and modern painting techniques adopted from the Impressionists, who drew from nature. Source: Schillier & Bodo European Paintings Gallery; biography of Lepage.


See Pre-Raphaelites


A group of early 19th century German Romantic painters, they shared a commitment to simplicity and reviving honesty and spirituality in Christian art. The name Nazarene was derisive, given to them because of their affectation of Biblical mannerisms and dress. Members included Carl Begas, Wilhelm von Schadow, Eugene von Guerard and Philipp Veit. Source: Wikipedia,

Nazarene Movement

Organized in early 19th century Rome by German romantic painters, the group sought to rebel against Neo-Classicism and express pre-Renaissance simplicity of Christian art. Some of the 'Nazarenes' lived monastically in the old Franciscan convent of San Isidoro, and were derisively described as Nazarenes for perceived affectation of Biblical manner and clothing. Their painting tended to have noble ideas, precise outlines, scholastic composition and light, shade and color to emphasize their purpose. Leaders of the movement were Johann Overbeck, Friedrich Schadow, Peter von Cornelius and Julius Schnorr. By 1830, the group had disbanded, and many of its members returned to Germany and became influential teachers. Source: Wikipedia and AskART biographies.

Negative Space

The space in a painting around the objects depicted.

Neo Plasticism

See De Stijl

Neo Realism

See New Realism

Neo-Classical, Neo-Classicism

A term meaning “New” classicism, it was a style in 19th-century European and American painting and sculpture that referred back to the classical styles of Greece and Rome. Neo-Classicism became popular in an era of idealism and suggested the "ideal life reborn" (Couper) and celebration of perfect human form as a work of god's creation. Neo-Classical artworks have sharp and realistic delineation of the human figure, reserved emotional tone, deliberate and often mathematical composition, and cool colors such as can be found in white marble. Neo-Classicism was taught in art academies in the 19th century, but was suppressed in popularity in the early 20th century by more emotion-based styles such as Impressionism and Social Realism. Italian Antonio Canova and Danish Bertel Thorvaldsen were leading Neo-Classical sculptors working in Rome. American painters and sculptors who worked in the Neo-Classical style include Charles Willson Peale, John Vanderlyn, Hiram Powers, Harriet Hosmer, Edwin Weeks, Henry Benbridge, Bessie Vonnoh, Thomas Crawford, Albert Herter, William Couper, Edmonia Lewis and Erastus Palmer: Sources:, courtesy Michael Delahunt; Greta Elena Couper, “An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour”; Online Encyclopedia of Irish and World Artists.

Neo-Concrete Art

See Concrete


A mid 1950s to mid 1960s style in the United States, it bridged Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. The term was first used in a January 1958 issue of "ARTnews" magazine to describe work of Jasper Johns, Allan Kaprow, Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly. However, Neo-Dada became more associated with Johns and Rauschenberg, who used gestural methods of the Abstract Expressionists but painted recognizable, everyday objects into their artwork. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"


An international movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which was a reaction against the experimentation of Conceptual art and the severity of Minimalism. Neo-Expressionists often express intense, violent feelings emphasized by gestural motions in applying paint. The term is widely used to describe works done primarily by German and Italian artists who came to maturity in the post-WWII era. In the 1980s the meaning expanded to include certain American artists such as Nancy Graves, Robert Longo, Ed Paschke, David Salle, Julian Schnabel, Robert Morris, Sue Coe, Martha Diamond and Donald Sultan. Its exponents utilize traditional approaches such as easel painting and cast and carved sculpture. However generalizations about subject matter are difficult because they are so wide ranging from surrealist dreams to allegory to mythology. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; AskART biographies


A shortening of the words neo-geometric conceptualism, the term is confusing because it originally was applied to artists whose work seems to have little in common with each other: Ashley Bickerton, Peter Halley, Jeff Koons and Meyer Vaisman. Others linked to the tradition but not the origin are Steven Parrino, Haim Steinbach and John Armleder. What is shared among these artists "is an interest in the cool ironies of POP ART and the use of Conceptual art to address issues related to the nature of the art market during New York's economic boom of the 1980s. Many regard the description 'Neo-Geo' as nothing more than a marketing device . . . and of the art market's insatiable appetite for the new, rather than as an aesthetic sign post." By 1989, the term was rarely mentioned as joint exhibitions of the original four artists drew little attention. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"


A late 19th-century French art movement, it originated in Paris with artist Georges Seurat (1859-1891) and was carried on by Paul Signac (1863-1935). Although sometimes the overall affect was similar to Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism was a marked departure in several ways: The application of paint was done scientifically and precisely by a method of tiny detached strokes of pure color, many of them rounded dots which became known as Pointillism. Its precise technique was the opposite approach of the Impressionists who, in one handling of the canvas, grabbed the 'fleeting moment' of the day with 'slap/dash' strokes. Also the colors on a Neo-Impressionist painting were positioned so that each was featured like a shining light, which again differed markedly from the often murky or 'run together' look of Impressionist painting. Seurat's ideas were much influenced by the writings about color theory of chemist, Michel Eugéne Chevreul, early 19th century Director of the Gobelin Tapestry Works. Sources:;ène_Chevreul; WebMuseum, Paris,Signac.

Neo-Romanticism, Neo Romantic

A 1930s to 1950s movement in painting, theatre, illustration, and film, focus on landscape and figurative expression was poetic or personal. It was a response to tensions of pre-World War II and a fusion of modernist expression of abstract painters such as Picasso with romantics such as William Blake and William Wordsworth. It was "an attempt to demonstrate the survival and freedom of expression of the nation's spiritual life." Eugene Berman has been described as a Neo-Romantic artist, and Gustav Mahler as a neo-romantic musician. Source:; AskART biographies.

