Artist Biography Austrian sculptor was born in Vienna in 1865. His teachers were Karl Waschmann (1848-1905), known for his ivory sculptures and portrait plaquettes of contemporary celebrities, and Stefan Schwartz (1851-1924), who exhibited in Paris, including the Exposition Universelle of 1900 where he won a gold medal. Kauba’s intricate bronzes, imported to the United States between 1895 and 1912, were cast at the Roman Bronze Works. Kauba was part of the nineteenth-century tradition of polychrome bronze sculpture. There were several types of patinas on a single statue: he could render the color of buckskin, variously tinted shirts, blankets, feathers, as well as beaded moccasins. Reportedly, Kauba came to America around 1886. Inspired by the Western tales of German author Karl May, he traveled to the West and made sketches and models. Critics, however, pointed out inaccuracies of costume and other details. For instance, the guns that his “mid-nineteenth-century” figures use are models produced after 1898. Apparently he did all of his works back in Vienna. Besides the variety of color, Kauba’s bronzes show a great range of textures and his style is highly naturalistic. The sculptor loved ornament, some of which he rendered with coiled wire for reins, rope and feathers in headdresses. He successfully rendered figures in motion and often executed compositions with more than one figure. Berman (1974) illustrates non-Western subjects by Kaula, such as the pendants Where? and There (ca. 1910), a seated Scottish couple, impressive in the expressions and the details on patterned fabrics of both sitters. Another genre piece is Buster Brown, ca. 1910, and Nude on Vase shows Kauba’s versatility even further. The smooth skin contrasts with the stylistic, plant-like vase.
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Arthur William BEST 1859 - 1935 Arthur William Best was born in Mount Pleasant, Canada on July 17, 1859. He and his brother Harry attended public school in Mount Pleasant and were members of a small band. Arthur played the cornet; Harry, the violin. When the band broke up in Oregon, the brothers learned to paint before moving to San Francisco in 1895. Arthur and his wife Alice established the Best Art School at 1625 California Street and a residence at 309 Broderick. He was a staff artist for the San Francisco Examiner (1904-06). Arthur was commissioned by Southern Pacific Railroad to paint pictures of the Southwest and Mexico for travel and tourist publicity in 1905. Many of his oils and watercolors were destroyed by the earthquake and fire of 1906. His landscapes include depictions of the Arizona desert, Grand Canyon and the Sierra Nevada. He died in Oakland on January 26, 1935. Member: San Francisco Art Ass'n; Berkeley League of Fine Arts; Bohemian Club. Exhibited: Oregon State Fair, 1891 (first prize); Mark Hopkins Art Institute, 1898, 1904; San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1904-16; San Francisco Artists Society, 1905; Berkeley Art Ass'n, 1908; California State Fairs (awards); Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909 (bronze medal); Del Monte Art Gallery, 1910, 1912; Sorosis Club, 1913. Works held: Oakland Museum; Phoenix Museum; University of Oregon; Charles M. Russell Gallery (Great Falls, MT); Santa Fe Railroad.
A painter of realistic landscapes reflecting a vanishing wilderness in America, Robert Wood (not to be confused with Robert E Wood) is reportedly one of the most mass-produced artists in the United States. His painting became so popular he was unable to meet all of the demands, and many of his works were reproduced in lithographs and mass distributed as prints, place mats, and wall murals by companies including Sears, Roebuck. He was born in Sandgate, Kent on the south coast of England near Dover, the son of W.L. Wood, a famous home and church painter who recognized and supported his son's talent. In fact, he forced his son to paint by keeping him inside to paint rather than playing with his friends. At age 12, Wood entered the South Kensington School of Art. As a youth, he came to the United States in 1910, having served in the Royal Army, and he never returned to England. He traveled extensively all over the United States, especially in the West, often in freight cars, and also painted in Mexico and Canada. His itinerant existence took him to Illinois where he worked as a farmhand, to Pensacola, Florida where he married, briefly in Ohion, Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. In 1912, he was in Los Angeles, and In the late 1920s and early 1930s, in San Antonio, Texas, where he lived and in 1928 exhibited in the "Texas Wildflower Competition." From San Antonio, he gained a national reputation for his strong colored, dramatic paintings. Some of that prestige has been credited to his asssociation with Jose Arpa, prominent Texas artist. Wood also gave art lessons, and one of his students was Porfirio Salinas. During this period, Wood sometimes signed his paintings G. Day or Trebor, which is Robert spelled backwards. In 1941 he went to California and painted numerous desert and mountain landscapes and coastal scenes. He lived in Carmel for seven years, and then moved to Woodstock, New York, but he soon returned to California, settling first in Laguna Beach, then San Diego, and finally in the High Sierras, where he and his wife built a home and studio near Bishop and lived until his death in 1979.
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
Fredrick Wagner was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1864. He received a scholarship to study art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins and in 1884 was made chief Demonstrator of Anatomy there. In 1885, Wagner left the Academy to make a painting tour of San Antonio, Texas, and then went on to Los Angeles, California, where he painted a number of landscapes and portraits. He returned to Philadelphia as an illustrator for the Philadelphia Press until 1902, and then moved to Norristown, Pennsylvania to paint full time. In 1912, Wagner opened a Philadelphia studio and taught classes in outdoor painting at Addingham, and later, at the Pennsylvania Academy's summer school in Chester Springs. His reputation grew, and he took on additional classes at his studio in the Fuller Building. In 1913, Wagner exhibited in the now famous Armory Show in New York City. He exhibited frequently at the Pennsylvania Academy's annual exhibitions, and in 1914, was awarded the Fellowship Prize. He was awarded Honorable Mentions from the Pittsburgh International, the Philadelphia Art Club, and the Carnegie Institute in 1922. His paintings are in the collections of the Cleveland Museum; St. Louis Museum, MO; Fort Wayne Museum, IN; Kalamazoo Museum, MI; Rochester Museum, NY; Worcester Art Museum, MA, and the Reading Museum, PA. Fred Wagner died in Philadelphia in 1940.