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.

Grisaille – definition

Grisaille

Grisaille, from the French word gris meaning grey, is a term used to describe works of art painted entirely in a monochromatic palette. Technically speaking, there are other terms that apply when the monochromatic palette used is of a different color (brunaille for brown, verdaille for green, for instance), but grisaille is often misused to cover all monochrome works, regardless of hue. There are also plenty of works that are considered grisaille that [...] Click here to continue reading.

White, Stanford – American Architect & Artist

Stanford White (1853-1906)

Stanford White (November 9, 1853 – June 25, 1906) was in his day best known for his Beaux-Arts work with the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, in which he was a partner, work which typifies what is thought of as the American Renaissance of art and design.

White’s family had no money, but were still well connected in the art world of New York in the 19th century, and [...] Click here to continue reading.

Hunter, Clementine – American Artist – Louisiana

Clementine Hunter (1887 to 1988)

Clementine Hunter (pronounced Clementeen) was born to Creole parents, Antoinette Adams and Janvier Reuben, in late December of 1886 or early January of 1887 at Hidden Hill Plantation near Cloutierville, Louisiana. Hunter would never learn to read or write, later saying she only had about ten days of schooling, and was put to work in the fields when she was very young. At 15, she left Hidden Hill, which [...] Click here to continue reading.

John Ritto Penniman (1782 to 1841)

John Ritto Penniman (1782 to 1841)

Born in Boston, John Ritto Penniman came from a talented family, his father was a physician and entrepreneur, and his ten siblings include booksellers, an artist and inventor, and a teacher. Penniman trained as an ornamental painter in Roxbury, Massachusetts, which was, at the time, a community of artisans, including clock and furniture makers. Some of his early work was as a dial painter for noted clockmakers Aaron [...] Click here to continue reading.

Jasper Francis Cropsey – American Artist

Jasper Francis Cropsey (American, 1823 to 1900)

Jasper Francis Cropsey was born in Rossville, Staten Island in 1823, and at an early age displayed talent for both architecture and art. In 1843 he exhibited for the first time at the National Academy of Design, and founded an architectural office in New York. The following year he was elected an Associate Member of the Academy, at the age of 21. By 1845 he turned his [...] Click here to continue reading.

Elizabeth Gilbert Jerome – American Artist

Elizabeth Gilbert Jerome (American, 1824 to 1910)

Tropical Sunset, by Elizabeth Gilbert Jerome, is a testament to the creative will in an era when women were actively discouraged from pursuing careers in the visual arts. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Jerome’s youthful drawings were destroyed by her stepmother when she was 15. She subsequently commenced her studies in drawing and painting at the age of 27. Even then her education would likely have suffered [...] Click here to continue reading.

Newcomb-Macklin Picture Frame

Newcomb-Macklin Company

S.H. McElswain founded a framing company in 1871 in Evanston, Illinois, but the name by which it is known to collectors today comes from a partnership that began twelve years later in 1883, with McElswain’s bookkeepers Charles Macklin and John C. Newcomb, who formed a partnership in order to assume command of the business.

The company, which would have enough success to support showrooms in Chicago and New York as well [...] Click here to continue reading.

Provenance Cowans 4-16-16 Johann Petz

Old Master Print Collection of Johann Petz (Germany, 1818-1880)

Johann Petz was born at Lermoos, Tyrol, in 1818 and showed an early interest in wood carving and drawing. Petz worked as a shepherd for his family as a boy, but fled as a young man to a distant relative in Wildermiemingen to pursue the study of sculpture and drawing, which he did for three and a half years. In 1837, he decided to further [...] Click here to continue reading.

Zoar, Ohio – Society of Separatists

Zoar

In the 1810s, a group of German religious separatists left Wurttemberg in what is now southwestern Germany, after several decades of separation from the primary church in the region, the Lutheran Church. After years of persecution and oppression which included imprisonment and property seizures, the separatists, under the leadership of Joseph Bimeler (sometimes Baumeler), decided to flee to the United States in the hopes that they could establish a new community there.

One [...] Click here to continue reading.

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