The Scarab Club has had many notable guests that have signed the beam in the second floor lounge. Click an artist’s name to see more information.
The Scarab Club has had many notable guests that have signed the beam in the second floor lounge. Click an artist’s name to see more information.
Journalist, reproter, foreign correspondent
| Elie Abel’s grandfather came to Canada from the Ukraine. His father was a printer; his mother a seamstress and a union organizer. His uncle was an RKO cinematographer. Born in Montreal, Abel earned his B.A. from McGill University in 1941, his M.A. in journalism from Columbia University in 1942. During WWII, he was in the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, he began his career in journalism with the Montreal Gazette. He graduated to reporting from Germany for the North American Newspaper Alliance, including coverage of the Nuremberg Trails. He covered the U.N. for the Overseas News Agency, then for The New York Times, reporting from as far away as Belgrade (trial of dissident Milovan Djilas), Hungary during the 1956 revolt (for which he and his team won the Pulitzer Prize for Foreign Reporting), and New Delhi (the Dali Lama’s escape from Tibet into Nepal). Abel became Washington Bureau Chief for the Detroit News in 1959 during the last of the Eisenhower years; became NBC’s State Department correspondent under Kennedy in 1961, working for the first time in broadcast (television) journalism, going on to become London Bureau Chief, then diplomatic correspondent in back in Washington, D.C. |
In 1970, Abel was appointed dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia. His experience with and keen sense for the ever growing importance of broadcast journalism, prompted him to bring in Fred Friendly (Edward R. Murrow’s CBS producer) to start up broadcast journalism program. In 1979, Abel became chairman of the Department of Communication at Stanford, also directing the Stanford Program in D.C. He was elected to Stanford’s Academic Senate in 1984, which he chaired in 1985-1986.
Abel’s first book was The Missile Crisis. He co-authored Root of Involvement: the U.S. in Asia with Marvin Kalb, and Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin 1941-1946 with Averell Harriman. Abel defended freedom of the press as a member of the UNESCO McBride Commission for the Study of Communication Problems. He earned the George Foster Peabody Award for Radio News in 1967, the Overseas Press Club Award for Foreign Reporting in 1969 and 1970, and the Grand Prize for Press Freedom of the Inter-American Press Association in 1998. Abel passed away in Rockville, Maryland in 2004[see New York Times (July 24, 2004)].
American state and film actor
| Walter Abel, American-born stage and film actor, was born in St. Paul, MN. He graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and made his stage debut on Broadway in 1919 in Forbidden. Performing dramatic, comedic, and classic roles, his acting career spanned the years from1935 to 1984 when he was featured in Grace Quigley. He acted in productions from Shakespeare’s As You Like It to Mourning Becomes Electra, Merrily We Roll Along, and Channing Collock’s 1926 production of The Enemy. Having tried the new medium, film, in the Marshall Neilan’s silent film Out of a Clear Sky (1918), Abel began his movie career in earnest as the swashbuckling D’Artagnan in the lavishly produced, first talkie version of the Three Musketeers in 1935. Though he worked steadily in films, he seemed destined to always play a supporting role to the films’ various “box office stars.” However, he continued with his successful career on the theater stage into the 1970’s. In 1949, he began to take roles in television. Walter Abel worked in films until 1984, acting in such films as So Proudly We Hail (1943), Mr. Skeffington (1944), Raintree County (1957), and his last film Grace Quigley (1984) [see filmography online Wikipedia]. |
Walter Abel was married to Marietta Bitter (1926-1979), the concert harpist. They had to children. He died of a myocardial infarction in 1987 in Essex, Connecticut.
| Ivan Albright was perhaps one of America’s most original artists of the twentieth century. His style has been dubbed “realist,” though another descriptive could be “macabre.” In fact, Albright painted the horrific portrait symbolizing the inner evil and vice-ridden character of the title character for the 1943 film The Picture of Dorian Gray. Keeping it in the family, twin brother Malvin Albright, painted the portrait of the “good Dorian” before Dorian’s wish was granted, aided by the mysterious statue of the Egyptian cat, to remain handsome and virtuous in appearance regardless of his age and lifestyle. Albright’s concentration and dedication to detail and color within his work, served to enhance whatever image was being thrust at the viewer, especially in his more macabre creations. The sense of despair, depression, or outright depravity comes through loud and clear. Albright’s often lengthy titles reflect the mood and character of the scenes portrayed. Ivan Albright was also a printmaker and created a large number of works on paper. |
Natives of the Chicago area, Ivan and Malvin’s father, Adam Emory Albright, was a landscape painter who had studied with Thomas Eakins. Ivan and Malvin served as a medical draftsmen during WWI, their series entitled “Wounds” was used in various medical treatises. Ivan and his brother enrolled in the Art School of the Art Institute of Chicago after the war. Malvin concentrated on sculpture, Ivan on painting. The brothers then studied in Philadelphia and New York before returning to set up shop in Chicago. Ivan studied at Northwestern University; Malvin headed for the University of Illinois.
In 1942, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held an exhibition entitled Artists for Victory. Albright won a first-place medal for his painting entitled “That Which I Should Have Done I did Not do,” or “The Door” for short. A year later, both Ivan and Malvin were in Hollywood to create the two portraits for the film The Picture of Dorian Gray. In 1997, the Metropolitan Museum took a turn hosting the retrospective exhibition organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, entitled Ivan Albright: Magic Realist.
In the Archives of American Art are photographs from ca. 1930 and 1944 of Ivan Albright in his studio painting. There is also a file on letters written by Albright to Jane Fuller McLanathan, 1939-1940. For the Oral History Division, Albright had an interview with Paul Cummings on February 5, 1972.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has an artist file for Ivan Albright, as well as the books Ivan Albright, by C. G. Donnell (Chicago : Art Institute of Chicago, 1997), and Ivan Albright : the Late Self Portraits (Hanover, NH : Dartmouth, 1986). In the artists file is a booklet The Albright Twins : First Joint Exhibition by the Chicago Associated American Artists Galleries. The March-April 1946 exhibition displayed works of art by Ivan and his brother Malvin, offers some brief biographical details, and lists various awards bestowed on Ivan: the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first medal prize, the Harris Silver and Harris Bronze Medals from the Chicago Institute of Arts, the Temple Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Altman Prize from the National Academy of Design, the Brower Prize, and the John C. Shaffer Prize.
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APEL, ALBERT I.
| Apel’s father came to the United States from Germany. Albert I. Apel was born in Detroit’s German town. By 1903, he was studying at Mecher’s Sunday Sculpture Art Class, then at the Detroit Art Academy with Gies, Wicker, and Paul Honore (1st secretary of the Scarab Club at the time). Apel made a living in advertising art before and after the automobile industry took over in the Detroit Metro Area. Al Apel and Jim Goldi created the first design for the Model Ford that was accepted by Henry Ford himself. Apel was also the creator of the Vernor’s Gingerale gnome. By the age of 30, he was managing his own free-lance studio in Detroit. |
Dealing with both the artistic and the business side of advertising, Apel managed to combine the two for over forty successful years, buying and selling artwork which dealt with the buying and selling of what was being advertised, meeting and working with such characters, among others, as Harvey Campbell, Henry Ewald, Norman Belgedes (father of actress Barbara Belgedes) who worked his way to the top in the field of stage and industrial design. He worked at and through the Apel-Campbell Organization, had a twenty-six year affiliation with Chase Construction, and somehow found time to pen (though not formally published) his thoughts and memories in Out of My Attic: Unreliable Impressions of Detroit through 72 Years, sections of which are now available online [google “al apel” and the title].
A member of the Scarab Club since October 1, 1914, while the Scarab Club was still at Witherell St., his sponsors were Harry Schmidt and Russell Legge. An active, dues-paying member gong strong in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Apel was commended for his strong support of the Club and pro-active attitude in a letter from November 23, 1933 [see letter dated Nov. 23, 1933 in individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives]. Apel eventually served as president of the Scarab Club in 1938. In 1941, he was tapped to be Chairman of the Scarab Club’s Art Commercial Committee [see letter dated May 19, 1941 in individual membership file]. His art work was regularly exhibited at the Scarab Club [e.g. one of the many Scarab Lounge Exhibitions in 1960, see Scarab Buzz (April/May 1960) ; see individual artist file in Scarab Club Archives]. He retired with the status of senior member of the Scarab Club in 1960, wintering in Florida while remaining active in his artistic ventures and visiting Detroit whenever possible. He traveled around the country, often in the company of fellow Scarabs. In 1962, with Howard Wilmot, Apel had his paintings displayed at one of the Scarab Club’s renowned Lounge Exhibitions [see Scarab Buzz (May 1962) and (November 1962) ; see also individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives ; biographical highlights from brief write-up in the Scarab Bulletin (Feb. 1961)].
APPEL, CHRISTIAAN KAREL
April 25 , 1921 – May 3, 2006
Dutch painter, scultor, poet
| Christiaan Karel Appel was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He began painting in earnest as a teenager after he was gifted with an easel and paints by a wealthy uncle, along with some art lessons. Appel studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten from 1940-1943; his first exhibition was in 1946 in Groningen. Before becoming one of the founders of the art group COBRA in 1948, he was influenced by such artist greats as Picasso, Matisse, and Dubuffet, and joined the Experimentele Groep. That next year, 1949, his fresco entitled “Questioning Children,” raised such a controversy, it was covered up and remained covered for a decade. Appel then moved to Paris. |
Appel traveled a great deal throughout Europe, Mexico, and Brazil. For many years, he split his time between Italy and the United States. He established the Karel Appel Foundation to preserve and to promote art awareness of his works. Since his death, the Amsterdam-based Foundation serves as his official Estate and image archive. The U.S. representative for the Foundation is the Artists Rights Society [see obituary by the Associated Press, May 10, 2006].
The Detroit Institute of Arts has in its holdings many Appel lithographs, including a series entitled “The Sunshine People.” Other, single lithographs include the “Follies Bergere,” “About a Couple,” and “Bull Dog,” “I am a Fish why not,” “Moving in Blue,” and “Splintering Head” among others, as the oil called “Head and Fish,” most of which were created in the late 1970’s. [see Karel Appel’s Psychopathological Notebook: Drawings & Gouaches 1948-1950. Bern; Berlin : Verlag Gachnang &
Springer, 1999 ; see also Karel Appel. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, Tapie, Michael 1955].
Appel is cited in several files in the Archives of American Art, including: the “Martha Jackson Gallery Records, 1954-1966”; the “Alfred Victor Frankenstein Papers, 1861-1980”; the “Kootz Gallery Records in New York, 1931-1966”, along with William Baziotes, Hans Arp, and Georges Braque among other artists.
The artist’s file in the Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts as an exhibition catalog, Karel Appel, Sculptures from the Rive Droite, Paris, which lists all his solo and group exhibitions to date and articles about Appel, and includes portraits of the artist. There is also a catalog from the 1962 traveling retrospective exhibition. There are twelve other items in the D.I.A. Research Library, including Karel Appel, COBRA Paintings, 1948-1951, an exhibition catalog from the James Goodman Gallery, 1985 ; Karel Appel: Portraits from the Titan Series, an exhibition catalog from the Marisa del Re Gallery, 1988; and Karel Appel: ich wollte ich waere ein Vogel: Berichte aus dem Atelier, by the Haags Gemeentemuseum, 1991.
American painter and sculptor
| Miriam Aston was one of the charter women members of the Scarab Club when women were finally admitted in 1962, the amendment to the Scarab Club’s by-laws proudly sponsored by William Bostick and Joseph Franz. In 1965, she resigned. The 1987/88 season found her re-applying for Scarab Club membership, this time with Joseph Maniscalco and Alex Marinos as her sponsors; she was re-instated as a non-resident Scarab Club member because she was, by then, living and working in California. Aston was one of the far fewer women than men invited to sign her name to the Scarab Club’s famous beams [see p. 71 in The Scarab Club, c2006]. |
Aston studied with long-time Scarab members William Grieson, Leon Makielski, and Sarkis Sarkisian, as well as with the Society of Arts & Crafts in Detroit, at Wayne State University, and at the University of Michigan. She worked with acrylics, oils, woods, and metals and taught painting, drawing, and sculpture. Aston’s own works are in private collections in Detroit, New York, Birmingham, and Grosse Pointe, Atlanta, California, Florida, and Israel. She had exhibitions as part of the Michigan Artists’ Annual Exhibitions, at the Riverside Museum in New York, with the Detroit Artists’ Market, at the Grand Rapids Art Gallery, at the Raven Art Gallery, through the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and abroad in Nairobi, Kenya. Aston was a member of the Hylozoists Painting Club, and also belonged to Artists Equity of America, the Women’s Caucus for Arts in America, Sculpture International of America, Scripps College Fine Arts Foundation, and Toastmasters International.
ATHERTON, ROBERT C.
Executive Editor of Art for COSMO
| Before Helen Gurley Brown took over as editor (1965-1997), changed the name to simply Cosmopolitan, and changed the focus to women and sex, Robert C. Atherton was the Director and Executive Editor of Art for Cosmopolitan Magazine (1959-1965 ; he succeeded Frank Eltonhead). Still a more men-and-women-oriented magazine with a wider subject base for its printed material, Atherton was photographed for the 1953 issue of Art Director & Studio News when Cosmopolitan Magazine was announcing its new plans and policies: no more subscription or newsstand sales, only four full-color pages per issue, with up to twelve 2-color and 3-color pages each, and a freer layout. One of Atherton’s more daring moves during his term, was to hire a single artist to illustrate an entire issue. In 1954, Atherton hired artist Al Parker to illustrate all the stories for the September issue, among them: “The Swan,” “The Gift for Sylvia,” and “The Blunderer.” In 1957, Atherton also edited various issues of the Art Director’s Annual and the Annual Advertising and Editorial Art publications. |
Atherton signed the Scarab Club beam in 1954. At that time, he hosted the 1954 Scarab Club Advertising Art Exhibition, and acted a juror for the show. A letter with the Cosmopolitan letterhead (from the Hearst Building on 57th/8th in Manhattan) dated November 4, 1954, from Atherton to H. H. Grandy (at Gilchrist, Osler & Co. in the Curtis Building), has Atherton, who signed as Executive Editor and Art Editor, requesting that all the artwork entries be set up “in their special groups” for him to examine. Atherton calculated thirty-one separate sets of pictures. The letter has Atherton arriving in Detroit at 8:00 a.m., staying at the Park Shelton Hotel, setting up a 9:00 a.m. breakfast with Grandy, judging the exhibition, and leaving Detroit the very next day at 7:00 p.m. [the letter is in the Grandy’s file with other files of those who served as officers for the Scarab Club, with a copy in Atherton’s artist file in the Scarab Club Archives ; see Scarab Buzz (Nov. 1954)].
| From the Chicago area, John Averill was an illustrator and graphic artist. He worked as a commercial artist for Collins, Miller & Hutchings, Inc. Obtaining his own press, Averill worked to produce multiple color prints from a single linoleum block. His article detailing this process, “Making Linoleum Cuts in Color” [American Artist (Feb. 1959)], was published in American Artist. A decade earlier, Ernest W. Watson had written an article about Averill for the same magazine, “John Averill : Illustrator with a Whimsical Pen” [American Artist (Dec. 1949), p. 35-37, 74 ; see also the December 1952 issue in which Averill labeled himself a free-lance commercial artist and said that any free lance artist must expect to drum up his own business and advertise himself]. Averill put out his own flash sheet entitled “Seed Corn”, acting as designer, artist, compositor, and press man. He also sold hundreds of his prints on their own merits. One of his most well-known ad campaign illustration series was done for 7-Up and published for the most part in Collier’s magazine in the mid-1950’s. |
Averill was recognized by the Art Directors Club of New York with three notations in the 1948 Art Directors Annual alone. The 1952 article by Fred Bouton in Art Director & Studio News, classed Averill with famous Chicago artists such as Haddon Sundblom and Joyce Ballantyne.
BANKS, N. W.
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BARFKNECHT, ROBERT C.
American watercolorist, tech. assistant
| Barfknecht was elected to associate-level membership in the Scarab Club at the end of 1949 to officially begin at the start of 1950. By 1951, he had been elevated to active (voting) status. He served as president of the Scarab Club from 1956-1959, and was also chair of the Scarab Club Arts Committee. He was a member of the Michigan Watercolor Society [see Scarab Buzz (April/May 1960)]. Barfknecht often painted scenes in gymnasiums and fight venues. His wife, Yolanda, also an artist, was a skillful potter. |
Barfknecht worked in the Detroit Metro area while he studied art with Boorsma, Burnett, and Hall and exhibited his work locally. Barfknecht worked at Michigan Consolidated Gas for thirty-one years, and was superintendent of the Street Department.
BARNES, FLORENCE MAIULLO
| One of the charter women members of the Scarab Club in December of 1962, Florence was more than “just a member,” she was a marvelously active supporter and patroness of the Scarab Club and of the arts in general [see p. 71 in The Scarab Club (c2006)]. In 1992, Florence Maiullo Barnes was honored at the Scarab Club with a celebratory dinner and having a studio named after her [see Scarab Club announcement/invitation car, 1992]. The very next year, Florence contributed to the Lynne & George Drummy memorial award fund for the 80th Scarab Club Gold Medal Exhibition. |
This friend of Bernard Berenson attended the Collegio Reale in Milan in the 1923-1924, went to Sacred Heart Academy in Grosse Pointe in 1928, then returned to Italy, to Rome, in 1928-1929 to immerse herself in the theater arts. Further studies in various artistic media were accomplished at the Highland Park Junior College, University of Michigan extension courses, the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Florence was a member, among others, of the D.I.A., the Flint Institute of Art, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Michigan Opera Theater, Cranbrook (where she met Carl Milles), the Detroit Public Library, the Hilberry Theater Understudies, the Detroit Artists Market.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the publication entitled 10 Amerikanska skulptorer = 10 American Sculptors : Carl Milles’ Students at Cranbrook, published in Stockholm by the Millesgarden in 1986.
Florence herself donated to the Archives of American Art the Florence M. Barnes Letter & Printed Material, 1954-1960, which includes a letter from Bernard Berenson and an issue of Harvard Today with an article on Berenson.
BART, ELVIN H.
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BAZIOTES, WILLIAM A.
| William Baziotes, Greek-American artist, mixed abstract expressionism and surrealism, while his classical heritage and artistic appreciation of Greek art influenced themes and shapes in his paintings. A great admirer of Charles Baudelaire, his work was also influenced by Baudelaire’s poetry. |
Baziotes entered the National Academy of Design in 1933 and studied with the likes of Charles Curran and Leon Kroll among others. In the late 1930’s, he was employed by the Federal Art Project. The 1940’s brought him into the abstract expressionism circles. In the 1948, Baziotes, along with David Hare, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko, founded the Subjects of the Artist School in New York. The post-war years saw the influence of surrealism mix into his style. By the 1950’s, Baziotes had developed a personal style using organic shapes and color-blending and contrast to create his abstract-plus-surrealist animal and plant forms.
Baziotes also took the time to teach art at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, the People’s Art Center, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, N.Y.), CUNY, and Hunter College. Baziotes’ works can be found in the holdings of the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, which has in its holdings the 1955 oil painting entitled “The Pond.”
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the following publications:
William Baziotes: a Commemorative Exhibition, from the Freedman Gallery in Reading Pennsylvania, 1987.
William Baziotes: a Retrospective Exhibition, by Michael Preble, Newport Beach, Calif., the Newport Harbor Art Museum, 1978.
Baziotes: Paintings and Drawings, 1934-1962, by William Baziotes, published by Skira of Milan and Rizzoli, 2004.
The Archives of American Art have the “William and Ethel Baziotes Papers, 1916-1992”, as well as a 1944 postcard from Robert Motherwell, Baziotes’ sketchbooks, a photograph of Baziotes from 1959, and a formal photographic portrait from 1953.
BECK, MARY V.
February 29, 1908 – January 30, 2005
Detroit’s 1st female City Council member
| Mary Virginia Yevhenia was born in Ford City, Pennsylvania, though she spent 1921-1925 studying in the Ukraine, sent by her immigrant parents to learn about her roots. In 1925, she enrolled in the University of Pittsburg, earning her B.A. in 1929, and another degree in law by 1932; in 1968, she earned her juris doctor, and, having come to Detroit in 1934 to work for the International Institute as a social worker for two years and as a juvenile court investigator for Wayne County (1935-1947), in 1944 she was admitted to the Michigan State Bar. From 1947 until she entered politics as a City Councilwomen, Beck was a practicing lawyer. |
In 1949, Mary V. Beck became the first woman elected to the Detroit City Council; re-elected five times in a row, she remained on the Council till 1969. Acting Mayor of Detroit from 1958-1962, she officially ran for mayor that year, but was defeated by Roman Gribbs. Beck also served on the Wayne County Board of Supervisors and, another first, as chair of the Ways and Means Committee. In 1962, Beck served on the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women. Her connections to the Ukrainian-American community, had Beck bringing to the forefront the plight of “captive nations” within the Soviet Union; her activism went further as she took up other human rights causes. Known for her political activism and public service to the city of Detroit, Beck was an excellent example and pioneer for the ever growing representation by women in politics and public office.
Beck founded several activity groups and associations for the Ukrainian-American community, published and edited a Ukrainian women’s magazine (Zhinochyi Svit or Women’s World), assisted in the issuing of Ukrainian-English bilingual publications, edited for the Ukrainska Zoria (Ukrainian Star) published by her brother in Detroit, and for another Ukrainian publication in Toronto. Beck helped to found new branches of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, and was an officer in the Detroit Branch. She was a founder and benefactor of the Ukrainian Women’s Literary Award in Ukrainian Literature (1958-1978), and was a sponsor and patron of the Worldwide Ukrainian Art Exhibition held at the MacGregor Center of Wayne State University in 1960. She commissioned portraits from Ukrainian diaspora artists, and supported Ukrainian artists and civil activists in the United States and in Europe. In 1973, Beck was appointed vice-president of the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian National Assembly of the Ukrainian Government in Exile, then Director of Foreign Affairs. She also served as director for the Ukrainian Information Bureau of Detroit. In 1977, Beck was chair of the Ukrainian Bicentennial Committee for Michigan. In the 1990’s, she expanded her range yet again as she became active in the Children of Cho(e)rnobyl Fund after the 1986 Cho(e)rnobyl disaster. Beck traveled to the Ukraine in 1963, and to the independent Ukraine nation in 2003 where she received the St. Volodymyr Medal for lifetime achievements from the Ukrainian World Congress [see obituary in the Detroit Free Press (Feb. 1, 2005) ; see also “Detroit Facts and Trivia” at the Detroit Historical Museum].
Beck won the Ukrainian Community Service Award for promoting Ukrainian cultural activities, presented to her in Detroit by the Ukrainians in the Free World; a commendation from the Ukrainian artists for her support and promotional activities; and the Ukrainian of the Year Award from the Ukrainian Graduates Club of Detroit and Windsor in 1963. A commemorative stamp was issued in her honor in 1965 by the Women’s United Committee of Detroit regarding her election as the first women on the Detroit City Council. Beck received a certificate of honor for her work in the advancement of women in cultural and civic activities from the Federation of Women’s Clubs in Metropolitan Detroit in 1968, the “Captive Nationals Eisenhower Proclamation Medal and Certificate by the Captive Nations Committee of Metropolitan Detroit in 1970, a certificate of merit from the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America in 1975, and, also in 1975, a certificate of merit from the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations for the Advancement of Ukrainian Women and Their Goals.
Beck was a sought-after speaker throughout her professional years. After retiring, Beck was honored with several testimonials by various Detroit, State, and National groups, including a “Mary V. Beck Day” declared by Mayor Roman Gribbs along with the mayors of Dearborn, Hamtramck, Warren, Southfield, and Livonia on February 29, 1972. Governor James Blanchard presented her with a certificate of honor as a distinguished Ukrainian-American in 1984. In 1993, in honor of her 85th birthday, an exhibition celebrating her life and her work was held at the Eko Gallery in the Ukrainian Village in Warren.
The Scarab Club invited Mary V. Beck to sign the beams, and was always honored to have her participate in Scarab Club activities. A letter dated March 21, 1961, from Scarab Club President Otto Simunich to Miss Mary V. Beck, invited Beck to attend the upcoming (April 8, 1961) “Italian Gala” at the Club. Mary Beck has been an honorary member of the Scarab Club since February 16, 1965 [see Scarab Club membership file].
Beck is cited in the interview given by William Bostick for M. C. Rospond for the Oral History Division of the Archives of American Art, August 11-19, 1981.
Executive Vice President of the Founders Society of the D.I.A.
|Joseph Bianco was invited to sign the famous Scarab Club beams upon his retirement as Executive Vice President of the Founders Society of the Detroit Institute of Arts. The tribute paid to him by William Bostick at the beam-signing ceremony made it absolutely clear that Bianco well deserved the honor for his contribution to the DIA itself as a hardworking, successful member of its administrative staff, as well as for his commitment to arts at home and abroad, broadening the range of the art-loving world-wide, and supporting the arts spiritually, emotionally, logistically, and monetarily. Through his years with the Founders Society, a baker’s dozen, Bianco doubled the membership, quadrupled the endowment, and proved himself an expert fund-raiser as a most active member of Partnership for Renewal. On the nitty-gritty level, he re-organizedthe Society’s management and created the highly successful Development Department for the Founders Society. Bianco finessed many exhibitions abroad, especially with Japan, which enhanced the Detroit Institute of Arts’ reputation internationally, brought in revenue, and showcased the DIA’s artworks world-wide. On the domestic front, he encouraged and supported several museum auxilliaries, helped to negotiate the contract to re-structure DIA mangemnet from being a municipal to a non-profit corporation, and even helped get a much-needed Cultural Center parking lot. So effective was Joe Bianco in creating a well-trained, well-organized, effective staff, the Founders Society could and did carry on smoothly even though no immediate successor had been chosen to succeed him [see the write up in the April 1998 issue of The Scarab Buzz].|
| Johanna Bielecki went to St. Alphonsus High school before taking her BA in art from Marygrove College of Detroit. She then went on to graduate studies at The University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Michigan State University, and Cardnial Stritch College in Milwaukee, taking her MA in social work from the University of Detroit Mercy. She later taught in the Dearborn Schools and was a member of the faculty in the School of Education, University of Michigan-Dearborn before taking on the full-time job as a Social Worker in the Dearborn Schools. Art teacher, social Worker, crisis counselor, community activist, interspersed with suffering six-month in a full body cast due to scoliosis and helping to found the Hearing Aid Crisis Center, Bielecki still found time to be a working artist in her own right [see the Detroit Free Press (Feb. 22, 2004)]. |
Bielecki was a member of the Michigan Watercolor Society, the Palette & Brush, the Dearborn Arts & Crafts (served as president), Friends of Polish Art and the Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors. A one-woman show in 1979 was followed by ten more at the Coach House Art Gallery during the 1980’s. Bielecki participated in the huge 1987 exhibition “Women at the Scarab Club 1914-1987” [see write-up in the Dearborn Times Herald (August 30, 1987)]. In 1990, she exhibited with Al Weber, as well as the in the invitational exhibitions by the Sanilac County Historical Museum, the Project Art-Mount Carmel Hospital, the Detroit Press Club, and more. By 2004, Bielecki had twelve solo exhibitions to her credit, as well as more juried art shows than can’t be tallied by memory alone.
An active member of the Scarab Club since 1981, Bielecki was at times invited to serve as exhibition juror, but mainly she exhibited her works in many Scarab Club exhibitions, especially during the 1980’s, winning 3rd prize at the All Member Show in 1989. She also exhibited at the Dearborn City Hall Gallery Inaugural Exhibition in 1989, with Dearborn Arts & Crafts through the 1980’s, at the Palette & Brush 1981-1990, at the Richard Kubinsku Art Competitions 1986-1990, and with the Michigan Watercolor Society, to name about half the venues. She chaired the Scarab Club Arts & Exhibitions Committee and was on the Board. Her work is in the collections of, to name a few, the Sanilac County Historical Museum, the Lafayette Clinic, Mount Carmel Hospital, the Deaborn City Hall, the National Bank of Detroit, the Renaissance Center of Detroit, the Arnold Anderson Co. of Dallas, the Michigan National Bank Corporate Headquarters In 1996, the Scarab Club organized a solo exhibition of her works.
Bielecki was invited to sign the beams in 1997. From Jan. 4 – Feb. 18, 2006, the Scarab Club featured a Bielecki Memorial Exhibition [see Scarab Club Archives with personal vita].
BOOTH, GEORGE R. (Jr.)
October 7, 1930 –
| George R. Booth (Jr.) is a photographer, teacher, and award winner. He is perhaps most famous for his series of photographs entitled “Persepolis : a photographer’s View,” taken in the 1970’s, that are now digitized (they saw the two giant Buddhas which the Taliban blew up), while traveling in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan with Dr. Bernard Goldman. The exhibition of the same name was held at Scarab Club, the Detroit Institute of Art, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. |
From Dearborn Heights, Booth was Director of Photographic Services at Wayne State University, mainly in audio-visual production, for thirty-one years, beginning in 1956. His work included items for newspapers, magazine, and brochures, not surprisingly his main “customer” was the University. He retired with a huge party and an exhibition at the Purdy Library.
Booth applied for membership in the Scarab Club in January of 1965, sponsored by Warren Simpson, B. Typinski, and Beaver Edwards. He served as president of the Scarab Club three times, in 1970-72, 1988-89, and 1997-98 and documented Scarab Club activities through the years with a concentration in the changing technology of photographs, videos, and digital form. Booth was also a Fellow of the Arts in the Cultural Center of Detroit. He taught at the Henry Ford Community College and led the photography workshop the “Fayette Workshop, Photogenic Fayette,” in 1986. He had numerous exhibitions at the Scarab Club: In My View: the Way Eye See It, What We See (with Dave Dezsi), George Booth Tonalities (digitally manipulated prints on colored photographic paper), Darkroon to Digital 2000, Grayfish = Claude: Photographic Visit to the Upper Peninsula. The Maniscalco Gallery hosted the exhibition Group of Six and the Alfred Berkowitz Gallery showed Animal/Vegetable/Mineral II in 2002 [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives].
George R. Booth, Jr. is in the Archives of American Art through the Cranbrook Foundation Records, 1912-1960, which include correspondence, financial records, and clippings. He is also cited in the interviews given by Henry S. Booth on January 13, 1977, and by Zoltan Sepeshy on April 26, 1973, both conducted by Dennis Barrie.
BOOTH, HENRY “THISTLE”
1897 – 1988
| In January 13,1977, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Dennis Barrie conducted an interview, now part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Division, with Henry S. Booth, son of George and Ellen Booth who helped develop and found the Cranbrook Institute, with George Booth also being active in the development of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts and its school. Henry Scripps Booth was one of Cranbrook’s trustees. Booth was asked what he recalled about the planning and outside influences that went into the establishment of Cranbrook, its layout, architecture, decoration, set-up as an art school, as well as the overall ambience created and nurtured there. The discussion and his descriptions allowed for the dropping of such names as Scripps (James and George), Albert Kahn, Henry Langley, John Kirchmayer, and of course, Eliel Saarinen. G. W. M. Riordan conducted another interview with Henry Scripps Booth on September 10, 1979. |
Henry Booth himself was a student under Saarinen when Saarinen first came to teach at the University of Michigan, and took as an architectural design project, the “Designing of a Cranbrook Academy.” Taking more than the usual four years, Booth and some of his fellow students eventually graduated from U of M in 1924, having taken “time off” to spend several months at the American Academy in Rome in 1922, and returning to Ann Arbor and U of M in 1923, the year Saarinen arrived in Michigan fresh from having won 2nd place in the competition for the design of the Chicago Tribune Tower. What had begun as a purchase of one hundred acres of farmland owned by Samuel Alexander by George Booth Sr. and named for the first charter school in Cranbrook, England (from where the Booth family hailed), became a nearly seventeen-year collaboration between the Booth family and the Saarinen family. Cranbrook formally became a degree-granting Institution in 1942. Fellow Scarabs such as Carl Milles (creator of the Triton figures in the reflecting pool) and Zoltan Sepeshy would also left their marks on Cranbrook.
Henry created a whole series of illustrations for his father regarding the planning and layout of the proposed Cranbrook Academy as part of his thesis at the University of Michigan. Cranbrook has a digitized many of the sketches and photographs. The Scripps-Booth Company produced cars in Detroit from 1913-1923.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the publication The Cranbrook Booth Family of America, by Henry Booth, published in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan by the Cranbrook Press in 1998. The artist’s file on James Scripps Booth has one item on the 1988 exhibition at Cranbrook, “James Scripps Booth: Artist and Engineer.” The Detroit Institute of Arts has many of his technical drawings and images of cars.
BOSTICK, WILLIAM A.
Painter, illustrator, art historian, museum adm.
| Immersed in many facets of the world of art, Bostick earned his undergraduate degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology in graphic communication management. He earned his M.A. in art history at Wayne State University where he also taught calligraphy. He studied at Cranbrook under Zoltan Sepeshy, and with Carlos Lopez and Sarkis Sarkisian and later worked for the Hebb, Winter, & Evans Advertising Agency doing advertising design and illustration. As a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Bostick created a service-related sketchbook in 1945. He created topographical maps for the invasion of Normandy, which were later included in the National Geographic article commemorating D-Day [for a snapshot of Bostick holding a copy of the map he created for the D-Day invasion, see Tech Center News (June 5/2000). His books include England Under G.I.’s Reign and three manuals on calligraphy published in 1977, 1991, and 1996. In 1956, Bostick was awarded a fellowship by the Belgian-American Education Foundation to study Flemish painting in Belgium [see Scarab Buzz (June 1956)]. |
William Bostick joined the Scarab Club in 1936, was raised to the level of active member in 1940, served as Scarab Club secretary in 1947 and 1954, was elected to the Board of Directors in 1958, and served as President of the Scarab Club 1962-1963. During his time as SC President, Wiliam Bostick presided over the historic board of directors’ meeting where women were finally allowed club membership in 1962 (1907-1962 the SC only accepted male membership).
Bostick was awarded 3rd prize at the 1958 Gold Medal Show then won the Club’s Gold medal in 1962, 1968, and1980, the honor of three-times gold shared with fellow Scarabs Ernest Scanes 1950/1951/1961, John Tabb 1952/1954/1956, Eldon Roths 1953/1965/1975, Joseph Maniscalco 1970/1976/1986 and William Murcko 2001/2008/2009; Tabb would later take a fourth gold in 1994 see Scarab Buzz (Spring 1980) as well as Maniscalco in 1997; see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives]. Bostick also designed and painted the Scarab Club image for the Scarab Club notepaper in 1962.
Along with his membership in the Scarab Club, he belonged to the Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts and the Center for Creative Studies. When fellow Scarab Club member Clyde Burroughs retired from the Detroit Institute of Art, Bostick took over the position of secretary to the Arts Commission of the City of Detroit, a position he held from 1946-1976. He has served as President of the Board for L’Alliance Francaise de Detroit and President of the Torch Club and Book Club of Detroit. Other added distinctions include being made a Chevalier in the French Order of Arts and Letters, and a Knight of the Order of Italian Solidarity.
Bostick had exhibited his work regularly since 1938 at the Annual Exhibition for Michigan Artists and became a founding member of the Michigan Watercolor Society in 1946. Also in 1946, the Scarab Club held an exhibition of his work England During the American Occupation. The Scarab Club presented the exhibition A Fine Italian Hand: and An Exhibition of Calligraphy in 1962, displaying works by Bostick, Joseph Firden, and Gil Hanna, along with creations by the students of the Arts & Crafts School in Detroit [see Scarab Buzz (April 1962)].
In 1995, twelve Bostick lithographs of “Wood, Bricks, and Stones of Detroit” were commissioned by the Detroit Historical Museum, as well as six paintings for the Michigan National Corporation in Farmington Hills. The Preston Burke Gallery of Farmington Hills presented the exhibition 60 Years of Painting, Printmaking & Calligraphy in 1996. Still serving faithfully on the Scarab Board of Directors and still very active in Scarab Club activities, Bostick undertook a calligraphy class at the Scarab Club in 2000. In 2004, Bostick was honored with the Scarab Club Distinguished Achievement Award. Bostick passed away in 2007 [see obituary in the Detroit News, August 16, 2007], and in 2010, the Scarab Club held a retrospective exhibition of Bostick’s watercolors and calligraphic works [see individual membership files and other records in the Scarab Club Archives].
In August 11-19, 1981, William Bostick contributed a lengthy oral history to the Archives of American Art, directed by Mary C. Rospond. Bostick spoke at great length about his own activities in the art world, but more so about the Detroit Institute of Arts, its history as an institution, the people who helped to develop it as one of the great museums in the United States, the people whose money supported the museum, whose political and social clout helped bring in individual works of art as well as entire collections from local and other collectors, and about the people, himself and several other famous Scarab Club members who worked for the museum in various levels of management [see article on Bostick’s retirement in the Detroit News (November 28, 1976 ; see also the obituary in the Detroit News (August 16, 2007)].
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has in its artist’s file on Bostick, an exhibition catalog for the 1946 exhibition England During the American Occupation, and a catalog from the 1963 exhibition at the Grinnell Galleries of his paintings and calligraphy.
| Bouché was born in New York City. He lived in Paris for a time in 1909. Back in the States, by 1915, he had won the John Sanford Saltus Prize and Medal from the National Academy of Design. From 1918-1931, he was associated with and had exhibitions at the Daniel Gallery in New York. Also, from 1921-1926, he managed the BelMaison Gallery, the first gallery of its kind to be located in a department Store, Wanamakers. In 1933, he won a Guggemheim Fellowship and traveled through Europe. In the early 1940’s he taught at the Art Students League. Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s his work was exhibited once, even twice a year, at many venues, and he won several more awards. |
In 1940, a Working Artists Group was organized in Detroit, its purpose to bring together artists from around the country to discuss and describe their work, their techniques, their thoughts and feelings of the art and art trends of the time. Bouché, along with Yasuo Kuniyoshi, George Grosz, and Reginald Marsh, agreed to be the first round of artists to speak at the gatherings to be hosted by the Scarab Club. Those attending were encouraged to bring one or two examples of their own work for critique and comment.
The Archives of American Art include the March 13, 1963 interview by W. E. Woolfendon for the Oral History Division, as well as the Louis Bouché Papers, 1860-1977 which include scrapbooks, letters, exhibition catalogs, diaries, photographs, and other miscellaneous printed materials.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has an artist’s file on Bouché. Included is the exhibition catalog for the “Louis Bouche: a Memorial Exhibition” at the Kraushaar Galleries in New York in 1970. That exhibition displayed works of art by Bouché, Adolf Dehn, Marcel Duchamp, and Ben Shahn, was published by the American Academy of Arts, and offers brief biographical information. Also included is the catalog from the 1966 “Inaugural Exhibition of American Artists, 1670-1966, held at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
| Born in the Bronx in 1904, schooled in New Jersey with her years of higher education spanning four states, Margaret Bourke-White took her name from her father, Joseph White, and her mother, Minnie Bourke. Bourke-White attended Columbia University, The University of Michigan, Purdue University, Case Western Reserve, and Cornell University, from which she received her degree in herpetology in 1927. At the very young age of eighteen, she had married Everett Chapman. Divorced in 1927 (second husband, 1939-1942, was Erskine Caldwell), Bourke-White headed from Ithaca to Cleveland, she set up a commercial studio, producing mostly architectural and industrial photography [see Emily Keller, Margaret Bourke-White: a Photographer’s Life]. |
Photography had been at first only a hobby begun as a child with the encouragement of her engineer-inventor father. Refining her technique and her style, Bourke-White became a female pioneer in the field. She was at the forefront of the developing field of photojournalism, employed as editor and staff photographer for the newly founded Fortune magazine in 1929-1935, and in 1930, she was one of the first western photographers to photograph inside the Soviet Union. She was the first female photographer hired by Henry Luce for Life magazine (1935), with her first cover shot (Fort Peck Dam’s spillway) on the November 23, 1936 issue. She was also the first female war correspondent allowed into combat zones during WWII. During the Great Depression, especially in the dust bowl region, she photographed the suffering of the American people, publishing her book You have Seen Their Faces (1937) in collaboration with then future husband Erskine Caldwell. The Otis Steel Company in Cleveland, Ohio was the start of her industrial photography years.
Bourke-White traveled the world documenting everything from the German invasion of Moscow during WWII, the horrors of Buchenwald (see Dear Fatherland, Rest Quietly), to Gandhi shortly before he was killed and the events of the separation of India and Pakistan.
Parkinson’s Disease would slow and eventually put an end to Bourke-White’s incredible life and career. She died in Stamford, Connecticut at the age of 67. She produced six eclectic books revealing to the world the world she had seen and documented with her camera, often at the risk of her life. Her autobiography is entitled Portrait of Myself (1963), the 1989 movie of her life is Double Exposure (staring Farah Fawcett). Among the books written about her is V. Goldberg’s biography Margaret Bourke-White : a Biography (Harper & Row, 1986).
The Archives of American Art have a photograph of Margaret Bourke-White’s studio in the 1940’s. She is also cited in the “Imogen Cunningham Papers, 1903-1991”, the “Hugo Gellert Papers”, and in the Archives of American Art Journal 46:1/2 (2006).
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has five items on Margaret Mourke-White:
Margaret Bourke-White: the Photography of Design, 1927-1936 by S. B. Phillips (Wash., D.C. : Phillips Collection, 2003)
Bourke-White by Vicki Goldberg (CT : United Technologies, 1988)
Margaret Bourke-White: the Humanitarian Vision, an exhibition at the Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery (Syracuse, N.Y. : the Gallery, 1983)
Margaret Bourke-White: the Deco-Lens: an exhibition of Photographs and Documents, by the Joe and Emily Lowe Art Center (Syracuse, N.Y. : the Gallery, 1978)
Margaret Bourke-White, Photojournalist by T. M. Brown (Ithaca,
N.Y. : Cornell : Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, 1972)
BOUTELL, HORACE S.
March 6, 1879 – June 11, 1962
American artist, head of Daelyte Service Co.
| Horace S. Boutell graduated from Michigan State College in 1899, the University of Michigan in 1901, and served as principle of the St. Clare High School 1901-1902. Boutell became a member of the American Ordinance Association and the Greater Detroit Board of Commerce, chairing the Clean Up & Paint Committee for three years. He served as president of the Detroit Paint Oil and Varnish Club and was a member of the National Paint, Oil and Varnish Association. For over thirty years, he worked with the Detroit Graphite Company as a book-keeper, treasurer, and plant manager at Detroit Graphite. He was also the treasurer and plant manager for the Canadian affiliate, Dominion Paint Works. When Detroit Graphite merged with Valspar Corporation, Boutell was simultaneously Executive Vice President and DGC and Vice President for Valspar. In 1923, he bought the Daelyte Service Company, serving as president and treasurer. |
With all his business duties, Boutell was already involved with the “pre-Scarab Club” ca. 1911, becoming the original non-artist member with active status when the Scarab Club officially incorporated in Oct. 1918. Always finding the time and resources to serve and support the Scarab Club, he was chair of the membership committee, became treasurer for ten years, and then was Scarab Club president during the WWII years from 1941-1945, seeing to it that the Scarab Club’s mortgage was paid in full and earning an honorary membership for life. He served on the Board of Directors for thirty-three years. In May 1954, Boutell was the guest of honor at the Scarab Club’s “Mr.& Mrs.” party. For his dedication to the Scarab Club, he received a mini-art gallery of oil paintings by his fellow Scarabs. He was eventually raised to the status of lifetime member [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives ; biographical highlights from the Scarab Bulletin (Jan. 1961) ; see also The Scarab (1 (May 1925) ; The Scarab 2:4 (Jan., 1926) ; The Scarab 2:7 (April 1926) ; Scarab Buzz (June 1954) ; Scarab Buzz (July 1962) ; Scarab Buzz (Nov., 1962)].
BRACE, JOAN VON SCHMIDT
January 5, 1917 – December 20, 1995
| Daughter of illustrator Harold von Schmidt, sister of artist and folksinger Eric Von Schmidt, wife of author Richard Brace, Joan Brace was surrounded by the arts before and after her marriage. She did her undergraduate work at the University of California-Berkeley, and studied at the Academie de los Grandes Chaumteres in Paris and in Chicago. She has had major exhibitions in Chicago, at the Evanston Art Center, at the Paris Galerie de la Seine, and at the Scarab Club. Retiring in 1999 from thirty years teaching art at Avondale High School, she continued teaching at the Orio Art Center, while belonging to several art associations, co-authoring two books with her husband, and exhibiting her own art [see the Lansing State Journal (Dec. 8, 1988)]. |
An active member of the Scarab Club since 1977, Joan Brace maintained a studio at the Scarab Club for many years, yet found time to keep up with a plethora of other artistic activities and endeavors. In 1979, Brace helped to hang her paint & Sculpture frieze at Formell Plastics, Inc. in Oxford, Michigan. At the time, she was also serving as project coordinator and member of the Steering Committee for the Orion Community Cultural Center, and was also a candidate for the directorship of the Scarab Club [see Scarab Buzz (June 1979)]. Painter, sculptor, print-maker, musician, poet, Joan Brace helped to establish the Orion Community Cultural Center, the opening of which took place in April of 1980 [see Scarab Buzz (Fall 1980)], at which she taught oil and watercolor painting. She was also a founder of the poetry magazine Mobius.
Brace has always been a “regular” at the various Scarab Club annual exhibitions since 1980, and was awarded a prize at the 1984 All-Members exhibition. Brace had a solo exhibition in the Scarab Lounge in 1986, was represented at the huge 1987 exhibition of Women at the Scarab Club 1914-1987as well as the 1988 sketch-class show. She had another show in the Scarab Club Lounge as well as in Lake Orion in 1988. The Lawrence Street Gallery also exhibited Braceâ€™s work and named her artist of the month [see Pontiac Metro Citizens Post (Jan./Feb. 1990]. In 1992, Joan Brace had a retrospective exhibition at the Pavillion du Val de Grace at the Paris American Academy [see Scarab Buzz (March 1990)].
Brace’s paintings have been exhibited at the Birmingham Community Center Show, while the Orion Art Center exhibited her photography. Her art works have also been shown at the Meadow Brook Gallery of Oakland University, at the Art Department of Northwestern College in Traverse City, at the 420 Photo Gallery (Calif.), and several other Michigan venues. The Orion Art Center set up the annual Joan Brace Scholarship exhibition to honor her memory and to encourage and support aspiring artists [see Lake Orion Review (May 27, 2009)].
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has an artist’s file on Joan Brace. Included is information on the retrospective exhibition in 1992 at the Paris America Academy, and Brace’s work in and exhibitions in Oakland and Pontiac, Michigan.
Urkainian-born American artist
| Born in the Ukraine, of German extract, Robert Brackman immigrated in 1908. From 1919-1921, he studied at the National Academy of Design, then at the Ferrer School in San Francisco. In 1931, he started a long teaching career and life membership at the Arts Students League of New York . He also taught at the Brooklyn Museum, the American Art School of New York, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, and the Madison Art School of Connecticut. From 1934-1944, Brackman had a series of one-man exhibitions at the Macbeth Gallery, in New York. |
His painted works include portraits of John D. Rockefeller and Charles Lindbergh. Brackman painted the portrait of actress Jennifer Jones used in the 1948 film Portrait of Jennie; in the film, it was the portrait painted by the character (played by actor Joseph Cotton). Brackman worked on commission for the United States Air Force Academy and the State Department. He was also known for his large figural works and his still-life paintings. Fortunately, the success of his portrait painting was such that he was soon able to pick and choose his clients.
The Archives of American Art have the “Robert Brackman Papers, 1931-1978 ” (on 4 microfilm reels), which include correspondence with other artists, dealers, and friends, writings and drafts for articles, scrapbooks, awards, and photographs.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the publication Brackman: his Art and Teaching, by K. F. Bates, published in Noank, CT by Noank Publishing in 1951. There is also an artist’s file with one item, “Robert Brackman at the Art Students League,” which offers some biographical information and artistic history in a brief list format.
May 29, 1924 –
| Pat Bramley applied for membership in the Scarab Club and was elected to honorary member of the Scarab Club in March of 1973. Bramley was very active in Scarab Club business as well as the art and the exhibitions. In May of 1980, Bramley had a solo exhibition in the Scarab Club Lounge [see Scarab Buzz (Spring 1980)]. She and Marge Wilson had a two-women lounge show later that year; Wilson exhibited her paintings, Bramley her petal point (Bramley took up the art of petal pointing after reading a book about it). Actress Alexis Smith was in Detroit to do a play at the Fischer; she came to the Scarab Club and bought four of Bramley’s petal point creations [see Scarab Buzz (Summer 1980)]. Bramley served as Scarab Club President 1981-82. In 2002, she was raised to senior member status. |
A Detroiter born and raised, Bramley went to the Doty-Hutchins-Northern High School. She studied at Wayne State University before finding a job with United Airlines when that Airline began flying in and out of Detroit City Airport in the 1940’s. Later, she switched to American Airlines. Bramley helped publish a house organ for Campbell-Ewald [see entry for Henry T. Ewald], progressing from there on a free lance career which included public relations work [see article in the Detroit Free Press (May 14, 1980)].
March 25, 1923-
| Edna Branch applied for membership in the Scarab Club in April of 1973. A self-proclaimed “realist” painter, Branch studied with fellow Scarab Sid Seeley. She served as president of the Scarab Club from 1978-79; she also served as chair of the Scarab Club Arts Committee, and was also asked to be a judge at the April 1979 exhibition at the Toledo Art Museum. Branch gave talks, demonstrations, and slide shows in Michigan and other states, such as her demonstration on the casein technique in 1978 [see Scarab Club announcement flyer]. |
Branch’s proactive attitude, commitment, and generosity in and to the Scarab Club and to arts in general, was obvious. She painted using casein, a type of watercolor using a milk base. Raised in the farm country of Siloam Springs, Ark., farm and country life were her main subjects. In Michigan, she studied at the Warren Parks and Recreation Department and different teachers in the area.
1975 was a very good year for Edna Branch. Besides having her work exhibited at the East Detroit Public Library through the revolving exhibition program, along with the paintings of Arline Hutchinson of East Detroit, Branch won her 40th award, the Grumbacher Award from the National Arts Gallery in New York, for her painting entitled “A Stony Creek Gallery”. Before that, for two years running, her work has been exhibited at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, for which two of her paintings, “Home” and “Homesteader,” won placement among the prize winners in those shows [see article in the Detroit News (January 1, 1975)]. In 1976, she was the first place winner at the Scarab Club’s Silver Medal Exhibition. Branch won 6th place ($50) at the 65th Gold Medal Exhibition[see letter of congratulations dated Jan. 6, 1979)]. She had three one-woman shows.
Branch’s works have been exhibited at the Scarab Club, the Lakeside Palette Club, the Fraser Fine Arts Association, and Apples & Arts, among other venues. She was a member and president of the Fraser Fine Arts Association, and a member of Lakeside Palette and the Warren Society, and the Arts Promotion.
American cartoonist and illustrator
| Austin Briggs was born in Humboldt, Minnesota, spent most of his childhood in Detroit, Michigan where he studied at the Wicker Art School, then, as a teenager, moved to New York City where he attended classes at the Art Students League. Settling in New York City, he found work at an advertising agency, evolving into an assistant to cartoonist Alex Raymond in 1936, working on the “Flash Gordon” comic, then taking over the “Secret Agent Corrigan X-9” comic strip. From 1940 – 1944, Briggs created daily installments for “Flash Gordon” daily, and from 1944 – 1948, the “Flash Gordon” Sunday pages. In 1941, he created the title comic for the comic book “Spy Smasher,” as well as individual comic strips along side advertisements when it was not considered improper to advertise cigarettes with such comic strip images. |
By 1948, he chose to concentrate on illustrations for books and magazine, including the Readers Digest and the Saturday Evening Post. He freelanced for the likes of the Dearborn Independent, Collier’s, McClures, and the Pictorial Review. Briggs was one of the founding faculty members of the Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame. He retired to Paris, where he died of leukemia.
Briggs signed the Scarab Club beams with fellow Scarab artist F. Ludkens in April 1955 [see Scarab Buzz (May 1955)].
BRINKERHOFF, ROBERT MOORE
Newspaper illustrator and cartoonist
| Brinkerhoff was born in Toledo, Ohio and passed away in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He studied music at the Cincinnati Conservatory, then moved to New York City to study at the Art Students League. Upon his return from a trip to Paris, he took up Ohio residence again to create political cartoons for the Blade, the Cleveland Leader, and the Cincinnati Post. In 1913, Brinkerhoff moved to New York City to work as an illustrator for the Evening World. His first and only comic strip, created toward the end of WWII in 1917, was known as “Little Mary Mixup.” As the War progressed, Little Mary grew up wanting to fight Nazis. The cartoon was even published in a Dutch magazine entitled De Humorist, with the title “Willy Weetal’s Wederwaardigheden ” or “Willy Weetal’s vicissitudes or ups and down.” Brinkerhpff’s passion for his cartoons was passed on to his son, Robert Brinkerhoff, Jr., who created the comic strip “Hagen, Fagin, and O’Toole.” |
Brinkerhoff was not only a commercial illustrator and cartoon artist. He also painted and authored several books. He was an enthusiastic yachtsman and, for a time, owned Brinkerhoff Island off the coast of Maine.