Neon Sculpture

Art shaped by neon and fluorescent light, its focus is illumination and color and suggests commercialization because its thin tubal lights are often used for advertising signs. Vardea Chryssa, stimulated by the lights of Times Square in New York City, is one of the pioneers of Neon lights in sculpture. Beginning 1962, she used illumination with and without color and subtle sequential lighting effects, usually in Plexiglas boxes. oseph Rees, creating pop art objects such as tables, chairs and eye glasses, was also a pioneer in the use of neon. Other neon artists are Dan Flavin who works with commercial tubes, Billy Apple and Stephen Antonakos. "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; AskART biographies.


Miniature sculptures invented in 17th century Japan, they were carved wood button-like fasteners for small baskets or boxes, which, dangled with cords from pocketless garments, and held personal items. They evolved from practical function to collectibles as expressions of extraordinary craftsmanship. Source: Wikipedia, //

Neue Wilde

See Junge Wilde


Having no hue – it is the 'color' of black, white, or gray or is sometimes a tannish color achieved by mixing two complementary colors.

New Bauhaus

See Illinois Institute of Design

New England School of Art

See New England School of Art and Design

New England School of Art and Design

Located at Suffolk University in Boston, it was founded in 1923 as a school of fine arts, graphic and interior design, interior architecture and illustration. Initially the name was New England School of Art, and it was a private school offering BFA, MA and MFA degrees. In 1975, the name changed to New England School of Art and Design, and it relocated to 28 Newbury Street. In 1995, the facility moved to 75 Arlington Street in Boston's Back Bay and now occupies over 43,000 square feet. In 1988, collaboration began with Suffolk University so that art and design students could take classes on that campus. In 1996, the institutions merged with the School of Art and Design becoming a department in the College of Art & Sciences. The NESAD has been ranked as one of the "Top Ten" interior design programs in the U.S. Source: Wikipedia,

New England Watercolor Society

Formerly the Boston Watercolor Society, the NEWS became the name in 1885 with an exhibition opening of work by thirteen artists including Childe Hassam, Phillip Little and Ross Turner. In 1892, the name changed to The Boston Society of Watercolor Painters. Annual exhibitions venues include The Boston Art Club, Vose Galleries and Museum of Fine Arts Boston. In 1966, the name changed back to The Boston Watercolor Society. Source:

New English Art Club

Founded in London in 1886, it was as an exhibiting society by artists influenced by Impressionism and rejected by the conservative Royal Academy. Key early members were James McNeill Whistler (although he soon resigned) Walter Sickert and Philip Steer. Others in the first show included George Clausen, Stanhope Forbes and John Singer Sargent. Initially "avant-garde", the NEAC became increasingly conservative and Sickert and Steer formed an 'Impressionist nucleus' within it, staging their own show, London Impressionists in 1889. NEAC remains important as a showcase entity for advanced art with emphasis on preserving Impressionism. Source: Tate Glossary – Also See Federation of British Artists. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian, West Vancouver, British Columbia

New Group

See New Hope Modernists.

New Harmony Arts Community

Named for New Harmony, a southwest Indiana frontier town founded by utopian seekers who called themselves Harmonists, the town, with a population of about one-thousand persons, has become an arts mecca. It was founded in 1814, and has been led in the 20th century by retired physician and philanthropist Dr. George Rapp, descendant of the original founder, Reverend George Rapp. In 1997, Rapp initiated annual exhibitions called "First Blush of Spring Paint-Outs", now a joint project with The Hoosier Salon, Indiana Plein-Air Painters Association, and New Harmony Artists Guild. Artists compete for prizes and sales and hold workshops and also sessions to critique each other's work. The April 2004 "Paint Out" featured a workshop by plein-air landscape painter David Slonim. Credit: Steve Zimmerman, Art Collector and Historian of Indianapolis, Indiana.

New Haven Paint and Clay Club

Founded in 1900 in New Haven, Connecticut by a group of artists, many whom had studied at Yale University, they decided to hold a contemporary art show, the chose an exhibition site in a printer's shop in Pitkin Alley. The second year they outgrew that space and within several years, the group was a prestigious art association in New Haven and was holding their exhibitions at Yale and at the New Haven Public Library. The Club has continued into the 21st century and sponsors two shows annually: an active members exhibit in the fall and a spring juried exhibit of New York and New England artists. Artists qualify to be Paint and Clay Club members if they are accepted at both exhibitions. Located in the John Slade Ely House at 51 Trumbull Street,the Club also has a permanent early membership list include Frederick Sexton, Augustus Tack, Emile Gruppe, Marguerite Stuber Pearson, Anthony Thieme, Marion Boyd Allen and Eleanor Parke Custis. Sources:; //; Helen Fuscuss, "Frederick Sexton" (Connecticut Gallery, Inc.)

