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Aaliyah (16 Jan. 1979–25 Aug. 2001), singer, actress, and model  

Margena A. Christian

Aaliyah (16 Jan. 1979–25 Aug. 2001), singer, actress, and model, was born Aaliyah Dana Haughton to Michael Haughton, a warehouse worker, and Diane Haughton in Brooklyn, New York. For this second child, the Haughtons chose an Arabic first name that meant “the highest, most exalted one, the best.”...


Abbey, Edwin Austin (1852-1911), artist  

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 ...


Abbott, Berenice (1898-1991), photographer  

Eleanor F. Wedge

Abbott, Berenice (17 July 1898–10 December 1991), photographer, was born in Springfield, Ohio, the daughter of Charles E. Abbott and Alice Bunn. Her parents were divorced soon after Abbott’s birth, and she was raised by her mother in Columbus, Ohio. After attending public schools there and in Cleveland, she entered Ohio State University but withdrew after one semester (1917–1918). She traveled to New York City, where she supported herself by working as a waitress, as an artist’s model, and as a bit player at the Provincetown Playhouse. She became interested in sculpture and in the course of her work met surrealist photographer ...


Abrams, Harry Nathan (1905-1979), publisher and art collector  

Anne F. Collins

Abrams, Harry Nathan (23 February 1905–25 November 1979), publisher and art collector, was born in London, England, the son of Morris Abrams, a shoe store proprietor, and Amelia Rosenberg. In 1913 the family moved from London to New York City, where Abrams studied at the National Academy of Design and at the Art Students League....


Adams, Ansel (1902-1984), photographer and environmentalist  

William A. Turnage

Adams, Ansel (20 February 1902–22 April 1984), photographer and environmentalist, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Charles Hitchcock Adams, a businessman, and Olive Bray. The grandson of a wealthy timber baron, Adams grew up in a house set amid the sand dunes of the Golden Gate. When Adams was only four, an aftershock of the great earthquake and fire of 1906 threw him to the ground and badly broke his nose, distinctly marking him for life. A year later the family fortune collapsed in the financial panic of 1907, and Adams’s father spent the rest of his life doggedly but fruitlessly attempting to recoup....


Cover Adams, Herbert Samuel (1858-1945)

Adams, Herbert Samuel (1858-1945)  


Herbert Samuel Adams. As Cardinal Bird, with Arvia MacKaye Ege as Hummingbird, in Percy MacKaye's Sanctuary, 1913. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G41-CT-0074).


Adams, Herbert Samuel (1858-1945), sculptor  

Michael W. Panhorst

Adams, Herbert Samuel (28 January 1858–21 May 1945), sculptor, was born in West Concord, Vermont, the son of Samuel Minot Adams, a machinist and patternmaker, and Nancy Ann Powers. Adams grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He studied at a technical school in Worcester and at the Massachusetts Normal Art School in Boston before traveling to Paris, where he studied with Antonin Mercié at the École des Beaux-Arts from 1885 to 1890. In 1888 he made a bronze fountain for the town of Fitchburg that features two boys playing with turtles. In 1888–1889 his work won an honorable mention at a Paris exhibition....


Adams, Marian Hooper (1843-1885), Washington hostess, pioneer photographer, and the wife of Henry Adams  

Eugenia Kaledin

Adams, Marian Hooper (13 September 1843–06 December 1885), Washington hostess, pioneer photographer, and the wife of Henry Adams, Washington hostess, pioneer photographer, and the wife of Henry Adams, was born in Boston to Edward Hooper, a wealthy ophthalmologist, and Ellen Sturgis Hooper, a Transcendental poet. “Clover,” as she was called, grew up among an affectionate clan of community conscious relatives who offered her continuing warmth and encouragement after the death of her mother when she was just five. Her father subsequently gave up his regular practice in order to rear his three children. And he became especially close to Clover, the youngest....


Adams, Thomas (1871-1940), city and regional planner  

Michael Simpson

Adams, Thomas (10 September 1871–24 March 1940), city and regional planner, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of James Adams and Margaret Johnston, dairy farmers. Educated in Edinburgh, he married Caroline Weierter in 1897; they had five children, two of whom, James Adams and Frederick Adams, also became distinguished planners. Farming, local Liberal politics, and writing were followed by the secretary-managership (1903–1906) of Letchworth, the first garden city, a new town intended to combine the advantages of town and country without the disadvantages. After a spell as Britain’s first planning consultant, Adams became its first planning inspector (1910–1914) and founded the Town Planning Institute (inaugural president, 1913–1914). “Justly looked up to as the head of the profession in Britain,” he served as town planning adviser (1914–1921) to the Canadian Commission of Conservation, promoting the British mode of controlling future urban development by provincial legislation, publicity, planning education, research, model communities, and the Town Planning Institute of Canada (founder-president, 1919–1921). After 1919 the collapse of Canadian progressivism compelled him to seek fresh opportunities in Britain and the United States via a transatlantic planning practice. He made numerous regional plans in the United Kingdom, introduced the American profession of landscape architecture, virtually founding the Institute of Landscape Architecture (president, 1937–1939), and remained the foremost advocate of planning in Britain....