BROWN, BOLTON COIT
American painter, lithographer, print-maker
| Bolton Brown was born in Dresden, New York and died in Woodstock, New York. Before working chiefly in New York, Brown was in California till ca. 1940. Brown founded the art department at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and was Chairman of the Dept. of Painting and Drawing from 1891-1902. In 1903, he was one of the founders of the Woodstock Art Colony in New York; he also worked at the Byrdcliff Art Colony. Brown was a painter, a printmaker, a lithographer, and an etcher. He worked from easels and in plein-air. He created figurative images, did landscapes, marinescapes, genre scenes, and architectural scenes. In printmaking, he worked with the likes of George Bellows, John Sloan, and Rockwell Kent. His California years showed the influence of the Impressionists. |
Brown taught at both the National Academy of Design and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His works have been exhibited in the Armory Show of 1913, at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery, the National Gallery of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Salons of America, and with the Society of Independent Artists, of which he was a member. He also belonged at one time or another to Byrdcliff and Woodstock Artists Colonies, the National Art Club, the Salons of America, and the Woodstock Art Association. He and his works are listed in many publications of several art institutions, among others: The Butler Institute of American Art, the Cantor Arts Center in Stanford, the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, and the Woodstock Artists Assocation. Brown is cited in several publications including: Woodstock History and Hearsay (2nd ed.) by A.M. Smith, the Artists Blue Book (2005), Artists in California, 1786-1940 by E. M. Hughs (1989, 2002), The Drawing Collection of the Stanford University Museum of Art by L. Eitner (1993), Prints and Printmakers of New York State, 1825-1940 by D. Tatham (1986), the Dictionary of American Artists by Glenn Opitz (1982), and American Lithographers, 1900-1960 by Clinton Adams (1983).
The Archives of American Art have the “Bolton Brown Papers, 1882-1982” (bulk 1882-1936), which include letters and biographical materials. The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the books entitled Boltan Brown, published in New York in 1988, and Crayonstone: the Life and Work of Boltan Brown, with a catalogue of his lithographs, by Clionton Adams, published in Albuquerque by the Un. of NM Press, 1993. There is also an artist’s file which includes a catalog from an exhibition at the Kennedy Galleries, New York in 1988, a catalog from an exhibition of Brown’s lithographs in Carrington, New York in 1924, another catalog of Original Lithographs by Boltan Brown held in Chicago in 1930, a catalog from an exhibition of lithographs at the Kleemann Galleries, New York, in 1938, and the Boltan Brown, Lithographs catalog from the Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery in Syracuse from 1981.
BRUNK, THOMAS W.
American art and architectural historian
| Born in Romeo, Michigan, Thomas Brunk went through the local school system, took two years at Macomb County Community College and two more at the Alliance Francaise in Paris before studying art history at the Sorbonne. In the early 1970’s, he graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in art history and archival administration, adding a masters in art history from Vermont College a decade later. |
Brunk was employed by the Rouge Steel Company in Dearborn as a steel processing coordinator since his undergraduate years. Along the way, he piled up memberships, leading positions, and committee work: he became a member of the Scientific Committee for the Detroit Institute of Art for the exhibition “Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts 1906-1976”; President of Indian Village Historical Collections, Inc.; President of the Stapleton Foundation for Health Education at Wayne; an architectural historian for the University of Detroit School of Architecture; President of the Saarinen Michigan Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians; a member of the Midwest Archives Conference; membership in the Society of American Archivists; a place on the Photographic Preservation Advisory Council; membership in the Pewabic Society, membership in the D.I.A. Founders Society; membership in the Pennsylvania German Society; membership in the Detroit Historical Society; and memberships in the Acanthas Club, the Players, the Prismatic Club, the Waweatonong Club, the Indian Village Men’s Garden Club, the Indian Village Tennis Club. In 1990-1991, he served a term as President of the Scarab Club.
Brunk has lectured on the history of Pewabic Pottery and its founders Mary Chase Perry and Horace James Caulkins, and was consulting curator, archivist, and also president for Pewabic Pottery from 1974-1988; he was a guest curator for Pewabic at the D.I.A., and curator of three exhibitions for the Detroit Historical Society. During the 1980’s, he curated several exhibitions at the Scarab Club, including the 1987 show entitled “Women Artists at the Scarab Club 1914-1987, ” as well as the exhibition “The Arts and Crafts Movement in Michigan 1886-1906 at Pewabic Pottery.
Brunk’s publications are numerous and varied in subject, from exhibition catalogs for Scarab Club and other exhibitions, to studies on Pewabic Pottery put out by the Historical Indian Village Press, and articles on Charles Lang Freer [see Bulletin of the D.I.A. 59:1 (1981) ; see also Dichotomy 3:4 (1981)]. Works by Brunk include The Work of Leonard Bernard Willeke (Indian Village 1982), Leonard B. Willike: Excellence in Architecture and Design (University of Detroit Press, 1986), Seventy-Five Artful Years, 1910-1987 (Detroit: The Scarab Club, 1986); and Drawings, Sketches, and Photographs Relating to the Edsel B. Ford Residence (Indian Village, 1981) [see also Kiosk 6:2 (Fall 1991)]. Brunk composed A Tribute to Edgar Louis Yaeger (Detroit: Scarab Club, 1988) as well as “Walking Tour: Highlights of Historic Indian Village [Detroit in Perspective 7 (Spring 1983), p. 97-104)], as well as articles on the Oscar Webber Mansion [Tonnancour 1, 1994, p. 203-215], the Perry-Stratton Residences [Tonnancour 1, 1994, p. 158-176], and Painting with Fire: Pewabic Vessels in the Margaret Watson Parker Collection [Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Museum of Art, 1995. He also authored Selected Works by Contemporary Hispanic Artists in Michigan for the Scarab Club in 1989 [see “Thomas W. Brunk: selected publications in the artist file].
Brunk lent the Marian V. Loud Papers, 1905-1956, as well as the Anne Lisabeth von Nutzhorn materials on the art of Jens Block Gjern [Brunk is Nutzhorn’s nephew], to be copied and included in the holdings of the Archives of American Art.
BUEHRIG, GORDON MILLER
American automotive deisgner
| Gordon Miller Buehrig was born in Mason City, Illinois; he died in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. From the age of twenty, Buehrig worked in the automotive industry. His first job was as chief engineer at the Gotfredson Body Company; later he worked for Dietrich Incorporated, Packard, General Motors, and Stutz. In 1929, he designed the Stutz Black Hawk of Le Mans fame [see Buehrig & Jackson, Rolling Sculpture (Newfoundland, NJ : Haessner, 1975)]. By the age of twenty-five, he was working as a body designer for one of the most prestigious automobile producers in the Unted States, Duesenberg. For several years, he lived with Fred Duesenberg’s family. In 1933, he designed the “Baby Duesenberg,” but the twin radioator system did not catch on and the design was scrapped. For Duesenberg, he designed the luxury car known as the Model J., as well as the Shreve Archer Judkins, the Derham Tourster, the Torpedo Phaeton, the Derham four-door convertible, and the “Twenty Grand,” to name a few. In 1930, he added his own special touch, “body by Buehrig,” to a newly produced Ford model. Motor Magazine wrote about this special car, which Buehrig himself drove over 89,000 miles before selling it in 1934. |
Also in 1934, he went to work for the Auburn Automobile Company in Auburn, Indiana for whom he designed the Auburn Boat Tail Speedster, and the Cord 810/812; the Cord was honored by the Museum of Modern Art in 1951. A kit copy of Buehrig’s Auburn 851 boattail Speedster was used in the television show Remmington Steel. Actually, the cars which Auburn displayed at the 1935 New York Auto Show, including the Cord, had not been finished in time and were displayed without transmissions; even so, the Cord was a marvelous success. After Auburn, Buehrig worked for a while for the Budd Company, for which he designed the (never mass produced) “Wowser,” then for White Truck and King Seeley, then for Studebaker.
Ruehrig came to work for Ford in 1949. In 1951 he designed the Victoria Coupe, and in 1956, the Continental Mark II. On June 5, 1951, he patented the removable T-top. After retiring from Ford in 1965, Buehrig taught for five years at the Art Center College of Design in California. In 1979, he designed the carriage roof coupe known as the Buehrig Motor car. Posthumously, Buehrig was one of twenty-five candidates for the international award, the Car Designer of the Century, in 1999 [biographical highlights from Rolling Sculpture by G. M. Buehrig and William S. Jackson (Newfoundland, New Jersey : Haessner, 1975)].
Buehrig was invited to sign the beam at the Scarab Club in 1977. That year, the Scarab Club held an exhibit displaying not only his designs, but also scale models, photographs, and drawings of the cars he designed.
BURCHFIELD, CHARLES EPHRAIM
| Born in Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio and raised in Salem in a house which now serves as a museum, Burchfield graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1916. In 1921, he moved to Buffalo, New York to work for the Birge Wallpaper Company. In 1925, he moved to one of the Buffalo suburbs where he lived for the rest of his life. |
A friend of artist Edward Hopper, Burchfield’s own output has been divided into three periods. First was his a fauvist-influenced period of intense color and his own unique way of depicting sounds through his visual work; he was still living in Ohio at the time. He continued to paint while in the U.S. army in 1918 which had him “camouflaging” tanks and other military scenarios into his paintings. Not fitting entirely into the designation “Abstract art,” Burchfield’s depictions of ordinary things such as houses or flowers, coupled with his way of incorporating “sounds” into his compositions, made for weirdly abstracted and mood-filled scenes.
The second period, after WWI till the early 1940’s, well-settled into life in small-town suburbia, had Burchfield sliding into the “American Scene” or Regionalist” movement, creating large watercolor images of industrial America as well as small-town America. In 1936, Life called Burchfield one of American’s ten greatest painters.
The final period saw Burchfield backtracking to the moody, sometimes hallucination-bordering intensity with hard-hitting colors, heavy, swirling brush strokes, and “almost abstract” forms. The work from this last period, according to art historian and critic John Canaday in a 1966 New York Times article, would be what Burchfield’s most recognized artistic achievement.
In 1966, Buffalo State College dedicated the Charles Burchfield Center, renamed the Burchfield Art Center in 1983. The Museum received a series of donations from Charles Rand Penney totally over 1, 200 works of art by Western New York Artists, including 183 works by Burchfield, prompting a second re-naming, The Burchfield-Penney Art Center. Burchfield’s works are in collections throughout the country, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to name a few. The DIA owns Burchfield’s “Freight Cars under a Bridge” (1933) and “August” (1931) [main source Scarab Club Archives].
The Archives of American Art have Charles E. Burchfield’s interview for the Oral History Division, conducted August 19, 1959 by John D. Morse. There are also several files of letters and a 1941 photograph.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has an artist’s file on Burchfield, as well as 22 exhibition catalogs and collection lists ranging from Charles Burchfield: Paintings 1915-1965 (DC Moore Gallery, N.Y., 2005) and Thirty-Eight Rare Drawings by Charles Burchfield (Kennedy Galleries, 1992), to Heat Waves in a Swamp: the Paintings of Charles Burchfield (Hammer Museum in L.A., 2009) and Charles Burchfield: Ecstatic Light (DC Moore Gallery, N.Y., 2005).
BURKHART, EMERSON C.
| Born near Kalida, Ohio, Burkhart studied at the Art Students League in New York, then under Charles Hawthorne in Provincetown. In 1931, he moved back to the Midwest to teach at the Ohio School of Art in Columbus, where he joined the Ohio Art League. |
Impressionist and Post-impressionist influences reveal themselves in his work as he painted scenes of American life and American scenery. He twice received WPA commissions to paint murals. He also traveled as a representative of the American International School.
In April of 1995, the Riffe Gallery in Columbus, Ohio held the exhibition (organized by the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center in Portsmouth, Ohio) entitled Midwest Realities: Regional Painting 1920-1950, which featured works by Burkhart.
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BURNETT, PATRICIA HILL
September 5, 1924 –
American painter and sculptor
| Patricia Hill was born in Brooklyn, New York, though she grew up in Toledo, Ohio. When her mother re-married, the family moved to Detroit, Michigan. Miss Hill launched her own artistic career by selling portraits at the age of fourteen. She graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore with a degree in Fine Arts, then went on to study at the Instituto d’Allende in Mexico before coming home to Wayne State University. |
Patricia Hill Burnett, as founder and president, convened the first meeting of the Michigan Chapter of the National Organization for Women in 1970 at the Scarab Club. In 1971, Burnett was traveling the world to initiate the first international meetings of the National Organization for Women. 1977 saw Burnett awarded the Northwood Institute’s Distinguished Women award, along with Maria Tallchief Paschen, Hannah Baker Church, Celeste Holm, among others. For her work and dedication to the National Organization for Women, Burnett was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 1987, along with Betty Ford, Rosa L. Gragg (1904 or 7 – 1989, 16th president of the National Association for Colored Women), Dr Clara Raven (1909-1994, Deputy Chief Medicial Examiner for Wayne County), Dr. Ethel Calhoun (1898-1989, for her work in medicine and health care), Dr. Marion Isabel Barnhart (1921-1985, for her work in the fields of math and science, and Georgia Emery (1967-1913), for her work as a women in the field of business). In 1971, Burnett was traveling the world to initiate the first international meetings of the National Organization for Women. This former beauty queen turned advocate for women’s rights and advancement, wrote her autobiography True Colors : An American Artist’s Journey from Beauty Queen to Feminist, published in 1995.
A member of the Scarab Club after women were admitted in 1962, Burnett was sponsored by Vivian Cooper, William Bostick, and Beaver Edwards in May of 1964, and was one of the first women to rent a studio in the Scarab Club. The subjects of her portrait painting skills range from Indira Gandhi and Joyce Carol Oates to Rosa Parks and Corazon Aquino [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives].
Patricia Hill Burnett is cited in the Archives of American Art through the interview given by William Bostick for the Oral History Division to M. C. Rospond, August 11-19, 1981.
American arts admin/manager/dealer
| Though Clyde Burroughs was young enough to still be a student himself when he began teaching in the Monroe County education system and within only a couple years into his teaching career, he decided to try to incorporate more visual methods and materials into his curriculum; he spent his summer break time at the Detroit Museum of Art studying the art works and refining his philosophy. His serious enthusiasm and commitment led then Director Armand Griffith (1860-1930) to offer Burroughs a job: first leading school group tours, then more serious involvement with education at the museum, and then handling museum publicity. By 1904, Burroughs had become the museum’s assistant director. Soon after, he added curatorial duties to his role, focusing mainly on American Art. With Griffith’s resignation in 1913, Burroughs became acting director for more than a year, retaining a great deal of the directorial duties for museum operations even after Charles Moore (1855-1942) became the museum’s third director. Burroughs also became the secretary for the museum’s corporation, handling all financial matters. In 1924, he became the first curator of American Art. He took up the reigns of acting director again after Moore left the position until Wilhelm Valentiner (1881-1958) officially took over. |
By 1915, the Detroit Museum of Art had joined with other leading museums in the country to organize the annual exhibitions of American Art. From 1915-1938 (with a five-year interval during the Depression), the Detroit Institute of Arts held exhibitions of works by the country’s leading artists. Clyde Burroughs was the D.I.A.’s “point man” in organizing, managing, and promoting these annual exhibitions. As the first curator for the American Art Department, he was keen to develop and enlarge the Museum’s holdings of American Art, as well as stimulate other institutions and private collectors to take an interest in, support, and collect American art; naturally he was especially keen to support artists in the Detroit Metro/Michigan region.
Thanks to Burroughs’ enthusiasm in “selling” regional art and American art in general, the Detroit Athletic Club bought Frank Benson’s (1862-1951) “On Lookout Hill” from the 1915 Annual; Collector Julie E. Peck (1875-1971) bought several works of art exhibited at one of the annual exhibitions, such as Robert Spencer’s (1987-1931) “On the Canal, New Hope,” which she gifted to the D.I.A., along with other works. Henry Stevens and James Whistler, both exhibited in the annual shows and were encouraged to donate their works, “Arrangement in Gray” and “Portrait of the Painter” (respectively) to the D.I.A. Burroughs’ efforts to make the D.I.A.’s collection, the American Art Department in particular, one of the national’s best, excited and encouraged the patronage of other artists and donors. Another work in the D.I.A.’s collection thanks to Burroughs is Evelyn Brackett’s (b. 1922) painting “Paper Hats” (ca. 1948), which won the Clyde H. Burroughs Purchase Prize at the Annual Exhibition of Michigan Artists.
Fellow Scarab Club member John S. Coppin painted two portraits of Burroughs, the first in the late 1940’s; the second in 1955 which was purchased for the D.I.A. by the Founders Society [see online description of Burroughs and his work at the D.I.A. on the Museum’s website, accession # 55.79].
With all the work Burroughs was doing at the D.I.A., he still found the time to be one of the founding members of the Scarab Club, first named the Hopkin Club, in 1907. He exhibited in the very first Hopkin Club exhibition in 1910. In 1911, along with the Club’s first president James Swann and Joseph Gies, he helped organize the first annual Michigan Artist Exhibition, exhibiting steadily in this annual exhibition held at the D.I.A. from 1911-1926. He also established the annual exhibition of Selected Paintings by American Artists (1915-1931, 1937-1938). During the Depression, Burroughs was head of the WPA program in Michigan. Burroughs served as the Club’s treasurer under Swann, and served many years on the Board. Made an honorary life member, in 1946, Burroughs was awarded the Scarab Club’s gold-plated card [see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives].
In the 1970’s The National Encyclopedia of American Biography included Clyde Burroughs in its listings.
The Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian have a collection of letters and photographs from artists, bulk 1915-1937, some of it on microfilm, including photos of several artists, each inscribed to Burroughs, letters from artist friends and acquaintances including A. C. Morgan, H. B. Pancoast, F. W. Benson, and W. S. Kendall, regarding the exhibition of their works at the Detroit Museum of Art. Also included is an annotated catalog of the sale of oil paintings and other artistic media by dealer Clyde Burroughs. Burroughs was interviewed by E.P. Richardson, who helped to found the Archives of American Art, in 1956, prior to the official establishment of the Archive’s Oral History Program in 1958. A second interview, specifically for the Oral history Program, was conducted by William E. Woolfenden in June of 1961.
The Research Collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts has the “Clyde H. Burroughs Records, 1906-1946”, including fillies on Diego Rivera, Albert Kahn, Charles Lang Freer, Ralph H. Booth, and the Scarab Club, among others.
BUTLER, JOSEPH GREEN
| Joseph Butler hailed from Youngstown, Ohio. The Archives of American Art have the Joseph Green Butler of July 13-14, 1977, conducted by Louis Brune Orr for the Oral History Division. He is also cited in the “Remo Farrugio Papers, 1937-1983” which includes letters from Butler to Farrugio. |
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CARMICHAEL, BERNICE E.
American painter and sculptor; First female president of the Scarab Club
| Elected to membership in February of 1963, Grosse Pointe artist Bernice Carmichael joined the Scarab Club the year following the 1962 landmark decision to admit women into the Scarab Club. From the Detroit area, while her husband worked to expand his business from two people to seven plants, this former runner-up beauty queen found time to raise a large family as well as develop her artistic skills. In 1969, Bernice Carmichael won second prize at the first Scarab Club Silver Medal exhibition, initiated as a “companion” and was awarded to the highly popular Scarab Club Gold Medal exhibitions and awards, for her painting entitled “Guitar Still Life” [3/1/1977 letter from Joseph F. Padys, Jr. Scarab Club manager, to Jacqueline Fergenson]. Bernice served as the first female president of the Scarab Club from 1973-1974. Her proactive attitude toward and loyalty to the Scarab Club was evident through the years: in 1977, the year of a mother and daughter exhibition (her daughter Lucy Carmichael Milner is a photographer), she paid for the framing of the historical periods of the Scarab Club series; in 1978 she paid for the new Scarab Club awning and gifted $400 to the Scarab Club Benefit; in 1992, she gave $500 to the Scarab Club building fund [see membership notice letter dated Fe. 14, 1963) ; see also Grosse Pointe News (May 19, 1977). |
Painting for pleasure as a child, Bernice studied with John and Carol Bennett at the Detroit Institute of Art, with Scarab members Edgar Yaeger, S. Sarkisian, and G. Palazzola, and with G. Lunderowski and Clifford West at Cranbrook, sculptors Frank Cassara and Frank Varga, and with J. Powell at Pewabic Pottery. Her work has been exhibited in Michigan, New York, Florida, and abroad. She has had shows at the Gallery Galaxie in Detroit, the Leo Galerie des Annee, the Grosse Pointe Artists Association, with the Detroit Women Painters and Sculptors, the Pennsylvania Academy, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Duncan (brother of Isadora Duncan) Gallerie des Arts in New York, the Raymond Duncan Gallerie in Paris in 1959, the Liggett School in Grosse Pointe (retrospective), and the Downer Seminary in Milwaukee. She earned an honorable mention at the 23rd International Grand Prix of 1972, and a showing at the 9th Grand Prix Cote d’Azure and the Salon des Femmes Peintre in 1973. Her art is in the private collections of Mrs. Henry Ford II, Mrs. Edsel Ford, Mrs. Samuel Chapin, among others.
The magazine Impresario did a feature article on Bernice Carmichael in the May/June 1974 issue. There is also an article about her life as a wife, mother, and prolific artist in the Detroit Free Press by Tom Venaleck. One of her most well-known creations, the stone-cast image of the “Madonna and Child,” displays beautifully in Webster, Mass. in the Academy Chapel [main source Scarab Club Archives].
| Carroll’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics were from Wayne State University. He worked his way through several levels of economics-management positions, having previously worked for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, and taught at Macomb Community College. Carroll worked as the senior V.P for Business Development for the Detroit Regional Chamber and Executive Director of the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership; he was the Director of International Business Development for the DRC. He has also served as V.P. of the French American Chamber of Commerce, and was a board member of the French American Automotive Business Association, the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce of Detroit, and the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce; and also was a member of the Michigan District Export Council, the Economic Club of Detroit, and the United Way Allocations Committee. |
Carroll studied at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco, the Cincinnati Art Academy under Frank Duveneck, and in Paris. He earned himself a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927. Hired to replace Samuel Halfert, Carroll was head of the Painting Department at the Art School of Detroit Arts & Crafts from 1930-1941 [see The Scarab 6:1 (Oct. 1930)]. He also taught at the Art Students League of New York.
Carroll joined the Scarab Club Aug. 28, 1930. At the time, he became the third member of the Scarab Club honored with a one-man show at the Detroit Institute of Arts. By 1932, he had been raised to active (voting) status [see letter dated March 18, 1932 in individual membership file]. He served as Scarab Club president in 1940, and was instrumental in planning the Scarab Club’s annual ball, that year entitled the “Headdress Ball.” On that year’s committee was Mrs. Frederick M. Alger, Jr., whose portrait Carroll painted, the portrait was displayed in the Rehn Gallery in New York [see the Detroit News (February 11, 1940) and (November 24, 1940)].
As an artist, Carroll favored a “kinetic” style in his work, claiming that the artist and the viewer should be able to “walk around” within the image, vs. the “static” concept of simply portraying the image, whatever the level of perspective, in the two-dimensional medium of painting [see The Scarab 6:3 (Dec. 1930)]. Carroll was raised to the status of active member in March of 1932. He was a Scarab Club gold medal winner 1936, and was awarded the Michigan Artist Exhibition Founders Society Prize in 1935 and 1941. The Frank Rehn Gallery in New York City handles his works.
In 2008, the Art and Architecture Committee invited Scarabs Pat and Randell Reed to present an exhibition of their huge collection of watercolors created from the 1920’s to the 1960’s by artists of the Lower Great Lakes region. Held at the Detroit Athletic Club from Oct.-Dec. 2008, the exhibition, entitled Lower Great Lakes Watercolorists, included works by Carroll as well as works by Scarab members Ernest Scanes, Zoltan Sepeshy, John B. Tabb, Carol Wald, and Edgar Louis Yaeger [see exhibition announcement flyer 2008 ; for further information see individual membership file and individual artist’s file in Scarab Club Archives].
The Archives of American Art have the “John Carroll Papers, 1937-1956”, which include photos, exhibition catalogs, and a portrait sketch by Charles O. Horton. Carroll is also cited in the “Milch Gallery Records, 1911-1980”, and the Frank Rehn Gallery photograph series.
CARTER, CLARENCE H.
March 26, 1904 – June 4, 2000
| Born in Portsmouth, Ohio, Clarence Carter studied at the Cleveland School of Art from 1923-1927, then spent a summer studying under Hans Hofmann in Capri. From 1929-1937, Carter was a teacher at the Cleveland Museum of Art. In 1938, Carter moved from his position as Director of the Ohio regional WPA/FAP, to join the teaching staff at the Carnegie Institute. He has been a visiting lecturer, a profession, and an artist-in-residence at several universities. His artwork is in the holdings of such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fogg, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Haron-Meek Gallery in Naples, Florida held a retrospective exhibition entitled “Clarence H. Carter: Six Decades of Painting,” January 16-29, 1983. The Archives of American Art have a video-recorded interview by the gallery’s Director, William Meek, conducted during the retrospective exhibition. Carter’s work has also been displayed and sold through the Higgins Maxwell Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky. He is listed in Who Was Who in American Art. |
The Archives of American Art have Clarence H. Carter Papers, 1900-1979, which include correspondence, diaries, business papers, photographs, and other miscellaneous printed materials. As well, the Archives have the interview Carter gave on April 13, 1964 for the Oral History Division with R. K. Doud, in his home in Milford, New Jersey. Carter discussed at length his background within his extended family, all with artistic inclinations. The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has an artist’s file on Clarence H. Carter.
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CAVANAUGH, JEROME PATRICK
Mayor of Detroit 1962-1970
| J. P. Cavanagh was born in Detroit and attended the University of Detroit, graduating from the Law School in 1954. He was the first Detroit Mayor (Democrat 1962-1970) to live in Manoogian Mansion when Alex Manoogian donated the house to the city. He welcomed Martin Luther King, Jr. to the city and marched with him in 1963. Cavanagh was successful in obtaining federal money for the Model Cities Program which helped create new building projects in the downtown area. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1966 but lost to former governor G. Mennen Williams. And, in spite of his successful, pro-civil-rights image, the devestating riots in 1967 ruined any possible thought of running for president. In 1974, he ran for Governor but lost to Sander Levin in the primary election, who later lost to William Milliken. Cavanaugh then returned to his private law practice in Detroit [see the article “Phooie on Louie : African American Detroit and the Election of Jerry Cavanaugh,” in Michigan History by Joseph Turrini (Nov./Dec. 1999)]. |
Cavanaugh was elected an honorary member of the Scarab Club and invited to sign the Scarab Club beams [see Scarab Club membership file].
February 18, 1934 –
Conductor of Detroit Symphony Orchestra
| Aldo Cecaato was born in Milan, Italy. In the United States, he was the musical director and conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 1973-1977. He became the musical director and conductor of the Bergen Philharmonica Orchestra from 1985-1990, of the Orquestra Nacional de Espana 1991-1994, and of the Brno Philharmoic Orchestra 1995-2002. He happens to be Victor de Sabata’s son-in-law, and has made recordings of Sabata’s music for the Hyperion label. Early on in his musical career, he recorded Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and Verdi’s La Traviata with opera diva Berverly Sills. |
During the celebrations of the United States Bicentennial, along with a wild and wonderful costume ball at the Scarab Club, Maestro Ceccato and his wife were invited to dinner, and Ceccato was invited to sign the Scarab Club beams [see the write-up in the Sunday Detroit News (April 18, 19760) ; see also the Scarab Club’s announcement flyer in the Scarab Club Archive files].
Ceccato is mentioned in William Bostick’s interview of August 1981 for the Archives of American Art Oral History Program.
| Born in Iowa, passed away in Massachusetts, Chamberlain first studied architecture-related arts at the University of Washington in 1913. He was at M.I.T in 1914. During WWII, he joined the American Field Service Ambulance Corps, then stayed in and traveled through Europe after the war, working with lithographs, dry point, engravings, and learning printmaking in France. Chamberlain authored and illustrated architecture books. He was a member of the Chicago Society of Etchers. |
The Archives of American Art have the Samuel Chamberlain Papers, 1908-1971, including photographs, correspondence, drawings, writings, some biographical materials, and clippings. Chamberlain also gave an interview for the Oral History Program, September 25, 1972, with R. F. Brown.
| Known for his landscape and portrait painting, Ohio-born Francis Chapin went to Washington and Jefferson College for his undergraduate years, then on the Art Institute of Chicago for six years, winning the Bryan Lathrop Fellowship in his last year. By 1929, he had two one-man shows. |
After studying for six years, Chapin then taught at the AIC from 1929-1947. In 1932, Grant Wood offered him a faculty position at the Stone City Art Colony, he accepted and taught lithography for two summers. During WWII, he taught at the AIC summer school located in Saugatuck, Michigan and served as summer school director. He added to his credits, artist-in-residence at the Old Sculpin Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard.
Chapin had his work exhibited at the AIC, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Corcoran Gallery in D.C. The AIC, the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Syracuse University are among the institutions with Chapin’s work in their permanent collections.
The Archives of American Art hold the “Francis Chapin Papers, 1917-1984”, including biographical materials, photographs, correspondence, and clippings. For the Oral History Division, Chapin was interviewed by Dennis Barrie on July 20, 1978.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has in its holdings Francis Chapin, an exhibition catalog from the Fairweather Hardin Gallery in Chicago from 1979, which includes 100 leaves of Chapin’s drawings.
| Chen Chi-Kwan was born in Beijing. Tutored as a child, he learned the Four Books and Five Classics, as well as several calligraphic styles. The family had frequently moved during The War of Resistence against Japan but they finally settled in the Sichuan Province where studied architecture at the Central University. |
In 1944, Chen was drafted and served as an interpreter in the China-India-Burma arena. After the War, he returned home and worked for a while in Nanjing. In 1948, he headed for the United States to continue his studies. Architect Walter Gropius invited Chen to work with him at Bauhaus in 1951, while (Chen) simultaneously taught part-time at M.I.T. In 1954, world-famous architect I.M.Pei asked Chen to go to Taiwan to design the campus of Tunghau University. 1960 found him settling permanently in Taiwan, setting up the Department of Architecture at Tunghaui, and designing the Luce Chapel Memorial Church.
Chen combined his knowledge of western art with his grounding in Chinese painting and art. This combination of new and old, east and west, aesthetics and naturalism, color and imagination, gave his art a truly personal style. In 2004, the National Culture and Arts Foundation present him with its 8th National Award for Arts in the category of fine arts. In 2008, he had an exhibition at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. As he turned 90 by the Chinese calendar, the National Palace Museum in Taiwan hosted a huge exhibition entitled Chen Chi-Kwan, the Mind’s Eye.
The Archives of American Art have the “Chi-Kwan Chen Papers, 1946-1972”, which include biographical materials, exhibition catalogs, scrapbooks, clippings, and photographs. The Chen Chi-Kwan Foundation has its website at http://ckchenfoundation.org/EN/ckchen.asp.
| Howard Church was born near Sioux City, Iowa in 1904. He took his BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, his MA and Ph. D. from Ohio State University, his 1939 dissertation entitled “Portrait Painting in a University Curriculum.” He taught art at the Morgan Park Military Academy in Morgan Park, Illinois from 1933-1936, was an instructor at the Vanderpoel Gallery in Ridge Park, Illinois from 1936-1938, and became head of the Washburn College Art Department in 1940. |
Church’s works was exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago (“Century of Progress,” 1933) and at the Detroit Institute of Art. His auction records can be found online through ASK/ART, among them “Girl with a Book” and “The Flutist.” He is mentioned in the Biographical Directory of Kansas Artists Active Before 1945 compiled by Susan Craig, and in Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, edited by Peter Hastings Falk.
CHURCH, MICHAEL P.
American lecturer, critic, author, photographer
| Although he was previously requested to act as a judge for the Annual Watercolor Show [see letter dated October 19, 1956 from Frank McVay, chair of the Scarab Club Arts Committee, to Michael Church, in the Scarab Club Archives in the Michael Church artist file], Michael Paul Church later applied to become a member of the Scarab Club on February 8, 1965, was elected in March 1965, and then re-applied in 1969. He was subsequently awarded an honorary membership [see letter, undated, from D. Lawrence, Scarab Club Secretary at the time], served as president (1968-1969), and then served on the Board of Directors. In 1969, Church received an honorable mention at the first Scarab Club Silver Medal exhibition, initiated as a “companion” exhibition and selected to the highly popular Scarab Club Gold Medal exhibitions and awards, for his painting entitled “Summers End” [see 3/1/1977 letter from Joseph F. Padys, Jr. Scarab Club manager, to Jacqueline Fergenson ; for further details see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives]. |
Dubbed the “Evangelist of Art” and the “Johnny Appleseed of Art [see Reader’s Digest, May 1966 ; see also Detroit Free Press 1965], Detroit-born Church traveled tirelessly giving lectures, judging exhibitions, starting art centers, and inspiring those who met him and heard him speak to cultivate all types of artistic media, though he was most active in his home state of Michigan. He studied with Nicolas Marciano, Ralston Crawford, John P. Wicker at the Wicker School of Art, with Ralston Crawford in New York, and with Emil Weddige [see the Manatee Times article by Luella Hood, 19–], then at the Cranbrook Academy, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan. His works grace the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Grand Rapids Art Gallery, the Kalamazoo Art Center, and the Saginaw Art Museum. He served on the Michigan Cultural Commission and belonged to the Michigan School Masters.
Church received degrees in art from Cranbrook and the University of Michigan. He served as Supervisor for the Saginaw Michigan Extension Center by 1946, from which he began in earnest his “evangelical” promoting of the arts. He was honored in 1958, the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters when he was awarded the Gold Medal in recognition of his promotional travels around the country. By 1966, Church had either started up, influenced, and/or supported and promoted over one-hundred and sixty art clubs in the country. He was also awarded the Van Gogh Medal by Impresario magazine, and the Outstanding Service Award by the Michigan Association of the Professions [ca. 1973].
Church was a member of the Michigan Council of Arts under several Michigan governors and, in 1972, was heartily supported for a position on the Federal Council of the Arts and Humanities. The University of Michigan Extension Service News [31:1 (Aug./Sept. 1974) ; see also the Newsletter of the National University Extension Association 5:16 (August 11, 1972)] included a wonderful write-up on Church’s tireless efforts to promote art appreciation as well as individual and group involvement in all forms of art through his position in the University of Michigan’s Extension Services, as well as his own initiatives through lectures and travels, and his appointment to the Michigan State Council of the Arts.
Retiring from his position in the Cultural Activities Division of The University of Michigan, for which he coordinated all the cultural activities for the Extension Services, he continued his “artistic evangelical” activities such as acting as a juror for the 4th Annual Southern Illinois Artists Exhibition at the Mitchell Museum in Mt. Vernon, Illinois in 1977. He gave lectures such as “In Search of a Personal Style” in Pontiac, Michigan; “Creative Photography”; and a 1982 lecture at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. In 1981, he gave a presentation to the Historical Society of Michigan, of which he was a member since 1938, on Michigan art and artists of the time, and was given the Award of Merit. Church donated the Photograph of Susan Glaspell and George Cram Cook to the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in Provincetown, Mass.
The Archives of American Art have the “Michael Church Papers, 1934-1984”, which include biographical material, letters, notes, a TV script, correspondence, clippings, and photographs.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has an artist’s file for Mike Church.
CISLER, WALKER L.
American industrial engineer
| Walker Cisler has the honor of the Cisler Center at Lake Superior State University being named after him. Thirty-Three linear feet of Cisler archival materials are housed at the Bentley Library in Ann Arbor (bulk of material 1943-1987). He was born in Marietta, Ohio, grew up in Gradyville, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Cornell University after WWI in 1922 with a degree in mechanical engineering. |
He joined the public service Electrics & Gas in New Jersey, and then was sent to the Office of Production Management in 1941 where he served as Chief of Equipment Production organizing utilities for civilians and the military. He joined Detroit Edison in 1943 as Chief Engineer of Power Plants. When General Dwight D. Eisenhower called him into service as Chief of Public Utilities for Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces, Cisler found himself far away from his Detroit home and office as he worked to restore war-torn Europe’s power and utilities. Having helped Paris, then most of the rest of France rebuild its utilities, Cisler returned to Detroit.
Cisler was chief engineer of a Detroit Edison Power Plant in Detroit by 1945, an executive Vice President by 1948, President by 1951, Chief Executive by 1854, on the Board of Directors from 1951-1975, and chairman of the Board from 1964-1975 (while still CEO from 1954-1971).
Cisler was involved with the development of nuclear power almost from the beginning. Always the staunchest of advocates for the peaceful use of nuclear power; he spearheaded Detroit Edison’s involvement and worked nationally and internationally in the field. In honor of Cisler’s lifelong work and achievements, the American Nuclear Society established the Walker Cisler Medal in 1991, to be awarded to an individual for outstanding scientific or engineering achievement or management, associated with the design, development/deployment or fast reactors technologies.
Cisler was a founding member of the National Academy of Engineery. He was active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Institute of Management, and the American Nuclear Society. He was President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Engineering Joint Council, and the Edison Electric Institute. In 1968, he was the first American Chair at the International Executive Council of World Energy Conference.
Cisler was always firm supporter of great education. He was a Trustee of Marietta College, the Michigan Colleges Foundation, Director of Suomi College, and an honorary Trustee of the University of Detroit, among others. He was active in many Detroit area societies, clubs, and associations, on the Board of Detroit Renaissance, and active in the Thomas Alva Edison Foundations (founded in 1946 by C. Kettering). Lawrence Technical University sponsors the annual Walker L. Cisler Memorial Lecture Series dedicated to the improvement of science education, the first of which was in 1995.
In the Archives of American Art, Cisler is cited in the Oral History interview of Ruth Adler Schee, No. 24-30, 2002, conducted by Anita Schnee in Southfield, Michigan as part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentary Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
CLARK, FRANK SCOTT
Sept. 17, 1865 – October 26, 1937
| Frank Scott Clark was born in Peru, Indiana into a family with deep roots in American history. He was a direct descendant of the “Clark half” the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clark started out painting barns and signs, worked at shipbuilding and learned carpentry, specialized painting, and the basics of photography. He became more widely known for his photography, portrait photography and, later in life, his wildlife (ducks) paintings in particular. He worked for several years in New York with Lafayette W. Seavey whose mail-order business supplying theaters and artists with backgrounds and sets, offered Clark the opportunity to hone his painting and pro-making skills, as well as his photography skills for the company’s catalog. He also worked with Napolean Sarony (1821-1896) and Jose Maria Mora. In Oneida, New York, in the 1880’s, Clark concentrated on photography. When he moved to Detroit, ca. 1892, he worked with Mr. Huntington (as seen from an 1894 city director, “Huntington & Clark”). He had his first solo business on Woodward, moving to the corner of Cass and Putnam, where he remained throughout the rest of his career. Many of Detroit’s leading families had their history recorded through his camera lens. |
One of the organizing members of the Scarab Club, this charter member of the Hopkin Club was in the company of, among others, Joseph Gies (1860-1935). The bust-length portrait Gies painted of Clark (ca. 1917) shows a pleasant-looking, somewhat stern gentleman, plainly but well-dressed, his gaze directed right at the viewer with an attitude suited to that of headmaster of a boys’ prep school. Clark was elected a lifetime member of the Scarab Club in 1925 [see old Scarab Club member files in small, leather three-ringed binder and photocopy in individual membership file], served as Scarab Club as the third and fifth president in 1919-1920 and 1923-1924, and continued to serve of the Scarab Board [see The Scarab 2:7 (April 1926)]. Along with fellow Scarabs Joseph Gies, Roy C. Gamble, John Morse, and others, Clark’s art was exhibited during the 1925 season at the Clubhouse [see The Scarab 2:3 (Dec. 1925)].
Clark was also a member of the Players Club, the Detroit Athletic Club, the Oakland Hills Country Club, Boston Arts, and the Detroit Yacht Club [see records in Walter Reuther Archives].
In the Archives of American Art, Clark’s ca. 1900 portrait photograph of artist Gari Melchers is among the Papers of Gari Melchers, which is with the file on the “New York Macbeth Gallery Records, 1892-1953”. Clark is also cited in a file entitled “Letters and Photographs from Artists, 1915-1937”, probably donated to the Archives of American Art by Clyde H. Burroughs.
CLIBURN, HARVEY LAVAN “VAN”
American concert pianist
| Shreveport-born Van Cliburn became an award-winning piantis at the age of twelve. His “piano pedigree” is first class: Franz Liszt taught Arthur Friedheim, Arthur Friedheim taught R. Bee O’Bryan, a.k.a. Mrs. Cliburn, who was her son’s first piano teacher. Having won his first competition, Cliburn soon had his concert debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He enrolled in Juilliard at the age of 17. Three years later, in 1920, he won the Leventritt Award and made his debut at Carnegie Hall. |
Cliburn is most known for winning the 1st International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958, held in the Soviet Union, playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 and the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3. His stunning achievement earned him a ticker-tape parade in New York City; The Rachmaninoff Concerto was released to the public under the RCA label, and Cliburn was invited to play on the Steve Allen TV program. The RCA release of the Tchaikovsky piano concerto was the first classical album ever to go platinum; Cliburn also was the 1958 Grammy for Best Classical Performance [see Time Magazine, 1958, “The Texan Who conquered Russia”]. In 1962, Cliburn became the artistic advisor for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, founded by the Van Cliburn Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas. After an almost ten-year break from performing, Cliburn was invited to the White House in 1987 to perform for President Reagan and President Gorbachev.
Cliburn was very generous in his donations to the Scarab Club. He was given an honorary Scarab Club membership, and was invited to sign the Scarab Club in 1994. [see Scarab Club executive report from the end of 1990; see also p. 84 in The Scarab Club, c2006]. 1994 also found him, in cartoon form, making a guest appearance in the Iron Man series, and in Detroit for a concert at the Fox Theatre [see Detroit Free Press (August 14, 1994)]. The end of the 1990’s had Cliburn involved in a 1998 lawsuit by his longtime domestic partner, briefly interrupting a string of kudos, ended in his favor as the Appellate Court dismissed the case saying that palimony suits were not permitted in Texas unless there had been sort form of written agreement.
As the new millennium began, in 2001, Cliburn received the Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2003 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, followed by the Russian Order of Friendship in 2004. Finally, he was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in that same year, and played for then Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice for her 50th birthday party. 2008 was the 50th anniversary of Cliburn’s Moscow success. He was interviewed by Richard Dyer in March of that year exclusively for the Van Cliburn Foundation. The Foundation’s website, www.cliburn.org, has pictures of Cliburn, biographical write-ups, lists of the competitions and the winners, and much more information about Cliburn himself and about the Foundation and its activities.
Cliburn is cited in the Archives of American Art in the correspondence papers of the Maryna Kaston Papers, 1975-1976.
COLBY, JOY HAKANAN
Art Editor for the Detroit News
| Art Critic/Editor for The Detroit News for six decades, Joy Hakanson Colby was honored by the Detroit art community before retiring to St. Louis, Missouri [see online write-up of the “Tribute to Joy” at Lola’s, Tuesday, July 11, 2006, including excerpts from comments and kudos offered by her peers and colleagues]. |
Joy Hakanson graduated with a degree in art/painting from Wayne State University; by the next year, she was working for The Detroit News as the art critic, but also as the beauty critic under the name “Lucy Carroll.” In 1956, she composed “Art and a City” for the golden anniversary of the Society of Arts and Crafts in Detroit. She chronicled the Cass Corridor Artists and the Gallery 7 artists headed by fellow Scarab Charles McGee, who would later open his Gallery 7.
Already on the Scarab Club guest list for almost three decades, Colby was member of the Scarab Club since women were permitted to join in 1962. In 1965, she was elected an honorary lifetime member. No surprise, many of her articles were about the activities and exhibitions of Scarab Club artists. Joy was asked to jury the all-media exhibition at the Scarab Club entitled “Voices” in 2008, when she was invited to sign the beams [for further details see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives].
The Archives of American Art have the interview conducted by C. Newman Helms with Joy Hakanson Colby on February 14, 1997. Colby is cited in the interview of Frederick Cummings by Dennis Barrie July 27, 1982, and in the interview of William Bostick by M.C. Rospond August 11-19, 1981. She is also mentioned in the Finding Aid to the Gertrude Kasle Gallery Records, 1949-1999. Kasle had worked for a while in the Franklin Siden Gallery, but was thinking of opening her own gallery. Interviewed by Colby, Colby’s article on Kasle brought her an offer of space in Detroit’s New Center; the Kasle Gallery opened in 1965.
CONROW, WILFRED SEYMOUR
| An artist of the east coast, Conrow was born in South Orange, New Jersey and died in New York. He went to Princeton, then spent a year at the New York School of Art. For eight years, he served as secretary and director of the family’s wholesale paper business, before heading to Paris to study at the Academie Julian with Laurens, Morisett, and Tudor-Hart. He worked with English engraver Timothy Cole (1852-1931), who created many wood engravings from various paintings, including an engraving of a portrait of George Washington in 1923. |
In 1940, Conrow met the Whitener family at an exhibition in North Carolina, and acted as instructor to Paul Whitener. He helped create the Hickory Museum of Art in Hickory, South Carolina, of which Whitener was Director until his death in 1959. During WWI, he trained in Plattsburg, then went into the Engineering Corps. After the war, he had a studio in Carnegie Hall.
Conrow is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Rutherford Boyd Papers, 1900-1983, and in the John Steuart Curry and Curry Family papers, series 3. There is also an artist’s file in the Papers of Clarence J. Bulliet, ca. 1888-1959 [box 8 of “Artists Files, 1919-1952”].
Conrow contributed to the publication Portraits of Washington, by G. A. Eisler, 3 vols., published in Ne wYork By R. Hamilton & Company in 1932; this item is available at the Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Canadian-American portrait painter
| John Coppin studied at the Stratford Collegiate Institute in Ontario, and later at the John P. Wicker School of Fine Arts. His membership and association with the Scarab Club began with his initiation November 13, 1929, while he was living on Cortland Avenue, he was raised to active (voting) status in March of 1934, and continued as an active member till ca. 1982. He was awarded the Scarab Club Gold Medal in 1940, 1944, and 1946, and served as president in 1946-1947. An artistically active and pro-activist member, he was always willing to donate his works to various Scarab Club events and functions to help raise funds for the Club [see Scarab Buzz, in particular, issues of the 1950’s]. One of his more well-known paintings, entitled “Pandora,” graced the private collection of Randell and Patricia Reed (Pat Reed was also a Scarab Club member and president of the Scarab Club from 2002-2004, 2004-2006). |
Coppin came to Detroit and worked as a bank teller before working his way up to Art Director for the Detroit Motor News magazine in the 1920’2 and 1930’s. He produced cover illustrations for Detroit Motor News with industrial and political themes. In 1955, he was commissioned to do a series of paintings for the Centennial of Michigan State College. His full-length portrait of Sadakichi was sold to the National Portrait Gallery in 1983/84 for $7000. He also painted Henry Ford I and Sir Alec Guiness. For the Detroit Public Library. Coppin created a three-panel mural entitled “Man’s Mobility,” depicting the history of transportation from horses to the horseless carriage to the ships and America’s railways. Though it is often forgotten or overlooked because of the more famous Rivera murals in the Detroit Institute of Arts, it is a beautiful, expressive work of art on the third floor of the Central Library building, and a fitting tribute to Detroit as a city of commerce on its Great Lakes and longstanding industry in trains and automobiles. Coppin also painted a half-length portrait of Clyde H. Burroughs (1955) which is, fittingly, in the holdings of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Coppin retired from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to Sarasota, Florida, living there till he passed away at the age of 81 [see individual membership file and artist’s file in Scarab Club Arhcives].
The Archives of American Art have a photograph of Coppin taken around 1930 [photographer unknown]. Coppin is cited in William Bostick’s interview with M.C. Rospond, August 11-19, 1981, and in the three-part interview with Peggy De Salle by Dennis Barrie, January 27, July 10, and July 16, 1975.
March 5, 1892 – 1969
Illustrator, muralist, teacher, lecturer
| From Louisville, Kentucky, the man who would become known as the “Dean of Illustrators,” worked, taught, lectured, and exhibited in the period often referred to as the “golden age of illustration” in the United States. Pure academics never his strong suit, Cornwell proved a talented draughtsman but bad vision had him giving up art in favor of music until the simple act of obtaining some excellent glasses helped him return to the field of visual arts. His childhood image of the “Snow Fort” was published in the Courier Journal; by the teens and 1920’s, Cornwell as already creating illustrations for many major American magazines, starting with the Louisville Herald where he worked on staff until heading to Chicago to study at the Chicago Art Institute. On to New York to study at the Art Students League, Cornwell met and studied with Harvey Dunn (himself influenced by Howard Pyle) and Charles Chapman. |
The Chicago Tribune (where he met his future wife, editor Mildred Kirkham), Cosmo, Redbook (hired by editor Ray Long), True, American Weekly, Life, and Good Housekeeping, and others, would later commission and publish his work to stand on their own as well as to illustrate poems, stories, and even complete novels (including a contract with Hearst Publications). His advertising art, in poster form and in magazines, was used for such products as Aunt Jemima, Seagram’s Gin, Woodbury Soap, Palmolive, GM, Goodyear, and Squibb, to name a few. After studying in London with Frank Branwyn, Cornwell took up mural painting for the Los Angeles Public Library. One of the leading muralists for over thirty years (1930’s – 1960), his works also decorate the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands, Calif., Rockefeller Center, The New York General Motors exhibition at the 1939 World’s Fair, the Tennessee State Office Building in Nashville, Bethlehem Steel, and Radio City the Raleigh Room of the Warwick Hotel in New York, to name a few. When he died in 1960, Cornwell was working on a mural, a commission rejected by Norman Rockwell, for the Berkshire Life Insurance Company in Pittsfield, Mass.; Cliff Young, his assistant, completed that mural. Along with the works of Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth, both of whom influenced Cornwell’s work, though Cornwell’s style evolved through the changing times of the changing decades of 20th century, American illustration has been brought back to the forefront of American artistic accomplishment and style.
Cornwell was a member of the National Arts Club, the Society of Mural Painters (president 1953-1956), the Society of Illustrators (president in 1922), and the Century Association. His works have been exhibited in such venues as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the Chicago Art Institute, Pratt, the Art Center of New York, and the National Academy of Design. He has won the Wilmington Society of Fine Arts (1919, 1921), and the Chicago Institute of Arts Award of Merit (1922).
Made an honorary member in June 1930, by 1936, the Scarab Club was already presenting one-man shows of Cornwell’s work, particularly his oil paintings. Also in 1936, he painted a mural for the Detroit Athletic Club. His work has been exhibited at the various annual exhibitions organized by the Scarab Club, including an exhibition with fellow Scarab Steve Nastfogel. Cornwell created the mural for the Scarab Club Tap Room. He also gave lectures at the Scarab Club on the art of illustration. In 1957, the Scarab Club presented a retrospective exhibition of Cornwell’s work and Cornwell presented a lecture at the DIA [see Scarab Buzz (Feb. and Mar. 1957) and the publicity announcement for the show March 4-18, 1957; see also letter dated Feb. 9, 1954 ; see individual membership and artist file in the Scarab Club Archives].
In 1959, Cornwell was inducted into the Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame. Author Patricia Broder published a monograph about Cornwell [P. Broder, Dean Cornwell : Dean of Illustrators (New York : Balance House, 1978 ; reissued by Collectors Press in 2000; 9781888054439].
The Archives of American Art have the Dean Cornwell Papers, 1893-1981 which include biographical materials, correspondence, writings, 5 scrapbooks, photographs from ca. 1920-1960, exhibition catalogs, and clippings. The Archives also have a photograph of Cornwell ca. 1920-23, and a photograph of Cornwell with James Montgomery Flagg ca. 1940, photographer unknown).
| New York artist Russell Cowles came to Detroit in 1955 with Lloyd Goodrich of the Whitney Museum of American Art. They were acting as jurors for the 46th Annual Michigan Artists Exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and were treated to a luncheon at the Scarab Club [see Scarab Buzz (Nov. 1955)]. |
Cowles’ work, 35 of which are listed through the Art Inventories Catalog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, hangs in the collections of the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, the Muscatine Art Center in Iowa, the Springfield Museum of Art in Utah, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Pennsylvania, and the Wichita Art Museum, to name a few. His works can be found through online auction records in Artnet , as well as through the Getty’s Union List of Artist Names Online and the Artcyclpedia.
The Archives of American Art have the interview with Russell Cowles conducted by Paul Cummings April 16, 1969. The Archives also have the Russell Cowles Inventory Notebooks, 1939-1975, donated by the Kraushaar Galleries of New York. The Inventories in clued records of the sales of artworks and exhibitions through the 1950’s, the title of the paintings, brief descriptions, invoice numbers, dimensions, prices, and purchaser names.