New Hope Group/Painters

See New Hope Modernists or New Hope Impressionists

New Hope Impressionists/Pennsylvania School

Leading American impressionist landscape painters in the early 20th Century, these artists, beginning 1898, settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the area of New Hope. They were also in neighboring towns of Solebury and Center Bridge and Lambertsville, New Jersey. The movement was referred to as the Pennsylvania School by New York artist and teacher Guy Pene Du Bois, who described their paintings as "our first truly national expression". Leading members of the early group were Edward Redfield, William Lathrop, Charles Rosen, Daniel Garber, Robert Spencer, Rae Sloan Bredin and Morgan Colt. Walter Schofield was associated with the group but never lived in Bucks County. Their exhibition group was called the New Hope Group. Source: Thomas Folk, "The Pennsylvania Impressionists", p. 15

New Hope Modernists:The New Group and Independents

New Hope, Pennsylvania Modernists were active in the first half of the twentieth century along side their New Hope Impressionist peers. In 1930, modernist Lloyd Ney submitted a painting of the New Hope canal for entry to a juried exhibition at the Phillips Mill. One of the bridges depicted in the work was painted in a bright red. An influential member of the jury board, William Lathrop, rejected Ney’s painting, citing the bright colors as too disturbing. When word of this omission reached fellow modernist, Charles Ramsey, he decided to take action. Miffed by this disregard for their modernist ideas and techniques, Ramsey formed the ”New Group,” an organization intended to rebel against the more traditional impressionists. New Group members had their inaugural show in the New Hope Town Hall on May 15, 1930, a day before the Phillips Mill Impressionist exhibition. The New Group operated with no formal organization or committees, and allowed each artist to select his or her work. Artists included Charles Ramsey, Stanley Reckless, Ethel Wallace, Lloyd Ney and Charles Garner. Although Charles Ramsey was creating Cubist and modernist works in New Hope in the late teens, the New Group was the first designated modernist organization to form there but was soon followed by another association called the Independents. This group consisted of most New Group artists as well as R.A.D. Miller, Peter Keenan, Charles Evans, Henry Baker, Richard Wedderspoon, Carl Lindborg, Frederick Harer, Faye Swengel Badura, Louis Stone and Charles Ward, among others. Other important modernist painters to later settle in the area were Josef Zenk, Scandinavian-born B.J.O. Nordfeldt, Swiss-born Joseph Meierhans who studied in New York with John Sloan, Clarence Carter, and precisionist, Richard Peter Hoffman of Allentown. Source: James Alterman, "New Hope for American Art", p. 13

New Image

A term derived from the 1978 Whitney Museum exhibition, "New Image Painting", it signaled the return of recognizable figurative images, which was a "shocking" challenge to an art world dominated by Minimalism and Conceptualism. Philip Guston, former Abstract Expressionist, was the early proponent of New Image painting, which became the forerunner of the Post-Modern return to figurative imagery. Although Guston's cartoon-like figure and style were not copied, many artists were influenced by his rebelliousness and "gutzy eccentricity." Nicholas Africano did small figures; Susan Rothenberg sketched horses; Neil Jenney did images with explanatory titles; Jennifer Bartlett did paintings on steel plates; Pat Steir did historical scenes; and Jonathan Borofsky sculpted abstract figures. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

New Leipzig School

A post World War II art movement in parts of Europe cut off from outside cultural influences by the Iron Curtain, it involved young artists dedicated to traditional studies, especially figurative education, that in the West had been overrun by abstraction. New Leipzig artists "flocked to the Leipzig Art Academy in East Germany" in order to get art education that allowed them to express themselves in a disciplined but personal way. Much of their painting and sculpture was hauntingly and surrealistically narrative, reflective of their war experiences. Source: Editors, 'Best of the West-Pacific Northwest', "Southwest Art", February 2007, p. 66.

New Media

Artwork done using a computer, it is either displayed on a computer screen or "outputted" in some manner such as on paper, canvas, etc. Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist

New Mexico Painters

Organized June 6, 1923 by New Mexico painters who felt isolated from active art markets and exhibition venues, its purpose was joint exhibitions for marketing purposes in east, southwest and west venues. Original members were Frank Applegate, Josef Bakos, Gustave Baumann, Ernest Blumenschein, William Penhallow Henderson, Victor Higgins, B.J. Nordfeldt and Walter Ufer. In 1924, five more artists joined: John Sloan, Randall Davey, Andrew Dasburg, Theodore Van Soelen and Walter Mruk. That year exhibition venues included the San Diego Museum, Los Angeles County Museum and Art Institute of Chicago. The groups last show together was in 1927. Source: Daria Labinsky and Stan Hieronymus, "Frank Applegate of Santa Fe, Artist and Preservationist"

New New Painters

A group of late 20th and early 21st century American painters, they use abstract style simply to paint and enjoy the process and not to convey social messages or obvious themes. The goal is to focus only on the painting itself and the limitless possibilities of creation within the medium, which usually is acrylic. This water-based paint is favored because it can be applied in many layers and can be added to a variety of binders. The New New Painters are especially interested in details of process such as a blob of paint, a squirt from a paint tube, gesture of the artist and brushstrokes. However, they seldom use brushstrokes as most prefer pouring paints from buckets, spreading around with sticks, combining with bits of glass, etc. Unlike many abstract artists who wish to be perceived as intellectuals, New New Painters are not embarrassed if their work appears decorative. They deliberately use color in abundance, an expression of the richness of their American environment. New New artists include Lucy Baker, Steven Brent, Irene Neal, Marjorie Minkin, Roy Lerner, Joseph Drapell and Graham Peacock. In 2002, The New New Painters were featured in an exhibition of the National Gallery of Prague, Czechoslavakia as contrasts to the more self-limiting art promoted in that country. Source: Natalie Sykorova, Curator, "New New Painters", catalogue of the National Gallery in Prage, 2002.

New Realism

Meaning 'new way to perceive the real', it was a 1960s avant-garde art movement begun by the painter Yves Klein and art critic Pierre Restany. An underlying goal was bringing art and life closer together into a "a poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality". Assemblage grew out of this movement. The Apollinaire Gallery in Milan hosted the group's first exhibition, and other exhibition galleries were Sidney Janis in New York, and Gallery J in Paris. New Realist artists included Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Yves Klein, Arman and Christo. The group dissolved in 1970. Source: Wikipedia, "Nouveau realisme".