Addams, Charles Samuel (1912-1988), cartoonist  

Robert C. Harvey

Addams, Charles Samuel (07 January 1912–29 September 1988), cartoonist, was born in Westfield, New Jersey, the son of Charles Huey Addams, the manager of a piano company, and Grace M. Spear. His father, who had studied to be an architect, encouraged young Charles to draw, and he did cartoons for the student paper at Westfield High School. Addams entered Colgate University in 1929 but transferred after a year to the University of Pennsylvania, which he left the following year (1931) to enroll in the Grand Central School of Art in New York, where he spent the next year (most of it, he once confessed, just “watching people” walk through Grand Central Terminal). Embarking on a career as an illustrator in 1932, Addams took a job as staff artist for a Macfadden true detective magazine, doing lettering, retouching of photographs, and diagrams of crime scenes for $15 a week. At the same time he started submitting cartoons to various magazines, selling his first in 1933. Soon thereafter, he was selling regularly enough to quit his job at Macfadden (“the last and only job I ever had,” he said) to earn his livelihood entirely as a freelance cartoonist....


Adler, Dankmar (1844-1900), architect and engineer  

Rochelle Berger Elstein

Adler, Dankmar (03 July 1844–16 April 1900), architect and engineer, was born in Stadt Lengsfeld, Germany, the son of Rabbi Liebman Adler and Sara Eliel, who died after childbirth. Economic and political pressures drove the Adler family to emigrate to the United States, where Liebman and his second wife, Zerlina Picard, settled in Detroit in 1854. Rabbi Adler occupied the pulpit of Congregation Beth El. Young Dankmar studied drawing with Julius Melchers (the father of artist ...


Adler, David (1882-1949), architect  

Laurence O. Booth

Adler, David (03 January 1882–27 September 1949), architect, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Isaac David Adler, a wholesale maker of men’s clothing, and Therese Hyman. Adler attended the Lawrenceville School and then Princeton University, receiving his B.A. in 1904. From 1904 to 1911 Adler toured Europe while attending the Polytechnic in Munich and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. During his travels he collected 500 postcards and developed an extensive library which became the foundation for his eclectic approach to design....


Ain, Gregory (1908-1988), architect and educator  

Anthony Denzer

Ain, Gregory (28 March 1908–10 January 1988), architect and educator, was born Gregory Samuel Ain in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Baer Ain, who ran a small business, and Chiah Ain (maiden name unknown); the couple had recently fled Russian Tsarist rule together. In 1911 the family settled in Los Angeles. Ain was raised in Boyle Heights, a dense mixed neighborhood of Eastern European immigrants. His father, a shopkeeper, openly despised capitalism and participated in socialist political groups. In fact, his father's socialist convictions ran so deep that in 1916 he moved the family to Llano del Rio, an experimental collective farming colony in the Antelope Valley of California. The Ains were among the colony's earliest members. Although the family returned to East Los Angeles a year and a half later, the experience contributed decisively to Ain's developing political beliefs and his social conscience. Cooperative housing projects became a consistent area of exploration later, in his architectural practice....


Aitken, Robert Ingersoll (08 May 1878–03 January 1949), sculptor  

Kelly Winquist

Aitken, Robert Ingersoll (08 May 1878–03 January 1949), sculptor, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Charles H. Aitken and Katherine A. Higgens. He received his training at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art in San Francisco, where he studied under Arthur F. Matthews and Douglas Tilden. At the young age of nineteen Aitken opened his own studio. His first major commission, in 1902, was to create a monument to President ...


Akeley, Carl Ethan (1864-1926), taxidermist, naturalist, and inventor  

Eleanor F. Wedge

Akeley, Carl Ethan (19 May 1864–17 November 1926), taxidermist, naturalist, and inventor, was born near Clarendon, New York, the son of Daniel Webster Akeley and Julia Glidden, farmers. In his early teens he taught himself taxidermy. After two years at the State Normal School in Brockport, New York, he began work at the age of nineteen for Ward’s Natural Science Establishment in Rochester, a company that prepared laboratory and museum specimens. One of Akeley’s jobs was to skin and mount for exhibition ...


Albers, Josef (1888-1976), painter, designer, and educator  

Brenda Danilowitz

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, ...


Albright, Ivan (1897-1983), artist  

David Detmer

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....


Aldrich, Chester Holmes (1871-1940), architect  

Mark Alan Hewitt

Aldrich, Chester Holmes (04 June 1871–26 December 1940), architect, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Elisha Smith Aldrich, a merchant, and Anna Elizabeth Gladding. Aldrich attended Columbia University, graduating from the recently formed (1881) department of architecture with a bachelor of philosophy in 1893. He then went to work at the New York office of ...


Alexander, Francis (1800-1880), artist  

David Meschutt

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 ...


Alexander, John White (1856-1915), artist  

Martin R. Kalfatovic

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....