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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

TermDescription

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"

Facsimile

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"

Faience

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: www.sothebys.com

Fake

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: http://www.famous-artists-school.com/index.php/fas/history/

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"

Fat

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"

Fauves/Fauvism

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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_British_Artists

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: http://artists.ca/

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: http://www.fedart.org/former.htm; AskART biography of Earl Kerkam.

Feldspar

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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_School_(United_States)

Festoon

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

Fettle

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: http://www.fiberrevolution.com/

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, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiesta_%28dinnerware%29

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, www.westword.com; AskART biography of Nadine Drummond.

Figurative

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.

Figure

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"

Figureheads

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

Figurine

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".

Fijnschilders

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, http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artMakerDetails?maker=173

Filigree

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"

Finial

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"

Finish

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, http://www.ottawaartgallery.ca/collections/firestone-en.php

Firing

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

Fixative

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; AskART.com 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"

Fluxus

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, including 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; and 3) and 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 have 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, http://www.sarah-elizabeth-shop.com/background/follycovedesigners.shtml

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: www.cfafoundation.org/fontainebleau

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"

Foreground

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

Foreshortening

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"

Forgery

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"

Forging

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

Form

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"

Formal/Formalism

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"

Formica

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 http://www.theoldjailartcenter.org/collections/american-and-european-works/fort-worth-circle

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

Foundry

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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundry.

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, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Hammersley

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, http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=859; http://www.virginia.edu/uvatoday/newsRelease.php?id=15853

Foxing

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"

Fraktur

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.

Frame/Framing

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, http://teched.edtl.vt.edu/gcc/HTML/PrintingsPast/IllusNewspaper.html; 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, http://www.tfaoi.com/newsmu/mile2.htm

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, http://en.wikipedia.org;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_College_of_New_York/wiki/City_College_of_New_York; AskART biography

French Art Mission

See Mormon Art Missionaries

French Impressionism

See Impressionism, French

Fresco

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.

Frieze/Entablature

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.

Frottage

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"

Fumage

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

Funism

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: http://www.funism.com/art/I75project.html

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, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funish_Painters

Fusion

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.

Futurism

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.
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