New School for Social Research

Founded in 1919, it is a New York City educational entity located primarily in Greenwich Village. Between 1997 and 2005, it was known as New School University, and from then has had the name, The New School. It was founded by US Fabian Socialists including Alvin Johnson upon concepts of equality, and from its inception has been known for avant-garde teaching. Degrees are undergraduate and graduate, and there are eight schools within: social science, liberal arts, humanities, architecture, fine arts, design, music, drama, finance, psychology and public policy, which houses the World Policy Institute. Its graduate school began in 1933 and was dubbed the University in Exile because it was a sanctuary for European scholars rescued by their U.S. counterparts before and during World War II. Enrollment in the 21st Century is about 7000 students. Among teachers have been Jacob Lawrence, Bruno Lucchesi, and Robert Gwathmey, and student alumni include Red Grooms, Leonard Baskin, Jo Baer, and Dan Flavin. Sources: Wikipedia, "The New School"; AskART biographies

New School of Art, Toronto

See Three Schools of Art

New School University

See New School for Social Research

New Society of Americans in Paris

Formed in 1908, it was a secessionist movement against the Society of American Artists in Paris and its control of international exhibition recognition. Founding members included Alfred Maurer, Max Weber, John Marin and Edward Steichen. Among their grievances against the old Society were that it was a "close corporation made up of men of international reputation", which used its influence in Europe to "monopolize honors and emoluments and to keep from recognition any persons not in its good graces." It was written "that while practically every member of the Society of American Painters in Paris is decorated with the Legion of Honor, not more than three or four members of that petrified body are doing anything for American art." Source: "The New York Times", February 26, 1908.

New Society of Painters in Water Colours

See Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

New Tendencies

An art movement between 1961 and 1973 of five international exhibitions held in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, it expressed "the phenomenon of the avant-garde post World War II art scene. It was a time when positive feelings were emerging about science, the wonders of modern architecture and general feelings that technology and industrialization could create good living for many persons in western civilization. New Tendencies is described as the "last international art movement whose representatives still had hopes for the possibility of social and political change in the contemporary world.” Descriptive terms of style and methods include Neo-Constructivism, Neo-Concretist optical, programmed, kinetic, lumino-kinetic, and computer art. Around 1968, the movement began to die out because of disillusion with societal realities. Ivan Picelja of Zagreb was one of the artists. Source: “Impossible Histories”, by Dubravka Djuirc and Misko Suvakovic.

New Water Colour Society

See Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

New Wave

Initially a word used to described French filmmakers of the late 1950s, the term New Wave in the 1980s became associated with the combining of music and Performance Art. The definition has come to mean a mix of Graffiti, Neo-Expressionists and East Village Artists. Alternative Spaces showcase New Wave events. Two major New York exhibitions of New Wave artists in the 1980s brought the name to the attention of the media. One of them was in an Alternative Space, which was a dilapidated former massage parlor that offered an alternative to the familiar white-walled art galleries. The second exhibition, held in 1981, was in a space called P.S. 1. New Wave artists include Tom Otterness and John Ahearn. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"

New Woodland School Style

A merging of Ojibway tradition with European notions of fine art, it was pioneered by Jackson Beardy. His art is representative of the New Woodland School style: iconic figures, an undifferentiated background, systems of linear determinatives, x-ray perspectives, and vibrant unmixed hues. With cultural specificity, it reflects his search for "a visual symbolic language that would convey a cohesive world view," as Colleen Cutschall described it in 1994. "Beardy created an art of profound cultural change – steeped both in a traditional heritage and a contemporary reality and relevance. His work is powerful in its historical, cultural and political significances." Source: AskART Biography, courtesy M.D. Silverbrooke

New York Academy of Art

Also known as the Graduate School of Figurative Art, it is a private, not-for-profit New York City university. Andy Warhol and others founded the school in 1982 to offer instruction in figurative arts. The Academy has a two-year course, whose completion is a Master of Fine Arts. Source: Wikipedia,

New York Academy of the Fine Arts

See American Academy of the Fine Arts

New York Etching Club

America's first professional organization devoted to etching, it was prominent in the 19th century. The first meeting was held May 2, 1877 in the New York studio of James Smillie. Featured for discussion was an etching by Robert Swain Gifford printed on a press built by Henry Farrer. From 1879 to 1881, the Etching Club was featured in a periodical called "The American Art Review". Source: Wikipedia, New York Etching Club

New York School

Described as the first truly American art style, it references a broad and diverse group of American artists, almost exclusively men, active in the 1940s and 1950s. The term includes Abstract Expressionism, Abstract Impressionism and Action Painting and is elusive of tight definition because innovation and individual expression are unifying characteristics. New York School artists, working from personal impulses and defying academic traditions, shared the urban environment of New York City with most of them living in an area bordered by 8th and 12th Streets between First and Sixth Avenues. The New York School movement was stirred by several conjoining events: Hans Hoffman and the opening of his school;introduction of Surrealism and Cubism into American Art with arrival of artists from France escaping World War II; and exhibitions of avant-garde European art by Peggy Guggenheim. Their first organization meeting was in 1948 at Studio 35, and until April, 1950, it was a meeting place for lectures and discussion. Involved were Mark Rothco, Robert Motherwell, Ad Reinhardt, Willem De Kooning and Barnet Newman and they joined with others in 1949 to form The Club, a group of twenty artists whose meeting place was The Cedar Bar. Their first exhibition was May to June 1951. Franz Kline designed the poster, and sixty-one artists participated. Public response was minimal, but twenty-four of the artists continued to exhibit together from 1953 to 1957 at the Stable Gallery. Later in the 1950s, a second generation of New York School painters emerged, but the movements energy declined with Pop Art painters staging a rebellion against Abstraction. Sources: Marika Herskovic, "New York School", "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"

