Encyclopedia of American Folk Art

By Gerard C.Wertkin; Lee Kogan | Go to book overview

U

UKRAINIAN AMERICAN FOLK ART:

SEE EASTERN EUROPEAN AMERICAN FOLK ART.


UTICA ARTIST (active 1890s)

is a name given to the artist of three sets of watercolors on paper, known since the 1930s, that included a rendering of the Utica Academy in New York, once thought to have been executed by a student or group of students from that institution. Through the discovery of a simply coded signature that substituted the following letter of the alphabet for each intended letter, the artist was identified as Laurence W. Ladd. The three sets of water-colors, each set a different size, depicted "exotic" scenes such as the circus, European travel, Biblical subjects, rail travel, natural wonders, and historical scenes. Ladd's artistic style included the heavy outlining of figures, exaggerated facial expressions and gestures, quickly rendered lines and cross-hatching to model forms, and a simple palette without color gradations. The images were strung together, illuminated, and viewed as a continuous whole as narrated panoramas for a popular audience. Some of Ladd's images are based on popular prints or other published sources. Although the individual watercolors are dispersed in public and private collections, Ladd's known body of work represents one of the few extant panoramas from nineteenth-century America.

See also Painting, American Folk.


BIBLIOGRAPHY
Karlins, Nancy F. The Paper of the State. New York, 1976.
Schweizer, Paul D., and Polowy, Barbara C. Panoramas for the People. Utica, N.Y., 1984.
Willard, Charlotte. "Panoramas, the First 'Movies,'" Art in America, vol. 47 (1959): 65-69.

PAUL S.D'AMBROSIO

-527-

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