Art Terms Glossary   Glossary terms for:  'C'

C.S. Hammitt's School of Art    See Clawson S. Hammitt's School of Art
Cabinet Portrait    An oil painting that is larger than a miniature but smaller than life size. The term is applied to late 18th and 19th century portraits in Classical Realist style. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"
Cadmium Red    A brilliant color, dense, opaque and permanent, made from cadmium sulfide and cadmium selenide. Cadmium is a chemical element of soft, metal, found with zinc ores and said to be cancer causing. It is used primarily in batteries and pigments, especially in plastic products. For pigments, the shades are light red, which replaced the less reliable vermilion, and deep red or maroon, which first appeared in Germany where it was introduced in 1907 by de Haen. By 1919, American artists were using Cadmium Red. It is available in a pure grade or with cadmium-barium, which has cadmium sulfate as part of the pigment and which is preferred by most artists. In 1942, the term 'cadmium-barium' was adopted by the Paint Standard, the entity which establishes environmental criteria for paint. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques";
Cadmium Yellow    Made from cadmium sulfide, a metal often found with zinc ores and said to be cancer causing. It is frequently used in batteries and pigments. Cadmium Yellow was discovered in 1817 in Germany by Friedrich Strohmeyer. Because of scarcity of the metal, it was several years before it was used by artists. By 1829, German artists were using the color, and several years later it appeared in France. It was made in England by the mid-19th Century, and was in New York by the early 1840s. The color of Cadmium Yellow is brilliant, dense, opaque and permanent. Shades range from pale and light or lemon to medium or deep golden to orange. Cadmium Yellow can be obtained in a pure grade or with barium sulfate; the latter being preferred by most artists because it is just as permanent but not as strong in color. In 1942, the term 'cadmium-barium' was adopted by the Paint Standard, the entity which establishes environmental criteria for paint. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; //
Calendar Painting    A painting possessing a pleasant subject matter, rarely coupled with lasting art value.
California Art Club    Founded in 1906 by ten Los Angeles painters as the Painter's Club, its successor, the California Art Club became the most important art organization in Southern California. The Painter's Club had the commitment of meeting regularly, critiquing each other's work, and holding regular exhibitions. Membership was limited to males only. By 1909, the group had disbanded but quickly reorganized, not only with male painters, but with sculptors and females, and with the new name, California Art Club. William Wendt served as President for the first six years. Most of the early artist members painted landscapes in the Barbizon manner of rural subjects, rich colors, and interplay of sunlight and shadow. However, palettes lightened under influence of clear California atmosphere and generally sunny climate, and of artists returning from France where Impressionism and plein-air painting were major art movements. A "Los Angeles Times" reviewer, April 8, 1917, wrote of the 1917 California Art Club exhibition . . ."there was a time when artists thought they could paint without light and when air was hardly considered. That time seems prehistoric to us now, but it was really only a few years ago. Today the search for light and air is pursued with enthusiasm and we refuse to consider seriously the picture that is without them." During the Depression, membership lagged, but in 1993, Pasadena painter Peter Adams spearheaded a revival and served as CAC President. By the year 2000, there were several thousand members, including 45 signature members, 350 artist members, and 1300 patron members. Artist members include Mabel Alvarez, Clyde Forsythe, Samuel Hyde Harris, Kevin Macpherson, Franz Bischoff, Jessie Botke, Maurice Braun and Guy Rose. Sources: website of the California Art Club; Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, "California Art: 450 Years of Painting & Other Media"; AskART database.
California College of Arts and Crafts    Founded by Frederick Meyer in 1907 with the name School of the California Guild of Arts and Crafts, it was renamed California College of Arts and Crafts in 1936. Meyer, a cabinet maker and teacher at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, had a vision of education for artists and designers that integrated both theory and practice. These ideas were tied to the late 19th century the Arts and Crafts Movement, which spread to the U.S. from Europe and which addressed industrial aesthetics of the machine age. The school, which grew dramatically after World War II, continues today at its original location at Broadway and College Avenue in Oakland on the four acre James Treadwell estate. Meyer remained president until 1944. The school, on the forefront of almost every art movement, offers 20 undergraduate programs. Teachers include Robert Bechtle, Nathan Oliveira, and Manuel Neri, and among the students have been Ralph Goings, Gene Kloss and Maurice Logan. Sources:; AskART biographies
California College of the Arts    See California College of Arts and Crafts
California Decorative Style    The California expression of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Leaders were Arthur and Lucia Mathews. Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
California Institute of Arts    See Chouinard Art Institute
California School of Design/Mark Hopkins Institute    Established in 1874, the California School of Design began as the San Francisco Art Association School of Design and was established by the San Francisco Art Association led by President William Alvord. A collection of casts for students to copy was donated by the French government as a thank you for relief-fund gifts France had received earlier from San Francisco citizens after the Franco-Prussian War. Each School session ended with an exhibition of work by the students. Virgil Williams became the first director and served until his death in 1886. One of its most influential Directors was Arthur Mathews, who in 1890, followed Emil Carlsen who had directed from 1886. Mathews injected many French ideas of painting into the curriculum, and his teaching from the Institute of his own Tonalist style caused that style to dominate painting in Northern California for many years. Among distinguished faculty members were Thomas Hill, Amedee Joullin, Raymond Dabb Yelland and Oscar Kunath. In 1893, the name became the Mark Hopkins Institute, which became affiliated with the University of California. Other name changes have occurred. From 1906 to 1916, it was the San Francisco Institute of Art; from 1916 to 1961, California School of Fine Arts; and from 1961 to the present, San Francisco Art Institute. Source: Robert Howe Fletcher, editor, “The California School of Design: Supplement of the Mark Hopkins Institute Review of Art”, June, 1902, Vol. 1, No. 5.
California Style    A movement in watercolor painting that flourished in California between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s and "gave the traditional watercolor medium a bold new look". Leaders were a group of young artists studying at the Chouinard Art Institute and included Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, Lee Blair, Tom Craig, Barse Miller, Paul Sample, Hardie Gramatky, Emil Kosa, Jr., James Patrick and Phil Paradise. These early exponents of the California Style were members of the California Water Color Society. They and their followers painted boldly and directly in realist style onto large sheets of paper with minimal sketching and often allowed the white of the paper to show through. Their subject matter was the landscape and genre of Southern California. In Northern California, representative leaders were Dong Kingman, George Post, and Maurice Logan. Source: Gordon McClelland and Jay Last, "The California Style"
California Water Color Society    An association that by the end of the 20th century has become the largest regional water media organization in California, its resources are dedicated to the artistic growth of artists of all ages, and to the awarding of scholarship funds to students to help further their study of art. The California Water Color Society was established to provide an exhibition venue for watercolor paintings to encourage artists in that medium and to further public appreciation of watercolor. It was one of the most important art clubs to form in California after World War I, although New York had clubs devoted to watercolor from the mid 19th century. Originally there were fourteen members of the CWCS, and Dana Bartlett was the first president. The first exhibition was held in 1921 at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. Artists entering work were Marion Wachtel, Carl Oscar Borg, William Ritschel, Donna Schuster, Dana Bartlett, Hanson Puthuff, John Cotton, Edouard Vysekal, Charles L.A. Smith, Henri De Kruif, Max Wieczorek, Karl Yens, Crafts Watson and Birger Sandzen. Throughout the 1920s, the California Water Color Society grew to over 100 members, and most of them were represented by galleries, which in turn were a promotional vehicle for the watercolors. (Winslow Homer is generally credited by art historians as the first artist to treat watercolor with the same respect as oils.) In 1975, the Society voted to become the National Watercolor Society. Sources: Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, "California Watercolors, 1850-1970"; Nancy Moure, "California Art";
Calligraphy    Handwriting as art, in printing and drawing, Calligraphy is a free and rhythmic use of line to accentuate design, and often has more focus on design than legibility. Lettering pens are the primary tool used in modern Calligraphy, and quill pens or fine brushes were used in Medieval manuscripts. Japanese wood-block prints and Chinese scrolls have much Calligraphy. The term derives from the Greek words "kallos" (beautiful) and "grapho" (write). Robert Palladino, calligraphy professor at Reed College in Oregon, was the influence on his student Steve Jobs in developing the calligraphy type fonts used for the Macintosh (Apple) computer. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms;" askART biography of Robert Palladino
Calotype    Invented in 1840 by William Henry Fox, an Englishman, it was a photographic process that produced a paper negative from which supposedly unlimited photographic prints could be made. Unlike the daguerreotype process, which utilized a unique metal plate, Calotypes opened the door to using photography in publishing. However, the grainy texture of the Calotype paper was its fatal flaw, and it was replaced by 1860 with the glass-plate negative. Source: Robert Atkins, "Artspoke", p. 76
Camaieu    A painting or decoration done in varying shades of the same color. A monochrome painting. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"
Camberwell College of Arts, Camberwell School of A    A constituent college of the University of the Arts London, it is regarded as one of the UK's foremost art and design institutions. It is located in Camberwell in South London, England, with two sites, located in Peckham Road and Wilson Road. It offers further and higher education programmes, including postgraduate and PhD awards. The College also runs graduate and postgraduate courses in art conservation and fine art as well as design courses such as Graphic Design, Illustration and 3D Design. The School dates back to the influence of Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) and associates who strove for technical education that served all classes of people. By 1920, the focus was exclusively on Fine Art. Source: Wikipedia
Camden Town Group    Just before World War I a group of English artists founded the Camden Town Group of British painters, named from the London district in which Walter Sickert, one of the founders, lived and whose studio the group used for meetings. This group including Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore, Lucient Pissarro, Wyndham Lewis and Charles Ginner had been meeting informally since 1905, but was officially established in 1911. However, it was short lived after three financially unsuccessful exhibitions at the Carfax Gallery, whose owner, Arthur Clifton, then declined to hold more. Members then accepted the invitation of William Marchant of the Goupil Gallery with larger premises to exhibit, and, with his insistence they expand in size, they formed The London Group. The original Camden Town Group was influenced by Post-Impressionism and Expressionism, but concentrated on scenes of often drab suburban life. Sickert himself said he preferred the kitchen to the drawing room as a scene for paintings. While the painterly handling of the works inspired comparison to Impressionism, and the emotional tone suggested a narrative* more akin to genre painting, specifically Degas's Interior, the documentary realism of the Camden Town paintings was without precedent in British art. These and other works were painted in heavy impasto and narrow tonal range. Many other obese nudes were painted at this time, in which the 'fleshiness' of the figures is connected to the thickness of the paint, devices that were later adapted by Lucian Freud. The influence of these paintings on successive generations of British artists has been noted in the works of Freud, David Bomberg, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Howard Hodgkin, and Leon Kossoff. Source:; AskART biography of Robert Bevan
Camera Lucida    A term from an Italian word meaning "light chamber", it was an optical device invented in 1674 by Richard Hooke and redesigned and patented in 1807 by William Hyde Wollaston. A Camera Lucida projects an image on a surface so that it can be traced. The technique is used by many commercial artists because of the ease of copying accurately and also because the mechanism allows for size variations. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Camera Obscura    An optical device, it is usually a box with a small peephole through which an object outside is reflected by a double convex lens onto a surface. From there, the image can be traced, and if desired, made larger or smaller proportionately. This method insures accuracy and flexibility, which was especially handy for topographical artists commissioned to return from explorer expeditions with accurate drawings. "Camera obscura" is an Italian term dating to Renaissance inventor Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472), who popularized the method, which, in turn, dated back to principles of Aristotle. Today "Camera Obscura" is practically obsolete, replaced by its successor, the camera. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Camera Original    The film exposed in the camera, which remains the first and most important source for the image. Source:
Camouflage    The art of deception, it had its birth in American during World War I and is the disguising of identity by manipulating colors and materials. Camouflage Artist Sherry Edmundson Fry described it as "humbug, disguise and concealment of military things, the art of making them look like something harmless and uninteresting to an observer." (19) Abbott Handerson Thayer, beginning with the Spanish-American War, is regarded as the artist champion of modern camouflage. During World War I, the U.S. government created an American Camouflage Corps with department subsidiaries, and since then camouflage art has continued to play an important military role. During World War II, the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, seeking to add value to the war effort, designed a Camouflage course. Camouflage artists include Homer Saint-Gaudens, Augustus Dunbier, William Twigg-Smith, Walter Wendell Arnett and Everett Longley Warner. Source, Roy R. Behrens, "Camoupedia".
Canada Council Art Bank    Established in 1972 to raise awareness of contemporary Canadian art, the Canada Council Art Bank purchases works and makes them available to a wide public across the country. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, the Art Bank has the world's largest collection of contemporary Canadian art with over 17,000 paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures by some 3,000 artists. More than one-third of the collection is on view in public spaces and private organizations across Canada, through art rentals, loans, and outreach programs. Source: Canada Council Art Bank. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke.
