Artwork: portraits, paintings and other works of art: Artists Bios & more

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Art & Artifacts Database

  • This database is slowly being built.  We are adding and describing the Scientific Apparatus held in the Moosnick Collection and slowly adding information on artwork and other artifacts. If you are interested in supporting this work with a monetary donation, please contact Susan Brown, Library Director.

Biographical and Professional Information


Bush, Joseph Henry

1794 - 1865

Portrait painter; born at Frankfort (Ky.) between 1794 and 1800, son of Philip Bush; died at the home of his brother in Lexington (Ky.), January 11, 1865. Bush went to Philadelphia at the age of 17, studying for two years under Thomas Sully and exhibiting in 1815 at the Pennsylvania Academy. On his return to Kentucky, he worked in Frankfort, Lexington, and Louisville, and spent many of his winters before the Civil War painting portraits for Louisiana and Mississippi planters. He was recorded in the 1850 Census as living in a hotel at Louisville (Ky.), with real property valued at $1600.

New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860, published 1957, page 99.


Carlsen, Emil

1853-1932

Painter. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, 1853; came to United States in 1872. Elected Associate Member of National Academy, 1904; Academician, 1906. Work: "the Open Sea" and "Still Life," Metropolitan Museum, New York; "Moonlight on the Kattegat," Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo; "Morning," Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; "the South Stand," National Gallery, Washington; "The Lazy Sea," Brooklyn Institute Museum; "Summer Clouds," Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; "Moonlight on a Calm Sea," Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Died Jan 2, 1932.

Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, published 1986, page 133.


Dearborn, Samuel
ca. 1786 - 1852

Dearborn is often said to be the first practicing portraitist west of the mountains, he worked in Northern Ohio and arrived in Lexington, KY in 1809. He killed a fellow boarder at the boarding hose he was staying at in Frankfort.  With the help of friends he escaped jail and returned to his birth city, Boston, where he changed his name and lived out his days.  He was known for profile portraits.

Estill Curtis Pennington & Ellen G. Miles.  Lessons in Likeness: Portraits Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802-1920. University Press of Kentucky, 2010.


Eades, Luis
Date of Birth: 1923

Biography from his website:

“I was born in Madrid, Spain. My education in art was in England (Bath School of Art, Slade School of Art) and in the United States (University of Kentucky). I taught painting and drawing at the University of Texas from 1954 to 1961, and at the University of Colorado from 1961 to 1990. I grew up in Spain until I was thirteen years old. My family then moved to England, where I first entered art school. My education was interrupted by World War II and my service in the British army for four years (two of them spent in India). After the war, I studied for one year at the Slade School of Art in London. I became interested in mural painting and public art, and I went to Mexico to study mural painting and experimental painting media at the Instituto Politecnico Nacional in Mexico City. Since that time I have lived in the United States, both as a student and a teacher at the institutions mentioned above.”


Frymire, Jacob
1770-1820

Was the first documented itinerant portraitist to paint in Kentucky.  He was active in Woodford County, KY in 1806.  Few of his works survive.

Estill Curtis Pennington & Ellen G. Miles.  Lessons in Likeness: Portraits Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802-1920. University Press of Kentucky, 2010.


Goddard, Edwin
ca 1815 – 1855

Goddard was born in Massachusetts but was working in Kentucky by the 1830s.  He married a Kentuckian and lived in Paris, KY.

Estill Curtis Pennington & Ellen G. Miles.  Lessons in Likeness: Portraits Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802-1920. University Press of Kentucky, 2010.


Goff, Sudduth
1887-1965

Painter. Born Eminence, KY, Aug. 6, 1887. Pupil of Meakin, Nowottny, Benson, Bosley and Hale; Cincinnati Art Academy (Duveneck School); School of Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Member: Alumni Boston School of Fine Arts; Louisville AC. Award: First prize and gold medal in painting, Art Colony Exhibition, Louisville, 1924. Work: Portrait in Kentucky State Capital, Frankfort; portrait Standard Sanitary Mfg. Co., Pittsburgh; portrait owned by KY State Federation of Women's Clubs, Lexington Public Library; portrait owned by KY W.C.T.U in State Historical Bldg.; portrait of Ex-Governor McCreery in Richmond, KY, City Hall; portraits in Paris KY, and Lexington, KY, City Hall; Instructor, American Academy of Art, Chicago, IL. Address in 1929, Am. Academy of Art, Chicago IL.