Commercial artist and illustrator
| Crandell applied for membership in the Scarab Club August 15, 1936, proposed by Russell Legge and John S. Coppin, and was elected as a non-resident member of the Scarab Club from New York in September of 1936. He was born in Glens Falls, New York, and later lived and worked in Midtown in New York City. |
Crandell created the first cover for the journal Judge (ca. 1921), followed by covers for publications the Ladies’ Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post, to Collier’s, Redbook, and Cosmopolitan (he succeeded Harrison Fisher), for which his pastels of movies stars such as Carole Lombard and Bette Davis, as well as a series of twelve cover girls, boosted his reputation and his national fame; he was dubbed a “pretty girls artist” and became known for his Hollywood glamour-type images. He also created advertising art for Old God and Palmolive. He worked as an illustrator for General Motors during WWII.
American art critic for the Detroit News
| For many years, Florence Davies was an art critic for the Detroit News. An example of her coverage of Detroit’s art scene is her write-up of the 1958 Scarab Club exhibition in aid of the Art Education Fund in which Charles Barker, Warren Simpson, and John S. Coppin offered their works [see the Detroit News, June 12, 1958]. |
Davies was officially elected to membership in the Scarab Club in December of 1962, along with several other female artists, after the Board voted to allow women to become members.
The Archives of American Art hold the Florence Davies papers, 1930-1962, including writings, printed materials, and a handwritten copy of a talk by Davies at the Scarab Club, Dec. 28, 1962, when she was made an honorary lifetime member and signed the beam.
DAVIS, PABLO S.
1917 – —
American artist, activist, teacher, philanthropist
| Pablo Davis, born Paul Meier Klienbordt in Philadelphia to Jewish immigrant parents, was a coal miner and railroad hobo before he finished his teen years; his rail travels brought him to Detroit at the time when Diego Rivera was working on his famous murals which grace the Rivera Court of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Davis was found sitting on the steps of the D.I.A. by Frida Kahlo, who brought him inside and introduced him to her husband; he ended up rooming with the Diego and Frida Rivera for the duration of the work on the murals, his most visible contribution is the section of the mural portraying the huge circular power saw. He also assisted Rivera with the mural in the Ford Rouge Plant in Dearborn. Davis is the last living associate of Diego Rivera. In his artistic lifetime, Davis has also worked with Pablo Picasso [information obtained during an interview with long-time friends of Pablo Davis, Mr. Art and Mrs. Marcie Wroble, 7/30/2010]. |
If the early part of his life could be termed “checkered,” Davis eventually took up residence in Michigan where, heavily influenced by Rivera and Mexican style and traditions, he eventually ended up living in SW Detroit’s Mexican/Latino neighborhood. Always active with his own artistic output, Davis has painted the portraits of such notables as Katherine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, and Pete Seeger, with his total portraiture output numbers in the thousands.
However, he found time to teach at Wayne State University and to be pro-active for his chosen community where he has been instrumental in developing the neighborhood’s Mexican and Latin American culture as well as helping to found and build senior housing and children’s services through the Ecumenical Project SAVE and through Bridging Communities, Inc. Because of his activism, the Pablo Davis Senior Center (9200 West Vernor), with programs, including art and culture related activities for all ages, now graces Mexican Town.
A long time member of the Scarab Club, in 2001, at the age of eighty-three, with an exhibition of his works, Vida y Puentes (Life and Bridges), proudly displayed in the Scarab Club, Pablo Davis put his beam signature right next to the signature of Diego Rivera, the “s” in his last name runs into the “D” in Diego [see p. 72 in The Scarab Club (c2006)]. Donations given at the exhibition were all for the benefit of the planned Intergenerational Center, part of the Pablo Davis Senior Center [see Detroit Free Press (May 6, 2001)]. A few years later, Davis made the news for being the oldest contributor to the annual Valentine’s Day Dirty Show in Bert’s Warehouse Theater in Detroit’s Eastern Market from 2005-2007.
In 2005, Christine Warren and Adam Guth of Madonna University, received a grant from the Michigan Campus Compact to make a documentary, The Life and Art of Pablo Davis, which was released in 2006 and won an Emmy for best college student documentary from the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the Gem Theater 6/16/2007. As active as ever, Davis has a website [http://www.pablodavis.com ; further information may be found through the Scarab Club Archives].
| Bob Davis is cited in the Archives of American Art in the “Denys Wortman Papers, 1887-1980”, in the Rachael Griffin Oral History Interview of February 19-20, 1983 in Portland, Oregon, in the Louis Bunce Oral History Interview of Dec. 3-13, 1982, and in the “Art-Related Archival Material in the Chicago Area.” |
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DE MARTELLY, JOHN STOCKTON
American lithographer, etcher, painter
| De Martelly was born in Philadelphia and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He traveled to Florence, Italy, then to the Royal College of Art in London. Back in the Untied States, he taught printmaking at the Kansas City Art Institute in the 1930’s and early 1940’s while his friend Thomas Hart Benton was teaching painting. When the Board of Governors of the Art Institute fired Benton and offered his job as head of the Painting Department, De Martelly quit. He took a position as artist-in-residence at Michigan State University in East Lansing. By the late 1940’s the influence of Benton’s regionalist style was being replaced by abstract expressionism and Daumier’s style. His lithographs from the 1930’s and 40’s sold well through the Associated American Artists Galleries in New York. De Martelly’s artworks are in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery in D.C., the Victoria and Albert in London, the Kresge Art Museum in East Lansing, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. |
The Archives of American Art have the De Martelly Papers, 1907-1980, including correspondence, photographs, notebooks, notes from his lithography classes, clippings, and poetry.
american choral conductor/director, teacher
| Detroit-born Brazeal was a singer, a musician, a teacher, a choral director, and as walking artistic inspiration to those with whom he lived and worked. Dennard took great pleasure in opening his home to his fellow musicians, artists, and friends. An excellent cook, he was a wonderful host and, in his house filled with art, the grand piano in his living room filled the space with musical accompaniment and entertainment for all his splendid gatherings [memories of Dennard’s friend Dr. M. Chavis, telephone interview 08/24/2010]. |
After a stint as a corporal in the army from 1951-1953, during which he formed a choir of enlisted men and their spouses, Dennard earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Wayne State University (1959, 1962). Beginning his teaching career in the Detroit Public Schools in 1959, he went from being a music teacher (1959-1971), to head of the fine arts department (1971-1983), to district supervisor music education (1983-1989), along the way helping the Northwestern High School choir become an awarding-winning group.
In 1972, the year Motown Records relocated to Los Angeles, memories of the Detroit riots still affecting feelings and attitudes, and Detroit laboring under a national stigma for its crime rate, Brazeal Dennard founded his own Chorale. The Brazeal Dennard Chorale has earned a reputation for excellence its collective talent and its professionalism. Made up of Detroit-area residents from all walks of life, the Chorale specializes in African-American spirituals. The Brazeal Dennard Community Chorus grew out of Dennard’s 1985 group the Brazeal Dennard Youth chorale and serves as a training ground for the BD Chorale. The Community Chorus has served its members and its community well with singing “gigs” from backup for Paul Anka at Pine Knob to NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner, never forgetting the annual Spring Concerts [see Dorothy J. Hamilton, “Community Chorus Turns 20!.” Quarter Notes 2:3 (Summer 2005)].
At home with classical music, Dennard was also an expert in the history of African-American spirituals; he co-founded “Classical Roots,” an annual celebration of African-American composers and musicians by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He worked constantly to find, research, record, teach, arrange, perform, and preserve the spiritual songs of African-American slaves, and to impart the musical and emotional impact of the words and music to people of all ethnic backgrounds. “Classical Roots” has served as a model for similar groups attached to symphony orchestras around the country.
Retiring from teaching in 1989, Dennard continued as an adjunct instructor at Wayne (since 1984) and became a member of the Michigan Council for the Arts and chair of the Music Advisory Committee. He served as president of the National Association of Negro Musicians and the Detroit Musicians’Association from 1974-1988. He was a member of the chorale panel for the National Endowment for the Arts,1985-1987, and the chorale panel for Arts in Education, 1986-1988, and was a member of the Board of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Among the awards he has received: Distinguished Alumni Award from Wayne (1986), Choral Performance Award from the American Choral Director’s Association (1989), Outstanding Service Award from the Detroit Public Schools (1989), Distinguished Achievement Award from the Arts Foundation of Michigan (1989), Vocal Teacher of the Year from the Michigan School Vocal Association (1990) [see Detroit Free Press (Jan. 5, 1997), p. 1F; (June 6, 1997); (June 14, 2002) ; Detroit News (May 20, 2002) ; Grand Rapids Press (Dec. 31, 2001), p. B2 ; Lexington Herald-Leader of KY (Oct. 20, 2001), p. C11].
| Art historian Stewart Dick wrote extensively on various art and architecture themes, and also authored the article “William Hogarth: 1697-1764,” for the Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum 25:129 (Nov. 1929), p. 3-11 [available through JSTOR]. He contributed the chapters entitled “England” and “Supplementary Chapters of the Art of the Far East” to the compendium A History of Art by H. B. Cotterill, 2 vols. [in vol. 2, p. 455-497 and 499-537 respectively (New York : Stokes, 1922-1924)]. |
Among his monographic credits are:
Arts and Crafts of Old Japan, part of the Art of the World Series (Chicago : A.C. McClurg, 1905 ; later translated into Spanish by Jaime Dubón, 1926, LC# N7350.D54)
The Cottage Homes of England, illustrated by Helen Allingham (London : E. Arnold, 1909 / re-issued in 1984 in New York & British Heritage Press, distributed by Crown Publishers, 1984, LC# NA7562.D5 (the copy in the Cornell University Library has been digitally scanned)
Heart of Spain : an Artist’s Impression of Toledo, with illustrations by Dick himself (London & Edinburgh : T.N. Foulis,1907, LC# DP402.T7 D5)
Hours in the National Gallery, with an introduction by Sir Charles Holmes (London : Duckworth, 1925, LC# N1070.D5)
More Hours in the National Gallery, 1927
Master Painters : Being Pages from the Romance of Art, which discusses and offers some biographical materials on twenty-eight modern artists from Constable to Whistler, Turner to Tadema (London : T.N. Foulis, 1911)
Pageant of the Fourth, with twenty-four color illustrations by various Scottish artists (Chicago : A.C. McClurg,1911, LC# DA880.F8 D5);
| Though she formally applied for Scarab Club membership in 1995, Clara Dixon, along with many of the charter and early female members of the Scarab Club such as Edna Branch, Patricia Bramley, Joan Brace, Johanna Bielecki, Patricia Hill Burnett, Bernice Carmichael, Carol Wald, and Madeline Long-Kerr, was represented in the monumental exhibition at the Scarab Club entitled “Women Artists at the Scarab Club, 1914-1987”. She has served on the Scarab Board, and, as president of the Scarab Club 1998-2000, was very active in fund raising, especially for the day-to-day maintenance and utilities of the Scarab Club [see article by D. Thomas in Lifelines (Sept. 30, 1987) ; see also the write up of the exhibition in the Grosse Pointe News (Sept. 24, 1987)]. |
A businesswoman with an avocation in ceramics, Dixon studied at Pewabic Pottery. She is also an avid supporter of Hispanic Arts in the Detroit Metro area, and is active with Casa Maria.
July 29, 1931 –
| Doherty served as Art Director of Creative Services, Inc. in Detroit and later in Grosse Pointe Woods. Having applied in June, Doherty was formally elected an associate member of the Scarab Club in November of 1960, sponsored by R. Typinski, W. Simpson, and Beaver Edwards [see Scarab Buzz (Oct. 1960) ; Scarab Bulletin (Dec. 1960)]. He studied at Saint Andrews University |
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April 9, 1906 – November 13, 1988
Conductor of Detroit Symphony Orchestra
| Antal Dorati was born in Budapest, Hungary. His father was a violinist with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, his mother was a piano teacher. Dorati studied composition at the Franz Liszt Academy under Zoltan Kodaly and Leo Weiner and piano under Bela Bartok. He made his conducting debut in 1924 with the Budapest Royal Opera. |
Dorati came to the United States ca. 1941 and became an American citizen in 1947. He was conductor of the American Ballet Theater Orchestra from 1941-1945, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1945-1948, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1949-1960, the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1963-1966, the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra from1966-1970, the National Symphony Orchestra in D.C. from 1970-1977, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 1977-1981 (taking over from Aldo Ceccato who was conductor from 1973-1977), dovetailing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1975-1979.
A composer and arranger, Dorati made over six hundred recordings as composer and arranger as well as conductor. His first recording was with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for what would become RCA Records. With the Philharmonia Hungarica, Dorati recorded the all of Joseph Hayden’s symphonies and Hayden’s operas. Known for his special touch with Tchaikovsky’s music, Dorati recorded the complete scores to the ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and the Nutcracker in 1954 for Mercury Records with the Minnesota Symphony, with whom he would later record the 1812 Overture. With the New York Philharmonic, Dorati recorded all four Tchaikovsky orchestral suites, and all six of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies with the London Symphony. Honoring his teacher, Dorati recorded Bartok’s orchestral works for Mercury (now on a 5-CD set). The first stereo recording of Le Delibes’ ballet music for Coppelia, Wagner’s Flying Dutchman opera, and the 1973 world premier recording of Max Bruch’s “Concerto for Two Pianos” and “Orchestra” (from 1912), can be added to his recording history. With the Detroit Symphony, Dorati enthusiastically embrace digital recording for Decca Records, one of the first being Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps”, which received the French Grand Prix du Disque award.
The year before he retired from the DSO, Dorati was asked to sign the Scarab Club beams on May 2, 1980. The ceremony, for which reservations were needed, included cocktails and dinner as the maestro was honored for his contributions to the arts in general and especially in Detroit [invitation for the gala issued by the Scarab Club for May 2, 1980 ; see also the write-up in the Grosse Pointe News (May 8, 1980) ; see also the “Antal Dorati Beam Signing Speech” given by William Bostick, in the Dorati Beam file].
Dorati is mentioned in William Bostick’s August 11-19, 1981 interview for the Oral History Division of the Archives of American Art. Dorati was also an honorary sponsor of the Swords to Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery in Detroit.
Dorati’s autobiography, Notes of Seven Decades, was published in 1979 by Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd, and reissued in 1981 by Wayne State University. In 1983, Queen Elizabeth II made Anton Dorati an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire [see Antal Dorati and the Joy of Making Music by Richard Chlupaty (the Antal Dorati Centenary Society, 2006) ; see also Calum MacDonald’s Antal Dorati (1906-88): a Catalogue of his Works [Tempo Magazine, New Series, 1989, ca. 1995].
DORNE, ALBERT I.
February 7, 1906 – December 15, 1965
| Dorne was born in New York City’s tough East Side slums in the first decade of the twentieth century. As a child he suffered from tuberculosis and heart problems. School was never his favorite place; he often cut classes, strangely enough to go to various museums. Eventually, he had to quit school and go to work to help support his family, working at anything from managing a news stand to being an office boy, and a professional boxer. Then he got a job in advertising as an apprentice to letterer and illustrator Saul Tepper, then for five years in the commercial art studio of Alexander Rice. After that, he began to freelance; his illustrations were published in Life, Collier’s, and the Saturday Evening Post. In 1943, his work was featured on the cover of American Artist magazine and his career as an advertising illustrator was secured. Dorne created a correspondence school of art in 1948, recruiting eleven well-known artist/illustrators, including Norman Rockwell, to help found the Famous Artists School. |
Dorne served as president of the New York Society of Illustrators in 1947-1948. He was co-founder of the Code of Ethics and Fair Practices of the Profession for Commercial Art and Illustration. He was awarded the Gold Medal for a Distinguished Career by the New York Art Directors’ Club in 1953, an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Adelphi College in 1958, and the Horatio Alger Award for Achievement from the American Schools and Colleges Association in 1963.
The Archives of American Art have two photographic prints from (ca.) 1945 (photographer unidentified) of Albert Dorne as he was sketching. See also the article “Albert Dorne,” in American Artist 7:5 (May 1943). He is listed in The Illustrator of America, 1900-1966 (published 1966).
DOS PASSOS, JOHN
American novelist and artist
| John Roderigo Dos Passos was born in Chicago, Illinois to Portuguese/Madeiran-American lawyer J. R. Dos Passos, Jr. (1844-1917), an authority on trust law, though his father was not married to his mother at the time and did not formally acknowledge him until he was fourteen. Dos Passos did, however, receive a very good education at the Choate School in Connecticut (listed as John Roderigo Madison), then given a six-month tour of Europe and the Middle East, with a private tutor as chaperone, to study art, architecture, and literature. In 1912, he went to Harvard, then on to Spain after graduation to study art and architecture. |
Before the United States officially entered WWI, Do Passos volunteered in 1917 to work in the Ambulance Corps, along with E. E. Cummings and Robert Hillyer, driving from Paris into North Italy. He found time to write and had the draft of his first novel ready as WWI was coming to end while reporting for duty with the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Camp Crane in Pennsylvania in 1918, from where he was posted back to Paris and studied at the Sorbonne. The novel, One Man’s Initiation, was published in 1920.
Dos Passos has been classified as one of the “Lost Generation” writers. He then wrote the anti-war Three Soldiers, and by 1925, his novel about New York City, Manhattan Transfer, proved a real commercial success. Dos Passos concentrated on what he saw as the two extremes of American society, i.e. the very rich and the very poor. He traveled to Russia in 1928 to get a first-hand look at Soviet socialism and communism. By the time of the Spanish Civil War in the years before WWII, Dos Passos disassociated himself with ex-fellow Stalin supporters Hemmingway and Herbert Matthews, particularly angered over the murder of his friend and translator (into Spanish) Jose Robles, whose death/murder and subsequent cover-up, he blamed on the Soviets. Hemmingway would later refer to Dos Passos and “the pilot fish” in his 1920’s memoirs of Paris, A Moveable Feast, the (trilogy) book form of which came out in the U.S. in the 1930’s.
Politically active back in the States, Dos Passos attended the 1932 Democratic National Convention, then wrote a scathing article against the nomination of Franklin D. Roosevelt for the party nominee. The 1930’s saw a whole series of articles damning communism in the form it was fast taking, his work The Big Money creating his idea of the ideal communist who is then degraded into Communism’s reality at the time. The rise of European Socialism as an opposing force to the rising Fascism, brought a decline in international sales of Dos Passos’ works, as he himself shifted so far to the right as to become a supporter of Joe McCarthy in the 1950’s.
During the war years, Dos Passos worked as a journalist. In 1947, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters at the same time a horrific car accident killed his wife of many years and cost him the sight in one eye. He eventually remarried in 1949 and had a daughter.
Only in 1967, was Dos Passos invited to Rome to receive the Antonio Feltrinelli Prize for International Distinction in Literature, his contribution to literature on an international scale finally recognized and rewarded. Dos Passos continued to write until his death in Baltimore, Maryland in 1970. His artistic output is staggering: forty-two novels, poems, essays, plays, as well as over four hundred works of art.
While more famous for his writings, Dos Passos studied at the Hamilton Easter Field Artist Colony in Maine, and created many of his own dust jackets and book illustrations. Impressionism, expressionism, and Cubism influenced his work. He exhibited in 1922 at the New York National Arts Club, and in 1923 had a show at Gertrude Whitney’s Studio Club. He created posters and set designs for the New York Playwrights Theatre, turning later to images of his residences in both Maine and Virginia. His overseas travels were the subject of much of his work, and he counted Fernand Leger among his artist colleagues. Starting at the Queens Borough Library in New York, the 2001 exhibition entitled The Art of John Dos Passos, traveled throughout the United States.
Fittingly, the John Dos Passos Prize is a literary prize awarded annually by the Dept. of English and Modern Languages at Longwood University to give recognition to American writers composing in a style reminiscent of Dos Passos.
Dos Passos is cited in the Archives of American Art in several papers of other artists and gallery records: e.g. Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentles Papers, 1891-1986, and the Pierre Matisse Gallery Records 1925-1989, among others.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has two publications in which Dos Passos is the subject of a chapter:
“John Dos Passos and the Physiology of the City.” In Body & Soul. By R. M. Crunden. New York : Basic Books, 2000.
“John Dos Passos and John Steinbeck,” In Byrdcliffe Afternoons: a Series of Lectures Given at Byrdcliffe, Woodstock, New York, July 1939. Woodstock, N. Y. : The Overlook Press, 1040.
Nineteen Nineteen (also written 1919, 1932)
The Great Days (1958)
Easter Island : Island of Enigmas (1970)
Lettres a Germaine Lucas Championniere (French 2007)
Townsend, L. “John Dos Passos, 1896-1970: Modernist Recorder of the American Scene.” Virginia Quarterly Review (Autumn 1996).
American author, editor, pulbisher
| Ralph Russell Doubleday made his mark in American photography by becoming one of the first professional photographers of the American rodeo. Starting with the simple box camera developed by George Eastman ca. 1888, by the turn of the century, Doubleday began honing his photographic eye, and for nearly six decades, would bring the thrill of the rodeo to millions. In November of 1988, the Rodeo Historical Society inducted Doubleday into the Rodeo Hall of Fame; years before and years after that honor, Foghorn Clancy, rodeo historical and also an inductee of the Rodeo Hall of Fame, would credit Doubleday with bringing the thrill of the rodeo, the action, the personalities of the cowboys, and shots of some of the “Wild West’s” celebrity figures to the public at large. In 1999, Charles E. Rand, Director of the Research Center for the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, put together a wonderful retrospective of Doubleday’s life and times with over one hundred black and white images from that Museum’s collection to be exhibited at the Grayce B. Kerr Gallery. |
Too young at the age of one to attend Buffalo Bill Cody’s first Wild West Show in North Plate, Nebraska in 1882, by 1910, just short of his thirtieth birthday, Doubleday had made himself into an expert and adventurous photographer with shots of anything from foreign country “tourist shots” for viewing in wealthy parlors and big game hunts with Teddy Roosevelt, to the Teapot Dome hearings and several allied force generals during WWI. He became the first photographer allowed into the Everglades of the Seminole Native Americans.
At the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in 1910, Doubleday made his mark as a rodeo photographer by capturing on film the bucking bronco known as “Teddy Roosevelt” throwing the rider, Gus Nylen, possibly the first such action shot; his reputation as a rodeo photographer was then made. No rodeo was too big or too small for him to cover, at such close range sometimes, the camera was knocked from his hands, and was the driving force behind his continuous efforts to improve the technical ability of the camera to capture action shots. Nearly blind toward the end of his life, Doubleday made his last photographic journey of the rodeo circuit in 1953. He passed away in Fort Worth, Texas in 1958, and was buried in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Contact the Rodeo Historical Society of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum at 1700 NE 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111, telephone (405) 478 – 2250. Check the website at http://www.nationalcowboymuseum.org and http://www.cowboyhallof fame.org; search their holdings as well as their image database. For information on rodeos in Detroit, see also (online) the Donald and Elizabeth M. Dickenson Research Center.
French-American painter, art advisor
| On November 28, 1961, Marcel Duchamp gave a lecture at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The D.I.A. was hosting an exhibition of “Futurist Art that Fall,” running till December 6th. Duchamp’s” Nude Descending a Staircase #3″ was on display in that exhibition. Meanwhile, the Scarab Club was hosting a gala dinner for D.I.A. director, Edgar Preston Richardson, also on November 28th (Richardson was preparing to resign as director of the D.I.A. to take up the directorship of the Winterthur Museum). William Bostick was Scarab Club president at the time. Though Richardson had signed already in October of 1947, he was invited to sign the beams again that evening. Marcel Duchamp was also invited to sign the Scarab Club’s beams. Scarab William Bostick recalled having the honor of holding the ladder for Duchamp. Along with Lydia Kahn Winston (daughter of architect Albert Kahn), the next day, Duchamp received an honorary degree from Wayne State University [Walter Reuther Library Archives ; Scarab Club Archives ; see write-up in the Eccentric, July 6, 1997]. |
Marcel Duchamp was born in Blainville-Crevon Seine-Maritime in Haute-Normandie passed away in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France though he had been an American citizen since 1955. Painter and engraver Emile Nicolle was his maternal grandfather and he grew up in a household filled with art and other cultural activities. His brothers Jacque (1875-1963) and Raymond (1876-1918), and sister Suzanne (1889-1963) also became artists in their own right. All three brothers went to school in Rouen at the Lycee Corneille. Duchamp’s best subject was math. Though it was not the prizes he won in math which thrilled the young student, rather those that he won for his artwork; Duchamp had already decided to become an artist.
While the art teacher at Lycee did not want his students influenced by Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Marcel learned from, and soaked up, the contemporary style of brother Jacques. Keeping it in the family, his teen works display drawings and watercolors of sister Suzanne. He also tried his hand at oil painting landscapes in the Impressionist style. As he matured, Cubism, Fauvism, even a touch of the Classical and Odilon Redon’s Symbolist accents, were blended in as he developed his own style.
Duchamp studied at the Academie Julian in 1904-1905. In 1905, he was drafted into the compulsory military service of the time, during which he worked as a printer and typographer in Rouen. In 1908, thanks to brother Jacque’s membership, Marcel had his sculptural work exhibited in the Academie royale de Peinture et de Sculpture’s Salon d’Autumn. 1909 saw his art exhibited in the Salon des Independents. Art critic Guillaume Apollinaire pegged Duchamp’s nudes as extremely ugly. The two still managed to become friends, as did artist Francis Picabia, fellow exhibiter at the 1911 Salon d’Autumn exhibition.
The group of young, contemporary artists who gathered at Jacques Duchamp’s home in 1911, Picabia, Delauney, Leger, Metzinger, Gris, and Archipenko among them, became known as the Puteaux Group, calling their collective style “Orphic Cubism.” Duchamp’s works included the Moulin a café (Coffee Mill) and the Portrait de jouers d’echecs (Chess Players).
Probably one of his most well-known paintings, “Nu descendant un escalier #2” (Nude Descending a Staircase #2) from 1912, was also subject to controversy at the time, rendered in a sort of “missing link” between Cubism and Futurism. First submitted to the Cubist Salon des Independents, juror Albert Gleizes tried to get his brothers to convince Marcel to withdraw or, at the very least, re-name the work. Though making a show of standing firm, Duchamp did take his painting out of the showroom. The next year, at the International Exhibition of Modern Art in New York, known as the Armory Show, Duchamp submitted the painting again. It was exhibited, and caused more of a controversy not for its style, rather, because it depicted such a “weird” (not realistic, classically-influenced) nude.
As the first two decades of the 20th century progressed, Duchamp found himself impressed and influenced by Max Stirner’s The Ego and its Own, and Raymond Roussel’s novel, as it was adapted for the stage, Impressions d’Afrique. He changed his style and began creating what would be titled “The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even,” or “The Large Glass,” though it would take over a decade for him to complete. Meanwhile, he traveled. Later, he took a “real job” as a librarian in the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve. The discoveries and developments of the times in science and engineering, literature on the various topics being available to him through the library, fascinated Duchamp and influenced the way he tried to convey the topics of his artworks.
Duchamp was exempted from military service at the outbreak of WWI. His brothers and many of his friends were not. Deprived of his usual circle of friends, Duchamp made the decision to emigrate to the United States (neutral until 1917). His “Nude” from the Armory Show far from forgotten, Duchamp found himself a minor celebrity upon arrival in New York in 1915. Art patron Katherine Dreier and artist Man Ray were among his first friends in this new country. He would add to that list Louise and Walter Arensberg (who rented him his New York studio – he would “pay” them with the “The Large Glass”) and Beatrice Wood. At first, he supported himself by giving French lessons and making use of his librarian skills.
Duchamp’s entrée into the world of art collecting and art dealing began in New York. He and Dreier and Ray founded the Societe Anonyme in 1920, collecting modern art, arranging exhibitions, and scheduling lectures through the 1930’s. Dreier had already found Duchamp a good advisor on collecting, Walter Pach, Peggy Guggenheim, Alfred Barr, and James J. Sweeney (both directors of MOMA) followed suit.
It was at the Arensberg home that the “anti-art” attitude of the Dadaist Movement found its supporting audience of artists and modern art lovers. “Found art” was coined. Duchamp’s “Fountain,” actually a urinal, was submitted to the Society of Independent Artists exhibition in 1917; there were no jurors for these exhibitions, so, usually, what was submitted was displayed. However, even the Society of Independent Artists rejected the urinal as a work of art. The hard-core Dadaists raised a stink, Duchamp resigned. In a move of “delayed reaction” artistic justice, the “Fountain” was named one of the most influential works of art in the 20th century in the year 2004. Also, while in New York, Duchamp, with Henri-Pierre Roche and Beatrice Wood, published The Blind Man, a Dadaist magazine. Subjects ranged from art and literature to commentary and humor.
Duchamp went back to Paris after WWI though he did not join any particular Dadaist group. His art works, especially his sculptural works, highlighted the “found art” concept. The idea “readymades” introduced such pieces as “Bicycle Wheel,” “Bottle Rack,” and two pieces referring to a “Broken Arm” (involving a snow shovel). In 1919, Duchamp created his parody of the “Mona Lisa,” adding the inscription L.H.O.O.Q, which sounds, phonetically in French, like “elle a chaud au cul” (or translated) “she has a hot ass.” Kinetic art also interested Duchamp and, in 1920 with Man Ray, he concocted a motorized sculpture in 1920, “Rotative Plaques Verre, Optique de Precisio” (Rotary Glass Plates, Precision Optics). He tried another kinetic work in 1923. He even filmed it in action.
Also during the 1920’s Duchamp created an alter ego known as “Rrose (or Rose) Selvay” and, with Man Ray’s help in creating a series of photographs, made public his “drag queen” personality and even signed a few pieces of his sculpture as such. Next, having taken time after the war to visit Buenos Aires, Duchamp took up the game of chess with such serious enthusiasm, he spent more time playing than creating. Duchamp and May Ray are seen fleetingly in the background of the film short Entr’acte (1924) playing chess. Back in Paris, Duchamp designed the poster for the Third French Chess Championship, competed in that contest, and managed to score high enough to earn the title of chess master; he continued to play into the 1930’s. Though never reaching the top level of world class chess, he participated in correspondence games and became a sort of “chess journalist” for a weekly newspaper column; in 1932, he and Vitaly Halberstadt published” L’oppisition et Cases Conjuguees Sont Reconciliees” or “Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled,” in which some specific end game strategies were examined. A work of “chess art” by Duchamp, composed of an endgame enigma, was included in the 1943 exhibition “Through the Big End of the Opera Glass,” held at Julian Lev’s gallery. Friend and playwright Samuel Beckett used the title Endgame for his 1957 play. In 1968, Duchamp played chess with composer John Cage, with accompanying music composed by photoelectric cells under the chessboard set up.
Duchamp had kept his Greenwich Village apartment throughout his traveling years of the 1920’s and 1930’s. In 1942, he settled in. He also kept up with his artist friends and changing trends. He designed the 1938 International Surrealist Exhibition at the Gallerie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, with Salvador Dali’s “Rainy Taxi” hanging at the entrance. In the 1940’s, he edited VVV, a surrealist periodical, with several of his contemporaries (Ernst, Breton, and others); and he served as an editorial advisor for View magazine. His first marriage having lasted barely six months the late 1920’s, Duchamp married again in the mid 1954 (Alexina Sattler), and became an American citizen in 1955.
The 1960’s saw a revival of interest in Duchamp’s art; he had a retrospective exhibition in the Pasadena Art Museum, another large exhibition at the Tate Gallery, and a series of exhibitions at the Philadelphia Art Museum (which has in its holdings the last of Duchamp’s works, Etant donnes, worked on over a period of nearly twenty years from 1946-1966), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and other venues. In 1967, Duchamp organized an exhibition in Rouen of his own work and the works of his two brothers and his sister. Duchamp died in 1968 and is buried in Rouen.
The Archives of American Art:
The Milton Brown and Marcel Duchamp Interviews in 1963, regarding the 50th anniversary of the 1913 Armory Show.
Marcel Duchamp Scrapbooks, 1916-1969
Tomkins, Calvin. Duchamp : a Biography. Henry Holt and Co., Inc. 1996.
Arman, Yves. Marcel Duchamp Plays and Wins (Marcel Duchamp Joue et Gagne.) Marval Press, 1984.
Sanouillet, Michael and Elner Peterson. The Writings of Marcel Duchamp. Da Capo Press, 1989.
| Born in Canadaigua, New York, Max Forrester Eastman wrote about politics, social issues, and on literature as subject in itself. He came from a background socially progressive thinkers where abolitionism and the Underground Railroad found great support. His mother was the first woman to be ordained a minister in the Congregational Church. He graduated from Williams College in 1905, worked for his Ph.D. from 1907-1911 at Columbia University (studying under John Dewey), then elected not to accept the degree. He was a member of both Delta Psi and Phi Beta Kappa. While at Columbia, he was an assistant in the Philosophy Department and a lecturer in the Psychology Department. |
Max moved in with his sister, Crystal Eastman, in Greenwich Village and took up such causes as Women’s Suffrage, helping to found the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage in 1910. Its reputation for “left-leaning” growing, Greenwich Village seemed a perfect place for Eastman to thrive. He published the Enjoyment of Poetry in 1913, and became an editor for the social commentary magazine The Masses, which was closed down under the 1917 Espionage Act mainly because of its denunciations of U.S. involvement in WWI. Eastman himself was tried and acquitted twice under provisions of the Sedition Act. By 1918, he had met Eugene Debs and Rose Pastor Stokes; the next year, he added Charlie Chaplin to his roster of friends and acquaintances, and, he and his sister founded the publication The Liberator, which was later taken over by the Workers Party of America.
Eastman was married and divorced by 1922. In 1923, he went on a fact-finding mission to the Soviet Union, the relationship between and activities of Trotsky, who he met and befriended, and Stalin in particular. There, he met Eliena Krylenko; they married in 1924. That same year, Eastman left The Liberator which then merged with two other publications to become The Workers Monthly. Eastman wrote several essays based on the materials he had gathered in the Soviet Union which were critical of Stalin and his governance. He himself never gave up on his own left-wing leanings. He would translate several of Trotsky’s work into English while, during the 1930’s and 1940’s, he also penned many critiques of contemporary literature critical of the likes of James Joyce and other modernist writers. He published his own The Literary Mind (1931), The Enjoyment of Laughter (1936), debated Marxism with Sideny Hook, and lectured nationally on literary and social subjects.
In 1941, Eastman was hired as a roving editor for Reader’s Digest, a position he retained for the rest of his life. Leaning far less to the left than in his youth, he wrote articles critical of socialism and communism, contributed to the “right-leaning” National Review (founded by William F. Buckley junior and accused of being staffed by socialists, Trotsky-ites, ex-communists, and CIA personnel), and, in the 1950’s, ended up supporting McCarthyism. In 1955, he published his strongest criticism of anything “left-leaning” in Reflections on the Failure of Socialism. He promoted Friedrich Hayek’s work, The Road to Serfdom, in the Reader’s Digest. Eastman also hosted a celebration in honor of Ludwig von Mises treatise The Human Action.
Having shifted between the left and the right in his political and social beliefs and convictions, religiously, Eastman had always been an atheist. In the 1960’s he resigned from the Board of the National Review because he believed it had become to pro-Christian. He turned his writing skills to several autobiographical compositions, as well as putting into words his thoughts about and memories of various leading figures of his time: Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Charlie Chaplin, Ernest Hemingway, Leon Trotsky, and Isadora Duncan, Albert Einstein, and Sigmund Freud, to name a few. Eastman was also acquainted with writer/director/artist/magazine publisher Detroit-born Rob Wagner (1872-1942), who founded the left-leaning magazine The Script in 1929. Script Magazine published materials on various left-wing topics by various left-wing figures of the time, including Chaplin, Upton Sinclair, and Trotsky. Eastman’s last memoir, Love and Revolution: My Journey Through an Epic, was published in 1964; his last publications, Seven Kinds of Goodness, came out in 1967. Eastman passed away in1969 in Barbados.
In the film with Warren Beatty, Reds, based on the life of John Reed (winner of three Academy Awards), the character of Max Eastman was played by Edward Herrmann. The Archives of American Art holds several collections of papers which cite Max Eastman: e.g. the Denys Wortman Papers, 1887-1980; the Hugo Gellert Papers and Interview of 1984; the Waldo Peirce Papers, 1903-1907, and the John Barber Papers, 1911-1975, to name a few.
EDWARDS, CHARLES BEAVER
| Charles Beaver Edwards was a Detroit native. He studied at the Detroit School of Fine Arts and at the Art Institute of Chicago and taught at Wayne State University College of Mortuary Science and at the University of Michigan College of Architecture. His accolades include an honorary Doctor of Science from Des Moines College of Osteopathy (1947) and induction as a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London (1950). |
A Scarab for 50 years plus, Edwards was initiated in October 1922, and became an active (voting) member on March 3, 1929. He served as Scarab Club president in 1938-1939. Edwards has the distinction of holding a studio longer than any other member having started at the Forest Avenue address. His painting, “Letter,” recipient of a Royal Society Award, and his plaster sculpture, “Bust of Charley Pitt,” belong to the Scarab Club’s own art collection. He also designed and created eleven miniature car models for the Ford Rotunda. His monumental bronze of St. Francis of Assisi was previewed December 18, 1956 at the White Chapel Memorial Organization [see Scarab Buzz (June 1956)].
In 1943, during WWII, Edwards designed a wonderful new helmet for the Navy’s gunners and communication personnel which protected them from their own flying shrapnel. Already in 1944, Time magazine reported on his work in prosthetics. Even before WWII, and after , having observed those who had served in both WWI and WWII, their injuries and disfigurements, Edwards sought to apply his knowledge and skill in sculpting to the creation of limbs and other parts necessary to rehabilitate people in need of “spare parts,” veterans in particular. He taught restorative prosthetics at Wayne State University from 1941-1975. What is less known about Edwards is that for five years (ca. 1918-1923), he seriously studied the violin with Pasquale Briglia, then director of the Detroit Opera House Orchestra, and Aly DeZydena of the Detroit Conservatory [see article in the Detroit News from 5/29/1947 ; see also the obituary write-up in the Detroit News from 07/30/1986, and from the Detroit Free Press that same year ; Scarab Buzz (Jan. 1955)]. He gave a speech on the subject at the Scarab Club January 28, 1953 [see individual membership file and artist file in the Scarab Club Archives].
Edwards is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Oral history interviews of William Bostick, August 11-19, 1981, and the interview with Corrado Parducci, March 17, 1975.
EWALD, HENRY T.
President of Campbell-Ewald, advertising artist
| Henry T. Ewald was invited to join the Scarab Club in a letter dated March 22, 1935 in which an appeal (with an application form, and the endorsements already written in, included) was made to him from several Scarabs, among them Russell Legge. Ewald duly applied for membership in the Scarab Club in March of 1935 and was formally elected that April [see Scarab Club member records in the Archives]. He won a medal for his advertising art. |
Ewald became one of the most generous supporters of the Club to the point of aiding in the refinancing of the Club’s mortgage in 1941 by selling bonds, which was paid off all but $1400 by 1945, that bond being owned by Ewald himself. In 1940, Ewald was made a lifetime member, special recognition for the $1000 donation made to the Scarab Club [see letter of thanks dated May 22, 1940 in the member files].
The Campbell-Ewald Company was located in the General Motors Building designed by Albert Kahn. Ewald’s home was in the section of Detroit known as Indian Village; he lived on Iroquois Avenue [see p. 73 in The Scarab Club (c2006)].
| Born in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, raised in Nebraska and in Atchison, Kansas, John Phillip Falter studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute, and won a scholarship to New York and the Art Students League. However, the openly-declared communist students proved to be too much of a culture shock to the small-town bred Falter, so he left after a month . He then took classes at the Grand Central School of Art under George Wright (1873-1951- illustrator for magazines Harper’s, the Saturday Evening Post, and other big names) and found work ( not easily accomplished during the depression) by illustrating for pulp magazine Liberty. Falter opened a studio in New Rochelle, New York, a sort of “suburb for illustrators” at the time including Norman Rockwell and Frederic Remington. The three-illustrations-for-$75/week offer from Liberty Magazine was his first real break. Pulp magazine beginnings notwithstanding, the exposure would help Falter develop his talent and expand his career. He also found that illustrating for advertisements paid more than the pulp magazine. Falter illustrated materials for Four Rose Whiskey, Gulf Oil, Arrow Shirts, Pall Mall, and finally, following in the footsteps of Wright, the Saturday Evening Post. |
During WWII, Navy boatswain’s mate Falter found his artistic talents put to use in service as a lieutenant on special artist duty. He ended up a Chief Petty Officer, and his art was channeled into recruitment drives creating posters for recruiting men and women for the Navy.
During the last years of and after WWII, Falter went on to illustrate nearly fifty books, and to create hundreds of covers for the Saturday Evening Post, the first published September 1, 1943; he stayed for twenty-five years (the cover format was later changed to make use of photographs). He also did illustrations for Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Life, Look, and McCall’s. The subject matter for his illustrations and paintings varied from scenes from his Nebraska and Kansas upbringing and scenes from the history of America, to famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge. A jazz lover and amateur clarinetist, he loved capturing the Harlem nightlife and the electric personalities of such jazz idols as Louis Armstrong and Art Tatum. He also did portraits of iconic Hollywood celebrities such as Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland, and James Cagney. Books illustrations included Carl Sandburgh’s Abraham Lincoln, the Prairie Years, the Mark Twain series published by Houghton-Mifflin, and the Scarlet Pimpernel. When magazine covers in general turned to using photographic works, Falter concentrated on his portrayal of American history and the American West with an emphasis on the middle decades of the nineteenth century. For the Bicentennial, he created a series of six paintings entitled “From Sea to Shining Sea.” In 1976, he was elected to the Illustrators Hall of Fame, and in 1978 to the membership of the National Academy of Western Art. In 1980, Nebraska Educational Television released the video documentary A View from the Standpipe: John Falter’s World. He was working on a series depicting the American migration experience just before he passed away in Philadelphia. His widow donated his studio memorabilia, papers (ca. 1930-1982), and several paintings to the Nebraska State Historical Society.
1903 – 1967
| Born in England, raised in Canada, Fawcett eventually ended up in New York. He trained as an engraver in Canada which developed his ability as a draughtsman, attended the Slade School of Art in London, then, working as a commercial artist to support himself, delved into the often difficult world of art in New York City. Being somewhat color blind (his wife helped him with color choices) sometimes made it difficult to paint, but it in no way hindered him as he eventually concentrated at commercial art and illustration which soon appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Holiday, Cosmopolitan, Collier’s, Look, and other magazines. His great ability as a draughtsman assured the quality of his work whether in black and white or in color. One of his most famous commissions was the series of illustrations he created for the Sherlock Holmes writings by Conan Doyle’s nephew Adrian Conan Doyle and John Dickson Carr, issued in Good Housekeeping and in Collier’s in the early 1950’s. In 1948, Albert Dorne asked Fawcett to be one of the founders of the Famous Artists School |
In 1955, Fawcett allowed examples of his drawings, illustrations, and paintings, which had been exhibited at the Illustrators Club in New York, to be exhibited at the Scarab Club. He was honored with a Scarab Club dinner and also gave a talk on his work [see Scarab Buzz (Jan. & Mar. 1955); see also the announcement/invitation for “An Evening with Bob Fawcett,” dated March 25, 1955, and correspondence dated January 7, 1955 discussion the exhibition and the evening speaking engagement in the Robert Fawcett artist file in the Scarab Club Archives; it is very likely that it was on this occasion when he signed the beam].
In the Archives of American Art, Fawcett is cited in the papers of other artists: e.g. the Norman Kent Papers, 1939-1964; the Denys Wortman Papers, 1887-1980; the Charles Schorre Papers, 1964-1979.
FAXON, JOHN “JACK”
Michigan State senator
| Made an honorary member of the Scarab Club, Faxon’s work was displayed in a retrospective exhibition September 10-23, in 1978 when he was invited to sign the beams. |
Faxon served in the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate from 1964 through 1994. In 1981, he was made an honorary fellow by the Michigan Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for his support and contributions to the arts and architecture while serving in the Michigan Senate.
Faxon is cited in William Bostick’s Oral History interview for the Archives of American Art, August 11-19, 1981. Bostick spoke at great length about the overall development of the Detroit Institute of Arts: the art, the management, the funding, the personnel, and the politics. Available online [google “jack faxon” AND Michigan], through WorldCat are the Jack Faxon Papers, 1965-1973, the Faxon School Aid Plan for 1978-1979, and Faxon’s report “Arts in Michigan: an Interim Report on the State of Creative Arts, May 1973,” for the Joint Legislative Committee on the Arts in Michigan.
FINK, LARRY B.
January 24, 1937 –
Chief engineer, Design Staff for General Motors, photographer
| Larry Fink applied for membership in the Scarab Club in October of 1979 and was duly elected. He served as Scarab Club president from 1984-1986. He has one-man shows at the Scarab Club in the 1980’s, e. g. he won second prize at the All-Member Show of 1986, and his work was also exhibited at the Palmer Park Art Fair and the Northminster Fine Arts & Crafts Show in 1979 [see the MOMA Bulletin 11 (Summer 1979 : see also Scarab Buzz (Summer 1986) ; see also individual membership file and artist file in Scarab Club Archives]. |
Fink earned his B.F.A. from Wayne State University. He worked for General Motors as part of their design staff and as chief engineer at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.
Fink is cited in the Archives of American Art, the Oral History Division, in the Suzanne Lacy interview by Moira Roth on March 16, 24, and Sept, 27, 1990 in Berkeley, California; mentioned is his photographic series commissioned by the First National Bank of Detroit. He is also cited in the Lawrence Le Clair Papers, 1957-1983, which includes six letters of Laurence B. Fink.
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Photographer, Director of the Whitney Museum
| Juliana Force has the distinct honor of being the first female to sign the beams at the Scarab Club. Force was the first Director of the Whitney Museum in New York when she was invited up to the second floor of the Scarab Club to sign on February 14, 1947; this was before women were officially allowed up on the second floor of the Clubhouse, and fifteen years before women were allowed to become members of the Scarab Club [see p. 74, The Scarab Club (c2006)]. |
Juliana Rieser Force was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, moved to Hoboken, New Jersey at the age of ten, and went to a girls’ evangelical boarding school before moving into the working world as a teacher at a business school. In 1907, she became the private secretary to Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Whitney, a sculptor and heiress, was a great supporter of the contemporary art scene in America. For her, Juliana arranged exhibitions such as that held at the conservative Colony Club for the radical artists group “The Eight.” Juliana eventually took over management of the Whitney Studio, the Whitney Studio Club, the Whitney Studio Galleries, and, finally, the Whitney Museum of American Art, which she supported fiercely and defended against possible incorporation into the Metropolitan Museum of Art [see Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art (Avis Berman, New York : Atheneum, 1990)].
The Archives of American Art hold the “Whitney Museum of American Art-Juliana Force Papers, 1916-1958”, the “Carl Rieser Papers, 1844-1977”, which include information about the publication of her biography in Notable American Women in 1977, and several photographs of Juliana Force over a period of ca. twenty years. See also the book Rebels of Eighth Street : Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art [by Avis Berman, published by Atheneum in New York].
1925 – 1993
American portrait & mural master
| Born in Detroit in 1925, LeRoy Foster viewed art as an escape from the not-so-nice ordinary world of the big city. He would haunt the Detroit Institute of Arts. He attended Cass Tech, became the youngest member of the Pen and Palette Club, and received as scholarship to the Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts, now known as the College of Creative Studies. In the 1950’s, Foster studied abroad in Paris at the Academie de la Grand Chaumeire, in London at the Heatherly School of Art, and touring Italy where the Sistine Chapel absolutely enthralled him. |
Back in Detroit, at the time there was no immediate, strong support-base audience for the work of a gay African-American artist. Foster taught art at the Pen & Palette, at American Black Artists Inc., and the Jon Lockhard Studio, and at Cass Tech. He hardly ever missed the wonderful weekend parties hosted by Ruth Ellis, whose portrait he painted. Paul Robeson was also the subject of his meticulous portraiture.
LeRoy Foster has shown his work at the grand opening of Michigan’s first Black Art Museum, and at the Gallery on West Grand Boulevard in 1990 [see testimonial and resolution dated May 8, 1990]. He was invited to sign the Scarab Club beams that summer [see announcement/invitation flyer dated June 21, 1990, and signed by then president Charles Kelly]. Perhaps his most famous work is the huge mural depicting the 1859 meeting between Frederick Douglas and extreme abolitionist John Brown, created for the 1971 opening of the new buildings of the Douglas Frederick Branch of the Detroit Public Library, located on the former estate of philanthropist George G. Booth (son-in-law of James E. Scripps) in the 1980’s. He also illustrated the book, fittingly entitled Aloneness (Detroit : Broadside Press, 1971). In the 1980’s, Foster was part of the Omniarts group, artists who went around to all the Detroit schools. He was artist-in-residence for American Black Artists, Inc. in Detroit.
Foster liked cats. Though his eyesight failed in later years, he never lost his liking for his fellow man, for life going on around him. If LeRoy Foster never became as famous as his wonderful artwork should have made him, he was given his due by his fellow artists, by his friends, and by those such as Ruth Ellis who recognized him for the artist, spiritually as well as physically, that he was.
FRANCIS, H. S.
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FRANZ, JOSEPH T.
May 14, 1895 –
Advertising artist and painter
| Joseph Franz was born in Ohio but ended up living in Waterford, Michigan. His Austrian-American father came from a family of artists; the commercial art inclinations came from his mother’s side of the family. Franz applied for Scarab Club membership in May 1947, was officially elected in July; he was raised to the active (voting) status in February of 1951 [see membership application and letters of qualification and status upgrade]. He served as Manager before being elected President from 1951-1955, and was an active member of the Art Directors Club. Franz served as a juror for Scarab Club exhibitions such as the Women’s Painting and Sculpture Society Exhibition in 1956, and has had his work exhibited at the variety of Scarab Club annual shows throughout the 1950’s into the 1960’s [see the Scarab Buzz (June 1956) and (April/May 1960)], for example, with fellow Scarabs, Warren Simpson and Fred Rypsam to name only two, Franz displayed his art in the 1962 Scarab Club Lounge Exhibition [see Scarab Buzz (May 1962)]. Franz served as the Scarab Club representative to the Detroit Arts Council [see Scarab Buzz (Nov. 1960)]. |
In 1969, Franz was awarded third prize at the first Scarab Club Silver Medal exhibition, initiated as a “companion” exhibition and award to the highly popular Gold Medal exhibitions and awards, for his painting entitled “Rockport Lobsterman” [see 3/1/1977 letter from Joseph F. Padys, Jr. Scarab Club manager, to Jacqueline Fergenson]. In 1973, Franz won the Scarab Club’s Gold Medal at the annual Gold Medal exhibition. Nearly 80 years old, Franz was still active, his work exhibited at the 13th annual Oakland County Art Show in the Pontiac Mall [see the Oakland Press (Jan. 17, 1975)]. In 1976, he donated some of his work to the Scarab Club’s bicentennial art auction.
Joseph Franz worked at a variety of part-time jobs since grade school days. As a paperboy, one of those who received his evening paper delivery was the wife of President William McKinley. He also delivered to the likes of Chief Justice A. Pomerene and Davis, inventor of the gas mantel. Such customers afforded Franz networking opportunities far beyond the norm at a young age. The editor of the local Canton newspaper, George Freese, offered young Franz a job opening mail, managing the photograph morgue, and running world news from the telegrapher to the editor’s desk. He also swept the floors and ran errands. Somehow, he still found time to sketch. Eventually, Franz was moved to the art department and now and then allowed to contribute to the sports cartoons.
Franz moved to Detroit to work in the art department of the Curtis Company where his Uncle Ed Nelius worked. He studied with Wicker at the Detroit School of Art and went to school until the start of WWI sent him back to Canton to enlist with his peers. His company was sent to the Italian front. While in the 83rd division, he earned non-commissioned officer’s rank and won the company’s boxing championship. After the War, he returned to Detroit and ran a studio with his Uncle Ed. Through his contacts from the studio, he met Lou Maxon. The two went into partnership as the Maxon, Inc. advertising agency. As the company prospered, it opened offices in Chicago and New York. For more than thirty years, Joseph Franz, as advertising artist, worked to make the company the success it was. His commercial work includes the Heinz Ketschup Bottle and programs for Detroit’s Fox Theater. One of his most well-known works is his print of the Penguin Palace at the Detroit Zoo.
Despite being a busy executive and a busy, happily married husband, father, and (later) grandfather, Franz found the time to organize the Detroit Art Director’s Organization and was its third president; through the DADO, he organized a project to put paintings in hospitals. As his own love of painting turned into a second career, Franz studied at the Scarab Club, where he took on five years as president, then became a member of the board. His works have won awards, been exhibited in three states, and are in collections from the Detroit Institute of Arts to the Ford Motor Company and the National Bank of Detroit [see Scarab Buzz (April/May 1960)]. He had memberships in the Michigan Watercolor Society, the D.I.A. Founders Society, the Canton Ohio Founders Society [Case Mansion became the Canton Art Institute], and was honored with a one-man show at its opening of the CAI in 1960 [biographical highlights from the write-up in the Scarab Bulletin (April 1961)].
