A leading member of the avant-garde symbolist artists in Chicago, Claude Buck moved there from his birth place of New York City in 1919. He was known for his "fantastic, sometimes disturbing images with allegorical and literary themes" (Kennedy 97) drawn from writings of Edgar Allen Poe, operas by Richard Wagner, classical mythology and New Testament writings from the Bible. Some of these early paintings had nude figures rendered in classical style to express abstract themes developed through dream-like landscapes and disregard of relative scale or relatedness between the figures. These paintings had luminist elements achieved with light-toned paints worked with transparent glazes. In the 1920s to earn money by gaining public favor and also expressing his increasing disdain for modernism, Buck did a number of "hyper-real" portraits, figures and still lifes. These proved popular and aligned him with the opponents of abstraction and their "Sanity in Art" movement whose headquarters were in Chicago. Buck taught drawing and painting at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art from 1921 to 1926, and at the Art Institute, where he took over classes of George Bellows. In New York City before coming to Chicago, Buck had a reputation as a radical artist. He took his first art training from his father, William R. Buck, from the time he was ages three to fourteen, and then until he was twenty-two, he studied at the National Academy of Design where he was nicknamed "Kid Hassam" because his painting reminded viewers of that of Claude Hassam. Buck worked as a scene painter in the theatre and at the Willet Stained Glass company, and in 1914 began portrait commissions to earn money. In New York he founded a group named the Introspectives, which reflected his own problems with melancholy during that period. Members, holding their first exhibition at the Whitney Studio in 1917, were artists who expressed their personal feelings and experiences and included Raymond Jonson and Emil Armin. In this phase of his career, Buck was focused on Old World styles of Leonardo da Vinci, Ralph Blakelock and Albert Pinkham Ryder. In 1929, the Arts Council of New York voted him one of the top one-hundred painters in the United States. In 1949, Buck and his wife, Leslie, moved to California to a studio-home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and ten years later they settled in Santa Barbara where he died on August 4, 1974. In California, he was a member of the Carmel Art Association, the Santa Cruz Art League that he served as President in 1953,and the Santa Barbara Art Association. His paintings are in the collections of the Santa Cruz Public Library; the Santa Cruz City Museum as well as the Spencer Museum in Lawrence, Kansas; the Brigham Young University Museum; and the Museum of Elgin, Illinois.
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.
Known for poetic landscapes, often sunset, illuminated by atmospheric light, Julian Walbridge Rix was early in his career an active painter in California and then on the East Coast. He was born in Peacham, Vermont on December 30, 1850 and moved with his family to San Francisco in 1853. Because of his mother's death, he went back to Peacham four years later to live with his grandmother and graduating from Peacham Academy in 1868. He returned to San Francisco where he was apprenticed to a trading firm and later worked in a paint store painting signs and doing decorative work. Primarily self-taught, he was briefly a pupil of Virgil Williams at the School of Design. He became close friends with Amédée Joullin and Jules Tavernier, and when the latter established an art colony in Monterey in 1876, Rix was one of the "Bohemians" who followed him there. His studio in Monterey was in the French Hotel, but in 1879 he returned to San Francisco and shared a studio with Tavernier at 729 Montgomery Street. The art market in San Francisco during this period was not a healthy one which prompted Rix to move to Paterson, New Jersey in 1880 and subsequently establish a studio in New York City. This milieu was what he seemed to need to find artistic success. His work was exhibited at the National Academy of Design during the 1880s. He studied art briefly in Europe during 1889 and upon his return, he found that his watercolor and oil paintings were in great demand in the East. He maintained an active interest and participation in the San Francisco art scene and in 1883 sent back 200 paintings for a successful solo show. In 1888 his illustrations appeared in "Picturesque California." Rix returned to California for several months in 1901 and painted the valleys and mountains near Monterey and Santa Barbara. A handsome man with a New England accent and blond sideburns, he never married and was called the Adonis of the profession. Following a kidney operation, Rix died in New York City on November 24, 1903 and was buried in the cemetery plot of a patron-friend in Paterson, New Jersey. Source: "Artists in California, 1786 to 1940" by Edan Milton Hughes