New York School of Applied Design for Women

Established in 1892 by Ellen Dunlop Hopkins, a promoter of the Arts and Crafts movement, the school made available practical learning so that women could make a living in arts and crafts related occupations such as book cover designs, stained glass, textile design and illustration. The original location was 200 West 23rd Street, and through several transitions and supported by John D. Rockefeller, merged in the mid 1970s with the Pratt Institute. Among the teachers were Alphonse Mucha and Anthony Sisti, and students included Isabel Bishop and Peggy Bacon. Sources:

New York School of Art

See Chase School of Art

New York School of Interior Design

Founded in 1916 in New York City and located since 1994 at 170 East 70th Street, the school was founded by architect Sherrill Whiton at a time Interior Design was first being recognized as a profession that required training. In 1924, it was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. Curriculum focuses on fostering dialog between architecture and interior design and setting high accreditation standards for its students, which included Bernard Perlin and Max Walter. Source:

New York Society of Women Artists

Founded in 1920 by 23 female painters and sculptors with a commitment to promoting avant-garde women art, it was one of the early women's art association in America. It was a rebellion against the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, considered by the rebels to be nothing more than 'Sunday Painters'. Among original NYSWA members were Henrietta Shore, Bena Frank Meyer, Lucy L'Engle and Minna Harkavy; Marguerite Zorach served as the first President. An "ARTnews" critic, praising an early exhibition, described the Society as a "battalion of Amazons that is surely unbeatable." The group is still active with some exhibitions being at Lever House on West 57th Street. Sources:;; AskART biography of Lucy L'Engle

New York Studio School

Founded in New York City in 1964 by Mercedes Matter, curriculum was Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. A year earlier, Matter wrote an article for "ARTnews" titled 'What's Wrong with U.S. Art Schools?' in which she criticized phasing out of extended studio classes, which served "that painfully slow education of the senses" that she considered essential. The article prompted a group of Pratt students, as well as some from Philadelphia, to ask Matter to form a school based on her ideas. The school was originally housed in a loft on Broadway and gained almost immediate support from the Kaplan Fund, Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III and the Ford Foundation. It granted no degrees, had only studio classes and emphasized drawing from life. Early teachers, chosen by the students, included the artists Philip Guston, Bradley Walker Tomlin, Charles Cajori, Louis Finkelstein and Sidney Geist; the art historian Meyer Schapiro; and composer Morton Feldman. The school continues to train emerging artists. Source; Wikipedia, Mercedes Matter

New York Water Color Club

Founded in 1890 in response to perceived lax exhibition criteria of the American Watercolor Society, founders of the NYWCC had the goal of promoting pastels as well as watercolors through Fall exhibitions and of raising of exhibition criteria standards. It was an era before many commercial art galleries, so annual exhibitions were important to promoting artwork. The first NYWCC meeting was March 26, 1890, and founders included Childe Hassam, the first President; Charles Warren Eaton, Treasurer; Rhoda Holmes Nicholls, Vice President; and Henry Bayley Snell. Others who joined shortly after were John Twachtman, Walter Launt Palmer, Winslow Homer, Maurice Prendergast and Irving Ramsey Wiles. The first exhibition, which received positive reviews, was held at the American Galleries and had about 400 entries. The NYWCC also did much to promote women artists through club leadership positions and exhibition space. Of the original membership, half were women, which was a contrast with the American Watercolor Society in 1906 when “The New York Times” had a note that only two of its ninety-nine members were women. In 1941, with many differences resolved, The New York Watercolor Club merged with the American Watercolor Society and took the name of American Watercolor Society Source: David A. Cleveland, ‘The New York Water Color Club’, “The Magazine Antiques”, November 2005, pp. 116-121.

New York Women's Art Club

See National Association of Women Artists

New York Women's Club

See National Association of Women Artists

Newcomb Pottery

Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of creating hand-made products, Newcomb Pottery, was founded in New Orleans and became one of the most famous early 20th century lines of pottery. It remains highly collectible, although its production ceased in 1940, having resulted in approximately seventy-thousand pieces designed by ninety women artists. It has been reported that shortly after the end of production, during renovation of the College Art Department, pottery was thrown from the upper story windows to make room for workers. The Pottery building on Camp Street, where Newcomb Pottery was made, remains standing (2004) and is a registered historic landmark. Newcomb was unusual from many other pottery companies because of educational connection to a college, which was Newcomb College at Tulane University. Large collections of the pottery are in the Newcomb Art Department, the Louisiana State Museum, the Fine Arts Museum at Louisiana State University, and the Historic New Orleans Collection. Newcomb pottery has been featured on traveling exhibits including "The Arts and Crafts Movement in the South", held in 1996 at the High Museum in Atlanta and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Source: The Columbus Museum, Columbus Georgia;

Newlyn School

A colony of artists around Newlyn, a fishing village in Cornwall, England, it was active from the 1880s to the early 20th Century and continues to be a favored gathering place for artists. The term, Newlyn School, has also become synonymous with British Impressionism. Walter Langley is credited as Colony founder. Similar to the California plein-air movement, it was inspired by the Barbizon School of painting, and attracted artists seeking rural settings in 'pure' natural light. The area also had other attractions such as inexpensive accommodations and models who charged very little money. Participants included Lamorna Birch, Stanhope Forbes, Norman Garstin, Albert Tayler and Frederick Hall. Source: Wikipedia,

Newlyn Society of Artists

Founded in 1895 and with a Society membership of about 150 painters, photographers, printmakers, and multi-media artists, the Society is based in Cornwall, England. For exhibitions, the Society has a working relationship with the Newlyn Gallery, which was built by benefactor John Passmore Edwards. The Society and Gallery continue their working relationship into the 21st Century. Source: Newland Society of Artists,

Newman Galleries

Dating to 1865 at 16th and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia, it was founded by Adolph and George Newman and represents Pennsylvania artists, especially those who have attended the Pennsylvania Academy. With 4th and 5th generation Newman family members, the Gallery continues operation and has become one of the oldest, ongoing art galleries in America. Artist estates represented include those of Daniel Garber, Edward Redfield, Kenneth Nunamker and John Folinsbee. Source: 'A Historic Firm Always on the Move', "Fine Arts Connoisseur", January 2007.