FRASER, JOSEPH T. (Jr.)
Director of the Penn. Academy of Fine Arts
| Fraser was born and schooled in Philadelphia. He studied piano and organ and played the piano in a group for a while. He went to college then straight into the army in 1918 where he was a student trainee in the Army Training Corps; he was out by 1919. At the University of Pennsylvania, he studied design. From 1922-1929, he worked in the Robert McGoodwin’s Office in architectural design. |
Fraser became Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1936 and held the position for thirty-five years. During that time, he breathed new life into the institution which, though still possessed of a magnificent collection, had stopped being as proactive in the Philadelphia and national art scene as it had been for so many decades. Founded in December of 1805 by Charles Wilson Peale, Rembrandt Peale, and over seventy patrons, the first charter was signed in January 1806, and the first president was George Clymer, whose name is also on the Declaration of Independence. The likes of Thomas Eakins and Joseph Bailly would teach there. In 1970, a Conservation Department was instituted.
The renowned exhibition Andrew Wyeth : Temperas, Watercolors, Dry Brush, Drawings was held at the Academy from October 8 – November 27, 1966, traveling to several venues and ending at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1967. E. P. Richardson and J. F. Fraser contributed to the catalog which was published by the Academy and Abercrombie & Fitch in 1966.
For the Archives of American Art Oral History Division, Fraser gave an interview to Paul Cummings, August 24, 1970, and to Pat Likos, December 1, 1979-January 30, 1980. He is cited in the papers of various other people such as the “Lawrence and Barbara Fleishman Papers, 1863-1970”, and also in Rueben Nakian’s interview with Avis Berman, June 9, 1981.
| Marshall Fredericks was born in Rock Island, Illinois. He graduated from the Cleveland School of Art in 1930 and taught there before moving to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. A $1000 scholarship allowed him to study in Stockholm with Carl Milles. Milles later came to Michigan, to Cranbrook, where Fredericks worked with him till 1932. He studied his craft abroad in Sweden, Germany, France, and Italy. The monumental sculptures in granite and bronze, “Spirit of Detroit” and “Saints and Sinners,” as well as the (1936) Levi Barbour Memorial Fountain on Belle Isle, are well-known examples of his work. In addition, there are sculptures adorning the lobby of the Henry and Edsel Ford Auditorium, where they remain after a successful legal battle in 1975/76 not to have them removed. Other famous creations include: the 55-foot Indian River Shrine and the “Lion and the Mouse” at Eastland Mall. In 1980, Fredericks unveiled his 6’8″ bronze sculpture of “Mama Bear and her Cub” for the city of Sterling Heights, to be set on the grounds of the Sterling Heights Library. One of Fredericks’ most interesting works is the sculpture entitled “The Thinker,” after Rodin’s original, commissioned by George G. Booth, founder of Cranbrook, to be displayed on the steps of the Cranbrook Art Museum. The pose of Fredericks’ work is recognizable to everyone; it just happens to be the figure of a chimpanzee doing the “thinking” [see Scarab Buzz (Summer 1980)]. |
After WWII, Fredericks returned to his artistic work. In 1952, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Art. Always retaining his Scandinavian ties, in 1963, the King of Denmark awarded him the Order of Danneborg. In 1965, with the cooperation of the Mayor of Copenhagen, Fredericks set up an exchange program for handicapped adults. In 1966, he became the Royal Danish Consul of Michigan.
Fredericks was an academician of the National Academy of Design, a fellow of the National Sculpture Society, a life fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters, and a member of the Michigan Society of Architects. Since May 1988, the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Gallery of Saginaw Valley State University has been dedicated exclusively to his sculpture and houses two hundred plaster casts of his works.
Though the date is not on the beam, Marshall Fredericks was invited to sign the beams of the Scarab Club on Saturday, February 1, 1986. A dinner and reception were held in his honor [see the write-up in the Detroit Free Press (February 3, 1986) ; see also the announcement and invitation with dated Feb. 1, 1986, in the Scarab Club Archives].
The Archives of American Art have a photograph of Marshall Fredericks ca. 1940, as well as his interview with Joy H. Colby for the Oral History Division, given August 5, 1981. “The Papers of William M. Milliken, 1923-1970”, also have a file on Marshall Fredericks. Marshall Fredericks is listed in Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has four items relating to Marshall Fredericks:
Marshall M. Fredericks, Sculptor (University Center, Mich. : Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum ; Detroit : Wayne, 2003)
“Sculptor Marshall Fredericks”, a video Recording (Southfield, Mich. : City Cable, 1993).
“Sculptor Marshall Fredericks”, a video Recording (Southfield, Mich. : City Cable, 1994).
10 Amerikanska Skulptören: elever till Carl Milles I Cranbrook = 10 American Sculptors : Carl Milles’ Students at Cranbrook (Stockholm : Millesgården, 1986).
The Outdoor Museum: Magic of Michigan’s Marshall M. Fredericks. Fisher, Marcy H. Illustrated by Christine Collins Woomer. Wayne State University Press, 2003.
Marshall M. Fredericks, Sculptor. Fredericks, Marshall, and Susanne P. Fredericks, E.P. Richardson, M. H. Fisher. Saginaw Valley State University Press, 2003.
WJRRadio commentator, artist
| The Bentley Historical Library and Archives in Ann Arbor, Michigan has the Oscar Frenette Papers, 1970’s-1990’s, including scripts for his radio commentaries and information related to the Great Lakes Region. Through the Motor City Radio Reunions postings, Frenette is also listed with all who have passed away. |
The Scarab Club Archives have Frenette at WJR on a cassette from October 6, 1989.
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FRICK, MICHAEL P.
| Mike Frick was invited to sign the Scarab Club beams in 1928. |
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American painter, illustrator, instructor
| Cleveland-born Gaertner studied at the Cleveland School of Art of the Art Institute from 1920-1923, and taught there from 1925-1952. He lived and worked in Bermuda, Cape Cod, Provincetown, and, early on in West Virginia, but returned to his native state and eventually bought property in the Chagrin Valley of which became the subject for a series of scenes. With a distinctly realistic style, Gaertner painted with oils and watercolors, was an illustrator, and worked with prints and other graphics media. Landscapes (snow-scapes in particular), marine-scapes, town and village scenes, genre scenes, and especially industrial images were his main subjects. He has been classed, along with Zoltan Sepeshy, with a whole group of Midwestern regionalist artists grown up in or settled in the Great Lakes States whose background was that of the working middle class. These artists created their own style which brought focus to the art and artists of the United States who lived and worked neither in New York nor in California. |
Gaertner’s work has been exhibited by the American Watercolor society, of which he was a member, at the Art Institute of Chicago, by the Audubon Artists, of which he was a member, at the Carnegie Institute, the Corcoran Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy, and the Salmagundi Club, of which he was a member. Gaertner was also a member of the Allies Artists of America and the National Academy of Design.
Gaertner is cited in the article by Marianne Berardi in the American Art Review (October 2005) “The Union Club of Cleveland.” Among other artist listings and dictionaries, Gaertner is listed in Mantle Fieldings Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers (2005), American Paintings in the Hainsworth Collection by Richard Lowe and Michael Worley, Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975 (1999), Early Art and Artists in West Viginia by John A. Cuthbert (2000), and the catalog for the 55th Annual American Watercolor & Drawings show at the Art Institute of Chicago (1944).
The Archives of American Art have the “Carl F. Gaertner Papers, 1925-1953”, which include photographs, correspondence, sketches and drawings, a 1953 exhibition catalog, and records of various talks.
GAMBLE, ROY C.
American painter and muralist
| Born and raised in Detroit, Gamble attended Detroit Central High School from 1903-1906, and became art director of the school’s publication The Student, as well as the Inter-School Review for the regional high schools. He then studied under Scarab artist Joseph Gies as well as with John P. Wicker at the Detroit Academy of Fine Arts. At age 21 he worked as chief of the art department of the Milford Company. Later, Gamble studied at the Art Students League in New York with Chase and Henri. On a whim with two fellow students (him being the only one to follow that whim) studied at the Julian Academie and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. During his Paris sojourn, 1910-1911, he exhibited his work at the Grande Salon des Artiste Francois. While in Europe, he took the opportunity to travel through France and the Low Countries, making a special stop in Arles to see where Van Gogh had lived and worked. His style was influenced by French Impressionism as well as American Contemporary. |
Gamble returned to Detroit just as the Scarab Club’s precursor, the Hopkin Club, was organizing its first show in 1910. From 1911-1926, there were annual exhibitions, usually held at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and ending with the Michigan Artists Shows awarding of the Scarab Club Gold Medal. He first set up a studio on Fort Street; moving in 1926 to a dormer in his father’s barn on 14th Street, where he stayed for many years while drawing visitors from all walks of life. Elected a member in 1919, he won the Scarab Club’s third Gold Medal award (William Greason won the first, Joseph Gies won the second). Gamble was raised to the status of Senior Scarab Club Member in 1960 [see Scarab Club membership file].
Commissioned in 1913 by the Detroit Free Press and completed in 1914, Gamble painted a set of murals on the subject of Detroit’s history. His work was exhibited in the 1919 Michigan Artists Exhibition for which his work won top honors. In 1920, he won the Scarab Club’s gold medal for his painting “Freckles,” which was purchased by the Detroit Institute of Arts. 1926 found him accepting the Detroit Institute prize for “Blue Gothic”, and in1928, he took the Founder’s Society Prize for his portrait of Dorothy Backus (now in the D.I.A.).
Gamble was again commissioned to create a set of murals in 1933, but this time with the subject of the Old Chicago Trail for the Michigan Building at the Century of Progress Fair in Chicago. His image of the “New Orleans Wash” was purchased by the Lambert Fund for the Pennsylvania Art Academy. Portraits of four governors hang in the capitol building in Lansing: e.g. William Comstock (1933-35), Frank Murphy (1937-39), Frank D. FitzGerald (1935-37), and the official portrait of Albert E. Cobo in Cobo Hall. More of his portraitures are in the collections of Princeton, Pennsylvanian University, Wisconsin University, and the Prismatic Club (which featured a War Memorial mural in his old Central High School). Gamble created his very own mobile studio and traveled the country. The works of art created during those travels showed up in exhibitions, in art sales, and even were found hanging in Detroit’s Bonstelle Playhouse. In 1958, he also had a solo exhibition at the Roy Davis Galleries in New York.
Gamble saw action with the armed forces during WWI, yet never gave up his painting, nor did he lose his faith in his chosen path as a Jehovah’s Witness. Finding joy in his art, faith in his beliefs, and fame and respect in his circle of artistic peers, Roy Gamble made a life for himself and touched the lives of those who knew him in the best of all possible worlds [biographical highlights from the Scarab Bulletin (Dec. 1960)].
The Archives of American Art has the interview given by Gamble for Garrett McCoy on August 26, 1968.
GIES, JOSEPH W.
| Joseph W. Gies was born in Detroit and died in Dearborn. A Michigander through and through, he was one of the founding members of the Scarab Club when it was first named the Hopkin Club. He served as the Club’s second president (after James Swan) from 1913-1918. In 1918, he was the second recipient of the Scarab Club’s Gold Medal at the Annual Exhibition of Michigan Artists (William Greason won the first in 1917). Ca. 1917, Gies painted a portrait of fellow Hopkin & Scarab Club member Frank Scott Clark. |
By the time the Hopkin Club had been renamed and incorporated as the Scarab Club, and a year before the Farnsworth Street Clubhouse, designed by Lancelot Sukert, was completed, Gies was already ranked as an active (voting) artistic member and was deeply pro-active in the Scarab Club activities and exhibitions by the 1926-1927 season. He had been displaying his artwork at the direct request of the Arts Committee since 1925 for shows such as the Franklin Settlement Exhibition in December 1925, and the Ferndale Exhibition and the Grosse Pointe Center Exhibition in February 1926. At the 1925 Scarab Club Lounge Exhibition, Gies sold two of his pictures [see The Scarab (January 1926)]. In February 1928, the Scarab Club Board voted to make Gies an honorary member of the Scarab Club [see The Scarab 4:6 (March 1928)].
Gies studied at the National Academy of Design under Julius Melchers, the Cooper Union School of Art, and the Art Students League in New York. At the Academie Julian in Paris, he studied with Bougereau and Robert-Fleury, and he spent time at the Royal Academy in Munich, Germany. Back in Detroit, he taught at the Art School of Detroit in 1890, and, with Francis Petrus Paulus (1862-1933), helped to found the Detroit School of Fine Arts in the middle of that decade. He also belonged to the Society of Western Artists from 1896-1914.
Painting mainly in oil, Gies was known for his portraiture, his genre scenes, his figurative and zoological images, even some landscapes and seascapes. Influenced by the Impressionists before WWII, his style turned more realistic and representational in later works. Gies had his work exhibited at the Scarab Club, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Academy of Design, and by the Society of Western Artists.
Gies is cited in the Archives of American Art in the “Judson Smith Papers, 1887-1975”, along with Juliana Force, Richard Diebenkorn, and others. He is listed in, among other publications, the Mantle Fieldings Dictionary (986 ed.), Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975 (1999 ed.), Artists in Michigan, 1900-1976 by Dennis Barrie (1989), and the Exhibition Record, 1861-1900, of the National Academy of Design by M. Naylor (1973). Dealers for his artwork include McGuires Fine Art in Northville, Michigan, and Copley Fine Art Auctions, LLC in Boston.
GILES, H. S.
America painter and author
| The Archives of American Art have a receipt for $15, dated October 15, 1895, from the current Literature Publishing Company of New York for short story illustrations by Giles to be used in a November publication. He is also mentioned in the Pietro Pezzati Papers, 1913-1982, the Ruth Egri Papers, 1923-1988, and the Fay Gold Papers, 1924-1979. |
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1894 – 1975
Admin. & curator at Toledo Museum of Art
| Blake-More Godwin was at the same time a musician and a photographer. He was a curator and Director of the Toledo Museum of Art. He graduated from the University of Missouri, then received his masters degree from the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. While working for the Toledo Museum of Art, Godwin was instrumental in acquiring several significant additions to the collection, including works of El Greco, Goya. In 1946, Godwin brought in Otto Wittmann to be Head of Acquisitions. When Godwin as director retired in 1959, Wittmann succeeded him. |
The Archives of American Art have the transcript of lectures given at the Toledo Museum of Art: “The Toledo Museum of Art,” given at the National Gallery in January of 1946; and “Reminiscences of the Toledo Museum of Art,” given at the National Gallery January of1969. He is mentioned in the Rene Gimpel Papers, 1897-1957, and the Carolyn Gassan Plochmann Papers, 1926-2006. He is listed in the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography and the Dictionary of Art Historians.
1897 – 1987
| Perhaps he inherited his artistic inclinations from his mother, painter Madeline Lloyd Goodrich (though his lawyer father also had artistic interests), with a little help from neighbor Reginald Marsh. All the members of the Goodrich family were avid readers with literary interests. After graduating from high school, Goodrich studied at the Art Students League in New York under Kenneth Hayes Miller from 1913-1915; between 1915-1916, he studied at the Academy of Design under Douglas Volk, then with Hamilton Easter Field in Maine, returning the Art Students League through 1918. Dissatisfied with his work, Goodrich gave up art and went to work in the business world for five years. |
In 1923, Goodrich took a job as editor in the religious books department of the Macmillan Company. In 1924, he married (costume illustrator Edith Havens) and began what would prove and long and esteemed career as an author of books and articles about art, artists, and the art world. His article about Winslow Homer was published in The Arts, a magazine subsidized by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. From 1924-1929, Goodrich served as associate editor of The Arts, from whence he moved to contributing editor for the arts with the New York Times. The Arts then commissioned him to write a full-length book on his former teacher Kenneth Hayes Miller. At the same time, helped by his friend and mentor, Reginald Marsh, Goodrich began researching and writing a book on Thomas Eakins.
Juliana Force, patroness of The Arts magazine and, more important, colleague and co-founder the Whitney Museum of American Art with Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, appointed him the Museum’s first director, convinced Goodrich to join the staff by offering him a salary which would allow him to continue to write his book on Eakins. The book was published successfully, as would more writings concentrating on American art and artists, as Goodrich himself successfully progressed to Research Curator for the Whitney by 1935, Associate Curator by 1947, Associate director by 1948, and Director of the Whitney Museum from 1958-1968, stepping down to become Advisory Director then Director emeritus by 1971. Goodrich was instrumental in obtaining the Whitney’s Edward Hopper bequest from Hopper’s widow in 1968 [see Goodrich, Winslow Homer (Whitney, 1944) ; Goodrich, Albert P. Ryder (Braziller, 1959) ; Goodrich, Winslow Homer (Braziller, 1959) ; Goodrich, Edward Hopper (Abrams, 1971) ; Goodrich, Reginald Marsh (Abrams, 1972)].
With his interest in and concern for art forgeries, Goodrich, while planning the second edition of his book on Eakins, not only wrote and lectured about art forgeries, he founded the American Art Research Council, as his research led to the discovery of at least eighty-five works of art by Eakins omitted from the first edition. So much re-edited and new material was found and worked into the new edition, the biography and what was to be a catalogue raisonne of Eakins’ art were not published together as first hoped; the two-volume biography came out in 1982 [Harvard University Press for the National Gallery of Art, 1982].; the catalogue raisonne was, sadly, unfinished at the time of his death in 1987. Goodrich served on art-related committees, councils, and boards throughout his career, e.g. the National Council of Arts and Government which led to a role in the founding of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Advisory Committee for the Archives of American Art, the Advisory Committee for the White House, the Editorial Board of the American Art Journal, Chairman of the Board of Managers for the Wyeth Endowment for American Art.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art took the materials related to Thomas Eakins, the information on Albert Ryder went to the Department of Special Collections at the University of Delaware, and his materials on Winslow Homer went to the Graduate Center and the City University of New York [see Dictionary of Art Historians ; see also “Lloyd Goodrich Reminisces,” Archives of American Art Journal 20:3 (1980) and 23:1 (1983) ; American Art Journal, memorial issue, 20:1 (1988) ; obituary in the New York Times, March 28, 1987].
With artist Russell Cowles from New York, Goodrich served as juror for the 46th Annual Michigan Artists Exhibition held at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Both gentlemen were guests at a luncheon hosted by the Scarab Club and invited to sign the beams [see the Scarab Buzz (Nov. 1955)].
The Archives of American Art have the Lloyd Goodrich Papers, 1863-1987, including biographical material, photographs, notes, business papers, and correspondence such as letters from Reginald and Betty Marsh to Goodrich and Yasuo Kuniyoshi, ca. 1926.
| Gosline is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Rene Gimpel Papers, 1897-1957, along with Blake-More Godwin and Joseph Duveen among others. He is also mentioned in the Finding Aid to the Frank Rehn [ 1886-1956, exhibition manager of the Salmagundi Club] Galleries Records, 1858-1969 (bulk 1919-1968); the Gallery itself was opened in 1918. |
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GRANDY, HAROLD H.
October 4, 1893 – d.–
| Harold Grandy’s family lived in rural Wisconsin where he attended the local school. He worked as a farm hand, a lumberman, and sawman in northern Wisconsin before heading to the fields of North Dakota and Minnesota on his own and attended four years at the University of Minnesota’s Northwestern School of Agriculture. While there, he alternated between working on an experimental farm in the summer and spending the school term year in the Engineering and Drafting Department. He earned his room and board working the 4:00 a.m. janitor shift in the dairy barns and in the dorms (where he met his future wife). Yet in spite of this, he still found time for a correspondence course in art, though he did not complete the full course. Grandy’s first, though unpaid “job” after finishing school was as an apprentice in the art department of an engraving firm in Minneapolis while he took night school courses at the Minneapolis School of Art [see the Northwest Monthly of the NW School of Agriculture of the University of Minnesota 2:2 (Oct. 1918), in which he is referred to as the NW School’s “artist alumni”; and 3:1 (Dec. 1918) which refers to his letter-writing from his barracks]. |
The outbreak of WWI brought Grandy a paycheck for more than a year at the Vancouver Barracks in Washington. Back in Minneapolis immediately after his discharge, Grandy decided he liked Northwest, and went to Portland to work for the J.N. Gerber Company (blade makers) as art director and layout man. The Gerber “Iron Fireman” trademark was his design. From Portland, where he further studied art on his own, he went to Chicago, then came to Campbell-Ewald in Detroit [see biography of Henry T. Ewald]. In 1935, he joined the Gilbert-Kessler Company and stayed for twenty years as a layout man, then moved on into sales and direction. Later, he worked for Calvillo & Associates [biographical highlights from the Scarab Bulletin (May 1961)]. A Mason, Grandy was past master of the Blue Lodge of Northwood and commander of the Highland Park Commandery. His busy work and art schedules never kept him from traveling the United States (including Hawaii), Canada, and Europe.
Grandy was initiated into the Scarab Club in May of 1931, becoming an active member in April of 1934. After a brief lapse, he was re-instated in January of 1943, and became a Senior Member in 1965 [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives; see letter dated May 29, 1931 regarding Grandy’s initiation into the Scarab Club]. He later served as Scarab Club president from 1948-1950, and again from 1962-1966, and has been on the Scarab Board . It was Grandy who initiated the Advertising/Commercial Art Show series [main source Scarab Club Archives].
April 26, 1902 – July 1990
American commercial artist, author and illustrator of childrenâ€™s books
| Vernon S. P. Grant was born in Coleridge, Nebraska. With an artistic career spanning nearly seven decades, he is best known for his advertising art for General Electric, Gillette, Hershey’s, and Kellogg’s, as well as for magazines such as Judge, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Collier’s. Perhaps his most famous creation were the “Snap, Crackle, and Pop” characters for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. |
From Nebraska, the family moved to South Dakota when Grant was still a small child, then on to California when he was a teenager. Before enrolling in the Art Institute of Chicago, Grant had studied business law and public speaking at the University of Southern California. He even worked in Vaudeville to help pay for his schooling, developing an act known as “chalk talks.” By the 1930’s, Grant was a working commercial artist. In 1932, his Santa Claus illustration was used for the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal, and the famous Kellogg’s cereal trio was created a year later ca. 1933. He became one of the lead illustrators for Kellogg’s and was sent by the company on a world-wide promotional tour. By 1936, Grant had married; he and his wife had two children.
During WWII, Grant entertained the troops with his fast-paced sketching talents and his “chalk talks.” Throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s, Grant turned his talents to children’s books, mainly fairy tales, illustrating some ten booklets and creating twenty-five individual prints. After WWII, he and his family moved back to his birth state, also his wife’s home state, where they settled on a large farm outside Rock Hill to raise cattle and Concord grapes. Grant became as well known for his farming processes and for his artworks. The 1950’s saw Grant leading the Rock Hill Chamber of Commerce to promote city planning and public housing.
Grant’s varied and extremely busy life did not put a stop to his artistic endeavors. He worked well into his eighties, though the final five years of his life finally saw him put down his paint brush as he himself believed he could no longer create works of art to his own satisfaction.
Political cartoonist Art Wood wrote of Grant in his book Great Cartoonists and Their Art. The Museum of York County has had Grant’s work on exhibit since 1979, and a permanent Vernon Grant Gallery was established in that Museum in 1990. The Grant family donated over 1000 items, including scrapbooks, studio furniture, original artworks and more, to various Cultural & Heritage Museums, including the Museum of York County, in 2006. The Museum of York County offers many items based on Grant’s work through its gift shop.
Grant is cited in the Archives of American Art under the American Artists Group, 1934-1965. A list of the children’s tales written and illustrated by Grant from ca. 1933 – 1998, can be found online, including Tinker Tim the Toymaker (1934) and The Cow and the Silver Cream (1944). Information about Grant can also be found through the Museum of York County and A Biographical Sketch of Illustrator Vernon Grant by Allan Miller and Linda Williams, published by the Museum of York County (1987).
December 29, 1925 –
Mayor of Detroit, 1970-1974
| Roman Gribbs served in the U.S. Army right after high school, then enrolled in the University of Detroit, from which he graduated in 1925. He earned his law degree from the University of Detroit in 1954. He was a member of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, the NAACP, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and the American Judicature Society. |
In 1968, Gribbs was appointed Sheriff of Wayne County; he went on in 1969, to be elected the first Polish Catholic mayor of Detroit, serving from 1970-1974 (he defeated Richard H. Austin, later Michigan Secretary of State). Gribbs was succeeded by Coleman Young, the first African-American mayor of Detroit. He went on to service as a Judge in the 3rd Circuit from 1975-1982. In 1982, Gribbs was elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals, where he served until retirement in 2000.
As mayor of Detroit, Gribbs supported the idea of the privately funded Detroit Renaissance, Inc., including the building of the Renaissance Center [see p. 75 in The Scarab Club (c2006)]. He is cited in the Archives of American Art in William Bostick’s interview for the Oral History Division, August 11-19, 1981.
GRIFFITHS, MARTHA E. WRIGHT
American lawyer, judge, House of Repr.
| Martha Edna Wright was born in Missouri where she went through the public school system and onto the University of Missouri, from which she graduated with a B.A. in 1934. She came to Michigan to attend the University of Michigan and earned her law degree in 1940. In Michigan, she met and married Hicks George Griffiths, also a lawyer and, at the time, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party (1949-1950). Martha Griffiths had a private law practice for a while, then worked in the legal department of the American Automobile Insurance Company in Detroit from 1941-1942, then as the Ordnance District Contract Negotiator from 1942-1946. She was elected and served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1949-1953; she was appointed as recorder and judge in the Recorder’s Court in Detroit, and was the first women to be appointed Judge from 1953-1954. |
Griffiths was elected as the Democratic representative from Michigan’s 17th Congressional District to the 84th Congress in 1954, and served nine consecutive terms in the United States House from 1955-1974. She was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1956 and 1968 and sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment. After 1974, Griffiths returned to private law practice, then served as Lieutenant Governor from 1983-1991 with Governor James Blanchard.
Griffiths was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 1983, and to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. She retired to her home in Armada, Michigan where she lived until her passing in 2003.
Martha Griffiths is listed in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
| Born George Ehrenfried Gross, German artist George Grosz altered the form of his name ca. 1916. Growing up in Pomerania, he volunteered for military service, at first enthusiastic to fight in the “war to end all wars,” which was to bring new form to Europe. He went into service in 1914, was quickly disillusioned to the point of being discharged after hospitalization in 1915, was actually drafted in 1917, but was permanently discharged as unfit in that same year, only to be arrested during the Spartakus uprising after the official end of the war. He escaped using fake ID and joined the Communist Party. By 1921, he was accused of derogatory remarks about the army and fined 300 German marks. Having visited Russia to meet both Lenin and Trotsky, Grosz resigned from the Communist Party by 1922. |
With the rise of the Nazi Party in the 1930’s Grosz left Germany, accepting an offer to teach for a semester at the Art Students League in New York in June of 1932. He came back to Germany in October, only to emigrate to the United States with his family at the beginning of 1933. In 1938, Grosz became a naturalized citizen and lived in Bayside, New York, teaching at the Art Students League until 1955.
Early on in his artistic career, Grosz was active in the Dada movement and the New Objectivity Group during the Weimar Republic. Expressionism, Futurism, and popular media such as caricatures and graffiti influenced his work. His pen and ink drawings, he was already famous in the 1920’s for his wicked caricatures of life in Berlin after WWI, as well as his watercolors, portrayed the “gloom and glitter” of post-WWI Germany.
In the United States, he continued his artistic output, changing his style to more traditional representations of nudes and landscapes, though every now and then his biting-caricature style surfaced. He exhibited at regular intervals and even published his autobiography in 1946 entitled A Little Yes and a Big No. In the 1950’s he had a private art school in his home, worked as an artist in residence at the Des Moines Art Center, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1954). Grosz returned to Germany before he died in 1959. In 1960, the film George Grosz’ Interregnum was nominated for an Oscar. In the 2002 film Max, about Hitler’s youth, the character of George Gross was portrayed as an eager young artist.
The DIA holds 9 lithographs, pen & ink drawings, and watercolors by Grosz in its permanent collection, including “Suburb” (1915/16) and “New York” (1934). In 1940, a Working Artists Group was organized in Detroit, its purpose to bring together artists from around the country to discuss and describe their work, their techniques, their thoughts and feelings of the art and art trends of the time. Grosz, along with Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Reginald Marsh, and Louis Bouche, agreed to be the first round of artists to speak at the gatherings to be hosted by the Scarab Club. Those attending were encouraged to bring one or two examples of their own work for critique and comment.
The Harvard Library holds Grosz’s letters and diaries; entries in one of those diaries documents Grosz’s visit to Detroit on April 1-2, 1940. While working for the Art Students League, Grosz took time to take the train from Grand Central Station to Detroit where he was introduced to the Scarab Club, John Carroll was president at the time, and to Mr. Valentiner, then director of the Detroit Institute of Arts. He was given a tour of Ford Rouge Plant, taken out to dinner, then went back to the Scarab Club to give a speech on the evening of April 2. He also recorded that he was asked to sign the beam and have his picture taken.
The Archives of American Art hold letters written by Grosz to other artists mainly from the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950. He is cited in the Lena Gurr Papers, 1908-1979, the Harry Wickey Papers, 1918-1973, and in the Finding Aid to the Eva Lee Gallery Papers, 1921-1973.
English-born American poet
| Born in Birmingham, England, Guest’s family moved to the U.S. in 1891. Ca. 1895 he began to work as a copy boy for the Detroit Free Press, then as a reporter. His first poem was published December 11, 1898. In 1902, he became a U.S. citizen. A prolific poet, Guest composed some 11,000 poems in his lifetime which were syndicated in 300 newspapers and collected into more than 20 anthologies. His work is still published occasionally in Reader’s Digest. Guest also hosted a weekly Detroit radio show from 1931-1942, then an NBC television series in 1951, called A Guest in Your Home. Given the nickname “The People’s Poet,” Edgar Guest is the only poet ever named Poet Laureate of Michigan. |
Royce Howes (1901-1973), Pulitzer Prize-winning (1955) editor at the Detroit Free Press (from 1927-1966), author of crime novels, wrote Edgar Guest: a Biography, published in 1953 by Riley & Lee.
Images of America: The Scarab Club [c2006, p. 79], displays a snapshot of Edgar Guest signing the Scarab Club beams.
| Al Gutierrez is a retired executive at General Motors and an art collector. This Wayne State University alumnus was always involved with the artistic side of the Detroit-Metro area. He served as president of the Warren Symphony Orchestra and the Macomb Arts Council. He was a member of the board for the YMCA, a student mentor through Life Directions, and a member of The Mexican Center and the Hispanic Business Alliance. |
Gutierrez became a member of the Scarab Club in 1989, and served as president of the Scarab Club from 1992-1996. Following the tradition of having Scarab Club presidents sign the beam, Gutierrez was honored in 1996 [see the flyer for the 83rd Annual Gold Medal Awards and Boars Head Dinner, dated Dec. 21, 1996, announcing the beam signing].
| Tyree Guyton is the Heidelberg Project; the Heidelberg Project is Tyree Guyton. Born the year Rosa Parks was making her mark in history, Guyton lived through one of the Detroit’s darkest times, the Detroit Riots, scars from which, even today, are barely healed or still visible. The Heidelberg Project, started by Guyton in 1986, was named after the street he grew upon. With Grandfather Sam, his (ex) wife, some of the kids in the area, and some brooms and paint, Guyton literally, physically, and artistically, cleaned up the neighborhood in and around Heidelberg and Elba streets. Vacant lots, empty houses, sidewalks, even the trees all became parts of a gigantic work of art, “environmental art” taken to the extreme. Within two years, the Heidelberg Project had space in Newsweek and People magazine. In 1989, Guyton received the “Spirit of Detroit” award and although parts of his truly community work of art were destroyed by the City of Detroit in 1991, and 1999, the Heidelberg Project lives on. |
In 1990, Guyton had a one-man show at the Detroit Institute of Arts, followed in 1991 by an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, with 1992 bringing him the Governor Artist of the Year Award bestowed by then Governor John Engler, as well an official entry in Who’s Who in Black America. In 1993, Jenenne Whitfield became Executive Director of the Project and that next year, the Heidelberg Project hosted a street festival in 1994, with Councilwoman Maryann Mahaffey and Motown Museum found Esther Gordy Edwards joining the celebrations. The next year, a documentary on Guyton and the Heidelberg Project began, with a traveling photo exhibition on the Project traveling through Europe in 1996. The Project was featured on the Today Showin 1997, a good and a bad year as the Project received $47,500 from the City of Detroit Cultural Affairs Department just as some on the Detroit Council were coming out against the Project as a whole. In spite of being one of the top three cultural sites in Detroit, a restraining order had to be filed in 1998 to stop more immediate demolition. Sadly, the restraining order was lifted in 1999 and, as the documentary, Come Unto Me: the Faces of Tyree Guyton, was being launched on HBO, more demolition was completed. The documentary won ten local and national awards.
As the new century arrived, parts of the Heidelberg Project went to Harvard, the Three Rivers Art Festival in Pennsylvania, and abroad to Ecuador. Whitfield and Guyton went to Ecuador to represent the U.S. in the “Artist in Embassies Program.” The next year, Guyton and Whitfield continued their travels around the U.S. to lecture on the Heidelberg Project, and the D.I.A. invited Guyton to create a house installation, “Open House.” There was also a second trip to Ecuador. In 2002, the Detroit Cultural Affairs Department tapped Guyton to create the “Tic Tock on the Spot,” the very first artistic garbage truck, to participate in that year’s Thanksgiving Parade.
In 1994 the Heidelberg Project received the Environmental Research and Design Award for Place Design from Oklahoma. After numerous awards and an ever-expanding recognition for his dedication to art and urban renewal Guyton was invited to Australia to create the Heidelberg inspired project “Singing for that Country,” which was sponsored by international performance artist and transplanted Detroiter, Aku Kadogo. Guyton received the Wayne County International Artist Award from the County’s Council for the Arts, History & Humanities in 2003. Stateside once again in 2005, Guyton received the Silver Medal Ruby Bruner Award for Urban Excellence in Cambridge, Mass, which included a $10,000 cash award; Markham Street Films of Toronto produced the documentary, shown on Vision TV, entitled Urban Shrines. In 2006, the Heidelberg Project proudly celebrated its 20th anniversary with the “Connect the Dots Festival,” with participants sporting polka dot T-shirts [see www.heidelberg.org ; also search the archives of the Detroit News for several articles on Guyton and the Heidelberg Project]. The 2007 French documentary entitled Detroit: the Cycles of the Mental Machine, directed by Jacqueline Caux, included Guyton along with techno artists Mike Banks and Carl Craig.
Guyton’s passion for art as art and for art as something needed by and affecting society in general, was exhibited for all to see and appreciate in a huge show of his work from 1995-2000 entitled Hot, Raw, and Funky.
1886 – 1961
Austrian-born American painter
| Baroness Hertha von Doblhoff, a.k.a. Clo Hade, came to the United States from Vienna, Austria. Hade donated her oil painting “Still Life, Flowers” to the Detroit Institute of Art, in the European Modern Art to 1950 Department. It is signed in the lower right corner. In the 1940’s, the painting was once loaned to the Department of Parks and Recreation for the Rouge Recreation Center. It was damaged by smoke and water by a fire at the Center, for which the City of Detroit reimbursed the Detroit Institute of Arts $200.00. |
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HALL, MICHAEL D.
| California-born Mike Hall lives and works in Hamtramck, Michigan. After time studying at Western Washington University and Mexico City College, Hall earned his B.A. at the University of North Carolina, studied at the State University of Iowa, and earned his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Washington in Seattle. |
He has had his artworks shown in group exhibitions in such venues as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Center in Minneapolis, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and the Findlay College Art Gallery in Ohio. He has had one-man shows in the Royal Marks Gallery in New York (1970), the Detroit Institute of Arts (1977), and at Lake Michigan College in St. Joseph, Michigan (1999), to name a few.
Among his publications are: the article “The Icons of John Perates” in Antiques Monthly(Winter 1975); “Public Art Goes Kitsch” in Art in the Public Interest [ed. by Arlene Raven, Ann Arbor : U.M.I. Research Press (1989)]; The Artist Outsider: Creativity and the Boundaries of Culture [with Eugene Metcalf (Wash., D.C. : Smithsonian, 1994)]; the article “Charles Burchfield” in the American Art Review [9:5 (October 1997)]; the book The Paintings of Charles Burchfield : North by Midwest [with Nannette Maciejunes (New York : Abrams, 1997)]; and the article “Detroit’s New Deal Art in Train” [1:2 (1999)]. About this artist, Kathy Zimmerer wrote the article for Arts Magazine “Michael Hall” [60 (April 1986)]. The Cranbrook Academy Library has a bibliography of publications by and about Michael Hall.
Hall has also curated several exhibitions such as American Folk Sculpture at the Cranbrook Art Museum in 1971; Sculpture off the Pedestal at the Civic Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1973; Ties that Bind : Folk Art in Contemporary American at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1986; Trained/Untrained African-American Artists at the Creative Arts Center in Pontiac, Michigan in 1994; The Paintings of Charles Burchfield : North by Midwest at the Columbus Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Art, and the Burchfield Center (in Buffalo, N.Y.) in 1997; and Illusions of Eden: Visions of the American Heartland which traveled to the Columbus Museum of Art, the Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna, Austria, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, Hungary, and the Madison Art Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Hall earned the Detroit Institute of Art’s award at the Annual Michigan Artist Exhibition in the 1980’s
Mike Hall was sculptor-in-residence at Cranbrook Academy from 1970-1990. The Scarab Club presented a retrospective of Halls’ works entitled Michael Hall: Fits and Starts: Three Decades of Sculpture which layed out his artistic development through and combination of artistic styles such as narrative, constructive, and abstract, along with his own admixture of American folk art; Hall is considered an expert in folk art and in American Midwest regional art. Michael Hall signed the Scarab Club beams in 2004, near the signature of Margaret Bourke-White [see p. 76 in The Scarab Club (c2006)].
Hall is mentioned in the Archives of American Art in the “Storm King Art Center Records, 1972-1978”, and was interviewed by Dennis Barrie for the Oral History Division July 19-26, 1976.
American art critic
| Hartman was always a welcome guest at the Scarab Club. He was a great friend to many of the members and his lectures were always appreciated and well-attended. The 1914 issue of the Scarab magazine contains a famous portrait drawing of Hartman by Scarab Club member Charles E. Waltensperger [see p. 74 in The Scarab Club (c2006)]. |
The Archives of American Art have the “Sadakichi Hartman Papers, 1906” which include letters from other artists, from dealers, and correspondence relating to various commissions; there is also an unpublished copy of his book entitled Esthetic Verities, written and revised between 1927-1933; Hartman is cited in the “Milch Gallery Records, 1911-1980”; in the “Charles Lang Freer Papers, 1876-1931”, among others.
Swedish geographer, topographer, explorer, archaeologist, travel writer, lecturer, and illustrator
| Swedish-born Sven Anders Hedin was a geographer, a topographer, an explorer, and an inveterate traveler whose artistic inclinations manifested themselves in the illustrations to all his travel writings. Spurred by the triumphant homecoming of Arctic explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold (ca. 1880), Hedin studied with German geographer Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen. His extensive travels, particularly three major exhibitions between 1894 and 1908 through Central Asia using native scientists, research assistants and other helpers, pushing on past the Himalayan Mountains, and on into Tibet and China, resulted in the posthumous publication of Hedin’s Central Asia Atlas. Hedin’s archaeological interests encouraged him to study and discover ancient ruins along with his explorative and topographical studies. He held memberships in various scientific academies, aided in Nobel Prize selections, and was honored by his homeland in 1909 with as much enthusiasm as Nordenskiold had received nearly thirty years before. He was received and recognized by King Oscar II of Sweden and the Persian Shah in 1980, and between the years 1896 and 1940 by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm II, the more than one British Viceroy in India. Emperor Mutsuhito of Japan, President Theodore Roosevelt, Chiang Kai-shek, and (R279three times) Adolf Hitler. |
Stuck in the 19th century regarding European and Central Asian politics and the changing times, Hedin seemed out of touch with the dawning of the 20th century, though his scientific and geographical works retained their scholarly worth. He lectured all over the world to scientific audiences, geographical societies, political representatives (usually with political and economic interests in the Central Asian and Himalayan territories), and the various royal and ruling families. Hedin himself was involved in the “Great Game,” the power plays in the British-Russian struggle for power and influence in the vast areas of Central Asia. During WWI, he sided more with Germany than his own country in his prolific writings, losing much of his reputation with those countries aligned against Germany at the time.
After the war, in 1923, Hedin went out a lecture tour through North America, then on to Japan and China where unstable conditions forced him to trek through Mongolia and return to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway. Still traveling and exploring, mapping and illustrating, Hedin, backed by Sweden and Germany, was in China, Mongolia, and Chinese Turkestan from 1927-1935. Though he basically lived in Stockholm from 1931 to the end of his life in 1952, Hedin never stopped traveling. In 1933, he brought an elaborate copy of his relief map of the Lama Temple to the Chicago World’s Fair. After WWII, the U.S. Military confiscated documents relating to the planned Central Asia Atlas. Later, the Map Service enlisted Hedin’s assistance in getting the maps printed and published [Hedin’s maps and plans are still being used by the U.S. Military for the war in Afghanistan].
Hedin illustrated all his writings, both the scientific reports and the more popular travel logs with his own photographs, drawings, and watercolors. A bibliography of Hedin’s works and works about him can be found online on sites also offering brief biographies of his life. Included are his political writings such as Amerika in Kampf der Kontinente (1942), autobiographical writings such as Mein Leben als Entdecker (My Life as an Explorer/Discoverer) and Mein Leben als Zeichner (My Life as an Illstrator, Wiesbaden, 1965); and biographical writings such as Sven Hedin mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten by Detlef Brennecke (Rowohlt, 1986, 1991) and Mein Bruder Sven by Alma Hedin (Leipzig, 1925). The Journal of the Royal Armoury in Stockholm has a complete coverage of Hedin’s medals and other honorary decorations (1997/98, p. 91-1280).
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has an artist’s file on Sven Hedin.
| Along with novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard, John Hegarty signed the Scarab Beams on Friday, September 7, 2007 the same year the Scarab Club celebrated its 100th anniversary [see Scarab Club Buzz (Fall 2007)]. |
In 2008, the Detroit Artists Market, for its 75th anniversary season, hosted the exhibition entitled The Market Presents: John Hegarty and Tom Parish Revisited, complete with a reception and a Gallery talk (Saturday, May 10, 4-6 p.m.) by both artists. The exhibition was part of Art Detroit Now, a collaborative effort of nonprofit and private galleries to showcase regional artists.
John Hegarty is cited in the Archives of American Art. AAA’s Midwest Director, Dennis Barrie, narrated three documentaries about John Hegarty, painter Roger Brown, and sculptor Richard Hunt. Hegarty was interviewed for the Oral History Division by J. O’Korn, on July 27, 1982; he talked of his family, his childhood, his early works and the development of his own style, various relationships, and his teaching.
| Helck was born in New York City. He studied at the Art Students League then went to England to study with muralist Frank Brangwyn. Through the 1920’s-1940’s, Helck was a successful magazine illustrator and advertising artist with a focus on industrial scenes featuring cars, trains, trucks, and scenes from famous automobile races. He completed a series of paintings of famous automobile races from Esquire Magazine in 1944. The public liked his subject matter and his style, and for many years he found a successful market for images of cars, especially old card. |
Helck also had what he called his “fine art” side. He created landscapes, specifically cityscapes with the same dynamic composition as his images of the races, though his color palette was oftentimes more somber and subdued; the scenes were realistic, the people individualistic, if subordinate, to the architecture of the scene itself.
Helck is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Norman Kent Papers, 1939-1964, along with other artists such as Norma Rockwell and Robert Fawcett [also contact grandson Timothy Helck online at firstname.lastname@example.org].
December 14, 1905 – ca. 1978
Self-employed fishing lure designer, sketch artist, photographer, lecturer
| Charles Helin was a very wealthy, self-made man due to his highly successful career as a fishing lure designer and maker. His brand is still very much in demand and can be found on the internet. He invented the Flatfish Lure in 1933 while working as a toolmaker at the Chrysler East Jefferson Plant. During the 1937 strike, Helin quit Chrysler to make his lures full-time and sell them through the Helin Tackle Company; by 1942, the Flatfish lure sales made him a millionaire. He belonged to the Explorer Club, the Detroit Athletic Club, the Aircraft Club, the Safe Water Association, the Detroit Zoological Association, the Garden Club, to name a few, as well as the Photographic Society of American, the Detroit Historical Club, and the Scarab Club. He was also a 24-year member of Adcraft which put out his obituary ca. 1978. Helin passed away in his Palmer Park house, formerly the Fisher Mansion. Before moving to Palmer Park, Helin had lived in Grosse Pointe Park. The Grosse Pointe Park house burned to the ground while he was traveling in China, destroying a huge collection of his photographs and photographic equipment, as well as films about Michigan and his travels in Africa and Europe, some of which had been shown on TV. |
Helin became a member of the Scarab Club in April of 1961 [see Scarab Buzz (May 1961)]; he resigned in May of 1965, then applied for reinstatement in 1972 [see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives].
Helin loved to photograph famous people, such as President John F. Kennedy during a trip through Detroit, which First Lady Jackie Kennedy requested for hanging in the Whitehouse [see Scarab Buzz (Oct. 1962)]. His list of photographic “targets” included movie stars, crowned heads, and sports stars such as NLF Commissioner Pete Rozelle. He also gave lectures accompanied by his photographs and films, the Scarab Club was one of his well-known venues [see Scarab Club (undated) announcement flyer about one such lecture].
| Born in Shelbyville, Indiana, to a large, second-generation Irish-American family, William Victor Higgins came from a farming background, and discovered the world of art through his own inclinations to paint after meeting an itinerant artist making his way through the region. His decision to become an artist was coupled with the determination to become a distinctly American artist, as free as possible from European styles and influences. Though he traveled and studied art in Europe, Higgins felt strongly that the United States was coming into its own as a nation with its own culture, its own outlook on the arts. |
Supposedly, Higgins serious interest in art began when he met a wandering artist who was earning money as he traveled by painting advertisements on barns. This wandering painter told Higgins about the finer points of the fine arts, art museums, and art schools. Gifted with his first set of paints and a few fly-by-night art lessons from this un-named journeyman artist, Higgins took to painting barns and devised a plan to get to the art school of Chicago Art Institute. Having been taught since a very young boy, as were all his siblings, to handle his own money, from clothes to church donations, to any little “extras” each of them might wish to save for and purchase, Victor Higgins saved his allowance for a ticket to Chicago. His parents wanted him closer in Indianapolis, but Higgins was determined, and headed for America’s “second city.”
Brought up with a true work ethic of self-sufficiency, Higgins worked at various jobs to pay for his studies at the Art Institute and at the Academy of Fine Arts. Ex-mayor of Chicago and noted art collector Carter H. Harrison, took note of Higgins and sponsored four years (1910-1914) of study and travel in Europe for the former Indiana farm boy. Higgins studied in Paris and Munich, and visited every major art museum he could get to. In Munich, Higgins met and befriended another Harrison-sponsored artist, Walter Ufer, with whom he discussed the art colony in Taos, New Mexico. The academics of his art studies certainly helped to develop his skills, but Higgins did not, as was supposed to be the necessity and aim of such European travels for American artists, return home filled with some “magically artistic inspirations.” Back Stateside, Higgins wanted to head straight for Taos; Harrison funded the trip.
It was the colors of the landscape in Taos which inspired Higgins and helped him to develop his specific style in the use of color. By 1914, he had settled in Taos, then a little town way out in the “boonies” some twelve hours journey on unpaved roads from Santa Fe. The mix of the Native American culture, the Spanish culture, and the Anglo culture of those who came there with their own artistic aspirations, together created an ambience in which Higgins thrived. Higgins became “#6” of the famous “Taos Seven”: Joseph Sharp, Bert Phillips, Ernest Blumenschein, Oscar Berninghause, Irving Couse, and finally Walter Ufer.
Higgins painted anything from still-lifes to nudes using Native American models. He reveled in the landscapes of the region, and scenes from Pueblo and “Old West” life came to life with his use of color and light. Between WWI and the Great Depression, life and artistic life in Taos, roughly 1914-1934, were creatively and even monetarily successful for Higgins. He was widely exhibited, as far away as the Venice Biennale, won several awards, and, in 1921, was elected to the National Academy.
The Depression and the years leading to WWII ended the Taos Art Colony. Higgins began a very important series of “little gems” paintings, landscapes done on the spot wherever Higgins happened to park his car, take his instruments out of the trunk, find a good seat, and paint what he saw. Higgins was the last surviving member of the “Taos Seven.” He passed away while staying at the home of Taos artists Dorothy and Thomas Benrimo.
The Archives of American Art hold the “Victor Higgins Papers, 1910-1975”, which include biographical materials, a bibliography, legal documents, correspondence (bulk 1912-1975), financial records, photographs, clippings, and articles.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the publications Victor Higgins: an American Master, by D.A. Porter (Salt Lake City : Peregrine Smith Books, 1991) and The Art Gallery of the University of Notre Dame and the Indianapolis Museum of Art Present Victor Higgins, an Indian Born Artist Working in Taos, New Mexico (an exhibition at Notre Dame, October 26-December 31, 1975 and at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, March 2-30, 1976),
February 12, 1912 – March 12, 2002
| Born in Georgia, Holley came to Detroit by way of Chicago where he had worked for the Santa Fe Railroad [source Scarab Club Archives]. |
Vernon Holley first worked for the Scarab Club part-time as a bartender while still at Parke-Davis, for whom he worked for thirty years. Devoting more and more time to the Scarab Club after retiring, Holley eventually became the maintenance man for the building and the grounds [see Scarab Buzz (Dec. 1979)]. He was created an honorary member of the Scarab Club in December of 1990 and a full member in 1991.
HOWELL, GEORGE B. III
June 17, 1912 –
| George Howell worked in sales for the Jos.+Ryerson & Son Steel Distributors. He was elected to the Scarab Club in 1972, served as President from 1976-1978, and won the Scarab Club Gold Medal during the 1978/79 exhibition calendar. A very active member, Howell was always willing to help with the many Scarab Club benefit auctions. Besides the Scarab Club, Howell was a member of the Grosse Pointe Artists Group and the fine Arts Society of Detroit. His work has been exhibited at the Scarab Club, the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, and in Sanibel Island in Florida. In 1980, Howell and fellow Scarab Bill Milne exhibited their art at the St. Cali Art Fair. Howell was awarded the Purchase Prize [Milne had won that prize the year before; see Scarab Buzz (Summer 1980)]. |
Howell is cited in the Archives of American Art in the interview of Lilian Swann Saarinen conducted by Robert Brown on three separate dates: February 15, 1979, November 13, 1980, then re-conducted in February 2, 1981 because some of the information from the earlier years had been lost. Mrs. Saarinen related the story about the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Competition in 1948 for which $48,000 was the grand prize. George Howell started, organized, and promoted the competition. At first, Eliel Saarinen was thought to be the winner; it was George Howell who had to notify the Saarinens that it was actually Eero Saarinen who had won. The competition produced the St. Louis “Gateway to the West.”
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| The Research Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the book J. L. Hudson: the Man and the Store, by Oscar Webber, published by the Newcomer Society in North American, in 1954. The J. L. Hudson Department store was founded by Joseph L. Hudson (1846-1912), its flagship store was on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit, expanding out into the suburbs at the Northland Mall in Southfield, Michigan in 1954, and into other malls as they were built. In the early 1960’s, Hudson’s grand-nephew, J. L. Hudson, Jr., took over the business, but a deteriorating safety level in downtown Detroit, as well as a huge change in the suburban shopping demographics, affected sales to the point of closing the original downtown department store on January 1, 1983; the building was demolished in October of 1998. |
The J. L. Hudson Company as a whole also supported various artistic activities and events in Detroit, for example: the Palette and Brush Club held one of its annual exhibition of oils and watercolors in the Fine Arts Galleries on the 11th floor of J. L. Hudsons [see publicity announcement in the Palette and Brush Club file in the Scarab Club Archives]. As a commercial company, J. L. Hudsons displayed the talents of its advertising department at the annual Advertising Art Exhibitions. A letter dated December 22, 1952 to Miss Gertrude M. Wheeler at J. L. Hudsons from Philip R. Bloyer, Scarab Club committee chairman for the 10th Annual Advertising Art Exhibition, thanks Miss Wheeler and Hudsons for supporting the Advertising Art Shows [the letter is in the file for the 10th Annual Advertising Art Show in the Scarab Club Archives]. Another letter, this one dated January 13, 1954, thanks the J. L. Hudson Company through Mr. George Donahue of the Advertising Department, for supporting and contributing to the 11th Annual Advertising Art Exhibition [the letter is in the file for the 11th Annual Advertising Art Show in the Scarab Club Archives].
