Sunday, March 24, 2013

History of Early Wisconsin Artists, Painters, Art Teaching, painting outdoors

Going to note some good sites, as I attempt to piece together fragments of what I already know and what I wish to know more of.  I have come across information that more than suggests Wisconsin, (particularly southeast...the Milwaukee area) had its own Impressionist movement.  Its own plein air traditions as well.  Stemming from the early German artists trained in Europe, that came to work on the large panoramas popular in the aftermath of the Civil War era, to depict dramas, battles, histories to an appreciative American audience.  As friends, a number of these painters would venture into the countrysides of the more urban Milwaukee, and paint together.

In my searching today...I came across an article detailing the origins of Art Teaching...the first known, and was surprised to read that one of the early art schools was incorporated into the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, the instructor at the time Alexander Mueller, retiring in 1923...

Here is a good link to begin with-
Art Teachers, Art Schools and Art Museums in Early Wisconsin

artists of influence and importance, links of their bios-
Scotch born Bernard Isaac Durward (1817-1902);
Bernard Durward
another Scotsman- George J. Robertson, arriving in 1846;
George Robertson
Henry Vane Thorne, landscape painter settled in 1847;

English born- Thomas H. Stevenson (showed up in Milwaukee around 1855...then eventually Green Bay);
Thomas Stevenson
Heinrich Rose and James Reeve Stuart, two German Art instructors (1834-1915) genres and portraits primarily; The first really influential art teacher in Wisconsin, however, was the German-born landscape painter Henry Vianden (1814-1899); 
Henry Vianden
two of his best know pupils, were Carl von Marr (1858-1936)
Carl von Marr
Images of Carl von Marrs works

 and Robert Koehler (1850-1917);

Koehler images of work

Richard Lorenz, Alexander Mueller, George Raab, Gustave Moeller, all training in Germany and returning to teach in Wisconsin;  Mueller was curator of Layton Art Gallery from 1902-1922; Lorenz the last of the Panorama painters to have an influence teaching art;
1910 marks the date of the last of the need to travel to Europe to be trained in painting; Elsa Ulbricht (1885-1980), a Milwaukee native who was trained at the Wisconsin State Teachers College in Milwaukee and at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, considered one of the first art teachers trained entirely in the United States;
Wisconsin-born art teacher was Dudley Crafts Watson (1885-1972), a native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Watson received his training at the Art Institute of Chicago; from 1914 to 1924 was director of the Milwaukee Art Institute;

- - - -

Society of Milwaukee Artists

The public exhibition was the means by which society members felt they could best promote the arts in Milwaukee. The group sought to hold at least three exhibitions annually of no less than two weeks duration each and proposed that the exhibitions occur on a permanent basis.[8] Exhibition space was first provided by the Milwaukee Public Library where the first four shows were held between 1900 and 1903. The first exhibition was the largest in the society's thirteen years with twelve artists showing a total of sixty-one works.

The landscape became a very important subject for paintings made by the Society of Milwaukee artists, and a look at the earliest exhibition catalogues will testify to the importance of depicting local scenery and its changing appearance in daylight. This type of landscape was exemplified by Bernhard Schneider's paintings of the Milwaukee River and Cedarburg areas. The idea presented in much of Schneider's work is one that attempted to evoke a mood of tranquility in the viewer.

In 1903 the Public Library could no longer furnish exhibition space to the artists, and they were left without a permanent place to exhibit. Later exhibition locations during the following years were Bressler's Gallery, the University Club, the Old Exposition Building (before it burned in 1905), and the subsequent Auditorium Building, which was built in 1908.

The artists continued to meet and to exhibit occasionally despite the discouragement they felt by their failure to gain permanent exhibition space. In 1906, a special meeting was called by members in an attempt to organize a society for the promotion of art and to organize exhibitions of local artwork. The inclusion of non-artists in the organization and a proposal to purchase art from local artists, which was to be placed in public buildings in the city, were additional aims discussed within the context of this proposed new society. Although this new group was never established, the idea it generated was acted upon in 1910 by the Milwaukee Journal newspaper company, which offered to buy paintings by Milwaukee artists to be hung in public buildings and schools. This offer represented a vital step toward corporate patronage in Milwaukee and one which escalated during the second decade of the 19th century.

I shall add to this, more as a journal of my own interest and convenience to refer to...

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