A Japanese term originally meaning 'Japanese painting', it now as wider meaning and includes painting executed primarily in traditional materials such as ink and glue-based mineral pigments; supports such as paper and silk; and formats such as hanging scroll, hanging scroll or screen. Nihonga was coined in the 1880s as a means to distinguish the pictorial practice grounded in the native tradition of "shoga" (calligraphy and painting) from "yoga" or Western type painting that employed Western media, formats and modes of representation." Source; Sandra Buckley, "Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture", 2001, p. 356. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, Canada


An art movement, it was founded in 1963 by Boris Lurie at Gallery Gertrude Stein as a distainful expression of current art trends such as Abstract Expressionism (shallow and decorative) and Pop Art (promoted consumerism). Art for NO!Art artists should address serious social issues such as racism, sexism, imperialism, etc. Lurie, a Holocaust survivor, was committed to these topics from his imprisonment during World War II at Buchenwald, and the name came about when the Gallery Gertrude Stein opened on 81st Street, and Lurie and other painters such as Sam Goodman and Stanley Fisher were thinking "never again" of the post-Holocaust period. Sources: ARTnews, March 2008, p. 70; Wikipedia/Boris Lurie

Non Figurative Artists' Association of Montreal

Also known as "Association des Artists Non Figuratifs de Montreal", it was an alliance of Montreal abstract artists organized in 1956. In the words of Fernand Leduc, the first president, it was: ". . . a way of bringing together artists who would compel recognition from society for a type of art which it rejected; who would force museums to open their doors; who would force the powers that be to recognize the group.” Its membership of about 50 included Plasticiens*, Automatistes* and even a member of Painters Eleven* (Ray Mead). The only thing all the members had in common was interests in abstraction, however, most had exhibited in “Espace 55” (1955) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and, most were exhibitors at Guido Molinari’s Galerie l’ Actuelle. The first exhibition was at Helene de Champlaine restaurant in 1956. Subsequent exhibitions included the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1957), the Ecole des Beaus-Arts (1959) and "Espace Dynamique" at Denyse Delrue Gallery (1960). As the members individually gained prominence, due in part to the success of the group, they drifted away and the organization disbanded in 1961. Sources: “A Concise History of Canadian Painting” (1973), by Dennis Reid and "Contemporary Canadian Art" (1983), by David Burnett & Marilyn Schiff (see both in AskART Book references). Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Non Objective

An umbrella term, it refers to visual art completely devoid of recognizable objects and includes abstract expressionism, classical abstraction, suprematism and constructivism. It sometimes crosses over enough into abstraction or semi-realism that its true meaning gets clouded with confusion. In 1936, Hilla Rebay, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, a repository of Non-Objective Painting, "began using the term "non-objective" to refer to painting by Wassily Kandinsky, Russian painter. Kandinsky used the wording “Non-objective” in his treatise, "On the Spiritual in Art." Other artists associated with Non-Objective painting are Kasimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian. Source: Ruth Pasquine,"The Politics of Redemption: Dynamic Symmetry and Theosophy in the Art of Emil Bisstram", p. 78

Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Buyers Choice Award

Recognition by organizers of the Prix De West, annual exhibition of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, the award carries a cash award of three-thousand dollars for the artist whose entry is voted "the most popular work of art as chosen by the patrons attending the opening night". Recipients include Paul Calle, Curt Walters, Dan Gerhartz and Ron Riddick. Sources: The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; AskART database

Norman Wait Harris Silver Medal

An exhibition award of the Art Institute of Chicago, it carryies a prize of five-hundred dollars. Winners included Ross Moffatt. Source: Matthew Bakkom Collection, St. Paul, Minnesota

North Shore Arts Association of Gloucester

An organization in Gloucester, Massachusetts, it dates to incorporation on December, 2, 1922, and reflects the artistic life of Cape Ann, Gloucester, Annisquam, Magnolia and Rockport. Founding artist members included William Atwood, Paul Cornoyer, Cecelia Beaux, George Noyes, Walter Palmer, Hugh Breckenridge and Frederick Mulhaupt. Today's artist membership numbers over 400 persons, and has many non-artist members as well. Early members were inspired by the paintings they saw of the area by Fitz Henry Lane, Francis Silva, William Trost Richards, Winslow Homer and others. Exhibitions were first held in the lobbies of summer hotels, and eventually the Association occupied a structure that was built for it on land overlooking Gloucester's inner harbor and donated by Thomas E. Reed. Source: Ted Tysver, Historian, North Shore Arts Association,

Northern California Painters Group

Founded in 2001, it consists of nine members who are plein-air painters and teaching associates at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. They hold group exhibitions from time to time, most recently (2003) at William Lester Gallery in Pt. Reyes, California. There are no plans to increase the membership size of the group as they want to maintain exclusivity. Members are Brian Blood, Laurie Kersey, Hui Han Liu (pronounced wee han loo), William (Bill) Maughan, Carolyn Meyer, Douglas Morgan, Craig Nelson, John Poon, and Randal Sexton. Source: Gary Stanley, ArtSanDiego Gallery, San Diego, CA