Canada Council for the Arts    Created in 1957, it is located in Ottawa and is the federal government's principal instrument for supporting the arts. The Council's mandate from the Parliament of Canada is "to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts." It carries out this work chiefly by providing grants and services to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations in dance, interdisciplinary art, media arts, music, opera, theatre, writing, publishing and the visual arts. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, British Columbia. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia –
Canadian Art Club, Toronto    The Canadian Art Club was first organized in Toronto in 1907 by disgruntled members of the Ontario Society of Artists (see AskART Glossary). They resigned the O.S.A. and formed the club over a dispute with O.S.A. President F.M. Bell-Smith’s opposition to the selection of paintings for purchase by the Ontario government and for their perception of restrictions imposed on them by senior members of the O.S.A. Membership to the club was by invitation only and included artists and collectors. Its focus was on exhibiting the highest quality art with "a Canadian Spirit". It is viewed by Charles C. Hill, the author of "The Group of Seven – Art for a Nation", and by Lawren Harris (founder of the Group of Seven) as a model and stimulus for the eventual formation of the Group of Seven (see AskART Glossary). The club had its first exhibition in 1908 and it’s last in 1915. Its demise is largely attributed to the death, in 1913, of its primary driving force Edmund Morris. Artist members included, Albert Curtis Williamson, William E. Atkinson, Homer Watson, Archibald Browne, Horatio Walker, William Brymner, Maurice Cullen, Marc-Aurele de Foy Suzor-Cote, Ernest Lawson, A. Phimister Proctor, James Wilson Morrice and Franklin Brownell (see all artists in AskART). Sources: "The Group of Seven- Art for A Nation" (1995), by Charles C. Hill and "A Concise History of Canadian Painting" (1973), by Dennis Reid (see AskART Book references). Prepared and contributed to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association    Established in 2004, it was a not-for-profit organization whose central purpose is to hand out the annual Joe Shuster Awards [named after the co-creator of Superman] for Canadian Comic Book Creators – and by doing so, give recognition to — and raise awareness of — the efforts made by Canadians who make, publish and sell comic books, webcomics and graphic novels. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Source: The Joe Shuster Awards –
Canadian Group of Painters    Formed in Toronto, Ontario in 1933 as the successor to the Group of Seven (see AskART Glossary), its primary purposes were to exhibit work by its members, to encourage ‘more modern ideas of technique and subject' and, like the G7, make themselves "felt as a countrywide influence in terms of the creative spirit."* Whereas, the Group of Seven was primarily composed of male English speaking landscape painters from Toronto, the scope of the CGP was intended to be more diverse and progressive. Thus, its membership was modernist artists from many different regions of Canada; its accepted subject matter included figurative, portrait and abstract works in addition to landscapes; and of the 28 original members 9 were women. Oddly, its first exhibition, in the summer of 1933, was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey and was sponsored by the H.J. Heinz Company (its second show was in November of that year at the Art Gallery of Toronto). Thereafter, they had annual November exhibitions at various venues across Canada. The Group expanded over the years, and many of the best-known Canadian artists exhibited with it up to the time it disbanded in 1969. Sources: "Four Decades - The Canadian Group of Painters and their contemporaries - 1930 - 1970" (1972), by Paul Duval and "The Group of Seven - Art for a Nation"(1995), by Charles C. Hill. * Lawren Harris to L.L.Fitzgerald (1933). Written and Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Canadian Heritage Information Network    A Canadian government association of 1300 museums, whose website shows the location, description, and in some cases photos of works of art in the museum. Source: M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Canadian Museums Association    Founded in 1947 by representatives of the National Gallery of Canada and 13 other museums, its purpose is to insure uniform standards and training across the country. It has about 2000 members, and activities include conferences, professional development workshops, and national research projects such as "Canadians and their Pasts". Source: Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Canadian Society of Graphic Art    See Print and Drawing Council of Canada.
Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour    Founded in 1925 in the library of the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto, to promote watercolour painting and exhibitions, member names include Fritz Brandtner, Thomas Hodgson, Jack Shadbolt, Doris McCarthy and Pegi Macleod. Founding leaders were rebellious in their promotion of watercolour as a medium worthy of respect equal to oil painting, and included Frederic (Fed) Brigden, considered the Dean of Canadian watercolour, as well as A.J. Casson and Franklin Carmichael. Sources: website of Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour; AskART database
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative    A collaborative endeavor, it brings resources and researchers together to enhance scholarship on historical women artists in Canada. Based in the Department of History at Concordia University in Montreal, they foster and circulate research into women's contributions to the cultural and material history of Canada. Their focus is on the period prior to 1967. They also maintain a documentation centre and web-based research tools. They welcome participation from scholars across the country and donations of research materials. Their three areas of concern are: (1) Activities - research programming; events; conferences; workshops; teaching; publications. (2) Artist Database - Databases and tools for researchers. (3) Documentation Centre - They have files on over 750 Canadian women artists born before 1925 (1965 for architecture) and working across a broad range of media including painting and drawing, craft, photography, sculpture, illustration, design and architecture. Source:; Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke
Canvas    A heavy, woven fabric used for support for artwork, usually oil paintings, and considered desirable by painters because of the regular texture and flexibility. The negative is that canvas can expand or contract by weather circumstances over the years. Usually canvas is sold by rolls and is made of sturdy Belgian linen. Cotton canvas is an inferior substitute. After being cut to size, canvas, in order to be usable for painters, must be stretched over a frame and primed. Many artists buy pre-stretched and pre-primed canvas. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Canvas Board    Cardboard or pasteboard, which has been primed so it is ready to receive oil paint. It is cheap, handy because it is sold in stock sizes, and portable for outdoor sketching, but not recommended for paintings intended to last a long time. Canvas board is good practice material for beginning and/or quick-sketching artists. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Cape Cod Art Association    Located in Barnstable Village on Cape Cod, it was founded in 1948 as a non-profit organization for art education and exhibitions for members and open juried exhibitions. Source: website of the Cape Cod Art Association
Cape Dorset, Dorset Island, Nunuvat    Named in 1631 by the British explorer Luke Foxe after his English sponsor, the Earl of Dorset, it is world famous for artworks of the Inuits, native Eskimos, whose civilization is rooted there. In 1913, the Hudson Bay Company founded a trading post at Cape Dorset because of its abundant wildlife and potential of trading many goods. Located on Dorset Island at the southern tip of Baffin Island of Nunavut, Canada, it has since the 1950s become a "world-famous centre for Inuit drawing, printmaking and carving, and known as the Capital of Inuit Art, it is also the most artist community in Canada, with 22 percent of its work force employed in the arts. Famous male artists include Peter Pitseolak, photographer; Pudlo Pudlat; and Kenojuak Ashevak. Among women carvers, printmakers, and painters are Lucy Qinnuayuak, Pitseolak Ashoona, Oopik Pitsiulak and Ovilu Tunnillie. Sources: 'Nunavut Tourist", Web, Jan. 2016; "Cape Dorset," Wikipedia, Jan. 2026
Carbonari    An informal group of wood engravers in East Orange, New Jersey in the late 1880s. In 1885, they hired William Baer to give them drawing lessons at five dollars a class, which was held at Brick Church. Source: David Dearinger, "Painting and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design".
Carborundum, Carborundum Printmaking    A compound of silicon and carbon, carborundrum is found in nature as Moissanite, and as powder has been mass produced since 1893 as an abrasive. Silicon carbide is another name for it, and printmakers such as Joan Miro used the compound of Carborundum to create relief on etching plates. In the early 1930s, carborundum printmaking became a collograph process, whereby images were created by adding light to a dark field. Dox Thrash and Michael Gallaghers were co-inventors of this new intaglio method, which allowed for greater tonal variation. This printing technique and especially its use by Dox Thrash significantly influenced the work of later African American artists Claude Clark, Raymond Stet, Charles White, and Elizabeth Catlett. Sources: Wikipedia, "Silicon carbide."; askART biography of Joan Miro, and The Johnson Collection askART biography of Dox Thrash.
Cardboard    A surface with layers of pasted paper, with top sheet often being of better quality than the other sheets. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
CARFAC: Canadian Artists' Representation    In 1968, CARFAC was established in response to artists' perception that their crucial contribution to society was not fairly compensated. As a result, CAR established minimum fee schedules outlining recommended rates for compensating artists, a practice which CARFAC continues. It was because of the early activism of CAR members that in 1976, Canada became the first country in the world to pay exhibition fees to artists, with the Canada Council for the Arts making payment of fees to artists based on the CARFAC fee schedule a requirement for eligibility for funding to public art galleries. After many more years of lobbying, the Copyright Act was amended in 1988, recognizing artists' role as primary producers of culture by giving them legal entitlement to exhibition and other fees. Today, CARFAC and its provincial affiliates work on many of the same issues, ensuring that artists are fairly compensated for the valuable contributions that they make to society and that artists' rights are respected by those with whom they engage in business. In addition, CARFAC and its affiliates have developed programming, publications and products to help artists reach their professional goals.” Source: CARFAC (Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, BC)
Caricature    A picture, usually a portrait or figures with exaggerated, often humorously distorted features to convey satire---foibles of society, institutions, etc. It is a style often used by newspaper illustrators and cartoonists. The name likely derives from the Carracci Circle, a group of satirical cartoonists, in 16th-century Rome. Well known satirists in history include Englishman William Hogarth (1697-1764) and Frenchman, Honore Daumier (1808-1879). Among noted American caricaturists are Albert Hirschfeld, Gaston Lachaise, Saul Steinberg, David Levine and William Auerbach-Levy. Sources: Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms; database
Carmel Art Association    Founded in 1927 in Carmel, California, the Carmel Art Association has the only gallery in Carmel that shows exclusively work by local artists. The Association is composed of local artists, selected by their peers. It is the second oldest operating non-profit artist cooperative in the United States, and exists to provide its members with a permanent art gallery, to advance knowledge of, and interest in the arts, and to create a spirit of cooperation and fellowship among artists and the community. Prominent early members included Percy Gray, Armin Hansen, Henrietta Shore, John Cunningham, Ferdinand Burgdorff and Elizabeth Strong. The first formative gathering was in the home of Josephine Culbertson and Ida Johnson. Guest speaker was Ada Belle Champlin from the Laguna Beach Art Association, and she talked about the advantages of forming a local art association. The first space was in the Seven Arts Building at Lincoln Street and Ocean Avenue. Rent was thirty dollars a month, and Miss Kathryn Corrigan was the Curator. Since then the space has been expanded and annual exhibits are held as are lectures and demonstrations. The first exhibit was miniature paintings called "Thumb-box Sketches", and a show with miniatures became an annual event. Sources: William Stone, President, "Celebrating 75 Years of Local Art", Carmel Art Association 1927-2002,
Carmine    Red pigment made from cochineal, insects found in Mexico, it was important to artists for paintings and women as a cosmetic in the mid-16th to 19th centuries. Carmine first appeared in Spain in 1560. Burnt Carmine, made by roasting Carmine, was a purple-brown color. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Carnegie Foundation Grant    Established by Andrew Carnegie through the Carnegie Corporation, the grant money is provided successful applicangs for education with the goal of creating "ladders on which the aspiring can rise". The corporation was founded in 1911 with an endowment of $135 million dollars, the largest single philanthropic trust ever established. Grants are for varying possibilities including foreign study. Artist recipients include Agnes Addison, Augusta Savage, Norman Lewis and John Fabian Carlson. Sources: AskART database;
Carnegie Institute of Technology    See Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie International    A series of art exhibits intended to bring cutting-edge art to Pittsburgh. The modern art shows were initiated beginning 1896 by Pittsburgh philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and held in his three-story, Renaissance style Carnegie Museum of Art. The exhibition, actually an evolving series of exhibitions, has become one of the premier modern art exhibition venues in the United States. Its organization has changed from being a juried annual, to a biennial to a triennial. At times it was a one-person exhibition and then a two-person show. Beginning in the last quarter of the 20th Century, it has been held every four years with an in-house curator and a committee of outside advisers. Among participating artists are Andrew Wyeth, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis and Kenneth Adams. Sources: Gregory Volk, 'Let's Get Metaphysical', "Art in America", March 2005; AskART database
Carnegie Mellon University    Known as Carnegie Mellon, it is a private research school in Pittsburgh. It began as Carnegie Technical School founded in 1900, then was named Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912, and in 1967, Carnegie Institute merged with Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to become Carnegie Mellon University. Seven independent schools are part of this University including a College of Fine Arts. Among the Fine Art students have been Ryan McGinness, Philip Pearlstein, Ross Bleckner, and Hobson Pittman. Teachers include Edward Dufner, Everett Warner, and Ralph Holmes. Sources: Wikipedia: Carnegie Mellon University; AskART biographies.
Carolina Art Association    Formed in 1857 by Charleston, South Carolina business and professional persons with the purpose of promoting fine arts in the state. The first exhibition was April, 1858, with 176 borrowed works from private collections. Through membership dues and special events, Association members raised enough money to buy works of art for a collection that, thanks to an initial endowment of $100,000 by James Gibbes, Sr., led to the founding of the Gibbes Museum of Art. The opening was April, 1905, and that same year, women, for the first time, were allowed into Association membership. Active female exhibiting artists included Elizabeth Verner, Alice Smith and Leila Waring. Alfred Hutty was a prestigious teacher and was sponsored by the Association for classes at the Museum. Source:
Carolingian Art    European art from the 8th and 9th centuries, its beginning was with the reign of Charlemagne and the ending with Louis the Pious. This Middle Age period, inspired by the vision of Charlemagne who wanted to revive the fine arts styles of ancient Rome, was unique because of the focus on Classical Roman art. The center was the court of the Emperor at Aachen. The movement was much reflected in monasteries with illuminated manuscripts that reflected Roman and Byzantine models. The Carolingian workshops became known for their workmanship in gold, silver and gems. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Carrara Marble    A famous kind of marble, known for its purity and named for the Carrara district of about 500 quarries in Italy near the towns of Apuania and Carrara. However, this high-quality marble is only about ten percent of the stone excavated, and the lesser-quality material is widely in demand for tombstones, building exteriors, pavement, etc. The quarries lie in the mountains above the town of Carrara. From a description provided in the late 19th-century, when many American sculptors were living nearby and using the marble, it is learned that the marble was quarried by dynamite, which created fragments. Then thousands of workmen, suspended by ropes, cut the fragments into blocks, which were hauled by oxen-drawn wagons to a railway that took them into the town of Carrara. There several thousand workmen refined the marble for the many sculptors, working from studios in Carrara, and for transport to other destinations such as the American sculptors’ colony in Florence that included Hiram Powers, his sons Preston Powers and Longworth Powers, Thomas Ball, Daniel Chester French, Joel Hart and William Couper. The origins of Carrara Marble go back millions of years when the region was covered by water, which left a deep limestone bed from the layers of many dead organisms when the water receded. Heat and pressure then formed mountains, which condensed the limestone into hard crystalline rock of which the purist is white Seravezza, used extensively by ancient Romans. However, with the collapse of the Roman Empire, the quarries ceased to be used until the eleventh century when townspeople such as the Pisans were building cathedrals. Carrara is especially associated with the sculpture of Michelangelo in the 15th century during the Italian Renaissance. Today the quarries of Carrara are still used, although large-scale dynamiting has been replaced by more controlled methods of drilling holes along excavation lines, inserting wooden plugs that fill with water, expand and form cracks. Metal wedges are inserted into the cracks to ply the blocks loose. Then a small bit of dynamiting moves the blocks to a position where they can be sliced by a special wire into desired shapes. Marble has grain, similar to meat, and must be carved by the dictates of the grain. Trucks carry the marble to the town of Carrara or to nearby beaches for loading onto ships. As a result of the intense quarrying activity, “remnants of marble dust and stone fragments covered the hillsides like snow and caused the rivers to resemble milk. The workers walked the streets like apparitions, painted white by the dust.” (71) Today Carrara remains the largest center for the processing of marble, and seventy percent of the exported marble in the world is shipped from its port. The supply is thought to be “endless” and the marble quality remains constant, with newly-quarried marble easily matched to marble quarried many years earlier, thus facilitating repairs and replacement to damaged areas in buildings or sculptures made from Carrara Marble. Source: Greta Elena Couper, “An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour”.
