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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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Carder, Frederick (18 September 1863–10 December 1963), glassmaker and founder and managing director of Steuben Glass Works in Corning, New York, was born in Brockmoor, Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England, the son of Caleb Carder and Ann Wadelin. Caleb Carder’s father owned Leys Pottery in Brierley Hill, Staffordshire, and bequeathed it to his two brothers. Frederick Carder was attracted to art, particularly drawing and sculpting, at an early age. He quit school at the age of fourteen to work in the pottery, where he was assigned menial tasks. Quickly realizing his mistake, he determined to leave the pottery and began taking night school classes at the Stourbridge School of Art and at the Dudley Mechanics Institute. A visit in 1878 to the studio of the glass carver and decorator John Northwood, where he saw Northwood’s glass copy of the Roman cameo glass “Portland Vase,” attracted him to work in glass....

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Grueby, William Henry (10 February 1867–23 February 1925), ceramist, was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel A. Grueby, a spar maker, and Elizabeth W. Rich. Grueby attended public school until he was thirteen. In the Chelsea school system Grueby received practical training in drawing and design through the first state-mandated art curriculum introduced in the United States. After working for a Boston decorating firm and the J. and J. G. Low Art Tile Works in Chelsea, Grueby founded an architectural ceramics company in 1890. He and his partner, Eugene Atwood, produced faience—glazed terra cotta—for interior and exterior decoration at the South Boston plant of the Boston Terra Cotta Company. Atwood and Grueby dissolved their partnership around 1893, each man establishing his own faience company. Atwood Faience Company operated in Hartford, Connecticut, until 1899, when new owners changed the name to the Hartford Faience Company. Grueby Faience remained in South Boston....

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See Heuduck, Paul Johannes

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Arno and Paul Heuduck. Courtesy of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

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Heuduck, Paul Johannes (21 May 1882–08 September 1972), and Arno Paul Heuduck (28 July 1917–12 November 1988), mosaicists, were both born in Berlin, Germany. Paul Heuduck was the son of Louise Dressler Heuduck and Johannes Heuduck, a cabinetmaker. Little is known about Paul Heuduck's youth in Germany aside from the fact that he was the youngest of seven children and that at the age of fourteen he began work as an apprentice at the Berlin stained glass and mosaic firm Puhl-Wagner. As an apprentice mosaicist, Paul lost a finger after cutting himself on a shard of glass. He married Martha Untze (b. 1887), the daughter of one of his coworkers at Puhl-Wagner, and the couple had three children....

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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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Martinez, Maria Montoya (1885–20 July 1980), potter, was born Maria Montoya on the San Ildefonso Pueblo in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico (approximately twenty-five miles northwest of Santa Fe), the third of five daughters of Tomas Montoya, a farmer, and Reyes Pena Montoya. No birth certificate exists for any of the Montoya daughters, and accounts of Maria's life list her birth variously from 1881 to 1887. The first official record of her life is that of an 1887 baptism. Maria might have been an infant at the time, but in an interview in the 1970s (Peterson, p. 73) she recalled the baptism, which if true would suggest that she was older. She chose 5 April as the day on which to celebrate her birthday. She is often referred to by her first name alone, occasionally Maria Poveka, which means Pond Lily in the Tewa language. Life in the pueblo revolved around subsistence farming and pottery, which was in decline as less expensive, mass-produced ceramic ware gained popularity. The population of the San Ildefonso Pueblo declined by about half during Maria's childhood, from 150 to 80, as many of the young people in this Tewa Indian tribe left their ancestral homes for jobs in the cities....

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Meière, Hildreth (03 September 1892–01 May 1961), artist, was born in New York City, the daughter of Marie Hildreth Meière and Ernest Meière. Meière's mother had forsaken an artistic career in order to raise a family, but she raised her daughters in a home that Hildreth Meière later described as one in which “art was known and loved” (Meière, “Life and Times,” p. 1). Meière lived in Flushing, New York, until 1901, when she was sent to study at Manhattanville, a prestigious and rigorous convent school run by the Religious of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Meière boarded there until her graduation in 1911....

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Nampeyo (1859–20 July 1942), Native American potter, was born in Tewa Village (Hano), First Mesa, Hopi reservation, Arizona, the daughter of Qotsvema, a Hopi farmer from Walpi, and Qotcakao of the Corn Clan at Hano. She was named Tcumana (Snake Girl) by her paternal grandmother because her father was of the Snake Clan; however, her Tewa name, Numpayu (“Snake that does not bite”), was more commonly used because she lived at Hano....

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Nampeyo. Gelatin silver print, c. 1926, by Arnold Genthe. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Ohr, George E. (12 July 1857–07 April 1918), potter, was born George Edgar Ohr in Biloxi, Mississippi, the son of George Ohr, an Alsatian-born blacksmith, and Johanna Wiedman, who had emigrated from Württemberg, Germany. He was the second of five children. He attended the local elementary school and then a “German school” in New Orleans, but his formal education was not extensive. He learned the blacksmith trade from his father and worked in his father’s shop until his mid-teens, when he went to New Orleans. There he worked for a couple of years for a ship’s chandler and served on a sailing ship for one voyage. By the late 1870s he was back in Biloxi working for his father....

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See Overbeck, Margaret

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See Overbeck, Margaret

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Overbeck, Margaret (03 July 1863–13 August 1911), Hannah Borger Overbeck (14 March 1870–28 August 1931), Elizabeth Gray Overbeck (21 October 1875–01 December 1936), and Mary Frances Overbeck (28 January 1878–20 March 1955), artists and ceramists, were the daughters of John Arehart Overpeck, a farmer and cabinetmaker, and Sarah Ann Borger. (The American ...

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See Overbeck, Margaret

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Louis C. Tiffany Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115996).

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Tiffany, Louis Comfort (18 February 1848–17 January 1933), artist and decorator, was born in New York City, the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, the founder of the jewelry and silver firm Tiffany & Company, and Harriet Olivia Young. Tiffany was educated in boarding schools, first at the Flushing Academy on Long Island and later at the Eagleswood Military Academy in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. At the age of eighteen, following a trip to Europe, Tiffany decided to pursue a career as an artist and attended the National Academy of Design for one year. He also received private instruction at the Washington Square studio of landscape painter ...

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Tillinghast, Mary Elizabeth (31 December 1845–15 December 1912), artist and decorator, was born in New York City, the daughter of Phillip Tillinghast, a merchant, and Julia Anna Cozzens Titus. Around age nine, Tillinghast moved with her parents and six siblings from Manhattan to Orange, New Jersey. In 1867, following the birth of three more children, the family returned to New York. The Tillinghasts were wealthy and socially prominent; Mary was privately educated by a tutor at home. Her parents recognized her artistic proclivities and sent her abroad in 1872 for formal training. Tillinghast studied in Paris with Carolus-Duran and Jean Jacques Henner. She stayed there for six years, returning to New York in 1878....