New Gift

Arthur Dove (1880-1946, U. S.)
Saint Peter’s, 1937
Watercolor, 29 x 24 cm.
Gift of Richard A. Scudamore ’55

Arthur Dove, whose abstractions from nature would influence many younger American artists, was born in Canandaigua, New York, in 1880. Dove moved with his family in 1882 to Geneva, New York, and even as a child, began experimenting with painting. Following his parents’ wishes, he began pre-law study in 1901 at Cornell University. However, he enrolled in art courses as well, and after graduating in 1903, worked as an illustrator in New York. During an eighteen-month trip to Europe (1907-09), Dove met Max Weber and Alfred Maurer, and soon after his return to New York he met Alfred Stieglitz, who was to be his dealer and advisor for the rest of his life. In 1909 he moved to Westport, Connecticut, where he painted and kept a farm. In his first one-person exhibition, held at Stieglitz’s Gallery 291 in 1912, Dove established himself as one of America’s most prolific and inventive artists working with abstraction. Dove continued to paint abstractions until his death in 1946.

This work was sent to Alfred Stieglitz at An American Place in New York by Dove. It has only had two owners before coming to the Colleges. It is a depiction of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Geneva, New York. Dove’s watercolors were stimulated by his admiration for those of Georgia O’Keeffe’s earlier works. Dove did not commit himself to watercolor until 1930. Its translucent liquidity suited his need for what he called ·”·a means of expression which did not depend upon representation. . . [but was] nearer to the music of the eye.·”· The crystalline light of water color well-handled evoked what he referred to as ·”·sensations of light from within and without.·”· He took readily to the medium, producing one or two a day. summarizes Dove’s characteristic tension between empathy with the natural world and a bent toward full abstraction. The fluidity of the paint and the speed of the brush dabbing wet-in-wet suggest a locale – a broken downward stroke for a tree, a single horizontal one for the water’s edge – without depicting it. Its subject is the fugitive mood of the place, a turbulent metaphor for the inner life of the artist observing it.

D.B. Balken, Arthur Dove: Watercolors, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2006, pp. 45, 84, pl. 27, illustrated.
“Arthur Dove: Watercolors at the Alexandre Gallery,” New York Times, June 17, 2006.
D.B. Balken, Dove/O’Keeffe: Circles of Influence, exhibition catalogue, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 2009, n.p., pl. 39, illustrated.


Recent Gift

Emile Gruppe (1896-1978, U.S.
Autumn in the Mountains, 1930-39
Oil on canvas, 76 x 102 cm.
Gift of David K. Anderson

Gruppe was born in Rochester, New York. He lived his early years in the Netherlands where his father Charles Paulo Gruppe painted with The Hague school of art and acted as a dealer for Dutch painters in the U.S. The family returned to the states around 1913 ahead of World War I. His brother Paulo played the cello, his other brother Karl became a sculptor and his sister Virginia a watercolorist. Gruppe studies at the National Academy in New York and the Acadèmie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris.

In the early 1930s, Gruppe moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts, particularly Rocky Neck and Cape Ann, one of the oldest artist communities in the U.S. He established The Gloucester School of Painting from 1940 to 1970 in an old schoolhouse with his mentor John Fabian Carlson. Gruppe was the teacher of artists including Otis Cook, Bill Wray and Nathalie Nordstand. Later, Jefferson, Vermont became a second campus for his students. And still later, Naples, Florida provided another palette for his landscapes.

These artists painted en plein aire (or outdoors) and captured scenes directly onto canvas. The Cape Ann School of American Impressionism remains a strong academic aspect of the history of American art.  

Although Gruppe is best known for his variety of impressionistic landscapes, he also painted figures and portraits. His modern style was largely inherited from the French Impressionist Claude Monet. He is best known for his harbor scenes of Gloucester, Massachusetts and vistas in and around Cape Ann like Gloucester Morning.

During his lifetime, Gruppe received awards from The National Academy and Allied Artists among others. He published three books on painting: Gruppe on Painting, 1976, Brushwork, 1977, and Gruppe on Color, 1979. Gruppe conveyed innovative and groundbreaking information about the use of color, palette techniques, and color theory. 

Public collections of Gruppe’s work are held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at the White House, Washington D.C.

This painting belonged to Julia Broadhead Bissell, wife of Philip TenBroeck Bissell, who taught languages at Cornell and the University of Rochester. They were residents of Geneva. Ms. Bissell’s father was George Broadhead who ran a prominent art gallery at 46 East Avenue in Rochester during the 20s-30s. Ms. Bissell left the painting to Mary Ellen Anderson, Mr. Anderson’s mother. When Mrs. Anderson died, David Anderson kindly thought the painting should come full circle and gave it to The Colleges.

