Art Terms Glossary   Glossary terms for:  'P'

Packer Art Collegiate Institute, Art Institute    In Brooklyn Heights, New York, it was founded in 1845 as the Brooklyn Female Academy to improve education for women. In 1853, it burned to the ground, and Harriet Putnam Packer, donated $65,000 towards rebuilding the school if it were named after her late husband, William S. Packer. The new building was noted for its chapel of Tiffany stained glass windows. Until 1972, it was primarily a girls school but boys could attend from kindergarten through fourth grades. Curriculum was comprehensive and included visual arts such as painting, sculpture and photography. Among students were painter and sculptor Albert Pike Lucas as a child. Source: "Packer Collegiate Institute", .org/wiki/Packer_Collegiate_Institute'; Thayer Tolles, American Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Paier College of Art    A four-year school in Hamden Connecticut near New Haven, it was founded in 1946 by Edward and Adele Paier with the name Paier School of Applied Arts. In 1982, it received a charter and accreditation to offer a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts, graphic design, illustration, interior design and photography. Among former students are David and Doug Brega, Kenneth Southworth Davies and Louis Guarnaccia. Sources: Wikipedia,; AskART biographies
Paier School of Applied Arts    See Paier College of Art
Paier School of Art    See Paier College of Art
Paint    A coloring fluid for surfaces, it is made from ground pigments placed in a liquid called binder that allows spreading or dispersion. For quality paint, pigment must be finely ground so the application is smooth. For centuries, artists had to mix their own paints, and learning professional paint-mixing methods with appropriate binder to pigment proportions was a part of art training. However, in the 19th century the sale of paint in tubes freed artists not only from this task but from the confines of studio painting so they could paint to outdoors, and do 'plein-aire' painting. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Painterly    A term descriptive of juxtaposing areas of color areas so that forms are defined principally by these color areas, and not by lines or edges. To describe a work as being Painterly means to suggest that the artist has responded to his or her subject matter in terms of color and light and dark rather than by well-defined realistic images. The term Painterly was first used by Heinrich Wolfflin, a German art scholar, in 1915 in his book "Principles of Art History". Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Painters at Painter's    An annual celebration of British Columbia art, it is open to the public and held at Painter's Lodge in Campbell River, near Victoria. Artists-in-residence give demonstrations and exchange ideas. Participants include Dorothy Oxborough, Chief Tony Hunt and Alan Wylie. Source:
Painters Eleven    A group of abstract Canadian painters active in the 1950s, they were the country's early abstractionists to aligned themselves publicly with the style and also were the first English-speaking Canadian abstract artists group. Included were Jack Hamilton Bush, Oscar Cahen, Hortense Gordon, Alexandra Luke, Kazuo Nakamura, Ray Mead, Tom Hodgson, Jock MacDonald, Harold Town, Walter Yarwood and William Ronald. Harold Town suggested the name, and their first group show was held in February 1954 at the Roberts Gallery in Toronto with large crowds, no sales, and reviews ranging from positive to hostile. Subsequent exhibitions went through 1958. The group, having been held together by a common interest in promoting public acceptance of abstraction and a desire to stir a market for their work, voted to disband in 1960 because their goals had been met, and abstraction had become an accepted part of Canadian art. Sources: Joyce Zemans, "The Canadian Encyclopedia"; D.Grace Inglis, "Journal of Canadian Studies", Fall 1994.
Painters in Oil Colours, London    See Royal Institute of Oil Painters
Painting    As a noun, it is a fine-art term descriptive of an original work with aesthetic qualities that have skilled application of paint to a surface or ground. Painting mediums include oil, tempera, pastel, fresco, watercolor, gouache, encaustic and polymer or acrylic. The descriptive term Painting, as opposed to commercial or applied art, is usually intended to refer to that which was created to be one-of-a-kind.Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Painting Knife    A very thin, flexible tempered-steel blade, usually elongated, it is similar in use to a Palette Knife, but more delicate and therefore more suited to precise placing of color on a ground. Painting knives did not appear until the latter half of the 19th century, although various other paint-spreading devices such as spatulas and palette knives, date back to primitive painting. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Palace School of Architecture    See Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
Palette    A fine art term, it has several meanings. 1) Surface on which an artist mixes colors, usually with a thumb hole for stabilizing; oval or rectangular shaped; lightweight and made of hardwood that does not absorb the colors. However, some artists prefer other materials for their Palettes such as metal, plastic, glass or porcelain. 2) Range of colors used for a work of art. 3) Artist organization of color for paintings. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Palette & Chisel Academy/Clu    Located in Chicago, the Academy was founded in 1895 to foster growth in the visual arts, provide a place for serious artists to work, and enrich the community with programs of art education, appreciation and exhibitions. Its supportive organization was the Palette & Chisel Club. In recent times, the Norris and McCormick Foundations, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, plus a dedicated staff, volunteers and member artists have fostered the Academy. Founding members were evening students at the Art Institute of Chicago, who wanted to paint from the model under daylight, which was rather difficult since the Art Institute did not offer Sunday programs. Charles J. Mulligan, of this group, was an assistant to sculptor Lorado Taft and persuaded Taft to rent part of his spacious seventh floor studio in the old Athenaeum Building on Van Buren Street. Within a short time, Palette & Chisel membership multiplied, and in 1921, they purchased a mansion that continues to house the organization. Member artists have included Walter Ufer, Victor Higgins, E. Martin Hennings, Richard Schmid, Irving Shapiro, Walter Parke and Ruth Van Sickle Ford, the first woman, and she was accepted in 1961. Source: Palette & Chisel Academy website
Palette Knife    An artist's tool, it has a rounded end secured with a wood handle, and flexible blade, usually of tempered steel and three to four inches in length. It is used for mixing paint on the palette, for scraping, and especially for modernist artists, spreading paint on canvas, a technique that appeared in the mid-19th century after oil paints were standardized and made available in tubes. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Panel    A firm support, usually wood, board or metal, it is used as a painting surface, and is preferred by many artists prefer because of being stronger and more rigid than canvas. Before the 15th century when artists began using canvas, most paintings were done on panels, especially wooden panels that were sized or covered with a solution that sealed the pores. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Panorama    A broad or widely inclusive view of subject matter, it usually refers to landscapes. In the 18th and 19th centuries, panoramas were a popular form of entertainment and education. Usually accompanied by music and a lecture, a long roll of canvas was unveiled slowly on cylinders to show a wide view. These presentations, often depicting dramatic battle scenes, were the forerunner of stereopticans and motion pictures. Artist names associated with this type of panorama are Franz Biberstein and August Lohr of Milwaukee, who emigrated from in the early 1880s from Germany to work for the American Panorama Company. This business, founded by Milwaukee resident William Wehner, was the first large-scale panorama producing company in the United States. However, it only lasted for two years, but successor companies kept the activity alive with the 1893 Chicago Exposition being a popular venue. By the end of the 19th century, fascination with panoramas was subsiding, made apparent by the low enthusiasm for "The Battle of Manila Bay" staged in San Francisco in 1900. From the mid-19th century, the term took on another meaning, which was any landscape painting that, regardless of actual size, conveys a very wide view. Noted artists in this category are Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran with their dramatic western vistas. Among contemporary panoramic artists are Ed Mell with his Grand Canyon scenes and Ulrike Heydenreich from Minneapolis who applies modernist techniques of unfolding images on paper rolls to a method rooted almost two centuries back to Europe. Sources: Peter Merrill, "German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee"; Patricia Briggs, "ArtForum", Summer 2005; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Paper    In fine art, it is a ground or support for drawing, watercolor and pastel painting and for various graphic techniques. Paper is made by interweaving plant or cellulose fibers in sheet form and, depending upon quality, is composed of pulped linen, cotton rags, wood chips or recycled paper. Wood pulp is the basis of lesser quality paper. The paper making process involves beating the fibers to a pulp and drying across a fine, wire-mesh screen. The best watercolor paper is handmade. (See Hand-made Paper). Paper making is thought to have originated in China about 100 A.D., allegedly by Ts'ai Lun, and was introduced in Europe in the 13th Century. Papyrus of ancient Egypt and parchment from Roman times through the Middle Ages were forerunners of modern-day paper. In the 15th century, when books and engravings were first being produced in Europe, paper mills came into being. Today some artists make their own paper, but commercial paper is more prevalent among artists. However different techniques require different selections for texture and quality. Pastel works best with rough paper, and pen and ink is best suited to a smooth surface. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Paper Architecture    This term describes a rebellious response by Russian architects in the mid 20th century to state sanctioned building design, constructed unimaginatively with a communist aesthetic. Suppressed creative architects reacted by making their own creative designs on paper only--never to be built. Many of these imaginative drawings, often with vivid depictions of constructivism, deconstructivism and postmodernism, got international attention as exhibition winners in the western-world. Two of the most prominent 'paper architects' were Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin, who often did collaborative work together. The narrative of paper architecture often was human's alienation to the urban world and especially to the loss of the rich heritage of Moscow's historical, artistically designed buildings. Source: Wikipedia, and website of Russian Culture Wordpress, 2019
Papier Froisse    Engravings and prints created with a process involving crinkled, soft tissue paper, it has been promoted since 1975 by Italian artist, Antonio Papasso. It involves predominantly white area and the artist manipulating, with the warmth of the hands, a sheet of tissue paper in an attempt to convey vitality. Intended to result in a metamorphosis, it is a creativity-oriented approach to reach a different consciousness, a journey into the transcendent, then a return to reality. The surface of "papier froissé" is regarded as organic, ready to receive signs, shapes and colors. The communicative action is natural and helps to provide an emotional harvest.” Source: Dr. Cinzia De Bari, biographer of Antonio Papasso.
Papier Mache    A light, strong but pliable material, it is composed of wastepaper torn into small pieces or strips and made pulp-like when soaked with glue of starch and water or flour paste. It is popular for functional and decorative objects because it is easily made and when dried, can be painted and varnished and made fairly durable. American artists who have used "papier mache" include Eugenie Gershoy, who found the material cheap and accessible during the Great Depression of the 1930s; Hope Atkinson, who made folk-art style "papier-mache" 'companions' to soothe her loneliness; and Raymond Scully who worked in the medium to create religious figures. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART database.
