Art Terms Glossary   Glossary terms for:  'K'

Kachina Dolls    Carved painted figures from cottonwood of the Hopi Indian culture, they are believed to function as messengers between the spiritual and physical worlds. Among the Hopi, it is believed that although Kachinas are spirits of deities and deceased ancestors, the carvings should be treasured and used as teaching tools and home decoration, but not be objects of worship. Most of the dolls were carved in the 19th century. The Heard Museum of Phoenix and Southwest Museum in Los Angeles have the most representative collections of Kachinas. Well-known Hopi Kachina doll carvers include Arlo and Dan Namingha, Tony Briones and Kucha White Bear. Source: Sonja Haller, "The Phoenix Republic", March 12, 2011; Wikipedia, "Hopi Kachina Dolls"
Kalo Foundation    Dedicated to preserving the artistic heritage of Park Ridge, Illinois, it was composed of artisan and crafts workers active in the time period spanning the late early 19th century Arts and Crafts Movement to mid-century Modernism. Represented artists include Clara Barck Welles, Albert and Dulah Evans Krehbiel, Grant Wood, and Alfonso Ianneli. The Kalo Arts Crafts Community was located in Park Ridge at 322 Grant Place, and offered training in silversmithing, metal ware, jewelry making, and other items such as hand-crafted greeting cards by Dulah Krehbiel. Many of the items were sold in the Kalo Shop where Grant Wood was employed. In 2007 and 2008, the Kalo Foundation hosted exhibitions of works by Ianelli and the Krehbiels. Source: Don Ryan, website of Kalo Foundation
Kansas City Art Institute    Founded in 1885 in Kansas City, Missouri, it is a four-year accredited college of art and design. Its origins date back to the local Sketch Club, whose meetings were held in private homes and at the Deardorf Building at 11th & Main in downtown Kansas City. In 1922, the school moved to 44th and Warwick Boulevard, on eight acres of land adjacent to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In 1935, Thomas Hart Benton, having been at the Art Students League in New York City, joined the KCAI faculty, which gave the school a prestige boost. Distinguished students include John Steuart Curry, Ernest Lawson, Dan Christensen, James Boren, John Falter, and Paul Jenkins. Sources: Wikipedia, "Kansas City Art Institute"; AskART biographies
Kansas City Society of Artists    Kansas City writers and artists, they organized in 1921 "to increase the efficiency of the working and exhibiting artist members." The Society grew to about 50 members, and in 1930 they began meeting at 1718 Holly Street, an abandoned hotel and former saloon. Some of the members such as Gertrude Lighton, Gale Stockwell, Peg Kittinger and Richardson Rome occupied studios in the building, which also had a lunchroom known for its "tempting entrees". In 1934, the Society hosted the first solo exhibition of member Thomas Hart Benton, then teaching in New York City. It also held annual spring juried exhibitions at the Kansas City Art Institute, and every two weeks at Holly Street featured work of one member. Regarded as avant-garde, the Society, which lasted into the 1940s, was referred to as a "glamorous, new version of Bohemia." Among their group in addition to studio occupants mentioned above were Anna Allenbach, President; Walter Bailey, Vice President; and members Edd Spencer, and Emma Siboni. Sources: 1937 "American Art Directory";, Courtesy Karl Marxhausen, Kansas City Artist and Art Historian
Kaolin    White clay used in the production of porcelain, it is the purist form of clay found in Kao-ling, a province of China. Source: Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques.
Kiln    A furnace or oven, it is built of heat-resistant materials and lined with brick or stone for firing pottery, glass and sculpture. Kilns may be fueled by gas, oil or electricity, the latter which allows easier temperature control. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Kinetic Art    A term descriptive of movement, either mechanical, hand or natural, it is usually applied to sculpture including mobiles and stabiles. Kinetic Art was first used in 1913 as an art form in reference to work by Dada artist, Marcel Duchamp, who placed a spinning bicycle wheel on a stool and called it sculpture. Other 20th-century names associated with kineticism are Alexander Calder, Yaacov Agam and George Rickey. In 1955 an exhibition, “Le Mouvement,” in Paris put kinetic art on the map by showcasing motion-conscious work of Duchamp, Calder, Jean Tinguely, and Victor Vasarely. Today, the method includes work with lasers, computers and other high-tech methods. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Robert Breer AskART biography
Kingston Conference    A 1941 conference of about 150 Canadian Artists held at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario (June 26-28), it was led by Andre Bieler and sponsored by National Gallery of Canada and Carnegie Corporation. The stated purpose was to discuss the position of the artist in Canadian Society (subjects: aesthetics, democracy, history, etc.) and technical methods of art production (subjects: solvents, varnishes, resins, etc.) in light of modern research. The result was the formation of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the first nationwide organization of its type. See Glossary entry, Federation of Canadian Artists. Source: "Art and Architecture in Canada" (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson. Submitted by Michael D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Victoria, British Columbia.
Kiowa Five    Referring to Oklahoma Indian artists, they gained international reputation when they exhibited with an expanded group of 31 Indian artists at the 1928 Expo in Prague, Poland. Original 'five' members were Spencer Asah, Jack Hokeah, Steven Mopope, Monroe Tsatoke and Lois Smoky. Sponsors were Susie Peters, a teacher in Anardko, Oklahoma at the Kiowa agency, and Oscar Brousse Jacobson, Director of the Art Department at the University of Oklahoma. In 1926, he arranged for the "Five Kiowas" to have studio space, materials, and instruction at the University. Other Indian artists followed into the program, and the expanded group included Native Americans from across the United States. During the Depression of the 1930s, Jacobson supported them and got them many commissions as muralists. Source: Peter Falk, Editor, "Who Was Who in American Art"
Kit Kat Club    Several associations, it included an early 18th century club in London of strong political and literary associations and a New York group of illustrators and newspaper artists in the early 20th century. They met in a 14th Street studio to draw from models, hold exhibitions, auctions and a ball. Members included John Costigan, William Ostrander and Carl Hecker. Sources: "Wikipedia"; "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design", p. 115; AskART biography of Carl Hecker.