Carrig-Rohane Frame    Frames created by painters Hermann Dudley Murphy, Charles Prendergast and W. Alfred Thulin in the early 20th century, they were named for the home and studio of Murphy in Winchester, Massachusetts. The motivation grew from the tenet of the prevailing Aesthetic Movement, a commitment they shared that art expression should be total in all aspects of the work. In the spirit of James McNeill Whistler, who taught the philosophy of the Aesthetic Movement to American artists in Europe including Murphy, Hermann Murphy began building frames for his paintings shortly after his return from Europe in 1897. When he moved to Winchester in 1903, he was joined in a framing business by Charles Prendergast and later by W. Alfred Thullin. Working from a shop in the basement of Murphy’s home, the artists produced frames inscribed "Carrig-Rohane". They were hand-carved gold-leafed frames and became popular because they suited the gentle images of the Tonalist style of paintings by many of the leading artists of the time. In 1905, these artist-framers moved their shop to Boston. At first the frames were carved according to Murphy’s designs, but eventually the company hired artists, and the shop entered into a partnership whereby the business merged with Vose Galleries of Boston. Source: Spanierman Galleries, LLC; Hermann Dudley Murphy', "The Poetic Vision: American Tonalism", 2005 Gallery exhibition catalogue.
Carte de Visite Photographs    Small albumen prints mounted on cards 2-1/2 by 4 inches, which were wildly popular and made for decades in countries around the world. The format was an international standard; for the first time, relatives and friends could exchange portraits, knowing they would find a place in the recipient's family album--whether that album was located in Brooklyn, Berlin or Brazil. In addition, unlike earlier photographs made with such processes as the daguerreotype and ambrotype, cartes de visite could be sent through the mail without the need for a bulky case and fragile cover-glass. Their small size also made them relatively inexpensive, and they became so widespread that by 1863 Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes would write, "Card portraits, as everybody knows, have become the social currency, the 'green-backs' of civilization." The vast majority of cartes depict individuals or couples posed in the studio; the small size of the format appears to leave little room for more complex subject matter. But perhaps out of necessity (for example, a frontier photographer limited to a single camera), cartes de visite were also made of groups and landscapes and even as pioneering examples of photojournalism. Sometimes it seems as if the early photographers who made these small images were trying to capture the world around them on a tiny patch of paper and cardboard. Judging their work more than a century later, it can be argued that in many cases they succeeded. Source: The American Museum of Photography. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Cartography    The study and practice of map making, it is built "on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively." (Wikipedia) The earliest map is thought to be a wall painting from 700 B.C. depicting the ancient Anatolian city of Catalhoyuk. Among American artists who did frontier mapmaking are Sanford Gifford, William Bradford, Albert Bierstadt, Ralph Blakelock, Thomas Cole, Martin Heade, and Fitz Hugh Lane. Sources: Wikipedia; AskART biographies
Cartoon    A humorous drawing, often for a newspaper or magazine, the term dates to Europe during the Renaissance to describe an exact-to-size drawing for a painting, tapestry or mural. The cartoonist then could use several methods to use the drawing as the guide for the completed work including poking holes with a needle around the outline to receive powdered pigment. The word cartoon is from the Italian word "cartone", which was a reference to the paper on which the drawing was done. Noted American cartoonists include Thomas Nast, James Swinnerton, James Thurber, Rube Goldberg, Walt Disney, Peter Arno, Bill Mauldlin, Charles Adams, Jules Feiffer, Al Capp, Ernie Bushmiller, Herb Block, Patrick Oliphant, Chic Young and George Harriman. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database.
Cartouche    A scroll-shaped ornamentation, usually oval or lozenge-shaped, it is used for holding or framing an inscription such as in a plate attached to a painting that has the title and artist. The Egyptians used Cartouches for featuring the title and name of a king. They were used frequently in the 16th and 17th centuries on the covers of books to showcase the titles. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Carver/Carving    Sculpture terms for a person (carver) or process (carving), it involved incising a hard material such as wood, varieties of stones, and metal into a form and the resulting shape. Among fine-art specialists, the finished piece is usually referred to as sculpture rather than carving unless it is by a naive or amateur artist. However, some contemporary sculptors are referring to themselves as Carvers. Cutting tools used by Carvers include hammers, mallets, chisels, knives, points and adzes. During the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo did his own marble carving, usually working alone from a sketch of one-tenth size. Sculptors working with marble such as the neo-classical American sculptors in Italy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had studio assistants who, working from the design of the sculptor, did most of the actual stonework or carving. In America, some of the earliest wood carvers were church decorators such as early 19th century Jose Aragon of New Mexico and Norwegian-American Herbjorn Gausta. William Rush who lived in Pennsylvania in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was noted for his carved wood figureheads for ships. Among folk artists is a strong tradition of direct carving such as Henry Church who did rock carving, and Sulton Rogers of Mississippi, who did fanciful and sometimes erotic woodcarvings. Twentieth-century fine-art sculptors whose names are associated with stone, wood, and metal carving include Gaston Lachaise, who worked with marble and alabaster as well as bronze; Nicolai Fechin, who carved primitive-looking wood figures; and Louise Nevelson, whose signature work is carved wood assemblages. Likely the most famous name in American art linked to carving is Gutzom Borglum, who designed and oversaw the creation of the Presidents carved from the rock at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Sometimes referenced as “sculpture with dynamite” (Samuels 58), it remains one of the most massive carvings in this country. Comparable in size, however, might be the work of sculptors known for Earthworks, carvings into the earth to alter natural environment such as the efforts of Michael Heizer or Robert Smithson. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Greta Elena Couper, “An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour”; Masayo Duus, "The Life of Isamu Noguchi"; Harold and Peggy Samuels, “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West”; AskART database
Caryatid    An architectural term associated with Greek classical style, it is descriptive of a graceful female figure in flowing robe serving as a column supporting an entablature. The word derives from the young women of Caryae in Laconia who did ritual dances at the festival of Artemis. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Casein    Milk protein based, it is used as a binder in colors for paintings, as an adhesive, and also as a binder for gesso when preparing grounds for painting. When mixed with water and dry pigments, it makes an excellent paint. The base is a yellow powder that is made by drying the curd of skim milk. It was first widely used in the 19th century, and some historians think it was used earlier by painters and sculptors of early civilizations. It is known that a glue from curd was used by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Hebrews, and it is mentioned as an adhesive in 11th-century manuscripts. However as a binder in paint it is not referenced earlier than the 18th century. More recently it has has been very popular for commercial illustration until acrylics became highly developed. American artists who have used casein include Hans Hofmann Paul Cadmus, Oscar Bluemner, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Emil Bisttram and Fairfield Porter. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART Biographies
Casting    A method used by sculptors, it allows them to make copies of their work by using materials such as clay, metal or plastic; placing the material in a mold; and allowing it to harden so that it takes on the shape of the confining mold. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms";
Catalog Raisonne    A comprehensive catalog, it is intended to be a complete listing of an artist's work with descriptions. Source: Wikipedia
Catalogue Raisonne    A complete, annotated catalogue listing and/or illustrating all known works of a particular artist, it provides details, in particular, of the present condition, photographs, chronology, and provenance of each work. Source:
Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club    Established in 1896 by Catharine Lorillard Wolfe (1828-1887) a prominent New York philanthropist, the purpose is to support and encourage New York City women artists and to gain public recognition for them through exhibitions. Wolfe was a collector of leading-edge art, and the only woman among the 106 founders of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Early members of the Art Club included Harriet Frishmuth, Blanche Lazzell, Laura Mitchell; Margaret Stuber Pearson, and Josephine Paddock. Sources:; Wikepedia; AskART database
Cave Art    Pictorial paintings, drawings and carvings from the Stone Age and first found in the Altamira Caves in Spain in 1879, the best-known cave art is at Lascaux in France. It is believed that the designs have religious or magical significance and were usually done with charcoal or natural pigments mixed with fats. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Celadon    A soft ceramic glaze with iron content, it is created by reduction through fire whereby red iron oxide is reduced to black. Resulting colors include olive green, gray-green or gray. Celadon Ware is associated with the Sung Dynasty in China and valued for its resemblance to jade. Many westerners find it highly collectible. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Celluloid    A marketing name for the first synthetic plastic, celluloid looks like elephant ivory. One of the first uses was in 1876 with billiard ball production. Later, plastics were acceptable unto themselves instead of serving as an imitator of more "valuable" products. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Celtic Art    An art term, it is descriptive of decorative art in France and England between the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Most surviving examples are decorated weapons, wood carvings, musical instruments, pottery and jewelry. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Centennial Exposition, 1876, Philadelphia    Officially the first world's fair held in the United States, its location was Philadelphia in Fairmount Park along the Schuylkill River. It opened in May and closed in November, 1876. Nearly 10 million people attended to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Each state had exhibition space with displays to coordinate with the Exposition's official title, which was "International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mines". American artists represented include John James Audubon, Colin Campbell Cooper, Edward Lamson Henry, Lily Martin Spencer Thomas Hill, Edward Redfield, Augustus St. Gaudens, and Eliza Greatorex. Sources:; AskART biographies
Center for Creative Photography    Research center and museum at the University of Arizona, Tucson, it was founded in 1975 and has work by over sixty of the most famous American photographers such as Edward Weston and Ansel Adams. Over 80,000 images representing 2,000 photographers are also in the collection, which are available for research. Source: "Center for Creative Photography," Wikipedia
Central Ontario School of Art and Design    See Ontario College of Art, Ontario College of Art and Design University
Central School of Arts and Crafts, London    Established in 1896 by the London County Council "to encourage the industrial application of decorative art", it was developed by William R. Lethaby, architect and its first Principal. It is located in Southampton Row. In January 1986, the school became part of the newly formed London Institute; three years later it merged with the St. Martin's School of Art and became Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design. It is now part of the London University of the Arts. The curriculum has broadened from its initial focus on arts and crafts to include industrial design and also offers furniture making, printing, book design, silver and goldsmithing, textiles, theatre and ceramics. Source:,
Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art/CCCA    With the acronym of CCCA, it is a work in progress with the overall objective of broadening public awareness of contemporary Canadian Art in Canada. It is under the auspices of the Canadian Art Database Project to document the careers of some of Canada's leading professional artists, designers, art writers and curators, as well as some important Canadian art institutions and organizations that have helped shape the Canadian art scene since the 1960s. The CCCA is also taking on additional projects containing information that informs and lays the groundwork for the core project. A wide range of previously hard to access material [images, texts, media works, and related ephemera] from a variety of sources across Canada is being assembled into the fully searchable, bilingual, database. The Canadian Art Database Project currently holds 54,000+ images and 600+ video and audio clips by 600+ artists and designers; and 2,400+ texts by 200+ writers and curators." Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian, West Vancouver, Canada. Source: Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art;
Century Association    An elite New York City private club established in 1847, its members included painters, sculptors, authors, architects, and other persons with deep interest in letters and the fine arts. Among the members were John Bunyan Bristol, Gifford Beal, Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer and Theodore Wores. The Association grew out of the Sketch Club, which had been founded by William Cullen Bryant and friends in 1829. The Century Association was located at 46 East 8th Street in Greenwich Village from 1852 to 1857, and since 1891, at 7 West 43st Street in a club house designed by Stanford White. The Association has an art collection, and an ongoing tradition of exhibitions by its members. In 1989, after a tremendous "row", the club began admitting women members. Sources:; AskART database
Century of Progress International Exposition, 1933    A Chicago World's Fair along the Lake Michigan shoreline between 12th and 39th Streets to celebrate the city's centennial. The theme was innovation and technology, and featured was the 'innovation' of a Sky Ride on which persons could ride the entire length of the exhibition. Also introduced were Cadillac limousines and "Homes of Tomorrow". An exhibition of American art included work by Robert Riggs, Gaston Lachaise, Lee Lawrie, Augustus Tack, and Henry Tanner. Sources:; AskART biographies
Ceramics/Ceramists    The art of making objects of clay and then firing them in a kiln, it is one of the ancient arts and embraces porcelain, earthenware and sculpted figures. The coil method is one of the most common ways of building pottery, and other methods are building with slabs and potter's wheels. Persons who make wares of earthenware and porcelain are called ceramists. The Archie Bray Foundation near Helena, Montana is the only American residency program focused solely on ceramics. Among well-known American ceramists are Peter Voulkos, William King, Hanum Tschacbasov, Marilyn Levine, Adaline Kent, David Gilhooly, William Artis, and Beatrice Wood. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database
Ceroplastics    The art of modeling with wax, it is especially used for death masks. Ceroplastic artists include Raphael Beck, Ball Hughes and Reuben Moulthrop. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Cerulean Blue    A bright, deep blue of permanent pigment from cobalt stannate, its process was perfected in Germany in 1805 by a man named Hopfner. It was introduced in England in 1870 with the name of coeruleum, from the Latin word "caeruleum", meaning sky blue. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".
