Art Terms Glossary   Glossary terms for:  'A'

A.I.R.    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,
AARON    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;
Abbozzo    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 Classicism of French Academie des Beaux-A    Followers of this movement were influenced by the high standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, which practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism. Academic Classicism attempted to merge both techniques to create the perfect style. It is characterized by adhering to a strict manner of painting, following narrow compositional rules and delicacy of color. The atmospheric effects are sumptuously luminescent. According to art historian, Walter Pater: "To produce such effects at all requires all the resources of painting, with its power of indirect expression, of subordinate but significant detail, its atmosphere, its foregrounds and backgrounds." Painters of this style include Leon Commere, Giulio Rosati, Fritz Zuber-Buhler and Paul Delaroche. Source: Website of History of
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:
Academician    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 Moderne    A free art school in Paris, it was founded by Fernand Leger and Amedee Ozenfant in 1924. Both of those artists were teachers at the school. The school attracted many women artists, especially ones from Scandinavia. Source: Wikipedia and
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 to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Academy    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 Fine Arts, Prague    An art college in Prague, Czech Republic, founded in 1799, it is the oldest art college in the country. The school offers twelve Master's degree programs and one Doctoral program. Starting in the early 18th century a series of organizations were formed in Prague with an interest in promoting art and education. Thanks in part to their efforts, the Academy of Fine Arts was founded by Imperial Decree on September 10, 1799. It began with instruction in drawing. The Academy was gradually expanded to include programs in architecture, painting, printmaking, and sculpture, among others. In 1990 drastic reforms were undertaken by rector Milan Knížák to reorganize the concept and internal structure of the school. By 1991 new media related study programs including film and computer animation were added. Today the academy is an accredited university offering an education in modern and historic art. As an exclusively graduate school there are no student accommodation or on-campus eating facilities. International programs are offered in Czech, with a limited number of classes offered in English. Source: Wikipedia, 2020
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 of San Alejandro    The fine arts academy of Havana, Cuba, it was founded in 1818 as a school for drawing modeled after art academies in Spain. An initial goal was to have a school of traditional art to oppose outside influences by artists expressing politics counter to the government. Continuing as a two-hundred year institution into the 21st century it is incorporated into the National Art Schools Center, which prepares art courses to be taught in art schools throughout Cuba. Sources: "Founding the Academy of San Alejandro," Taylor Francis Online; " 'A Young Teacher Speaks of Cuba's Oldest Art Academy,', 2/7/2016
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,
Accent    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
Accession    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    Acrylic paint, invented in the 1940s, is fast drying and is made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. Its various types are one of the most popular media among artists of all skill levels and backgrounds because of their versatility. They can be thinned to achieve the same effect as watercolour or applied in thick layers to create the appearance of oil. They tend to dry rather quickly, eliminating the need to wait between layers. However, retarders can also be added to slow down the dry time for artists who prefer the wet on wet technique. Additionally, acrylics can be painted on a variety of supports, including canvas, paper, metal and wood. There is a wide range of acrylic paints available, both for professional artists and for students.Source: Website of Wonder Street
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)
Aestheticism, 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"
AFRICOBRA    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.
AIFACS Award    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
Airbrush/Airbrushing    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
Alabaster    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;
Albertype    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 to askART by M. D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Albury Art Prize    Showcasing contemporary Australian art, the Prize first recognized disciplines throughout the country including installation art, moving images, photography and painting. The Prize was established in 1947 in Albury, New South Wales as the cities first municipal art prize. Since 1980, prize earners are restricted to local region artists. Recipients include Roger Kemp, Gareth Jones Roberts and Elwyn Lynn. Source: MAMA, Albury, New South Wales.
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"
Allegory    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:
Alligatoring    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"
Alloy    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".
Altarpiece    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"
Aluminum    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
Ambrotype    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 Bookplate Collectors and Desig    Organized in 1922, its purpose was stated in the first yearbook of that year: "to cultivate the spirit of friendship and mutual helpfulness among collectors and designers of bookplates; and to assist in the further development of the bookplate. An early member was William Edgar Fisher. Other members include Jocelyne Benoit, Peter Lazarov and Luis Seibert. Sources:, askART biographies.
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 a 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
Amphora    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)
Anamorphosis    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
Anatomy    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.
Ani Art Academies    See Waichulis Studio
Animalier    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.
Ankh    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:
Annealing    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.
Anti-art    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:
Antipodeans    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
Antique    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"
Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts    See Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp
Aosdana    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
Appraisal    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:
Appropriation    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 to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke
Aquarelle    A French word for “Watercolor”, it refers to the drawing or the painting with watercolor. 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".
Arabesque    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:
Archive/Archivist    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.
Arcosanti    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,
Arfe    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 to askART 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
Armature    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:
Art    "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 to 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 Dealers Association of America: ADAA    With its 30th consecutive edition in 2018, it is the longest running Art Fair in America. The venue is New York City's Park Avenue Armory, and representatives are from all 50 states. The show "remains a worthy place to bring high quality work and kick off the New York spring season." It is "run by art dealers for art dealers" said Adam Sheffer, President of the Board of Directors. Source: Artsy Art Market editorial, by Nate Freeman, February 27, 2018, Web.