Kit-Kat    A 36" X 28" format for portraits of dignitaries in England, it was replaced in 1735 as the "reigning standard" with measurements of 30" X 25" for bust length and 50" X 40" for three quarter length. Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1743), Baroque portrait artist, founder of England's first art academy, and court painter to four kings popularized the "kit-kat" sizes. The name derived from the portrait subjects first used in the new format because they were members in London of the Kit-Cat Club, an upper-class group of political and literary figures who gathered at the Kit-Cat, a tavern owned by Christopher Cat (Kat), famous for its mutton pies called 'kit-kats'. Source:
Kitchen Still Life    Food subject still life scenes, they give implied presence of the cook outside the frame, and also give a more human element than most still-life subjects. This method echoed the work of the Dutch and Spanish Masters of still life, particularly painting by Jean Simeon Chardin and, to a lesser degree, Johannes Vermeer. Source: Abby M. Taylor Fine Art
Kitsch    Artifacts regarded as unsophisticated attempts at art, the term includes such items as lamps in the shape of luminous fish, Elvis Presley paintings on velvet, and salt and pepper shakers resembling cacti. The word is derived from the German verb "verkitschen", meaning in English 'to make cheap'. Exemplifying Kitsch objects are a result of the industrial age where items, including so-called art, can be made quickly and cheaply. "The New York Times" critic Clement Greenberg referred to "Kitsch" as "rear-guard" art---"the epitome of all that is spurious in the life of our time". The advent of Pop Art with Andy Warhol and his signature soup cans made the definition of Kitsch less clear. One of the goals of many modernist artists is to obscure the differences between low and high art. Work of Kenny Scharf and Julie Wachtel are examples of 'sophisticated' Kitsch artists. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"
Knockers Club    Precursor of the Silvermine Guild, which played a role in establishing the Silvermine School of Art in 1924, it was an informal group early affiliated with the Silvermine Art Colony in New Canaan, Connecticut. The Knockers Club was a name artists gave themselves because of meeting on Sundays in sculptor Solon Borglum's barn and critiquing or "knocking" each other's work. Members included George Avison, Edmund Ashe, Howard Hildebrandt, Justin Gurelle and John Vassos. Solon Borglum died in 1922, and the group dissipated because of losing their organizer.Source:; AskART biographies of George Avison and Howard Hildebrandt.
Knoedler Gallery    Established in 1852 by Michael Knoedler, it was a successor company to Goupil and Company, established in 1848 in New York City as the first American art gallery. Goupil was a French publishing company that focused much of their market on selling to Americans, and their early success was lithographs of "Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emanuel Leutze. Knoedler had an established reputation in New York, and after the gallery had his name, continued to have the Goupil financial backing. However, he correctly perceived that in order to be an American gallery he needed to handle American art. As a result the subject of George Washington commanded much of the attention of the Knoedler Gallery including copies of Washington portraits by Gilbert Stuart as well as the work by Leutze. American artists whose work has been carried by Knoedler include Willem de Kooning, Eulabee Dix, Mary Foote, Cecilia Beaux and Barnett Newman. Source: DeCourcy E. McIntosh, 'Fair and Square', "The Magazine Antiques", February 2006, 69-73; AskART biographies
Kokoon Arts Club    One of the more active art clubs in Cleveland, Ohio between 1911 and 1940, it had the reputation for "unconventional activities and espousal of 'new' art. Among its activities were exhibitions and guest artist lectures. Founders were Carl Moellman and William Sommer, who patterned the organization after avant-garde New York art groups that were seeking alternatives to academic art. Other members included Carl Binder, Henry Keller, William Zorach, August Biehle and Charles Burchfield. The Kokoon Club, which for many years excluded women, became especially known for its annual 'Bal Masques', celebrations of Cleveland's bohemian community by featuring "unconventional costumes, exotic dances, opening processions, enormous props and clashing decorations". The Club's original location was a tailor's shop in East 36th Street, but in 1921, it moved to 2121 East 21st Street. Club membership declined because of economic stress during the Depression years and also with increasing acceptance of modernist, abstract art. Source: "The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History",
Kootenay School of the Arts    Located in Nelson, British Columbia and part of Selkirk College, the school is dedicated to preparing art students to make a living with their skills in art, craft, and design. The curriculum emphasizes studio work, and the majority of faculty members earn a living with one or more of these skills. Graduates include Carl Beam and Sara Lawless. Sources:; AskART biographies
Kootz Gallery, New York City    The gallery that introduced Abstract Expressionism to the American public, it was founded in 1945 by motion picture account executive Samuel Kootz at 15 East 57th Street, New York City and was later relocated to 600 Madison Avenue. Clement Greenberg, "New York Times" art critic and promoter of Abstract Expressionism, worked closely with Kootz Gallery by writing promotional reviews and sending emerging artists to the venue. Among artists whose reputations grew from Kootz Gallery association were Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, William Baziotes and Mark Rothko. In 1966, Kootz closed his gallery because of dismay at what he regarded as the takeover of art promotion by "merchants". Source:
Kwakwaka'wakw Style    Created by First Nations Canada artists Willie Seaweed, George Walkus and Chief George Charley, it was a dynamic, flamboyant expression. They used devices such white backgrounds with high gloss bold colors to give a strong theatrical appearance. Source: Wikipedia (Willie Seaweed)