Northern Renaissance

See Renaissance

Northwest Rendezvous Group

Northwest Rendezvous Group of Artists (NWR) traces its roots to 1972 and the first Rendezvous of Western Art held at the Montana Historical Society. Several of the biggest names in Western Art participated in that fledgling show such as Joe Beeler, John Clymer, Fred Fellows, J.K. Ralston, Bob Scriver and Gordon Snidow. Sales were slim but an annual event came from it. A few years after its inception, Jack Hines and Jessica Zemsky contacted Bob Morgan about some ideas they had for the show’s continuation. An idea that kept recurring was of forming a solid core of artists, all professionals, into a group so that there would be twenty or thirty artists on board automatically. Morgan used his knowledge of artists in the West and Hines and Zemsky used their knowledge of fine artists in the East who would probably want to participate. Thus, the Northwest Rendezvous of Artists was born. It was determined that membership would be by invitation only and only after acceptance by the membership, thus guaranteeing quality, versatility and continuity for the Group. It was also agreed that each year “guest artists” would be selected to show with the Group and from these guests would come new members. That policy is still in force today. After a period of time, sponsorship of Rendezvous by the Historical Society ended and the Helena Arts Council became the sponsor. Then the Arts Council and NWR had a parting of the ways and the show moved to Park City, Utah for 4 years. In 1997 there was no show. From the return to Helena in 1998, sales were brisk and the partnership of the Civic Center Board and the Montana Historical Society both benefited from their efforts. Funds from the show went to the Civic Center Improvement Fund and the Montana Historical Society Art Acquisition Fund. This partnership lasted until 2008 and at that time the Civic Center Board pulled out and the Montana Historical Society undertook sponsorship on their own. The Historical Society sponsorship lasted thru 2012. A new chapter of the NWR Group continues on. The Group currently consists of 38 members. Source: 'Northwest Rendezvous Group',

Northwest Watercolor Society

An organization founded in Seattle, Washington in 1939, the purpose was encouragement of artists interested in watercolor as a medium and to sponsor exhibitions of watercolor painting. The place for monthly meetings, held every second Tuesday, was Studio Gallery at 533 Medical Arts Building. Now based in Bellevue, Washington, NWS continues into the 21st Century with lectures and workshops and the addition of a growing library of instructional video tapes. In 1992, the NWS expanded its membership beyond the region to include interested, qualified persons in the United States and Canada. Early members included Louise Ladd and Blanche Morgan Losey. Sources: Robert Ladd, son of Louise Ladd; website of the NWS:

Nose Art/Tail Art

Images on the noses and tails of aircraft, it is a type of graffiti and serves as moral boosters and expression toward the aircraft by crew members. The quality of the ‘artwork’ varied according to the art skills of available Nose and Tail artists. Ideas for subjects "came from a variety of sources such as girlfriends, newspaper and magazine images, special events or wishes. Most remembered are the pin-up girls, such as those painted by Illinois artist Samuel Rodman (1906-1979. Today nose and Tail Art Designs, converted into badges, are very collectible. The tradition dates back to ancient times when warriors decorated their shields, on whom they had the same kind of self-protective reliance as servicemen on bomb patrols did to their airplanes. These pilots grew to think of their aircraft as someone to whom they talked and totally relied upon and not "as just a B17, or just a serial number." It was a "being" with personality and gender, expressed by the decoration on its Nose or Tail. Sources:; Vanderpoel Art Association.

Notsch Circle/Notscher Kreis

A group of early 20th-century German artists who, gathering in the small town of Notsch in the Gailtal Valley of southern Austria, they developed a regional style of Expressionism. Among the group were Anton Kolig, Sebastion Isepp, Franz Wiegle and Anton Mahringer. Source: Richard Rhoda Fine Art, German Wikipedia, AskART biography of Anton Kolig.

Nouveau Realisme

See New Realism

Nouveau Realisme, New Realism

A French Pop Art movement, it was founded in 1960 by Pierre Restany, an art critic, and participants included Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein, Christo Javacheff, Daniel Spoerri and Arman Fernandez. Its artists made extensive use of collage and assemblage, "using real objects incorporated directly into the work"...Source: Tate Collection,

Nuclear Art

Artwork exploring nuclear power, the movement was founded in Italy in the late 1950s by Enrico Baj. Source:

O'Keefe Art Award

The O’Keefe Art Award was created by the O’Keefe Brewing Co. Ltd. of Toronto in 1950 and available to artists between the ages of 18 and 30. There were four prize levels – $1,000.00, $750.00, $500.00 and $200.00. The first prize that year went to Kenneth Lochhead, second prize to Joseph Purcell, and third prize to Ghitta Caisserman. Fred Ross was in a group of 15 who were each awarded $200.00. The group included John Bennett, Pierre de ligny Boudreau, Roy Kiyooka and Ronald Spickett. All 18 winners were featured in an exhibition that year at the Art Gallery of Toronto [now Art Gallery of Ontario]. Sources: Google News Archives, and "The Shawinigan Standard", Shawinigan Falls, Quebec, July 5, 1950. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke

Objet d’art

French for “art object”, the term is used to refer to an artwork’s size, often diminutive or miniature.