Ceruse    A name no longer in use, it is a term for white, lead-based paint. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Chainsaw Art, Chainsaw Carving    The oldest chainsaw artist records go back to the 1950s, which include artists Ray Murphy and Ken Kaiser. Many new artists began to experiment with chainsaw carving, including Brenda Hubbard, Judy McVay, Don Colp, Cherie Currie (former Runaways lead singer), Susan Miller, Mike McVay, and Lois Hollingsworth. At this time chainsaw carvers started loading up their carvings in the back of their trucks, functioning as traveling galleries. In the 1980s the art form really began to grow with Art Moe getting much exposure for the craft at the Lumberjack World Championships held in Hayward, Wisconsin. This event was broadcast nationally. The addition of carving contests from the west coast to the east coast brought carvers together to test their skills and learn from each other. The first Chainsaw Carving World Championships was held in 1987 and won by then 24-year-old Barre Pinske.With the growth of the Internet, chainsaw carving has become a worldwide phenomenon with chainsaw carvers all over the world. Source: Wikipedia, 2020
Chalk    The name for white drawing material, it is called Native Chalk, when derived from calcium carbonate or limestone, and Precipitated Chalk, when made from artificial calcium carbonate. Chalks can be used by themselves or mixed with pigments for color and gum binder to make pastels. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Chalk Talks    Lectures or speeches supplemented by drawings or other visual aids, Thomas Beard (1842-1905) is credited as being the originator, and was for many years a lecturer at Chautauqua in upstate New York. He used chalk and blackboards to illustrate his presentations. The term has taken on the broad meaning of that which is supplemented with visual materials. Among American chalk-talk artists are Signe Larson, Joseph Willis, Frances Karlsson and Charles Morgan. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; AskART Database
Chaloner Fellowship    Offered by the National Academy of Design in New York City, it was funded by the Chaloner Foundation from 1915 to 1984. It was a much coveted prize of $10,000 to fund three years of study in Europe with a rent-free studio and travel allowance. Founded in 1890 and named for attorney John Armstrong Chaloner, it was directed to figure drawing and painting specialists. Recipients include Michael Lenson, Herbert Fink, Louis Lucioni, Judith Allen, Lawton Parker, Bryson Burroughs and Frede Vidar. Source:,9171,882820,00.html; AskART database
Charcoal    Black drawing material made of slowly charred wood and available in varying degrees of hardness, it is one of the oldest materials used for drawing and is manipulated with the thumb or a "stump", a special crayon-shaped implement. Because of susceptibility to smudging, the finished charcoal drawing needs to be sprayed with a fixative in order to be permanent. Many artists do preliminary drawings with charcoal. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Charcoal Club    Actually two clubs with the same name in separate cities, a Charcoal Club was established in 1883 in Baltimore, and another was organized in Philadelphia. Rebellion against tradition underlay both entities, but other than similar purpose they shared no direct ties. In Philadelphia, rebellion against the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts was the primary motive. The Philadelphia Charcoal Club remains the better known. Leaders were Robert Henri and John Sloan and other members included Everett Shinn, William Glackens, George Luks, Stirling Calder and Edward Davis. Most of them studied with Thomas Anshutz. Their literary heroes were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emile Zola, and Henry David Thoreau. This Charcoal Club dissipated in the late 1900s when Henri and Sloan and some of the others moved to New York City and took up Social Realist painting, which was an extension of their non-academic commitments in painting. In Baltimore, The Charcoal Club was a reaction against the prudishness of Baltimore residents who perceived that using nude models was indecent behavior. There the Charcoal Club provided nude models, and one of its most prominent members was Adalbert Volck, a Baltimore dentist and local artist. The Club also assisted in the formation of a Sketch Club, the Art Club of Baltimore and the Bal des Arts. For many years, the wealth of many of the members allowed palatial surroundings for meetings, but that standard diminished with dwindling membership. In the late 20th century, The Charcoal Club still existed in Baltimore, but membership numbered less than fifty. In its prime, The Club held weekly meetings, frequent exhibitions and other social functions. Its historical papers from 1888 to 1970 are in the Maryland Historical Society. Sources:;
Charleston Renaissance    A term referencing the years 1915 to 1940, citizens of Charleston, South Carolina focused on revitalizing their city from its economic and cultural stagnation after the Civil War. Local artists became very active by using their greatest assets---"beauty, tradition and romance"--- to honor the past and give direction to the future. Artists and other civic leaders formed The Southern Art League in 1921 in Charleston to promote art and artist of the region. Prominent as leading Charleston Renaissance artists were Elizabeth O'Neill Varner, Alfred Hutty, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith and Anna Heyward Taylor. Source: Martha R. Severens, "The Charleston Renaissance"
Chase School of Art/New York School    Named for William Merritt Chase, founder and teacher, the School began in 1896 in New York City as the Chase School of Art. Two years later, it was renamed the The New York School of Art. Chase taught there until 1907, and Robert Henri was on the faculty from 1902 to 1908. The impetus for Chase to start the school was his displeasure with the methods of the Art Students League where he was for many years a leading teacher. He did not like forcing students to draw first from the antique before they could use color and express their own imagination. He said: "I prefer that my pupils begin to draw from life. . . .For a youngster to go into a classroom filled with casts of the antique is as disheartening as to go to a graveyard." (Pisano 24) At the Chase School students did not have to pass admission tests, nor enter competitions, and they could begin by working directly from life and not plaster models. Sources: Judith Newton & Carol Weiss, "Skirting the Issue"; Ron Pisano, "A Leading Spirit in American Art"; Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art".
Chaser    A sculpture term it is descriptive of a person who does ornamental work on surfaces or who does surface finishing of a bronze cast by chiseling and polishing it, thus removing small imperfections and seams left by the castings. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Chelsea College of Art and Design    Located at 16 John Islip Street, Millbank, in London next to Tate Britain Museum, it dates back to the late 19th century and is one of the schools challenging traditional academic art curriculum. It is now part of a three-college partnership with Camberwell College of Arts and Wimbledon College of Art within the University of the Arts, London.Alumni include Anthony Caro, Helen Chadwick, David Hockney and Anish Kapoor. Source:
Chelsea School of Art and Design    See Chelsea College
Chiaroscuro    An Italian word that means light (chiaro) and dark (scuro), it is used to describe artwork that has a pronounced balance and contrast between light and dark. The technique dates to Italian Renaissance methods of creating spatial and depth illusions around figures in a composition. Rembrandt and DaVinci were especially noted as painters of chiaroscuro. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Chicago Academy of Design    Founded in 1866 by 35 artists in Chicago in a studio on Dearborn Street, it had a tuition free school with an art gallery and, like European academies, Full Academicians and Associate Academicians. Classes cost $10.00 per month and met every day. In 1870, a new facility opened at 66 West Adams Street. However, the Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed the building, and subsequent debt led to the Academy's dissolution in 1879. It was replaced with the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, which in 1882 changed its name to the Art Institute of Chicago. Among teachers of the CAD were John Drury, Henry Chapman Ford; John Vanderpoel, George Healy and Annie Shaw. These teachers became the first full member of the Academy. Sources:; AskART database
Chicago Academy of Fine Arts    Predecessor of the Art Institute of Chicago, and successor to the Chicago Academy of Design, this entity was incorporated in 1879 and bought the assets of the Chicago Academy of Design. In 1882, it was replaced in building and name by the Art Institute of Chicago. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art";
Chicago Exposition of 1893    A celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, this Exposition, officially called the World's Columbian Exposition, was a huge fair held on 686 acres of undeveloped land in Jackson Park in Chicago. Members of the United States Congress selected the site and designated Frederick Law Olmsted as designer of the specific site. Augustus Saint-Gaudens was Supervisor of Sculpture, whose official style was Classical. A huge lagoon was installed in the central area of the exhibition buildings. Exhibits featured technological progress, architecture, sculpture, and decorative arts. A midway had an amusement park and pavilions for states and nations. The name White City was given to the Fair because the main buildings were made of plaster and horsehair, a temporary material that was gleaming white. There were 200 buildings, displays from 79 countries and 38 states. Highly attended, the event was an unprecedented success of showing the amenities and progress of modern life. Source: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture"
Chicago Imagism: Monster Roster and Hairy Who    A general term for an art movement in the mid 1960s, it was a loose association of Chicago artists focused on making art that was individual, incendiary, and irreverent---the opposite of what they regarded as pretentious 'high art'. Styles included primitivism, expressionism, assemblage and surrealism, and subjects often referenced sex and violence. Their ‘in-your-face'-anger and assertive autonomy, even from each other, set them apart from developing abstract art movements in the East and West coasts. Imagists briefly came together in exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center. Major influences were Roberto Matta and Ray Yoshida, teachers at the Chicago Art Institute, and Illinois painter and graphics artists, Seymour Rosofsky. Other participants were Roger Brown, Leon Golub, Gladys Nilsson, James Nutt, H.C. Westermann, Ed Paschke and Ellen Lanyon, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Karl Wirsum, and Barbara Rossi. Critic Franz Schulze dubbed the group’s 1950s generation including Golub, Lanyon and Rosofsky the “Monster Roster”. The 1960s generation of Brown, Nilsson, Paschke, Nutt and Westermann called themselves the “Hairy Who”. Sources: Robert Atkins, ART SPEAK; Tom Butler, Director, Columbus Museum, Georgia.
Chicago School of Design    See Illinois Institute of Design
Chicago Society of Artists    Organized in 1887, the CSA claims to be the oldest continuing association of artists in the United States. Its goals are the advancement of art in the Chicago area and encouragement of productivity through exhibitions and education. Membership includes painters, print makers, sculptors, photographers, art critics and art educators. Prominent artists associated with the CSA are Adam Albright. Ralph Clarkson, JOseph Kleitsch and LeRoy Nieman. Sources:; AskART biographies
Chicago Society of Etchers    Organized by Bertha Evelyn Clausen Jaques in 1910 and dissolved in 1972, the Chicago Society of Etchers had membership and exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Under the leadership of Jaques, the Society initiated the 20th-century revival of etching, a medium that had been much overlooked by American art professionals as well as the general public. Prominent members included Cornelius Botke, Ralph Fabri, Gene Kloss, Leon Pescheret and Maltby Sykes. Sources:;; //
China Painting    A handicraft activity popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was the decoration of chinaware and provided a creative outlet for women, who, in that period, had little encouragement for their art talents. China paint was applied with special brushes on white porcelain, and then was fired in a kiln. China Painting was not only a popular hobby diversion for females of that era but was also a source of income because of the public demand for hand-painted porcelain. This interest stemmed from the McMicken School of Design in Cincinnati, where a group of female students organized in 1874 an exhibition of exquisitely over-glazed hand-painted china pieces for the Cincinnati Room of the Women's Pavilion at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. In 1878, "Adelaide Osgood founded in New York City, the first school for decorative china painting." (Falk) Nineteenth century women artists who did China Painting include Cecilia Beaux, Celia Thaxter, Margaret Overbeck, Margaret Cantwell and Ellsworth Woodward. Judy Chicago greatly expanded the creative potential of China Painting in the late 20th Century. Sources: Alice A. Carter, "Cecilia Beaux, A Modern Painter in the Gilded Age", p. 63; Ralph Meyer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques". AskART biographies; Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, "Who Was Who in American Art".
China Trade Painters    A term referencing work by a large body of paintings made by anonymous Chinese artists for export trade to the United States and Europe, the paintings were produced after trade was opened with Chinese ports specifically for this market. They constitute an important segment of marine art history and are well recognized by art historians and widely represented by marine galleries and major international marine museums such as the Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts and the Marine Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Source: Catherine Boisseau, Roger King Gallery of Fine Art Newport, Rhode Island
Chinese Artists Association    The principal national institution for Chinese art, it was created in 1949 and has its headquarters in Beijing. By 2011, it had more than 6,000 members. Committees are established for Oil Painting, Prints, Fresco, Animation and Children's Art. Its monthly publication is "Fine Arts". Sources: Wikipedia' China Culture,
Chinoiserie    A French term referring to that which is Chinese, it was a recurring theme in European art from the 17th century. Often an attempt to imitate Chinese porcelain, it "is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China". Source: Wikipedia,
Chouinard Art Institute    In Los Angeles from 1921 to 1972, the school was located at 741 South Grand Avenue by landscape painter and art educator, Nelbert Chouinard. the Institute was in operation under her direction until her death in 1961. She had been teaching at the Otis Art Institute and found the enrollment so heavy that she founded her own school to provide uncrowded classrooms. During its years of operation, the Institute had over 50,000 students and 400 teachers, many whom were well known such as Alexander Archipenko, Ed Ruscha, Rico Lebrun, Millard Sheets, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Emil Kosa Jr., Kenneth Price and Stanton MacDonald-Wright. In 1935, the state of California gave the school non-profit status, and by 1955, the school was granting Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees. Walt Disney was one of the main supporters of the school. After Chouinard’s death in 1961, the Institute was merged with the Louisiana Conservator of Music and took the name of California Institute of Arts. It closed in 1972 due to infighting and the firing of most of the staff. A major factor in the closing was the lack of acceptance of modernist movements such as Conceptualism, Bay Area Figurative, etc. Sources: Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”; Peter Falk, “Who Was Who in American Art”; James R. Pahl,;
Chroma    A joint term for the hue and saturation but not the value (dark or light) of color. See Intensity
Chromaliving (Exhibition)    A landmark Canadian art exhibition, it was organized by the Toronto artists’ collective ChromaZone. It took place from October 19 to November 12, 1983 in the vacant 10,000 square foot Harridges department store at The Colonnade mall in Toronto. It was envisioned as a parody of a home show with room settings that included artist designed furniture, home fashion and clothing, as well as pictures, murals, and sculpture. Tim Jocelyn, Andy Fabo and architects Marty Cohen and Chris Radigan designed and organized the show which included works by Vera Frenkel, General Idea, Evan Penny, Annemarie Schmid-Esler, John Scott, Joanne Tod, Robert Wiens, Robert Youds and over 150 other artists. Sources: Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art*; and “Chromaliving” (1983), by Andy Fabo and Jennifer Oille; Chromazone, Toronto – exhibition catalogue. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke.
ChromaZone    A short lived (1981 – 1986) but important Toronto artists’ collective, it “spearheaded” a modernist figurative art movement. One of its founders was Andy Fabo (see askART). The collective was responsible for shows which introduced Toronto to the works of artists such as Jonathan Borofsky, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Julian Schnabel and Cindy Sherman. It was also the organizer of the landmark Chromaliving (see glossary) exhibition in 1983. Source: Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke.
Chromolithograph    A lithograph with color, it is the result of a late 19th-century process involving separate stones for each color. The best known and one of the earliest proponents was Julius Bien, a German. The biggest challenge in chromolithography is aligning the paper perfectly when moving from color to color on the respective stones holding each color. Source: Joel Oppenheimer 35th Anniversary Catalogue of The Natural History Art Gallery.