Papier Tole    Creating a three-dimensional effect, the artist makes a number of identical copies of a print, cuts out various sections, and then layers the pieces on top of the other. Source: askART record of Dorothy Adelman
Papiers Colles    A French term referring to an assemblage of glued papers; collage. See DADA.
Papunya Tula    Papunya Tula, or Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, is an artist cooperative formed in 1972 that is owned and operated by Aboriginal people from the Western Desert of Australia. The group is known for its innovative work with the Western Desert Art Movement, popularly referred to as "dot painting". Credited with bringing Aboriginal art to world attention, its artists inspired many other Australian Aboriginal artists and styles. The company operates today out of Alice Springs and is widely regarded as the premier purveyor of Aboriginal art in Central Australia. Source: Wikipedia, June 2019
Parchment    Often mistaken for paper because of similarity of color and weight, parchment is made from thinly stretched, cleaned and dried animal skin, usually goat or sheep or calf. Paper, however, is of vegetable origin---the pulp of plants. Parchment, unlike leather, is not tanned, and artwork on parchment requires conservation that differs from 'works on paper' in that extreme temperature can cause irreparable buckling and cracking and flaking off of paint. Standard conservation-quality matting and framing is usually adequate for 'works on parchment'. The first record of parchment dates to the second century BC in Rome. Because of excellent surface and durability, it became popular in that early period for writings and records intended to be kept for long periods of time. During the Medieval period in Europe, parchment was used for religious and secular writings and was often decorated with gilded illuminations. Sources: Margaret Holben Ellis, 'Works of Art on Paper';"Caring for Your Collections", p. 50, Heritage Preservation, Arthur Schulz, Editor; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".
Parergon    Segment of an artwork secondary to the main theme or subject matter, examples include a still life or portrait with a landscape view in the background or an interior scene with a landscape view through a window. It is a narrative device often used by Dutch painter Jan Vermeer (1632-1675). Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Paris Green    See Emerald Green
Paris Salons    See Salons/Paris Salons
Park Ridge Art Colony    An early 20th century association in Park Ridge, Illinois, it was founded by faculty members of the Art Institute of Chicago. Their objective as stated in "The Chicago Evening Post", July 6, 1912, was to "expend its energies in public school art, and co-operate with the other clubs, while going its own way in search of culture." Members included Albert and Dulah Evans Krehbiel, James William Pattison, Frederick Richardson, Louis Betts, John Paulding and Walter Marshall Clute. Source: Jane Meyer and Don Ryan, AskART biography of "Dulah Marie Evans"
Parody    A work of art that mimics the style of another work.
Parquetry    See Inlay/Intarsia/Marquetry/Parquetry
Pasadena Eight    Late 19th century California photographers, they were dedicated to preserving California history and compiling a record of Southwest Indian culture. Members included Frederick Monsen, Charles Lummis, Carl Moon and George Wharton James. Source: Hubbell Trading Post Archives
Pasadena Society of Artists    Founded in 1925, it is one of the longest-running non profits arts organizations in California. Membership included artists of varying styles from abstract to academic realism, and early in its formation, it was associated with the Pasadena Arts Institute. The Society continues into the 21st century with regular exhibitions. Early members included Alson Clark, Marion Wachtel and Ernest Batchelder. Source: Wikipedia,
Passage    A specific area or detail of a painting used to pass discussion from a tone or color to another.
Pastel and Pastel Painting    A term used both to describe the medium and the finished work, pastel mediums are colored sticks similar to chalk or crayon that consist of powdered pigment and enough non-greasy binder (methyicellulose) to hold it together. Pastels vary according to the amount of chalk they contain, and the deepest toned are the most pure. The artist may build up colors without touching them once they are applied or achieve blending with fingers or a tool called a Stump. A sense of blending can also be achieved by laying many color strokes beside each other so the eye does the blending. Most pastels have water-based gum or binder, but oil pastels have an oil binder and can be thinned with turpentine and used like paint. Oil pastels are less easily damaged than water-blended pastels. In order for the pastels to adhere to a ground, a textured surface is required such as sandpaper and canvas. Then a fixative, either a spray or glass, is used to cover the pastel painting so that it has permanence. However, the glass must have a separating mat, so that it does not touch the pastels, and fixative must be used very lightly; otherwise it can alter the color effects and relationships. When properly cared for, pastels "can survive indefinitely" (Mayer) and will never crack, darken or get yellow. Pastel works are generally called paintings because the colors are applied in mass and not by line drawing. However that is true of soft pastels, but some artists use harder, sharply pointed crayons and get a drawing effect. Pastel is the simplest and purest method of painting, since pure color is used without a fluid medium and the crayons are applied directly to the pastel paper. Pastel painting is rooted in prehistoric painting when visual art was made with dry lumps of colored material. As known today, it was first made popular in Paris in the 1720s by Rosalba Carriera, a Venetian painter. Edgar Degas of France was a prolific pastel painter in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and he in turn influenced Mary Cassatt, one of America's best-known pastel painters. Other noted American pastel painters are Henrietta Johnston, reportedly America's first pastel painter; Andrew Wyeth; Wolf Kahn; Ramon Kelley; Dee Toscano and Lyonel Feininger. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Pastel Society of America; AskART database
Pastel Paper    Any paper fibrous enough in texture to hold pastels, it can contribute to the overall effect of the painting by having a permanent color. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Pastel Society of America    With headquarters at Gramercy Park South in New York City, the Society is an organization of professional and emerging American pastel painters. It was founded in 1972 by Flora Baldini Giffuni, and is the oldest American pastel society in existence. For its members the Society offers classes, workshops and demonstrations as well as exhibition venues and assistance in starting regional chapters. Annual juried exhibitions are at the National Arts Club. Source:
Pastel Society of Eastern Canada    Our society, PSEC, was founded in 1995 by a group of Montreal women artists, and its members are from all over Quebec mostly from the Montreal area, though many are from the Quebec City region and some from places in southern Ontario, such as Ottawa. We have about 240 members, 85 signature members and 6 of master status. We hold two yearly exhibitions. Source: Reine Goodrow, President in 2012 of the PSEC. Courtesy of M.D. Silverbrooke
Pate-sur-pate    A French term, which in English means paste on paste, it is a porcelain decoration method whereby a relief design is added to an unfired, unglazed piece by applying successive layers of white liquid clay with a brush. Marc-Louis Solon perfected the technique, and a famous student was Frederick Alfred Rhead. Source: Wikipedia,
Patina    A film or an incrustation, often green, that forms on copper and bronze after a certain period of weathering, it is a result of oxidation of copper. Different chemical treatments will also induce myriad colored patinas on new bronze works. Bronzes may additionally be painted with acrylic and lacquer. Source:, courtesy Michael Delahunt
Patron    A person who supports the arts or an individual artist, the person has their name associated with the art or artist and quite often is listed publicly at exhibitions, performances, etc. The connotation suggests generosity, but many patrons have become involved primarily to enhance their own reputation and self importance. These motives became especially true from 17th-Century France when art was created outside the control of the Catholic Church and private money was associated with the value of art. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Patroon Painters    Early 18th Century New York-based artists, their specialty was painting portraits of wealthy members of society, often merchants. Many of these portraitists had little training, remain unnamed and copied styles of Dutch and English portraitists. Much of their work is described as Naive. By 1750, most of the patroon painters had been replaced by artists with schooling and some degree of sophistication. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Patteran Society    An organization resulting in 1933 from disagreements between two factions within the Buffalo Society of Artists – the traditionalists and progressives.The name is from a gypsy word meaning “a path in an unknown direction.” Founders included Grace Allison Barron, Ruth Erb Hoffman, Carl Bredemeier, Harold LeRoy Olmstead, Evelyn Rumsey Lord (American, Louisa Winslow Robbins, Virginia Tillou and Martha Visser’t Hooft. The stated aim of the organization was “to foster free and independent thought and approach in the individual, rather than group excellence in the total.” Members explored various methods and techniques of leading contemporary artists. By the mid-1950’s, many Patteran members also belonged to the Buffalo Society of Artists, almost obliterating the differences which had caused the division in 1933. The Patteran Society disbanded in 1983.?? Source: Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc.
Pattern and Decoration Movement    In the mid 1970s, a group of artists rejecting the austerity of Minimalism and Conceptual Art, incorporated decorative elements such as quilts, Islamic tiles and wallpaper into their artwork. The goal was to break down traditional boundaries between art and craft and to validate the decorative pattern work that female hands had applied to ceramics and textiles. Artists involved in the movement include Miriam Schapiro, Joyce Kozloff, Judy Chicago, Robert Kushner, Valerie Jaudon and Robert Zakanitch. Source: "The New York Times," June 24, 2015, Obituary of Miriam Schapiro.
Peale Museum    Founded in 1814 in Baltimore, Maryland with the name "Peale's Baltimore Museum and Gallery of Fine Arts", its founders were members of the Peale family of painters headed by Charles Willson Peale and including his sons and daughters Rembrandt Peale, Raphaelle Peale and Sarah Miriam Peale. In 1931,the Peale Museum became the Municipal Museum of the City of Baltimore. In addition to works by the Peale family, the collection has maps, engravings, paintings and lithographs relating to the city of Baltimore. Source: "The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art", p.628.
