Critical Issues in American Art: A Book of Readings

By Mary Ann Calo | Go to book overview

NOTES

From The Oxford Art Journal ( 1992). Reprinted by permission of the author.

1.
"'The Lounger'", The Critic, vol. 26, 1895, March 30, p. 247.
2.
The bibliography on Cecilia Beaux is not large. Useful works include: Cecilia Beaux autobiography, Background with Figures (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1930); Cecilia Beaux: Portrait of an Artist ( Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1974); Judith E. Stein, "'Profile of Cecilia Beaux'", Feminist Art Journal, vol. 4, Winter, 1975-6, pp. 25-33, and Tara L. Tappert, 'Choices, the Life and Career of Cecilia Beaux: A Professional Biography', Ph.D., George Washington University, 1990. On Sargent, see Richard Ormond, John Singer Sargent: Paintings, Drawings, Watercolours (Phaidon, London, 1970); John Singer Sargent and the Edwardian Age (Leeds Art Gallery; National Portrait Gallery, London; Detroit Institute of Arts, April, 1979-December, 1979); John Singer Sargent ( Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago, October, 1986-April, 1987), with excellent essays by Patricia Hills , Albert Boime, Gary A. Reynolds, and others; and Trevor J. Fairbrother, John Singer Sargent and America ( Garland Publishing, New York, 1986). Prominent painter William Merritt Chase made the statement about Beaux's greatness, in an 1899 speech on Founders' Day at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Beaux's portrait Mother and Daughter ( Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) had just been awarded first prize at the Carnegie Galleries exhibition.
3.
The idea of language as an instrument for the production and maintenance of 'reality' is a component in the theoretical edifice proposed by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge ( 1966; rpt. Penguin Books, New York, 1984), which provides conceptual support for my arguments here. Roszika Parker and Griselda Pollock have touched on the issue of male domination of artistic practice in Old Mistresses: Women, Art, and Ideology ( Pantheon Books, New York, 1981), noting (p. 44) that in the late nineteenth century, 'art by women was subsumed into bourgeois notions of femininity and furthermore, art historically, relegated to a special category which was presented as distinct from mainstream cultural activity and public professionalism--the preserve of masculinity. Thus at the very moment of a numerical increase in the numbers of women artists working professionally, women artists were represented as different, distinct, and separate on account of their sex alone.' Tappert, "'Choices, the Life and Career of Cecilia Beaux'", pp. 413-35, discusses Beaux's status along lines similar to those mapped out by Parker and Pollock; she also surveys the critical review of Beaux but does not pursue its implications as I do here.
4.
As a young art student, Beaux received private instruction from New York-based William Sartain, a friend and erstwhile travelling companion of Eakins. Although she denied having any association with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Eakins himself taught, her name did appear twice in the registry of students, 1877-9; see Franklin H. Goodyear, "'Introduction'", Cecilia Beaux: Portrait of an Artist, p. 21.
5.
Among other honours, Beaux was awarded the Dodge Prize by the National Academy of Design, 1893; the Gold Medal of Honour by the Pennsylvania Academy, 1898, and a Gold Medal at the PanAmerican Exposition, Buffalo, New York, 1900.
6.
Untitled clipping, 1892, Cecilia Beaux Papers. Microfilm roll no. 428, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Hereafter referred to as Beaux papers.
7.
Gary A. Reynolds, "'Sargent's Late Portraits'", John Singer Sargent, p. 162; Fairbrother, John Singer Sargent and America, is indispensable for any study dealing with this aspect of the artist's career; 'Sargentolatry' was coined by the English painter, Walter Sickert.
8.
Clippings, "'The Fine Arts'", Dec. 1, 1897, and Pauline King, "'Cecilia Beaux'", from Harper's Bazaar, 1899; Beaux Papers, Roll 429.
9.
See H. Wayne Morgan, Keepers of Culture: The Art-Thought of Kenyon Cox, Royal Cortissoz, and Frank Jewell Mather, Jr. ( Kent State University Press, Kent, Ohio, 1989); and Sandra Lee Underwood, 'Charles H. Caffin: A Voice for Modernism 1897-1918', Ph.D., Indiana University, 1981.
10.
Charles Caffin, "'Some American Portrait Painters'", The Critic, vol. 44, 1904, January, pp. 43-4.

-194-

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