Chromoluminarism    See Divisionism
Chryselephantine    Composed or adorned with gold and ivory and sometimes bronze such as certain objects made in ancient Greece, it is a sculpture term. The technique, whose origins seem unknown, was used by the Greeks such as Phidias for cult statues within temples, and in some cases had precious stones and glass added for detailing. In the early 20th century Art-Deco sculptors such as Demetre Chiparus and Josef Lorenzl used the method. Sources: 'Chryselephantine', Wikipedia; AskART biography of Josef Lorenzl
Chrystalline Glaze    A glaze for ceramics that, when fired it forms well defined crystal patterns. Zinc silicate is the most successful crystalline glaze but other substances are used. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Cider Painters of America    Founded in Dallas, Pennsylvania in 1983 to create public awareness of miniature art. The name is deliberately light hearted because members want viewers of miniature art to enjoy themselves. Artists are given size restrictions for their CPA submissions to exhibitions, and an anuual exhibit is held once a year. The work must be smaller than 3" X 5" and in non-traditional medias. Source:
Cigar Store Indian    The cigar store Indian originated as a tradition not in the United States, but in Europe, where carved “Virginie men,” as Native Americans were called by Europeans, were used to advertise the sale of tobacco, an American crop. Tobacconists in America picked up the trend as a means of advertising and making their storefronts distinctive. The folklore about Cigar Store Indians in the late 18th century suggests that they provided a visual marker, much like a barber’s striped pole, for customers who were illiterate, or, in the following century, for the swelling population of immigrants that spoke different languages. Samuel Robb was arguably the most famous carver of these trade figures in the late 19th century. These statues faded from use with the introduction of sidewalk obstruction laws in 1910; stores sold their statues and they gradually disappeared. Speculations that some of these figures might have been used for firewood or other scrap during the Great Depression serve as one explanation for why 19th century cigar store Indians can be found today in such drastically reduced numbers. But by the 1990s, when cigars themselves were gaining widespread popularity, these trade figures experienced a similar comeback, both in the field of replicas and in the surging appreciation—and value—of those original carvings that still exist. Source: "Samuel A Robb Cigar Store Indian Press Release, material culture, //
Cincinnati Art Club    Established in 1890 by artists and supporters of fine art, the goal was to promote fellowship and share knowledge about making and appreciating art. Early meetings were held in homes with artist members bringing, for critique, painting and drawing subjects they had been assigned at the previous meeting. Artist Frank Duveneck was one of the key supporters, beginning 1896, and his Sunday life demonstrations were especially popular. After his death, the Memorial Day tradition began of Club members making a pilgrimage to his grave. Other prominent early artist members were Henry Farny, Edward Potthast and Joseph Sharp. Expanded activities were theatricals, dinners and costume parties, although these activities were later set aside for more serious art pursuits. In 1924, the Club was moved into its own building at 527 East Third Street in downtown Cincinnati. Source: Carol Cyran, Cincinnati Art Club exhibition catalogue, "Herman and Bessie Wessel"
Cinquecento    Refers to the sixteenth century, especially in Italian culture.
Citrine    (See YELLOW)
Clair-Obscure    The French for CHIAROSCURO.
Clarafactionism    An art movement that began in the 1950s, it was influenced by Surrealism and Futurism, characterised by a photorealistic style of painting. Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist
Clarence H. White School of Modern Photography    Founded in New York City in 1914 by photographer Clarence White, joined by Max Weber and Paul Lewis Anderson, curriculum focused on design, composition and art theory. It was also a breaking away from the dominant personality of Alfred Stieglitz, whom White and his associates perceived as excluding talented photographers including women from his circle of acceptance. Underlying philosophy of the school was encouraging students to follow personal visions rather prevalent art movement asserted by others such as Stieglitz. Photography was treated as both a fine art and practical art, and women were especially encouraged such as Laura Gilpin and Margaret Bourke-White. Summer sessions were held in Canaan, Connecticut and Woodstock, New York. Clarence White died in 1925, but the school continued under the direction of his wife, Jane White, until 1940 when she retired. Source: Wikipedia,
Clark Collection    Begun in the late 20th Century by Thomas Clark with an oil sketch by Irving Ramsey Wiles, it is a collection focused on pre-1940 Impressionist work. Clark, from upstate New York, has bequeathed the artwork to The Hyde Collection Museum. Among the represented artists are Harry Aiken Vincent, Aldro Thompson Hibbard, Walter Emerson Baum, and Anne Ramsdell Congdon. Source: Erin Coe, 'Impressionist Paintings from the Clark Collection', "American Art Review", February 2010.
Classical    Belonging to Greek and Roman antiquity, the term is used to describe art in conformity with the standards of the ancient Greeks and Romans and their emphasis on simplicity of line, symmetry and dignity of subject matter. Source: Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"
Classical Abstraction    The exercise of rigorous intellectual discipline and technical control in abstract painting and sculpture, it is contrasted with the free style of Abstract Expressionism and exemplified in the art of Piet Mondrian, Casimir Malevich, Ben Nicholson, and Barbara Hepworth. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Classical Realism-Contemporary    An artistic style, it encompasses the highest principles of traditional representational art from the ancient Greeks to the present day and references careful and accurate drawing, balanced design, harmonious color and skillful craftsmanship. Figure and still life painting are favored subjects. The term was first used by Richard Lack (1928), was taught by him in the Lack Atelier in Minneapolis, and promoted in his "Classical Realism Quarterly". Among Classical Realist artists are Jacob Collins, Robert Gammell, Frederick Hart, Joseph McGurl, Stephen Gjertson and Michael Whelan. Sources:;; AskART database
Classicism    In the broadest artistic sense, art based on the study of classical models, that emphasizes qualities characteristically Greek and Roman in style and spirit, i.e. reason, objectivity, discipline, restraint, order, harmony and subjects referencing ancient Classical writers such as Homer, Plato and Aristotle. Classicism with its chief proponent Jean-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) was prevalent in France in the early to mid 1800s. However, by the end of the century proponents of Romanticism such as Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), Realism with Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), and Impressionism led by Claude Monet blotted out the dominance of Classicism with its limited reach to only classically educated persons. Source: Professor Richard Brettell, Teaching Company lecture, From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism.
Claude Lorrain Glass/Diminishing Glass    A device used to reduce and simplify views of landscapes, the Claude Glass reflects the scene through a dark, convex lens, reduces and isolates color tones, and in the process, loses definition. The term is named for French artist, Claude Lorrain, who is said to have devised such an instrument. Many of the prints and drawings produced with the aid of the Claude Glass are monochrome. This device, also known as Diminishing Glass, reduces dazzle and allows the eye to dwell on the motif, which helps the artist to make the analysis of the scene in tonal terms, un-distracted by color. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Clawson Hammitt's School of Art    Founded in Wilmington, Delaware in 1882 and run for the next 30 years by its founder, it is said to be the first school of art in the state of Delaware. From 1883 to 1890, it was called the Delaware School of Art, and then took the name of Clawson S. Hammitt's School of Art or the C.S. Hammitt School of Art. It was located in the Wilmington Public Library at Eighth and Market Streets. Founder was Clawson Hammitt, (1857-1927), a leading arts figure in late 19th century Wilmington. Source: Delaware Art Museum,
Clay    An earthy material that is malleable or easily shaped when moist but hard when fired, it is composed primarily of fine particles of hydrous aluminum silicates and other minerals. Clay is used for brick, tile, pottery, ceramics and the initial shaping of much sculpture that is ultimately cast in bronze. Source: "Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary"
Clay Club    Founded in 1928 by Dorothea Denslow in Greenwich Village in a converted stable next to the Whitney Museum, it became an informal sculptor's workshop of about 50 participants. Of them, it was written: "Members get so carried away with making little terra-cotta animals, casting huge plaster nudes and hammering away at hard stone that they sometimes work the whole night till dawn." A kiln was on the premises for firing the sculpture. Among members were Muriel Kelsey and George Gerny. Source: LIFE magazine, July 8, 1946, pp. 101-102.
Cleveland Institute of Art    See Cleveland School of Art
Cleveland School of Art    Founded in 1881 with the name Western Reserve School of Design for Women, it was renamed in 1891 and kept the name Cleveland School of Art until 1948 when it became Cleveland Institute of Art. During the 1930s Depression, it was a center of much Federal Art Project (WPA) activity including exhibitions, and during World War II, map making and medical drawing were added to the basic curriculum of drawing, painting, and sculpture. It is an historically acclaimed art school, and contributes significantly to the culture of Cleveland. Among its graduates are Robert Mangold, Victor Schreckengost, Charles Burchfield, Clarence Carter and Richard Anuszkiewicz. Source: Wikipedia; AskART biographies
Cleves Romanticism    Named for Cleves, Germany, it is a mid-19th century German and Dutch painting style blending realism and atmospherics. The region, with the Ruhr and Rhine Rivers, offered panoramic views of valleys and forests, which inspired painters such as Barend Koekkoek (1803-1862). He moved there from Holland and established a landscape painting academy, whose students, patterning themselves from him, named the painting style, Cleves Romanticism. Source: Wikipedia, Barend Koekkoek
Cliff Dwellers    A men's club organized in Chicago in 1907, it was composed of resident and non-resident elected fine arts professionals, and originally named the Attic Club, was re-named Cliff Dwellers in 1909 from a reference used by Hamlin Garland in an opening ceremony. The Club’s goal was uniting forces to strengthen fine arts in Chicago. Organizing members included William Dean Howells, John T. Mc Cutcheon, Lorado Taft and Wallace Rice. Hamlin Garland was the moving spirit and served as first president. The meeting building, completed in 1908, was atop Orchestra Hall, and in 1996 was moved to the 22nd floor penthouse of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street. Membership is now opened to women. Sources: Google Books, "The Cliff Dwellers", published by R.F. Seymour Company, 1910;
Cloisonne , Cloisonnism    Referring both to a method and a style, these word describe the method, cloisonne, which is metal-decorating whereby the colored areas are separated by flattened wire or metal strips and are then filled with porcelain enamel powders or paste, fired, smoothed and polished. The method was used extensively during the Byzantine era and throughout the Middle Ages in Western Europe. It is also popular in modern-day China and Japan. Cloisonnism is a style of painting named by critic Edouard Dujardin and inspired by stained glass. Its characteristic is flat regions of carefully separated colors delineated by black contour outlines. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART biography of Louis Anquetin
CoBRA    A post World War II modernist movement of artists and writers whose name is derived from the three native cities of the participants: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. Members included Guillaume Corneille, Carl Henning Pedersen, Pierre Alechinsky and Karel Appel. The group was part of the post World War II western movement of rebelling against censorship and control of art expression during the Nazi-Germany era. Focusing on color, form and nature, they urged freedom and vitality in their painting. They exhibited together from 1948 to 1951, and, showing influences of primitive art, tended to use violent-appearing brushwork and saturated color. Source: Robert Atkins, ART SPEAK; Obituary of Corneille by Liz Robbins, "The New York Times", 9/7/2010
Coiling    A method of forming pottery or sculpture from rolls of clay, it is done in a continuous spiral that is smoothed together to form the sides of a jar or pot. Coiling requires the use of much water and slow drying to prevent cracking, and with small pieces, the potter remains seated and rotates the clay, always keeping the palm of the hand to the outside. Source:
Cold Color    Any of the colors in the range from blue to green, it, when applied to a surface, contrasts with the other colors and then appears to retreat, giving an impression of depth. (See WARM COLORS and AERIAL PERSPECTIVE) Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Cold Painted Bronze    Refers to pieces cast in Vienna, they were decorated in several layers with so called dust paint; the know-how for the mix of this kind of paint has been lost. The color was not fired hence "cold painted". The painting was carried out mainly by women working at home, a typical cottage industry. Among foundry owners producing these objects was one owned by Franz Bergmann (1861-1936) in Vienna. Source: Bermann AskART biography.
Collage    A technique named for the French word 'coller' meaning 'to glue'. The process involves creating a visual two-dimensional image by gluing together bits of paper, fabric or other natural or manufactured materials to a ground, usually canvas or panel. The introduction of collage as a fine-art method began in 1912 in Paris when Georges Braque purchased a roll of paper in a store in Avignon. In his studio he combined pieces of that paper with charcoal to make the first collage recognized as being more than just a simple home-crafts project. His method was copied by his friend Pablo Picasso, who made the first high-art collage, "Still Life with Chair Caning". It was a chair-caned patterned oilcloth glued to canvas. Shortly after he and Braque made "papiers colles", which are collages made from cut papers, and is linked to the 19th-century pastime of "papiers colles", an art recreation whereby decorative items were made with pasted pieces of colored paper. After World War I, Dada artists made Collages from found objects such as street debris, and Surrealists did Collages from materials that had more symbolic, psychological meaning. Collage in three-dimensional form is called Assemblage and Construction Sculpture. Noted American collage artists are Robert Motherwell, Frank Stella, James Rosenquist, Joseph Cornell, Romare Bearden, Conrad Marca Relli, Vito Acconci, Bruce Conner, Miriam Schapiro, Dorothea Rockburne and Judy Chicago. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"; Robert Atkins, "Artspoke"; AskART database.
Collagraph, Intaglio Print    A print or reproduction, it is made from a block composed of a variety of materials layered on top of each other, becoming a collage. This printmaking method is innovative because standard blocks are made from only one material such as wood in woodblocks and stone for lithographs. Mary Beth Rust of Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia described the Collagraph technique of painter and printmaker Treacy Ziegler: "Treacy first lays a black ink block on the paper. She then uses layers of oil, which are hand pulled through her printing press to create positive space. Each Collagraph is composed of the black ink, then up to about seven layers of color. Since they are hand pulled, each comes out differently, making them all original works. Another artist known for collagraphs is Clare Romano, who with her husband John Ross has written a book, "The Complete Collagraph." Sources: Mary Beth Rust; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; American Design Ltd.