Peconic Art Colony    A colony of artists settling in the area of the picturesque village of Peconic on the North Fork of Long Island in the early 20th century, it was a quieter place than the more settled South Fork of the Island. It also provided scenes for landscape painters of farms, country roads, serene bays, and boats in Long Island Sound inlets. Early artist settlers were Edith and Henry Prellwitz, Irving Wiles and August Bell. Source: Lisa Peters, 'Henry Prellwitz', "The Poetic Vision: American Tonalism", (Spanierman Galleries, LLC), p. 160
Pen and Ink    A term descriptive of the tool and medium for a drawing process, it involves dipping the pen in the colored fluid of ink. Earliest pens were made from reeds and quills of feathers, and some drawing specialists still use these items. However most use manufactured pens such as Ballpoint Pens, Drawing Pens, Felt Markers, Fountain Pens and Ruling Pens. A drawing described as having mediums of Pen and Ink is one that is created with a pen dipped in ink. Source: Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Pen and Pencil Club of Montreal    Founded on March 5, 1890 with a mandate to promote arts and letters in Montréal, its founding members were the artists and writers R. W. Boodle [writer], William Brymner, J. Try Davies [writer], Robert Harris, William Hope and John E. Logan [poet]. The presidency was filled by each member in turn based on an alphabetical rotation. According to the constitution, the positions of president, vice-president and secretary-treasurer were held for one year. Its artist members included, among others, Henri Beau, Maurice Cullen, Edmond Dyonnet, Joseph-Charles Franchère, Clarence Gagnon, Louis-Philippe Hébert, Charles Huot, A. Y. Jackson, Henri Julien, James M. Morrice and A. Suzor-Côté [see all artists in AskART]. The club was disbanded in 1966.’ Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke. Source: McCord Museum of Canadian History –
Penciller/Penciler    A comic book or graphic novel line artist who works in pencil, he or she performs the first step in relaying stories which are most effectively conveyed in visual, image form rather than words. These artists are concerned with layout positions and vantages of scenes, and often work with varying degrees of hardness in pencils, or with mechanical pencils or drafting leads. Usually the penciller draws images on over-sized sheets of paper, 11 by 17 inches, and for the finished product work with inkers. For some inkers and pencillers the teamwork is so satisfying they work exclusively with each other. Artists known for pencilling include Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, Joe Kubert and Wally Wood. Sources: //; AskART biographies
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts    See The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art    Chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on February 26, 1876, it was a response to the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876. In the 21st century, the school is known as the University of the Arts and the museum is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Source: Wikipedia, Jan. 2017
Pennsylvania Society of Miniature Painters     Founded in 1901 by Emily Drayton Taylor, who served as President from its founding until 1951, the society had its inaugural exhibition in 1902 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. It continued with semi-regular exhibitions at the PAFA until 1951. The society ceased to exist in 1954. Source: Wes & Rachelle Siegrist Art of Wildlife (website). Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke.
Pentimento/Pentimiti    An Italian term meaning to repent, "Pentimento" is a condition descriptive of old paintings where lead-containing pigments have become more transparent over time, revealing earlier layers or images. Sometimes the initial drawing appears or perhaps an over-painted earlier painting. Corrective measures include removing preliminary lines or colors that are darker than the new paint and smoothing out the first layer of impasto before over-painting. Some artists such as Richard Diebenkorn deliberately left "Pentimiti" or traces of pigments from his previous work on that ground as an indicator of human frailty---attempts to create something at an earlier time. Diebenkorn called these leftovers 'crudities', in that they expressed errors or mistakes and were very much a part of the addition and correction processes involved in making art. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Penwith Society of Artists    Artists society formed in 1948 at St Ives, Cornwall, Britain, it was formed by abstract artists breaking away from the St Ives Society of Artists, which was too conservative for them. They had already formed the splinter Crypt Group within the St Ives Society, but by 1988 felt the need for complete separation. Founders of Penwith Society were Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson together with the rest of the Crypt Group, including Peter Lanyon, who played a prominent role. They invited the eminent critic and supporter of modern art, Herbert Read, to be their president. Source: Tate Collection Glossary,
Penwith Society of Arts    The Penwith Society of Arts is part of the history of the development of modern and abstract art within the artists’ colony of St. Ives. It was formed in 1948 by abstract artists breaking away from the St. Ives Society of Artists, which was too traditional for them. They had already formed the splinter Crypt Group [see askART glossary] within the St. Ives Society, but by 1948 felt the need for complete separation. The founders of the Penwith Society were Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson together with the rest of the Crypt Group, including Peter Lanyon, who played a prominent role. They invited the eminent critic and supporter of modern art, Herbert Read, to be their president. Source: Tate Glossary. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke.
Perceptual Art    Linked to 20th century conceptual and performance art and historical explorations of art and psychology, it is multi-sensory truth---a combination of what one actually sees mixed with psychological responses or what one thinks one sees as conditioned by one's culture. The result is that shared visual stimuli across cultures often are perceived differently depending upon cultural conditioning. American artists associated with Perceptual Art include Adelbert Ames, Jr. and Mowry Baden. Source: Perceptual art, "Wikipedia"
Performa Biennial    An idea of Rose Lee Goldberg, art historian and curator, it is a New York City event for Performance Art. The beginning was in 2005 with Performa 05, which was succeeded by Performa 07 with 67 events around the four borroughs of the city. Involved were museums, theaters, galleries, office buildings and universities. "The center of gravity was between performer and individual audience members who could avail themselves of experiences ranging from haircuts by children in Chinatown" to personal conversations with artists to private photo sessions. Among the 'performance' artists were Sanford Biggers, Kelly Nipper, Adam Pendleton, Darren O'Donnell and Dave McKenzie. Source: Fay Hirsch, Performance: Everywhere and All at Once, "Art in America", March 2008, p. 51
Performance Art    Expression which dates to the late 1970s, it grew from the desire of artists to communicate more directly with their viewers. It usually involves a series of events performed by the artist in front of an audience and often includes music, dialogue or monologue, sight gags, recitation and/or audio-visual/technology presentations. It is also linked to earlier movements such as Body Art, Happenings and Fluxus, and these expressions brought into the mix make for a less-than-definite explanation of the term. American artists involved since the 1970s include Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Eleanor Antin, Anna Banana, Rebecca Horn and Karen Finley. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"
Perspective     The representation of three-dimensional objects on a flat surface, the goal is to produce the same impression of distance and relative size as that received by the human eye. In one-point linear perspective, developed during the fifteenth century, all parallel lines in a given visual field converge at a single vanishing point on the horizon. In aerial or atmospheric perspective, the relative distance of objects is indicated by gradations of tone and color and by variations in the clarity of outlines. Source: Ralph Mayer, Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques.
Perspective Box    From the Dutch word "perspektyflas" or "perspective cabinet," it was developed by 17th century Dutch artists to show young art students characteristics of perspective. Also known as a "peep show", it enables an artist to create a convincing illusion of interior space through complex construction involving painting and a well-positioned eyehole so that the eye is deceived into believing it has entered a room. Currently there are only six known examples of the 17th century "perspektyflas", two of which are by the Dutch artist, Samuel Van Hoogstraten. One of these is in the permanent collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts and one is in the National Gallery. Sources: The National Gallery; Eric Conklin, Trompe L'Oeil Society of Artists, who wrote: This art form has been significant in the development of fine art trompe l'oeil painting. It is my belief that they are one of the keys to the future success of artists with the study and development of trompe l'oeil in mind.
Pew Fellowship in the Arts    Established by The Pew Charitable Trusts in 1991, it is an award money grant of $60,000 to visual and literary artists to provide financial help when they need it most to focus completely on their art. An underlying motivation of donors is the belief that cultural development in America is critical to its strength. Each year up to twelve grants are provided. Visual artists receiving Pew grants include Emily Brown, Bo Bartlett and Peter d'Agostino. Source:
Pewabic Pottery    A ceramic studio and school in Detroit, Michigan, it was founded in 1903 and continues into the 21st century. It is best known for iridescent glazes such as those in the Shedd Aquarium and Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The founder was artist Mary Chase Perry Stratton and business partner, Horace James Caulkins. Pewabic Pottery is Detroit's major contribution to the Arts & Crafts Movement of late 19th century America. Source: 'Pewabic Pottery,' "Wikipedia," April 2016.
Philadelphia Art Alliance    Founded in 1915 and ongoing, it is "the oldest multidisciplinary arts center in the United States for visual, literary and performing arts." The PAA is housed in Rittenhouse Square in the Wetherill mansion, home of founder Christine Wetherill Steventon, a theater enthusiast and philanthropist. The Alliance sponsors art exhibitions, lectures, music performances and workshops. Member names include Elizabeth Washington, Albert Greene and Dorcas Doolittle. Sources: Wikipedia; AskART biographies.
