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Albers, Josef (19 March 1888–25 March 1976), painter, designer, and educator, was born in Bottrop, Germany, the son of Lorenz Albers, a house painter and craftsman, and Magdalena Schumacher. He graduated in 1908 from the teachers’ college in Büren and went on to teach in public schools in Bottrop and neighboring Westphalian towns. In the summer of 1908 he traveled to Munich to view modern art in the galleries and the historical collections of the Pinakothek. Albers’s earliest known drawing, ...

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Anshutz, Thomas Pollock (05 October 1851–16 June 1912), artist and art teacher, was born in Newport, Kentucky, the son of Jacob Anshutz and Jane Abigail Pollock. Very little information survives about his parents or his youth, though he seems to have received an early education in Newport. In 1871 Anshutz moved to Brooklyn, New York, to study art. There he lived with an uncle who had been favorably impressed by the young man’s drawings of boats on the Ohio River. Enrolling in 1873 at the prestigious National Academy of Design in New York City, Anshutz took cast- and life-drawing classes, principally with Lemuel Everett Wilmarth....

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Thomas Pollock Anshutz. Bronze bas relief, 1912-1916, by Adam Pietz. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Bennett, Gwendolyn (08 July 1902–30 May 1981), writer and artist, was born in Giddings, Texas, the daughter of Joshua Robin Bennett and Mayme F. Abernathy, teachers on a Native American reservation. In 1906 the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Bennett’s father studied law and her mother worked as a manicurist and hairdresser. Her parents divorced and her mother won custody, but her father kidnapped the seven-year-old Gwendolyn. The two, with her stepmother, lived in hiding in various towns along the East Coast and in Pennsylvania before finally settling in New York....

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Carles, Arthur B. (09 March 1882–18 June 1952), modernist painter and teacher, was born Arthur Beecher Carles, Jr., in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Arthur Beecher Carles, a designer of watch covers and an amateur painter, and Janet Buchanan. His parents supported his artistic aspirations and those of his younger sister Sara, who also became a painter....

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William Merritt Chase. Print of a drawing by W. T. Smedley, 1891. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-94501).

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Chase, William Merritt (01 November 1849–25 October 1916), artist and teacher, was born in Nineveh, Indiana, the son of David Hester Chase, a merchant, and Sarah Swaim. At age twelve Chase moved with his family to Indianapolis, where he attended public schools and worked in his father’s shoe store. Chase showed little interest in commerce but demonstrated considerable artistic talent. Around 1866 he began to study with local painters Barton S. Hays and Jacob Cox. Bored with the shoe store and Indianapolis, Chase joined the U.S. Navy as an apprentice in 1867. He quickly realized that he had made a mistake and successfully sought a discharge within a few months. Cox and Hays then convinced David Chase to send his son to New York City to study at the National Academy of Design....

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Still Life by William Merritt Chase. Reproduction of a painting. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-D416-103).

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de Creeft, José (27 November 1884–11 September 1982), sculptor and teacher, was born in Guadalajara, Spain, the son of Catalans Mariano de Creeft y Masdeu, a military officer, and Rosa Champane y Ortiz. When he was four the family moved to Barcelona, where in 1890 his father died. As a youth de Creeft helped support his family by modeling figurines for sale at the annual festival of Santa Lucia in 1895, and in 1898 he was an apprentice at the bronze foundry of Masriera and Campins. Two years later he entered the Madrid workshop of Augustin Querol, the official government sculptor, and studied drawing and sculpture, the latter with Ignacio Zuloaga. In 1903 he first exhibited portrait sculptures at El Círculo de Bellas Artes....

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Douglas, Aaron (26 May 1899–02 February 1979), artist and educator, was born in Topeka, Kansas, the son of Aaron Douglas, Sr., a baker, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown), a domestic. Educated in segregated schools until high school, Douglas’s early artistic influences included his mother’s paintings and drawings and fellow African-American artist ...

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Aaron Douglas. Oil on canvas, 1953, by Betsy Graves Reyneau. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Harmon Foundation.

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Eakins, Thomas Cowperthwait (25 July 1844–25 June 1916), artist and teacher, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Benjamin Eakins, a writing master, and Caroline Cowperthwait. As the eldest child and only son, he enjoyed many advantages compared with his three sisters, which may have colored his thinking about male physical and intellectual superiority for the rest of his life. A commitment to excellence in education, to staunchly independent thinking, and to vigorous outdoor exercise was stressed more than organized religion in the modest Eakins household. Because of his father’s profession, which involved inscribing formal documents and teaching penmanship, Eakins developed a remarkable proficiency with pencil or pen and ink on paper. From 1857 to 1861 Eakins attended Philadelphia’s Central High School, which took only the city’s ablest male students through a rigorous curriculum, including the arts and natural sciences as well as history, literature, and languages. A surviving series of mechanical drawings and perspective studies, meticulously rendered and carefully inscribed, demonstrates why Eakins excelled in all his drawing classes. When he graduated on 11 July 1861, the Civil War had just begun. But he never had to serve in the Union army, and hostilities were over before he turned twenty-one....

