Monday, June 7, 2010

A Smidge of Hopper's Ledger

Few documents testify so insistently to an intimate relationship between a husband and wife as the Hopper ledgers. They present another aspect of the marriage of Edward Hopper and Josephine Nivison Hopper, a marriage on its way to becoming legendary. Edward Hopper died in 1967, his wife the following year. She bequeathed to the Whitney Museum a trove of paintings (including her own), documents, drawings, and memorabilia. In ten months of her widowhood, she edited the surviving material, which after her death may have suffered further losses before it found its permanent home. A generous woman, she acknowledged the long-term support of the Whitney's their direction, Lloyd Goodrich, by leaving him the four ledgers, which record in detail almost every painting and etching made, exhibited, and sold throughout Edward Hopper's long career. (Brian O'Doherty)
From the Book, Edward Hopper: A Journal of His Work. Deborah Lyons. 1997, Whitney Museum of American Art.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

William Blake

When the Morning Stars Sang Together (1823) - William Blake.

William Blake (1757-1827) was a gifted engraver... here is one of my favorite pieces.
Blake invented a method of relief printing from metal plates, and ways of obtaining many colors simultaneously that only recently has been equalled.
This particular plate has been selected as one of the best of Blake. "When the morning stars sang together," one page from The Book of Job illustrated by Blake, reveals the sweep of his admittedly complex and obscure but wedded to the realities of his time - a breadth of vision moving beyond the theme of conflict between Good and Evil. (Jules Heller)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Illustration, 1902. From a Novissima annual, Milan 1902. Lithograph, 12 x 26 cm.

Antonio Rizzi
Born 1869 in Cremona Italy, Died 1941, Florence.
Italian painter and graphic artist. Rizzi was professor of graphic art at the Academy in Perugia and a contributor to the Munich periodical Jugend. His work has a general resemblance to Munich Art Nouveau, in particular the work of Franz von Stuck. As a painter, he produced historical and genre paintings, portraits and sets. (Gabriele Fahr-Becker)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Applying the asphaltum to the matrix.

Asphaltum: A stop-out varnish employed in the intaglio process when long bites are required. Usually mixed with turpentine or benzine for better control. Also one of the ingredients in hard ground. Also employed in lithography by some printmakers in preference to tusche. Called bitumen in older texts. (Jules Heller)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Coming Soon...

Hall of Doges, Davenport Hotel, Spokane.

I'm planning a comeback! Starting next week, I will attempt to post at least 2 to 3 times a week. It's been too long away from art history and I'm excited to bring some fun stuff from the bookshelves :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Alice Schille

Horse Race, Siena, 1901-10. Watercolor, 9 x 11". Courtesy Perry Nicole Fine Art, Memphis, Tennessee.
Trafalgar Square, London (night), 1909-10. Pastel and watercolor, 12 x 9". Private collection
Nice, 1909-10. Pastel and Watercolor. 10 x 7". Private collection
Alice Schille (1869-1955) was born in Columbus Ohio, and studied in New York and Paris and was influenced by progressive art movements. She was a world traveller, painting throughout the US, Europe, North Africa and Latin America. Her medium of choice was watercolor but she also worked in oils. Her subject matter included still lifes, landscapes, gardens, mothers and children, market and harbor scenes. Her paintings of the working class Jewish and Italian neighborhoods on the Lower East Side are some of the most exciting watercolors ever rendered of urban life in New York.
Schille's work evolved from Tonalist naturalism, through Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (including Pointillism) to include the influence of Fauvism as well as an exploration of the faceting of the Cubist methodology. Her later work also reveals the influence of Rivera and the Mexican muralists. (William H. Gerdts)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Letter O

O has been written the same way since early Semitic times, but since there were no vowels in the written language, this form signified a guttural "C" sound, from the word cayin (eye). The Greeks assigned it the "O" sound. (Rose Folsom)

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Difficult Indigo...

Around 1878, Emil Fischer* and his brother determined the structure of fuchsin, (a cherry-red dye) and were then able to develop a scientific method of synthesizing it. This procedure was used by many chemists who were trying to create new synthetic colors. The biggest challenge was to synthesize the 'king of colorants', indigo. By 1880, a German chemist, Adolf von Baeyer completed the synthesis of indigo in his lab, but couldn't find a synthesis that was cost-effective on an industrial level. After 20 years and 20 million marks spent, he succeeded. In 1904, Germany exported 9,000 tons of synthetic indigo, and 3 times as much in 1913. Whole regions were ruined - in India and the Caribbean; the English indigo trade disappeared and the shipping trade of Marseilles, wholly dependent upon it, also collapsed. (Delamare and Guineau)

*Emil Fischer - Organic chemist (1852-1919) devoted to the graphic representation of molecular structures, study of the major types of organic chemical reactions,and the study of colorants.