Philadelphia College of Art    See University of the Arts, Philadelphia
Philadelphia School of Design for Women/Moore Coll    Founded in 1848 by Sarah Peter, a philanthropist, the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, later named Moore College of Art, challenged prevailing norms by training women to be artisans and craftswomen. It was the first school to teach women industrial art. Upon graduation, students were helped by faculty to find jobs with industries. Women of all ages enrolled, but by 1920, most were between the ages of 18 and 22 years. "A key figure in developing the school as a major center for fine arts was Emily Sartain, who was Principal from 1886 to 1920." (Strass) From a family of distinguished Philadelphia artists, she asserted that training in commercial and fine art should receive equal attention, and under her direction curriculum included work from the living model, perspective, and design. She brought respected teachers including Robert Henri to the school. Harriet Sartain, niece of Emily, took over as Principal in 1920. She strongly opposed modernist movements in art and kept the school on message that the institution’s success lay in its ability to train women for industrial art vocations.In 1932, the name changed to the Moore College of Art with a $3 million dollar gift from Joseph Moore, Jr. Enrollment increased greatly, although after World War II into the 1950s, many of the women graduates directed their energies to home and family instead of industrial vocations. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the school weathered accreditation problems but continues into the 21st Century. Sources: Stephanie Strass, "American Women Artists, 1819-1947"; Charlotte Rubinstein, "American Women Artists";
Philadelphia Sketch Club    Founded in 1860 in Philadelphia, the organization was a rebellion against the Pennsylvania Academy by artists who wanted more freedom of expression. They wanted to do sketching, which later came to mean illustration, and also to have a place to socialize and exchange ideas freely. Founders were George and Edmund Bensell, Edward McIlhenny, Henry Bispham, John Gihon and Robert Wylie. They were quickly joined by other artists, and key personalities were Thomas Eakins and Thomas Anshutz. During the 1870s, when the Pennsylvania Academy's new building was incomplete, classes were held at the Sketch Club including life classes by Eakins. Over the years, members have shared studio space and learned from each other, and they have initiated programs including regular workshops and exhibitions to promote the appreciation of art. Many older members have reached out to emerging artists. The organization was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1889, and in 1991, it received legal status to solicit outside funding, having survived on donations from members. In 1903, the Philadelphia Sketch Club began its long-time occupancy of its buildings at 235 South Camac Street. This site has three federal period row houses, built in 1822, and joined together to form one building. Source: David Sellin and Mark Sullivan, "Thomas Eakins and His Fellow Artists at the Philadelphia Sketch Club"
Philadelphia Ten    A female group of artists, members painted and exhibited together from 1917 to 1945 with the purpose of finding wider markets for their artwork and functioning independently from a male-dominated art world. All had trained in Philadelphia. Their first exhibition of their thirty-year annual exhibitions was at the Art Club of Philadelphia and offered for sale 247 paintings. Although known as The Philadelphia Ten, membership fluctuated, and at its highest number had 23 painters and 7 sculptors. Participants were distinctive for quality of production, self sufficiency---liberated before the term acquired its feminist meaning--- and unconventional, independent life styles. Many never married, and few had children. Some historians have suggested that the women formed The Philadelphia Ten in response to The Eight in New York City. Among the members of The Ten were Theresa Bernstein, Mary Colton, Fern Coppedge, Edith Wood, Joan Hartley, Nancy Ferguson and Genevieve Hamlin. Source: Page Talbott, 'Philadlelphia Ten', "American Art Review", February, 1998; AskART biographies
Philadelphia Water Color Club    See Philadelphia Water Color Society
Philadelphia Water Color Society    In the autumn of 1900 Charles E. Dana, George Walter Dawson, Herbert E. Everett, Thomas P. Anschutz and Susan Bradley founded the Philadelphia Water Color Club. It was a response to the fact that art exhibitions of the period gave slight attention to aqueous media, being dominated by sculpture and works in oil. Watercolor art was considered less valid and held in low esteem as "Art" by students and the public alike. PWCS founders were determined to dignify their art in the eyes of the world. Mounting strong exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, members began to work toward their goal. In March, 1922, the growing organization was chartered to give watercolor as a valid and respected art form its deserved place in the Philadelphia area and beyond. In 2000, the name Philadelphia Water Color Club changed to Philadelphia Water Color Society Source: Philadelphia Water Color Society. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, West Vancouver Art Historian and Collector.
Phillips Mill, New Hope PA    Founded in October, 1928 as an exhibition space for artists painting in New Hope, Pennsylvania, the location was an old mill on the Delaware Canal, which served barges from the Lehigh Valley to Philadelphia. For many of the early exhibiting artists, the Mill was an alternative to the Pennsylvania Academy, which was becoming increasingly exclusive of younger, modernist painters. The founding committee of Phillips Mill was headed by artist William Francis Taylor. The site evolved into the Phillips Mill Community Association, and in the late 20th century led to the formation of the James A. Michener Museum with branches in New Hope and Doylestown. Source: Thomas Folk, "The Pennsylvania Impressionists".
Photo Engraving    A commercial relief printing process, it is the printing on a metal plate coated with bi-chromate of a photograph negative. The design on the plate is then etched and then in relief, is inked and printed. Source: Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques.
Photo League    In New York City it was formed in 1936 by documentary photographers with social messages considered "left wing.' Fifteen years later, in 1951, it was closed down by McCarthy era censorship. Members, many of them children of immigrants, had "unabashedly leftist roots" and captured images that decry poverty, racism and violence as well as more nuanced observations of postwar American life. Members included Sid Grossman, Berenice Abbot, Lisette Model and Sy Kattelson.In 2011, the Jewish Museum of New York in collaboration with the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio held an exhibition titled "The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951. Source:'David Gonzalez, 15 Years That Changed Photography', "The New York Times" website, Nov. 4, 2011.
Photo Realism    Popular from the mid 20th-century, it is a painting and drawing style in which people, objects and scenes are depicted with such naturalism that the paintings resemble photographs - an almost exact visual duplication of the subject. New York art dealer Louis Meisel is credited with originating the term. Painters and their subjects include Richard Estes, reflective windows; Malcolm Morley, tourists on cruise ships; Chuck Close, face portraits; Duane Hanson, human figures; Gordon Snidow, cowboys; and Mel Ramos, flashy nudes. Sources:, courtesy Michael Delahunt; Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; AskART database.
Photo Secession    Organized by Alfred Stieglitz in New York City the movement was composed of carefully selected pictorial photographers who did original photography produced in the United States and abroad. Goals of the group were to promote photography as being equal in fine art stature with painting and sculpture, to make the public aware of the potential of photography, and to promote the dry-plate process of pictorialism, meaning to create work that looked like painting or etching of the time. Most of their photos were black and white or sepia toned, and were created with manipulations such as soft focus, special filters and lens coatings. Stieglitz himself was an expert photographer, and he championed the goals of Photo-Secession in his magazine "Camera Work" (1903-17) and at his Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession (1905-1917) at 291 Fifth Avenue. Members included Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Clarence White, Gertrude Kasebier, and Alvin Coborn. Sources: William Innes Homer, The Photo Secession Tripod website; Wikipedia
Photo-Secession Gallery    See Gallery 291/Photo-Secession Gallery
Photogram    Sometimes called cameraless photography, it is a photographic image made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material such as photography paper. Then exposing it to light, it usually has the result of a shadow image with variation in tone. The method was used by Man Ray with his 'rayographs.' Other photogram photographers are Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Christian Schad, Pablo Picasso, James Welling and Imogen Cunningham. Anna Atkins (1799-1871) was a pioneer of photograms, with many images of algae and seaweed. Source: Wikipedia, 2019
Photogravure, Photo Etching    An innovative method promoted in the late 19th century, it is making hard-copy images or prints with light sensitive gelatin from photographs with the result being an image composed of fine lines rather than dots, which allows for more subtle transfer of light and shadowing. The word 'gravure' refers to 'grainy' appearance created by dusted rosin, which is part of the very time-consuming process that today is used primarily by fine-art photographers. Photogravure printmakers include Karl Blossfeldt, Alfred Stieglitz, Albin Langdon Coburn, Ernest Bradshaw and Edward Curtis. Paul Strand did one of the last major portfolios of photogravures, "Mexican Portfolio", 1940. Sources:;' Wikipedia-Photogravure
Physiognotrace    A machine invented in 1789 by Gilles Louis Chretien, it facilitated tracing a portrait subject's profile at a time when silhouettes were popular. Among artists working in America who used the device were Charles Saint-Memin and James Sharples. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Picerne Collection of Arizona Landmark Art    Resulting from a collaboration between Arizonans art collector and realtor, David Picerne, and Gary Fillmore, art appraiser, dealer and scholar, the collection of over 40 artists features landmark art of Arizona. In 2010, a Picerne collection exhibit was held at the Kold Photography Studios on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Included is work by Gunnar Widforss, Joe Abbrescia, Lon Megargee and Joseph Henry Sharp. Source:, March 2, 2010
Pictogram    See Ideogram
Pictorial    Composed primarily of pictures, the term means primarily illustrated by pictures. In painting, the reference can related to something that has the perspective and/or composition of a realistic view or picture. Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary online.
Pictorial Photographers of America    Founded in 1916 in New York City with the concept that photography was art, early members included Clarence White, Karl Struss and Edward Dickson. White remained a guiding influence. He taught photography at Columbia University from 1907 to 1925, and in 1914, opened the Clarence H. White School of Photography, which at that time was the only school in the U.S. devoted exclusively to photography. Many of the school's students were members of the PPA, which became national with the goal of divorcing the concept of photography as just commercial and mechanized ways of capturing images. Also, the PPA, with emphasis on objective education, distanced itself from the political convictions of Alfred Steglitz and his Photo-Secession group. The White School closed in 1942 with bankruptcy, and the PPA continued as a national organization with diminished exclusive emphasis on New York City. Source: "Pictorial Photographers of America", Web, Feb. 2016
Pictorial Space    The illusory space in a painting or other work of two-dimensional art, it seems to recede backward into depth from the picture plane and gives, an unoccupied expanse, it gives the illusion of distance. Source.
Pictorialism, PIctoriallists    An early 20th Century photography movement lead by Alfred Stieglitz, it sought to "elevate" photography from the status of a technological process to that of high art through the emulation of the aesthetics of late 18th and early 19th century European painting. Pictorialists favored a soft focus approach in their images, as well as compositions that employed "expressive" arrangements of light and dark masses, rather than sharply rendered detail. Sources: Grant Arnold, Vancouver Art Gallery and Lisa Hostetler, Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Picture Loan Society of Toronto    Founded by Douglas M. Duncan (1902-1968) in 1936, it was the first gallery in Canada to operate on a system of low-cost commission, making the purchase of art more affordable by renting pictures to prospective clients while at the same time providing affordable exhibition space for artists. Artists on its roster included Carl Schaefer, L.L. Fitzgerald, Harold Town, Paul Emile Borduas, Isabel McLaughlin, and Bertram Brooker (see all in AskART). In particular, Duncan admired the work of artist David Milne, for whom he acted as sole agent. The Society ended with Duncan’s death; however its location and some of its functions were taken over by the Picture Loan Gallery. Sources: The National Gallery of Canada Archives and the Art Gallery of Ontario Archives. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, B.C.
Picture Plane    A term applied to visual elements of a painting that are in the viewer’s most direct line of sight, usually the foreground, the word “plane” is used because the subject is often compared to a window separating viewers from the images. Shapes in a painting intended to appear in three-dimensional space are said to be behind the picture plane, and those in the foreground are in front of the picture plane. Working in relation to the picture plane, the artist achieves perspective by arranging objects behind the picture plane in smaller sizes to create a sense of distance and larger to suggest foreground. In much modernist or abstract art, traditional rules of working with the picture plane are violated, and often there are visual distortions such as looming, out-of-scale objects in the foreground. The concept, which relates to an imaginary surface of a painting, originated during the Renaissance and led to much exploration of techniques to achieve perspective. Sources: Ralph Mayer, “A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques”; Robert Atkins, “Art Speak”.