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Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins. Platinum print, 1877, by Susan Hannah Macdowell Eakins. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Gutmann, Bernhard (24 September 1869–23 January 1936), painter, illustrator, and teacher, was born in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Zadig Gutmann and Elizabeth Biesenthal, merchants. After the death of his mother when he was two years old, Gutmann, the youngest of eight children, was reared by his father, then sent to boarding school. At age twenty Gutmann entered the internationally renowned art academy in Düsseldorf, transferring the following year to the academy in Karlsruhe. Unable to find employment in Germany after leaving school in 1892, he joined his brother Ludwig to work as an electrician at the Piedmont Electrical Illuminating Company in Lynchburg, Virginia. After only three years in Lynchburg, Gutmann began to make his mark on the creative life of the city. In 1895 he became the first supervisor and instructor of drawing in the Lynchburg Public Schools and concurrently taught drawing and painting at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. He also founded the Lynchburg Art League with students from his private art classes. An enthusiastic and creative teacher, he introduced courses on art history and modeling, organized an exhibition of his work for the college, had his students design illustrations for a college handbook, and painted a mural, ...

Article

Hale, Philip Leslie (21 May 1865–02 February 1931), painter, teacher, and writer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Edward Everett Hale, a clergyman and author, and Emily Baldwin Perkins. Philip Hale grew up in a close-knit family of extraordinary accomplishment. Like his eldest sister ...

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Robert Henri Photograph by Gertrude Käsebier Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-61119).

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Henri, Robert (24 June 1865–12 July 1929), artist and teacher, was born Robert Henry Cozad in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of John Jackson Cozad, a riverboat gambler and land speculator, and Theresa Gatewood. His father invested in 50,000 acres in Nebraska to found a city, and in 1873 or 1874 he moved the family to the frontier, where he formed the agricultural community of Cozad. Young Robert spent his next few years on the family ranch, attending school intermittently in Cozad and at the Chickering Classical and Scientific Institute in Cincinnati, to which he returned each fall in 1875, 1877, 1878, and 1879. The Cozads moved to Denver in 1881, and on a visit to his Nebraska property the next year John Cozad killed one of his workers in a fight over wages. The family fled an arrest warrant, settling in Atlantic City under assumed names. John and Theresa became Mr. and Mrs. Richard Henry Lee, their older son John took the name Frank L. Southrn [ ...

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Hofmann, Hans (21 March 1880–17 February 1966), artist and teacher, was born Johann Georg Albert Hofmann in Weissenberg, Germany, the son of Theodor Hofmann, a government official, and Franciska Manger. The Hofmann family moved to Munich when he was six years of age. He left home at the age of sixteen to take a position with the State of Bavaria (secured for him by his father). For two years Hofmann worked on engineering and architectural projects for the state, and during this period he invented a number of devices. He was rewarded by his father, who hoped he would study science, with a gift of 1,000 Deutsch Marks meant to encourage him in his technical education. Despite his father’s wishes Hofmann used the money to leave his job and enroll at Moritz Heymann’s Munich art school. Through his teacher, Willi Schwartz, Hofmann became familiar with the post-impressionist style. By 1908 he was exhibiting in Berlin alongside many of the well-known pioneers of modern art....

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Hoyte, Lenon (04 July 1905–01 August 1999), doll collector and art teacher, was born Lenon Holder in New York City, the oldest child of Moses Holder, a carpenter, and Rose Holder, who sewed hats for infants for a Manhattan department store. The family owned a house on 128th Street in Harlem, and Hoyte attended public schools there. It was a comfortable childhood, but ironically the doll collector to be and her sister were forbidden to play with dolls when the younger girl, after chewing on the hands of their dolls, contracted lead poisoning. Hoyte studied both art and education at the City College of New York, earning a B.S. degree in 1937, and at Teacher's College of Columbia University. She had private art teachers as well, and she painted in media such as oil, casein, and watercolor. In 1930 Hoyte was hired to teach in New York City elementary and junior high schools, which she did for 40 years. She began teaching art and added puppetry and doll making....

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George Luks Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1922. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G401-T01-3791-006).