Hudsons supported those of its employees who had individual memberships in the Scarab Club. The Archives have letters dated August 5, 1953 and January 23, 1954, in which Walter A. Crow, as Assistant to the General Manager, let it be known that the J.L. Hudson Company would pay the 1953/54 dues for Charles R. Johnston, Richard Hirn, and George P. Donahue as employees of the J.L. Hudson Company covered under the company’s membership [Richard Hirn no longer worked for J.L. Hudson after 1953]. A letter dated September 24, 1952, from Crow to Joseph T. Franz, tell Franz that the J. L. Hudson Publicity director, Chess Lagomarsino, had suggested to Donohue that he apply for Scarab Club membership [see Scarab Club membership records].
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Engineer for Anchor Steel EngineeringCompany, amateur photographer
| Floyd A. Hyatt was elected to membership in the Scarab Club in April of 1930, and became a life member in October 1959. He resigned his membership in 1962 [see the Scarab Buzz (June 1952) ; main source Scarab Club Archives]. |
The six Hyatt children lost their parents when Michigan-born Floyd was just eight. They were raised by their maternal grandparent. As if living a nineteenth/early twentieth-century American folk tale, he went to the small local school, and then, as the cliché often goes, “walked more than a mile” to Clayton High School. Though without a university education after high school, Floyd A. Hyatt worked for over thirty years in the field of engineering, all the while finding time and money to fund his own series of enterprises, some good, some not. His first “job” was partnering his brother-in-law in a risky but eventually successful farm with side operations in hauling milk, selling junk, dealing in livestock and running a slaughterhouse and meat wagon. Selling out his share of the farm for $3000 and a Model T Ford, Hyatt left for Detroit, supposedly on the flip of a coin (the other choice being Chicago), where, with various other relatives, he decided to try something else. WWI saw him attempting to enlist; he was not accepted, so, he got married instead.
In Detroit, Hyatt worked as a delivery boy for the Wells Fargo Company. His “territory” included Indian Village, the Chapuchin Monastery, and the local red-light district. He next worked at installing speedometers for Ford, and was shifted around before partnering with one of the shop supers in their own business; a business which became successful enough to garner a buy-out offer from Sparks-Worthington. However, on an already-planned trip to New Zealand and on to France, Hyatt learned that the deal fell through on the stop-over in Hawaii. For health reasons, Hyatt ended up “back on the farm,” and found the time to pursue hobbies as wide-ranging as photography, archaeology, and geology, to name a few [biographical highlights from the Scarab Bulletin (May 1961)].
INGHAM, RUSSELL T.
Printing salesman and executive, photographer
| An Air-corps pilot in WWII with more than sixty missions in Europe to his credit, Ingham was awarded the Distinguished Flyers Cross and rose to the rank of Squadron Leader. In civilian life, he worked as an executive in printing for Averill Press. |
Ingham applied for membership in the Scarab Club in January of 1949, and was formally elected in February 1949. A pro-active member, Ingham served on Scarab Club committees and as Scarab Club President twice in 1963-1964 and 1969-1970. His wife was made an honorary member in 1981 and generously donated $1000 for a memorial Gold Medal Award in 1981, as well a $150 for the R.T. Ingham memorial Gold Medal in 1993 [see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives].
JEWELL, JOHN B.
September 18, 1889 – –
Artist and architect
| Jewell was president of the Detroit Architectural Club, a member of the Brothers of Anthemios [see the Archives of Alpha Rho Chi 2:1, Oct. 24, 1925, and Iktinos, 1914]. He was initiated as a Scarab Club member in October of 1924. In October, 1925, he was raised to the status of active (voting) member and also took part in an exhibition organized by fellow Scarab and architect Lancelot Sukert, the exhibition specifically organized to display works by the architect members of the Scarab Club; the exhibition included works by Jewell, Sukert, and Albert Kahn, among others [see The Scarab 2:3 (Dec. 1925) and The Scarab 2:6 (March 1926)]. |
After a break, Jewell applied for reinstatement to the Scarab Club in February 1946, and was welcomed back. He was created a lifetime honorary member in July of 1957 [see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives, in particular the official letter of acceptance dated July 10, 1946 in membership file].
September 28, 1937 –
|Johnson, a native Detroiter, received both his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Michigan, and for the past 35 years has been a Professor of Fine Arts at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit Michigan. During his long and productive career as a fine artist, Johnson has exhibited his work at the Detroit Institute of Arts (24 shows), Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (3 shows), as well as numerous galleries and museums across the United States and abroad. His work is also extensively represented in both private and public collections.|
JONES, OSCAR LAFAYETTE
| Born in Carter County, Missouri, this former professional baseball player pitched in the major leagues from 1903 -1905 for the Brooklyn Superbas. |
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Manager of the Scarab Club 1929-1974
| Neither an artist nor an art collector, Junker epitomized the concept of “I may not know art, but I know what I like.” He also liked music, theater, good fiction, horseback riding, dogs, dancing, sports, and kids (though not necessarily in that order). Ernest Junker served as Scarab Club manager for forty years, for which he was rightly honored with a commemorative dinner hosted by his fellow Scarabs [see article in the Detroit Free Press, April 24, 1967]. He joined the Club Managers Association in Detroit and kept up that membership, membership activities, and support for the Association with the same gusto he showed in his Scarab Club membership. He was elected a lifetime member of the Scarab Club in 1967. |
He was born in Reed City, Michigan, attended Highland Park Commercial College in Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated in 1914. Before becoming the manager of the Scarab Club in 1929, Junker gained experience in the hotel business. Once settled in his Scarab Club job, he traveled throughout North and Central America [for more details see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives; see also the “Around town” article on Junker from the Detroit Free Press, 1933].
Garrett McCoy and William Bostick taped an interview with Ernest Junker on December 5, 1967 for the Oral History Program for documenting the history of visual arts in the United States (started in 1958), part of the Archives of American Art.
Football player, actor
| Alexandros Georgios Karras, son of Greek immigrants, was born in Gary, Indiana. Alex lost his medical doctor father when he was only thirteen. Graduating from Gary Emerson High School, Karras became a four-time Indiana all-state selection. He was recruited by the University of Iowa though weight problems and a cracked ankle bone hampered his 1955 season. The 1956 season brought the Hawkeys their first ever trip to the Rose Bowl with a victories over Ohio State and Notre Dame; they repeated their Rose Bowl victory in 1957. Karras made all-American in 1956 and 1957. |
Earning good-money as a professional wrestler right before being drafted by the Detroit Lions, he is most famous for playing for the Detroit Lions during the 1958-1962, 1964-1970 seasons; his brother Lou played for the Redskins, and his brother Ted played for Bears and the Lions. Karras and the Lions coach did not always see eye to eye, but Karras played for the Lions until injuries and age caught up with him by 1971. He was elected to the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 1977, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991. In 2007-2008, he worked as an assistant coach to Bob Lombardi.
Life after football was not lived in obscurity or on past laurels. In 1968. Karras had played himself in the film adaptation of George Plimton’s Paper Lions, and he was considered though not chosen for the role of Carlo Rizzi in the movie The Godfather. He played a part of a weight lifter in The 500 Pound Jerk, a villain in the TV movie Hardcase, and a small part in Blazing Saddles. For three years, till 1976, he replaced Fred Williamson as a commentator for Monday Night Football on ABC. In the movie Porky’s, he played the sheriff, in Centennial, he played one of the many settlers, and, in a comic tour de force, he played the homosexual body-guard “Squash” in Victor/Victoria. He also had a part in the show Mash, and was on the Match Game, and in the TV movie Mad Bull. Karras is probably most famous for his role as the adoptive parent in the successful TV sit-com Webster with his real-life wife, Susan Clark. Husband and wife later starred in the biographical 1975 movie Babe about Babe Didrikson Zaharis. Karras also had a role in Jeff Bridges’ movie Against all Odds.
KELLER, K. T.
November 27, 1885 – January 21, 1966
Board Chairman of Chrysler Corporation
| Following in the footsteps of members with both artistic and community service interests, such as Edsel B. Ford, Ralph H. Booth, and Edgar B. Whitcomb, K. T. Keller Chairman of the Board for the Chrysler Corporation, was invited to become a life member of the Scarab Club [see letter in individual membership file dated Oct. 11, 1954 from then Scarab Club Secretary William Bostick]. Eventually becoming a life member, with the $1000 membership fee going towards Scarab Club exhibitions and other activities, Keller was invited to sign the Scarab Club’s famous beams in December of 1962. |
K. T. Keller is cited in William Bostick’s Oral History Interview for the Archives of American Art, from August 11-19, 1981.
March 3, 1942 –
Marketing Manager for Ford Motor Co., Advertising and Sales Promotion, photographer
| Charles Kelly became a member of the Scarab Club in 1986. He rented a studio at the Scarab Club till 1991, and served as president from1989-1990, though he resigned from the Board in 1991. Always an active member, Kelly wanted to organize joint projects between the Scarab Club and the College of Creative Studies. He resigned his membership during the 2001/02 calendar. |
Kelly studied at the University of Michigan, did his graduate work at Michigan State University, and attended special programs at Harvard and Oxford. Employed by the Ford Motor Company in Advertising and Sales Promotions, Kelly designed all manner of awards and badges for Ford such as the Vintage Porsche Club badge. He was featured in Design and won the Multimedia Gold Award in the commercial division. He was also featured at the International Film and TV Festival in New York [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives ; see also picture of Kelly with Juan Coronel Rivera, Jose Romero, Rachael Harla, and Al Gutierrez during the 1981 visit of Coronel to the Scarab Club, on p. 80 of The Scarab Club (c2006)].
American painter, printmaker, illustrator, author
| Rockwell Kent was born in Tarrytown, New York in the same year as fellow future artists George Bellows and Edward Hopper. He lived in and around New York City until he moved into the farmstead in the Adirondacks, which he named Asgaard, in the 1940’s. He studied with, among others, Arthur Wesley Dow, William Merritt Chase, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Robert Henri, and Abbott Thayer. His undergraduate studies at Columbia University were in architecture, and he worked on and off in the early 1900’s as a draughtsman and carpenter. |
In 1904, Kent’s paintings were first exhibited by the Society of American Artists at their 26th exhibition which was held in the same building as the Art Students League in New York. Kent had two paintings: “Evening” and “A View of Mount Monadnock” [see New York Times (April 3, 1904)]. Another of his paintings, “Dublin Pond,” was purchased by Smith College. He then spent five years on Monhegan Island, Maine, where he created an entire series of paintings later exhibited at the Clausen Galleries in New York for which he received most favorable reviews by the critics. This established his reputation as a talented American modernist.
With the beauty of nature as his favorite subject matter, Kent seemed to find inspiration at the “edge” of the world, living and painting for various lengths of time in Newfoundland (1914-1915), Alaska (1918-1919), Tierra del Fuego (1922-1923), Ireland (1926), and Greenland (1929, 1931-1932, 1934-1935). Kent’s first written memoirs, entitled simply Wilderness (1920), were written and illustrated while he and his son were in Alaska just after WWI.
Back in New York by 1919, Kent was urged to “incorporate himself” by the likes of publishing mogul George Palmer Putnam and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s right hand woman Juliana Force. As “Rockwell Kent, Inc,” he completed his series of paintings from his Alaska sojourn while living in Vermont. The small, wood-panel oil paintings, collectively entitled “Impressions,” were exhibited in 1920 at the Knoedler Galleries.
Publisher R. R. Donnelley asked Kent to illustrate Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast in 1926, but Kent suggested he illustrate Moby Dick instead; the exquisitely black&white, pen/brush-illustrated, three-volume set was published by Lakeside Press (Chicago) in 1930.Random House would later issue the trade edition. Kent’s illustrations have been credited with re-awakening the general public’s interest in Moby Dick. Kent illustrated an edition of Voltaire’s Candide in 1928, and his book illustrations thereafter ranged from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman to Faust, to an edition of the medieval Icelandic Gisli’s Saga.
Rockwell Kent, using the name “Hogarth, Jr.,” created wonderfully whimsical drawings for Vanity Fair, New York Tribune, Harper’s Weekly, and Life Magazine. He used that same style with some under-glass paintings exhibited at Wanamaker’s Department Store, two of which were donated to the Columbus Museum of Art by collector Ferdinand Howald. In 1939, Vernon Kilns reproduced Kent’s designs for Moby Dick, Salmina, and Our America on its contemporary china dinnerware. Kent’s artistic design talents expanded into new territory when the founder of the Cape Playhouse and Cinema in Massachusetts asked him to design murals for the cinema, which he did. The transferring of the designs to the huge wall in the cinema, as well as the actual painting, was done by collaborator Jo Melziner (1901-1976), helped by an entire crew of set painters. Kent and Melziner signed the finished product.
As WWII loomed, Kent was asked by the U.S. Post Office to painted a mural in their DC headquarters in 1938. In 1939, Kent joined the socialist Harlem Lodge of the International Workers Order; one of his lithographs became the official logo by 1940. He served as the IWO president from 1944-1953. Kent’s post-war ideology on American-Soviet friendship and a nuclear-free world brought him to the attention of Joseph McCarthy. Artistically, too, his style was now being unfavorably compared to contemporary artistic output. Kent donated hundreds of his paintings and drawings to the Soviet Union, was made an honorary member of the Soviet Academy of Fine Arts, and, in 1967, was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize (he donated the prize money to the women and children of Vietnam).
If Kent passed away under less than one-hundred percent favorable praise for his art work and his beliefs, he has in recent years been re-evaluated and re-instated as a true American artist. In 2001, one of Kent’s Moby Dick drawings was made into a postage stamp for a commemorative series celebrating American illustrators, along with Maxfield Parrish, Frederic Remington, and Norman Rockwell. The Portland (Maine) Museum of Art mounted as exhibition of his work in 2005. Rockwell’s work was represented in the Detroit Institute of Art exhibitions of 2008 “Life’s Pleasures: the Ashcan Artists’ Brush with Leisure, 1895-1925,” curated by Scarab Club member James W. Tottis. The Archives of American Art hold his letters to Robert T. Hatt (1935-1936), his papers (ca. 1840-1993, bulk ca. 1935-1961), and a sound tape of an interview from Sept. 12, 1957. This material has proved its worth as several contemporary authors have made use of it: e.g. author Michael Winter in his 2004 The Big Why, in which Kent’s time in Newfoundland is incorporated into the novel.
The Archives of American Art has the Rockwell Kent Papers, ca. 1840-1961, bulk 1935-1961, which include coverage of his artistic career and his other activities and photographs. There is also the interview conducted by Paul Cummings on February 26-27, 1969.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has these publications: “Serving Art: Rockwell Kent’s Salamina Dinnerware” (Minneapolis: Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, 1996) ; “An Enkindled Eyes: the Paintings of Rockwell Kent : a Retrospective Exhibition” (Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1985) ; “The Prints of Rockwell Kent: a Catalogue Raisonné by D. B. Jones” (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1975).
For further information, see also Wilderness : a Journey of Quiet Adventure in Alaska (1920) ; Rockwellkentia (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1933) ; autobiography It’s Me, O Lord (1955) ; see also The Prints of Rockwell Kent: a Catalogue Raisonne, by Robert Rightmire (2002) ; the exhibition catalog for the 2005 exhibition “Rockwell Kent: the Mythic and the Modern” ; Scott R. Ferris, “The Artistic Heritage of Rockwell Kent,” American Art Review (October 2002).
| Kingman was born in Oakland, California to Chinese immigrant parents. When he was five, the family returned to Hong Kong where his father established a dry good business. At the Bok Jai School, as was the custom in Chinese schools, Dong was given a “school name” which reflected his artistic inclinations: the Cantonese symbols for “scenery” and “composition,” i.e. king and man, hence the English version of his name. At the Chan Wen School, he studied calligraphy and watercolors. He studied under Szeto Wai, head of the Lingnan Academy who had trained in Paris. Szeto introduced Dong to European art trends. |
In 1929, Dong returned to the United States and worked at various jobs while attending the Fox Morgan Art School, concentrating on watercolor painting. His first solo exhibition came in 1936 through the San Francisco Art Association, earning him national recognition. During the 1930’s Dong worked for the WPA, putting out an incredible 500+ number of works. He also served in the U.S. Army as a military artist during WWII in the Office of Strategic Services at Camp Beal in California. In 1941-1942, he received a Guggemheim Fellowship.
After WWII, Dong settled in Brooklyn, New York and took a position as an instructor at Columbia University and Hunter College from 1946-1956. During the 1950’s, he was a U.S. cultural ambassador and international lecturer for the State Department, adding film industry illustrator to his resume in the 1960’s. He designed the backgrounds for such films as 55 Days at Peking, The Sand Pebbles, and Flower Drum Song. The Center for Motion Picture Study at the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills has over 300 of his film-related works in the permanent collection.
In the 1950’s the Scarab Club had great success with a series of exhibitions of nationally known artists while providing the artist with a venue to talk about his work and answer questions from the Scarab Club audience. Robert Fawcett, Alex Ross, and Ben Stahl all had successful exhibitions and talks; Dong Kingman was asked to join the ranks of exhibiting/speaker artists. The Scarab Club Archives have a letter dated April 13, 1955 from R. Barfknecht, then chair of the Scarab Club Arts Committee, to Rex Taylor of the Famous Artists School in New York, commenting on the success of Fawcett’s exhibition and evening talk and planning for Dong Kingman to follow suit during the 1955/56 season at the Scarab Club. Kingman had his turn in 1956, and it was at that time that he signed the beam.
In 1981, Dong was the first American artist to have a solo exhibition in China after diplomatic relations were re-established between China and the United States. In the 1990’s, he had major exhibitions at the Taipei Modern Art Museum in Taiwan, and in the Taichung Provincial Museum.
The Archives of American Art have the Dong Kingman Papers, 1938-1942, which include photographs, information about his family, and materials dealing with his work. There is also in interview for the Oral History division, conducted by Harlan Phillips, January 12, 1965.
| Budapest- born Balthazar Korab arrived in the United States, in 1955, by way of France after the communist government takeover in 1949. While in France, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, earning a diploma in architecture in 1954. As a journeyman, he traveled through Europe studying under various architects including Le Corbusier. Once in the Unted States, Eero Saarinen gave him the job of photographing architectural design at Cranbrook. So successful was he, that architectural firms in the Detroit Metro Area and around the country have employed him to work his camera magic documenting designs and buildings. Korab authored the monograph Genius loci :Cranbrook, which was published in 2005 by the Cranbrook Press and Balthazar Korab Ltd. It is available in the Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts. |
In 1956/57, Korab was awarded 4th place in the international design competition for the Sydney Opera House. In 1958, Frank Lloyd Wright invited Korab to join Taliesin. In 1964, Korab won the American Institute of Architects Medal for Architectural Photography, and in 2007, the Institute’s Lifetime Achievement for Photography as well as the Hungarian Institute of Architects honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 1975, Korab was made an honorary member of the Michigan Society of Architects; a decade later he was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects Detroit Chapter. The next year, he became a member of the Arts Foundation of Michigan. He was on the Governor’s Committee on Art in Public Places from 1977-1982, a member of the Michigan Society of Landscape Architects by 1989, and in 1998, joined the Cranbrook Educational Community, President’s Design Advisory Committee. In 1994, President Clinton presented a portfolio of Korab’s photography to the President of Hungary, Árpád Göncz.
Korab has photographed and documented such buildings as LeCorbusier’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, the Berlin National Gallery by Mies vander Rohe, Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at JFK Airport, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York, I. M. Pei’s Dallas City Hall and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and Louis Sullivan’s Carson Pirie Scott Building in Chicago, to name but a few.
In 2009, Korab was asked to be juror for the Scarab Club’s annual photograph exhibition. In July/August of 2010, the Scarab Club hosted the exhibition The Architecture of Trees: Photographs and Paintings by Balthazar Korab.
KOSTELLOW, ALEXANDER J.
| Kostellow was born in Isfahan, Iran. He came to the United States after WWI by way of schooling in France and Germany. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, and later in New York at the Art Students League and the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, then at the National Academy of Design. During the Depression, he belonged to the WPA/Federal Arts Project. He lived mainly Pennsylvania, and was active in Pennsylvania and in New York. In Pittsburg, he worked on a program for industrial design at Carnegie Tech, making it a degree program in 1936. He continued as an industrial design consultant. In 1938, he went to the Pratt Institute to set up a similar Industrial Design Program with Donald Dohner, became a full professor, taught there with his wife Rowena Reed Kostellow, and became head of that Department. By then, Kostellow was truly identified with American industrial design. |
Kostellow’s main subject matter included human figures in genre settings and interior views. His work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Institute, the Corcoran Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and with the Society of Independent Artists. He is cited in the work The American Design Adventure, 1940-1975, by A. J. Pulos, published by M.I.T. in 1988; and in the book Elements of Design: Rowena Reed Kostellow and the Structure of Visual Relationships by G.G. Hannah, published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2002.
Kostellow is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Anthony Angarola Papers, 1911-1988, in the Frederick J. Whiteman Papers, ca. 1939-1989, in the interview for the Oral History division of Virginia Cuthbert (1908-2001) conducted on August 28, 1995, and in the interview with Walter Erlebacher (1933-1991), conducted January 11, 1991.
KRAEMER, JOSEPH L.
d. April 10, 1938
Detroit News cartoonist
| A member of the Scarab Club precursor, the Hopkin Club, and continuing on as a member of the renamed Scarab Club since October of 1918, Kraemer was soon raised to the status of active (voting) member. He served as Scarab Club president from 1931-1935. |
Kraemer worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for the Detroit News. As a commercial artist, Kraemer served on the committee with other Scarab member who worked in various aspects of commercial and advertising art; a particular aspect of their duties were to draw up the logistical details of specific exhibitions and the contracts for the exhibiting artists [see The Scarab 4:7 (April 1928) ; for more information see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives].
Kraemer is cited in the Archives of American Art in the “Charles E. Waltensperger Papers, 1893-1931”. Kraemer and Waltensperger were students at the Julius Melchers School.
American painter, art dealer, advisor, teacher
| Born in Boston, Kronberg studied under Tarbell and Benson, at the Academie Julian in Paris from 1894-1896 with Benjamin Jean-Joseph Constant, Jean Paul Laurens, and others, having earned a Longfellow Traveling Scholarship. He also studied with William Merritt Chase. Back in the States, he studied with the Arts Student League in New York, and at the Boston Museum. In Boston until 1919, he moved to New York, and eventually to Florida where he passed away. During his artistic life, he became a member of the Boston Art Club, the Guild of Boston Artists, both the New York and the American Watercolor Associations, the Salmagundi Club (exhibited and was a prize-winner in 1919), the Lotos Club, the Copley Society, the Rockport Art Association and an associate member of the National Academy. |
Kronberg’s art was exhibited at the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893, the Louisiana Purchase Expo in St. Louis in 1904, the Panama-Pacific Expo in San Francisco in 1915 where he won a medal, through the American Watercolor Society and the Boston Art Club, at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery, the National Gallery of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Rockport Art Association, and the Society of Independent Artists. Having spent a great deal of time in France, where he exhibited and won an award at the 1937 International Exposition, he was a member of the Salon des Beaux-Artists, and he served as the Paris art buyer for Isabella Stewart Gardner after Bernard Berenson. He was decorated with the Chevalier Legion of Honor in 1951. Back again in the United States, he was an active member of the Cape Ann (Mass.) artist colony, and later of the St. Augustine Artist Colony. Near-sightedness curtailed his artist output, nevertheless he remained active in many facets of the art-world.
Kronberg’s main subjects were figurative scenes (human activity and nudes), genre scenes, and portraits, though he also created cityscapes, landscapes, marinescapes, beach scenes, and floral still-lifes. He painted with oils, watercolors, pastels, and gouache; he did woodblock prints, woodcuts, and prints with graphite and pencil. The influence of Edgar Degas is obvious in his portraits of dancers, as is the whole of the Impressionist Movement. His later works show a more realistic style. His work is in the permanent collections of many institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Luxembourg Museum, the Societe Nationale, and the Musee D’Orsay, to name a few.
Kronberg is listed in many publications, among them: Artists Bluebook (2005), Lost Colony: the Artists of St. Augustine, 1930-1950 by R. W. Torchia (2001), The Boston Art Club, 1855-1950 by N. A. Jarzombek (2000), Who Was Who in American Art (1985), and Artists of the Rockport Art Association (1940). The Archives of American Art have a photograph of Kronberg, ca. 1914, in the Milch Gallery Records, 1911-1980.
| Walt Kuhn organized the Modern Art Armory Show of 1913, the first of its kind. He was a Brooklyn-born artist who sold his first drawing to a magazine in New York at the age of 15. In 1913, he enrolled in art classes at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute; by 1899, with a few dollars in his pocket, he headed for San Francisco where he found a job with as an illustrator for WASP magazine. He studied in Paris at the Academie Colarossi in 1901, then headed for the Royal Academy in Munich where he studied under Heinrich von Zugel of the Barbizon School. |
Back in New York by 1903, Kuhn was again employed as an illustrator for various local journals. By 1905, he had his first exhibition at the famous Salmagundi Club; his talent as a cartoonist and a painter now firmly established. He then completed his first illustrations for Life magazine. He joined the faculty of the New York School of Art when it was moved to Fort Lee, New Jersey, teaching for a year before returning to New York (where he married and had a daughter). In 1909, he had his first solo exhibition in New York, leading up to being a founding member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors and the Armory Show in 1913, for which he engaged both American and European artists and created a true appeal for modern art in America.
At death’s door with an ulcer in 1925, Kuhn made the difficult recovery before becoming an instructor at the Art Students League. He then completed a commission for the Union Pacific Railroad, the club car “The Little Nuggett” [restored by the Travel Town Museum in Los Angeles]. By 1933, he was organizing his own retrospective exhibition. His mental and physical health declined through the 1940’s; he died of a perforated ulcer in 1949.
Kuhn was known for his skill as a cartoonist and draughtsman, and as a painter and sculptor. He portrayed circus and vaudeville figures in many of his works, sometimes referred to as bringing figures from the commedia dell’arte into the American Modernist style. He was also valued as an art critic. In Detroit, he was recommended to chair the jury for the 1925 Michigan Artists exhibition [see The Scarab 2:3 (Dec. 1925)].
The Archives of American Art have the Walt Kuhn, Kuhn Family, and Armory Show Records, 1859-1978, which include photographs, biographical materials, and material from when Kuhn was Secretary of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, during which time he also made the selections for the European works to be exhibited in the Armory Show.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the publication Walter Kuhn, 1877-1949, published by the University of Maine at Orono Museum of Art in 1989.
Japanese-American painter and teacher
| Kuniyoshi was born in Okayama, Japan. He came to the United States in 1906 and began to study painting at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design in 1907. By 1917, he had found a supporter and mentor in Hamilton Easter Field, modern art patron and founder and editor of Arts Magazine. By 1920, he headed for New York to enroll in the National Academy of Design and study at the Art Students League, where he would, in later years, teach. In 1935, Kuniyoshi was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. He taught at the Art School of the Art Student League, later at the artist colony in Woodstock. He would also go on to teach at the New School for Social Research. |
Kuniyoshi’s early work is sometimes seen as influenced by the work of Heinrich Campendonck and Marc Chagall in the touches of fantasy and use of color. His compositions of later years, turning figurative and moody, have been compared to the work of Jules Pascin. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Kuniyoshi exhibited his works in solo and group shows and won several awards. During the war years of the 1940’s, he developed his own pictorial symbolism, based on Japanese symbolism, to express his thoughts and beliefs about the social and political situations of the time. In 1948, the Whitney Museum of American Art held its first retrospective exhibition for an artist still living. Kuniyoshi was also the first president of the Artists Equity Association.
In 1940, a Working Artists Group was organized in Detroit, its purpose to bring together artists from around the country to discuss and describe their work, their techniques, their thoughts and feelings of the art and art trends of the time. Kuniyoshi, along with George Grosz, Reginald Marsh, and Louis Bouché, agreed to be the first round of artists to speak at the gatherings to be hosted by the Scarab Club; it was the year in which Kuniyoshi, Grosz, and Marsh signed the beams [see Detroit Free Press insert with the Sunday edition (Aug. 3, 1986)]. Those attending were encouraged to bring one or two examples of their own work for critique and comment. Kuniyoshi’s works are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, The Hirshhorn, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Corcoran Gallery, to name a few. His papers are in the Archives of American Art, and he has a listing in the Union List of Artists and in Artcyclopedia Online.
The Archives of American Art have the Yasuo Kuniyoshi Papers, 1921-1993, which include biographical information and a great deal of material on his career, his works, his exhibitions, his activities relating to political and social events and movements, photographs of fellow artists and friends, as well as sound recordings[see also Andrew Conti, “Yasuo Kuniyoshi: Between Two Worlds,” Metropolis; Japan Today (archived Oct. 12. 2006)].
April 13, 1918 – October 12, 2007
Art collector, dealer, administrator
| With deep family roots in Michigan, Rex Lamoreaux applied for Scarab Club membership in November of 1965, sponsored by Beaver Edwards and R. C. Typinski, and was elected an associate member in January of 1966. He was made an honorary member of the Scarab Club in 1996. He is also a member of the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society in Pontiac, Michigan. He resigned in October of 1968 [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives]. |
As a Wayne State University alumnus, he was a member of the University’s media staff as the art director for Wayne State University TV and in the Fine Arts Deparment. For the University, he collected works of art, antique furniture, and decorative arts, an interest stimulated by his family’s treasured heirlooms [Oakland County residents for more almost two centuries]. For himself collected works by such artists as Douglas Arthur Tweed (1864-1929) and Scarabs Roy Gamble (1887-1972), Zoltan Sepeshy (1898-1974), Edgard Yaeger (1904-1997), and Sarkis Sarkisian (1909-1977). To his alma mater, Lamoreaux was generous donor of his time, advice, and his own collections; he was, in general, an enthusiastic supporter of art and artists in Michigan.
Lamoreaux’s own works have been exhibited in the Michigan Craft Shows, the Detroit Artists Market, and, of course, at Wayne State University. Since 1969, Lamoreaux donated paintings, drawings, and prints to Wayne and set up the Rex E. Lamoreaux Endowed Fund for acquiring art. In November of 1975, a special exhibition of his works from his private collection was held at Wayne State University. Nearly two decades later, the Community Arts Gallery on Wayne’s campus, hosted an exhibition of works from his collection in October-November of 2006, curated by Ricahrd Bilaitis, founder and first curator of Wayne State University’s collection [main source Scarab Club Archives ; see Scarab Club obituary in the Scarab Club Buzz (Fall 2007)].
Danish-American commercial artist, painter
| Karl Larsen had the honor of being the longest-living member of the Scarab Club. He was born in Denmark,emigrated to the United States in 1910, became a citizen in 1916, and served in the U.S. army in WWI. After almost four post-war years spent back in Denmark as a newspaper artist in Copenhagen, Larsen returned to the United States and worked as a commercial artist until he retired in 1965 when he became a “full-time artist.” Larsen never forgot his Scandinavian heritage; he was a member of the Danish Brotherhood Lodge and the Norse Civic Association. |
Larsen applied for Scarab Club membership in December 1944, was elected in January 1945, was raised to active status in February 1946, and was an active and prolific member till his death in 1992 at the age of 103 [see Scarab Buzz (Fall 1992)]. He studied with George Rich and worked as a free lance commercial artist and cartoonish, taking up a wide variety of subject matter for his painting after retiring. A painter of landscapes, seascapes, still-lifes, and portraits, he preferred the impressionist style to what he considered “modern art.” In his honor, the Scarab Club hosted a one-man show of his works in 1976. In 1979, his works were exhibited in the Galerie de Bolcourt in the Fisher Building.
In 1985, The Detroit News offered a lengthy article by John McAlleenan [(October 27, 1985)] about Larsen, then ninety-six, including a photograph of the artist standing amid his art works and his books, paintbrush in hand, a satisfied smile on his face. Four years later, the Scarab Club threw a huge centennial birthday bash for Larsen, March 13, 1989 [see Scarab Buzz (Spring 1989) ; see also Detroit Free Press article with the announcement of his birthday (May 7, 1989) ; see also (May 9, 1989), Horoscope entry un der “Today’s Birthday” ; Larsen’s obituary, including details from the police investigation on the possible home invasion, ran in the Detroit News in 1992].
LEE, SHERMAN E.
Prof. of Art History, curator, Museum Director
| Born in Seattle, Washington, Lee earned his bachelors and masters of arts degrees from the American University, and his doctorate from Case Western University. He has served as curator of Far Eastern Art at the Detroit Institute of Art, associate director of the Seattle Art Museum, curator and director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, is an adjunct professor of art history at the University of North Carolina and a professor of art history at Western Reserve University. The exhibition in his honor, showcasing the masterworks of Asian art acquired during his tenure at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Streams and Mountains Without End, was held in 2009. |
Lee was artistic advisor to Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III, assisting in the creation of their Asian art collection from ca. 1963 – 1978; the collection was then donated to the Asia Society. Lee himself assembled one of the world’s greatest private collections of Asian art. He was a long-time consultant for the Asia Society, and authored several books on Asian Art, including Rajput Painting (Asia House, 1960), the Colors of Ink (Asia Society, 1974), and Treasures of Asian Art (Asia Society, 1994).
The Archives of American Art holds the “Sherman E. Lee Papers, 1958-1996”, including biographical material, correspondence, clippings, information about his studies and degrees, and his publications.
| A commercial artist in advertising, Russell Legge was already an active member of the Scarab Club in 1918, ten years before the building and opening of the Farnsworth Clubhouse, which was designed by fellow Scarab Lancelot Sukert. Legge later served as president from 1936-1937. He passed away a few years later in 1941 [see letter to “Friends of Russ Legge” sent to members inviting them to a memorial “Russ Legge Night” Wednesday, October 15, 1941 ; for further information see individual membership file]. |
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American novelist and screen writer
| Leonard was born in New Orleans, but the family moved frequently because his father worked as a site locator for General Motors. They moved to Detroit in1934, the same year the Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series, and Bonnie and Clyde were finally tracked down and killed; Leonard himself made Detroit his home. |
Leonard graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1943. He joined the Navy and served for three years in the Pacific arena with the Seabees. After the War, in 1946, he went to the University of Detroit. Already serious about his writing, he submitted his work to various writing contests and magazine. He also took a job as a copy writer for Campbell-Ewald Advertising, from which he earned enough money to allow his creative writing on the side. In 1950, he graduated with a degree in English and Philosophy.
Trail of the Apaches was his first published work, issued in 1951 by Argosy. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, he wrote westerns and published over thirty short stories. His first novel, The Bounty Hunters, was published in 1953. He wrote four more novels ; two of his short stories developed into movies, The Tall T and 3:30 to Yuma (filmed twice). Novels re-written into films include: Hombre (1967), Out of Sight (TV series 2003-2004 called Karen Sisco), and Get Shorty (1995), and Rum Punch (1997 film entitled Jackie Brown), and The Big Bounce (filmed twice), Mr. Majestyk, Valdez is Coming, 52 Pick-Up, and Glitz, to name a few, with Freaky Deaky the latest (2010). Along with pulp westerns, known for a gritty, realistic style and brushing aside formal grammar, Leonard applied himself to mystery stories, crime novels, screenwriting (especially with his own works), and stories of his hometown, Detroit. He also wrote Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing.
In 2007, amid celebrations for the Scarab Club’s 100th anniversary, Elmore Leonard, along with John Hegarty, signed the Scarab Beams on Friday, September 7th [see Scarab Club Buzz (Fall 2007)]..
American artist and teacher
| The old Scarab Club member records show Lewis a paid-up member already in 1919. In 1926, Lewis, along with John Morse and R. Bennett, was asked to form a committee and make a report on the Municipal Art League of Chicago, specifically, was such an organization feasible for Detroit [see The Scarab 2:4 (Jan. 1926)]. That same year, Lewis helped with the initiation of new Scarab Club members and those members being raised in status [see The Scarab 2:5 (Feb. 1926)]. He also served on the committee created to investigate the sales, plans, and policies of the Scarab Club [see The Scarab 2:6 (March 1926)]. In 1927, retiring as chairman of the Scarab Club Arts Committee, Lewis was nominated for Scarab Club Vice President [see The Scarab 2:7 (April 1927)], then served as Scarab Club President after the sudden death of W. G. Sesser in 1928. The new building at the Farnsworth location, designed by Lancelot Sukert, was completed in 1928 and Lewis and Sukert are shown side by side in a photograph as the cornerstone with its time capsule items are set [see The Scarab 4:5 (Feb. 1928)]. |
Lewis designed and created seventeen watercolor illustrations for the official invitation from the State of Michigan (signed by the Governor and the State House and State Senate) to U. S. President Coolidge requesting that he spend his summer vacation time on Mackinac Island. He also designed, and helped get printed, the special book which was offered with that invitation; it was made of French-made paper and bound with blue suede with hand-tooled cover and fly leaves, and encased in a silk-lined box made of wood from Mackinac trees. The daughter of B. F. Emery, then Superintendent of Mackinac Island, presented the book to President Coolidge. The Library of Congress requested that a special copy of the book be printed for that Institution [see description of this event in the individual member file under the title “Extension Manager’s Column,” and dated 1927].
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December 25, 1938 –
| Madeline Long was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, lived in St. Claire Shores till she married (Ivan Kerr), from there , Dearborn, and finally settled in Marine City in 1989 where she remains and where she has her online contact “Realism in Artistry” (including her address, telephone number, and email. |
After attending St. Paul Catholic Parochial School, Madeline took courses in secretarial work at the University of Detroit, then went on to take a degree in Paralegal Technology at Macomb Community College. She studied art at the Meinzinger Art Studio in 1957-1958 and the Arts and Crafts of Detroit (now the College of Creative Studies). She has traveled extensively in North America and Europe, and has belonged to the Society of Classical Realism, the American Society of Marine Painters, and the St. Claire Art Association, among others, and served as president of the Blue Water Association of Port Huron.
Working with oil paints, watercolors, graphite, and colored pencils, Madeline Long Kerr creates her art for specific commissions as well as for her own joy. Landscapes, seascapes, nautical scenes, portraits, animals, and still-lifes with flowers are her main subjects. Her style is mainly realistic. Her work has been exhibited at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Fall Festivals, the sign of the Mermaid Gallery, the Generous Critic, the DeGrimme Gallery, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. She has taken on many private commissions and her work has had private showings and is in several private collections.
Especially active in the Scarab Club in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Madeline Long Kerr was represented in the 1987 exhibition “Women at the Scarab Club, 1914-1987,” and has had two solo exhibitions at the Scarab Club, a solo show at the Port Huron Museum, three solo shows at the Great Lakes Inn, and had her art sold through the Detroit Institute of Arts. Her watercolor entitled “The Spinning Wheel” hangs in the former Bell Telephone Co. building.
Madeline Long-Kerr served as secretary for the Scarab Club for seven years, and was president in 1986-1987 [see individual membership file and receipt to the Scarab Club for costs labeled ” â€¦ purchased for Madeline Long-Kerr Beam signing, which is dated 5/29/2001; however, there is also the name Thom handwritten on the attached piece of paper with the date 7-6-90, in the Scarab Club Archives].
| Sponsored by R.O. Bennett and Paul Honoré, Luce applied for membership in the Scarab Club November 11, 1926, and was formally elected to associate membership December 23, 1926. In April 16th, 1930, he was raised to active (voting) status. He lived in Royal Oak, Michigan and later in Bloomfield Hills [see application form from 1926, membership 3 x 5 card, and letter of acceptance also from 1926 in individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives]. |
Luce was a commercial artist for McManus Inc. in the Fisher Building.
| Fred Ludekens was born in and grew up in California. He worked on fishing boats before moving to San Francisco ca. 1920, finding work as a billboard painter though he had had no formal art training. He joined the Advertising Agency of Lord & Thomas in 1931, which sent him to the New York office in 1939. By 1945, he was back in San Francisco to stay. |
Having honed his artistic skills, along with story editing and articles, Ludekens created cover illustrations for publications such as the Saturday Evening Post, the American Magazine, Good Housekeeping, the Country Gentleman, Fortune Magazine, and True magazine. In the 1950’s, he turned to painting, a series of wildlife scenes for the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, as well as scenes showcasing foresters well-known in the business such as Aldo Leopold and William Greeley. Later in his career, he also illustrated for books. He was a founding member of the Famous Artist School.
Fred Ludekens and Scarab Austin Briggs (also of the Famous Artists School) signed the Scarab Club beams in 1952 [see Scarab Buzz (May 1955)].
LYDEN, SHIPPERT GRANT
|Lyden signed the Scarab Club beams in 1963 with the addition of what could be described as a bespectacled happy face.|
| Roy MacNicol is cited in the Archives of American Art in the “Milch Gallery Records, 1911-1980”. |
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| Born in Morris Run, Pennsylvania, Leon Makielski grew up in South Bend, Indiana. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1903-1909 with Ralph Clarkson and Rene Menard, and was awarded the Institute’s “John Quincy Adams Traveling Fellowship” four times in a row. In 1909, he went to Paris to study at the Academy Julian, and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. He painted in Giverny from 1909-1911 and exhibited in Le Salon in 1911 and 1912. Makielski’s landscapes show the strong influence of the Impressionists, Monet in particular. Before returning to the United States, he traveled to Germany, Italy, England, Poland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. |
Back Stateside, Makielski settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan and taught at the University of Michigan from 1915-1927. He then devoted himself full time to his art and began painting portraits of notable figures in American business and politics. His portrait of Dr. Ruben Kahn of the University of Michigan is one of his most well-known portraits, and also painted poet Robert Frost (bought by the University of Michigan), architect Eliel Saarinen, bridge builder Ralph Modjeski, Jesse Bonstelle, S. S. Kresge, Harlan Hatcher (former U of M president), and Laura F. Osborn (which hangs in Osborn High School in Detroit) [see Scarab Buzz (May/June 1972).
The Smithsonian Institution’s Catalog of American Portraits-National Portrait Gallery lists Makielski’s portrait masterpieces. At the beginning of the Depression years, Makielski was commissioned to create portraits of Samuel Vauclain (1856-1940), engineer and inventor of the Vauclain compound locomotive and president of the Baldwin Locomotive Works) and Leopold Stokowski (1885-1947, British-born American conductor) in Philadelphia [see The Scarab 6:1 (Oct. 1930)].
Makielski taught art at the Deaborn Women’s Club [see Scarab Bulletin (Dec. 1960)]. He was a WPA painter, and taught at the Jewish Community Center, the Meinzinger Art School, and the Scarab Club.
Makielski was initiated into the Scarab Club in1925, and was formally elected an associate member in 1926, then raised to active (voting) status on June 9, 1927 [see The Scarab 2:3 (Dec. 1925) ; The Scarab 2:5 (Feb. 1926)]. He taught portrait painting classes through the 1950’s, and, in 1960, he was raised to the status of senior member [see Scarab Buzz (Nov. 1955) and (June 1956) ; see also individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives].
In October 2006, the Elder Art Gallery hosted an exhibition of Makielski’s works, held in his personal collection till his death in 1974 then distributed among family members, from as far back as his time in Paris (1909-1913), through his most prolific years of portrait and landscape painting in the United States from1915-1950 [see Elder Art Gallery website].
The Archives of American Art hold the Leon Makielski Papers, 1904-1982, including three scrapbooks, letters, personal documents, photographs, exhibition catalogs, clippings, articles, and information about his classes.
| Maldarelli was born in Naples, Italy. His father was a skilled goldsmith. The family immigrated to the United States in 1900. In 1906, Maldarelli began taking classes at the Cooper Union; two years later he studied at the National Academy of Design with Leon Kroll, Ivan Olinsky, and Hermon Atkins MacNeill. In 1912, he enrolled in the Beaux-arts Institute of Design where he studied with Jo Davidson, Elie Nadelman, and John Gregory among others. Later, Maldarelli would teach at Sarah Lawrence College and at Columbia University. Maldarelli also took on commissions to create sculptural decorations for gardens and architectural sculpture. As he evolved his own style, his sculpture turned more abstract, though he never completely abandoned his figurative modeling also producing funerary sculpture. He was a member of the National Sculpture Society. |
Among other collections, Maldarelli’s works are in the St. Louis Art Museum, the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
The Archives of American Art hold the “Oronzio Maldarelli Papers, 1952-1963”, including photographs and various printed materials. He is listed in Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers.
American portrait painter
| New Yorker Joseph Maniscalco came to Detroit in 1953 having studied at the Art Student League for four years under the GI bill. He was elected to membership at the end of 1963 with Scarabs Grandy, Bostick, and Edwards as his sponsors. Maniscalco became an active (voting) member of the Scarab Club in February of 1967, and rented a studio in the Farnsworth Clubhouse for more than twenty-five years. He was made a senior member 1992 [for more information see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives]. |
Active is truly the right description, he has the very distinct honor of being award the Scarab Club’s gold medal in 1970, 1976, 1986, and 1997. He also served as Scarab Club President in 1972-73 and 1987-88, and was deeply involved in raising money for the renovation of the Scarab Clubhouse, and in advocating more government support for the arts in general [see Detroit Free Press (December 6, 1987)].
Maniscalco’s other singular honor was being the first winner of the first Silver Medal Exhibition in March 1969, initiated as a “sister series” of exhibitions to the Gold Medal Art shows and medals, for his painting “Forest” [see description and list of other winners in a letter from Manager Joseph F. Padys, Jr. to Jacqueline Feigenson, March 1, 1977]. Maniscalco also gave lectures and seminars such as the seminar on portrait painting at the Center for Creative Studies [see Scarab Buzz (Spring 1980)]. A active participant in so many of the Scarab Club’s annual and repeat-theme exhibitions, Maniscalco was also many times a judge for the Art Festivals held at Keatington Antique Village for the painting and fine arts [see Scarab Buzz (Fall 1980)].
In 1978, Maniscalco set fire to some of his paintings to bring immediate attention to his solo battle with the Internal Revenue Service! The dispute began in 1974 when the IRS refused to allow market value deductions of four paintings he had donated to a non-profit organization citing that the law allows deductions for the cost of materials only. Maniscalco pointed out that, when an artist dies, his/her works are appraised at their full market value with the estate liable for the taxes on the appraised values even if the works are not sold; yet, if the artwork is donated while the artist is alive, only the most minimal percentage of their value can be claimed for tax purposes. He even traveled to Washington, D.C. to discuss matters with representatives of Artists Equity, though no one was optimistic that the bill, H.B. 7896 co-sponsored by Representative Frederick Richmond (Dem., New York) and Representative William Broomfield (Rep., Mich., who was also looking into another bill, H.B. 6715 which would affects artists and their works) to change those tax laws had much chance of passing. Maniscalco also sent a letter to Senator Robert Griffin, and led a protest in Detroit’s Kennedy Square at which he slashed one of his paintings [see Birmingham Eccentric 4/18/1978].
An exhibition of Maniscalco’s portraiture at the College for Creative Studies was held over for two more weeks by popular demand, the most recognized face in the painted crowd being his portrait of hockey great Gordie Howe [see Scarab Buzz (Summer 1980) ; see also the Detroit Free Press (April 11, 1980)]. He also created a portrait of Steve Yzerman in honor of Yzerman’s 600th career goal and 1,500 career points; Yzerman received the portrait at the ice arena in April 2000 [see the Observer & Eccentric 2000]. Maniscalco’s third gold medal was for his portrait of Sigmund Freud, done from studying photographs, a technique which Maniscalco had honed when painting posters for 20th Century Fox of movie stars who were not inclined to or not available to actually sit for him [see the Observer & Eccentric (April 3, 1986)]. He has, since his days with 20th Century Fox, done portraits of more celebrities, Michigan Supreme Court Justices, and several congressmen. The Wayne County Council for Arts, History and the Humanities honored him with an award for forty-five years of excellence as an artist and a teacher [see individual artist’s file in Scarab Club Archives].
Joseph Maniscalco is cited in William Bostick’s interview of August 11-19, 1981 for the Oral History Division of the Archives of American Art.
American graphics designer for General Motors
| Alex Marinos was born in Canton, Ohio. In Michigan, he lived in Sterling Heights and Grosse Pointe Woods; he also lived in Holiday, Florida and was an award-winning member of the Miniature Art Society in Florida. |
Marinos applied for membership in the Scarab Club in February 1951, and was formally elected to on March of 1951. He served as chair of the Scarab Club’s Social Committee from 1971-1978, through which he was instrumental in reviving the tradition of the Scarab Club Beaux-Arts Balls [see Scarab Buzz (Dec. 1979) ; see also individual membership file is the Scarab Club Archives]. He also served as Scarab Club president for the 1979-1981 term. Marinos helped bring back the Scarab Club’s Advertising Art Show [see article in the Detroit News (September 16, 1979)].
Marinos studied at the Arts & Crafts of Detroit from 1945-1948, and at the Center for Creative Studies in 1970 and separately with Sarkis Sarkisian and Guy Palazzola. Marinos worked through the Rossi & Co., in advertising, in the Guardian Bulding. As a commercial artist since 1948, Marinos worked for General Motors for thirty years. He designed lettering in the GM Design Studio and created a special type of gothic alphabet that has since been used in advertising worldwide; his title was Senior Lettering Specialist. He also designed the emblem for the Federation of Greek Orthodox Choirs, the logo for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the logo for the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians. Marinos enjoyed music almost as much as he enjoyed the visual arts, choral music in particular [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives].
Artist; worked for the Detroit News
| Marschner was a member of the Scarab Club before it officially changed its name from the Hopkin Club. The exhibition flyer for the 2nd Annual Exhibition by the Hopkin Club (accessible online), held December 4-25, 1912, lists Marschner, Roy Gamble, Joseph Gies, W. Greason, John A. Morse, John P. Wicker, and many other Scarabs exhibiting their paintings at the Detroit Museum of Art (now the Detroit Institute of Arts). In 1925, he donated 35 copies of Masters in Art, issues dating from 1900-1908 [see The Scarab 1:3 (March 1925)]. He also served as Scarab Club President from 1921-1922, sandwiched between the terms of Frank Scott Clark. |
Marschner is cited in the Bulletin of the Detroit Museum of Art (1915) regarding the Michigan Artist Exhibition, organized under the auspices of the Scarab Club, at which he won the Detroit Museum’s second prize. He is also cited in the later monographs A History of Painting in Michigan, 1850 to World War II (Detroit : Wayne State University Press, 1965), and Artists in Michigan from the Nineteenth Century : a Sesquicentennial Exhibition, commemorating Michigan Statehood, 1837-1987 (Muskegon : the Muskegon Museum of Art ; Detroit : Detroit Historical Museum, 1987).
On November 25, 2006, the Bunte Auction Services (Illinois) valued one of Marschner’s etchings, exhibited by the Chicago Society of Etchers, at $150-200.
| Born in Paris to muralist Fred D. Marsh and miniature painter Alice Randall, the upper-middle-class family moved back to the States, to Nutley, New Jersey ca. 1900. Marsh himself was known for his depictions of New York, the life and lifestyles of the city during the 1920’s and 1930’s: Coney Island, vaudeville, the burlesque scene, and the Bowery. |
Marsh attended Lawrenceville School, then went on to Yale University, graduating in 1920. While at Yale, he worked as an illustrator for the Yale Record. After graduation, Marsh headed for New York to take his chances as a freelance illustrator. By 1922, he had been hired to sketch vaudeville and burlesque performers for the New York Daily News. In 1925, the New Yorker began publication and Marsh was one of that magazine’s first cartoonists. He also submitted illustrations to the American Marxists magazine New Masses.
While in New York, he began painting classes at the Art Students League under John Sloan; by the early 1920’s, Marsh was painting in earnest. In 1925, he traveled back to Paris and was fascinated with all the old masters in the Louvre Museum. While in Paris, Marsh met up with Thomas Hart Benton who, though his own style was one of social realism, enjoyed and appreciated Baroque painting. Marsh began to formulate his own realist-influenced-by-Baroque style, with a touch of his own love for Renaissance painting. Back in New York, he created figurative scenes which also incorporated architecture and landscape.
Marsh continued his studies under Kenneth Hayes Miller and George Luks, tapering off in his commercial art. Miller impressed upon Marsh the importance of finding his own style and not be so inclined to copy the style of others’. Marsh took further lessons from John Steuart Curry and Jacques Maroger, a former art restorer at the Louvre who advocated the use of white lead cooked in linseed oil for his painting medium. Marsh was also an etcher. In the early 1920’s he created several linocuts, then went on to create lithographs and engravings. A stickler for details such as room temperature and the mixing and development of various media, Marsh was open to experimentation. He tried painting with watercolor and oil; in 1929, he tried egg tempera.
The Marsh loved to depict scenes from New York City life, the Great Depression, the subway system, crowd scenes at the local theater, and scenes of men and women at their jobs or jobless, his subject matter qualifying as “social realism,” he was not inclined to the contemporary styles of the early 20th century, preferring to manipulate the artistic traditions of the old masters to create his 20th-century images.
Marsh taught at the Art Students League in the 1940’s, also at the League’s summer art camp (Roy Lichtenstein was one of his students). He also contributed drawings to the magazine market once again, including Esquire, Fortune, and Life. Before he passed away in 1954, Marsh received the Gold Medal for Graphic Arts from the American Academy and the National Institute for Arts and Letters.