Picturesque    Meaning suitable for a picture, such as striking or interesting in an eye-pleasing, beautiful way, the term is linked to 19th-century English theoreticians and was articulated by Reverend William Gilpin (1724-1804), schoolmaster of Salisbury. He wrote the description as "that particular quality, which makes objects chiefly pleasing in painting." It also included variety, rough textures, and small scale. Thomas Cole referenced the word picturesque when discussing his philosophies of landscape painting, which he applied to the Hudson River School, 1820-1880. Further description includes rich in meandering line and charming, evocative detail, soothing and day-dreamy – a country cottage or ruins of a Gothic shrine overrun with flowering vines. Thomas Doughty (1793-1852) predating Cole, applied principles of Picturesque to his paintings. Sources:; Andrew Wilton and Tim Barringer, "American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1820-1880".
Pierhead Painter    A painter who sought commissions to paint portraits of ships, he or she received the name because of setting up their easel on the head of the pier. The commissions were often of short duration and subject to the ship’s departure from port, with the artist’s client aboard. Although pierhead artists did not often have the luxury of time and academy training, they generally produced accurate depictions born of the benefit of specialization, true love of the subject matter, and perfume of the salt air and sea spray. (Compliments of Vallejo Gallery, California)
Pigment    The coloring component of paint, it is derived from either natural or synthetic sources, and when mixed with binders it becomes paint, ink or crayon, etc. Pigments, as opposed to dyes, are insoluble and impart their color by staying on the surface. Pigments can be derived from a multitude of sources including vegetables, wood, flowers, animals such as beetles and cuttlefish and unnatural sources created in chemical laboratories. Whatever its components, pigment serves one purpose, which is to provide color for all painting mediums. To be usable for artists, a pigment must be finely ground enough to pass through a screen of 325 meshes to the inch, and must meet standards of brilliance, clearness, color strength and inertia so when mixed with other colors, no harmful effects occur. Sources: Roger Dunbier, PhD, Essay on Mediums; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Pilchuck Glass School    Founded in 1971 on fifty four acres of land fifty miles north of Seattle by Dale Chihuly with Anne and John Hauberg, fine-art glass collectors, it has become the largest and most comprehensive training center for the art of glassblowing and is responsible for glass-blown objects evolving into fine-art expression. Classes are limited to ten students, the facility has shops for kilns, hot-glass, neon, flame, wood and metal. Residential buildings house teachers and students. On the faculty have been Italo Scanga, Flo Perkins, Glen Alps and Harvey Littleton as well as Dale Chihuly. Among students are Nicholas Africano, Toots Zynsky and Mary Shaffer. Source:
Pixilaltion/Pixillation    ‘Pixilation is an animation technique invented by Norman McLaren (see AskART). It involves the frame-by-frame animation of actors, who must hold their poses while the camera shoots a set amount of frames, resulting in a very original and unique look when played back at 24 frames per second. Pixilation has become a common technique used in music videos, commercials and feature films.’ Source: “Animated Realism: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Animation Tools and Techniques of Award Winning Films” (2011), by Judith Kriger; Focal Press. Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke.
Plaster    A dry white powder base, it is made of sand and limestone mixed with water, and depending on the consistency, can be spread on a flat surface such as walls in building construction or modeled by sculptors into finished works or used for clay molds and finished terra-cotta figures. When dry, plaster can be quite hard and durable. American sculptors knows for using plaster as a finished product include Claes Oldenburg whose first pop-art figures in the 1970s included a mock store filled with plaster objects; George Segal, whose signature works were life-size human figures of un-painted plaster; Manuel Neri, whose earliest pieces were in plaster; Peter Agostini who did plaster forms over various armatures that anticipated Pop Art; and Deborah Butterfield whose first life-size horses, done in the 1970s, were painted plaster over steel armatures. (They proved so heavy she changed to lighter assemblage materials). Sources: Kimberly Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms". "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; AskART biographies.
Plastic Club, Philadelphia    Founded in 1897 as a women's art club in Philadelphia, its purpose was to hold classes and exhibitions, and 1991, membership expanded to include men. Howard Pyle and William Merritt Chase were both very strong early supporters of the Club as were other male artists including Daniel Garber, William Glackens and Colin Cooper Campbell. The name "plastic" refers to that which is visual---painting, prints, photography, sculpture, murals and stained glass. Blanche Dillaye suggested the name Plastic Club, and became the first President. Emily Sartain and Alice Barber Stephens were among founding members as were members of a group called "Red Rose Girls"---Violet Oakley, Jessie Willcox Smith and Elizabeth Shippen Green. (Their name derived from the Red Rose Inn, an estate they shared in Philadelphia). Other early Plastic Club members were Beatrice Fenton, Theresa Bernstein, Mary Mullineaux and Mary Butler Cable. The Plastic Club continues to operate with headquarters including gallery exhibition space in an historic double townhouse at 247 Camac Street in the heart of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Sketch Club is a neighbor to the north. Source:
Plastic/Plastic Art    A term used both as a noun and an adjective, as a noun Plastic refers to synthetic polymer that can be molded permanently to a desired shape, and as an adjective, it means pliable or capable of being molded. Plastic Art is three-dimensional art or two-dimensional art that gives the impression through realistic perspective of being three dimensional. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Plasticiens    See Les Plasticiens
Players Club-New York    Founded in 1888 as a private club by actor Edwin Booth, the purpose was to provide a social setting for actors and artists. Members included John Barrymore, Stanford White, Mark Twain, Childe Hassam, and Thomas Nast. The Club remains in existence. Source: Abigail Aldridge, "Art & Antiques", December 2004, p. 87
Plein-Air Painters of America    Organized in the early 1980s, it was spearheaded by artist Denise Burns who was encouraged at Catalina Island by her neighbor, Roy Rose, great nephew of plein-air California painter, Guy Rose. The First Annual Plein-Air Festival was held in October, 1985 at Catalina and is now a once a year fall event with selected painters working outside for a week. A display and sale of their works follows in the Avalon Casino. Source: Kevin Macpherson, "Southwest Art", October 2002
Plein-Air Painting, Plein Aire    Derived from the French word "en plein aire," the term means painting in the open air and not in the studio. It first came into general use in mid 19th century France when landscape painters at Barbizon, a village near Paris, used the method for landscape depictions. Shortly after, it was adopted by the French Impressionists led by Camille Pisarro and Claude Monet. The method was facilitated by newly developed oil paint sold in tubes, which meant it did not dry out quickly and could be easily transported. Plein-aire painting was a major break in tradition from the prevalent method of working only in studios. In the United States and Canada, it was practiced by the first-generation of American impressionists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. William Merritt Chase opened the first organized school of landscape painting at Shinnecock on Long Island. The method also took hold in a major way in Southern California from the time of the state's first Impressionist landscape painters including Guy Rose. In that warm climate combined with bright sunlit days and diverse mountain, water and land views, Plein-Air painting was popular. Sources: "Plein Air Magazine", November 2004; William Gerdts, "American Impressionism"
Plexiglas    One of the Acrylic Resins, it is Polymethyl methacrylate in solid form and is a permanent glass-like plastic that does not turn yellow. It is used in many modern sculptures and can be cast and shaped by heating. Among artists who have used plexiglas are Pierre Arman, Larry Bell and Tom Wesselman. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"' AskART biographies.
Plop Art    A term of derision, a work that is non-appealing to the viewer.
Plumbago    A term used to describe pencil miniatures on vellum, it is a type of drawing practiced in England that did not become popular in the Colonies. The advantage of this method was affordability of the works. Source: Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, "Who Was Who in American Art"
Pochoir    A French word meaning stencil, the term refers to prints that usually are hand-coloured with a series of carefully cut out stencils. This process was popular in Paris during the early decades of the 20th century and was especially popular in the Art Deco period. Source:
Point Group, Victoria, Canada    A group of 12 Victoria, British Columbia artists headed by Herbert Siebner. The other members were Bill West, Robert de Castro, Duncan de Kergommeaux, Richard Ciccimarra, Molly Privett, Nita Forrest, Michael Morris, Flemming Jorgensen, Elza Mayhew, Sylvia Sutton and Virginia Lewis. The focus or "The Point" of the group was to break out of the insularity geographically imposed on the mostly mature artists who lived on an island on Canada's west coast. Their exhibition space was Don Adam's Danish Furniture Store on Front Street in Victoria. The group was organized in 1960, and had its last exhibition in September 1962. Many of the members were founders of the Limners, a Victoria group formed in 1971 for similar reasons and who's survivors were still exhibiting together in Victoria in 2005 at The Moore Gallery, November 10 — 17, 2005. Sources: "Ciccimara - A Biography" (1988), by Frank Nowosad; "Herbert Siebner: A Monograph" (1979), by Robin Skelton; and "Herbert Siebner - A Celebration" (1993), by Robin Skelton, James Bennett and Karl Spreitz. Written and Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Pointillism    A branch of French Impressionism, it is the application of color with tiny dots or small, isolated brush strokes to create an optical mixture of broken color. Forms are visible in a pointillist painting only from a distance, when the viewer’s eye blends the colors to create visual masses and outlines. The inventor and chief exponent of was George Seurat (1859-1891); the other leading figure was Paul Signac (1863-1935). Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Pollock Gallery, Toronto    Established in 1962 by Jack Henry Pollock, art educator and dealer, it was known for sponsoring and giving career changing attention to avant-garde artists such as Willem de Kooning and David Hockney. The Gallery is much associated with promoting the work of Ojibway artist, Norval Morrisseau. The Gallery closed in 1981 because of changing economic circumstances, ill health and poor management skills of Jack Pollock. Source: 'Jack Henry Pollock', "Wikipedia".
