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N. Elizabeth Schlatter

Abbey, Edwin Austin (01 April 1852–01 August 1911), artist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Maxwell Abbey, a commercial broker, and Margery Ann Kiple. Abbey’s sole formal artistic training took place in 1868 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he took night classes under ...

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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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Albright, Ivan (20 February 1897–18 November 1983), artist, was born in North Harvey, Illinois, the son of Adam Emory Albright, an and Clara Wilson. His involvement in art began almost in infancy, as he and his identical twin brother, Malvin (who also became a professional artist), spent countless hours in early childhood posing for their father’s paintings. At the age of eight the twins began to receive instruction in drawing from their father. Ivan showed considerable skill in detailed drafting, and on graduating from high school in 1915 he decided that his skills might best be put to use in architecture. Toward that end he enrolled for a year of study of architecture at Northwestern University, followed immediately by an additional year at the University of Illinois....

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Alexander, Francis (03 February 1800–17 March 1880), artist, was born in Killingly, Connecticut. His parents’ names are unknown. As a child he worked on the family’s small farm and attended a local school. When he was seventeen he began teaching at that same school. He liked to sketch birds and other objects from nature and when he was twenty painted watercolors of fish he had caught. The pictures drew much praise from family and friends. As a result he decided to pursue a career as a painter, primarily, as he later wrote to ...

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Alexander, John White (07 October 1856–31 May 1915), artist, was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, the son of John Alexander and Fanny Smith. Alexander’s father died soon after his birth, and his mother died when he was five years old. Sent to live with his maternal grandparents, Alexander left school at the age of twelve to work as a messenger for the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh. Colonel Edward Jay Allen, an official of the firm, was impressed by a sketch done by Alexander. Allen eventually adopted Alexander....

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Allston, Washington (05 November 1779–09 July 1843), painter, was born in Georgetown, South Carolina, the son of Captain William Allston, who served under General Francis Marion during the American Revolution, and Rachel Moore. After his father’s death in 1781, his mother married Dr. Henry Collins Flagg of Newport, Rhode Island, who had come south in his position as chief of General ...

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Ames, Blanche Ames (18 February 1878–01 March 1969), artist and women's rights activist, artist and women’s rights activist, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the daughter of Adelbert Ames, a Civil War general and governor of Mississippi during Reconstruction, and Blanche Butler, whose father was a general and governor of Massachusetts. The younger Blanche graduated from Smith College in 1899 with diplomas from both the College and the School of Art....

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Ames, Ezra (05 May 1768–23 February 1836), painter, engraver, and gilder, was born Ezra Emes in Framingham, Massachusetts, the son of Jesse Emes, a soldier and farmer, and Betty Bent. Ames’s mother died when he was seven. Nothing is known of his education; he may have been educated at home. In 1790 his father, who had remarried, moved the family to Staatsburg, New York. By that time Ezra had chosen to spell his surname Ames and was working as a journeyman painter and craftsman in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1793 he settled in Albany, New York, which was his home for the rest of his life. In October 1794 he married Zipporah Wood of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and returned with her to Albany, where their three children were born....

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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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Appleton, Thomas Gold (31 March 1812–17 April 1884), writer and artist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Nathan Appleton, a merchant, and Maria Theresa Gold. Nathan Appleton, whose family had settled in New England in 1635, helped develop Lowell, Massachusetts, into an industrial center and amassed a fortune that made it possible for Thomas to pursue his interests freely. After a year at the Boston Latin School and three at the Round Hill School conducted by Joseph Green Cogswell and ...

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Aragón, José Rafael (1796–1862), religious artist, was the son of Juan Andres Aragón and Juana Dominguez Mascareñas. His birthplace is unknown, but in 1815, when he married María Josefa Lucero, he was living in the barrio of San Francisco in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was still living there in 1833, when he described himself as an ...

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Ashley, Clifford Warren (18 December 1881–18 September 1947), artist and author, was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the son of A. (which stood for Abiel) Davis Ashley, a grocer, and Caroline Morse. As a youth, growing up in New Bedford, Ashley witnessed the long decline of the once prosperous whale fishery that had brought fame and great fortune to New Bedford before the Civil War. The waterfront, with its wharves, derelict hulks, support facilities, and few remaining active vessels became his favorite playground and made a lasting impression on him. While a student at New Bedford High School, Ashley took an interest in art, which he subsequently pursued in Boston at the Eric Pape School. During the summer of 1901 he and his friends ...

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Audubon, John James (26 April 1785–27 January 1851), naturalist and artist, was born Jean Rabin Fougère in Les Cayes, Santo Domingo, the son of Captain Jean Audubon, a French sea captain, planter, and slave dealer, and Jeanne Rabin (or Rabine), a young Frenchwoman employed as a chambermaid on the island. The traditional view, that Mlle Rabin was a Creole woman native to Santo Domingo, has been disproved. Audubon’s mother died before he was seven months old, and the child was cared for by another mistress of the father’s with whom he had several children. In 1791, fearing worsening conditions in Santo Domingo, Captain Audubon arranged for his son and a younger daughter by his mistress Catherine “Sanitte” Bouffard to be taken to France. There both were well cared for by Captain Audubon’s legal spouse, Anne Moynet Audubon, who had no children of her own. Both children were formally adopted by the couple in 1794, as was required if they were legally to inherit Captain Audubon’s name and property, and were baptized in 1800. At this time the boy received the name Jean-Jacques Fougère Audubon....

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John James Audubon. Lithograph in Gallery of Illustrious Americans, 1850. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-28111).

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Catherine McNickle Chastain

Avery, Milton Clark (07 March 1885–03 January 1965), artist, was born in Sand Bank (later Altmar), New York, the son of Russell N. Avery, a tanner, and Esther March. In 1898 Avery moved to Wilson Station, Connecticut, where he worked in factories, as a file clerk, and at other occupations. Sometime between 1905 and 1911 Avery registered at the Connecticut League of Art Students with the intent of becoming a commercial but when the lettering class closed, he joined the life drawing class. His interest piqued in fine art, Avery pursued this course of study under Charles Noel Flagg, the league’s director, until 1918, when he enrolled at the School of the Art Society of Hartford. He studied at that institution until the age of thirty-four, probably because he worked instead of attending full-time. (Avery lived with and supported an extended family until he married.) Avery also attended the Art Students’ League in New York City from 1926 to 1938, a circumstance that suggests that he viewed his education as a continuous process....

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Badger, Joseph (14 March 1708–11 May 1765), portrait painter, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the son of Stephen Badger, a tailor, and Mercy Kettell. He was baptized at the First Church in Charlestown, where he was admitted as a communicant in 1728. In 1731, in Cambridge, he married Katharine Smith Felch, widow of Samuel Felch. They moved to Boston by 1734. They had at least seven children, in addition to Katharine’s five children from her first marriage....

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Banvard, John (15 November 1815–16 May 1891), panoramist, scene painter, and poet, was born in New York City, the son of Daniel Banvard, a building contractor and amateur artist of French ancestry. His mother’s name is unrecorded. Banvard attended school until he was fifteen; an early talent for drawing was nurtured by his father. His youthful enthusiasm for poetry was encouraged by ...

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Alice Pike Barney. Photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101726).

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Barney, Alice Pike (14 January 1857–12 October 1931), artist and arts patron, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Samuel Napthali Pike, an arts patron and successful businessman, and Ursula Muellion “Ellen” Miller. She grew up and was educated at various schools in Cincinnati and New York City, her family having moved there in 1866. Although Barney courted the famous British explorer ...