Emile A. Gruppé (1896-1978) By: Lowrey, Carol. American Art Review, November/December 2008, Vol. 20 Issue 6, p100-109, 10p

The Wall. American Art Review, Jul/Aug2014, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p8-8, 1/4p, 1 Color Photograph

Recent Gift

Recent Gift

Dell, Jeffrey (b.1971, U.S.)
They Shall Have Stars, 2017
14 layer serigraph on transparent Yupo, 86 x 58 cm.
Gift of the Print Club of Rochester

Jeffrey Dell was born in California and raised in Oregon. He received his BA in Studio Art from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, studying printmaking with Leonardo Lasansky. He spent two years at a post-baccalaureate program at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, studying with Rosalyn Richards. Subsequently, he completed his MFA in printmaking from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, working with Lydia Madrid and Jose Rodriguez. Her served two years as a fellow at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy from 1998-2000, teaching printmaking, book making, and study abroad. Since then, he has been teaching studio art at Texas State University, in San Marcos, where he maintains a studio. Dell is represented by Art Palace Gallery in Houston.

“I consider They Shall Have Stars to be a tertiary spur of my large series Future Castles. The ittles of all works from this series are stolen from 1970s and 80s science-fiction novels, for which Chris Foss did the cover art. The intent is to mix high and low references, contemplation with diversion. Parallel to this is an attempt to have dimension co-exist with flatness, something that the graphic tradition does very well.
I wanted They Shall Have Stars to also evoke the sugar appetites, like my earlier ‘cake’ work, so I chose a form that references the hard candy ribbons my grandmother always had in a crystal dish next to her TV.”

Recent Gift

Vuyile Cameron Voyiya (b.1961, South Africa)
Blissful Swing III, 1990-99
Linocut, 93 x 114 cm.
Gift of Edward T. Pollack ’55 in honor of Mark and Mary Gearan in recognition of their strong support for the performing arts

Vuyile Voyiya is a print maker that graduated from Michaelis at a time when few black people managed to complete their higher education. This process could have left him feeling ostracized and other. Questions of identity come through strongly in his work as he leaves his own culture to become part of the western university system. His higher education separates him from the community he comes from. Perhaps if he were a lawyer and earning money it would have been easier for his community to understand. There is an expectation for him to give back to his community and this is not always easy as the life of an artists is never the most financially secure. It is hard in the South African context where there is not as much governmental support for the arts.

Voyiya persisted and the quality of his work has been recognized by the larger international community. Amongst other international collections he has been accepted for a residency at the Brandy Wine workshop in the Philadelphia. As a result his print work is part of the Philadelphia museum of art.
His latest works have moved away from comments of the struggle in South Africa and talk more of the intimate relationships between two figure. The dynamics are shown through gesture and dance rather than language. I spent much time in conversation with Voyiya as I wrote a mini Monologue on his work for my UCT Honour’s Degree in Fine Art. He struck me as an intelligent and articulate artist with a vast amount of experience of the South African artworld  ranging from the struggle in the1980s to the present day. In his time as the education officer at the South African National Gallery he did much to share his experience and educate South Africans from all backgrounds.

Recent Gift

Recent Gift

Hugo Gellert (1892-1985, Hungary/U.S.)
Racism Chains Both, 1970-79
Poster, 62 x 44 cm.
Gift of Edward T. Pollack ’55 in honor of Chester LeRoy Dexheimer, Class of 1955, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to social justice

The son of a tailor, Hugo Gellert was born on March 3, 1892, in Budapest, Hungary. He came to the United States with his family in 1907, and was soon at work in New York, first in a machine shop, then in a lithography shop printing movie posters. Gellert enrolled at the National Academy of Design in 1909, and he also took classes at Cooper Union. As a student, he designed theater posters and stained-glass windows, the latter for Tiffany Studios. In 1914 he studied at the Acadamie Julian in Paris. In 1915, Gellert rooted his personal and professional life in his leftist political convictions. He created antiwar cartoons and lithographed posters, and contributed to the Hungarian workers’ paper, Elore. Magazine illustration soon became Gellert’s primary activity. In 1916 his work began to appear in The Masses, and in 1918 he joined the editorial board of The Liberator. Through membership in the American Communist party, the artist became a friend of activist leaders John Reed. Louise Bryant, and Michael Gold. After traveling to Mexico in 1919, Gellert moved to the commune of the Modern School in Stelton, New jersey, where he taught art to children.

Beginning in the late 1920s Gellert became more politically active. In 1928 he co-founded the Anti-Horthy League, the first American antifascist group. In 1936 the artist led the famous protest against the destruction of Diego Rivera’s mural at Rockefeller Center. Gellert was also chairman of the Artists Committee of Action, and a founding member of the American Artists Congress. From 1920 to 1923 Gellert was on the staff of Pearsons Magazine and contributed to a score of other periodicals. He had his first one-man exhibition at the Kevorkian Gallery in New York in 1923. In 1926 Gellert became a contributing editor to The New Masses. Late in the decade, he gravitated toward mural painting, creating murals for the Workers’ Cafeteria at Union Square in 1928 and a fresco in the Center Theater at Rockefeller Center in 1932. His murals created a controversy when they were exhibited at the museum of Modern At in 1931 and 1932. Gellert joined the National Society of Mural Painters, and in 1934 he helped form the Mural Artists Guild of the United Scenic Painters of the AFL-CIO in order to insure that wall paintings for the World’s Fair would be contracted through the union. Working in the FAP mural division in 1938, the artist painted a fresco in the Communications Building of the World’s Fair.

