Verlys Glass History
In 1920, the Societe Holophane Français was set up as a subsidiary of the USA Holophane Company in a glassworks near Rouen in Northern France to make vehicle headlights. By 1925, they had expanded into making art glass vases and bowls. They created a separate department for these products, and named it "Verlys". Initially the pieces were blown vessels with several layers of glass, smooth on the outside with internal decoration. From 1933 onward, Verlys focused on high quality press-mould glass. They produced clear, frosted, opalescent and colored items with designs typical of Lalique-style glass of the 1930s.
Heinie Hartwig became a painter of primarily western subjects although he also does landscapes and still lifes. The tone of his work is primarily romantic. He started painting in 1970, working on his art in the evenings, and a year later quit his job and began painting for a living. He had grown up in the Santa Clara Valley of California, and left for three years to spend time traveling through Europe with the Army. He was in Germany as the Berlin Wall went up and persuaded his wife, Eva, to leave East Germany to marry him. Returning to Santa Clara, he worked pouring concrete, and spent a lot of time running marathons. In 1964 he held the record for long distance running in Northern California. By 1991, he was in "Who's Who in American Art". Hartwig taught himself to paint by studying the "Old Masters." He was attracted to the charm and romance of classic art. He has managed to capture the light, color and style of those great artists. Though most of his work has a western theme, Hartwig is a versatile painter. Many of his paintings are landscapes and still lifes. Heinie Harwig's work has been compared to Albert Bierstadt and John Constable for its romanticism, European feel and composition.
Born in New York City, Ralph Blakelock earned a reputation for nocturnal, misty scenes, especially moonlit landscapes, large oak trees, and Indian encampments. He also did a small number of floral still lifes. His work has a mysterious quality, which some associated with the type of music he habitually played on the piano during interludes from his painting. Towards the end of his career, his paintings became increasingly haunting, a reflection of his insanity brought on by horrible poverty and his inability to support his family of nine children. He was both a late exponent of the Hudson River School of painting and also of the American West. He also foreshadowed the romantic, visionary, and modern tendencies that marked the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. This romanticism, especially of escapism, was increasingly pronounced towards the end of his career. Blakelock was the son of a prominent English-born, New York physician, and first took medical studies, but his love of music and art led him away from medicine. He graduated from the College of the City of New York, studied briefly at Cooper Union, and at the Free Academy of the City of New York. In 1867, he first exhibited at the National Academy of Design to which he was ultimately elected, after he was incarcerated for insanity. During this time, he painted a series of New York City scenes, primarily of un-glamorous areas such as his work, Shanties, New York City. He also painted in Hudson River Style and was in locations that included the Adirondacks and the White Mountain. It is thought he learned this style during his brief and only art education at Cooper Union. Primarily self taught, he declined his father's offer to pay for more extensive art schooling, and instead, at age 22, embarked on a three-year (1869-1972) horseback tour of the West. He lived with plains Indians, painting pictures of their villages, and traveled and painted through the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas. In San Francisco and Oakland, he painted city scenes, the tree landscapes, and coastal views, and then he headed south to Mexico. These western paintings were also in the Hudson River style, although they were rough and more painterly. Returning to New York, he developed what became his signature expression: quiet, moody, nocturnal scenes accented with bright colors depicting light, and trees silhouetted against the sky. He had a labor-intensive technique, which was building up of multi layers of thick paint, scraping some away, and "adding more to build a complex tonality". (Zellman 420) It is said that his real travels were introspective from which he created these moody, dark landscapes, and they did not satisfy the current public taste for uplifting Hudson River style painting. Ahead of popular taste, his work was overlooked, and crooked dealers took advantage of him. With the desperation of trying to support his huge family, he sold his work cheaply. Ironically, many years after his death, his work became so valuable that forgers, including a dealer who changed the signature on canvases of Blakelock's artist daughter, Marian, to that of her father, sold paintings at very high prices by using his signature. Norman Geske, Director Emeritus of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska, became the authenticator of Blakelock's work, and has seen many, many illegitimate so-called Blakelocks. Under Geske's direction, a catalogue raisonne has been published that classifies paintings with Blakelock's signature into three categories according to their degree of perceived authenticity. In 1899, the artist had a mental breakdown and spent the last twenty years of his life in an asylum in Middleton, New York. He died on August 9, 1919. However, his work had already begun increasing in value, and by 1916 was bringing as high as $20,000. Of Blakelock's career, Norman Geske wrote: "Considered in the context of American landscape painting in the second half of the nineteenth century, Ralph Albert Blakelock can be seen first as a late exponent of the Hudson River School, second as a highly personal contributor to the painting of the American West, and third and most important, as part of the romantic, visionary, and modern tendencies that marked the turn of the century."(16)
Born in a log cabin in Canon City, Colorado, Robert Amick became an illustrator of Western subjects, painter, printmaker, commercial artist and teacher. He grew up in the Colorado cattle country during the 1880s amidst cowboys, Ute and Sioux Indians, homesteaders, and prospectors-"all the characters on the western stage " (Samuels). Amick earned a law degree from Yale University while also taking art courses. After practicing law for two years in Ohio, he became a full-time artist, taking private lessons and studying at the Art Students League. He did illustrations for "Harpers," "Scribner's," "The American," and other publications but was most comfortable with subjects from the life of his background. His western scenes of brilliantly colored landscapes with horses and riders became quite popular, and twelve of them were reproduced as prints for the public schools. He spent much of his career living near New York City in Greenwich, Connecticut where he was, according to a family member, the founder of the Art Society of Greenwich in 1927. Given the circumstances of his background, it is likely he was in Arizona before 1940, but that is not proven.
Sumida pottery is a heavy, brightly glazed pottery and often has human and animal figures attached as reliefs. This pottery has its name from the Sumida river in an area near Tokyo. The origins of Sumida pottery are in the mist. It is probably a creation of a family of potters from the nineteenth century. Sumida pottery was probably produced mainly for export to the West.
Albert Duvannes was born in Naples, Italy on May 14, 1881. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1894. Duvannes opened a studio in St Paul, Minnesota in 1903 and painted portraits of many notables including the railroad tycoon James J Hill. At that time he also taught landscape and portrait painting. In 1910 Duvannes moved to New York City and opened a studio there. During this period Duvannes traveled throughout the United States. In California he painted with Will Foster and Benton Scott. Duvannes eventually gave up painting and devoted his time to representing other artists in his gallery. His son opened a branch of his gallery in Los Angeles in 1938 which was later renamed the Adamson-Duvannes Galleries. Albert Duvannes died in Naples, Italy in 1962. Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California 1786-1940"
Known primarily as a California landscape painter of pastoral scenes, Dedrick Stuber also painted marine and mountain views. He was born in New York City and studied at the Art Students League and with Julian Onderdonk and Clinton Peters. In 1920, he moved to California, settling in Los Angeles and exhibiting his work there through 1940. However, he was likely there earlier because a painting titled "Silver Mining" in a private collection was thought to have been done in 1915. He did his "plein air" landscapes at sunrise when it was cool and shady. He also painted in Arizona, having done at least one landscape in 1926 according to a Butterfield Auction. He was a member of the Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles and the Laguna Beach Art Association, and his work is in the Pasadena Art Museum. He died in Los Angeles on August 18, 1954. Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California"