The artist attended Transylvania University during 1905-06 and 1906-07.  Preparatory School. College of Liberal Arts. Kentucky University, Lexington, Ky. Doctor of Fine Arts, June 7, 1948, honoris causa.

Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, published 1986, page 332; and from Special Collections and Archive of Transylvania University.


Hammer, Victor Karl
1882-1967

Victor Hammer served as Artist-in-Residence at Transylvania College from 1948-53, a result of the joint efforts of then-President Raymond McClain, Curator and printer Joseph Graves, and Chicago art dealer R. Hunter Middleton.  A native of Austria, Hammer left Vienna for a teaching position at Wells College (1939-48) in Aurora, New York, at a time when the pre-war pro-Nazi movement was coming into favor.  While there, he established Wells College Press (1941), and is today remembered through the college’s vital program in Book Arts and a teaching fellowship bearing his name.  Prior to that time, he served as professor at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste (Academy of Fine Arts) in Vienna, periodically returning to Florence, Italy, where he established his Stamperia del Santuccio Press.  He is perhaps best known for his five print typeface designs, of which Samson and Pindar Uncial are most critically acclaimed and are still in use today.  Additionally, he was a prolific publisher and much sought-after portraitist.  As Artist-in-Residence and head of Transylvania’s newly formed Art Department, Mr. Hammer offered regular classes for both the College’s students and Lexington community residents, while continuing his own professional work in printmaking, drawing, and portrait painting.  He lived, worked, and often taught at the Hunt Morgan House in Gratz Park, and became a permanent Gratz resident after he married Park neighbor, fellow printmaker, and University of Kentucky librarian Carolyn Reading in 1955.  An apolitical, deeply religious man, Mr. Hammer serve as a key figure in our region’s vibrant small press industry.  The tradition of Transylvania’s artist-in-residence program lived on through Hammer student Joseph Petro, and has more recently reemerged as the University’s Kenan Visiting Artist Program, which has featured such prominent individuals as sculptor Florence Thorne, poet-author Frank X. Walker, ceramist Zoe Strecker, stage and scenic designer Mike Sanders and, most recently, Kentucky Poet Laureate Richard Taylor. 

Written by Jack Girard from several sources including materials in the Special Collections of TU.


Jouett, Matthew Harris
Apr. 22, 1787 - Aug. 10, 1827

Jouett, Matthew Harris (b nr Harrodsburg, KY, 22 April 1787-8; d nr Lexington, KY, 10 Aug 1827).

In 1804 he enrolled in Transylvania College in Lexington, KY, and by 1812 he was practicing law in the town. After serving in the War of 1812, he began painting portraits. Around June 1816 he traveled to Philadelphia for instruction but soon moved on to Boston, where he spent about four months in the studio of Gilbert Stuart. Returning to Lexington, Jouett set up a practice painting both portraits and miniatures. In the winters he traveled south, seeking commissions in New Orleans, Natchez, MS, and other towns along the Mississippi River. In 1825 he painted a portrait of General Marie Joseph du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (KY Hist. Soc., on loan to Frankfort, KY, State Capitol) at the request of the Kentucky legislature. In addition to portraits, Jouett also attempted landscape painting and organized art exhibitions to benefit various causes. One of the first artists to emerge from America's western frontier, he was lauded by his contemporaries and is today remembered for his pioneering accomplishments.

 Jouett's straightforward style owes much to the example of Stuart. His portrait of John Grimes (c. 1824; New York, Met.) is typical in its emphasis on head and features, set against a simple background, while such portraits as that of Justice Thomas Todd (c. 1825; Frankfort, KY, Hist. Soc.) demonstrate his knowledge of the standard vocabulary of state portraiture.