In 1940, a Working Artists Group was organized in Detroit, its purpose to bring together artists from around the country to discuss and describe their work, their techniques, their thoughts and feelings of the art and art trends of the time. Marsh, along with Yasuo Kuniyoshi, George Grosz, and Louis Bouche, agreed to be the first round of artists to speak at the gatherings to be hosted by the Scarab Club. Those attending were encouraged to bring one or two of their own works for critique and comment. Marsh was invited to sign the Scarab Club beams [for more information see individual membership file and individual artist’s file in Scarab Club Archives].
The Detroit Institute of Arts holds several artworks by Marsh, including “The Savoy Ballroom (in Harlem)” (1931), “Naked over New York” (1938), “In Hoboken” (1940), and a portrait of “Raphael Soyer painting Reginald Marsh” (1941). The painting “In Hoboken” was displayed in the D.I.A.’s exhibition entitled “American Drawings and Watercolors 1760-1960, Selections from the Permanent Collection,” December 9, 1992-May 9, 1993 [see also the exhibition held at the University of Arizona Art Gallery, “Reginald Marsh Retrospective,” May 9-April 6, 1969, catalog no. 102].
The Archives of American Art have the Reginald Marsh Papers, 1897-1955 (scanned in 2006), which include biographical materials, information on his vaudeville, burlesque, and night club images, diaries, scrapbooks, and photographs.
MARTIN, DAVIS [LIVING]STONE
| Martin attended the Art Institute of Chicago School and was heavily impacted by Ben Shahns’ line art work. Best known for his illustrations of jazz record albums, by 1950, he had already created over one hundred album covers for Mercury, Disc, and Dial records. Martin created the record cover of Billie Holiday for “All or Nothing at All”/Verve, Harry Belafonte’s “Love is a Gentle Thing”/RCA Victor, and “These Are the Blues”-Ella Fitzgerald/Verve, among others. He was friends with record producer Norman Granz, and CBS-TV art director, William Golden, both of whom often commissioned Martin’s talent for advertisements. During the 1950’s Martin’s expanded his range, creating illustrations for Seventeen magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, Time, and more [for examples, see Time magazine, March 25, 1966 for David Merrick ; September 16, 1966 for Robert Kennedy ; March 22, 1968 for Sen. Eugene McCarthy ; Mar. 27, 1972 for Gov. George Wallace]. |
Martin worked out of his studio in Roosevelt, New Jersey. The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum in New York have his work in their collections, as do the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smithsonian. The Archives of American Art have photographs of Martin ca. 1950, part of the “David Stone Martin Papers, 1939-1991”, which also include biographical materials, his obituary, information on his family, catalogs, reviews, and information about his awards such as those from the Art Directors Club and the Society of Illustrators.
| Joy Hakanson Colby, in her 1956 article for The Detroit News, “Art and the City,” chronicled the art scene in Detroit, specifically the arts & crafts movement. She wrote about the Cass Corridor Artists, and about Charles McGee and what would become the Gallery 7 Artists. In 1969, McGee, invited by Detroit Artists Market, curated the exhibition 7 Black Artists, after which, he opened Gallery 7. He also founded and managed the Charles McGee School of Art from 1969-1974, and was one of the founders of the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit [see “Charles McGee, a Journey and Still Searching,” online news from M(ichigan) School of Art & Design (October 25, 2007)]. |
Born in Clemson, South Carolina, Charles McGee came to Detroit in 1934 to study at the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. He later taught at Eastern Michigan University. His artistic output includes painting, sculpting, and assemblage. Ten of his works, including “Spectral Rhythms” (acrylic, 1970’s) and “Urban Extract II” (mixed media, 1979) are in the holdings of the Detroit Institute of Art, and adorn the walls of the People Mover. More of his art is in the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American art, as well as the Troy Beaumont Hospital and Detroit Receiving Hospital. When invited to sign the beams at the Scarab Club, McGee chose to sign with white paint rather than the usual black. It is fitting that his signature stands out because he has been a stand-out figure in the art scene of Detroit since he arrived [see p. 77 in The Scarab Club (c2006)].
At the age of 78, McGee was honored with an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the College for Creative Studies [see Detroit News (May 14, 2003)]. Another birthday was marked by the exhibition hosted by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Julia R. Myers wrote Energy: Charles McGee at Eight-Five [Wayne State University Press, 2010], which served as the exhibition catalog for the sixty-year retrospective exhibition held at Eastern Michigan University. The book chronicles McGee’s artistic development: his figurative art through the 1950’s and 1960’s, his abstract art in the 1970’s, and his return to a more figurative style again in the 1980’s, as well as his overall involvement in the Black Arts Movement in Detroit, especially during the 1960’s. From June 3-Sept. 24, 2010, the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum of Saginaw Valley State University, hosted the exhibition 2 Centuries, 3 Decades: Charles McGee, curated by Marilyn L. Wheaton [see Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum web site].
The Archives of American Art, Oral History Division has the interview with Charles McGee, conducted by Marsha Miro July 23-26, 1976.
American artist and art teacher
|**If you have more info, let us know**|
American art educator and visual artist
| Merritt went to school in Boston, Mass., then on to Yale University. In his interview, he talked at length about being a painter during the Great Depression. A director and instructor at various schools, Merritt taught art at Cranbrook Academy, had tenure at the Flint Institute of Arts from 1947-1951, and was the founder and director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine (first in Liberty then Deer Isle), 1951-1977, an international community of craft artists. He belonged to the Maine Arts Commission and the Friends of Art at Colby College. He was a fellow of the American Craft Council and the Royal Society of Art. His work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Corcoran Gallery. |
The Archives of American Art have the Francis Sumner Merritt Papers, 1903 – 1979, which include biographical materials, photographs, correspondence, clippings, exhibition information, and material on his work as an art educator. The Archives also have the interview with Merritt, conducted by Robert F. Brown May 25-June 25, 1979.
February 6, 1904 – July 11, 2003
American curator of American Art MOMA
| Dorothy Canning Miller was the first professionally trained curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her specialty was American Art, and she was one of the most influential people in that field in the twentieth century. |
Miller was born in Hopedale, Massachusetts, grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, and graduated from Smith College in 1925.The Newark Museum, one of the Nation’s leading museums for education and artistic studies, was Miller’s artistic classroom from 1926-1929 where she studied with John Cotton Dana. From 1930-1932, she worked as the Curator of Native American Art at the Montclair Art Museum.
Though founded in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art in New York did not at first have its own building. Director Alfred H. Barr, Jr. met Miller when she was working (and living in Greenwich Village; married in 1938) with Hogler Cahill when they curated the First Municipal Art Exhibition in space provided by the Rockefeller family; when the Rockefeller family had Diego Rivera’s mural “Man at the Crossroads,” destroyed during the construction of Rockefeller Center, many of the artists scheduled to exhibit in this exhibition wanted to boycott; Miller asked for Barr’s assistance in defusing the controversy, which he did. Shortly after that, Miller went to Barr to asked for a job. She was hired as his assistant curator in 1934 and progressed steadily to the rank of curator for the Museum’s collections in 1947. Miller had six successful exhibitions of contemporary art to her credit, introducing (ca.) ninety new artists to the American Public while promoting the exhibition style of having fewer artists per exhibition which allowed those fewer artists to display more of their respective works:
1942: “Americans 1942 = 18 artists from 9 states”
1946: “14 Americans” [Scarab Isamu Noguchi was included]
1952: “15 Americans” [Scarab William Baziotes was included]
1956: “12 Americans” [Scarab Jose de Rivera was included]
1959: “16 Americans”
1963: “Americans 1963”
Miller’s exhibition “The New American Painting” toured eight European countries in 1958/59, influencing European perceptions of modern art in the United States, especially of American Abstract Expressionism [Scarab William Baziotes exhibited in this exhibition along with artists such as Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, and Willem de Kooning].
Miller was appointed to the One Chase Manhattan Plaza Art Committee in 1959 [alone with Gordon Bunshaft, Robert Hale, James J. Sweeney, Perry Rathbone, and Alfred H. Barr, Jr.]. She retired from MOMA in 1969, becoming a trustee and an advisor for Rockefeller University, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and other institutions. She was an honorary trustee of MOMA from 1984 to her death in 2003.
Miller was awarded her Doctor of Letters from Smith College in 1959, an honorary degree from Williams College in 1982, the celebrated with the “Curator’s Choice”, 1942-63 a Tribute to Dorothy Miller at the Rosa Esman Gallery in New York in 1982, and presented with the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture’s Governor’s Award in 1983. A partial lists of publications can be found on line [through Wikipedia].
1875 – 1955
Swedish-born sculptor, art teacher
| Carl Milles was born Carl Wilhelm Andersson to his father Emil “Mille” Anderson and his mother Walborg Tisell, near Uppsala, Sweden. Both his brother and half-brother were artists, as was his future wife Olga. In 1897, at the age of twenty-two, he went for a “visit” to Paris on his way to Chile to take up a management position is a school for gymnastics; he ended up staying in Paris to study art where he was a student of August Rodin. After a short stay in Munich, Germany, Carl and Olga returned to settle on the island of Lidingö near the city of Stockholm. There, they built Millesgarden between 1906-1908, including his workspace. Milles created the statue of Poseidon in Gothenburg, the statue of Gustav Vasa in the Nodisk museet, the Orfeus Group outside the Stokholm Concert Hall, and the Folke Filbyter sculpture in Linköping, which was made into a stamp to commemorate what would have been Milles’ 100th birthday year. In 1946, Millesgarden was renovated into a fountain complex and donated to the people of Sweden. When Carl and his wife returned to Sweden ca. 1951, they spent their summers at Millesgarden and their winters in Rome where he made use of a studio provided by the American Academy in Rome. Milles passed away in 1955; Olga died in 1967 in Graz, Austria. They are buried at Millesgarden in a grave for which, because of Swedish law requiring graves to be “sacred space,” King Gustav granted burial permission; King Gustav being a keen amateur gardener, helped plant the garden on that site. |
Milles came to the United States and to the Cranbrook Academy in Michigan at the invitation of George G. Booth, to serve as sculptor in residence, while expected to take on commissions outside Cranbrook. While teaching at Cranbrook, Milles created such works as the fountain the “Wedding of the Waters” in St. Louis, which symbolizes the merging of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers (1936-1940); the name was later changed to the “Meeting of the Waters.” His sculpture the “Hand of God,” created in honor of Detroit Mayor/Michigan Governor/U.S. Supreme Court Associate Judge Frank Murphy, stands outside the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on a pedestal laid out with the help of Marshall Fredericks. It was commissioned and paid for by the United Automobile Workers. Milles’ inclination for nudity in his figures caused him to have a “fig leaf retainer” who job it was to “fix” things thought to be too revealing.
Photographs made for a monograph on Milles are held in the Carl Milles Photograph Collection in the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Archives of American Art have the “Carl Milles Papers, 1942-1970”, which include letters (bulk 1494-1955), finance records, photographs, clippings, and other printed materials.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the following publications relating to Carl Milles: a file within the Papers of Clyde H. Burroughs; Millesgården: i Bilder = in Pictures = in Bildern = en Images, by K. A. Arvidsson (Stockholm : Grafisk Konst, ca. 1955) ; Between Water and Heaven: Carl Milles: a Search for American Commissions (Stockholm : Almqvist & Wiksell ; Montclair, N.J. : ABner Schram, 1986) ; 10 Amerikanska Skulptörer : elever till Carl Milles I Cranbrook = 10 American Sculptors: Carl Milles’ Students at Cranbrook (Stockholm : Millesgården, 1986) ; Carl Milles : an Interpretation of his Work by M. R. Rogers (New Haven : Yale, 1940) ; and Milles is references in the work Härute = Out Here : Swedish Immigrant Artists in Midwest America : an Exhibition of Works from Augustana College and the Quad Cities Communities (Rock Island, Ill. : Augustana College, 1984).
Clifford West produced two films about Milles’ work: Fountains of Carl Milles, and Fountains of Faith [see Scarab Buzz (April 1962)].
MILLIKEN, HELEN W.
Women’s rights advocate, patroness of the arts
| As wife of former Michigan governor William G. Milliken, Helen Milliken has never been “just the governor’s wife.” An active campaigner for women’s rights, co-chair of ERA America, she convened the International Women’s Year Delegation in Michigan and was a member of the IWY delegation to the conference in Houston in 1977. She was actively involved with the Women’s Research in Education Institute in Washington, D.C., and chaired the National Women’s Conference Committee. |
Equally active as a patroness of the arts, Helen Milliken helped to develop state art projects in Michigan and served as chair of the Michigan Artrain which toured through Michigan and twenty-three other states. She is an honorary member of the Michigan Society of Architects, the Michigan Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Club, and Zonta International. She has received honorary degrees from Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan. In 1983, Helen Milliken was inducted into the Historical Center & Hall of Fame.
When Governor William Milliken was invited to sign the Scarab Club beams in July if 1981, Helen Milliken could not attend the ceremony, therefore, William Milliken signed for them both.
MILLIKEN, WILIAM GRAWN
Governor of Michigan 1969-1983
| William G. Milliken, son of James T. Milliken, mayor of Traverse City and Michigan State Senator for the 27th District, 1941-1950, grandson of James W. Milliken, State Senator from that same district, 1898-1900, was born in Traverse City and certainly had the family background to enter and succeed in politics. He also served in the U.S. Army Air Force in WWII, flying at least fifty missions as a waist-gunner on a B-24; he survived two crashes. |
No surprise, Milliken began his career in politics in the 27th District, elected State Senator from 1961-1964. He was the Lieutenant Governor from 1965-1969, and was then took over as Governor after George Romney left office to take a position in President Nixon’s cabinet. He was then elected on his own in for the 1970, 1974, and 1978 terms (there is now a two-term limit). During his time as Governor of Michigan, the Council of Great Lakes Governors was created. In 2009, the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor was named in his honor.
Scarab Club member Patricia Hill Burnett painted a full-length portrait of Governor Milliken. For his support of the arts,also the extremely active support of the arts by Helen Milliken, and especially his support of the Detroit Institute of Arts and their team support of the Artrain and the Michigan Council for the Arts (as well as his pro-environmental policies in Michigan), Governor Milliken and Helen Milliken were invited to sign the Scarab Club beams and, because Helen, could not attend the beam signing celebration, he signed for her, too [see brief write-up in the Detroit Free Press (July 18, 1981) ; for a B&W thumbnail of Burnett’s portrait of the Governor, see p. 78 in The Scarab Club (c2006) ; see also a copy of the “Milliken Beam Signing” speech in the Milliken beam signing file].
MILLIKEN, WILLIAM M.
1889 – 1978
Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art
| Born in Stamford, Connecticut, Milliken went to Princeton. He traveled for a while through Europe, then declined a job offer to catalog objects for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, working instead in his family’s textile business, however, he succumbed to his artistic inclinations and worked for a few months in the Department of Decorative Arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts under W. Valentiner. He served in WWI as an officer in the 282nd Air Squadron in England. At the end of WWI, he worked as a curator for the Cleveland Museum of Art, and was instrumental in acquiring several important works of art for that Museum between 1919 and 1925. In 1930, Milliken was appointed Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, a position he filled till 1958. |
The Archives of American Art have the “William M. Milliken Papers, 1923-1970”, which include biographical materials, correspondence, writings, a travel diary, radio talks, files on Bernard Berenson, Marshall Fredericks, and other artists, and a typescript of the book Stories Behind the Museum Collection, ca. 254-page history of the Cleveland Museum of Art (since 1913), and photographs. There is also Milliken’s interview for the Oral History Division conducted by Dennis Barrie in various stages between December 27, 1974 and March 13, 1976.
MONDALE, JOAN ADAMS
Art teacher, political activist, art advocate
| Joan Adams was born in Eugene, Oregon; the family lived in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Minneapolis. Her father was the chaplain for Macalester College, from which Joan graduated in 1952 with a major in history and a minor in art and French. Joan taught children’s art classes at the Minnesota Institute of Art, and after graduation, was a slide librarian at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In 1955, Joan met Walter Mondale; they were married in December of that year. |
Wife, mother of three, and always an active member of her husband’s political campaigns and career in politics, when Senator Mondale moved his family to Washington, D.C., Joan Mondale did not forget or neglect her artistic contacts and activities. A working potter still, she gave guided tours at the National Gallery of Art, all the while serving as a board member of the Women’s National Democratic Club and the Associated Council of the Arts. In 1977, President Carter named her Honorary Chairperson of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. She also served on the Board of Trustees for the Kennedy Center and the American Craft Council.
As wife of Vice President Mondale and lady of the V.P. House, Joan Mondale turned the mansion into an artistic showcase for contemporary art, displaying the works of both well-known and up-and-coming American artists. Her book, Politics in Art, published in 1972, offered a survey of how American artists have seen the political process in the United States in relation to the Arts. Joan Mondale has traveled and lectured about the arts all over the country through the 1980’s, in particular about the vital importance of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Scarab Club held a reception for Joan Mondale October 7, 1983 at which she again spoke of the importance of the N.E.A. and government support of the arts. She visited the Attic Theater and the College for Creative Studies [see Detroit Focus Quarterly 2:4 (Dec. 1973), p. 7].
The Archives of American Art have a photograph of Joan Mondale with Robert Smith, ca. 1979. There is also a letter to ceramist Toshiko Takaezu, 1978, a letter to Barbara Fendrick the art dealer, ca. 1977; and Joan Mondale is cited in Richard Ritter’s August 2, 2005 interview conducted by Jan Williams.
July 4, 1908 –
| William Moore worked as a display artist, a painter, a sculptor, and an airbrush expert. He worked for the Display & Exhibit Company. One of his works was in the Ford Rotunda. He also enjoyed music and the theater and was a member of the Dearborn Players Guild. An avid sailor, he also belonged to the Grosse Isle Yacht Club. |
Moore applied for membership to the Scarab Club in March of 1954, sponsored by Beaver Edwards and Warren Simpson, and was formally elected April 13, 1954. He was raised to active (voting) status in 1955 [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives].
In the “Rosalie Berkowitz Photograph Collection, 1927-1950”, in the Archives of American Art, there is a photograph (photographer unknown), dated ca. 1949 of William Moore, John Pike, Carl Walters, and Carl Hubbell at Woodstock, New York.
|After her husband Fred’s death, Elizabeth Moorehouse continued her membership at the Scarab Club. Liz served on the Scarab Club Board Executive Committee as Secretary for eight years during the 1990’s and was invited to sign the beam in 1998. In her own words Liz stated that she enjoyed making and helping to serve the traditional Tom & Jerry’s drink at the annual Boars Head Dinner. Liz is a generous donor to the Scarab Club; she belongs to the ranks of the Joseph Gies Society Patrons [$250-499 ; see Scarab Club annual reports, 2009/2010 for example].|
January 31, 1920 – 1988
| Moorehouse was a technical and mechanical illustrator for Fisher Body Division of General Motors, specifically as engineering illustrator for automotive illustration at the GM Tech Center. He studied at the Meinzinger School of Art in Detroit, and with George Rich and Frederick Simper. His work filled GM publications. The Society of Engineering Illustrators sponsored an exhibition of his work at the Lewis Artists Supply Gallery. Moorehouse belonged to the Founders Society of the Detroit Institute of Arts. He was an instructor at Cass Tech High School Night School teaching production illustration. He was also an avid collector of ancient coins and often gave lectures on the subject. |
Moorehouse first applied for and was elected to Scarab Club associate membership in May 1958, sponsored by Scarabs Simpson, Davison, and Typinski. He served as Scarab Club President from 1975-1976. In 1979, and celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary at the Scarab Club [see letter dated April 23, 1979, from Manager Jos. F. Padys to Fred Moorehouse]. One of Fred’s favorite jobs was editing the Scarab Buzz newsletter from 1974-1986. The third place award at the 96th Scarab Club Gold Medal Exhibition, won by G. Jesse Gledhill, was given in memory of Fred Moorehouse [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives].
MORSE, JOHN A.
American painter, etcher, lithographer
| Born in Caseville, Michigan, Morse studied at Michigan State Normal College, at the University of Michigan, and at the Academy of Fine Arts in New York. He worked in Boston for a while and in New York with lithographer Bolton Brown. Back in Michigan, Morse taught at the Normal College while working at his painting and traveling to gain perspective and experience. He resigned his teaching position in 1938 to work full time as an artist. |
A charter member of the Scarab Club, Morse was exhibiting his work as early as 1917 at the Annual Exhibition for Michigan Artists with his painting “High Tide,” while chairing the Arts Committee. His work was also exhibited in April-May 1922 at the 8th Annual DIA Exhibition. Morse traveled around the United States with fellow Scarab Joseph Gies, trips which always provided both artists with lots and lots of sketches for their artwork [see The Scarab 2:1 (Oct. 1925)]. Morse, Gies, Gamble, and other Scarab Club charter members exhibited their works in the various Scarab Club exhibitions throughout the 1920’s [see The Scarab 2:3 (Dec. 1925)]. Morse was part of committee formed to investigate the Chicago Municipal Art League and decide if such an organization would work in Detroit [see The Scarab 2:4 (Jan. 1926) ; The Scarab 2:7 (April 1926)]. Just as the Great Depression hit and Morse was being raised to active (voting) status, he took on the position of Scarab Club President from 1929-1930. In 1941, Morse was appointed to the chair of the Arts Committee [see letter dated May 19, 1941 ; for further information see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives].
Morse’s “Boats on Canal,” dated 1930, is in the Scarab Club collection. An exhibition of Morse’s oils, etchings, and lithographs was held in 1942, and Morse exhibited with Ken Gore in March of 1946.
American film editor and sound designer
| Walter Murch, son of American painter and draughtsman Walter Tandy Murch,1907 – 1967, was born in New York. He attended the private prep school Collegiate School in Manhattan, then on to Johns Hopkins University, graduating with a degree in Liberal Arts. There he met future director/screenwriter Matthew Robbins and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, working with them in staging various “happenings.” Robbins and Murch went on to the graduate film school at the University of Southern California, with Deschanel joining them later. Joining up with George Lucas, Hall Barwood, and John Milius among others, this active group became known as the “Dirty Dozen,” and all would go on to success in the film-making business. |
Murch’s first real job was the editing and sound work for Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rain People in 1969. He went on to work with George Lucas on THZ1138 and American Graffiti, then with Coppola again on the Godfather, for which he received an Academy Award nomination, following up with the Godfather Part II. In 1979, he won the Academy Award for sound for his work on Apocalypse Now. In 1985, Murch actually directed the film Return to Oz. Murch won Oscars for both his sound mixing and his editing, the only person to win both at the same time. In 2003, he worked on another Minghella film, Cold Mountain, utilizing Apple’s “Final Cut Pro” software using Power Mac G4 computers; proving that this comparatively inexpensive method could produce as good a result as far more expensive systems for big-budget films at the time. He received another Academy Award nomination, and the work was documented by Charles Koppelman in his book Behind the Seen (2004). He is the only film editor to receive Academy Award nominations for work done on four different systems: Moviola, KEM flatbed, Avid, and Final Cut Pro.
Contributing the development of the film editing field directly, Murch invented a way of splicing film with concealed the splice job with special polyester-silicone tape, calling it “N-vis-o.” In 2006, Murch was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada.
The Archives of American Art have the Murch Papers mostly relating to the senior Murch, 1916-1970, conducted by D. Seckler on June 6, 1967, which includes Murch biographical materials, correspondence, and sketchbooks, as well as a photograph from ca. 1960. The Archives also include the interview conducted by Leo Snyder with Murch in 1966 for a radio station in Boston. The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the book on Murch, Sr. Walter Murch: Paintings and Drawings, compiled and edited by Long Island University, the C. W. Post Center, School of Arts, and Hilwood Art Gallery (1986).
In 1992, Murch, Jr. became a published author with In the Blink of an Eye, which, in its 2nd revised edition of 2001 (published in L.A. by Silman James Press), is available through Amazon.com with many reviews on line; it is also available in audio-book form. Murch is subject of Michael Ondaatje’s book The Conversation: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film (2002), based on Murch’s life and career.
American business executive and artist
| From Michigan, Murcko worked for the Troy, Michigan-based Communication Association, Inc. as president and chief operating officer. He was one of the founders of and also sat on the board of the Franklin Bank (now First Place Bank) in Southfield, Michigan. A self-taught artist, Murcko was known for going from the board room directly to his Scarab Club studio to paint [see p. 78 in The Scarab Club (2006)]. |
Murcko’s most famous creation is the series of images of the Masai Tribe inspired and created from his travels in Kenya in 1996. In 1997, Birmingham’s (MI) Moore Gallery staged a solo exhibition of these magnificent, eye-popping portraits. The works were exhibited again that same year and documented in a back-to-back exhibition catalog with the works of Tyree Guyton [see the Detroit Free Press (May 11, 1997, 8F) ; see also the article by Alan Abrams in Impulse (Feb. 1998) “Art Transcends Race: the Masai Paintings of Bill Murcko”].
Bill Murcko signed the Scarab Club beams in 2001, having won the 2001 Scarab Club Gold Medal, and in honor of his 2000-2002 presidency [he was Vice President in 1997-1998]. There is hardly a break in the list of exhibitions and awards displaying and honoring Murcko’s art between the years 1996 and 2007, including three Silver Medal and four Gold Medal shows at the Scarab Club, with Murcko taking the Gold Medal in 2001, 2008, and 2009, and then the Silver in 2009. He signed the beams twice, the first time as president, the second time as an artist. He has also had shows and received awards in Birmingham, Grosse Pointe, and Livonia Michigan. Awards or not, Murcko’s artworks have been in one or more of the Scarab Club’s various annual exhibitions for more than a decade.
Murcko has also been a member of the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center and Fanclub Arts of Royal Oak.
November 17, 1904 – 1988
Japanese American artist
| Isamu Noguchi was born in Los Angeles to an American mother, Leonie Gilmour, and a Japanese father, poet Yonejiro (Yone) Noguchi, who returned to Tokyo that same year; he and his mother went to Tokyo in 1907, moving to Omori in 1910, and to Chigsaki in 1912 where his sister was born. In 1913, Noguchi’s father married a native woman and began a new family. Leonie had a new home built for herself and her son and daughter, and Isamu was for a time apprenticed to a carpenter. In 1916, he was taken out of the Japanese school system and sent to Saint Joseph’s College in Yokohama. |
After WWII, in 1918, Isamu Noguchi was sent to Indiana to the Interlaken School which had been closed during the War; Isamu was transferred to the La Porte High School in La Porte, Indiana under the name Isamu Gilmour, after which he was apprenticed to sculptor Gutzon Borglum in Connecticut, who also helped Noguchi get into Columbia University in New York to study pre-med. Noguchi’s mother moved back to the United States. By then, Noguchi had decided that he wanted to be a sculptor, quit pre-med, and studied at the Leonardo da Vinci Art School and was an apprentice to Onorio Ruototo. Now officially using the name Isamu Noguchi, he set up a studio for himself in New York and joined the National Sculpture Society.
Noguchi earned a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927 and studied in Paris, working with Brancusi, taking drawing classes at the Academie Grande Chaumi, and associating with the likes of Alex Calder, Morris Kantor, and Stuart Davis. For a while, he had a studio in Montparnasse, developing his abstract style in sculpture and working with stone and wood.
His Guggenheim Fellowship completed, Noguchi returned to New York City in 1928, established a studio on the top floor of Carnegie Hall, and had his first one-man exhibition at the Eugene Schoen Gallery. His next studio was on Madison & 29th Street.
In New York, Noguchi met dancer/choreographer Martha Graham for whom he would design many minimalist stage settings.
By 1930, Noguchi was exhibiting on a regular basis in New York. He went to Cambridge, Mass. and Chicago with Buckminster Fuller on an exhibition and lecture tour. Later, he traveled to Moscow and on to Beijing (Peking at the time). In 1931, Noguchi went back to Japan for the first time and re-met his father. His uncle traveled around Japan with him, during which time, Noguchi created ceramic sculpture which was exhibited at the 18th Nikaten Exhibition in Tokyo. He returned to New York later that year.
For the next several years, Noguchi traveled to many countries, exhibiting his works and designing costumes and sets for dance. In 1936, worked on a mural in Mexico City. In 1938, he designed the Chassis Fountain for the Ford Motor Company Building at the New York World’s Fair, and was awarded the commission to create a stainless steel relief for the Associated Press Building. The next year, in Hawaii, he was designing playground equipment. Back in New York, with a studio on 10th Street, he designed a table for A. C. Goodyear, president of the Museum of Modern Art. Through the WWII years, Noguchi continued to create his sculptural works and to design stage sets. After the War, he was part of the 14 Americans exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. He designed sets and costumes for George Balanchine’s dance “Orpheus,” and, in 1949, had his first one-man show in New York since 1935.
In 1950, now world famous, Noguchi took another trip to Japan where his sculpture, ceramics, and furniture were exhibited. He was back in Japan the next year for further travels and was awarded the commission to design the Hiroshima Bridge and the garden for the Reader’s Digest Building in Tokyo. In 1952, he was invited to design the “Memorial to the Atomic Dead” in Hiroshima, though that commission was never realized.
Back in the United States, by 1955, Noguchi was asked to design sets and costumes for the Royal Shakespeare company’s production of “King Lear.” The next year, he began work on the gardens for the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (1956-58) and for the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (1956-1958). He also took yet another trip to Japan and created cast iron sculptures. In 1958, he decided to settle in a more permanent way in New York, though in 1961, he switched to living and working on Long Island. He worked on designs for the Sunken Gardens for Chase Manhattan Bank Plaza, the Riverside Drive Playground (with Louis Kahn with whom he collaborated for several years), and the Mississippi Fountain for the John Hancock Insurance Company in New Orleans.
During the 1970’s Noguchi designed landscapes, fountains, gateways, stage sets, and parks throughout the United States and Tokyo. 1980 saw his “Passage of Seasons” installed in the Cleveland Art Museum, and “Unidentified Object” in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1988, Noguchi designed the master plan for the four-hundred-acre park in Sapporo, Japan, and sculptural decoration for the Takamatsu Airport. He was awarded the Third Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese Government in July, and the Award for Distinction in Sculpture from the Sculpture Center in New York. Noguchi passed away in December of that year.
Noguchi, through Noguchi Fountain & Plaza, Inc, designed the Horace E. Dodge Fountain and Philip A. Hart Plaza for the Detroit Riverfront, 1972-1979 [Hart Plaza is supposedly located approximately where Antoine Cadillac landed in 1701 and founded the village of Detroit with Fort Pontchartrain]. Noguchi was invited to sign the Scarab Club beams in 1975 or 1979 [see p. 79 in The Scarab Club (c2006)].
The Archives of American Art have the interview done for the Oral History Division by Paul Cummings, November 7-December 26, 1973 in Noguchi’s Long Island studio, as well as photographs from ca. 1940, and an interview given by Arlene Francis for the WOR Radio Station in New York, April 22, 1968 in which she talked about the exhibition at the Whitney Museum Noguchi, a Sculptor’s World.
The Research Collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts has at least twenty-one items on Noguchi, including exhibition catalogs, monographs, and a video recording — selected examples:
The Life of Isamu Noguchi : Journey without Borders. By Masayo Duus. Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 2007.
Isamu Noguchi : a Study of Space. By Ana Maria Torres. New
York : Monacelli, 2000.
Noguchi : Seven Stones. An Exhibition at the Pace Galleries,
March 28-April 26, 1986. Exhibition catalogue.
Noguchi : New Sculpture. An Exhibition at the Pace Galleries.
May 6-June 4, 1983. Exhibition catalogue.
Isamu Noguchi : 75th Birthday Exhibition. Andre Emmerich
Gallery, New York, February 16-March 15, 1980. Exhibition
Martha Graham, Sixteen Dances in Photographs. By Barbara
B. Morgan. Dobbs Ferry, New York : Morgan & Morgan, 1980.
Isamu Noguchi: video recording. By Bruce W. Bassett. New York
: Whitgate Production, 1980.
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American artist, art critic, historian, lecturer
| Son of a commercial photographer, Pach helped with the family’s New York studio, Pach Bros., and was known for doing most of the photographic work for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was born in New York City where his father, Gotthelf Pach, was a prominent commercial photographer who ran Pach Bros. Photograph Studio. He graduated from the City College of New York with a degree in art, studied with Robert Henri at the New York School of Art, then traveled abroad in 1903-04 to paint with William Merritt Chase. 1907 found Walter Pach living in Paris and moving in the circle of Gertrude and Leo Stein and the Paris avant-garde. In Paris, he exhibited his own work while writing about the artists and art scene in general. In 1908, he wrote an article on Cezanne, the first to be published in the United States. He also interviewed Claude Monet and the article was published in Scribner’s Magazine. Pach married Magdalene Frohbert in 1914, and they had a son Raymond. |
Pach settled in New York, but the family traveled frequently between 1928-1932. He taught at the University of California-Berkeley, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (on a Schliling Fund Grant), and wrote about Native American art. He helped raise money for a museum for indigenous art of the Americas. He met and became friends with Jose Clemete Orozco and Diego Rivera. As one of the founders in 1917 of the Society of Independent Artists in New York (with Marcel Duchamp and Walter Arensbuerg), he helped organize the Mexican Chapter.
Pach considered himself a painter, but devoted a great deal of time to his writings, including monographs on art, artists, social commentary, and museums. He wrote the brochures for the 1913 Armory Show, a monograph on Raymond Duchamp-Villon (1924), A Sculptor’s Architecture, George Seurat (1923), a monograph about art historian John Rewald, and the Masters of Modern Art (1924). His 1928 Ananias, or the False Artist, was an indictment of opportunism and corruption in the art world.
Also a popular lecturer, Pach was one of the first art historians to lecture on Vincent van Gogh in the United States; his monograph on Van Gogh was published in 1936. His book on Ingres came out in 1939, as did Masterpieces of Art, written for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, at which he was exhibition director. The year before, his Queer Thing, Painting, was published, filled with his own thoughts and memories living and working in the arts. His book, Art Museum in America, published in 1948, discussed to state of, place for, responsibilities and evolution of the museum in America. In 1950, he published an essay on Diego Rivera for the National Museum of Fine Arts in Mexico for its fifty-year retrospective exhibition of the works of Rivera. His last book, The Classical Tradition in Modern Art, was published in 1959.
In Detroit, Pach lectured on Cezanne for the “Masters of Modern Art” series, speaking at the Detroit Institute of Arts and at the Scarab Club to extremely favorable reviews [see The Scarab 1:3 (March 1925), 2:2 (Nov., 1925), 2:3 (Dec. 1925), 2:4 (Jan. 1926), and 2:5 (Feb. 1926)].
The Archives of American Art have the “Walter Pach Papers, 1883-1980”, which include family papers, correspondence, manuscripts, drawings and prints, a scrapbook, and photographs.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has several publications written by or contributed to by Walter Pach, among them:
American Artists, Authors, and Collectors: the Walter Pach Letters, 1906-1958. By B. B. Perlman. Albany : SUNY Press, 2002.
The Journal of Euegene Delacroix. By Walter Pach. New York : Covici Friede, 1937.
Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890 : a Study of the Artist and his Work in Relation to his Times. By Walter Pach. New York : Art Book Museum, 1936.
Ananias :of the False Artist. By Walter Pach. New York ; London : Harper, 1928.
George Seurat. By Walter Pach. New York : Duffield ; The Arts, 1923.
Ingres. By Walter Pach. New York : Harper, 1939.
PACKMAN, FRANK G.
June 5, 1896 – November 22, 1977
| Frank Packman was one of the early members of the Scarab Club, as documented by the early hand-written membership ledgers stating that he was formally elected on April Fool’s Day, 1924 and the recording his dues paid up through 1932. In 1941, Packman was appointed Chairman of both the Scarab Club Membership Committee and the Photographic Committee [see letter dated May 19, 1941 in individual membership file]. He was raised to senior member status July 1962 [see letter dated December 15, 1935 ; see also letter dated April 8, 1949 ; see also individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives ; see b&w photograph of Packman along with fellow Scarabs P. Honoré, S. Walton, and F. Nixon, the original in the “Prominent Members” photo file]. |
In 1969, Packman received an honorable mention at the first Scarab Club Silver Medal exhibition, for his painting entitled “Rockport Lobster.” The Silver Medal was initiated as a “companion” exhibition and award to the highly popular Scarab Club Gold Medal exhibitions and awards [see letter dated March 1, 1977 letter from Joseph F. Padys, Jr. Scarab Club manager, to Jacqueline Fergenson]. In 1972 he won the Scarab Club’s Gold Medal [see also Scarab Club announcement for “Preview of the Art of Frank G. Packman” held September 24, 1972; for further information see individual membership file and individual artist’s file in Scarab Club Archives]. In February 1974 he was made an honorary member. It was Frank Packman who fashioned the oak furniture in the Farnsworth Clubhouse lounge and dining room. Fellow Scarab Joseph Maniscalco painted Packman’s portrait.
Packman came to the United States from England when he was about sixteen in 1912. He had been studying music at the Royal Academy in London, but changed direction and decided to go into visual arts. He studied at the John Wicker School of Fine Arts in Detroit, and would later teach at the Meinzinger School. Not a modernist, his style is more inclined to realism, and developed his own artistic “rule of thumb: first – observe, second – analyze, third – paint [see the article in Impressario (Jan./Feb. 1974) by Howard Montgomery “Being an Artist is Simple,” discussing Packman’s rule of thumb].
Museum curator, collector, artist
| Page applied for Scarab Club membership in May of 1958 and was formally elected in June. He studied art with Claxton, Bennett, Smith, and Jansson, and was also a member of the Michigan Watercolor Society and the Michigan Sculpture Society. Page was the first curator for Contemporary American Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, at which his work has been exhibited; as well as the Detroit Artists Market. He also taught sculpture at Wayne State University [see Scarab Bulletin (Dec. 1960)]. |
In the Archives of American Art, Page is cited in William Bostick’s August 11(-19), 1981 interview for the Oral History Division.
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PARQUETTE, ARTHUR A.
April 26, 1914 –
Medical engineer, draguthsman, painter
| Parquette applied for Scarab Club non-resident membership in 1945, before he moved to Michigan. He was a member until he resigned in 1953. After re-applying in April of 1959 and being welcomed back with great enthusiasm, Parquette went on to become Scarab Club President in 1967-1968; he was made a life member in February of 1974 [see documentation in the Scarab Club Archives]. During the 1970’s, 1977 in particular, Parquette donated many of his works to one of the Scarab Club’s regular benefit auctions [see letter from Manager Padys dated October 10, 1977]. |
Parquette acquired his first set of oil paints as a child and went on from there, mostly self-taught with brief studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois. He worked for the Ford Motor Company until he retired in 1974, devoting himself to his painting. His main subject matter, influenced by his time on the New England coast, were seascapes and harbor scenes, and boats of many kinds. He was an active Scarab Member, exhibiting his art in such exhibitions as You Gotta Have Art in 1997 [see the Livonia Observer (Nov. 10, 1997)].
PEAT, WILBUR D.
1898 – 1966
Director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art
| Wilbur D. Peat, was Director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Director of the John Henon Art Gallery. Peat has concentrated his career on gathering and presenting art and information relating to Indiana history such as the Pioneer Painters of Indiana Collection, 1893-1957 in the Manuscripts and Visual Collections Department of the William Henry Smith Memorial Library of the Indiana Historical Society [Collection # M 0822]. Related material may be found in Peat’s Portraits and Painters of the Governors of Indiana, 1800-1943 , and Pioneer Painters of Indiana , both in the Historical Society’s general collection. Peat also collaborated The Journals and Indian Paintings of — Winter, 1837-1839, published by the Indiana Historical Society in 1948. |
The Archives of American Art hold the “Wilbur D. Peat Papers and Correspondence, 1933 – 1939”, including correspondence with various people in the field and in government, project reports, materials on the Public Works Project and the administration of the PWAP, clippings and photographs. Also, in the Oral History division, is an interview with Peat conducted by Richard Doud on June 25, 1964. The correspondence, the bulk of which dates from 1929-1936, contains many letters from well-known artists from the 1920’s and 1930’s, relating to their contributions to a huge exhibition of contemporary American artists being set up by Peat for 1932/33. Peat donated the materials to the AAA the year before he passed away.
Books by Peat include:
The House of the Singing Winds : the Life and Work of T. C. Steele. By Wilbur D. Peat, Selma N. Steele, and Theodor L. Steele. Published by the Indiana Historical Society.
Indiana Houses of the Nineteenth Century. By Wilbur D. Peat and Theodore L. Steele. Published by Indiana University Press.
Painter, art teacher
| The Blount-Bridgers House – Hobson Pittman Memorial House is a national landmark and holds a permanent collection of artifacts and art representing the cultural heritage of Edgecombe County, including material on US Congressman Thomas Blount and American regional artist Hobson Pittman. Also on display are works by Thomas Sully, William Garle Brown, Thomas Landseer, and nineteenth-century ceramic works of art, textiles, and metal works. The House-Museum, located in Tarboro, North Carolina, has a website and is open to the public and planned tours Monday through Friday. |
Born near Epworth, North Carolina, Pittman studied at the Rouse Art School from 1912-1916. Retrospective exhibitions of his art works have been held at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1973), Pennsylvania State University (1972), and the North Carolina Museum of Art (1963). Auctions of Pittman’s paintings are recorded in Artnet.
The Archives of American Art hold the “Hobson Pittman papers, 1916-1990”, including biographical materials, notes, four scrapbooks, a sketchbook, representations of various art works, photographs, and files of Clare Booth Luce (1946-1972) and Woodstock artists.
February 27, 1886 – 1970
| Max Pollak was born in Prague. He studied at the Vienna Academy of Art before coming to the United States and settling in San Francisco, California in 1927. Pollak’s exhibited work included landscapes and portraits, though he also did figurative work and coastal marinescapes. He worked mainly in watercolors, etching, and dry point. He took part in the Gold Gate International Exhibition of 1939/40, and he had exhibitions at the Cincinnati Museum, with the Chicago Society of Etchers, the California Society of Etchers, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the De Young Museum, the British Museum in London, among other venues, mainly during the 1930’s and 1940’s though he was active in the art scene, especially in California right up till his death in Sausalito in 1970. Pollak’s works can be found in the Oakland Museum of California, the Print Club of Albany, and the Wright Museum of Art in Beloit, Wisconsin [see individual museum websites]. |
Pollak is listed in the Artists of California, 1976-1940.
December 20, 1907 –
| This Detroit surgeon applied for membership in the Scarab Club in February of 1950 with Beaver Edwards and John Coppin as his sponsors. While working as a surgeon in various Detroit hospitals, Pratt found time for art, music, and skating. He belonged to the Moslem Shrine, the Detroit Commandery, the Detroit Skating Club, and, of course, various medical societies and associations while working in various Detroit hospitals. |
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Illustrator of children’s books
| Bachelor of Philosophy from University of Detroit; Masters of Art from Wayne State University. Quinlan, Professor Emeritus of Art and Art History, Wayne State University, Detroit, taught life drawing, anatomy and painting from 1962 until her retirement in1994. |
The Scarab Club held a retrospective exhibitions of the works of Patricia Quinlan August 30 – October 14, 2006, with Quinlan signing the beam at a reception in her honor on September 8, 2006 [see Scarab Club announcement flyer for the exhibition and reception].
American painter, teacher, author
| Born in Cambridge, NY, Reid studied at the University of Vermont and the Art Students League in New York. His art works are in collections private and public including the National Academy of Design, to which he was elected a member in 1980. Reid was one of the youngest students ever accepted to the Famous Artists School, and was later an instructor there. He is also a member of the American Watercolor Society and is a recipient of the Childe Hassam Purchase Prize at the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Reid is represented through the Munson Gallery in Chatham, Mass., and the Stremmel Gallery in Reno Nevada [see http://www.munsongallery.com ; http://www.artistcolony.com]. |
Charles Reid, one of the most active seminar and workshop instructors of the contemporary art scene, authored more than ten books on painting [available now on DVD is Charles Reid, Painter: the Figure in Watercolor, and his 10-part instructional video on watercolor painting ; schedules for his workshops around the country listed online and through the galleries which represent him, to see the listing for his most recent workshops as well as those in line for 2011, as well as a selection of his works, see http://www.charlesreidart.com/workshopsCtl.cfm].
Reid’s works are filled with color and light, allowing his outdoor scenes in particular to draw the viewer “outside” into the sunny, breezy setting. His portraits, too, are filled with light, rarely offering anything in the way of background setting, focusing the attention on the figures actions and/or expressions.
Reid gave one of his workshop seminars at the Scarab Club and was invited to sign the Scarab Club beams [see Scarab Buzz (Spring 1979)].
RICHARDSON, EDGAR PRESTON
American art critic, scholar, collector
| Edgar Preston Richardson’s professional life reads as one long list of achievements and accolades. Born in Glens Falls, New York, he graduated from Williams College cum laude in 1928 and which he would receive an honorary doctorate in 1947. He went on to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1925-1928. |
Preston came to Detroit in 1930 to Detroit to join the Education Department at the Detroit Institute of Arts. By 1933, He was Assistant Director while Director W. R. Valentiner was in Germany. He became an editor for Art Quarterly in 1938, and remained with that publication till 1967; In 1970, he would join the advisory committee for the American Art Journal. Author of several books on American art and artists, Preston’s first book, The Way of Western Art, came out in 1939; the next, American Romantic Painting, in 1944, and his most well-known book, American Art, the Story of 450 Years, came out in 1956.
In 1945, Preston took over as Director and stayed till 1962 when he moved to Delaware to become the director of the Winterthur Museum from 1962-1966, and a Member of the Board then President of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine arts, 1966-1977. He was also on the boards of the Smithsonian Arts Commission and the National Portrait Gallery. Richardson served as art advisor to John D. Rockefeller III, and, with Detroit businessman and art collector Lawrence Fleischman (1925-1997), founded and was for a time director of the Archives of American Art. The Archives have in their holdings the “E.P. Richardson Papers 1893-1994,” which encompass several smaller collections containing correspondence between Richardson and other artists and colleagues in the field. Richardson was instrumental in acquiring the Benjamin West letter as one of the first holdings, with a ship’s register from 1862 listing the craftsmen sent by William Penn from England to Pennsylvania another prize possession [see Scarab Buzz (February 1957) and (March 1961) ; see also the Archives on American Art online]. In 1970, the Smithsonian took over the management of the Archives.
Richardson was elected to the Scarab Club as a lay member in 1930, becoming an associate member in 1931. He signed the beams twice: once as an honored member in 1947 and again[having been re-instated in 1952 after a time of suspension for unpaid dues] in 1961 when he was being honored by the Scarab Club before he left the Detroit Institute of Arts to go to the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, which was also when Marcel Duchamp was in Detroit to give a lecture at the D.I.A. while his “Nude Descending a Staircase #3” was in an exhibition of futurist art. Duchamp also signed the beams [see Scarab Buzz (March 1961) ; see also Walter Reuther Archives 1961 and Detroit News Nov. and Dec. 1961]. Before Richardson left Detroit for good, he was made an honorary life member of the Scarab Club in January of 1962 [for more information see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives].
The Archives of American Art have the Edgar Preston Richardson Papers, 1893-1994, which include notebooks, writings, correspondence, and other printed materials. There is also the interview by Linda Downs from February 6, 1978 for the Oral History Division.
The Research Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the Edgar P. Richardson Records, 1930-1962, which include files on Diego Rivera, Albert Kahn, Wilhelm R. Valentiner, and the Scarab Club.
McGill, Douglas C. “Edgar Richardson, 82, Dies: â€¦” New York Times (March 29, 1985), p. A20 ; McCoy, Garrett. “Edgar P. Richardson: an Appreciation.”Archives of American Art Journal 25 (1985), p. 2 ; McCoy, Garrett. “In Memoriam: Edgar Preston Richardson (1902-1985)” American Art Journal 17:2 (Spring 1985), p. 92-93.
RITCHIE, ANDREW CARDUFF
Art Director of the Albright [Knox] Art Gallery
| Born near Glasgow, Scotland, Ritchie came to the United States in his teens. While working for the Westinghouse Company to pay his way, he studied at the University of Pittsburgh, then went back to the United Kingdom for graduate work at the Courtauld Institute, earning his Ph. D.. He returned to New York and worked at the Frick Collection as a research assistant in 1935. In 1942, he was asked to be the director at the Albright Art Gallery, which became the Albright-Knox Gallery, in Buffalo, NY. As WWII came to an end, Ritchie, in the U.S. Army, served as the representative for the commanding general in Austria, a civilian position with the rank of colonel, helping with the reparation work. For that work, he was honored in both France and the Netherlands. When back at the Albright-Knox Gallery, he hired a former colleague, Charles Parkhurst, as an assistant curator. |
In 1940, Ritchie went to the Museum of Modern Art in New York to be director of the Painting and Sculpture Department; he was there until 1957. From MOMA, Ritchie went to the Yale University Art Gallery as director, where he established the Yale Center for British Art and was also very active in the Gallery’s overall acquisitions program. In 1970, Ritchie was the first American to receive an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Arts in London. He retired in 1971 but went on to lecture at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
The Library of the Albright-Knox Gallery holds in its archives, the Andrew C. Ritchie Records, 1942-1949, dealing with administrative records and correspondence during Ritchie’s term as art director of the Albright Knox Gallery (the finding air for which can be found online). The Archives of American Art have five letters from Alfred Hamilton Barr to Ritchie, 1954 -1958, and Ritchie is cited in the Jan Sabersky Papers, 1940-1972, the Eva Lee Gallery Records, 1921-1973, the Tanager Gallery Records, 1952-1972, and the San Francisco Art Association & Related Organizational Records, 1871 – 1978 (bulk 1871 – 11920). The Andrew C. Ritchie Papers, ca. 1930 – 1978, contain correspondence, commission reports, lectures, cartoons and drawings, and photographs of art historians and gallery owners.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has, among others, Sculpture in the 20th Century, by Ritchie, MOMA, 1952/53; Franklin C. Watkins, by Ritchie, MOMA, 1950; Edouard Vuillard, by Ritchie, MOMA, 1954; Aristide Maillol, ed. by Ritchie, Greenwood Press, 1872, c1945; German Art in the Twentieth Century, ed. by Ritchie, MOMA, 1957; Catalogue of the Paintings and Sculpture in the Permanent Collection of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, ed. by Ritchie, BFAA, 1949.
English Painters: Hogarth to Constable, by Ritchie, 1942.
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in American, by Ritchie, 1951
.Sculpture in the 20th Century, by Ritchie. MOMA, 1952/53.
Shestack, Alan. “Andrew Carnduff Ritchie.” Yale University Art
Gallery Bulletin 37:2 (Summer 1979): 12-13.
Russell, John. “Mr. A. C. Ritchie.” The Times (London), August
30, 1978, p. 14.
Mexican painter and muralist
| Best known in Detroit and the entire U.S.A. for painting the murals in the Detroit Institute of Art over a period of eleven months from April 1932 through March 1933, the DIA holds other works by Rivera in its collection, including the watercolor “Still Life” (1918) and various pen & ink drawings and self-portraits. Commissioned by DIA director William R. Valentiner in 1930, Rivera was paid $20, 896, put up by Edsel B. Ford, to create the murals for the space in the DIA. For three months in 1832, he visited various Detroit industries to get ideas and plot out the twenty-seven panels. He used a water-based paint on wet plaster. When first revealed to the public, the murals were not an instant hit; it took a combined effort of Ford, the DIA staff, and the People’s Museum Association to prevent the murals from being whitewashed! |
A self-proclaimed atheist, labeled a marxist in his beliefs about public art for the people (as opposed to commissioned works hidden away in private collections), a communist influenced by events and his years in the Soviet Union and associations with Trotsky in the 1920’s (he was actually ordered out of the Soviet Union in 1928 and expelled from the Mexican Communist Party in 1929), and a ladies’ man by those who followed and discussed his relationships with women (four wives, several mistresses, at least five children, and a world-wide-known and storied relationship with third wife Frieda Kahlo), Diego Maria de la Concepcion Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodriguez is known best to the world as one of the most prolific and famous artists of the twentieth century.
He studied at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City, Spain, Paris, Italy, and later, in the Soviet Union, mostly under the sponsorship of Veracruz Governor T. A. Dehesa Mendez. He came to know artists such as Modigliani, Soutine, and Max Jacob. He immersed himself in the Cubist Movement in the second decade of the 20th century; made a grand tour of France and Italy in the 1920 to study Renaissance art, then returned to Mexico to become involved almost immediately in the government-sponsored mural program with other artists such as Orozco and Tamayo, painting The Creation for the Bolivar Auditorium of the National Preparatory School in Mexico City. In 1922, he helped to found the Revolutionary Union of Technical Workers, Painters, and Sculptors, joined the Mexican Communist Party, and used his frescos as visual social criticism.