Pollock-Krasner Foundation    Created in 1984 after the death of Lee Krasner as part of her bequest, the Foundation by 2004 had awarded $37 million through 2,608 grants to artists in 65 countries. In memory of artist Krasner and her artist husband, Jackson Pollock, the Foundation has the mission of helping needy artists, and is a one-year prize intended to help with personal or professional expenses, child care and medical treatment.Source:"ARTnews", November 2004, p. 54
Polychromatic/Polychrome    Having many colors as opposed to monochromatic, which is onlye one hue or color, it most frequently references wood and stone carving that is covered in full color and gold. Many ancient sculptures from Egypt, Greece and Rome were polychromed as were sculpture in the Medieval and Renaissance periods. In the early 20th Century, sculptors working in Cubist styles such as Alexander Calder, Alexander Archipenko and David Smith used colors or polychorme in their sculpture. In the late 1950s, a new movement developed in polychrome sculpture and continued through the 1960s. Influences were new interest in color stirred by Op Art and materials such as neon lighting and certain plastics that had inherent color. Examples of polychrome are assemblage metal works of John Chamberlain, colored neon of Vardea Chryssa, colorful still-life sculpture arrangements of Robert Hudson, and polychrome clay sculptures of Peter Voulkos, John Mason and Kenneth Price. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"
Pond Farm Workshops    Conceived by Gordon and Jane Err, it became an artist community that aimed to foster creativity and above all, technical prowess in ceramics and other crafts. It also offered skills in food self reliance through homestead farming, gardening and fishing ponds. Located on about 400 acres of property, it was near the Russian River by Guerneville, California about 75 miles north of San Francisco. Early residents and workshop teachers were Frans Wildenhain,(sculpture), Marguerite Wildenhain (pottery), Trude Guermonprez (weaving), Victor Ries (metals), Claire Falkenstein (painting), Lucienne Block (fresco), Stephen Dimitroff (fresco) and Harry Dixon (metals). Though short-lived and lasting only until 1953, Pond Farm served as an important incubator for the development of California craftsmen in the 20th Century. Source: Wikipedia; and Website of Cooper Hewitt Collections, biography of Trude Guermonprez.
Pop Art    A term derived from the word 'Popular’], it is linked to an art movement whereby artists depicted commonplace or familiar, everyday images in contemporary culture. The movement emanated from a mid 1950s meeting in London of artists and architects at the Institute of Contemporary Arts to discuss topics of mass media, fashions, industrial design and science fiction relative to art and architecture. Subsequently the group held English Pop-Art exhibitions, and this English Pop Art movement influenced Englishman David Hockney, who, in turn, became active in the USA, especially in California. Meanwhile in New York in the mid 1950s, Jasper Johns, Tom Wesselmann and Robert Rauschenberg were vanguard artists depicting everyday objects in their work, often as social commentary. Objects used in Pop Art often related to mass production such as Andy Warhol's Coca Cola bottles or Campbell's Soup Cans, and also to his iconic personalities such as the silkscreen reproductions, often hand colored, of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Chairman Mao, Albert Einstein and Jackie Kennedy. Henry Geldzahler, former curator of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum, "helped put Pop on the map in 1962" (199) during the Museum of Modern Art's symposium on Pop Art by being the only panel member to support it. He was a close friend of Andy Warhol, who later said: "Henry gave me all of my ideas." (200) Pop Art, initially a rebellion against Abstract Expressionism, began to lose ground in the late 1960s, and was replaced by Minimalism, Contemporary Realism, and Hard-Edge painting. Sources: "Phaidon’s Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; Nancy Hoban, "Basquiat" (source of quotations); Norman Geske and Karen Janovy, "The American Painting Collection of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques".
Porcelain    The finest of ceramic ware fired to the highest temperature ranges, the term has come to reference all wares that are translucent as distinguished from Earthenware and Stoneware. Porcelain is usually made from clay, feldspar and flint and is often used for dinnerware, vases, and smaller sculpture. True porcelain ranges in color from white to grey and when struck, produces a clear tone. The original formula was developed in China during the T’ang Dynasty of the seventh century A.D. In the early 18th century, it was first produced in Europe. Source: Ralph Mayer, “A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques”.
Portrait    A painting, sculpture, drawing or photograph that is a likeness of a human being or animal, living or dead. Portraits can be full length, heads, torsos or portrait busts, life size or disproportionate, abstract or realistic, and executed in many mediums. Many artists do self portraits. In the 17th and 18th centuries miniature portraits were popular and small enough to be carried or worn as a locket. Among American portraitists of important American historical figures are Gilbert Stuart and Charles Willson Peale who did famous likenesses of George Washington. Mary Cassatt remains known for child portraits, mostly of family members, and Nicolai Fechin for impressionist portraits of well known people such as Willa Cather that captured the complexities of the inner person. Some artists such as Robert Henri depicted ordinary people, and Alice Neel painted her own children, sad and pensive. Animal portraitists include Ann Collins and Michael Finnell who are noted for their portraits of famous race horses. In contrast Deborah Butterfield is famous for her assemblage sculptures of ordinary horses, often old broken down and un-glamourous. Cassius Coolidge and William Wegmam pose their own dogs for humorous depictions that combine portraiture with anthropomorphic genre. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; AskART biographies
Positive Space    The space in a painting occupied by the object depicted (not the spaces in between objects).
Post    A term meaning "after" that is prefixed to some art terms such as Post-Impressionism, Post-Minimalism and Post-Modern. However, these terms are handy primarily to suggest a time line and not to suggest a unity of style amongst the artists to whom the terms are applied. Even if the artists do share a rebellion against a preceding movement, they often have approaches independent of each other. Included among Post-Impressionists, each with a unique style, are Paul Cezanne, Georges Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gaughin. However, they did share determination to inject identifiable objects and or figures into their work rather than be confined to the strictures of Impressionism. Usage of the word "post" linked to fine art began in the early 20th century and like the term "neo" can be deceptive in that it suggests "a linear but not necessarily accurate vision of history . . . (It can) "obscure, rather than enhance, the understanding of art." Source: Robert Atkins, "ARTSPEAK"
Post Impressionism    A term applied to the work of modernist artists, it refers to many of the French artists in France from about 1885 to 1900. Included among the Post-Impressionists are Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and Vincent Van Gogh. Although they all painted in highly personal styles and did not exhibit together under the 'umbrella' of Post Impressionism, they were united in rejecting the relative absence of form and emotion characteristic of Impressionism. The focus was on finding new ways to express form and space, and generally the public was not receptive. Sources: Robert Atkins, ARTSPEAK; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"
Post Modern    A term that is vague in meaning, it has evolved as general reference to artwork that is anti-modernist in that it is a rebellion against artistic expression such as Abstraction, Conceptual and Performance Art. Use of the description, “Post Modernist", is attributed to writer Joseph Hudnot in a 1949 book, "Architecture and the Spirit of Man". In the 1960s, Post Modernism came into wide use, and since then includes the revival of realist artwork with recognizable subjects such as landscapes, social genre and history painting; in other words, that which has been scorned by abstractionists. Although Post Modernism has new elements reflective of the hybrid aspects of modern society, such as sculpture that is also furniture, it seems impossible to list unifying characteristics of style or subject matter other than that it embodies some aspects of Realism. Source: Robert Atkins, “Art Speak”
Post Painterly Abstraction    A term coined by Swiss art historian, Heinrich Wolfflin, it was used by art critic Clement Greenberg to describe a period in American art that succeeded Abstract Expressionism. The term came to be associated with any work that Clement Greenberg appeared to promote. It was the title of an exhibition he organized in 1964. It opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of art in June, traveled to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and ended December 20, 1964 at The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Among the artists were Walter Bannard, Ralph DuCasse, Paul Feeley and Al Held. Source:
Post-Minimalism    Meaning after Minimalism, the term refers to a movement beginning in the late 1960s that was a general reaction of artists against Minimalism and its closed geometric forms and had somewhat more content, or open forms, than content-free Minimalism. "Artforum" writer, Robert Pincus-Witten coined the term in an article he wrote about Eva Hesse, which was published in the November, 1971 issue. Other artists categorized as Post-Minimalist are Richard Serra, Martin Puryear, Joel Shapiro and Tony Cragg. Sources:; Guggenheim Collection Online,
Posterism    The documentation or indices of prices of original works of art used for posters.
Potlatch Collection/Mountie Art    An art collection from the Potlatch Paper Corporation that donated in 1981 349 original illustrations and transferred all rights, without consideration, to the Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth. Commissioned between 1930-1971, these paintings on canvas, paper, and illustration board used the Royal Canadian Mounted Police image--a powerful symbol of honesty and resourcefulness--to advertise the company's printing papers. Among the 16 artists who created "mountie" paintings are Hal Foster, known as the illustrator of many classic American comic strips, and Arnold Friberg, whose set designs for Cecil B. De Mille's movie, "The Ten Commandments", won him an Academy Award. The Tweed Museum of Art has developed comprehensive illustrated book called "The Mountie Legacy and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Illustrations, published by Afton (Minnesota) Historical Society Press, and scheduled to be released in the Summer of 2003. Courtesy: The Tweed Museum
Potter's Wheel    A turntable mounted on a shaft for shaping pottery. As the platform spins, either foot-operated or machine driven, the potter shapes the clay by raising it to make vessels or other objects. Potter's Wheels date from the ancient Egyptians to the present day. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"
Pottery    A general term dating to ancient times that includes ceramics or fired clay such as earthenware, stoneware and raku. Throughout history, pottery has served both utilitarian and aesthetic purposes. It is written that "pottery, as perhaps no other medium, reflects the culture of its maker. Archaeologists often find it their most helpful tool in classifying peoples and reconstructing past events." (Lamb, Intro.) Pottery fragments as part of drinking vessels are documented to the sixth millenium BC in Arpachiya near the Upper Tigris River. In 20th-century American art, pottery has become an accepted fine-art medium. Especially noted in this time period are Anna and Albert Valentien, George Ohr, R. Guy Cowan, Maria Martinez, Popovi Da; Nampeyo (the Old Lady), William Dickey King and Charles Loloma. Sources: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Brian S. McMillan, 'Cultural Influences from Early Summerian Egypt' from the book "Ancient Iraq" by P.R.S. Moorey; Susan Lamb, "A Guide to Pueblo Pottery"
Powder Coat    A clear coat that enhances the finish of a metal or steel object as well as protects it and makes it easy to clean. Powder coating is a dry finishing process, using finely ground particles of pigment and resin, which are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto a surface. The pieces receiving the powder coating are electrically grounded so that the charged powder particles projected at them adhere to the pieces and are held there until melted and fused into a smooth coating in the curing oven. The result is a uniform, durable, high-quality finish that is also environmentally friendly. Source: LeKae Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Prairie Print Makers    Formed in 1930 in Lindsborg, Kansas, in the studio of Birger Sandzen and the artist membership included Gustave Baumann, Gene Kloss, Sandzen, Maynard Dixon, Luigi Lugioni and John Taylor Arms. The purpose was "to further the interest of both artists and laymen in printmaking and collecting, and the entire financial philosophy of the Prairie Print Makers in its early days was in keeping with the constraints of the Depression era. Artists were charged one-dollar per year, and collectors were required to pay five dollars per year. Each year one of the artists was chosen to do a print, which would be The Annual Gift Print given exclusively to the members and limited to an edition of two hundred. Norma Bassett Hall designed the logo. Yearly the Prairie Print Makers sponsored traveling exhibitions throughout the United States to schools, libraries and civic organizations. By the mid 1930s, Prairie Print Makers was a well-established entity and had members in many states as well as Hawaii and Washington DC. Methods included lithography, etching, woodblocks, drypoints and aquatints. Prairie Print Makers came to an end in 1966, its member goals achieved of stimulating interest in printmaking and selling work by the artists. "The society had also provided an important bond of interest and purpose that made the lives of the ten original Kansas-based founders less isolated and removed from the art centers of the rest of America. . . .and perhaps most importantly, a sense of identity as artists, even though for all of them financial reality meant supporting their families through jobs as commercial artists or teachers." (9-10) Source: Barbara Thompson O'Neill and George C. Foreman, ‘C.A. Seward’, “The Prairie Print Makers”, pp. 12-19. Courtesy Denise Morris.
