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Blashfield, Edwin Howland (15 December 1848–12 October 1936), artist, writer, and lecturer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of William Henry Blashfield, who was in the wholesale dry goods business, and Eliza Dodd, an amateur watercolorist. After some schooling in Hartford, Connecticut, he attended the Boston Latin School, and in 1863 he went to Hanover, Germany, where he intended to study engineering. However, three months later he was forced to return to the United States, where he enrolled in the Boston Institute of Technology (later Massachusetts Institute of Technology)....

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Hentz, Nicholas Marcellus (25 July 1797–04 November 1856), entomologist, educator, and miniaturist, was born in Versailles, France (although he is also recorded as being a native of Metz), the son of Nicholas Hentz, a lawyer, and Marie-Anne Thèrese Daubrée. Around 1816, when Hentz was in his late teens, the Hentz family left France for the United States, allegedly for reasons connected to Hentz’s father’s political activities. Given the situation in France between 1814 and 1816—the fall and rise and fall of Napoleon, the restoration of the French monarchy—emigration was probably expedient for a number of people. Further, if the family did have a connection to Metz, which is on the Moselle River and part of Alsace-Lorraine, the Hentzes’ decision to leave their homeland could have been affected by German as well as French political fluctuations....

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Lossing, Benson John (12 February 1813–03 June 1891), author of illustrated books, was born in Beekman, New York, the son of John Lossing and Miriam Dorland, farmers. His father died before Lossing was one year old, and his mother died when he was eleven. At that time, with less than three years of schooling, he started his working career, on a farm. When he was fourteen he was apprenticed to Adam Henderson, a watchmaker and silversmith, in Poughkeepsie and in 1833, on completing his apprenticeship, became a partner in the firm and married Henderson’s niece, Alice Barritt, who died in 1855. There were no children. The following year he married Helen Sweet, with whom he had four children....

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Moore, Charles Herbert (10 April 1840–15 February 1930), painter, scholar, and educator, was born in New York City, the son of Charles Moore, a lace merchant, and Jane Maria Berendtson (anglicized as Benson). He attended New York public schools and began taking drawing lessons from the landscape painter Benjamin Coe by age thirteen. While still a teenager Moore began exhibiting his paintings at the National Academy of Design, supporting himself by selling landscapes to New York art dealers and teaching drawing and painting from Coe’s studios at New York University. During the early 1860s Moore’s sketching tours of the Hudson River valley increased in frequency and duration. His efforts during these trips are represented by four landscapes given to Vassar College by ...

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Catherine Dyer Klein and Karen Bachman Barnett

Proskouriakoff, Tatiana (23 January 1909–30 August 1985), artist, architect, and archaeologist, was born in Tomsk, Siberia, the daughter of Avenir Proskouriakoff, an engineer and chemist, and Alla Nekrassova, a physician who graduated with the first class of women from a Russian medical school. The parents were aristocrats. The family traveled to the United States in late 1915, when Avenir Proskouriakoff was sent to supervise the manufacture and sale of weapons to Russia. When Tatiana and her older sister Ksenia contracted diphtheria and scarlet fever, they and their mother returned to Russia. The following spring they joined their father in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When the Russian Revolution broke out, the family elected to remain in their adoptive country. Tatiana Proskouriakoff attended Pennsylvania State University and graduated in 1930 with a bachelor of science degree in architecture. Though she never pursued architecture as a profession, her training and artist talents came into play later....

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Emily Sartain. Engraving by John Sartain. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-112191).

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Sartain, Emily (17 March 1841–17 June 1927), art educator and painter/printmaker, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Sartain, a mezzotint engraver, and Susannah Longmate Swaine. Sartain, one of two daughters and five sons, grew up in a family in which her father trained her brothers as professional artists. Socially prominent Unitarians and Associationists, her parents encouraged her to attend Philadelphia Normal School for Girls. When she began to teach public school upon graduation in 1858, she joined a predominantly female profession....