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)
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Quince Rudolph Galloway was born on August 16, 1912 in Alma, Arkansas. He was known for his realist, and sometimes impressionist, landscape, portrait and still life works. Galloway attended college in Arkansas. He moved to Oakland, California in 1931 where he studied art at the Fox-Morgan School. Soon after his move to Oakland he married fellow artist Janice Webster and settled in nearby San Leandro. For several years he studied in the San Leandro area with Robert Rischell and Van Waldron. Working in pastels, oils, acrylics, and watercolors he often painted realistic images of the landscape using strong light and shadows. Galloway was a member of the Oakland Art Association, San Leandro Art Association, and the Southwestern Art Association. He died in Oakland, California on September 21, 2003.
Helen Glieforst Impressionist Landscape Born in Crete, Nebraska on February 10, 1903, Helen Gleiforst moved with her family shortly thereafter to San Diego, California. In 1918 her family relocated to Eugene, Oregon, and in 1920 Helen attended the University of Oregon. Because of her father's health, the family returned to Southern California. She married realtor Fred Gleiforst in 1923 and settled in Beverly Hills. It was in the late 1920s that she began to paint and draw. Her teachers included Nicolai Fechin, George Melcher, and John Hubbard Rich. Her instruction with Dedrick Stuber influenced her landscapes and Nell Walker Warner influenced her floral paintings. By the mid-1930s she had established a local reputation as an artist. She became a frequent exhibitor at one man shows in local venues. In the 1950s she had an exhibit at Stanford University. With her husband's retirement in 1960 she began to travel throughout California where she painted many of her landscapes. She stopped her artistic work in the 1980s because of poor health. The full extent of her output became evident after her death when an heir discovered over 500 paintings stored in her home. These works show the strong impressionistic expression of her work that was characteristic of the early plein-air painters of California. Gleiforst died in Los Angeles, California on May 28, 1997. Exhibited: Ebell Society; Beverly Hills & Westwood Women's Clubs; Clearwater Jr. High School, 1936.
JOSEPH P. FREY (1892-1977 was born in Walla Walla, Washington on October 17, 1892. At age sixteen Frey began his art studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. He opened his first studio in 1915 in San Francisco during the furor of the Panama Pacific International Exposition and painted many harbor scenes in and around the bay. After serving in World War One, he sailed out of San Francisco and spent many years at sea working as a chef and studying painting in various ports. By 1928 he had settled in southern California where he lived and worked as a chef in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara. Frey died in Hawthorne, California on August 17, 1977. His work includes landscapes and marines. Member: Painters & Sculptors of Los Angeles. Biography Courtesy Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940".
Francois (Frank) J. Girardin (Painter) [1856-1945] Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Frank Girardin began his art instruction in 1870 under Frank Noble and later Frank Duveneck at the Cincinnati Art Academy. A semi-pro baseball player in Cincinnati, he was best known for his beautiful landscapes of both Indiana and California. An extremely active participant in the development of the Art Association of Richmond and original member of the local Sketch Club, he served on the Board of Directors of Art Association for several years. He was considered ranked next to the late John E. Bundy in talent and skill by the former Art Association Director, Mrs. Ella Bond Johnston. It was during his time in Indiana, that he received the most recognition for his work. In 1903, he won first prize for his painting, “Lingering Snow” at the Cincinnati Art Club Show. This would be one of numerous prizes and awards the he would receive during his time in Indiana, including the coveted Mary T. R. Foulke Prize. In 1910, Girardin moved to Redondo Beach, California where he continued to paint the local landscape. Although living in Californian, he never forgot his friends in Richmond, continuing to participate in the annual exhibition by Indiana artists. Many California residents referred to him as “The Beech Tree Painter”. Indiana public schools and libraries, including the Richmond Community Schools, Morrison-Reeves Library, and the Fayette County Public Library, purchased or acquired works. His paintings are in the San Diego Art Museum and the Richmond Art Museum.
courtesy ask art
James Waltham Curtis (1839-1901) was an eminent Australian colonial artist whose work lives on as a tribute to Australia’s early days of European settlement. His approach is of technical, poetic and historical interest, emphasizing man’s battle with a primeval landscape and nature, his picturesque landscapes being fine examples of the late 19th century period which preceded the Heidelberg School. Curtis was an English painter and illustrator who it is believed, came to Australia during the Gold Rush. Curtis’ work plays an important part in the preservation of Australian history and is an excellent reminder of how life was in the latter part of the 19th century.
The Three Sisters
The Sisters were formed by erosion. The soft sandstone of the Blue Mountains is easily eroded over time by wind, rain and rivers and the cliffs surrounding the Jamison Valley are being slowly broken up. Aboriginal legends The commonly told legend of the Three Sisters is that three sisters (Meehni', 'Wimlah' and Gunnedoo') lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe). They fell in love with three men from a neighbouring tribe (the Nepean tribe), but marriage was forbidden by tribal law. The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters. A major tribal battle ensued, and the sisters were turned to stone by an elder to protect them, but he was killed in the fighting and no one else could turn them back. This legend is claimed to be an Indigenous Australian Dreamtime legend. However, Dr Martin Thomas, in his work "The artificial horizon: imagining the Blue Mountains", clearly shows that the "aboriginal" legend is a fabrication created by a non-Aboriginal local Katoomba, Mel Ward, presumably to add interest to a local landmark. The story originated in the late 1920s or early 1930s and is unknown prior to that date. The Aboriginal traditional owners, the Gundungurra, have a legend that includes the Sisters rock formation. They are currently[when?] developing a website which will include these traditional stories.