 BIBLIOGRAPHY:

The Dictionary of Art, edited by Jane Turner, copyright 1996 by Macmillan Publishers Limited, London;

W. Dunlap: A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States, 3 vols (New York, 1834, rev. 3/1965), iii, pp. 100-01, 167; W. Floyd: Matthew Harris Jouett: Portraitist of the Ante-Bellum South (Lexington, 1980)


Poindexter, James Thomas
1832-1891

Self-taught portraitist born in Christian county, Kentucky.  He painted in Evansville Indiana until 1860. He was a telegraph operator for the confederacy during the civil war, then painted in New Orleans 1870-71, after which he returned to paint in Evansville and Western Kentucky from 1871-1882.  He died in Eddyville, Kentucky.

New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860,, published 1957, page 509.

Estill Curtis Pennington & Ellen G. Miles.  “James Thomas Poindexter.”  Lessons in Likeness: Portraits Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802-1920. University Press of Kentucky, 2010.


Price, Samuel Woodson
1828-1918

Portrait and figure painter. Born August 5, 1828 at Nicholasville (Ky.), Price studied painting there in 1847 under William Reading and at Lexington under Oliver Frazer. After a brief period of study in NYC he returned to Kentucky and painted portraits there and in Tennessee until the outbreak of the Civil War. He served as Colonel in the Union Army during the war and was wounded at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain; he was brevetted Brigadier General in 1865. After the war he painted portraits for a time in Washington, served as postmaster at Lexington from 1869 to 1876, and continued to paint portraits and figure paintings until he went blind in 1881. He made his home in Louisville from 1878 to 1906, moved to St. Louis, and died there January 22, 1918. In 1902 the Filson Club of Louisville published Price's Old Masters of the Bluegrass, containing biographical accounts of Kentucky's painters dictated by the blind artist.

New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860, published 1957, page 516.


de Salazar, Jose
Mid 1700s to 1803

Salazar was a self-taught portraitist and artist who worked mostly in New Orleans.  He was reportedly born in Merida, Yucatan.

Estill Curtis Pennington.  “Jose de Salazar: Sources and Implications of Colonial Portraiture.” IN Downriver: Currents of style in Louisiana painting 1800-1950.

Information from the Louisiana State Museum.


Sawyier, Paul
1865-1917

Born in Ohio, he move to Frankfort Kentucky with his family in 1870.  He studied under Frank Duveneck and Thomas Satterwhite Noble at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and later under William Merritt Chase at the Art Students League of New York.  He is not well known outside the state of Kentucky but is famous within its boundaries.  Since 1940 there have two exhibitions of Sawyier's work at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville.  There have also been exhibitions in Shakertown and at EKU.  Three of his works were included in an exhibition on American Impressionism at the University of New Mexico Art Gallery and later at the De Young in San Francisco.

See also:
Jones, Arthur F. The Art of Paul Sawyier. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1976.
Jiillson, Willard Rouse. "A Bibliography of Paul Sawyier, American Artist, 1865-1917." Register of Kentucky State Historical Society 37.121 (1939): 271-82.


Wilson, Robert Burns

1851-1916

Prepared by Estill Curtis Pennington for Morlan Gallery show of Transylvania portraits and paintings.  March, 2007:

Wilson was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania and orphaned at an early age. He began a career as an itinerant artist in 1869, traveling for more than a year with the Hagenbeck circus. He journeyed by canoe to Union County, Kentucky in 1871; thereafter he became active as a landscape painter and portraitist in Lexington, Frankfort and Louisville. He was also a writer who published several volumes of poems and a novel, Until the Day Break, which enjoyed national attention. His greatest claim to fame is his sentimental jingoist poem “Remember the Maine” published by William Randolph Hearst in the New York Herald of April 17, 1898, to incite the Spanish American war.

When the squadrons meet, when it’s fleet to fleet
And front to front with Spain,
From ship to ship, from lip to lip,
Pass on the quick refrain.
“Remember, remember the Maine.”

In hopes that his career as an artist would be enhanced by his fame as an inspirational poet, he moved he moved to New York in 1904 with the young wife he had just married. He is said to have great regretted leaving Kentucky for New York where he never achieved the success he sought. Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, published 1986, page 1043.

Estill Curtis Pennington & Ellen G. Miles.  “Robert Burns Wilson.”  Lessons in Likeness: Portraits Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802-1920. University Press of Kentucky, 2010.

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