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Colman, Samuel (04 March 1832–27 March 1920), painter and decorative artist, was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Samuel Colman, a publisher, and Pamela Chandler. By 1839 Colman’s father had established himself as a successful bookseller and publisher in New York City. The source of Colman’s artistic education is unclear; however, he is said to have studied, or at least sketched, with the Hudson River School painter ...

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La Farge, John Frederick Lewis Joseph (31 March 1835–14 November 1910), artist and writer, was born in New York City, the son of John Frederick La Farge, a French émigré, and Louisa Josephine Binsse de Saint-Victor, the daughter of French émigrés. La Farge was raised near Washington Square in New York. His father’s success in real estate provided a prosperous home environment. Surrounded by books and fine art, La Farge learned early in life to appreciate his French Catholic heritage. At age six, he took drawing lessons from his maternal grandfather, Louis Binsse de Saint-Victor, a successful miniaturist. Later, at Columbia Grammar School in New York City, La Farge learned to paint with watercolors in the English manner....

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Lathrop, Francis Augustus (22 June 1849–18 October 1909), artist and decorator, was born at sea two days’ sail from the Sandwich Islands, the son of George Alfred Lathrop, a physician, and Frances M. Smith. When Francis was born the Lathrops were heading to Hawaii, where Dr. Lathrop, later a U.S. consul to Honolulu, became administrator of the Marine Hospital. In 1858 the family moved back to the mainland, settling in New York. Francis subsequently attended Columbia Grammar School, and in 1863 he began studying with the American Pre-Raphaelite painter Thomas Charles Farrer....

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Reiss, Winold Fritz (16 September 1886–29 August 1953), portrait painter, illustrator, and interior designer, was born in Karlsrühe, Germany, the son of Fritz Mahler Reiss, a landscape painter and portraitist; his mother’s name is not known. His early training with his father was followed by enrolling in the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he was influenced by Franz von Stuck, who also taught Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. Later Reiss enrolled in the School of Applied Arts, where he learned commercial design skills. While at the School of Applied Arts, he met and married fellow art student Henrietta Lüthy. From his classes and the exhibitions of Die Brücke and Der Bläue Reiter, Reiss synthesized elements of cubism, fauvism, and jungendstil into his own work....