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Harriet Whitney Frishmuth was born on September 17, 1880 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A student of such renowned artists as Auguste Rodin and Gutzon Borglum, Frishmuth's reputation and career grew steadily throughout the first several decades of the twentieth century, with exhibitions at the National Academy of Design, the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the Salon in Paris, the Golden Gate International Exposition (1939-1940) and the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. Her favorite models were dancers, especially Desha Delteil - immortalized in Frishmuth's most famous work, The Vine - a model particularly popular with artists for her ability to hold difficult poses for long periods of time. The final exhibits of Frishmuth's work took place in New York City in 1929, but she remained active in the art world for many years following. Frishmuth passed away in 1980 at the age of 99. A proponent of the Beaux Arts style - Frishmuth was exceptionally critical of modern art, often calling it "spiritless" - her works can now be seen in some of the world's leading museums and collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Dallas Museum of Art, and Ohio University's Kennedy Museum of Art.
Fred 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.
Biography>Born in Ravenna, Ohio, Anna Althea Hills was a prominent California landscape painter who was also remembered as a civic leader in Laguna Beach. In addition to painting in her native state, she was active in Arizona. She was raised in Olivet, Michigan, and attended Olivet College. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cooper Union in New York, and privately with Arthur Dow. After further study at the Academie Julian in Paris and traveling throughout Europe for four years, she moved to Laguna Beach in 1913 and was painting in Arizona as early as 1914. The landscape of the West inspired her to adopt a light, colorful Impressionist palette. In spite of a severe spinal injury, she took adventurous painting trips into remote mountain areas. She also supervised a Sunday School for ten years, and was a six-year president of the Laguna Beach Art Association and helped raise funds to build the existing museum. Her early works of genre and interiors were much darker than her later California landscapes and marine scenes. She combined watercolor and oil and painted in a decorative style. Sources: Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940