Collodion    See Wet Plate
Collotype    A process developed for inexpensive and large volume mechanical printing before the widespread use of still cheaper offset litho, it has results very similar to photography. However, the process is no longer used commercially. It involves a collotype plate made by coating a sheet glass that is pre-coated with a layer of gelatin that has been carefully dried and broken into a finely-grained pattern. The plate is then exposed in contact with the negative by using a UV light source. To make prints, the plate is dampened with a slightly acid glycerine/water mixture, then wiped and blotted before inking with lithographic ink using a roller. Paper is then put on top of the plate and covered before being printed using relatively light pressure, either in a lithographic press or by hand using a firm roller. Sources:
Color Field Painting    The natural successor to Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s and 1960s, Color Field painting was especially influenced by Jackson Pollock and his technique of staining canvases with paint. C.F. painters divorced themselves from the emotive qualities of Abstract Expressionism to create flat, impersonal works, often on a large scale to suppress the artist's feelings with a transcendent beauty. This style "offered a deliberate challenge to the angst-ridden, tough guy paintings" of the Abstract Expressionists according to Karen Wilkin, author of the 1990 book "Kenneth Noland." Key influential Color Field painters were Noland, Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Helen Frankenthaller, Ron Davis, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and Ellsworth Kelly. The movement's chief public exponent was New York art critic, Clement Greenberg, and other promoters were Andre Emmerich, New York Dealer, Michael Fried, writer, and editors of "Artforum" magazine. Source: New York Graphic Society, "The Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database
Color Perspective    (See AERIAL PERSPECTIVE)
Color Print    A printmaking process utilizing separate blocks, stones, plates or silk-screen stencils to make an impression for each basic color in the resulting print. Sometimes color is added by overprinting of the basic colors. Lithography, silkscreen and woodcuts are best suited for color printing. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Color Theory    In artwork, ideas that relate to mixing color,and creating contrasts to suggest light and dark, warm and cool, distance and aerial perspective. A part of Color Theory is that some colors lose their intensity when paired with other colors, and some colors create much differing impressions dependent upon the size of the color block. Source: Maggie Price, "The Pastel Journal", October 2005, p. 17
Color Wheel    A circular grid with mounted colored paper disks that represent the colors based on color theory, it is used for color theory demonstration purposes and clearly shows the relationships colors have with each other (complimentary, secondary, tertiary, opposite, etc.) Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Color/Colour    1) Pigments, paints, dyes and/or inks mixed together to create hues, tones, intensity and complimentary colors. 2) Paint prepared for an artist's use including oil, watercolor, tempera, gouache, acrylic, and casein. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Colorado Artists Guild    See Denver Artists Guild
Colorado Springs Fine Art Center    See Broadmoor Art Academy
Colored Pencil    A pigmented drawing pencil, it is made with chromatic pigments rather than graphite. Artists noted for colored pencil drawing include Carrie Ballantyne, Steve DiBenedetto, Don Eddy, Mark Grotjahn, Bill Traylor, David Korty, and Fritz Vogt. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database
Colored Pencil Society of America    Founded in 1990, it supports artists working with colored pencil. Over 1600 drawing specialists are members in the United States and 14 other countries. A national board directs the organization whose goal is to educate the public about colored pencil fine art. District chapters organize exhibitions and workshops within regions. Each year, an international exhibition is held. To join, an artist must be 18 years of age or older. Members are not juried in, but entries for the International Exhibition are determined by a jury. Members whose work is in three or more international exhibitions are eligible for Signature Status, the highest level of membership. Artist members include William Berry, Kay Dewar, Sheri Greves-Neilson, Linda Lucas-Hardy, Sharon Mazgaj and Ronni Wadler. Source:; AskART database
Colorimeter/Chromaticity    A tool for measuring or determining color or chromaticity by comparing with synthesized color. "The typical colorimeter has a built-in standard light source, three colored filters, photoelectric cells or phototubes, a standard reflecting surface, and in modern types, photoelectric cells and electronic circuits to replace the human eye as the receptor and thus speed up results." Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Colorist    A general term, it is applied to artists who focus on rich use of color as a method and/or subject. In comic book art, a colorist is an artist who adds color with airbrush or watercolor to black and white lines. Professional colorists include Jack Adler, Christina Strain and Steve Oliff. Sources:; AskART database
Columbian Academy of Painting    One of the earliest art schools in the United States and the first in New York City, it was founded in the early 1790s by prominent, wealthy New Yorkers who wanted drawing instruction for their children. Robert R. Livingston was a leading influence. Scottish painters and brothers Archibald and Alexander Robertson were the early teachers. They taught watercolor, not oil, painting and introduced landscape subjects, which were counter to the prevailing European-influenced historical genre in classical style. Sources: James Flexner, "The Light of Distant Skies", 116; John Howat, "The Hudson River and Its Painters", 30
Columbian Exposition, 1893    See Chicago Exposition of 1893
Columbianum Society of Artists    Founded in 1794 in Philadelphia, it was the first art organization in America. A cooperative society of thirty artists including William Rush, Charles Willson Peale, Joseph Cerrachi, and Johann Eckstein, they sponsored one exhibition, and then terminated their activities. Sources: Ralph Sessions, "William Rush and the American Figurehead"; Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"
Combat Artist    An artist officially assigned by publications or government entities to record battles and military life during war time, names include Edward Lamson Henry, David Gilmour Blythe, and Winslow Homer in the Civil War; Frederic Remington in the Spanish American War; George Bellows in World War I; Gilbert Bundy, Tom Lovell, and Mead Schaeffer in World War II. Source: AskART biographies
Comic Strip    A group of cartoons, also called "funnies", they are arranged in narrative sequence and have been published in American newspapers since the late 19th-Century. Comic Strips appear in serial form and are dependent for drawing interest upon an exaggerated figure rather than a story line. Their value is purely entertainment, and they have become one of the most popular forms of visual media. Early comic strips were influenced by Englishman William Hogarth (1697-1764) and Frenchman Honore Daumier (1808-1879). In America, Lyonel Feininger began doing comics as early as 1906. In the mid 1950s, many American artists took up comic-strip art to comment on daily life trivia, and some artists such as Roy Lichtenstein incorporated them into their fine-art painting in a style known as Pop Art. Well-known comic strip artists are Ernie Bushmiller ("Nancy"), Al Capp ("Lil Abner"), George Herriman ("Krazy Kat"), Hank Ketcham ("Dennis the Menace"), Charles Schulz ("Peanuts") and Chic Young ("Dagwood"). Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; Ron Goulart, "The Encyclopedia of American Comics"
Commercial Art School-Chicago    See Ray Vogue Art School
Commercial Art/Commercial Artists    Traditionally general references distinguishing visual image making, usually painting or drawing for money-making entities, from "fine art" or that which is done primarily from personal expression and not use by businesses. Among use of work by "Commercial artists", many of them called Illustrators, is ad copy, logos and text illustrations for periodicals, newspapers and books. However, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the perception that Fine Art is superior to Commercial Art has softened because of growing appreciation of the skills of Commercial Artists and the blurring of uses of their work. Also new respect has developed for the talents of commercial artists such as Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, and Maxfield Parrish. Sources: Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database
Complementary Colors    Colors regarded as being in extreme contrast to each other, the 'complement' of a primary color, either red, yellow or blue, is achieved by mixing the other two primary colors together. For example, the complementary color of red is green, created by mixing yellow and blue. When juxtaposed, complementary colors intensify each other. Complements of intermediate colors, colors between primary and secondary colors, are shown on a Color Circle. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Composite color    A color formed by mixing two or more hues or tints. See color.
Composition    The organization of form in a work of art, i.e., the disposition of shapes, masses, areas of light and dark, etc. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Computer Art/Digital    A method of producing art by a programmed computer, the term dates to the mid 1960s. Results are often regarded as beautiful and creative. Because of the wide range of variations, computer art has no consistent style nor can traditional criteria be applied to its production. Some regard Computer Art as inferior or not legitimate art because it is not generated from human creativity, but others are fascinated by it because of its innovation of bringing together in a 'creative' way elements of the sciences and humanities. Madrid University in Spain has had a collaborative program between artists and mathematicians, and Buenos Aires and Amsterdam as well as universities in Italy and Germany have computer-art centers. The 1970 Venice Biennale initiated a section on Computer Art. Early United States exhibitions included the "World Exhibition of Computer Graphics" at Howard Wise Gallery, New York in 1965, and in 1966, a traveling exhibition was sponsored by the Western Assocation of Art. American computer artists include Arthur Brody, Jeff Flower, Melissa Zink, , Peter Bardazzi, Neil Meitzler, Carol, Flax, Patti Held, Leroy Lamis, Frahn Koerner and Jeffrey Shaw. Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"; AskART database
Conceptual Art    An art form made popular in the mid 1960s through the 1970s, it has been described as a "document of the artist's thinking". The term became an all-embracing term for art forms that fit neither the description of painting nor sculpture and included Performance Art, Video Art and Earth Art. The theory is that art exists for its own sake. Known also as Idea Art, it came to widespread public awareness through the 1967 summer issue of "Artforum", in an article by Sol LeWitt. However, artists Henry Flint and Edward Kienholz had written earlier about Conceptual Art, which was a reaction against the impersonality of Minimalism and the commercialism of Pop Art. Joseph Kosuth in a 1969 essay also wrote what has been described as a "founding text of Conceptualism". (Princenthal). In that writing, he asserted that philosophy was dead and was replaced by art based on thought and material aspects that were disposable. Conceptual artists include Kosuth, Marina Abramovic, Adrian Piper, John Baldessari, Mel Bochner, James Lee Byars, Dan Graham, On Kawara, Yoko Ono, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim and Richard Tuttle. Sources: Robert Atkins, "ArtSpeak"; Nancy Princenthal, 'Reading Between the Lines', "Art in America", March 2005.
Concrete Art    A term invented in 1930 and attributed to Theo van Doesburg, it references abstract art based on geometry, form and color and not nature. In other words, the art is an independent object, divorced from subtle messages such as social concerns, and does not have meaning beyond its external appearance. (What you see is what you get!) Josef Albers, 1933 emigrant from Germany to America, was the major proponent, and his student Max Bill popularized the term. Concrete art as an expression of objectivity often gives the appearance of having been created by a machine. The term has gone out of vogue, but 21st century artists Helio Oticica and Lygia Clark of Brazil have continued to work in the style. A descendant style is Color Field painting, the rebellion of abstract artists against the complicated messages of the Abstract Expressionists and of focus solely on process and medium. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak;" Wikipedia
Confrerie Pictura    An association of forty-eight artists in The Hague, it was founded in 1656 by local painters, sculptors and printmakers to promote their work more effectively. They were rebelling against the Guild of Saint Luke, which was weighted down by outdated church affiliations. The leader was Adriaen Hanneman, and membership included Willem Doudijns, Augustinus Terwesten and Robert Duval. Source: Wikipedia,
Connecticut Academy of Fine Art    Established in 1910 in Avon, Connecticut, the goal of founders was to promote artists of their region through an Annual Salon and through juried membership admission. The Academy continues into the 21st Century. Founders include Charles Noel Flagg, Carl Ringius and Robert Brandegee. Source:
Connoisseurs/Connoisseurship    Persons credited by art professionals with excellent aesthetic judgment, they are judged to have a special knowledge that allows them to collect art in a focused, tasteful manner. Connoisseurship is the method or process of attribution of 'connoisseurs'. Source: Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Conservation/Conservator    A far-reaching term, it refers to the restoration of damaged artwork and also to the preservation for long-term care. If conservation is handled correctly, scientific determination of materials will be done before any conservation processes begins. Conservation methods date back to antiquity when Greek and Roman artisans repaired sculpture and continued forward through the Renaissance into modern times. In 1564 "The Last Judgment" mural by Michelangelo was restored only 24 years after its completion. Until the 19th century, artists ground their own paints and, knowing their "recipes", were quite often the best ones to restore their own work. However, with the onset of factory made paints and variations in quality, persons with special knowledge of the range of paints became professional conservators. In 1888, the Staatlich Museum in Berlin developed the first scientific laboratory for Conservation. In 1928, the Fogg Museum at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts organized, for the first time, a laboratory that brought together art historians, scientists and restorers to analyze reasons for deterioration of works of art and solutions. An important part of Conservation is making sure that the process does not do damage to original mediums--in other words, does not alter the integrity of the artwork. The American Institute for Conservation sets a code of ethics and is an organization to which many professional conservators belong. Source: Arthur W. Schultze, General Editor, "Caring for Your Collections", Harry N. Abrams Press, 1992, p. 12.
Consignor    The owner of a work of art that is being offered at auction. Source:
Construction    A process of assembling or building a work of art. In sculpture, the term can refer to building the piece with varying components on the premises where it is to be shown. Many of these constructions are meant to be temporary and are disassembled after the exhibition is over. Source: Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Constructive Universalism    A style developed by pioneer artist Torres-Garcia, it reflects the artist's passion, in his words, for "geometry, order, synthesis, construction and rhythm." A gridded ideogram-like structure, often based on the proportions of the Golden Section, is made up of compartment-like rectangles. Within each cell there are different signs that have a strong linguistic quality and relate to autobiographical, mathematical, spiritual, or metaphysical concerns. Within his fairly well defined repertory of signs and symbols, there are frequent references to the pre-Hispanic world including ideas about the relationship of man to the cosmos. Source: Museum of the Americas.
