Saturday, September 4, 2010

AMERICAN REALIST PAINTER




Thomas Anshutz, 1900
Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Self Portrait
Oil on canvas, c. 1909
From Art Renewal Center at artrenewal.org


Thomas Pollock Anshutz (1851–1912) was an American painter and teacher. He studied art in Paris at the Académie Julian, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins.
(en.wikipedia.org)


Portrait of Rebecca H. Whelan
From en.wikipedia.org


The Chore
Oil on canvas, 1888
Allentown Art Museum, USA
From Art Renewal Center at artrenewal.org


Lady by a Window
Watercolor on paper, c. 1890
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, USA
From Art Renewal Center at artrenewal.org


Portrait of Mrs. Anschutz
Pastel on paper, 1893
From Art Renewal Center at artrenewal.org


Woman Writing at a Table
Oil on canvas, c. 1905
Public collection
From Art Renewal Center at artrenewal.org


Portrait of Maragaret Perot
Oil on canvas, c. 1908
From Art Renewal Center at artrenewal.org


Figure Piece
From en.wikipedia.org


A native of Newport, Kentucky, Thomas Anshutz was known primarily for his paintings of female figures (above), usually isolated in a contemplative or coquettish pose. In 1872 he went to New York City to study at the National Academy of Design under Lemuel Wilmarth. Two years later, he continued his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy under Thomas Eakins and Christian Schussele.
In 1881, Anshutz became Eakins’s assistant demonstrator for anatomy courses taught by the surgeon William Williams Keen. He joined the Academy faculty as a replacement for Eakins, who was fired for using nude models in female student classes.
In 1885, Anshutz went to Paris to the Academie Julian, where he studied under Adolphe William Bouguereau. He then returned to the Pennsylvania Academy faculty for the remainder of his active career.
In 1886 he became the chief painting teacher at the Academy, keeping in the curriculum the emphasis on anatomy in the tradition of Eakins. Anshutz became Head of the Pennsylvania Academy in 1909.
(mfordcreech.com)


Photographs of Anshutz and His Studio
Source The Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Photographs of Anshutz and His Studio
Source The Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Anshutz Studio
Source The Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Group Photograph, Philadelphia Sketch Club
Source The Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Thomas Anshutz in Bartram's garden
Source The Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Students dissecting a cadaver
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Source The Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Students at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Source The Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


The Ironworkers Noontime
Oil on canvas, 1880
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Source Artdaily.org
From en.wikipedia.org


His most famous painting, The Ironworkers' Noontime (above), depicts several workers on their break in the yard of a foundry. Painted near Wheeling, West Virginia, it is conceived in a naturalistic style similar to that of Eakins, although Eakins never painted industrial subjects. Art historian Randall C. Griffin has written of it: "One of the first American paintings to depict the bleakness of factory life, The Ironworkers' Noontime appears to be a clear indictment of industrialization. Its brutal candor startled critics, who saw it as unexpectedly confrontational—a chilling industrial snapshot not the least picturesque or sublime." It is now in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
(en.wikipedia.org)






Drawings of Harper Ferry
All images from The Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu

CHRONOLOGY OF THOMAS POLLOCK ANSHUTZ
1851 - Born in Newport, Kentucky
1871 - Family moves to Philadelphia
1872 - Enters the National Academy of Design in New York
1876 - Enters the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia as a student under Thomas Eakins
1981 - Joins faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts as Assistant to Thomas Eakins
1886 - Becomes Instructor in Anatomy, Drawing and Painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, succeeding Thomas Eakins
1892 - Marries Effie Shriver Russell of Fredericksburg, Virginia; travels to Europe; lives in Paris for about a year; studies at the Académie Julian
1893 - Returns to Philadelphia and rejoins the Pennsylvania Academy faculty
1898 - Establishes the Darby School of Painting, a summer art school, with Hugh Brenckenridge, at Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
1900 - Visits London
1909 - Becomes Director of the Pennsylvania Academy, succeeding William Merritt Chase
1910 - Elected to membership in the National Academy
1910 - Visits Bermuda
1910-12 - Serves as President of the Philadelphia Sketch Club
1911 - Visits Europe
1912 - Dies in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
(delart.org)

Steamboat on the Ohio, c. 1900
Public Collection
From commons.wikimedia.org


Steamboat on the Ohio (above) symbolizes the end of the nineteenth century (represented by the rural riverbank in the foreground) and the beginning of the twentieth (seen in the industrial plant and steamboat on the opposite bank). The lurid red light could be the dawn of the new age or the dusk of the old. Anshutz, who grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia, along the Ohio River, would have been especially sensitive to the growing presence of industry. In this ambitious painting he pointedly compares the rowboat and steamboat, laying them out on parallel horizontal lines, and the human figures and smokestacks, the painting's only verticals. Today we might interpret these contrasts as a comment on pastoral purity and industrial corruption; whereas, one hundred years ago industry promised a better life, and artists admired the subtle colors and fleeting forms of the steam and smoke in its wake.
The way in which Anshutz painted Steamboat on the Ohio also addressed the problem of reconciling the traditional with the modern. Having studied with the academically trained Realist Thomas Eakins, Anshutz prepared his composition with photographs, figure studies, and landscape sketches; his use of nude bathers in the foreground alludes to classical traditions as well. However, the painting's free brushstrokes and bright coloring reflect Anshutz's interest in French Post-Impressionist painting, which American artists were just discovering at the turn of the century.
(cmoa.org)
Anshutz was generally not acknowledged for his own paintings until the 20th century. He had the dark palette and realistic approach to figure painting of Thomas Eakins.
He was regarded as a solid painter who did major studies for each canvas. He was also one of the most influential teachers of his time, projecting more through his students than his own work. His students include Robert Henri, John Sloan, John Marin, Frederick Judd Waugh, William Glackens, Edward Willis Redfield, George Benjamin Luks, and Charles Demuth.
(mfordcreech.com)
As a teacher, Anshutz, according to art historian Sanford Schwartz, "was known as much for his approachability as his sarcasm, which apparently wasn't of the withering variety." Towards the end of his life he proclaimed himself a socialist. He died in 1912. (en.wikipedia.org)

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