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 Milwaukee State Teacher's College    Organized in 1896 and 97, founder and first president was Edward Steichen. Robert Schade was one of the League's early instructors. In 1899, the second president Herman Pfeifer. In 1900, Alexander Mueller Director and president of Art Student's League of Milwaukee, greatly increased membership.Other Instructors were Richard Lorenz, Louis Mayer, George Raab, Louis Wilson, George Mann Niedecken, and Arthur Gunther. In 1901, Alexander Mueller reorganized the school of the League under the name Wisconsin School of Art and moved it to the University building at 111 Mason Street. In 1911, the League's Wisconsin School of Art became affiliated with Milwaukee State Normal School. In 1943, the Milwaukee Art Student's League was still in existence but was known as the Art Student's League of Milwaukee State Teacher's College. So the Milwaukee Art Student's League's schoolhas also been known as the Wisconsin School of Art and later as the Art Student's League of Milwaukee State Teacher's College. Source: website of Museum of Wisconsin Art, 2019
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 West Associated    In 1962, Ruth Waddy founded Art West Associated, to gather and support the community of African-American artists in Los Angeles. The association sponsored community and youth activities that raised awareness for black art in the area and advocated for black artists who could not get their recognized by mainstream museums. Some notable participants included Raymond Lark, Samella Lewis, John Riddle, and Alonzo Davis. Source: Wikipedia biography of Ruth Waddy.
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
Artificialism    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
Artisan    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:
ArtPrize    ArtPrize is an annual competition founded in 2009 by the tech entrepreneur Rick DeVos, a son of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and grandson of the Amway billionaire Richard DeVos. Any business or organization in downtown Grand Rapids can declare itself an art site and host entries for the prizes, which award a total of $500,000. The contest has four categories — two-dimensional, three-dimensional, time-based and installation. The top vote-getters in each received $12,500 prizes, as did the pieces chosen by the jury as the best in those categories. Those winners included “Oil + Water,” by Ryan Spencer Reed of Ludington, Mich., who won the public vote in the installation category for a 100-by-100-foot print on vinyl he laid in the Grand River depicting an image he shot at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest in 2016.
Artropolis    Artropolis were artist-run exhibitions held in Vancouver, British Columbia from 1987 to 2003. Their purpose was to feature the works of contemporary British Columbia artists in non-traditional exhibition spaces. Artropolis 1987 was held at 788 Beatty Street. Artropolis 1990 and 1997 took place at what is now the Roundhouse Community Centre. Artropolis 1993 was held in the former Woodward's building at 100 West Hastings Street. Both Artropolis 2001 and 2003 were held in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Broadcast Centre at 700 Hamilton Street.Due to a grant application rejection and complications with registering the non-profit A.T. Eight Artropolis Society, which organized the exhibitions, the society ceased to exist in 2005, making 2003 the last Artropolis exhibition.’ Source: M.D. Silverbrooke
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: Website of the Arts Club.
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.
ARTTABLE    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:
ASCO    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"
Assemblage    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: Local Government exhibits, Web; Tacoma Art Museum, Web; Textile Society, Web, Stonelain, Web.
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
Asymetry    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 to 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".
Atmospheric/Atmosphere    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.
Attributed    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"
Aubusson    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
Audain Prize in the Visual Arts    Established in 2004, the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts has become one of Canada’s most prestigious honours. The Audain Prize (named after Michael Audain a prominent British Columbia industrialist and philanthropist), is funded by the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, which grants $30,000 annually to a senior British Columbia artist, selected by an independent jury. Previous winners of the Audain Prize include Michael Morris (2015), Fred Herzog (2014), Takao Tanabe and Gathie Falk (2013), Marian Penner Bancroft (2012), Rodney Graham (2011), Robert Davidson (2010), Liz Magor (2009), Jeff Wall (2008), Gordon Smith (2007), Eric Metcalfe (2006), E.J. Hughes (2005) and Ann Kipling (2004). Source: Vancouver Art Gallery. Submitted to by M.D. Silverbrooke.
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
Augmented Reality    Known more commonly as AR, is a technological feature that superimposes a computer-generated image into a user’s view of reality. Blurring the line between real and virtual realms, AR allows users to interact with their environment in an entirely new way. Why It Matters: One of the biggest barriers remaining for many online collectors is the experience of viewing a three-dimensional work on a two-dimensional screen.Features like Augmented Reality help collectors visualize what a piece may look like in their desired space and in turn, potentially increases their likelihood to purchase without viewing the work in person. Source: '12 Online Art Terms to Know in 2018', Website of "Artsy", July 31, 2018
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,
Automatism    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".
Automatism 21st Century    Definition: 21st Century Automatism, has it's roots in both Automatism of the 20th Century as well as Psychology of The Brain. The difference between 20th century automatic drawings or Automatism and The New 21st Century, was a leap of faith. The form was created while a budding artist, Amy Carter Ishmael, was studying printmaking while having an injured hand. Knowing that artists in Europe had used Automatic Drawings to attempt to understand their pre-concoinsous thought, she wondered what would happen if she were to combine her knowledge of how the brain controls various sides of the body, with their desire to assess and access what was in the pre-consious. She, unlike they uses this technique with her eyes closed, and both hands drawing to access both hemispheres of the brain. This worked out well, since her dominant hand had been injured right prior to learning printmaking. What occurred was nothing short of miraculous. Messages from The Universe, (as she understands it as God), came through her injured hand and other hand, to reveal messages both historical and important for viewers in The 21st Century. These works most closely seem to be abstract figurative in nature. Submitted by Amy Carter Ishmael
Automatistes    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 to 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"