Parrish, Frederick Maxfield – American artist

Frederick Maxfield Parrish (1870 to 1966)

Frederick Maxfield Parrish was born July 25, 1870 in Philadelphia to Stephen Parrish, an American artist famous for his landscapes, illustrations and engravings and his wife Elizabeth Bancroft Parrish. It’s not surprising that, finding himself surrounded by the tools of his father’s trade, that Frederick (he would begin to use Maxfield as his name later in life) would begin to draw to amuse himself. Around 1881, the Parrish [...] Click here to continue reading.


Prior, William Matthew – American Artist

William Matthew Prior (1806 to 1873)

In the decades just before the advent of photography, a solid middle class began to form in America, a middle class that sought to aspire to and attempt to replicate some of the finer things of the upper class. Portraits were some of the most visible and sentimental of these objects, and as a result, portrait painters (or limners, as they were sometimes called) began to flock to [...] Click here to continue reading.


Hoosier and the Hoosier Group

Hoosier and the Hoosier Group

The word “Hoosier” is one of those words whose origins are lost to time. Even The Oxford English Dictionary offers no real guidance about where the word came from. What we do know is that “Hoosier” was first documented in the mid-1820s, and within a decade, it had entered general usage. John Finley, a Hoosier himself from Richmond, write a poem titled, “The Hoosier’s Nest” that was published in [...] Click here to continue reading.


Hires Root Beer, Googly Eyed Man

Hires Root Beer

While traveling in 1875, Charles E. Hires, a Philadelphia pharmacist, first tasted root beer. Root beer, traditionally made with sassafras, was a popular “small beer” or low-alcoholic drink in the colonial era, and was becoming popular in an alcohol-free format. While root beer has a long history, it has a wide range of recipes that call for everything from birch bark to vanilla, molasses to juniper berries, so Hires set out [...] Click here to continue reading.


Panoramic – Definition

Panoramic Views

Accurately rendering a panoramic view has long challenged, obsessed and inspired artists. The trend seems to have sprung up in the 17th century, with works that served both as slightly more helpful, more detailed maps with various public or important buildings marked, but also as advertisements for towns and cities. Matthaeus Merian, a Swiss engraver who spent most of his career in Frankfurt, where he also ran a publishing house passed to [...] Click here to continue reading.


Cartouche – Definition

Cartouche – Definition

The decorative arts world has many “squishy” and vague vocabulary words, but few are “squishier” and vaguer than cartouche. Originally, the term comes from Egyptology and is used to describe a oval enclosing hieroglyphics and having a horizontal line at one end. (The line denotes royalty.) The oval had significance not unlike that of a closed circle, in that it was believed that an oval around a person’s name provided protection [...] Click here to continue reading.


Wild Bill Hickok (James Butler Hickock)

James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok

Unlike the Hollywood nice guy from 1950′s television, the real Wild Bill Hickok was a born killer and compulsive gambler.

Between his birth as James Butler Hickok in 1837 and his 1876 death, Hickok defined the fiercely independent Wild West peacekeeper that never stayed long in one place. Raised to anti-slavery parents in Illinois, Hickok developed a strong sense of loyalty and duty that lasted his entire life. [...] Click here to continue reading.


Wood, Grant – American Artist

Grant Wood (1891 to 1942)

Grant DeVolson Wood was born February 13, 1891 in Anamosa, Iowa. When he was ten, his father died, prompting the family to relocate to Cedar Rapids, where he eventually found work in a metal-working shop. Finishing high school at Washington High School, he entered art school in Minneapolis in 1910. After a year in Minneapolis, he returned to Iowa and taught at a one-room school. In 1913, he returned [...] Click here to continue reading.


Wilbur G. Adam – American Artist

Wilbur G. Adam (1898-1973)

A Cincinnati native and a decorated artist during his career, Wilbur Adam’s work has rarely surfaced on the market and has fallen into obscurity in recent years.

Collectors intimately familiar with the early 20th century school of Cincinnati artists might be surprised at Adam’s work and his association with many of the Queen City’s notables- including Frank Duveneck, Herman and Bessie Wessel, Lewis Henry Meakin, and Caroline Lord, to [...] Click here to continue reading.


Wyeth, Newell Convers – American Artist

Newell Convers Wyeth (1882 to 1945)

N.C. Wyeth was born Newell Convers Wyeth on October 22, 1882 in Needham, Massachusetts, the oldest of four boys, who spent their young lives outdoors doing farm chores, hunting, fishing, or exploring the countryside. N.C. displayed an early talent for art, encouraged by his mother, and by twelve, he was producing quality watercolors. After drafting courses at the Mechanics Arts School, he went on to study illustration art [...] Click here to continue reading.


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