Constructivism, Constructivist, Tatlinism, Product    A modern aesthetic movement, it was founded in Russia in 1913 by Vladimir Tatlin (1885-1953). The underlying theory is that a work of art should be an autonomous object with a life of its own and that it should reflect economy and precision. The style is non objective, and the materials are often iron, tin, wood, glass, plaster, and plastic, an attempt to bridge the gap between everyday life and art. It was first called Tatlinism when it appeared about 1913 in the work of Vladimir Tatlin. Another early name was Production Art with focus on creating artist engineers. Dynamism and kinetic art were outgrowths, and Antoine Pevsner, Alexander Rodchenko, and Naum Gabo brought the movement to the United States. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Conte Crayon    Named for Nicholas Conte, who developed the first lead pencil in 1790, the term "conte" became a trade name for a brand of French crayons made from a unique compound of compressed pigments with a chalk binder. Conte crayons, available in black, red and brown, are free from grease, making them acceptable for lithographic drawing. Conte Crayon artists include George Bellows, Oscar Bluemner, Paul Cadmus, Philip Evergood and Marsden Hartley. Source: Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"; AskART database
Contemporary Art Group    Formed by a circle of students of Hussein Youssef Amin in Egypt at Cairo's Faculty of Fine Arts in 1944, the movement espoused modernist art liked to Egyptian identity. Thematically they highlighted the plight of the poor and dispossessed.Others in the group were Hussein Amin, Hamed Nada, Maher Raif, Samir Rafi, Kamal Youssef, Mogli (Salem El-Habshi) and Ibrahim Massouda. Source:
Contemporary Arts Society, Montreal    Founded in 1939 by artist John Lyman who then served as its first president, the CAS purpose was to promote Canadian public awareness of modern art by bringing together artists of "non-Academic tendencies." Joint exhibitions became a part of their agenda. Twenty-five names were on the initial list with most of them being "French-influenced post impressionists". The roster included Fritz Brandtner, Stanley Cosgrove, Philip Surrey, Louis Muhlstock, and Paul-Emile Borduas. In May, 1939, membership opened to non-artists, many whom were collectors, critics, and teachers, and most whom lived in Montreal. At that time, CAS also held its first exhibition, "Art of Our Day", an overview of modernist art in Canadian collections. By the mid-1940s, nearly every prominent modernist painter in Montreal was a member, but the group became divisive as some members, such as Paul Borduas, were perceived as increasingly 'radical' relative to other members. CAS, having met its goals, especially in Montreal, terminated in 1948. Sources: Christoper Varley,; M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Contemporary/Contemporary Art    Traditionally referencing a time period that is immediate or concurrent, the word Contemporary and especially the term Contemporary Art are applied so broadly and used so loosely relative to both chronology and style that it is difficult to make any definitive explanation. Persons using the word Contemporary to denote a time period usually mean artwork of any style that dates from the mid 20th Century and beyond. However, when applied to style, the door seems wide open and includes Contemporary Realism, Conceptualism, Installation and Performance and Digital Art. Relative to style, use of the word often means artwork that "pushes the boundaries of people's perception" and "includes things that people consider immoral or taboo" in art expression such as persons engaging in sex acts or mediums such as bodily fluids or excrement. Contemporary Art should not be confused with Modern Art, which generally applies to art production from the late 19th Century to the end of the 1960s. Source:
Content    The message conveyed by a work of art – its subject matter and whatever the artist hopes to convey by that subject matter, it should not be confused with context (the work’s environment) or form (the physical characteristics of a work). Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Context    Circumstances in which a work of art is interpreted or created, it includes an involved assessment of the artist’s values, upbringing, attitudes, education, the environment in which the work was created, the work’s purpose, and the artwork is interpreted.
Contour/Contour Drawing    The outline or boundary of a form, or the illusion of a line enclosing form, Contour Drawing was made popular as a teaching and working method by Kimon Nicolaides in his book, "The Natural Way". It refers to the artist focusing on the outline of their subject and then drawing one continuous line, without lifting the pencil, to create the image. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".
Contrapposto    A spiral twist pose of the human form, the head and shoulders face in a different direction from the hips and legs. Developed in late ancient Greek era and much admired and used by Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo and Verrochio, it is sometimes referred to as “weight shift”. Source: Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Converging    Lines that go towards the same point
Conversation Piece    A painting that shows a group of people, usually relations or close friends, in conversation in a relaxed home environment. In keeping with the informal atmosphere of the work, these paintings, which were especially popular in Britain in the eighteenth century, are generally fairly small. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Siddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Conversaziones    A meeting for conversation or discussion, it usually refers to art. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke. Source: The Free Dictionary
Conversion Board    An electronic board, it is placed at auction by some houses to display the bids as they are made. It then translates them into approximations of some other currencies based on the exchange rate of the previous business day. Source:
Cool Colors    Colors that suggest cool sensations and lie within the green-violet half of the color circle. Blue is dominant. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Cooper Union    A privately funded institution in the East Village of Manhattan, New York City, it was founded in 1859 as "a radical new model of American higher education." In 2009, the enrollment was 918 students, and the endowment was $598.2 million. The mission reflects the belief of its founder, Peter Cooper, that education should be 'free as air and water' and available with no racial or religious discrimination to all persons. However, admission is selective because it is based for architecture and engineering students on SAT scores, and for artist applicants, on a 'home-test' spanning a four-week period and involving responses to visual pieces and a portfolio submission. Unique is that the school offers full-tuition scholarships to every admitted student. Funding grew from Cooper's fortune as a glue factory and railroad industrialist and inventor including America's first steam engine. Admission Degrees are offered in Architecture, Fine Art, and Engineering. Among artist enrollees are Eva Hesse, Howard Christy, Donald Beachler, Conrad Marca-Relli, Ralph Blakelock, Catherine Critcher, Maria Dewing, Lon Megargee, Lee Krasner, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Sources:; AskART database
Copley Collection    Over the years amassed by dealer and surrealist artist William Nelson Copley, it became one of the world's most respected collections of Surrealist art. Included was Man Ray's unforgettable image of large red lips floating above the landscape. The first part of the collection, the Surrealists, was sold at auction by Sotheby's in 1979 for $6.7 million, at the time the highest total for the auction of a single owner's collection in the United States. In 1993, Christie's auctioned off the contemporary works from the collection. Sources:;
Copley Master    The highest distinction for artists of Boston's Copley Society of Art, America's oldest art association, it is based on competitive review in juried exhibitions. Recipients include Doug Rugh, Richard Schmid; Joseph McGurl and Candace Whittemore Lovely. See Copley Society (Glossary entry) Sources:; AskART Biographies
Copley Society    The oldest non-profit art association in the United States, the Copley Society now represents more than 700 artist members nationwide. Also known as Co|So, it is dedicated to fostering interest in the visual arts through member exhibitions, outreach educational programs, workshops, lectures and the advancement of the careers of emerging and young artists. The Copley Society dates to 1879 when the School of the Museum of Fine Arts opened in Copley Square on the site of what is now the Copley Hotel. One of the students, Alice Spencer Tinkham, promoted the idea of establishing an organization to promote art and its study in Boston, and the response led to the formation of the Boston Art Students Association. The first president was H. Winthrop Peirce, and the group sponsored exhibitions, classes and social gatherings. In 1891, it was renamed the Copley Society. In 1913, the Copley Society hosted in Boston the New York Armory Show that rocked the world of many art-focused Americans because of the introduction of abstract art from Europe. In this exhibit, Marcel DuChamp's "Nude Descending the Stairs" introduced modernism to Boston and the nation. In 1957, The Copley Society settled into its current home at 158 Newbury Street, which has bi-level galleries and offices. Members include Thomas Allen, Dwight Blaney, Joseph Enneking, Charles Davis, Philip Hale, Ignaz Gaugengigl, Abbott Graves. Sources:; AskART database
Copper/Copper Engraving    A reddish-brown metallic element that is a malleable and effective conductor of heat and electricity, it is used in the manufacturing of brass and bronze alloys. When exposed to or combined with oxygen, copper takes on a greenish color called patina. Copper is used in sculpture and etching. Among sculptors using copper are Carl Bertoia, Carl Andre, Claire Falkenstein, Robert Graham, Robert Smithson and Donald Judd, and copper engravers or etchers, those who incise lines on copperplate, include Gene Kloss, Gabor Peterdi, Adalbert Volck, James Akin, John Held, Sr., and Stephen Scott Young. One of the earliest copper engravings was a pre-Revolutionary War scene of the Boston Massacre by Paul Revere. It appeared in "Royal American Magazine" in 1774 and 1775. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Anne Gilbert, "American Illustrator Art"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database
Coppini Academy of Fine Arts    Founded in San Antonio, Texas in 1945 by Pompeo Coppini and his student, Waldine Tauch, it continues to operate into the 21st Century. Source: Williams American Art Galleries, AskART biography.
Copy/Copying    Duplicate of a work of art, and a method frequently used before the invention of color photography and copy machines by involving one or more artists to make replicas of originals. Many art schools have copying of work of master artists as part of their curriculum, particularly in academies. This copy method helped students understand methods and techniques of 'professionals'. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Corealism:    A term coined in 1993 by painter and cartoonist Nik Swider, it describes his style of painting. Source: Danie C. Boyer, Artist
Cornish Colony, New Hampshire    In the early years of the 20th century, the Cornish Artists’ Colony in Cornish, New Hampshire was one of the more popular places for creative fine art activity in the eastern United States. Between 1895 and 1925, nearly 100 artists, sculptors, writers, designers, and well-known politicians chose Cornish as the area where they wanted to live, either full time or during the summer months. The natural beauty of Cornish was what originally attracted its many settlers. With views across the Connecticut River Valley to Mount Ascutney in Vermont, the idyllic rolling-hill scenery resembled an Italian landscape. Created were countless paintings, sculptures, writings, as well as gardens continue "to plant seeds of inspiration". The name Cornish, although referencing the town in New Hampshire, is more reflective of a state of mind and a sense of beautiful place rather than a solid geographical location. The Colony was in fact spread out over Windsor, Vermont, as well as the villages of Plainfield and Cornish in New Hampshire. Windsor was the mailing address for the entire area and the arrival point of most of the colonists, who usually came from New York City, which was a grueling nine-hour train ride. Members of the colony in some ways epitomized the American Renaissance in their attempts to recreate the ideals of a past golden age. This ‘golden age vision’ could describe the sculpture of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the first artist resident of the Colony, and Herbert Adams, as well as paintings by Maxfield Parrish, George de Forest Brush, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Henry O. Walker, Henry B. Fuller and Kenyon Cox. Source: Alma Gilbert Smith, Director of the Cornish Colony Museum
Cornwall Artists Index    A project sponsored by the Hypatia Trust and the constituent organizations contributing to the West Cornwall Arts Archive, the WCAA is an umbrella group working together to collect and make available books, archival material, slides, auction catalogues, artists' archives, photographic collections (including scrap books) and other ephemera and documents relating to the arts and literature of West Cornwall from the 1880s to the present day. The aim is to list all artists to the present-day who have worked and exhibited in the art colonies of Cornwall – wherever in the county the artists' studios have been. General bibliographical references, and hopefully, in future, illustration for the individual artists, is welcomed.” Source: West Cornwall Arts Archive –
Corten/Cor-Ten Steel    Corten (or Cor-Ten) steel is the trademark name of a product developed in the 1930s by United States Steel for the fabrication of rail cars. Its chemical composition promotes the early formation of an adhering protective layer of rust when exposed to the elements. The protective layer constantly develops and regenerates over time, reacting to the pollutants in the atmosphere. Its unique look and naturally oxidizing finish (after 6 or 7 years it can look like bronze) make it especially desirable for many architectural projects and as a medium for outdoor sculpture. Currently, Richard Serra is probably the most famous artist using it as a sculpture medium. Sources:;; and “The State of the Art” (1987), by Arthur C. Danto; Prentice Hall Press. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Cos Cob Art Colony    A lively colony of artists between 1890 to 1920 and located at Cos Cob, which was a section of Greenwich, Connecticut. There American Impressionism took shape under the direction of John Twachtman, Childe Hassam, Theodore Robinson, and J. Alden Weir. Through association with younger artists in Cos Cob, these older men passed on their techniques and style. Source: Susan Larkin, 'The Cos Cob Art Colony', "American Art Review", 2/2001.
Costumbrismo    Costumbrismo (sometimes anglicized as Costumbrism) is the literary or pictorial interpretation of local everyday life, mannerisms, and customs, primarily in the Hispanic scene, and particularly in the 19th century. Costumbrismo is related both to artistic realism and to Romanticism, sharing the Romantic interest in expression as against simple representation and the romantic and realist focus on precise representation of particular times and places, rather than of humanity in the abstract. It is often satiric and even moralizing, but unlike proper realism does not usually offer or even imply any particular analysis of the society it depicts. When not satiric, its approach to quaint folkloric detail often has a romanticizing aspect. Costumbrismo can be found in any of the visual or literary arts; by extension, the term can also be applied to certain approaches to collecting folkloric objects, as well. Originally found in short essays and later in novels, costumbrismo is often found in the zarzuelas of the 19th century, especially in the género chico. Costumbrista museums deal with folklore and local art and costumbrista festivals celebrate local customs and artisans and their work. Source:
Coty American Fashion Critic Award    First announced in January 1942 by the cosmetics and perfume company Coty, Inc.the recognition was intended to promote and celebrate American fashion, and encourage design during the Second World War. They were conceived and created by Coty Executive Vice President, Jean Despres, founder of The Fragrance Foundation and FiFi Awards, and Grover Whalen (a member of the New York City Mayor's Committee, and president of the 1939 New York World's Fair). The publicist and champion of American fashion, Eleanor Lambert, was employed to promote and produce the awards. The awards were given solely to designers based in America, and until its discontinuation in 1985, the Coty Award was considered one of the most prestigious awards in the field of fashion. Source: Wikipedia
Coulage    A type of "automatic" or "involuntary" surrealist sculpture produced by pouring a molten material (such as wax, molten metal, or chocolate) into cold water. Source: Daniel Boyer, Artist
Coulisse    Compositional elements usually arranged in tiers at the side of a painting to direct the eye into the center picture space, it is a device, such as clumps of trees, groups of figures and buildings, which is common in baroque painting. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Country Sketch Group, New Jersey    Founded in 1898 by Van Dearing Perrine and Maurice Sterne and active until 1912, they were plein-air painters who roamed the countryside around Ridgefield, New Jersey, and also hung around together in a lower Broadway loft in New York City. The group was unique in that it was established by and for artists without a sanctioning body, and also for its activity both in rural and urban areas. In 1901, the group, exhibited together at the Art Institute of Chicago. Other members included Jaime E. Carret, William Glackens, Jonas Lie, and Charles Hawthorne. Sources: Ruth Pasquine, 'James E. Carret', "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design", Volume One, 1826-1925;
Cours Critcher    School founded in Washington DC in 1905 by Catherine Critcher to help American Art Students gain entrance to French schools. Richard Emil Miller and Charles Hoffbauer were teachers as was Critcher. The school only lasted several years. Source: Ruth Pasquine, 'Catharine Carter Critcher', "Painting and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design"
Cowan Pottery    One of the more important potteries in United States ceramic history, Cowan Pottery established widespread public awareness of pottery as an art. Many of the sculptors, designers and ceramists went on to long and distinguished careers in the arts and industrial design. Among them were Victor Shreckengost, Waylande Gregory, Paul Manship, Paul Bogatay, Richard Hummell, Edris Eckhardt as well as, Edward Winter and Thelma Frazier (Winter). The founder and chief designer for many years was R. Guy Cowan, born in 1884 in East Liverpool, Ohio. He studied ceramics at the New York State School of Ceramics at Alfred. He founded the Cowan Pottery Studio in Lakewood, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland) in 1912. While Cowan served in World War I, the studio closed but reopened with a new studio with nine kilns and a small pottery showroom. During the 20's', the studio prospered and had a 1200 outlet nationwide distribution including Marshall Field of Chicago, Wanamaker's of Philadelphia, Kauffman of Pittsburgh, Ovington of New York and Halle's of Cleveland. By 1928, there was a staff of 35 people and production was 175,000 single pieces a year. However the stock market crash of 1929 began the companies decline because many of the handmade pieces required much time and money investment in compensating the potters, and people were financially unable to purchase the pottery. The company closed in December 1931. Sources: Mike Hickman, Pottery Collector;
Cowboy Artists of America/CA    Founded in 1965 in Sedona, Arizona by western artists Joe Beeler, Charlie Dye, John Hampton, and George Phippen, it is dedicated to promoting the subject matter and realist style of painting and sculpture in the tradition of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Artists become members by election of current members with the understanding that members will participate in annual exhibitions with up to seven pieces of totally new work, and also will be on the annual trail ride and camp out in a western location of special interest. In 2009, the CAA, with its annual exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum, had 23 living active artist members, seven living emeritus members, and 24 deceased artist members. Source: "CA Cowboy Artists of America, 44th Annual Exhibition, 2009", Catalogue published by the Phoenix Art Museum.