Pratt Institute     A private college of art on a 25-acre campus in Brooklyn, New York, it is one of the best-known, prestigious art schools in America. The Institute is named for natural oil industrialist Charles Pratt (1830-1891) who recognized the need for skilled industrial workers and founded the school, which opened in 1887. Today there are also campuses in Manhattan and Utica, New York. Departments include Architecture, Art and Design and Liberal Arts and Sciences. On the student list are comic book artist Jack Kirby, sculptor Eve Hesse, and photographer Robert Maplethorpe. Source: Wikipedia, Pratt Institute
Pre-Columbian    Art created in the Americas by native people that pre-date the discovery of the new world.
Pre-Raphaelite, Naturalists    A mid 19th-century movement in England, it spread to America. The name "Pre-Raphael" means artwork which was done previous to the influence of the Italian painter, Raphael, who lived from 1483 to 1520, and who defied traditional realistic painting and injected grandeur or imagination into his portraits and religious depictions. In England, the leader and founder of the Pre-Raphaelite movement was John Ruskin, whose book "Modern Painters" was a guiding source. The underlying idea was to study nature closely and then create art that emulated nature---exactly. Resulting were many realistic still lifes, landscapes and figure paintings, done with avoidance of exuberant, historical, narrative genre, which had so dominated European art. However, many viewers found the Pre-Raphaelite work tedious because of the obsession with staying close to nature and avoidance of injecting imagination. American artists who subscribed to the movement included William Trost Richards, Thomas Charles Farrer, John William Hill, John Henry Hill, Charles Herbert Moore, Henry Roderick Newman and Robert J. Pattison. Many of their paintings were in watercolor. Source: Grace Glueck, 'Art: The American Pre-Raphaelites', "The New York Times", October 11, 2006
Pre-Sale Estimate    The fair-market price range, low and high, it is listed with an auction lot as determined usually by auction-house professionals, sometimes working with an appraiser. This estimate is often the basis for establishing the reserve price or minimum price, and is a valuable guide for prospective buyers. Sometimes the Pre-Sale Estimate is altered just before auction if the market for work by the artist has recent change. Source:
Precipitated Chalk    See Chalk
Precisionism    An early 20th-century abstract movement in American art with a style noted for clean-cut, severe-seeming lines, simple forms, large areas of flat color, smooth finish and the conveying of a general sense of good order and precision. Often the subjects were architectural or industrial and usually devoid of human reference. Precisionist Painters, sometimes called The Immaculates, were never organized officially but simply shared a style and certain convictions about art. Among them are Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth, Georges Ault, Niles Spencer and Ralston Crawford. Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of 20th Century Art"; AskART database
Prehistoric Art    Art forms predating recorded history, such as Old, Middle, and New Stone Ages.
Primary Colors    Any hue that, in theory, cannot be created by a mixture of any other hues. Varying combinations of the primary hues can be used to create all the other hues of the spectrum. In pigment, the primaries are red, yellow, and blue.
Primitive Art    A term with several meanings: 1) Paintings and drawings of and by peoples and races outside the influence of accepted Western styles. 2) Religious portrayals predating scientific studies of perspective and anatomy 3) Intuitive artists with a “naïve” style often due to little, if any, training (or works intentionally made to look this way. Source: with permission of Michael Delahunt.
Primitivism    A term descriptive of a style of artwork, it has several origins: 1) pre-historic art 2) art whose subjects are borrowed from non-western cultures such as Paul Gaughin's depictions of Tahitian people and Pablo Picasso's use of African motifs. 3) art by self-taught or unsophisticated artists and 4) a Russian form of Expressionism, which developed between 1905 and 1920 under the influence of Cubism, Fauvism and Russian folk art. Characteristic of the style were simple, block-like shapes that conveyed strength and power. These primitivist painters usually focused on laboring people. The general concept of Primitivism is tied to the sentimental image of the "noble savage", uncorrupted, naturally good, and uninhibited by western civilization's sexual mores. Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, 18th-century French philosopher, popularized this idea in his widely-circulated writings, as did imperialistic travel by westerners in Asia, Africa, India and the South Pacific. Many 19th-century fairs and expositions featured creative work by "Primitives". In art expression, much of the fascination with Primitivism related to the fact that it was such a contrast to the formal, prescribed academic art of western culture dating back to the Renaissance. Primitivism also allowed western artists to focus on their own emotional and spiritual interpretations that were not prescribed by tradition. However, some interpretation by western artists of Primitivism was misinterpreted such as fierce-looking African masks presented as reflecting the aggressions of its wearer, whereas in fact, they were made to scare away evil spirits who would thwart success in battle. Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"; Robert Atkins, "Art Speak".
Print    An image created from a master wood block, stone, plate, or screen, usually on paper. Prints are referred to as multiples, because as a rule many identical or similar impressions are made from the same printing surface, the number of impressions being called an edition. When an edition is limited to a specified number of prints, it is a limited edition. A print is considered an original work of art and today is customarily signed and numbered by the artist.
Print and Drawing Council of Canada    An organization formed in 1976 in London, Ontario, as a merger between the Society of Canadian Painters, Etchers and Engravers and the Canadian Society of Graphic Art. Source: Written and Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Print Research Foundation    A repository of American fine-art prints located in Stamford Connecticut, it houses more than 4,500 fine art prints owned by Reba and Dave Williams. Focus of the collection is WPA (Works Progress Administration) images, and the purpose is facilitation of historical research about the 1930s in America and about printmaking of that era. Source: Bob Bahr, 'The printmaking World's Hidden Treasures', "Drawing" magazine, summer 2006.
Prisme d'Yeux (Prism of Eyes)    A Canadian group of artists founded in 1948, largely on the initiative of Alfred Pellan, its purpose was to counteract the rising influence of Paul-Emile Borduas and Les Automatistes. Alfred Pellan, Louis Archambault, Léon Bellefleur, Jean Benoit, Jacques de Tonnancour, Albert Dumouchel, Gabriel Filion, Pierre Garneau, Arthur Gladu, Lucien Morin, Mimi Parent, Jeanne Rhéaume, Goodridge Roberts, Roland Truchon and Gordon Webber were the founding members. They had an exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in February 1948. Having accomplished its goal of eroding Borduas's control of the Contemporary Arts Society, Prisme d’Yeux folded shortly after the CAS disbanded. It was active for only about 18 months. Source: "Egregore: A History of the Montreal Automatist Movement" (1998), by Ray Ellenwood. Source: Written and Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Pritzker Architecture Prize    Established by Jay and Cindy Pritzker and continued by their son, Thomas and his wife Margot, it is an award to living architects of $100,000. plus a medallion and certificate. The family, which oversees international businesses including Hyatt Hotels, is based in Chicago. Living among buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and Mies van der Rohe, they are much aware and want to recognize that architecture is art. Pritzker Prize winners include Alejandro Aravena, Frank Gehry, Hans Hollein, Philip Johnson, Richard Meier and Kevin Roche. Source:
Prix de Rome/Rome Prize    The reference is to two recognitions named the Prix De Rome. The first one abolished in 1968 was an award given by the French Academy in Paris to art students showing great promise who had completed required work at the École des Beaux-Arts or elsewhere. The prize entitled recipients to four years’ study at the Académie de France à Rome, founded in 1666 by Jean Baptiste Colbert. The competition was open to all French painters, sculptors, architects, engravers, and musicians between the ages of 15 and 30. It was instituted by Louis XIV in 1666 for the purpose of enabling talented artists to complete their education by study of classical art in Rome. For 300 years, the Prix de Rome was the highest honour in the western world that an artist could earn. The second Prix de Rome is a prize given to American artists based on the tradition of the French prize. It is for study at the American Academy in Rome. Recipients include Paul Manship, Raymond Saunders, Ana Mendieta, Albert Krehbiel and Hermon Atkins MacNeil. Sources:; Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prix de West Award    Showcase prize for western art, it is given at the Prix de West, the annual exhibition of The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Winners receive a medal and five-thousand dollars, and recipients include Kent Ullberg, Clyde Aspevig, Oreland Joe, Kenneth Riley and Howard Terpning. Source: The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; Traditional Fine Arts Online,
Prix de West Exhibition    An annual invitational exhibition hosted by The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, it showcases work by artists considered the country's finest contemporary western painters and sculptors. Approximately 300 works of art, by more than 90 artists, are featured in the exhibition, whose artists bring a diversity of styles and subjects that range from historical Western pieces to more contemporary and impressionist works of art. Landscapes, wildlife and illustrative scenes are always highlighted in the exhibition. Among the awards presented are: 1) Prix de West Purchase Award 2) Frederic Remington Painting Award 3)James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award 4) Express Ranches the Great American Cowboy Award 5) Robert Lougheed Memorial Award 6) Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Art Award 7) The Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Buyers' Choice Award Source: The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Prix Louis-Philippe Hebert    See Louis-Philippe Hebert Prize
Prix Paul-Emile-Borduas Award    Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas is the highest distinction in the arts, given to an individual by the government of Quebec, underscoring outstanding career achievement in the field of visual arts, applied arts, architecture or design. It is the visual arts component of the group of awards given annually by les Prix du Québec to honour achievement in eleven categories of arts and sciences. Recipients include armand Vaillancourt, Denis Juneau, Marcelle Ferron, and Betty Goodwin. Source: Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec and les Prix du Québec; AskART database. Source: Written and Submitted to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.