Upon his return from Russia, he divorced his second wife to marry painter Frieda Kahlo, and see the first English language book about himself published in New York [see The Frescoes of Diego Rivera]. He was invited by architect Timothy L. Pflueger to paint a mural for the Stock Exchange in San Francisco and a fresco for the California School of Fine Art. By 1931, the Metropolitan Museum of Art offered a retrospective exhibition of his works to date. The next two years saw him planning and executing his most well-known work, the industrial murals in the DIA. Following that, he created the “Man at the Crossroads” for Rockefeller Center, only to see it removed because it contained a portrait of Lenin. The bad publicity prompted the cancelation of a commission to paint a mural for the coming Chicago World’s Fair. Consequently, he returned to Mexico and repainted “Man at the Crossroads” for the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Another mural, “Dreams of a Sunday in the Alameda”, caused a furor because one of the figure in it holds a sign which reads “God does not exist.” For nine years, Rivera refused to remove those words; for nine years, the mural was kept from public display.
In 1940, Pflueger again invited Rivera to San Francisco to paint a ten-panel mural for the Golden Gate International Exhibition. Entitled “Pan American Unity”, the work includes images of Frieda Kahlo, actress Paulette Goddard, woodcarver Dudley C. Carter, and two of Pflueger’s architectural creations. The mural and the accompanying archives are now in the archives of the City College of San Francisco.
Never abandoning his Mexican roots, Rivera traveled the world, studied and absorbed artistic movements as well as political and social movements, amalgamated it all, and made everything he created a signature work.
The Archives of American Art have photographs of Rivera, and he is cited in the John Martin Weatherwax Papers Relating to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, 1928-1988 (bulk 1931-1933). The Archives also have a receipt from Diego Rivera representing his sale of his portrait of Miss Kathleen Burke to Mrs. Samuel E. Strong (Ruth Strong) for the sum of $500.00 on March 5, 1935.
RIVERA, JUAN CORONEL
Mexican art curator, historian, collector
| Juan Coronel Rivera is the grandson of Diego Rivera, son of painter Rafael Coronel and Ruth Rivera. He practically grew up in his grandfather’s studio (studio design by Juan O’Gorman, a landmark in its own right of Mexican architecture, subject of a traveling exhibition which went to Spain and Japan; it is now the Museo Estudio Diego Rivera). |
Juan Coronel works mainly as a curator. Not surprisingly, the art of Diego Rivera is one of his chief artistic subjects, for example, the Diego Rivera exhibition entitled The Vitality of an Artist, which went on a tour which included all the Scandinavian countries (2000). As well, Juan organized five national exhibitions for Mexican artists who were awarded stipends by FONCA, the National Arts and Culture Fund of Mexico.
Also a collector of art and of archaeological artifacts, Juan Coronel began honing his collector’s eye as a child watching his parents pick and choose art and archaeological work in the markets of Mexico City. As a man born into the world of art, he deplores the commercialism and the politics (such as the destruction of Diego Rivera’s mural by Rockefeller because it contained a portrait of Stalin) which so often intrude as he makes his own way and holds his own in the “business” of art. Again, it is only natural that he collects and deals mainly in the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
Juan Coronel also collects folk art, his home just south of Mexico City doubling as his showcase for his ceramic folk art collection. A second home in San Jeronimo is happily filled nearly floor to ceiling with paintings and prints. African masks line the stairwell. He also maintains a collections of over 2, 500 photographs of Mexican artists and of family members, as well as a collection of over 500 Asian prints, the bulk of which are Japanese.
Juan Coronel often loans out a few of his prize artworks for exhibitions, works such as Diego Rivera’s “Retrato de Ruth Rivera” and Frida Kahlo’s “El Accidente” (the only Kahlo image which actually shows the horrific train accident which left her injured and in pain for life). As he keeps his eye and thumb on the world wide business of art dealing and curating, he also keeps current with the art and artists of his native land. According to Coronel, the days when Mexican artists lived and worked in Mexico are over; the artists, and therefore their art, have moved out into the world as a whole, especially to such nearby artistic “capitals” as New York and Los Angeles. Mexican styles and nuances spread out into the art of other cultures, while in turn, the art of those other cultures influences Mexican artists and their art.
For the 50th anniversary of Diego Rivera’s death in 2007, Coronel worked with Taschen to create and publish a commemorative edition of all of Diego Rivera’s works. He is also co-author of several books including: Encuentros con Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo y sus Mundos, Museo Rafael Coronel, and Arte Textil.
Juan Coronel Rivera signed the Scarab Club beam on October 31, 1991, right below the signature of his Grandfather Diego [see The Scarab Club (c2006), signature on p. 75, photo of Coronel with Scarab Club members on p. 80)].
American painter and illustrator
| The Scarab Club anecdote says that when Norman Rockwell and his wife were invited to dine at the Scarab Club in the 1940’s, when the artist signed the beams, Mrs. Rockwell’s fur coat went missing. Scarab member Fred Simper contacted the J. L. Hudson company and somehow convinced them to donate a fur coat. He and another Scarab member then drove all the way to Massachusetts to deliver the replacement coat, with hopes of being invited in to see Rockwell’s home and his art. Unfortunately, the guard, who took his responsibilities very very seriously, refused to let them go to the door, and even refused to take the coat on its own! The disappointed Scarabs drove back to Detroit. Rumor has it that an attempt was then made to mail the coat to Mrs. Rockwell [source, Pat Reed, Scarab Club archivist]. Rockwell signed the Scarab Club beams in 1946 [see feature article in the Detroit Times 1947]. |
Norman Percevel Rockwell was born in New York City, as was his brother Jarvis. Rockwell went to the Chase Art School, then on to the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. At the League, he studied with the likes of Thomas Fogarty, Frank Vincent Dumond, and George Bridgman. Early works were published for the St. Nicolas magazine, the Boy Scouts’ publication Boys’ Life, and a few other publications for young people. In 1912, he had his first book illustration published in C. H. Claudy’s Tell me Why: Stories About Mother Nature. By 1913, Rockwell was made art editor for Boys’ Life; he remained there for three years and did the covers, his first entitled “Scout at Ship’s Wheel.”
His over six-foot frame weighing in around 140 pounds, Rockwell was turned down when he first tried to enlist for WWI, categorized as underweight. A night of stomach-wrenching gorging got him up to enlistment weight, barely, but he was put to work as a military artist; he saw no battle action. After the War, moving with his family to New Rochelle, New York, Rockwell shared a studio with cartoonist Clyde Forsythe, who became his “in” with the Saturday Evening Post, for which he created his first cover for the May 20, 1916 issue, “Mother’s Day Off.” Rockwell published eight covers for the Post within the first twelve months. His phenomenal success got him commissions for more covers: the Literary Digest, the Country Gentleman, Leslie’s Weekly, Judge, Peoples Popular Monthly, and Life magazine.
During WWII, Rockwell created the “Four Freedoms” painting series, supposedly inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt, described the four principles of universal rights: Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Worship, Freedom from Fear. The Saturday Evening Post published the series in 1943, and the United States Department of the Treasury promoted and sold war bonds by exhibition the originals in sixteen cities. After WWII, Elliott Caplin, brother of cartoonist Al Capp, invited Rockwell to create a comic strip together, King Features Syndicate promising up to $1000/week for the trio’s work. The project failed mainly because Rockwell, a stickler for perfection, could not create and deliver the illustrations quick enough for publication deadlines. Also during the 1940’s, Rockwell was artist-in-residence at Otis College of Art and Design.
Twice married, Rockwell and his second wife had three children and eventually moved to Arlington, Vermont where he started creating the all-American scenes and characters for which he is most famous. While a few critics have called Rockwell’s work too sweet, too sentimental, too idealized, even kitch, no one who knows Rockwell’s work could or would ever doubt that he was the quintessential American artist in style and expression to illustrate such quintessential American books such as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Creating illustrations for over forty books illustrated, magazine covers, even calendars (Boy Scout calendars from 1925-1976), Rockwell was awarded the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of American in 1939; his “Four Seasons” illustrations for Brown & Bigelow were published from 1947-1964, and in various reproductions after that. He also illustrated sheet music, playing cards, postage stamps, and painted a few murals such as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” for the Nassau Inn in Princeton. For his 75th birthday, Brown & Bigelow and the Boy Scouts had Rockwell pose for the “Beyond the Easel” entry for the 1969 calendar.
In 1953, the family moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts because he wife needed treatment at the Austin Riggs Center; later, Rockwell himself also received treatment there. After the death of his second wife, Rockwell and son Thomas composed his autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator, published in 1960, with the Saturday Evening Post publishing excerpts in eight issues, the first with his “Triple Self-Portrait.”
Rockwell married for a third time in 1961. His last painting for the Saturday Evening Post, after more than three-hundred covers, was in 1963. The last decade of commercial illustration he spent creating images for Look magazine, the subject matter ranging from civil rights to space exploration. Some of his later work also tackled such controversial subjects as school integration. Rockwell also painted portraits of Presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon), foreign dignitaries (Nassar, Nehru), and movie stars (Judy Garland).
Rockwell made sure to establish custodianship for his paintings and drawings with the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The holdings include over seven hundred original paintings, drawings, and studies, and the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies at the Museum is a national research institute dedicated to American illustration art.
In 1977, the year before his death, Rockwell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor. First Lady Rosalynn Carter attended his funeral. In 2001, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum hosted a Rockwell exhibition. In 2006, his work “Breaking Home Ties,” sold for over fifteen million dollars at a Sotheby’s auction. 2008 brought a twelve-city tour of his works; and, the artist whose artworks adorned the cover of the Saturday Evening Post for almost fifty years, was given a huge exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2009, American Chronicles: the Art of Norman Rockwell. From November 2010 through April 2011, the Brooklyn Museum hosted the exhibition Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera (check website).
The Archives of American Art contains the “Norman Rockwell Papers, 1939-1964”, including correspondence, articles, clippings, and gallery literature.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has at least thirteen items relating to Norman Rockwell, including exhibition catalogs, monographs, and an encyclopedia – selected examples:
Norman Rockwell Encyclopedia: a Chronological Catalog of the Artist’s Work, 1910-1987. By Norman Rockwell. Indianapolis : Curtis Publishing Co., 1979.
Norman Rockwell’s America. By Christopher Finch. New York : Abrams, 1979.
American Chronicles: the Art of Norman Rockwell. By Linda
Szekely Pero. Stockbridge, Mass.: Norman Rockwell Museum; Excelsior Printing, Co., 2007.
Norman Rockwell’s Love and Remembrance. By George Medoza.
New York : Dodd, Mead, 1985.
1894 – 1944
| If Gilbert Rohde did not single-handedly inaugurate and promote American Modernism in industrial design in general and furniture design in particular, he came close. Between the two World Wars, Rohde’s designs, particularly through Herman Miller Incorporated, brought American industrial design truly into the twentieth century. For over twenty years (ca. 1932-1944), Rohde was advisor to Herman Miller and president DJ DePree on design, production, and marketing. Rohde also served as a catalyst for modern furniture design for the Heywood-Wakefield Company, the Widdicomb Company, and the Troy Sunshade Company. |
Rohde was a New York native. He went to New York public schools, graduating from Stuyvesant High in 1913, a school known for its strict vocational studies program. He went on to study at the Art Students League and the Grand Central School. In the late 1920’s, and into the 1930’s, Rohde’s European travels, studies, and observations in French modernism, the International Style, the Bauhaus style, and even influences from Surrealism, inclined him to switch from advertising illustration to modern design. He developed his own style while working for Herman Miller.
Rohde saw American Modernism as a style suited for domestic, commercial, and industrial settings big and small. His modular furniture was designed for functionality and flexibility; and it was designed using the latest materials: Plexiglas, Lucite, Bakelite, and the Dupont leather-like fabric known as Fabrikoid. In 1939, his molded Plexiglas chair was exhibited at Rohm & Haas display at the New York World’s Fair. His creations were also displayed at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1933 and 1934, and the Decorative Arts Pavilion at the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939. The Museum of Modern Art acquired one of the two prototypes. Rohde’s furniture, considered works of art, are in the collections of museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Henry Ford Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Vitra Design Museum, among others.
The EOG line of furniture, the “Executive Office Group,” a line of office furniture, was launched in 1942 by Herman Miller, with a total of over one-hundred and thirty pieces which could be configured in any way various individual and group work space and work activities demanded. His pieces were sold in department stores, including Bloomingdales of New York, Woodward & Lothrop in Washington, Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia, and Halle Brothers Co. in Cleveland.
Rohde taught industrial design and served as director at the Design Laboratory from 1935-1937, a program of the New Deal sponsored by the WPA. He later taught at New York University, was a visiting lecturer at the University of Washington in Seattle, and participated in the founding of the Society of Industrial Designers (now the ISDA).
Rohde’s work was displayed and marketed through hundreds of design and architecture magazines, popular magazines, and newspaper articles. An Article in the The Archives of American Art Journal 48:12 discusses designs for Herman Miller, citing Rohde in the article. Rohde is cited in the interview for the Oral History Division of Ruth Penington by La Mar Harrington, February 10-11, 1983. Penington discussed how she was influenced by Rohde.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the book entitled Gilbert Rohde : Modern Design for Modern Living by Phyllis Ross, published by the Yale University Press, 2009. The book discusses early 20th century design in general, 20th century furniture design, the aesthetics of modernism in the design, mass production, and marketing and promotion; it also includes information on the publicity given modern furniture at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Ross also wrote A Bridge to Postwar American Design: Gilbert Rohde and the 1937 Paris Exposition, in Paris-New York: Design Fashion Culture, 1925-1940, edited by Donald Albrecht (Monacelli Press, 2008); and “Merchandizing the Modern: Gilbert Rohde at Herman Miller”, in the Journal of Design History 17:4 (2004, 359-376.
American illustrator and painter
|In the 1950’s, the Scarab Club had great success with a series of exhibition of nationally known artists while providing the artists with a venue to talk about their work and answer questions from the Scarab Club audience. Robert Fawcett, Ben Stahl, and Dong Kingman all had successful exhibitions and talks; Ross was asked to join the successful ranks in 1954. The Scarab Club Archives has, in the artist’s file, a letter dated October 25, 1954 discussing the success of such exhibitions and talks using Ross’s March exhibition and talk as one of the examples [see also the announcement for the Evening with Alex Ross, dated March 19, 1954 ; for more information see the individual membership and/or artist’s file in the Scarab Club Archives.|
1871 – 1963
| Walter Russell could perhaps be described as one of the first “new agers” with his views on people, the human condition, and the universe in general. Either that, or he was simply a genius – or both [for a good description of his ideas, see A Course in Cosmic Consciousness, published by Russell’s University and accessible online (search by title); his books are also still marketed online. |
Russell was born in Boston. He left school at the age of nine or ten to help support his family. At thirteen, he had a job as a church organist, then paid his own way through the Massachusetts Normal School of Art. He worked as an art editor for Collier’s, a portrait painter, a sculptor (creating busts of Mark Twain, F.D.R., and Edison among others), a musician and composer, even an architect promoting the modern-day concept of the duplex, the penthouse, the coop apartment complex, and the studio apartment. He went on to study physics with a special interest in the nature of matter, leading him to create his own theories on the fundamental principles of energy dynamics. He was a scientist, a philosopher, and for fun, a skater and equestrian.
Russell married for the first time ca. 1894; he and his wife Helen would have two daughters. His second wife, Lao, a.k.a. Daisy Cook, was born in England in 1904. She came to the United States in the 1930’s to market her line of beauty products, advertising in various popular magazines and with classified ads. She read The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of the Universe, became very interested in Russell, and eventually they married. With Lao, on their Swannanoa Estate, Russell founded the University of Science and Philosophy, which was in existence from the 1940’s to (ca.) 1990, where Lao lived until her death in 1988.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has the publication In the Wave Lies the Secret of Creation: Scientific Paintings and Charts of Walter Russell: with Commentaries and an Outline of the Russell Cosmogony, published by the University of Science and Philosophy in Waynesboro, Virginia, 1995. Among the many books he authored are: The Sea Children (1901), The Russell Genero-Radiative Concept or the Cyclic Theory of Continuous Motion (1930), The World Crisis: its Explanation and Solution (1958), The Sculptor Searches for Mark Twain’s Immortality (1991, from a talk given in 1934), and The Immortality of Man (1991, from a talk given in 1944), Where Do I Go When I Die (1992, excerpts from other books), and The Meaning and Acquisition of Wealth (1993). Friend Glenn Clark wrote about Russell in The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of the Universe, finally published in 1976. Russell’s wife, Lao Russell, wrote a biography of Walter Russell, which was published in 2005.
American commercial artist, designer, painter
| Fred W. Rypsam was a home-grown artist from Detroit known for his impressionist-style “snow-covered” landscapes and his yacht-filled marinescapes. He studied with Joe Glist, Paul Honore, and Peter Paulus. Rypsam took an apprenticeship with the Peninsula Engraving Company before getting into the auto industry as a designer of buggies for the pre-automobile Studebaker Company. Later, he headed the art department of Woodward & Tiermans, then moved to Denver to become head of Williamson & Heffner Engraving. Returning to Detroit in 1913, Fred made his living through his commercial art while on his own time, he developed his fine arts painting skills. He took up painting full-time after his retirement [biographical highlights from Scarab Bulletin (Nov. 1960)]. |
Before his death in 1969, Fred Rypsam had the honor of being the oldest living member of the Scarab Club at that time. He was one of the charter members, documented in 1918, sponsored by Joe Faust, a decade before the Scarab Club moved to its permanent home at the Farnsworth address. He was raised to senior status in December of 1960, and on January 12, 1965, he was voted an honorary life member. His work was exhibited in the 1933 “Fakers Show” in which he burlesques several Old Masters. Rypsam was also known for painting wild decorations for the famous Scarab Club Balls.
In 1954, Rypsam was featured in many of the Scarab Clubs exhibitions, including more than one of the so-called Lounge exhibitions. He also painted the decorative murals for the Scarab Club’s wonderfully opulent annual balls [see Scarab Buzz (April/May 1960) ; (April 1962) ; (May 1962)].
In 1966, Les Galleries de Renee held a one-man show of Rypsam’s work, including a 1904 drawing of a Studebaker buggy, pen-and-ink sketches of Michigan scenes, watercolor wooded settings, and images of lakes, streams, and farm country, many of the scenes decked with his signature snow coverings. Also in the show, a painting of Zug Island and one of the Rouge River, rare examples of industrial settings by Rypsam. There were also paintings of a square-rigged sailing ship and a portrait of the pre-WWI Fisher yacht. Just for fun, Rypsam painted a landscape with Oriental influences and signed it in an “oriental” vertical style. Eight rotogravures from the Detroit Free Press from as far back as 1917 and invitations to the Scarab Balls rounded out the art works on display [see Detroit Free Press article (May 16, 1966)].
|Before the Scarab Club, though with similar artistic atmosphere, social gatherings, exhibitions, and art-related goals, there was the Salmagundi Club with its beginnings in 1870’s as an outgrowth of sketch classes held in the studio of Jonathan Scott Hartley, with its very own building purchased in 1917. The Salmagundi Club was a focus point for New York artists and for artists from around the United States and Canada, even some from Europe. Its members have included Childe Hassam, N. C. Wyeth, and Louis Comfort Tiffany, as well as honorary members such as Buckminster Fuller and even Winston Churchill. Russell Rypsam served as Salmagundi president from 1953-1955, and was awarded the SCNY Award in 1993. The son of Fred Rypsam, a Scarab Club member, Russell worked for reciprocal affiliation between the Salmagundi and Scarab Club [see Scarab Buzz (May 1955) ; see also a letter dated February 23, 1955 in the artist’s file from Russell Rypsam to Joseph T. Franz, then President of the Scarab Club, thanking the Scarab Club as a whole for honoring him with a luncheon on February 14, 1955 at which the participants spoke for the Scarab Club and the Salmagundi Club, and hoped to plan for an affiliation allowing mutual rights and privileges; for more details see the individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives.|
August 20, 1873- July 1, 1950
| Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen was born in Rantasalmi, Finland. He studied at the Helsinki University of Technology, then from 1896-1905, worked with Herman Gesellius and Armas Lindgren in the Firm of Gesellius, Lindgred & Saarinen. He designed his own family’s house, known as Hvittrask, just outside Helsinki, as well as the Olofsborg House in Helsinki. His first truly major work of architecture was the Finnish Pavilion for the World’s Fair of 1900 in Paris. Saarinen later married Gesellius’s sister Louise; they had a son and a daughter ; son Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) would become one of the leading American architects using the International Style. |
Saarinen designed the Helsinki Central Railway Station in 1904 (built 1910-1914), and the National Museum of Finland. He worked for five years (1910-1915) on the Munksmas-Haga (Pension House) city-planning project. Crossing borders, he did consulting work for the Estonian City of Reval, for which, in 1913, won him an international award for his plans. He then traveled to Budapest to consult and advise on urban development there; he wrote a brochure on the subject published a year later. The City Town Hall for Lahti, the Vyborg Railway Station, and the Joensuu Town Hall followed in short order. During the war years of 1917-1918, Saarinen worked in city planning for Helsinki, though the costs proved too high for making many of his plans a reality. He designed Saint Paul’s Church in Tartu. After the war, he designed the Finnish bank notes known as markka, introduced as Finnish currency in 1922. Like Frank Lloyd Wright, Saarinen also designed furniture.
Saarinen moved to the United States in 1923, settling first in Evanston , Illinois. His design entry for Chicago’s Tribune Tower took “only” second place, but the design was later used as a basis for the Gulf Building in Houston, Texas in 1929. By 1924, Saarinen had come to Michigan as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in the Architecture Department. The A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning named a professorship for him, and continues to hold annual lectures in his honor.
In the United States, Saarinen designed the First Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio, and the Christ Church Lutheran in Minneapolis, among other buildings, but one of his most famous architectural creations is the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Saarinen applied for membership in the Scarab Club in October 1928. George Booth asked Saarinen to design the Cranbrook Campus in 1925. Saarinen not only taught at Cranbrook, he became its president in 1932. First as students then as collaborators, Ray (Kaiser) and Charles Eames, were also at Cranbrook. Saarinen’s student, Edmund N. Bacon, would go on to become Executive Director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission from 1949-1970.
Saarinen is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Marianne Strengell Papers, 1904 – 1989, by a letter he wrote to her in Swedish March 28, 1931, encouraging her to teach at Cranbrook. A scanned image of the letter is online through AAA. There is also a photograph from the 1930’s. Saarinen is also mentioned in the Oral History Division in the interviews with Lilian Swann Saarinen (1912 – 1995, sculptress, illustrator, ceramicist) conducted by Robert F. Brown, 1976-1981, and in the interview with Henry S. Booth, conducted January 13, 1977 by Dennis Barrie.
SACHS II, SAMUEL
Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Director of the Frick Collection
| Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts for twelve years, Sachs resigned that position to take up the Directorship of the Frick Collection in 1997. That year was a difficult one for the D.I.A. By of vote of 6-3, the Detroit City Council rejected a proposal to accept bids for a non-profit organization to run the Museum, which had been having money and management problems mainly due to a drop in donating supporters [see article in the Detroit News (March 13, 1997)]. Before he left Detroit, Sachs was invited to sign the beams at the Scarab Club [see announcement/invitation sent out by the Scarab Club, dated July 28, 1997]. Sachs was director of the Frick from 1997-2003 [see Frick Collection Press release 2003 ; see also the article by Cathleen Guigan, “Makeover for the Motor City,” in Newsweek (December, 2007)]. |
Before coming to the D.I.A., Sachs did his undergraduate work at Harvard and earned his Masters in Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. He has worked at and for Oriel College (visiting fellow), the Isamu Noguchi Foundation (of which he is a Trustee), the Association of Art Museum Directors (of which he is a long time member), and the Japan Society. He has been on the boards of the National Initiative for Network Cultural Heritage (NINCH), AMICO, Inc., the Japan Society, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Frick Collection.
Sachs is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Thomas Moran Papers, 1870-1947, and in the Henry Sayles Francis interview conducted by Robert Bron in Walpole, New Hampshire at various intervals from March 28, 1974 through July 11, 1975.
Director of the Art Gallery of Windsor, curator, Welsh-born Canadian artist
| After graduating from the Ontario College of Art, Kenneth Saltemarche spent a year with the Art Student League in New York. He applied for the job of curator of the one-room, three-piece “art collection” under the auspices of the Library and housed in Willistead Mansion. From those proverbial “humble beginnings” was to evolve the Art Gallery of Windsor, an internationally respected institution, with international membership, relocated from the Willistead premises to the remodeled Carlin Brewery Warehouse, with a huge Canadian collection at its core, from Eskimo art to the latest trends in outdoor sculpture. Saltmarche also promoted and organized events and venues for the development of community art such as the Art in the Park annual weekend showcases for local artists. Invited at one point to become director of the National Gallery in Ottawa, Saltmarche stayed true to his “home town” Gallery and the city of Windsor [see Windsor this Month, 34 (ca. 1979/80)]. |
Rising from curator and number one fan and promoter to the position of Director of the Art Gallery, a position he held for over thirty years, Saltmarche still managed to find time away from management to produce drawings and watercolors fit for an exhibition at the Pollock Gallery in Toronto in 1977, and an exhibition at the Prince Arthur Gallery in Toronto in 1981. He classifies his style as realistic, taking his images from the natural world, yet with a touch of the abstract in the overall design.
Saltmarche has served the arts on both sides of the Detroit River. In 1954, Saltmarche served as juror for the 11th Annual Watercolor Exhibition for the Scarab Club [see letter dated October 20, 1954 from the Scarab Club Arts Committee to Saltmarche]. In 1969, Saltmarche served as juror for the first Scarab Club Silver Medal exhibition and award, initiated as a “companion” show and award to the Scarab Club’s very popular annual Gold Medal Exhibitions and Awards [see 3/1/1977 letter from Joseph F. Padys, Jr., Scarab Club manager, to Jacqueline Fergenson].
SCANES, ERNEST W.
| Ernest Scanes is one of a very few Scarab members with three gold medals to his credit, though he has only two actual medals, one from 1950 and a second from 1951, onto which was then engraved 1961 when he won for a third time [see Scarab Buzz (Sept 1979)]. Scanes donated to the Lynn & George Drummy Memorial Award for the 80th Gold Medal Exhibition of the 1993/94 season [see letter dated Oct. 27, 1993]. |
Scanes attended Cass Technical School and won a scholarship to the John P. Wicker School of Fine Arts. He also studied with Arts & Crafts of Detroit. Joining the Scarab Club in 1931, he was raised to the rank of active (voting) member of the Scarab Club by 1937 [see letter dated Feb. 4, 1937]. In 1939, he obtained a fellowship at Cranbrook. He was apprenticed in the advertising studio at General Motors in 1933. Moving through various studios and departments, Scanes worked his way up to Art Director of Public Relations, a position he held until 1972. Upon retirement, Scanes became a full-time artist, staying as active as ever in the Detroit and Michigan art scene. He was a member of the Michigan Watercolor Society, and on the Scarab Club Board [biographical highlights from Scarab Buzz (Sept. 1979)].
With fellow Scarab John B. Tabb, Scanes had his work exhibited by the Detroit Watercolor Society in the downtown J.L. Hudson’s building in 1955 [see Scarab Buzz (July 1955)]. His work has been exhibited at several Michigan Artists Exhibitions; at the 46th Michigan Artists Exhibition, he won the Scarab Club’s $100 prize [see Scarab Buzz (Nov. 1955)]. That same year, he was invited to sign the Scarab Club beams. He has also been exhibited at the American Painting Show in Chicago, at a World’s Fair Art Show, with Detroit Artists Market, at Cranbrook, with the Bloomfield Hills Art Association, and many other venues in other states. His art hangs in several private collections [see write-up in the Grosse Pointe News (Jan. 16, 1986)]. Pat and Randell Reed, fellow Scarabs, included Scanes’ artwork in their personal art collection, and in 2008, they exhibited his work, “Untitled Landscape” (1939), along with the work of several other Scarab club members, in an exhibition of “Lower Great Lakes Watercolorists” [see publicity flyer ; for more details see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives.
Scanes is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Oral History Division in the interview given by William Bostick, conducted by M. C. Rospond, August 11- 19, 1981.
SCHMIDT, HAROLD VON
1893 – –
| In the 1950’s, the Scarab Club held a series of well-received exhibitions of nationally known artists, also providing the artists with a venue to talk about their work and to answer questions from the Scarab Club audience. Well-known New York artist Harold von Schmidt, father of Joan von Schmidt Brace, had his work exhibited at the Scarab Club March 12-23, 1952. He also gave a talk at the Scarab Club the evening of the 12th which were hailed as successful Scarab Club activities using Schmidt, as well as Ben Stahl and Alex Ross, as examples, and asking artist Robert Fawcett if he would like to join the ranks [see Scarab Club announcement and invitation to all Scarab Club members and their wives, dated 3/12/1952, 10 years before women were invited to become members ; see also the letter dated April 13, 1954 in the artist’s file, which discusses the success of such exhibitions and related artists’ talks] |
The Oral History Division of the Archives of American Art has the Harold von Schmidt interview by Marshall Davis, August 8, 1965.
Commercial artist, automotive illustrator
| Sid Seeley was born in Excello, Ohio. He studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy for four years, Western State University, where he earned his B.A., then received his MFA from Syracuse University. He spent summers painting in Saugatuck, all the while working in a paper mill to earn money. |
Seeley developed the Program in Applied Arts for the Chrysler Corporation, and worked as Art Director for Visual Aids and in automotive advertising, working on designing and building TV advertising sets and brochures. He also kept the accounts for Chrysler Pontiac, Ford, Buick, and Oldsmobile, helped to develop the Chrysler Co-op Education Program in Applied Arts. He did the illustration for three published works on various technological aspects of his work. For a while, he owned and operated his own design and idea-development shop. His art work has been exhibited at the Pennsylvania International at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Cincinnati Art Institute, and with the Michigan Artists Shows. One of his paintings, (a watercolor of Fort Custer Chapel) hangs in the Battle Creek Art Center and was valued at $1,500.
Seeley applied for and was elected to membership in the Scarab Club in 1945, sponsored by Clyde Burroughs. He celebrated, together with fellow Scarab Edgar Yaeger, when they signed the Scarab Club beams on April 1, 1988 [see announcement + invitation for the double beam-signing celebration ; for more details, see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives].
Illustrator, muralist, painter
| Painter Zoltan Sepeshy was born in Karsa, Hungary (now Kosice, Slovakia), and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, the Fine Arts Academy in Vienna, receiving degrees in both art and art education before traveling through Europe for a while. He arrived in New York City in 1921 o his way to Detroit where he lived with an uncle and worked at jobs he could find while creating his art. |
Sepeshy was elected to the Scarab Club in December of 1922 and was raised to active (voting) status in 1924 [see membership record and letter of acceptance in his membership file in the Scarab Club Archives], and he had already managed to have a couple of exhibitions. In 1923 and 1926, Sepeshy visited New Mexico and worked with Walter Ufer in Taos [see The Scarab 4:3 (Dec, 1927)]. In 1928-1929, he traveled through Europe again before returning to Detroit where he worked briefly for architect Albert Kahn as a draftsman and taught at Wayne State University while continuing to create and exhibit his art, mostly at the Hanna and Hudson Galleries.
In 1925 and 1936, Sepeshy was awarded the Art Founders Prize at the Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1927, he won $200.00 from the Walter Piper Prize [see letter dated November 30. 1927]. In 1930, he won the J.L. Hudson Purchase Prize at the Michigan Artists Exhibition. From 1938-1941, his work was exhibited at the Midtown Galleries in New York.
Sepeshy taught at the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts in 1926. In 1931, Sepeshy was hired to teach at Cranbrook. He became the Director in 1947, and President of Cranbrook from 1957 till he retired in 1966. Sepeshy helped make Cranbrook a degree-granting academy by 1959.
The Detroit Institute of Arts has in its collection several woodcuts, pen & ink drawings, and pencil drawings by Sepeshy, as well as the paintings “Sun and Waters” (1925?), “Michigan Winter” (1930), and “Frankfurt, Michigan” (early 20th cent.) [see reproductions of some of Sepeshy’s artworks on the D.I. A. website].
In 1972, Sepeshy was invited to sign the beam at the Scarab Club, which counts among its art collection, his painting “The Chief Pueblo.” In the exhibition entitled “Lower Great Lakes Watercolorists,” organized by the Scarab Club Art and Architecture Committee and held from October 1 – December 31, 2008 at the Detroit Athletic Club, Sepeshy was represented in the wonderful showing of works from the private collection of Patricia (herself a beam signatory in 2006) and Randell Reed, all the artists of which had studied and/or taught at the John P. Wicker School of Art, the Art School of the Detroit of Arts and Crafts (now the College for Creative Studies), Cranbrook Academy of Art, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan, as well as having participated in one of the annual Michigan Artist Exhibitions. Sepeshy’s gouache image was entitled “Indian Encampment.”
In 2008, Pat and Randell Reed hosted an exhibition of works from their own collection entitled “Lower Great Lakes Watercolorists,” in which Sepeshy’s work “Indian Encampment” was displayed, along with the works of five other Scarab artists.
The Archives of American Art have the Zoltan Sepeshy Papers, 1958-1965, which include commencement addresses Sepeshy gave at Cranbrook, clippings, materials on being an art judge, and other printed matter. There is also his interview for the Oral History Division from April 26, 1973, by Dennis Barrie.
SESSER, WILLIE G.
1886 – December 8, 1927
| Sesser became a member of the Scarab Club at the start of 1922, plunging right into many Scarab Club activities [for more details see individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives]. He chaired the Graphic & Applied Arts Committee [see The Scarab 1:1 (Jan. 1925) : 1:3 (March 1925) ; 2:1 (Oct. 1925)]. He won the Community Fund Poster Competition [see the write-up in The Scarab 2:8 (May 1926)]. In 1926, he was a member of the committee investigating the feasibility of hiring a secretary for the Arts Committee. That same year, he participated in the Thumb Box Show held in the studio of R. O. Bennett, selling three works [see The Scarab 2:4 (Jan. 1926)]. In 1926, Sesser’s woodcuts were part of the awards given at one of the successful benefit parties hosted by and for the Scarab Club; the money raised was used for building furnishings [see 1927 report in Sesser’s individual artist file]. Later that year, he helped organize the Scarab Club’s exhibition of mosaics, stained glass, and etched glass by Ravenna Mosaics of New York [see The Scarab 2:7 (April 1926)]. |
Sesser was elected Scarab Club president in 1927 and won the Scarab Club Gold Medal that same year. He died rather suddenly before completion of the new building at the Farnsworth location, for which he had initiated the plans. V.P. Stanley Lewis took over as president and, therefore, the photograph of the cornerstone-setting ceremony for the new building shows Lewis standing with architect Lancelot Sukert as the cornerstone was laid [see The Scarab 2:7 (April 1927) ; the memorial write-up in The Scarab 4:4 (Jan. 1928) ; see also the photo in The Scarab 4:5 (Feb. 1928)].
SHAW, HAROLD T.
|In the Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 37:2 (1958/59), listed in the Annual Report as part of the Administrative Staff, along with William Bostick as Secretary and Business Manager, Shaw is listed as the Building Superintendent. Harold Shaw is cited in the Edgar P. Richardson Records, 1930-1962 at the Detroit Institute of Arts [Series I, Subseries A, RCH 9, 1944 ; RCH 11, 1945-49 ; RCH 20, 1949-1952]. Shaw is also cited in William Bostick’s interview for the Oral History Division of the Archives of American Art, conducted by M. C. Rospond, August 11-19, 1981.|
June 24,1907 – March 31, 1989
Illustrator, muralist, painter, printmaker
| Millard Sheets was born in Pomona, California and attended Pomona High School. He enrolled in the Chouinard Art Institute in L.A. under F. Tolles Chamberlain and Clarence Hinkle, graduating in 1929. After traveling through Europe, he taught at Chouinard from 1929-1935. While still a teen, his watercolors were accepted for exhibition by the California Watercolor Society. He then became a member of CWS at the age of nineteen, a teacher by the age of twenty, and would be a leading figure in the evolution of California Modernism. By the 1930’s he was making a name for himself in the United States with his own regionalist style, and his works were exhibited in various venues from coast to coast, as well as in Paris [Dalzell Hatfield Gallery, LA County Museum, Oakland Art Gallery, New York World’s Fair of 1939, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney, to name a few]. |
Sheets was Director of Fine Arts Exhibitions for the L.A. County fairs from 1931-1956. As his stature grew so did the accumulation of articles, critiques, and accolades, including an entry in the book Eyes on America, and in 1935, was the subject of a monograph. His art allowed an ample living, and he traveled through Europe, Central America, and to Hawaii, producing “on location” works wherever he went. From 1932-1938, Sheets was an Assistant Professor at Scripps College.
During WWII, he served as an artist-correspondent for Life magazine and the U.S. Army in India and Burma in 1943-44, documenting the war, as well as scenes of famine and death in the war-torn areas. After the war, in the mid 1940’s, back in California and also in Mexico, the war scenes he had witnessed and painted still affected his color tones and subject matter, taking nearly a decade to “lighten up” in mood and setting.
During the Great Depression, Sheets worked with the Public Works Arts Project with Edward Bruce. Beginning ca. 1952, through the 1970’s, along with his painting and drawing, Sheets delved into architectural design for Howard Ahmanson. In 1955, he was a Professor of Art at the Claremont Graduate School.
In 1953 -1960, Sheets was Director of the Otis Art Institute, later the Otis College of Art and Design, where he helped to restructure the whole program to encompass BFA and MFA degrees. He created a ceramics department with Peter Coulkos, and helped to arrange for a library, a studio, and various other buildings, to be built. In 1997, the library was named for Sheets. In 1964, Sheets had a one-man show at the Arthur Tooth & Sons Gallery in London. From 1965-1978, he taught painting in various schools all over the world from Greece to the Yucatan. In 1972, he was asked to lecture at the Third Annual Edwin Austin Abbey Lecture series at the National Academy. Sheets had another big exhibition in 1975 at the Dalzell-Hatfield Gallery. In 1976, Scripps hosted a huge retrospective exhibition, and in 1978, the Kennedy Galleries in New York had another large exhibition. Sheets won several awards, among them the W.F. Blair Purchase Prize in Chicago in 1938, and the Philadelphia Watercolor Club’s Prize in 1939. In 1964, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Laws by Notre Dame.
Sheets also created mosaic designs for architectural decoration, and coordinated the artworks of other artists being integrated into architectural designs and settings. Among his most well-known works are the three relief panels “Early California” (1939) which grace the Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, Calif., his mural “Word of Life” (1964) is in the Hesburgh Library of the University of Notre Dame (1964), the mosaics for the Scottish Rites Masons Temple in L.A. (1961), and the thirty-foot mosaic on the Mercantile Continental Building in Dallas, among others.
The doors on the Cass Avenue side of the main branch of the Detroit Public Library are decorated with murals by Millard Sheets. The doors were installed at the beginning of the 1960’s, the murals in 1963, at which time, Sheets was invited to sign the beams at the Scarab Club of Detroit [1963 date confirmed by telephone call to the Detroit Public Library]. For more biographical details and a list of his mosaics, see the 1980 exhibition catalog by the Kennedy Galleries Millard Sheets: Recent Paintings.
The Archives of American Art have the “Millard Sheets Papers, 1907-1990”, including materials on his career, his professional contacts, correspondence, writings, lectures, clippings, drawings, biographical materials, photographs, and other ephemera. He also gave an interview for the Oral History Division, conducted by Paul Karlstrom at intervals from October 1986-July 1988. He is cited in the “Reginald Johnson Papers, 1921-1956”, and the E. Gene Crain interview of March 7-22, 1999.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has several publications relating to Millard Sheets:
Millard Sheets: Exhibition, March 14 through April 4, 1987. New York : The Kennedy Galleries, 1987.
Millard Sheets: One-Man Renaissance. By Janice Lovoos. Flagstaff, AZ : Northland Press, 1984.
The Paintings of Millard Sheets. The Kennedy Galleries, October 4-15, 1982. New York : The Galleries, 1982.
Millard Sheets Bound Pamphlets. Offsite storage of the Detroit Institute of Arts Research Library.
The Redfern Gallery in Laguna Beach, California sells Sheets’ art and has a website [www.redferngallery.com].
|**If you have more info, let us know**|
Governor of Michigan 1947-1949
|Sigler created the Dept. of Administration for helping with unemployment compensation, and also worked with the Public Service Commission[see p. 81 of Scarab Club (c2006)].|
June 26, 1888 – January 23, 1967
| Lee Simonson was born in New York City and passed away in Yonkers, NY. He studied at Harvard under George Pierce Baker, and also in Paris. In 1915, he began designing sets for the Washington Square Players in New York. During the 1919/1920 season, he helped found the Theatre Guild and was on its Board of Directors from 1919-1940. Active on Broadway and throughout the United States, throughout his artistic lifetime, Simonson designed over seventy productions such as “Liliom” (1921), “Idiot’s Delight” (1936), “Joan of Lorraine” (1946). For the TV series Suspense, he did the settings for the Sept. 12, 1950 episode entitled “Edge of Panic.” He did the scenic design for the 1937 musical Virginia, based on the book by Laurence Stallings and Owen Davis and directed by Leon Leonidoff; it ran at the Center Theater for sixty-eight shows, 9/2-10/23/1937. |
Sheldon Cheney founded Theatre Arts in Detroit in 1916 with the Society of Arts and Crafts. In 1917, the publication was moved to New York [see the articles by Simonson, “Apologizing for America,” and by Cheney, “Answering Mr. Simonson,” in Theatre Arts, issue #6]. Simonson also wrote three books: The State is Set (1932), Part of a Lifetime (autobiographical, 1943), and The Art of Scenic Design: a Pictorial Analysis of State Setting and its Relation to Theatrical Production (1950). See also a critical discussion of the production of O’Neill’s “Dynamo” directed by Philip Moeller with stage settings by Simonson in the Eugene O’Neill Newsletter 10:3 (1986). Simonson is also listed in the American Art Directory (1980). A brief reference to Simonson in the Encyclopedia Britannica Online describes him as one of the most influential stage and set designers in the first half of the twentieth century, whose style helped free the American stage production from nineteenth-century traditionalism, and make for a better connection between the audience and the actors within the venue of the stage.
Simonson organized, created the program for, and was juror for the William & Mary Theater Project in Williamsburg, Virginia. Eero Saarinen, for the first time designing without the collaboration of his father (though he did collaborate with other architects from Cranbrook), was commissioned in 1939 to design the National Theater for the College of William and Mary. At the same time, designs were being offered in competition for the theater at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, and for the Smithsonian in D.C. From 1946-1949, Eero Saarinen designed the Ford Theater to become part of the Detroit civic Center. Simonson praised Saarinen’s designs and design style for continuing to pay attention to and emphasize the relationship between the actors and audience.
In the Archives of American Art, Simonson is cited in the “Walter Pach Papers, Series 2-Professional Correspondence”, the “Andrew Dasburg & Grace Mott Johnson Papers, 1833-1980”, the “Emily Genauer Papers, ca. 1930-1951”, and the “Wallace Richards Papers, 1931-1933”, among others.
December 4, 1888 – January 23, 1966
Body engineer for Cadillac Motors
| Michigan-born Warren Simpson applied for and was elected to Scarab Club membership in 1932, raised to active (voting) status in 1934, and was honored with senior membership in 1960. He rented a studio at the Scarab Club for many years and lobbied for a more open studio policy while serving as a member of the Scarab Club Board [see membership records in Scarab Club Archives; see also Scarab Buzz (Jan. 1955) and (July 1955)]. Simpson won the Scarab Club’s Gold Medal in 1945. Though a very pro-active member, he resigned in 1951, but came back to give a series of art programs at the Scarab Club which included roundtables, movies, scheduled talks, demonstrations, and critiques [see Scarab Buzz (Nov. 1955)], and acted as juror for the Free Arts Exhibition in 1956. The Scarab Club Archives have, in the artist’s file, a letter dated April 16, 1958, from Warren Simpson to fellow Scarab thanking them for their support for his one-man exhibition in March/April 1958, and especially for the opening night reception [thanked were Florence Davies, Beaver Edwards, Joseph Franz, Harold Grandy, Elmer Lakatos, Kenneht Lockwood, John M,. Ross, Walter E. Speck, John B. Tabb, and Howard E. Willmot]. Warren also participated in the annual Arts and Folklore Group and other Detroit Metro art-related activities. Exhibiting more than once in the Scarab Club’s series of Lounge Exhibitions and teaching classes in watercolor painting [see Scarab Buzz (April/May 1962): (May 1962)], his only other “break” came during a three month stay in the hospital in 1962 [see Scarab Buzz (December 1962)]. |
Simpson was born in Flint, Michigan and acquired his interest in art from his portrait artist father. His first work of art was exhibited at the Genessee County Fair in Saginaw, Michigan; he was sixteen. He came to Detroit to work in industry, starting out in a machine shop and ending up in designing and styling. He worked in at least thirty different automobile plants in the Detroit area: Briggs, Flint Motor Car, and General Motors to name a few. He designed the Lafayette Motor Car. When WWII started, he was made superintendent of the Airplane Division of Packard Motors. He learned the ins and outs of commercial art on the job and in night school. Professional demands notwithstanding (and serious hobbies such as stamp collecting), Simpson eventually branched out into landscapes and even tried etching. He studied art with Paul Honore, James Robert, Ruth Hammond, and Zoltan Sepeshy among others. His work was exhibited at the Scarab Club and at Cranbrook, at which he was one of the first students when Cranbrook organized its Art Department and brought in F.L. Allen [main source Scarab Club Archives]. He also managed to find time to teach at the Meinzinger Art School, the Pallette & Brush Society, the Grosse Pointe Art Association, and, of course, at the Scarab Club.
Simpson’s created a huge mural for the Vassar State Bank, another for the Consolidated Gas Company, and a painting of Fort Street and Woodward Avenue in 1877 for the chairman’s office in the National Bank of Detroit. He was a co-founder and charter member of the Michigan Watercolor Society and, in 1958, had a solo exhibition of his watercolors at the Scarab Club [biographical highlights from the Scarab Bulletin (Oct. 1960)].
Simpson is cited in the Archives of American Art in the “Anne Lisabeth von Nutzhorn Material on Jens Block Gjern’s Art Collection, 1942-1972”, along with John Coppin and Zubel Kachadoorian.
Advertising and sales promotion
| Otto Simunich first applied for membership in the Scarab Club in 1934. He was raised to active (voting) status in 1936 and served as Scarab Club president from 1960-1961. He resigned his membership when he moved to Florida in 1961[for more details see individual membership in Scarab Club Archives]. |
Simunich was in advertising, sales and promotions working with various types of art and photographic reproduction.
Political artivist and author
|Sinclair divides his time in Detroit, New Orleans, and Amsterdam. He has been involved in the arts and music since the 1960’s [see write-up of his 68th birthday bash in Big City Rhythm and Blues (Dec. 2009/Jan. 2010), p. 20-21) ; see also the Scarab Club (c. 2006), p. 82]. Please visit: http://johnsinclair.us/bio/912-john-sinclair-biography.html|
SLUSSER, JEAN PAUL
| The Jean Paul Slusser Gallery, established in 1975, is on the first floor of the Art & Architecture Building on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. It is the primary venue for exhibitions of art created in the School of Art & Design and for the School’s faculty and alumni. The Gallery hosts several exhibitions a year of contemporary art; its Lounge is used as a gathering place for students and professional artists, installation projects, and other functions promoting social and artistic connections in today’s art world. |
Slusser taught for a while at the University of Texas and was an art critic for the Boston Herald. An Associate Professor of Drawing and Painting in the College of Architecture and Design, Slusser also served as president of the Ann Arbor Art Center from 1940-1941, and was Director of the University of Michigan Museum. Published in1959 in celebration of the Art Center’s fiftieth anniversary, Slusser and Emil Lorch co-authored the book A Survey of Fifty Years: the Ann Arbor Art Association, 1909-1950
Slusser is listed in the Union List of Artists Names (Getty; also online) and his works are listed in the Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog (also online). Three works by Slusser are in the DIA’s permanent collections, including the watercolor “People’s Houses,” an oil painting, “Landscape” (1912) belongs to the University of Michigan, and another oil painting, “Spring in the Country,” belongs to the Princeton University Art Museum.
The Jean Paul Slusser Papers, 1910-1969, are part of the Archives of American Art, which include correspondence, 10 lectures, radio addresses, articles on German and American artists, six sketchbooks, and a photo album. The Oral History Division also has Slusser’s interview, conducted by Dennis Barrie, from March 14 – July 26, 1973.
| From February 5-17, 1917, Harry Smith, along with eleven other Scarab members (Joseph Gies, John A. Morse, G. A. True, Paul Honoré, and C.E. Waltensperber among them), took part in the Thumb Box Sketches exhibition while the Scarab Club was located in the Addison Hotel (where the first Scarab Club Ball was held). At the 1922 Annual Michigan Artist Exhibition by the Scarab Club, held at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Smith received an honorable mention for his watercolor. He is listed in The Scarab (May 1925) as an active (voting) member of the Scarab Club along with Lancelot Sukert, W.G. Sesser, Fred Rypsam, Albert Kahn, Russell Legge, Arthur Marschner, Joseph Gies, and Frank Packman [for more details, see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives]. In December 1926, Smith was elected to be a member of the selection jury for the annual Michigan Artists Exhibition [see letter dated December 21, 1926]. |
Harry Smith authored the book The Art of Making Furniture in Miniature, ISBN 9780525477136, paperback 9780890241592, published in 1983 by the Coe Kerr Gallery in New York, and available in the holdings of the Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Smith is cited in the Archives of American Art in the “Alice Yamin Papers, 1927-1998”, and in the Bruce Conner interview for the Oral History Division, conducted by Paul Cummings in New York City April 16, 1976.
ca. 1915 – 2008
| Gil Spear, son of Adrian Gil Spear (father and mother were both commercial artists), studied at the Pratt Institute until the Depression years forced him to quit and take a paying job, which he did at General Motors Corporation in 1937, only to be laid off the next year. He then worked with industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes on the GM Futurama Exhibition for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. |
In Detroit, Spear actually worked for several of the automobile industries “big wigs”: GM 1937-1938 ; Chrysler 1939 ; Briggs 1942 through WWII during which he also did freelance work, till ca. 1947 ; Ford Motor Co. 1947 (including Ford’s branch in England) through till his retirement in 1974. Spear took the job with the Chrysler Corporation in the design department. He made his name designing mainly the front ends of various makes of automobiles. He would later work for Briggs which had its own design and styling department. But at the time he worked for Chrysler, the company was just becoming more involved with producing their own designs, having blamed Briggs for a bad year in sales in 1938. Ray Dietrich was hired to beef up Chrysler’s design and styling division, followed by Robert Cadwallader. Spear may well have been in this initial group of Chrysler’s “in-house” stylists and designers.
For Ford, Spear was asked to re-establish and head-up Ford’s Advanced Studio to plan and design future Ford models, one of his favorite style items being the retractable hard-top. He later became Head of the Engineering’s Special Development Studio and served as the Executive Designer for International Operations in the Lincoln Mercy Studio, then Chief Designer for Ford in England. Jack Telnak, future Vice President of the Ford Design Studio had Spear as his mentor during his early years.
When not designing and styling cars, Spear, an avid swimmer, was winning awards in Masters Swim competitions. He also maintained his own design studio where he helped aspiring artists and designers and created his own line of Christmas cards.
SPEYER, A. JAMES
1913 – 1986
American architect and Curator of 20th Century Painting & Sculpture AIC
| James A. Speyer was Curator of the Department of 20th Century Painting & Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago [see Dept. records from 1961-1986 ; see also introduction by Speyer in the AIC’s catalog 6th American Exhibition, Jan. 17 – Feb. 22, 1970]. |
Speyer was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, though he lived and worked for most of his life in Chicago. He studied architecture, mainly the Beaux-Arts style, at Carnegie Tech, now the Carnegie Mellon University, graduating in 1934. He then spent four years in Europe studying the more avant-garde style of modernism which was developing there, and quickly spreading across the Atlantic. He connected with the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Laszlo Gabor, later meeting Alfred H. Barr and John McAndrews (designers of MOMA) and Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus style. He was also influenced by Mies van der Rohe who came to Chicago in 1938. His modernistic, innovative style was highlighted in his designs for the exhibitions organized under his direction for the Art Institute of Chicago as well as in his domestic architecture [he designed a house for his mother and the Joan and Jerome Apt apartment in Pittsburgh].
In 1957, Speyer won a Fullbright Scoloarship to study architectural classicism in Italy and Greece. He ended up teaching at Athens Polytechneon till 1959. Back in Chicago, he returned to teaching at the Illinois Institute of Technology and to his architectural practice. In 1961, he took the position of Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago and remained there for twenty-five years, organizing more than 120 exhibitions including a retrospective of Mies van der Rohe’s work, enlarging the contemporary collections, designing new exhibition spaces and styles, and trying out new placement techniques for the objects on display. The AIC became one of the first American museums to create a Dept. of Architecture.