In 1950 Gellert traveled throughout Australia, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. During the next two decades, he continued to use his art for political means, designing many posters, banners, and murals in protest of racism and militarism. Until the end of his life Gellert remained active in labor and political organizations and in the Hungarian community. Retrospective exhibition of his work were held at the Marx-Lenin Institute in Moscow in 1967 and at the National Gallery in Budapest in 1968. The artist painted his last mural at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, New York. He died on December 6, 1985, in Freehold, New Jersey.

From David Acton’s A Spectrum of Innovation: Color in American Printmaking 1890-1960, Worcester Art Museum, 1990

From World War I to the Popular Front: The Art and Activism of Hugo Gellert. By: Wechsler, James. Journal of Decorative & Propaganda Arts, 1999, Vol. 24, p198-229, 32p

Recent Gift

Anton Bruehl (1900-1982, Germany/U.S.)
Free Labor Will Win, 1942
Photo Offset Poster, 102 x 73 cm.
Gift of Edward T. Pollack ’55 in honor of Chester LeRoy Dexheimer, Class of 1955, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to social justice

Anton Bruehl was born in 1900, studied photography with Clarence White, and became noted for the originality of his commercial photography. “Working primarily in the studio, he produced images remarkable for their unusual lighting effects and angles of view; their strong, simple graphic organization; their meticulous craftsmanship; and their understated humor. Although he was best known for his stylish still life and table-top arrangements for advertising illustration, Bruehl was equally adept at the celebrity portraiture and fashion photography he contributed to Vogue (Contemporary Photographers, St. Martin’s Press, 1982).” With Fernand Bourges he developed a color process which became the standard for color photography in the 1930’s, and he is noted for the effectiveness of the use of color in his own work. He published several books, the most important being “Mexico” 25 black and white photos, published in 1933.

In this very striking image, the American flag frames a welder, his helmet visor up, pulling on his gloves, looking determined and ready to go to work. The message is intended to contrast America’s free workers with the forced labor used by the enemy.

Bruehl’s legacy: why did a creative power fall into obscurity? By: Crager, Jack. American Photo, May/June 1998, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p31
Colour supplement. By: Gett, Trevor. British Journal of Photography, February 18 1998, Issue 7163, p40-42, 3p
In the Spotlight: Anton Bruehl photographs 1920s-1950s. By: Newton, Gael. Artonview, Spring2010, Issue 63, p24-27, 4p

Art of the Week

Robert Indiana (b.1928)
Number 5: Demuth American Dream, 1980
Number 5: Die, 1980
Number 5: Eat, 1980
American Dream # 5: Hug, 1980
Silkscreen, 61 x 61 cm.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William E. Welsh, Jr. P’84
Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.”

Robert Indiana (born Robert Clark) was born in New Castle, Indiana on September 13, 1928. In 1953, Indiana received a degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and in 1954, attended the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. In 1956, Indiana moved to New York, where he became a part of the Pop Art movement. He began to paint in a geometric, hardedge style, blending commercial art and existentialism. While in New York, Indiana worked with artist Andy Warhol, creating Eat, a film of Indiana eating a mushroom. With his first New York solo exhibition at Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery in 1962, Indiana began a long career of showcasing his works in over 30 museums and galleries, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum. Indiana is most well-known for his iconic LOVE sculpture. Originally created in 1964 for a Christmas card design for the Museum of Modern Art, the image was reproduced on United States Postal Service postage stamp in 1973, and sculptural versions of the image can be found at institutions around the world. Indiana has lived and worked in Vinalhaven, Maine since 1978.

The Golden Five were produced under the supervision of William Katz, printmaker.
They are based on the oil painting The Demuth American Dream #5, 1963, in the Art Gallery of Ontario. Robert Indiana based this work on Charles Demuth’s famous painting of 1928, The Figure Five in Gold, which was itself based on William Carlos Williams’s poem “The Great Figure,” scribbled on a sheet of paper while he was walking in Manhattan: Among the rain/
and lights/
I saw the figure 5/
in gold/
on a red/
fire truck/
to gong clangs/
siren howls/
and wheels rumbling
/through the dark city. Moreover, there are also religious symbols that go hand in hand with the importance of the number five. Indiana was closely affiliated with religion, and he tried to incorporate this aspect into his works. The five panels form into the shape of a Greek cross. The four panels which have the words “err”, “die”, “eat”, and “hug,” are placed surrounding the core, which is the fifth panel. The cross symbolizes the four elements of the universe Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind. These four elements take the form of the four outer panels of Indiana’s layout. Further, the four words he uses on each panel err, die, eat and hug – make up one form the form of the American Dream.

  • Ryan, Susan Elizabeth. Robert Indiana : figures of speech / New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2000. ND237.I47 R93 2000

Susan Sheehan, Robert Indiana Prints: a catalogue raisonné, 1951-1991. New York: Susan Sheenan Gallery, 1991
Words and images artfully entwined. By: Kostelanetz, Richard. Art International, September 1970, Vol. 14, p44-56, 13p