Nineteenth century virgin female slave figures often found as attendants in Ottoman seraglios, they became popular subjects for artists who did Orientalist-theme paintings such as Frederick Bridgman, Francois Boucher, Hovsep Pushman and Jean Leon Gerome. While access to private homes or interior courtyards was difficult even for locals, artists such as Gérôme and Bridgman seemed to have succeeded better than many others in befriending locals enough to sketch and paint their domestic lives. In turn, fascination about this secret life of odalisques created a strong market for artists depicting them. Source: Abby M. Taylor, Fine Art; Wikipedia


The total or substantive body of life-work produced by an artist, the term is French for “work”. Source:

Oil Paint

Artists' medium, it is made by grinding pigment in linseed oil or another vegetable oil to a smooth paste-like consistency and then mixing in a drier, a stabilizer and plasticizer such as wax to give each color the same consistency. Since 15th century Europe, oil paint has been the most traditional medium, replacing tempera, because it results in rich coloration; dries slowly, allowing for changes; does not alter colors when dry; allows both opaque and transparent effects; and matte and gloss finishes. Today a group of western painters called Oil Painters of America actively promotes oil as a medium. Members include Howard Terpning, Roy Andersen, Joan Potter, George Carlson, Clyde Aspevig, David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Mian Situ and Ramon Kelley. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART biographies.

Oil Painters of America

Begun in 1991 and founded by Shirl Smithson, the group is dedicated to advancing the cause of traditional, representational painting and to providing a forum for artists working in that style. Several national and regional shows are held throughout each year. Members include David Leffel, Peter Adams, Ken Carlson, and Howard Terpning. Sources: "Southwest Art" magazine, April 2002; AskART biographies.

Oil Painters of Ireland

A group dedicated to promoting traditional, realist style art, OPI was founded in Dublin in the early 21st century by Norman Teeling, Paul Kelly, Henry McGrane, John Morris and David Nolan. Source: Online Encyclopedia of Irish and World Art: Norman Teeling

Old Lyme Colony,

One of many art colonies originating between 1890 and 1910 and devoted to landscape painting, it was in Old Lyme, a small village at the confluence of the Connecticut River and the Long Island Sound. The colony was first called “The American Barbizon” because of its founder, Tonalist-style painter Henry Ward Ranger. However, Ranger's stylistic influence was overshadowed by the 1903 arrival of Impressionist Childe Hassam, which resulted in the Colony becoming "the most famous Impressionist-oriented art colony in America” (Gerdts 221). To its detriment, Colony painters clung to that style after World War I when Impressionism lost its popularity. In its heyday, many painters stayed on Main Street at the Griswold House, a Georgian-style home of Florence Griswold, who took in boarders because she needed the income. Today it houses the Lyme Historical Society. Colony artists included Willard Metcalf, Clark Voorhees, Frederick Sexton, Charles Ebert, Walter Clark and Walter Griffin. Sources: William Benton Museum of Art, “Connecticut and American Impressionism”; Helen K. Fusscas, “Frederick Sexton, 1889-1975”; William Gerdts, “American Impressionism” (221-227.

Old Master

A rather vague and very general descriptive term, it references skillful, fully-trained European artists who worked before 1800. The term has also come to be loosely applied to any revered deceased European artist of pre-modernist styles. Included as an Old Master are Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519), Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606-1669), Diego Velazquez (1599-1660), Titian (1483-1490), and El Greco. Source: Wikipedia; ASkART database

Old Water Colour Society

See Royal Watercolour Society

One Ear Society

An arts society in the Miami, Florida area, it has this mission statement: "To help support area artists by providing continuous juried exhibition, promotion and sale opportunities in donated venues in and around greater Miami-Dade, and by sponsoring professional development and cultural enrichment activities within the community.We are an inclusive rather than exclusive organization, and exhibit quality art in all styles, created by seasoned professionals as well as talented amateur artists." Ongoing, the One Ear Society continues to explore ways to further serve the needs of the community and the artists who live and work here. Recently, members partnered with the Wolfson Campus of Miami-Dade Community College to offer a visual arts component of their classes and workshops (non-credit. Source:

Ontario College of Art and Design

See Ontario College of Art

Ontario College of Art and Design University

See Ontario College of Art

Ontario College of Art, Ontario College of Art and Design University

Located in Toronto, Ontario, the school is tied to several entities, the first one being the Ontario School of Art, founded in 1879. In 1890, it became the Central Ontario School of Art and Design, the Ontario College of Art in the early 1900s, the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1996, and Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2008. The Ontario School of Art, founded in 1879 was an art school run by the local Board of Education. Under George Agnew Reid, teacher, principal and artist, it became a separate entity named the Ontario College of Art and moved into a building designed by Reid. Currently (2011) it is the largest art school in Canada, and operates under the name of Ontario College of Art and Design University. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Ontario Institute of Painters

The Ontario Institute of Painters [Canada] was devoted to the exhibition of non-abstract artists. It was formed in 1958 by traditional or representational artists, and their supporters who were disgruntled with the Ontario Society of Artists (see glossary) and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (see glossary) accommodation of abstract art. The OIP founders included Kenneth Forbes, Archibald Barnes, Manly MacDonald, Robert Allan Barr (see all previous in AskART), Gordon Conn (collector) and Samuel Weir (collector). Perhaps their most famous exhibition was “Points of View”, Museum London, Ontario in 1959. Then the works of 10 OIP members were hung with those of the abstractionist group Painters Eleven (see glossary) and figurative abstractionists like York Wilson (see AskART). The point of the show was to illustrate the conservative, experimental and intermediate trends in painting. Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, British Columbia. Sources: “The Consummate Canadian: A Biography of Samuel Edward Weir, Q.C.” (1990), by Mary Willan Mason; “Art and Architecture in Canada” (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson; and the Art Gallery of Ontario –

Ontario School of Art

Founded in 1879, it became Central Ontario School of Art and Design in 1890, the Ontario College of Art in the early 1900s, the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1996, and Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2008. See Ontario College of Art and Design. Source: Ontario College of Art and Design University. Courtesy, M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Histor