Speyer is cited in the Archives of American Art Journal 48: 1-2, and in the AAA’s file on Art Related Archival Materials in the Chicago Area [see online listings on AAA web site].
| Detroit-born Tony Spina worked for the Detroit Free Press as chief photojournalist for over forty years and special assistant to the managing editor. He also authored a weekly photo column published in the Detroit Free Press and more than two hundred other newspapers [see his last column in the Detroit Free Press (June 1992)]. During his career, which included documenting the Detroit Riots of 1967, Spina received over four hundred and fifty national and state awards for his photography, including the Sprague Memorial Award from the National Press Photographers Association. In 1968, he shared in the Pulitzer Prize awarded to the Detroit Free Press for its coverage of the Detroit Riots. Spina traveled the world for his images, he photographed eight U.S. presidents and four popes, and has had more than eighty exhibitions of his photographs, including a 1963 exhibition displaying one hundred of his photographs of the Vatican. He was knighted by Pope Paul VI into the Order of Saint Gregory. Spina retired in 1989 as Chief Photographer Emeritus. |
Spina’s works are in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Nikon House in New York, the Lost Angeles County Museum, and even the Vatican Museum. He was a member of the Detroit Press Club, the National Press Photojournalist Association, the Detroit Metro News Photographers Association, and the Michigan Press Photographers Association. The Walter Reuther Library houses in Tony Spina Collection with nearly four hundred images. He was the first photojournalist to be inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. In 2002, the Tony Spina Enrichment Fund was set up to offer support and scholarships in the field of photojournalism.
Tony Spina is shown signing the Scarab Clubhouse beam on p. 83 of Images of America: The Scarab Club [Christine Renner â€¦ [et al], c2006]. He was, at the time, also celebrating the book signing of his book Tony Spina – Chief Photographer, Four Decades of His News Photography from the Detroit Free Press.
SPRECAL, JOHANNES K.
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September 7, 1910 – October 19, 1987
| Stahl was born in Chicago, lived in Westport, Connecticut in the 1940’s and 1950’s, then moved to Sarasota, Florida where he became Vice President of the Sarasota Art Association. After winning a scholarship at the tender age of twelve, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and, barely out of his teens, he was an exhibiting artist in the International Watercolor Show at the Chicago Art Institute. His works have been exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburg, and in galleries throughout the United States. Later, he taught at the Chicago Art Institute, the American Academy of Art, the Art Student League in New York, Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, and at various other venues. Stahl was one of the founding members of Famous Artist School in Westport, CT. In 1949 (a novel set up as a correspondence school offering home instruction art lessons to would-be artists around the country). While working in Connecticut, Stahl had as his assistant, Detroit-born, Scarab member Rupert Conrad (1907-1979). Stahl served as an official U.S. artist for the U.S. Air Force, and as an officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. |
As a magazine and book illustrator, Stahl contributed his art to such publications as American Artist, the Saturday Evening Post, and Magazine World. He was commissioned to create images of the fourteen stations of the Cross for Catholic Bible and Catholic Press in Chicago. While living in Sarasota, Stahl built a circular museum to house his collection of large paintings created for a later version of the Bible; the museum was broken into, the artworks stolen. Stahl retired to San Miguel Allende, Mexico. Information about Stahl’s art can be found online through Artnet and AskArt ; a painting by Stahl of a nude female in a landscape was auctioned by Midwest Auction Galleries of Oxford, Michigan, June 26-27, 2010.
Stahl was awarded the Saltus Gold Medal from the National Academy of Design and, along with his illustrations for various national and international magazines, his work was featured in a 26-part television series, Journey into Art with Ben Stahl, in 1976. He created advertising art for various companies, posters for various movies, such as Ben Hur, and illustrated several books such as Cronin’s The Innkeeper’s Wife, Madame Bovary, Little Women, and the very famous Hornblower series by C. S. Forester, as well as the 25th anniversary editions of Gone With the Wind and Blackbeard’s Ghost [made into a movie by Walk Disney in 1969, with a sequel, The Secret of Red Skull, published by Houghton Mifflin]. Stahl passed away from cancer in Sarasota, Florida [see obituary in the New York Times (October 24, 1987)].
In the 1950’s, the Scarab Club hosted a series of exhibitions of works by nationally known artists who were then invited to an evening at the clubhouse to talk about their work and to answer questions from the Scarab Club audience. Ben Stahl, Harold von Schmidt, Alex Ross, and Robert Fawcett were among the artists who participated. In a letter to Robert Fawcett, dated October 25, 1954, Fawcett is being invited to exhibit his work and give a talk; Stahl cited as one of the previous, successful artists whose work was exhibited and who then gave a talk and demonstration in 1952. This is possibly when Stahl was also invited to sign the Scarab Club beam [see the artist’s file and beam-signer file for Ben Stahl in the Scarab Club Archives]
Stahl is cited in the Archives of American Art in the file on the Famous Artists School in Connecticut, along with Will Barnet and Stuart Davis, among others. There is a photograph of Stahl, ca. 1954. Stahl is also mentioned in the “Paul Branson Papers, 1862-1985, Series II: Correspondence”.
STEVENS, HENRY G.
1884 – 1950
Industrialist, Board member and 1st President of the Detroit Urban League
| Detroit industrialist, administrator, millionaire, Henry G. Stevens was a life member of the Scarab Club, logged in as a member even before the Scarab Club moved into the building on Farnsworth Street designed by Lancelot Sukert in 1928 [see The Scarab 4:6 (March 1928)]. He served as Scarab Club president in 1925. As a sign of his devotion to the Scarab Club, he donated selected items from the estate of the late Percy Ives (1864-1928): items from the library, sketches, and small canvas works [see The Scarab 4:8 (May 1928)]. For just how much his membership and activities were appreciated by the Scarab Club, see the letter dated January 18, 1934, thanking him for donating to the University of Michigan in the name of the Research Group of the Scarab Club [for more information, see the individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives]. In 1922, Stevens bought the portrait “Head of a Bearded Man,” a German painting from the mid seventeenth century. In 1942, his three siblings donated the portrait to the Detroit Institute of Arts [accession item 42.151]. |
Stevens’ father had made millions in the mining industry. Stevens’ brother, William, managed the Stevens Land Company. Associated Charities (est.1879 by Detroit industrialists) decided to set up and fund the Detroit Urban League [est. 1916, the DUL acquired the historic home of architect Albert Kahn after his death in 1942, to use as their offices]. At the time, Forrester B. Washington was the Executive Director (followed by John C. Dancy), and Stevens, on the Board of and serving as Vice President of Associated Charities, was the first Board President for the DUL. The League worked to help African-Americans streaming into the Detroit Metro area to settle and find jobs.
Stevens is cited in the “William Page and Page Family Papers, 1815-1947” (bulk 1843-1892), in which Series 1, box 1, folder 4 includes a biography of the Stevens Family 1847-1903, Series 6, box 7 includes photographs and portrait photographs, and box 8, folder 3 includes materials on the tomb of Henry Stevens in Vermont.
|Amy Stoners Art Blog |
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STROUSE, NORMAN H.
1906 – 1993
| Norman H. Strouse was born just outside Olympia, Washington. After high school, he went to work at the Seattle Post Intelligencer, advancing through the ranks until he was in charge of the paper’s national advertising. In 1949, he began what would be a forty-year term with the J. Walter Advertising Agency; he made president in 1955, CEO in 1960, and chairman of the board in 1964. |
Always a passionate book collector and examples of fine print, he was one of the major benefactors of the Bancroft Library at the University of California-Berkeley and several other large libraries. He enlisted during WWII, and sold his large, valuable personal library because of the unsettled times. After the War, he took a job in Detroit, in the advertising department of Ford. He married, had children, and began all over again with his book collecting. 1948 was a momentous year for Strouse. With only $500, he managed to obtain 102 items from the sale of the T. B. Mosher Library; and over the years, increased his “Mosher Treasury” to 800 items. His book, A Collector’s Decabiblon [San Francisco : The Gleeson Library Association, 1927], discusses his love of collecting and his special love for the Mosher items. Strouse also authored The Passionate Pirate [North Hills, PA : Bird Bill Press, c1964], a biography of Mosher.
Available online are: “The N. H. Strouse Papers, 1925-1980”, “How to Build a Poor Man’s Morgan Library,” an address delivered May 20, 1966 at the Dedication of the Mayfield Library of Syracuse University, and “The Lengthened Shadow,” an address delivered at the opening of an exhibition of modern fine printing at the Grolier Club, April 19, 1060 [and later published by Philip C. Duschner of New York].
1914 – 1970
| Stuempfig is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Maynard Walker Gallery Records, 1847 – 1973, the photographic files have shots of the artist’s works. He is also mentioned in Ralph Kirk Askew Papers, 1928 – 1967, and in the Finding Aid to the American Federation of Arts Records. The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has an artist’s file on Walter Stuempfig. |
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1864 – July 6, 1940
1st president of the Scarab [Hopkin] Club
| James Swan was a charter member of the precursor to the Scarab Club, the Hopkin Club, and, deservedly, an honorary member when the name was changed. Swan served as the Scarab Club’s first president in 1912-1913. The Club was first named in honor of Scottish-born marine and landscape artists Robert Hopkin (1832-1909). Swan had a beautiful collection of gems, semi-precious stones, and Egyptian scarabs. Four years after the death of Hopkin [see undated copy of letter to Mrs. Swan regarding the death of her husband], the club reformulated itself, incorporated, and, taking their inspiration from the scarabs as symbols of rebirth, decided on the new name – the Scarab Club [for more details see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives]. |
Swan was also an art collector; he loaned several of his works of art to the 1918 Michigan Artists Exhibition, held annually under the auspices of the Scarab Club at the Detroit Institute of Arts [see exhibition listing put out by the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1918, available online]. His office was in the Dime Bank Building.
Swan is cited in the Archives of American Art in the William Bostick interview conducted by Mary Christ Rospond August 11-19, 1981.
TABB, JOHN B.
Commercial/Ad artist, teacher
| Originally from Ohio, Tabb attended Purdue University, spent a year-and-a-half in the Army Air force, then came to Detroit in 1944. He studied with Arnold Blanch at the Meinzinger Art School, teaching there from 1947-1952 and at Marygrove College from 1949-1953, after which he joined the staff at General Motors as Assistant Director in Public Relations. |
Tabb designed all manner of graphic publications for the company and, in 1956, created the dedication and all the logos for the General Motors Technical Center 50 Millionth Car Celebration. He would do the same for the General Motors 50th and 75th anniversaries along with various award medals and graphics for annual reports. In 1987, Tabb retired as Manager of Art Production and Corporate Communications for Public Relations.
Applying at the end of 1947, Tabb was officially elected to Scarab Club membership by April 1948, and raised to active (voting) status in February 1951, Tabb rented a studio for many years (1947-1957), served as Vice President before becoming Scarab Club President in1996-1997, and served on the Scarab Club Board. Tabb met his wife at a Scarab Club ball to which he came dressed as a fawn. Somehow, the Associated Press got hold of the picture and it was nationally displayed. The art he created while on his honeymoon won him an honorable mention at the 1952 Annual Watercolor Exhibition at the Butler Institute.
Tabb has the singular honor of being a four-time Scarab Club Gold Medal winner; he won the Scarab Club Gold Medal in 1952, 1954, 1956, and, after a bit of a break, again 1994. He also won first prize for his oil painting at the Michigan State Fair and first prize in a Michigan Watercolor Society. 1994 also found Tabb involved with the Scarab Club’s Fairbanks Project at the Fairbanks Elementary School in Detroit, a joint project of the Scarab Club and the School to bring art and art instruction to the young students of Detroit [see article in the Detroit Free Press (November 25, 1994)]. Tabb was a member of the Michigan Academy of Art, Science, and Letters, the Bloomfield Arts Association, and the Michigan Watercolor Society [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives].
He was inducted into the American Watercolor Society in 1950 and would become the travel chairman. In 1952, he had his first solo exhibition with the Detroit Artists Market, in 1954 his work was exhibited in the Michigan Watercolor Society’s Traveling Exhibition, and in 1955 in the Detroit Watercolor Society Exhibition held in the old downtown J.L. Hudson’s building. Since the 1950’s, his work has also been shown at annual American Watercolor Society Exhibitions and Michigan Artists Exhibitions, Ohio Watercolor Society Exhibitions, and Artist Market Exhibitions, as well as at the Butler Art Institute. His work is in the collection of the Michigan Historical Museum as well as several private collections. Tabb went to Washington, D.C. for the General Motors Cancer Research Award Ceremony (he had designed the medal, fellow Scarab Fred Marshall created it) and met the President of the United States [see Scarab Buzz (June 1979)].
The Scarab Club held a retrospective exhibition of his work in 1992 [see Scarab Buzz (January 1992). In 1997, he exhibited his work in the Scarab Club’s All Member exhibition as a featured artist. In 2008, Pat and Randell Reed hosted an exhibition of works from their own collection entitled “Lower Great Lakes Watercolorists.” Tabb’s work was displayed, along with the works of five other Scarab artists [see publicity flyer for the exhibition in the artist’s file in the Scarab Club Archives].
April 29, 1860 – October 30, 1936
| Lorado Taft was born in Illinois, and he died in Illinois, in his Chicago studio. Homeschooled as a child, Taft attended the University of Illinois (his father was a professor of geology), where he earned his B.A. in 1879 and his M.A. in 1880. He then took off for Paris to study sculpture. Taft never forgot his alma mater, his huge outdoor sculpture, entitled “Alma Mater” stands in Urbana. Fountains were one of Taft’s main subjects. The “Fountain of Time” was unveiled in 1922 at the west end of Chicago’s Midway, the inspiration taken from the poetry of Austin Dobson. It shows the cloaked figure of “Time” watching humanity go by. Taft’s last major commission were the sculpture at the front entrance of the Louisiana State Capitol Building in 1932. Among his other works are the Black Hawk Statue Monument in Oregon, the Fountain of the Great Lakes for the Art Institute of Chicago, the Grave Memorial in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, the Chief Paduke Statue in Padukah, Kentucky, and the William A Foote Memorial in Jackson, Michigan. Foote (1863-1923) and his brother founded the Jackson Electric Light Works, predecessor to Consumers Energy, in Jackson in 1886. The Black Hawk sculpture, a huge outdoor work also known as the “Eternal Indian,” created between 1908-1911, stands on what was ground for the Eagle’s Nest Art Colony, now part of the Taft Campus of Northern Illinois University. |
Taft studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Augustin Dumont, Jean-Marie Bonnasseirux, and Jules Thomas. In 1886, he returned to Chicago and taught at the Chicago Art Institute till 1929. The year before the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, chief architect Daniel Burnham allowed Taft to recruit several of his female sculpture students (as unofficial assistants, because it was considered improper at the time for women to work professionally) to complete the architectural sculpture. Enid Yandell, Carol Brooks MacNeil, Bessie Potter Vonnoh, Janet Scudder, and Julia Bracken lent their talents to his name as they completed the necessary work.
Five years after the Exposition, in 1898, Taft founded the Eagle’s Nest Art Colony. In 1903, he published The History of American Sculpture which, revised in 1925, stood the test of time as a standard publication on the subject (in 1968, W. Craven published his Sculpture in America). Taft, on the other hand, stood more “against time,” as he and fellow artist Frederick Ruckstull (French-born sculptor and art critic) lectured and wrote against the latest modern and abstract trends in art.
Taft was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, now the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was a member of the National Sculpture Society, and an exhibiter at the NSS 1923 and 1929 shows.
Taft is cited in the Archives of American Art in the “Catharine Wilson Photos and Clippings, 1895-1964”, which include twenty-seven photographs and an album relating to the Eagle’s Nest Art Colony in Oregon, Illinois. He is also cited in the Harold Lehman interview, March 28, 1997, conducted by Stephen Pollari, and the Wendell Castle interview by R. Brown, December 12, 1981. See also the Archives of American Art Journal 47:3/4, the “War Issue.”
TALIANA, JAMES A.
June 13, 1941 –
Commerical artist, photographer
| Taliana studied with the Society of Arts and Crafts. He worked at the LaDriere Studios and became the senior art director and Ad Designer and Art Director for D’Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles Agency, in the Bloomfield Hills Office [see announcement in the Adcrafter (July 5, 1974)]. At one point, Taliana completed four layouts for the General Motors Tire Account; fellow Scarab Chuck Schridde did the photography of the lions [see Scarab Buzz (Spring 1980)]. |
While still an apprentice advertising designer, James Taliana started as a student member of the Scarab Club in 1963 and worked his way up to serving as Scarab Club President in 1974-75 [see membership records in the Scarab Club Archives]. In May/June 1979, Taliana had a one-man show at the Coach House Gallery [see Scarab Buzz (June 1979)]. In 1993 he offered a program at the Scarab Club on color entitled “Color Your Thinking.” 1995 saw Taliana active in a Color Marketing Group forecasting color trends for all types of industrial and commercial uses up to three years in advance. Busy as he was with his commercial art work and his passionate avocation for photography, Taliana found the time to give of his time to Big Brothers-Big Sisters, for which he was awarded a certificate of honor, as well as donating his artistic talents to creating the new logo and various printed materials for their Tri-County AGency [main source Scarab Club Archives].
TAYLOR, FRANCIS HENRY
1903 – 1957
Director of the Met.Museum of Art
| Francis Henry Taylor had worked at the Worcester Art Museum and was the Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. |
The Archives of American Art contain a photograph of Taylor from ca. 1957 as well as the “Francis Henry Taylor Papers, 1950 – 1958”, which include correspondence, a typescript of “Life Round Table Conferences on Modern Art, 1948”, clippings, and material on the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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THOM, ROBERT A.
March 4, 1915 – December 31, 1979
Illustrator, commercial artist
| Thom was born in Grand Rapids Michigan. He attended Port Huron High School, graduating in 1932 and went on to study art at the Institute of Fine Arts in Columbus, Ohio, then under Robert Brackman in Connecticut. Thom moved to Detroit ca. 1939 and worked for several years in the art departments of the Detroit Edition Company and for General Motors. In 1945, he finally opened his own studio and was successful in his commercial art endeavors. He is perhaps most well known for his 45-image series entitled “A History of Medicine in Pictures,” and even more so for his series of forty images depicting the “History of Pharmacy in Pictures” done for Parke-Davis [initiated by his work “Before the Dawn of History” showing cave people using the plants and herbs from nature as the first medicines, based on images from the diorama at the Chicago Field Museum; this images was used for the cover of Modern Pharmacy in 1951]. Thom researched both topics in extreme detail before creating those two series, traveling extensively in North America and Europe to gain insights on the who-what-where-when-and how in the history of medicine and pharmacy. Along the way, he took a personal interest in the history of various foods and wines, with illustrations of those subjects appearing in such publications as Gourmet Magazine. Thom was also an accomplished portrait painter, several of which grace private and public collections including the collection of art in the White House. |
In 1963, Thom was commissioned by the Michigan Bell company to paint the history of Michigan, which he completed in 1967. He then collaborated on the pictorial history of Illinois for the Illinois Bell Company finished in 1968 in time for the Illinois Sesquicentennial Celebration, and the pictorial history of graphic communications for the Kimberly Clark Corporation in 1971.
Thom and his family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1975 to add a western flair to his work, and added animal paintings to his many subjects. Having moved to Dallas, Texas due to health problems and to be closer to his son and son’s family, Thom and his wife were visiting back in Michigan where they were killed in an automobile accident near Alma, Michigan.
Robert Thom worked as an illustrator in the Guardian Building. A member of the Scarab Club, to which he was elected in February of 1954, he also belonged to the New York Society of Illustrators. His wide range of subject matter, from still-life to western scenes of cowboys and Native American, from horses to wildlife, from portraits to historical scenes, allowed him to create in various regional styles, realist, representational, historical, as well as the necessary images and styles mandated by his more commercial artwork.
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has an artist’s file on Robert A. Thom.
TOTH, IRENE S.
October 29, 1911 –
Artist and art teacher
| Irene Toth was a charter member when women were allowed to join the Scarab Club. She applied for membership in December of 1962, with Sumner Twiss as her sponsor, and was elected by the end of the month. Toth was an art teacher in the Highland Park High School Adult Education Program [for more details see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives]. Art teacher and painter, Irene also enjoyed music and dance; the artistic genes truly run in the family as Irene’s daughter, Arlene Toth Wrangler was a nationally renowned harpist whose two sons, Thomas and Steven, studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Julliard respectively. |
Toth studied with Scarab artist Sarkis Sarkisian, as well as with Pacci, Culver, Snow, Kenny, and Jansen, among others. Her work has been exhibited at the Scarab Club, at J.L. Hudson’s, at the Michigan Artist Shows, at the Michigan Watercolor Society Shows, of which she was a member, and the Arts & Crafts shows. Toth was also a member of Eastern Star.
TOTTIS, JAMES W.
Curator of American Art
| James W. Tottis earned a B.A. in history and a B. A. and M.A. in art history from Wayne State University. He served as an adjunct professor in the Humanities Department for Wayne. He joined the curatorial staff of the Detroit Institute of Arts in the American Art Department, including painting, sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts in 1985. He also acted as staff liaison for the D.I.A. Auxiliaries of the American Wing and Founders Junior council. |
Tottis has curated such exhibitions as “Life’s Pleasure: the Ashcan Artists’ Brush with Leisure, 1895-1925” (2008), for which is also collaborated on the exhibition catalog. He also curated “American Beauty: Painting and Sculpture from the D.I.A., 1770-1920,” which also went on tour in the United States and Europe (2002-2004), and “Building Detroit” (2001). He has coordinated D.I.A. projects such as the restoration of Washington Alston’s painting “Belshazzar’s Feast,” gallery restorations and re-installations such as that for the Hudson River School art works. He is a member not only of the Scarab Club, but also the Association of Art Museum Curators and the National Academy of Design. His book about the Guardian Building, “The Guardian Building: Cathedral of Finance” was published in 2008 by the Wayne State University Press, and also traces the history of the Union Trust Building, which dominated Detroit’s financial district. Designed by Wirt Rowland, it was built during the Detroit building boom between the end of WWI and the crash of 1929 by the firm of Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls.
Tottis served as President of the Scarab Club from 2006-2010 and continues to fill the postion. In September of 2009, at the Scarab Club, Tottis, as part of the Clyde Burroughs Lecture Series on American Art and Design, gave the talk “Monumental Museum Architecture: the Detroit Institute of Arts and Paul Cret” [see 2009/2010 Annual Report of the Scarab Club].
June 5, 1927 –
Manager of the Clay Modeling Division of the Ford Motor Company
| Gil Treweek earned his B.F.A. at the University of New Mexico. A long-time resident of Michigan, he worked as the manager in the Clay Modeling Division of the Ford Motor Company, creating new designs for cars. In the 1980’s Treweek worked for Ford out of the Concept Center (in Valencia) [see letters in individual membership file in Scarab Club Archives describing the selling of his Michigan house and Florida condo to move to California]. He was a member of the Michigan Artists, the Michigan Watercolor Society, and has had his work exhibited through those societies and at the Michigan State Fair. |
Treweek applied for membership in the Scarab Club in October of 1976, sponsored by Al Decker and Doris N. Padys, and was formally elected in November of that year. He exhibited his work in the Scarab Club’s many Lounge Exhibitions [see Scarab Buzz (Spring 1980)]. He has also exhibited at Adams Madames and the Art Gallery in Main Steel Central Lake, Michigan. Treweek served as president of the Scarab Club from 1982-1983.While in California, he kept his membership in the Scarab Club as a non-resident member.
1930 – 2002
| Troller was born in Zurich, graduating from the Zurich School of Design in 1950. He worked for the Geigy Chem. Corporation before coming to New York where he maintained his own studio and worked for such clients as Exxon, General Electric, IBM, and for Doubleday Publishing for whom he designed book jackets. |
Troller is credited with popularizing the “Swiss New Typography,” with its Bauhaus influences and its simple, photographic-style images and strong primary colors. He incorporated the use of geometric forms into his own take on that style.
Troller taught at the Cooper Union, at the School of Visual Arts, and at the Rhode Island School of Design. He was also Chair of the Division of Design at Alfred University.
Graphic Design Archives Online has the Troller Archive, donated by Beatrice Troller in 2005. It includes sketchbooks, mock-ups, proofs, prints, book jackets, posters, and more.
Troller is cited in the Archives of American Art Finding Aid to the Howard W. and Jean Lipman Papers, 1916-2000, in Box 13 under the title “Sculptors of Interest, 1950-1980,” which offers information on various artists whose careers were followed by the Howard W. Lipman Foundation; it includes reviews, press releases, some biographical information, announcements, exhibitions and other materials.
TYPINSKI, ROBERT C.
July, 29, 1927 – March, 16 1967
| Typinski applied for and was elected to Scarab Club membership in 1951. He applied again and was elected to Scarab Club membership as an associate artist March 13, 1953. He rented a studio in the Clubhouse [see individual membership file in the Scarab Club Archives]. |
Typinski sold one of his watercolors to the National Bank of Detroit in 1960 [see Scarab Buzz (April/May 1960)]. In 1967, he won the Scarab Club Gold Medal.
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1885 – 1977
American Poet Laureate, author, editor
| New York City-born Louis Untermeyer was name the 14th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress 1961-1963. His early work showed his Marxist inclinations as he wrote for the magazine The Masses until it was suppressed, while advocating that the U.S. stay out of WWI. He also wrote for The Liberator put out by the Workers Party of America, then for The New Masses. He helped found and wrote for The Seven Arts poetry monthly magazine with James Uppenheim as the first managing editor, and contributors Waldo Fink, Kabhil Gibran, Robert Frost, Edna Kenton, Van Wyck Brooks, and David Manners [see Publishers’ Weekly (July 22, 1916)]. Untermeyer was also on the program “What’s My Line” during its first year. |
Though never formally a member of any communist group or party, after WWII, Untermeyer’s tendency to sign things related to various causes, sometimes without paying attention to the details, got him into trouble with the House Committee on Un-American Activities, had right-wing groups hounding him, and eventually got him blacklisted.
Untermeyer authored over 100 books between 1911-1977. The Lilly Library of Indiana University has many of them in its holdings. His books on modern poetry in the United States and Great Britain were used in schools as introductory textbooks on the subject. He also wrote children’s books such as The Golden Treasure of Children’s Literature. His journal writings include “Poetry and the Common Many” [Rotarian (April 1935)]. He carried on an extensive lecture schedule at home and abroad, and in 1956 was awarded the Gold Medal by the Poetry Society of America.
The Detroit Institute of Arts Bulletin 15:5 (February 1936) makes mention of Scarab Jay Boorsma being awarded the Scarab Club’s Gold medal for 1935, and of Untermeyer’s publication A New Language for a New Generation.
Untermeyer is cited in the Archives of American Art in the Aaron Siskind Interview conducted by B. Shikler from September 28-October 2, 1982, and in the Rockwell Kent Papers, ca. 1840-1993.
WAGONER, MURRAY D. VAN
Governor of Michigan 1941-1942
| Before becoming governor, Wagoner worked on the State Highway Commission from 1933-1941, and authorized the first highway roadside part. He also helped create information centers. During WWII, he was instrumental in turning Detroit, already the Motor City, in the “Arsenal of Democracy”[see p. 83 of the Scarab Club (c2006)]. |
Van Wagoner was born in Tuscola Country near Kingston, Michigan. He graduated with a degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan, worked for a while in the private sector, then became owner of his own company. From 1930-1933 he was Drain Commissioner for Oakland Country, before serving as Michigan State Highway Commissioner. As a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1936 and 1940, he witnessed FDR’s re-nominations for President; he was there again in 1944 when Roosevelt was nominated for a fourth term; at the 1952 convention, he saw Adlai Stevenson nominated to run against Dwight D. Eisenhower. In November of 1940, Van Wagoner defeated incumbent Republican Governor Luren Dickenson to become Michigan’s 38th governor.
As Governor, Van Wagoner was instrumental in supporting the building of the Mackinac Bridge, the elimination of a $27 million deficit, consolidating the tax collection department, reinstating the State’s mental hospital, dealing with strikes in the auto and electrical industries, reorganizing Michigan’s civil service, and taking steps to secure and insure Michigan’s contributions to the WWII effort. In 1944, Van Wagoner was defeated in his bid for another term by Kim Sigler. The Michigan Department of Transportation named their building the Murray Van Wagoner Transportation Building.
Retiring from politics, Van Wagoner returned to his engineering interest. He was a member of the Freemasons, the American Legion, the National Exchange Club, and the Elks. More information may be found through the National Governors Association.
January 21, 1935 – 2000
American painter, illlsutrator, teacher
| Grosse Pointer Carol Wald, who had taught from 1962-1971 at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, lived for many years in New York; she applied for Scarab Club membership in December of 1984 while still in New York. By 1985, she was in Detroit studying with Sarkis Sarkisian. She had a solo exhibition at the Museum of American Illustrators in New York in 1986 and won that Society’s Gold Medal. 1987 found her exhibiting at the Cade Gallery in Royal Oak [see Detroit News write up by Joy Hakanson Colby (Oct. 11, 1987)]. In1988, Wald had exhibitions at the Midtown Gallery in New York and the Ruth Volid Gallery in Chicago. The Michigan Foundation for the Arts awarded Carol Wald the $3000 Visual Arts Award for outstanding achievement in the arts [see Grosse Pointe News (April 19, 1990) ; see also the Arts Foundation letter dated Mar. 9, 1990 ; Scarab Club press release in the Monitor (May 3, 1990)]. Wald was honored at the Detroit Institute of Arts in May of the year. At the same time, she had an exhibition of her watercolors, collages, and miniature oil paintings as the Scarab Club, the sales of some of those exhibited works going to the Scarab Club’s Restoration Fund. During the 1989/1990 Scarab Club exhibition season, Wald won the Scarab Club’s Gold medal, as well as 1st prize in the “Artreach” exhibition in Salt Lake City. |
In 1991, Wald had a double exhibition at the Michael and Barbara Dennos Museum Center at NW Michigan College and the Butler Institute of American Art [see Traverse City Record Eagle (Dec. 7, 1991) ; see also the announcement for those exhibitions dated 1991]. In 1992, Wald served as juror for the 20th Annual Exhibition at the Art Center of Macomb County [see 1992 publicity flyer for the exhibition].
Describing herself as a figurative painter, Wald was influenced by the works of the late 19th century: Degas, Manet, Courbet, and Gericault, with a little of Balthus and Vermeer thrown in for good measure. Her illustrative work included commissions from Time and Fortune Magazine. Her art is in the holdings of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Butler Institute in Youngtown, Cranrbook, the National Gallery, and private collections in the United States and Canada. Wald was a member of the Graphic Artists Guild, the National Watercolor Society, the National Portrait Society, the Society of Illustrators, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
In 2008, Pat and Randell Reed hosted an exhibition of artworks from their own collection entitled “Lower Great Lakes Watercolorists.” Wald’s composition “Untitled. Three Children” was displayed in that exhibition, along with works by five other Scarab artists.
The Archives of American Art hold the Carol Wald Papers 1954-1970, including a photograph from 1968.
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WATKINS, FRANKLIN C.
1894 – 1972
illustrator, muralist, painter, printmaker
| The Archives of American Art have the “Watkins Papers, 1909-1973”, which include some personal papers, a 1931-32 scrapbook, clippings about his then controversial painting “Suicide in Costume,” for which he won a prize at the 30th Carnegie Institute International Exhibition of Modern Painting in 1931. There is also Watkins’ interview for the Oral History Division, conducted by Paul Cummings August 18, 1971. Also in 1971, Watkins was honored with the Philadelphia Award, founded in 1921 by Edward W. Bok (1963-1930) and bestowed on those who have acted for and served the Philadelphia community. Watkins was in good company; the first winner was Leopold Stokowski; others so honored are Marion Anderson (1940) and Eugene Ormandy (1969). |
The Detroit Institute of Arts has in its collections several items by Watkins:
“Still Life with Fruit and Flowers,”20th cent. oil painting
“Angel of Resurrection,” 1948 oil painting
“Resurrection,” 20th cent. oil painting
“Still Life with Fruit,” 20th cent. oil painting
“Portrait of Paul C. Gret,” 20th cent. oil painting
“Portrait of George Kamperman,” 1946 oil painting
The Research Library of the Detroit Institute of Arts has three publications relating to Franklin Watkins:
Franklin C. Watkins: Portrait of a Painter, by Ben Wolf, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, 1966
Franklin Watkins: Philadelphia Museum of Art, March 6 to April 5, 1964, by Henry Clifford, published by the Museum in 1964
Franklin C. Watkins, by Andrew C. Ritchie, published in New York by the Museum of Modern Art, 1950.
1887 – 1957
British explorer, traveler, author, radio commentator, lecturer on the â€œexpedition/explorer circuitâ€
| Carveth Wells went to St. Paul’s School, then to the University of London where he studied civil engineering. He spent most of his adult life traveling the world as a soldier, an explorer, a naturalist, a writer about his travels, and a touring lecturer. He also gave radio broadcasts and showed travel films. On May 16, 1934, Wells was the speaker at the Alumni Banquet at Wesleyan University, invited to talk about his travels in Russia. Wells was a fellow in the Royal Geographical Society, a member of the Circumnavigators, and a member of the Adventurers and Explorers Club. Billboard Magazine (May 5, 1945) reported on radio broadcasts by both Mrs. and Mrs. Carveth Wells as KFI representatives in Lost Angeles. |
Wells’ books Six Years in the Malay Jungle (1925) and Adventure (1931/32) were part of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Library, a collection of over 1,200 volumes, including the Tarzan series, on world traveling, exploring, and adventures fact and fiction. Among Wells’ other books are Exploring the World with Carveth Wells (1934), and In Coldest Africa (1929). Well’s books can be found for sale online. The online reproduction of a photograph from the “Cudahy-Massee Expedition” shows Carveth Wells (1887-1957) with John Cudahy (1887-1943), James Clark, Samuel Barrett, and Leslie Carlisle (Burt A. Massee, 1889-1972) was not in the shot), along with another photograph of Wells, and offers brief biographical sketches of these explorers.
1900 – c.1960
| The Archives of American Art has the Clifford Wight Papers relating to Diego Rivera, 1929 – 1990, which include correspondence between Wight, Rivera, and Rivera’s clients, technical documents with clinical analyses of the fresco processes, proposals, coast analyses, work schedules, and specifications; also writings of E.P. Richardson. The originals are in the Syracuse University Library Special Collections in the Research Center. When Rivera was working in the United States, Wight acted as secretary, translator, and technical assistant for Rivera (mainly from 1929-1941). |
Wight was born in England. He first met Diego Rivera in 1922 in Mexico, coming to the United States with Rivera when Rivera came to work in San Francisco, assisting him with the murals at the San Francisco Art Institute, then on to Rivera’s mural in Detroit [Rivera signed the Scarab Club beams while working on the Detroit Murals in 1932]. In Rivera’s frescoes in the Secretariat of Education I Mexico City, is a portrait of Clifford Wight.
Wight himself painted murals in the United States for the Public Works Project in San Francisco’s Coit Tower (ca. 1934), and sculpted two bas reliefs for the S. F. Stock Exchange. He returned to England, where his work was exhibited by the Royal Academy in London. He died sometime in the 1960’s. Wight is listed online by Ask/Art the Artists’ Bluebook.
American painter and teacher
| Robert Wilbert is a painter. Robert Wilbert is a teacher. Admired by his peers and his students alike, Wilbert, esteemed as far more than “just a teacher,” gets across not only the techniques of painting, but also the mental and emotional processes behind the techniques. |
Born in Chicago, Wilbert studied at the University of Illinois before moving to Detroit to join the faculty of Wayne State University in 1956. In 1958, Wilbert won $100.00 as first prize for his work in the 15th Annual Watercolor Exhibition held at the Scarab Club [see congratulatory letter dated December 3, 1958 from William Bostick, then Chair of the Arts Committee, in Wilbert’s file in the Scarab Club Archives].Over the years, his painting has been described as going beyond realism with his personal infusions of color, light, and expression. In 1987, Wilbert’s painting of a pine tree was chosen for the postage stamp marking the 150th anniversary of Michigan’s statehood.
Professor emeritus Wilbert, with a glowing tribute by his former students (written up by Michael Mahoney) serving as the exhibition announcement [see announcement in Wilbert’s artist file in the Scarab Club Archives], was honored with an exhibition at the Scarab Club in February/March of 2010 which displayed Wilbert’s works and the works of his many students, “Robert Wilbert: Teacher, Mentor, Friend.” At this time, Wilbert was also invited to sign the beams.
The Archives of American Art have Wilbert’s interview for the Oral History Division, conducted by Marsha Miro August 9-19, 1977. Wilbert is also cited in Robert Hanamura’s interview with Miro, conducted at intervals between November 1977 and July 1978, as well as in the Chuck & Jan Rosenak Research Materials, 1987-1998. Wilbert is listed online in Artcyclopedia.
March 10, 1886 – 1949
Art educator, painter
| Winter was born in Manistee, Michigan, a “PK” = “preacher’s kid,” his father being a Lutheran Minister who passed away when Ezra was only months old. His parents had come to Michigan from Germany and settled in Macomb County. August Winters preached in Sutton Bay and in Frankfort and worked as a mission minister in Manistee for the Evangelical Society and with local temperance movements. His future wife, Sarah came from an Indiana family who moved to Leelanau. Winter went to high school in Traverse City, graduating in 1905. About two years later, he acquired a step-father when his mother married Frank Amtbuechler. Around that time, Ezra Winters changed his name to Winter. |
Ezra studied engineering at Olivet College for two years before studying at the Chicago Academy of fine Arts in 1908, and was helped by an art teacher who recognized his artistic talents. For two years he studied cartooning then figure composition, all the while creating illustrations and various other types of commercial drawing to earn money. In 1911, Winter won the Prix de Rome for painting which allowed him three years of study and access to the American Academy in Rome (founded by American architect Charles McKin in the 1890;s). Before heading for Rome, Winter married Vera Beaudette of Chicago, the model for his prize-winning painting. While at the Academy, Winter took advantage of the situation as a whole and traveled through Europe, Turkey, and the Middle East.
Back in the United States by 1916, Winter and his wife now had two daughters and would have a third. It was wartime and his first job was designing camouflage patterns for the U.S. Shipping Board. The post-war years proved to be Winter’s “boom time.” New York’s architectural explosion brought him commissions for murals in buildings the likes of the Cunard Building, the Eastman Theatre, the Cotton Exchange, and the Bank of Manhattan Building. The would-be portrait painter had become a famous muralist. By 1924, he was teaching at the Grand Central School of Art; but in 1925,Vera and Winter divorced in 1925 (Winter would marry a second time in 1932 to Patricia Murphy).
One of Winter’s most famous works was done for Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center (opened in December of 1932), Winter’s “Fountain of Youth” mural decorated the foyer and the grand staircase and was based on an Oregon American legend: the Creator placed a fountain of youth on top of a mountain isolated by a huge chasm; mankind has yearned in vain to reach this fountain.
Winter also created murals for the Rochester Savings Bank, the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, IN, James Monroe High School in Rochester, NY, a six-story mural in the Guardian Buildings, works in the Buhl Building in Detroit (at the request of architect Wirt C. Rowland), and the murals at the Birmingham Public Library in Alabama. In 1939, Winter painted a mural frieze with scenes from the “Canterbury Tales” mural for the north Reading Room in the Library of Congress John Adams Building in Washington, D.C., and later a series of murals for the Thomas Jefferson Room in 1941. Using other historical themes, the mural in the Birmingham Public Library are a long series of couples, from John Smith and Pocahontas to Faust and Marguerite. They were created in the 1920’s in the Library’s main reading room. He painted the murals in oils in his New York studio; the images were them transferred to Birmingham and affixed to the library walls with white lead.
Winter’s career and life came to a tragic end. In 1948, Winter was painting the panels for the Bank of Manhattan Trust Company. He stepped backward while on a scaffolding and fell to the floor, suffering what would prove to be a chronic injury to his hip. As his painting career, as he saw it, was at an end, he went alone into the woods near his farm in Canaan, CT, and shot himself [for more details, including a reproduction of a portrait photograph from the Smithsonian Institution Archives, see the article in the Winter 2011 issue of Reflections by the Bays]
Winter served on the various arts commission in Connecticut. The Archives of American Art have the Ezra Winter Papers, ca. 1922-1946, which include biographical materials, correspondence, clippings, and descriptions of his many commissions, especially for the Birmingham Public Library and the United States Supreme Court Building.
WOOD, RAYMOND M.
Illustrator, muralist, painter
| Raymond M. Wood, son of Robert M. Wood (1887 – 1966) was born in St. Albans, Vermont. In the 1930’s Wood attended the Bellows Free Academy and later went to the Burlington Business College (now Champlain College). Wood loved cars and local history. He had a huge collection of photographs on both subjects, which he meticulously annotated. He served as writer, editor, and producer of the REO ECHO, the magazine for the REO Club of America [see REO website]. |
While at school, Wood won the Fisher Body Craftsman Guild Model Coach Contest three times, for which he was awarded cash prizes and trips to both Detroit and Chicago. It is most likely during one of these trips, that Wood was invited to the Scarab Club to sign the beam. The 1932 prize-winning coach model is in the holdings of the Vermont Historical Society’s Museum. The VT Historical Society also has the “Seward-Wood Family papers, 1840-2002”, which includes biographical material about the Wood family and their Vermont heritage [outline of papers can be found online under Wood’s name, and through the Vermont Historical Society Site].
Wood took up flying in 1941, and received his pilot’s license in 1942. He served in the U.S. Corps of Engineering to rebuild road, railroads, and bridges in Europe after WWII. After the War, he went into his father’s automotive business and eventually became the owner of the Foundry Repair Shop, which would expand to become successful dealerships for Franklin, Marmon, Reo, and Dodge.
WOODRUFF, JOHN B.
1876 – June 18, 1962
Commerical artist, painter, teacher
| Woodruff was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan; his family moved to Detroit when he was very young. He went to school in Detroit and finished at the Michigan State Normal School. He studied Art under Scarab member Joseph Gies, at the Chicago Art Institute, and abroad in Munich, Germany. Woodruff was a famous commercial artist in the Detroit Metro region. He was known for his automotive drawings and advertisements for Dodge, Pontiac, and Buick. He also painted religious subjects. |
Woodruff was president of the Palette and Chisel Club in Chicago from 1914-1915. In Detroit, Woodruff applied for Scarab Club membership in 1927, proposed by H. Boutell and S. Lewis. He was elected to associate member status in April of that year. He was upgraded to active (voting) status in 1932 at the same time as fellow Scarabs John Carroll, C. A. Player, Edgar Yaeger, R. L. Marty, R. H. Powers, Fred L. Black, and Harry Broskey [see letter dated March 18, 1932 in individual membership file]. His work was often exhibited at the Scarab Club, such as the Scarab Club Lounge Exhibition in 1960 [see Scarab Buzz (April/May 1960) ; (July 1962) ; (Oct. 1961) ; for further information see individual membership file and individual artist’s file in Scarab Club Archives].[Woodruff is cited in Arthur Hopkin Gibson’s book Artists of Early Michigan, published by Wayne State University Press in 1975].
WOODS, WILLIS F.
Arts administrator/director, photographer
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American multi-media artist, mosaic artist
| Edgar Yaeger had his very own fan club. Though centered in Michigan, the “Friends of Edgar Yaeger” are still found coast to coast border to border. The “Friends” were organized ca. 1986 by John Joseph. John’s mother, Marguerite, studied with Yaeger when he taught at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial. As friends, Marguerite and John visited Yaeger and, when John finally got to see the “storage attic” overflowing with Yaeger’s work, he began to sell the paintings for Yaeger; he even received a few as gifts for his own collection. The sales went national with Yaeger’s work done for the WPA in the 1930’s, as well as his word from the next decade, quickly became favorite purchases. The Kresge Art Museum bought one of Yaeger’s paintings for its permanent collection. Mitchell Wolfson, a wealthy Miami collector with his own museum, also bought several works of art. If there had been a “lull” in the popularity of Yaeger’s art, the Fan Club bought him back to national attention with a vengeance! [see the Detroit News (Sept. 14, 1988)]. |
In 1925, Edgar L. Yaeger was one of thirty-six young, aspiring artists hoping to be selected as junior members of the Scarab Club. Yaeger made it into the chosen ten along with Clarence Chong, George Lent, William E. Henze, Roy Pippenger, Robert Marks, Giacomo M. Spicuzza, Armin Seiffert, Maxwell E. Wright, and Jascha Swartman. The selection Committee consisting of R. O. Bennett, Paul Honore, Vincent Chalmers, George W. Styles, Willy G. Sesser, and Sidney W. Walton. In November of 1928, Yaeger was elected a full-fledge associate member, sponsored by Bennett and A.A. Marschner, and raised to the voting status of active member in March of 1932.
For his contributions to the Scarab Club, as well as to the arts in the Detroit Metro area and to the arts in general, from September 12 – October 2, 1988, the Scarab Club hosted the exhibition A Tribute to Edgar Louis Yaeger, curated by Thomas W. Brunk. Fellow Scarab William A. Bostick offered his own memories from “early days.” He met fellow service man Yaeger during WWII. Navy man Bostick was visiting his mother who happened to be working with Yaeger in the map-drafting room of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering. His mother also happened to be love art and had been one of the founders of the Palette and Brush Club in the 1930’s. After the war, when Bostick became Administrator and Secretary for the Detroit Institute of Arts, as well as managing the Annual Exhibition for Michigan Artists, and as Scarab Club members, they became friends as well as artistic colleagues [see exhibition catalog A Tribute to Edgar Yaeger, 1988].
Edgar Yaeger was born on August 26, 1904 in Detroit. Through the Sallan Jewelry Company Scholarship, he studied in 1922 at the art school of the University of Detroit with Fred C. Nash. That next year, he attended sketch classes at the Detroit Museum of Art , and was awarded a 1-year scholarship to study at Robert Herzberg’s Detroit School of Fine and Applied Arts. The year he was elected to junior membership in the Scarab Club, 1925, he also began seven years of study at the John P. Wicker School of Fine Arts.
In 1926 Yaeger exhibited for the first time in the Annual Exhibition for Michigan Artists, sponsored by the Scarab Club and shown in the Detroit Institute of Arts. A few days later, his work was exhibited at the 1st Annual Exhibition of Modern Art by Detroit Artists, held at the Scarab Club. He won 1st prize in the Grosse Pinte Artists exhibition in 1929. Yaeger worked with watercolors, oils, frescos, printmaking, mosaics, and woodcarving. His award-winning artistic output and exhibition credits seemed to roll through the next sixty years with barely enough time to eat, sleep, and breathe. He was awarded the Scarab Club’s Walter Piper Prize in1929. In 1930, Henri Matisse selected Yaeger to be exhibited at the Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburg. Yaeger won the D.I.A.’s Founders Society Prize in 1932 which allowed him to go to Paris to study Cubism. In 1933 and 1936, he exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He won the Purchase Prize in 1939, the Michigan Watercolor Society’s Merit Award in 1949, and the Scarab Gold Medal in the 1980-81 season. Somehow, as his works were being exhibited all over the United States as he also found the time to become a founding member of the Grosse Pointe Artists Association in 1938. He traveled extensively in the mid 1950’s, had several one-man shows though the next several years. He even found time to accept two commissions from William Bostick to create mosaics for the bottom of swimming pools, once for Bostick’s Detroit home and again for his house in Bingham Farms [see exhibition catalog,1988]. Yaeger and fellow Scarab Sid Seeley, signed the beams in 1988 [see invitation to the dinner and beam signing for April 1].
The Depression economy had prevented Yaeger from creating a mosaic design for the façade of the newly built 1928 Scarab Clubhouse on Farnsworth. In 1990, that incomplete commissioned was resurrected and completed as Yaeger created nine panels of Venetian glass mosaics for the Clubhouse which were dedicated in the Spring of 1990 and installed in August a few days after his 87th birthday. He was duly feted by the Scarab Club on August 13, 1990 [Scarab Club write up in the Archives].
Yaeger’s murals decorate the Brodhead Naval Armory, the Library of Grosse Pointe South High School, and are in the holdings of several public and many private collections. He passed away at the age of 94 from pneumonia [see obituary in the Detroit Free Press (Oct. 29, 1997)].
In 2008, Pat and Randell Reed hosted an exhibition of watercolors from their own collection, entitled “Lower Graet Lakes Watercolorists.” Yaeger’s 1938 work, “Color Sketch for Mural, Grosse Pointe School Cadieux near Kercheval” was displayed in that exhibition, along with works by five other Scarabs.
The Archives of American Art hold the Edgar Yaeger Papers 1923-1989, including correspondence, photographs, activity descriptions, and WPA materials.
May 19/June 14, 1903 – October 26, 1977
Chinese poet, author, painter, calligrapher
| Yee called himself “The Silent Traveller” after his series of successful books. He was born in China, married, and had four children. He graduated from Nanjing University (the National Southeastern University), one of the world’s oldest schools of higher education and the first institution in China to be completely modernized. He served for four years in the Chinese army during the Second Sino-Japanese War, taught chemistry in various middle schools, lectured at the National Chengchi University, worked as a newspaper editor in Hangzhou, and was a magistrate in three different counties. As the situation in China worsened, Yee left his family in 1933 to go to England. His eldest son would eventually join him in England, marry, and settle on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. The rest of his family eventually joined him in the United States in the 1960’s. |
From 1933-1955, Yee taught Chinese at the University of London. From 1938-1940, he also worked at the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, when he began to write his Silent Traveller series, beginning with The Silent Traveller: a Chinese Artist in Lakeland. He wrote The Silent Traveller in Wartime during WWII, and after the War, he began traveling outside of England, leading to more in the series, including the 1972 entry The Silent Traveller in Japan. The books described, without bias, the scenes and people he observed in different places at different times. Yee illustrated all his books, including several children’s books. He also authored a book on Chinese calligraphy [Methuen, 1955]. His books were still being reprinted after 2000.
In 1955, Yee came to the United States. He became a lecturer in Chinese at Columbia 1955-1977, and was ultimately created Emeritus Professor of Chinese. In 1958-1959, he was an Emerson Fellow in Poetry at Harvard University. In 1966, Yee became a naturalized American citizen.
Yee eventually returned to China in the late 1970’s. When he died, he was buried in the slopes rising above his home town.
See, among others:
The Traveling Art and the Art of Traveling : Chiang Yee’s Painting and Chinese Cultural Tradition, by Da Zheng.
Chiang Yee, by Suchen S. Huang in Asian-American Autobiographers: a Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Ed. by Guiyou Huang. Greenwood Press, 2001.
Birds and Beasts: a Portfolio of Illustrations of Birds and Animals, by Chiang Yee. Country Life 1939.
Lo Cheng, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Keep Still. By Chiang Yee.
London :Puffin, 1945.
October 20, 1898 – October 20, 1975
daredevil (cannonball), artist, teacher
| Born in Peru, Hugo had the unusual honor of being the first human cannonball. His father, Ildebrando, invented the compressed-air-style cannon used in circus acts which could “shoot” the performers great distances. Hugo Zacchini served in an Italian artillery division in WWI, where the concept for a “human cannon” took shape. After the War, he joined with his family, the Zacchini Brothers, to perform, the first cannonball act done in 1922 in Malta. Mr. Ringling, of the Ringling Brothers Circus, was in Europe in 1929, saw the Zacchini act, and brought it to the United States where the act was billed as being as more thrilling than that of the famous Flying Wallendas’. Zacchini performed his act for 150 photographers in Bronx Field. He later performed at the Rose Bowl, and at the 1939 New York World’s Fair [see New York Times (3/27/1929) and (3/31/1929)]. |
Known as the “human projectile,” and ignoring doctors’ warning of possible injury, Zacchini performed for many years with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus [see write up in Time magazine (April 18, 1932)]. Zacchini performed his human cannonball act in Detroit when the Shrine Circus came to town in January of 1962 [see online blurb on Shrine Circus in Detroit]. He once sued the Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Company in Ohio for broadcasting on the evening news, the Zacchini cannonball act when it was performed at one of Ohio’s county fairs. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court; the Supreme Court ruled in favor of publicity rights over First Amendment rights because the station had broadcast the entire act; in other words, Zacchini won.
There was another side to “cannonball” Hugo. Also gifted in language and art, he painted and sculpted in-between his daredevil performances. Hugo studied at the Rome Academy of Arts, graduating at the age of 21, at the University of Florida, from which he earned degrees in engineering, and New York’s Jamestown Academy from which he earned his Masters in Art. When he retired and moved to California, he taught art at Chaffey College, one of California’s earliest institutions of higher education founded in 1883 by George and William Chaffey [see obituary in the New York Times (October 21, 1975)].
ZEDER, FRED M.
1886 – 1951
Vice President of Chrysler
|Zeder graduated from the University of Michigan, then came to Detroit in 1910 to direct the construction of an electric power plant, which led to his involvement with Detroit’s burgeoning automotive industry. In1913, he became a consulting engineer to the Studebaker Corporation; in 1914, he was promoted to Chief Engineer. Zeder hired Owen Skelton and Carl Breer to renovate Studebaker’s entire approach to engineering, particularly the aerodynamic design of a car. These “Three Musketeers” eventually helped Walter Chrysler form the Chrysler Corporation. They introduced a brand new design dubbed the “Airflow.”|