Production Art    See Constructivism
Professional Art Quilt Alliance    Formed in 1993 in Illinois by Barb Albrecht, Maureen Bardusk, Melody Johnson, Ruth Reynolds and Laura Wasilowski, it is dedicated to bringing together for education and exhibition textile artists who build quilts from their own original, unique designs. Also included are garment, wearable art, artists. As of 2013, there are approximately 120 members. Source:
Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation    Also known as the Indian Group of Seven, it was formed in 1973, and funded by the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs. Its founders and only members were Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Jackson Beardy, Alex Janvier, Eddy Cobiness, Carl Ray and Joe Sanchez. The original idea was to formalize a group of native artists that would spread the word about native art and assist and inspire up and coming younger native artists. According to Janvier, ‘An important part of the group’s aim was to release young aboriginal artists from the necessity of producing romanticized Indian art. They were challenging Canadian art and destroying people’s conception of native art.’ The first exhibition titled “Treaty Numbers 23, 287, 1171” was at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1973. It included only Jackson Beardy, Alex Janvier, and Daphne Odjig. Indian Affairs helped organize three more shows at galleries in Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal. The last was at the Dominion Galley (Montreal) in 1975. The PNIAI never had more than the original seven members, though Bill Reid did join in some shows, and it eventually ceased to exist as an organization as the individual members concentrated on developing their own careers. Sources: Canada Council for the Arts; and Native Art in Prepared and contributed to askART by M.D. Silverbrooke.
Proportion*     Size relationships between parts of a whole, or between two or more objects perceived as a unit.
Provenance    An artwork’s complete lineage of ownership and/or exhibitions, it is often an important factor in authentication in that it can establish ownership back to the time an artist lived---meaning it could be by the hand of the alleged artist. Such information is often difficult to establish, especially when a painting has been owned by a family for several generations and no record of sale is found. Another obscuring factor is that many private collectors prefer to buy and sell works anonymously through dealers or auction houses, who, in turn oblige collectors by not disclosing the true owner. Also, many dealers and auction houses that were active in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are no longer in business, and their records may have been lost or destroyed. Thus it is rare to find works of art having a complete provenance or history of ownership unless it is contemporary art. As a result of these complicating matters, it is important to bear in mind that gaps in provenance do not necessarily indicate that a work was looted, stolen, or suggest lack of authenticity. Source includes "Provenance", Wikipedia
Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM)    Dedicated to Art Education, collection and exhibition, it was founded in 1914 and moved into permanent quarters at 460 Commercial Street in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1918. The Association sponsors over 40 exhibitions yearly, and the Museum collections includes over 2,500 objects. Artist members include Preston Dickinson, George Elmer Browne, Charles Hawthorne and Blanche Lazzell. Sources: AskART biographies;;
Provincetown Printers    An early 20th century art colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts, members' specialty was woodblock printing.It was the first colony of its kind in the U.S., and members became especially noted for creation of the "Provincetown Print", a white line woodcut print whereby the finished print was made from one block rather than one block for each color. Bror Nordfeldt developed the technique based upon Japanese ukiyo-e wood block prints. Blanche Lazzell is credited with mastering the technique which left small spaces between the element of the block creating the white line. Because soft colors were often used the finished print looked like a watercolor. Other members of the Colony were Ethel Mars, Mabel Hewit, William Zorach and Edna Hopkins. Source: Wikipedia, 2019
Public Art    A descriptive term, usually sculpture, it refers to art in public land spaces such as playgrounds, plazas and parks. Traditional public art includes statuary, of which a dramatic example is "Diana", a classical figure by Augustus St. Gaudens. Thirteen feet high, it is a gilded copper weathervane atop the Madison Square Garden Tower in New York City. One of the largest pieces of public art in America is at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, where Gutzom Borglum designed and oversaw the carving into the mountain of the faces of four U.S. Presidents. Public Art can also refer to environmental sculpture that gives meaning to the space around it such as a set of fountains created by Isamu Noguchi for Expo '70 in Japan. Other sculptors noted for public art include Daniel Chester French who sculpted the sitting figure of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial; Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Memorial; and Alexander Calder whose mobiles and stabiles are in numerous public places. Sources: Peter Duus, "The Life of Isamu Noguchi"; AskART database.
Pulchri Studio    Based in The Hague, Netherlands, it was founded in 1847 at the home of painter Lambertus Hardenberg with other artists including Jan Weissenbruch, Willem Roelofs and Bart van Hove, who became the first president. The Studio provided more sophisticated art training than currently available and was also a venue for intellectual discussion. The growing membership of about 80 artists led in 1901 to the Studio occupying a building on Lange Voorhout. Source: Wikipedia,
Purism    A term coined by Charles Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, and Amedee Ozenfant, it described their intention as painters, working together in Paris, to ‘purify’ Cubism back to its earliest expression and away from what they perceived as polluting decorative and illustration content. The goal was to return the expression to simple geometric lines, unmixed colors and visual art that suggested basic form and function. Le Corbusier from Switzerland and Ozenfant of France appear to have been the primary proponents of “Purism”, which lasted from 1918 to 1925. Their book, "Apres le Cubisme" ("After Cubism") is their manifesto on the subject. Jeanneret's dedication to "Purism" led to his becoming by the late 1920s a foremost exponent of the International Style of Architecture. Sources: Kimberly Reynolds and Richard Seddon, “Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms; Robert Atkins, "ART SPOKE"
Purist Movement    A Post World War I art movement in Paris, it championed the 'new'or geometric forms while incorporating traditional classicism. Leaders were Le Corbusier (Charles Edouard Jeanneret), Fernand Leger and Amedee Ozenfant. They oversaw the Pavilion of the New Spirit for the 1925 Exposition of Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris. Purist imagery incorporated cylinder, sphere and cube shapes into depictions of landscapes and still life. Its proponents also wrote a manifesto for French postwar painting, espousing a combination of science and art that would restore balance to the universe. Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Exhibition of Work by Le Corbusier, Leger and Ozenfant, April 29 to August 5, 2001.
Push Pin Studios    A graphic design and illustration studio, it was formed in New York City in 1954 by Cooper Union graduates Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast, Reynold Ruffins and Edward Sorel. After graduating from Cooper Union, Sorel and Chwast worked for a short time at "Esquire" magazine, both being fired on the same day. Joining forces to form an art studio, they called it "Push Pin" after a mailing piece, "The Push Pin Almanack", which they self-published during their time at "Esquire:. Sorel and Chwast used their unemployment checks to rent a cold-water flat on East 17th Street in Manhattan. A few months later, Milton Glaser returned from a Fulbright Fellowship year in Italy and joined the studio. The bi-monthly publication "The Push Pin Graphic" was a product of their collaboration. Sorel left Push Pin in 1956, the same day the studio moved into a much nicer space on East 57th Street.For twenty years Glaser and Chwast directed Push Pin, while it became a guiding reference in the world of graphic design. Today, Chwast is principal of The Pushpin Group, Inc. Source: 'Push Pin Studios', Wikipedia,
Puteaux Group    Named for Puteaux, a suburb of western Paris, France, it was a group of about 20 French artists, excepting Alexander Calder, an American; Frantisek Kupka, from Czechoslavia; and Louis Marcoussis from Poland. The Group's purpose was to expand the definition of Cubism to be more embracing than the methods of Cubist founders Pablo Picasso and George Braque. In 1911, the Puteaux Group stirred much controversy and brought public attention to themselves with their exhibition at the Salon des Indépendants. Much of their work was described as being by "fauves" or 'wild beasts' in that it was very garish in color and far-out experimental in composition. Members included Albert Gleizes, Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia, Robert Delaunay, Marcel Duchamp, and Jacques Villon. Source:
Putti, Putto    Describing "plump little naked boys with wings, they are often seen in Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque and Rococo Art" to symbolize love and affection. A single figure of this type is called a 'putto'. Source:
Pyramid Club    Located at 1517 Girard Avenue in Philadelphia and founded in 1937, this was a prestigious organization for the "cultural, civic and social advancement of African Americans in Philadelphia. Under the direction of painter Humbert Howard, the Club sponsored a variety of cultural events such as annual art exhibitions and the highlighting of individual artists beginning in 1941 with Henry Ossawa Tanner. Other featured artists were Beauford Delaney, Dox Thrash. Source: 'Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris', "American Art Review", December 2005.
Pyrographics, Pyrograph    The art of woodburning or in translationg from the Greek, 'drawing with fire' it was known in the Victorian era as Pokerwork because a red hot poker was used. In the modern era, there is a machine called the Pyrograph or Woodburner, which does woodburning and imprinting. The term is also expanded to refer to precise design imprinting on objects such as mugs and glassware. Sources:;
Pyrography    Art of creating designs on a surface with heated tools, it is usually applied with a hot poker on leather or wood. Harry Leon Moses, early 20th century artist in New Orleans, was a pyrographer as was Robert Ball Hughes in the 19th Century. Sources:; AskART database