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.
A landscape and marine artist, George Symons was one of America's more noted plein-air painters who combined styles of impressionism and realism. His works are cited for their energy and simplicity, and he often did panoramic views. He was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1861, with the name of George Gardner Simon, but he changed his last name to Symons when he returned from study in England because of concern about anti-semitism. Not much is known about his early life. He first studied at the Chicago Art Institute where he became a close, life-long friend of William Wendt. They painted together in California and then in Cornwall, England in 1898. He also studied in Paris, and Munich and London, and joining a colony of artists at St. Ives, adopted the plein-air techniques of Julius Olsson, Adrian Stokes, and Rudolph Hellwag. He worked in Chicago as a commercial artist, and about 1903 returned to California with Wendt and built a studio in Laguna Beach and became active in western art societies including the California Art Club. He returned often, but maintained his primary studio in Brooklyn, New York, and also did a lot of painting in Colerain, Massachusetts. Among the collections where his work can be found is the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences; the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Fleischer Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona. Associations he was a member of include the National Academy of Design, the National Arts Club, the Institute of Arts and Letters, the Lotos, Century, and Salmagundi Clubs. He was also a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and the Union Internationale des Beaux Arts et des Lettres. He painted entirely out-of-doors, frequently working in Arizona, doing desert landscape and the Grand Canyon views, but he is best known for his New England snow scenes, especially of the Berkshire Mountains. He died in Hillside, New Jersey in 1930.
The paintings of Jessie Arms Botke are a unique and wonder-filled world all their own. Most often, they are pictures of birds, a large variety including white peacocks, blue peacocks, cockatoos, ducks, swans, geese, pheasants, and toucans, among others. The birds are shown in natural settings accompanied by carefully painted flora, with studiously observed renditions of leaves and flowers. Far from being mere pictures of birds and plants, her paintings are richly adorned with an abundance of minutely rendered detail: every petal, every leaf and every feather becomes an important element of the whole pictorial scheme.1 Painter, illustrator, printmaker and muralist, Jesse Arms was born in Chicago, IL on May 27, 1883. She began her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, and continued with J. C. Johansen and Charles Woodbury. In 1911 she obtained employment with Herter Looms in NYC and assisted Herter with the mural in the St Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Upon returning to Chicago in 1915, she married Cornelis Botke. The Botkes moved to Carmel CA in 1919. After an extended trip to Europe, in 1927 they settled on a ranch in Santa Paula, CA where she remained until her death on Oct. 2, 1971. She made a career of bold, decorative paintings of birds both in oil and watercolor, and often used gold leaf in her paintings. From about 1917 her work won many awards both in Chicago and Southern California. Member: Calif. Art Club; Calif. WC Society; Nat'l Ass'n of Women Artists; Carmen AA; Chicago Society of Etchers. Exhibited: AIC NAD; PAFA; LACMA; CPLH; Springville (Utah) High School, 1928; GGIE, 1939; Paris Salon. Awards: Cahn prize, AIC, 1918, Shaffer prize, 1926, Carpenter prize, Chicago Society for Sanity in Art, 1938. Works held: Art Institute of Chicago; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Municipal Gallery, Chicago; Mills College, Oakland; San Diego Museum. Murals: I Magnin Co. of Los Angeles; Woodrow Wilson High School in Oxnard, CA; Noyes Hall at the Univ. of Chicago; Kellogg Factory, Battle Creek, MI Literature AAA 1929, 1933; Ben; Fld; YAMP; AAW; WWA; SCA; WAA; Sam; WWAA 1936-66; So. Calif, Artists, 1890-1940; Women of the West.21 American Impressionism California School, Fleischer Museum (cat.)2 Hughes, Edan Milton, Artists in California 1786-1940, Hughes Publishing Company
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The Teec Nos Pos style of Navajo weaving is a bold, exciting and elaborate design. Many believe this style developed from pictures of Persian rugs while others see no connection and believe that traders introduced this design to the Navajo People from designs on flour sacks. The name, which means "Cottonwoods in a Circle," comes from a settlement in the northeast corner of the Navajo Nation. Always surrounded by a wide border and filled with an exuberant variety of motifs, Teec Nos Pos style rugs are usually large, and therefore very expensive. An elaborate center is enhanced with stylized feathers and arrows. Steps and angular hooks extend from the points of diamonds and triangles, while zigags are abundant. The many, brightly colored yarns are used to create a visually stunning design in the Teec Nos Pos style.
Born in Bedford, IA on Jan. 24, 1884. Scott studied at the Boston Art School and with Richard Andrews, Edward Kingsbury, and E. Felton Brown. From 1910 he worked in San Francisco for the Commercial Art Company while living across the bay in Mill Valley. Settling in Los Angeles about 1930, he was a special-effects artist at 20th Century Fox Studios from 1933 until retirement in 1950. He died in Los Angeles on Oct. 6, 1959. A skilled painter, his works include desert landscapes of the area around Palm Springs. Exh: PPIE, 1915 (bronze medal); Oakland Art Gallery, 1928, 1929, 1932, 1939; Wilshire Gallery (LA), 1929; Calif. State Fair, 1931 (3rd prize); Calif. Art Club, 1935-41; Painters & Sculptors (LA), 1935-52; Academy of Western Painters (LA), 1935-38; Hollywood Riviera Club, 1936 (1st prize); LACMA, 1937; Gardena High School, 1939 (1st prize); Laguna Beach AA, 1939 (1st prize); GGIE, 1939; Pomona College, 1939; SWA, 1940s; Ebell Club (LA), 1941, 1944; Chaffey College, 1944; CPLH, 1945; Hollywood Woman’s Club, 1949. In: Haggin Museum (Stockton); Gardena (CA) High School; Chaffey College; Santa Monica Municipal Collection; Clearwater High School. Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
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.