Crackle    (See ‘Craquelure’)
Craftsmanship    Aptitude, skill, and manual dexterity in the use of tools and materials.
Cragsmoor Art Colony    Established in the 1870s at Cragsmoor, New York, the colony was founded by artists wishing to escape New York City for the quiet rural setting and beauty of the nearby Shawangunk Mountains. Although most of the members were not primarily landscapists, they did paint the local surroundings and found the local people unique subjects. As a group, the artists tended to stay together and had a rich communal life. Edward Lamson Henry was the first recognized painter in Cragsmoor, arriving in 1872. He invited other artists who accepted his invitation including Frederick Dellenbaugh, Eliza Greatorex, William Holbrook Beard, and John George Brown. Although Henry was the aesthetic leader, the financial support was supplied by Eliza Hartshorn who bought land and buildings and hired Dellenbaugh as her architect. The Colony continued into the 20th century with Charles Courtney Curran being the most renowned of the second generation. Sources:; Steve Shipp, "American Art Colonies, 1850-1930", Chapter 4.
Cranbrook Academy of Art    An art school established in 1927 at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the school was especially prestigious during the 1930s and 1940s when several artists from Milwaukee were there. Students included Lennart Anderson, Harry Bertoia, David Cargil, Paul Evans, Audrey Flack, Frank Gallo and Duane Hanson. Carl Milles, Richard DeVore, Leza McVewy and Harry Bertoia were on the faculty. Sources: Peter C. Merrill, "German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee"; AskART database
Craquelure/Crackle    The network of cracks which sometimes appears on paint and varnish of an oil painting as the paint ages and settles. Also known as CRACKLE. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Crayon    Commonly used as a general term for wax-based drawing sticks used by children, but technically any drawing material in stick form can be classified as a crayon including pastels, charcoal and chalk. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
CRAYON Magazine    Published in New York City from 1855 to 1861, it was owned and edited by William Stillman and John Duran and was a journal devoted to the graphic arts and related literature. It began as a weekly of 16 pages, and in 1856 with growing readership became a 32-page monthly. Much of its underlying philosophy came from John Ruskin and his aestheticism. By 1861, CRAYON had "run its course" and in "financial trouble" closed that year. Source: 'The Crayon',"Rossetti Archive",
Cream of Wheat Illustrators    Illustrators for a breakfast "porridge" created in the late 19th century from a flour mill in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the company subsequently moved to Minneapolis. Cream of Wheat became a national sensation because of the high quality of the flour and the national ad campaign that involved 58 of the most famous American artists of the Golden Age of Illustration. The first ads, utilizing the newly introduced four-color printing process, appeared in the "Ladies Home Journal" in 1898. Logo for Cream of Wheat was Rastus, an affable black man in red, white and blue attire offering forth a bowl of cereal. Among the illustrators were N.C. Wyeth, Edward Brewer, Helen Mason, Maud Fangel, William Cahill, James Reeve Stuart, B. Cory Kilvert, Al Capp, and John Rae. Source:;
Crepe Paper    Tissue paper coated with sizing, it has been "creped" or creased to create gathers. The raw material is paper pulp, and crepe is produced on a paper machine that has special equipment to create the product. Jesus Reyes Ferreira is an artist known for painting and drawing on crepe paper. Source: AskART biography; Wikipedia
Cresson Traveling Scholarship    Named for artist William Emlen Cresson, the scholarship was endowed at the Pennsylvania Academy by his parents in memory of their very promising young son who died at age 25. He entered the Pennsylvania Academy in 1860 at age 17 and was described as "a good painter, preferring poetical subjects and forever sketching". Among Cresson Scholarship winners are Daniel Garber, Walter Anderson, Clarence Henkle, Louis Betts, Barse Miller and Roy Nuse. Sources: William Patterson & David Zellin, "Thomas Eakins and His Fellow Artists at the Philadelphia Sketch Club"; AskART database
Crimson, Crimson Lake    A deep red color, it is derived from the word 'kermes', which is an insect-based dye source "from which the obsolete pigment crimson lake was made." Crimson Lake is a ruby-red pigment with bluish undertones used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks to achieve transparent ruby red and rose pink effects. It was supplanted by carmine, a stronger pigment. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Critcher School of Painting    Opened in 1919 and operated until 1940 on Connecticut Avenue in Washington DC, it was founded by Catharine Critcher and her sister, Louisa Kennon Critcher. Sculptor Clara Hill was a teacher as well as the Critcher sisters. Luisa died in 1939, and the next year, Catharine, who was spending much time in New Mexico, closed the school. Source: AskART biographies
Crop Art    Artwork made with agricultural products, it includes Seed Art, which is mosaic style; Crop Circles or images of intricate designs made in fields such as wheat and rye; and Landscape Art made by carving into the land. Lillian Colton is known for Seed mosaics, which, made from Minnesota grown crops, won her much recognition at the Minnesota State Fairs. Stan Herd's name is synonymous with Crop Art; and farmers around the world have created Crop Circles. Examples of Crop Art include The Corn Palace of Mitchell, and flower laden floats in the Rose Bowl Parade. South Dakota. Source:
Crop Circles    See Crop Art
Cross-Hatching    See Hatching
Croydon College of Art/Croydon School of Art    An entity of Croydon College, which once was two institutions: Croydon College of Art and Croydon Polytechnic. In 1932, the School of Art became Croydon College (School) of Art, but in the late 1940s, it again was merged with the Polytechnic. Together they became known as Croydon College. In 2013, the Croydon School of Art, founded in 1868, was relaunched by fashion designer John Rocha. Source: Wikipedia
Crypt Group    Referring to an episode in the history of the artists' colony in Britain at St Ives, Cornwall it was a rebellion by one artist group against another. From its foundation in 1927 the St Ives Society of Artists was the dominating exhibition society of St Ives. In 1939 Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo moved to St Ives forming the core of what became a strong modern group in the colony. From about 1943 the St Ives Society sought to integrate the modern artists into its exhibitions, but in practice their work tended to be hung in the least prominent places in the former church used for the exhibitions. In 1947 the modern artists began to organize separate exhibitions most notably in the crypt of the church itself. They became known as the Crypt Group. There were two shows in 1947 and a third in 1948. The split between modern and more traditional St Ives artists was confirmed later in 1947, when the notoriously reactionary Sir Alfred Munnings was elected President of the Society. However, also in 1948, the members of the Crypt Group became founding members of the Penwith Society of Arts. This finally established a separate identity for the modern artists in St Ives, and the Crypt Group had no further reason to exist. Principal members included Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon, John Wells, Bryan Wynter. Source: Tate Collection,
Crystal Palace Exhibition, 1851    Held in Hyde Park, London, in 1851, the exhibition had examples from many countries and 14,000 exhibitors of industrial progress, generated by the Industrial Revolution. The space was in The Crystal Palace, a cast iron and glass building of 990,000 square feet that got its name from the staff of the satirical magazine, "Punch". Panoramic painter and architecture designer, Henry Lewis (1819-1904) was the General Art Manager, and Joseph Paxton was designer of the building. At the close of the exhibition, the Crystal Palace was moved to Sydenham Hill in a wealthy area, and in 1836 was destroyed by fire. Sources:; Peter Hastings Falk, "Who Was who in American Art".
Cubism    An early 1900s modern art movement, Cubism focused on exploring relationships between images, perspectives and materials, and opened the door to Abstraction. Cubism began in Paris with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The term 'Cubist' was a derisive description by a critic of a geometric landscape painting done by Braque in 1908. Juan Gris, the originator of Collage, joined Picasso and Braque in 1910. Originating influences on Cubism included geometric-shaped paintings of Paul Cezanne, Post-Impressionisms’ emphasis on flat picture surfaces, and Picasso's fascination with the abstraction he perceived in African tribal masks. Aspects of Cubism were Analytical Cubism and Synthetic Cubism (see Glossary). By 1914, the Cubist movement as an organizing force officially terminated with the beginning of World War I. But its effects remain today. "Almost all later art, figurative and abstract, two and three-dimensional, random or hieratic, was conditioned in some way by these new dimensions of reality." (Phaidon) Other French artists associated with Cubism concepts were Fernand Leger, Marcel Duchamp and Nicholas Delauney. In America, leading Cubist painters and sculptors include Max Weber, Man Ray, Karl Knaths, Patrick Henry Bruce, Stuart Davis, Jan Matulka, Lyonel Feininger, Jacques Lipchitz, Alexander Archipenko, Louise Nevelson, Ilya Bolotowsky and Marguerite Zorach. Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; AskART database.
Cubomania    A type of surrealist collage in which an image is cut into a number of equal squares and the squares are then reassembled. Source: Daniel Boyer, Artist
Cumberland Market Group    A short-lived group of English painters lasting from 1914 to 1919, it was named for Cumberland Market in London where founding member Robert Bevan rented a studio in this hay and straw market area called Camden Town. Here Bevan, Harold Gilman, Charles Ginner and John Nash held Saturday afternoon ‘at homes’. They were later joined by Edward McKnight Kauffer and C.R.W. Nevinson. The group was opposed to decorative aspects of post-Impressionism and were dedicated to exploring shapes and colours of London daily life. They exhibited only once, in May 1915 at the Goupil Gallery and continued to meet and held classes, but dissolved in 1919 with the death of Howard Gilman. Source: Wikipedia,
Cumming School of Art    Founded in 1895 by Charles Atherton Cumming, who had been a teacher at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, it had the original name of Des Moines Academy of Art. Because it was so successful due to Cumming's leadership, it was renamed for him in 1900. He was a teacher there as was Marie Giles, and students included Merlin Enabnit, Lee Allen, and Louise Orwig. Sources: AskART Quick Facts; Iowa Pathways,
Curator    A person who oversees the care of private and public collections. Usually the person is assigned not only the maintenance of the collection but the acquisition of objects that continue the focus of and education about the existing works. Many colleges now offer courses in Curatorial professions. Source: Wikipedia-free encyclopedia
Currier & Ives    A lithography firm opened by Nathaniel Currier in 1834. it became the most famous and longest-operating printing company in America, generating more than 7500 images. The name remains synonymous with ‘truly American’ images, beginning with disaster-subject prints and moving onto sentimental and social realist genre, portraits of founding father’s, colonial-era images, Revolutionary and Civil War pictures, maritime, trains and Western frontier expansion. The company’s first widely circulated print, “Ruins of the Merchants’ Exchange N.Y. after the Destructive Conflagration of Decbr. 16 & 17, 1835”, was an illustration of the 1834 fire that destroyed much of New York’s business district. Perceiving that disaster subjects sold, the firm created more prints and made those as well as others available to the public at an affordable price. Currier had several business partners, but James Merritt Ives was the most significant in that he encouraged most of the print subjects that generated the company’s lasting reputation. In addition to images created by both Currier and Ives, many well-known artists worked for Currier & Ives including Eastman Johnson, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, Louis Maurer, James Butterworth, William Aiken Walker, Napoleon Sarony and George Durrie. In June 2006, the Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, Massachusetts held an exhibition of hand-colored lithographs titled “Currier & Ives: An American Panorama”. Sources: Heather Haskell & Liz Sommer, ‘Currier & Ives: An American Panorama’, “American Art Review”, November-December 2005.
Curvilinear    Stressing the use of curved lines as opposed to rectilinear which stresses straight lines. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Cyanotype    Later known as a blueprint, it was a process created by John Herschel, based on research by William Henry Fox, and used with sophistication by Anna Atkins, English botanical photographer in the 1840s. The process involved these steps: slathering a sheet of paper with a solution of iron salts and leaving it to dry; placing an object on the paper and compressing it under a pane of glass and leaving it in the sun for about 15 minutes; washing the exposed sheet in water so that the uncovered part of the paper takes on a rich Prussian blue. The rest of the sheet, obscured by compressed algae or leaves, features a white negative impression. Source: askART biography of Anna Atkins
Cycladic Art    Art of Neolithic settlers, 2500 to 2000 B.C., in central Aegean islands called the Cyclades, which included Naxos, Paros and Delos. Characteristic of Cycladic Art were formal qualities that remain "universally esteemed". Included are marble statues, vases carved from stone with holes drilled for thongs, "water mirrors, palettes and fine pottery." Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms".
Cyclorama    A distinctive method of painting 'in the grand manner' and popular during the Victorian era, it was a type of panoramic painting exhibited on a cylindrical platform. A viewer standing in the middle of the cylinder has a 360 degree view of the painting; the goal is to make the viewer feel as though they are standing in the midst of an event, usually dramatic and historical, or a famous place. A particularly famous cyclorama of that time was the "Battle of Gettysburg" by Henri Philippoteaux. Source: wikipedia, Felix Emmanuel Philippoteaux