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Patty Prather Thum (1853-1926) wrote this entertaining informal essay near the end of her own career. It contains informal biographical sketches of numerous Kentucky artists, from earliest statehood to her current day.
William Carnes Kendrick (1852-after 1930) produced and apparently distributed this typescript account; multiple copies are known. His meandering account of Louisville incorporates references to many businesses and business owners. It also includes a short account of his father, William Kendrick, who became a prominent jeweler.
Individual Artists and Makers
The second exhibition catalogue published by the J.B. Speed Memorial Museum featured Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827), who "painted the portraits of practically all the outstanding men and women who have so materially assisted in shaping the destiny of this great Commonwealth of Kentucky." This exhibition also included works by Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), under whom Jouett studied, and Jouett's well known pupils, Oliver Frazer (1808-1864) and John Grimes (1799-1837).
George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894), noted portrait and history painter, was variously active in Kentucky between circa 1842 and circa 1870. Among the paintings in this exhibition was what has since become one of The Speed Art Museum's favorites, the portrait of Sallie Ward.
Early in his career, John James Audubon (1785-1851) and his new wife travelled by flatboat from Pittsburgh to Louisville in the spring of 1808. They spent several years in Louisville and Henderson, Kentucky, before he embarked on his more famous later work for "Birds of America", which is featured in this exhibition. An original drawing of the Kentucky Cardinal is described on p.11.
Edward Fisk (1886-1944) was a professor in the Art Department of the University of Kentucky, where he influenced an entire new generation of artists from 1926 to 1942 in the avant-garde modernism he had ealier absorbed into his own work while studying and painting in New York and Paris.
Dean Cornwell (1892-1960) was a Louisville-born illustrator and muralist who, at the height of his popularity, was nicknamed the "Dean of Illustrators". He studied mural painting in London as an apprentice to Frank Brangwyn. This exhibition includes Cornwell’s five years of work for the Pageant of California History murals in the Los Angeles County Public Library. (See 1953 exhibition catalogue with Cornwell's own detailed autobiographical sketch below.)
Sudduth Goff (1887-1965), born in Eminence, Kentucky, was awarded scholarships to study at the Cincinnati Academy of Art and the Boston Museum School of Fine Art. Primarily known as a portrait painter, he also taught at the Louisville School of Art and later in Chicago, where he moved his studio in 1927.
This is one of the few early Speed exhibition catalogues to include an illustration, the portrait of a young boy named "Nickie" by Henry Strater (1896-1987). The featured western paintings were from Verde Valley in northern Arizona, but retrospective works back to 1922 were also included.
This comprehensive catalogue of the portraits and miniatures of Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827) was the first published since his grandson, R. Jouett Menifee, compiled a substantial list that was incomplete at his death in 1893.
Walter H. Kiser, born in New Albany, Indiana..was awarded a scholarship to the John Herron Art Institute on Indianapolis and later studied under Paul Plaschke (1880-1954) at the Louisville Art Academy. From 1934 to 1942 Kiser weekly ran "The Neighborhood Sketches" in the Tuesday issue of The Louisville Times; these were later compiled in a book, Historic Houses, published by the Kentucky Library in Bowling Green.
Bethuel Moore was born in Barbourville, Kentucky, and grew up in Louiville. He studied under Alexander J. Van Leshout (1868-1930) at the Louisville School of Art, and then in Boston and New York, where he later opened a studio and stayed until 1938, when he was invited to work in WIlliamsburg, Virginia. While most of the portraits in this exhibition are from Virginia, many of the sitters, like himself, formerly lived in Louisville..
Mabel Hussey Degen, formerly of Louisville, studied in Spain and Paris, where
she worked with French cubist Andre Lhote. Degen painted in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Australia, and America. She regarded Kentucky as her home state. Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi 's Mademoiselle Pogany I was left to the
J.B. Speed Art Museum in her bequest.
Scenes along the Kentucky River, Benson and Elkhorn Creeks, and other familiar places in and around Frankfort form the major part of this commemorative exhibition of the paintings of Paul Sawyier (1865-1917). Also included were paintings of the Catskills made while he was in New York, portraits, miniatures, and etchings.
Carl Christian Christian Brenner (1838-1888) began his career as a landscape painter in 1871. Active in Louisville, he worked outdoors even in winter and became well-known for natural lighting effects in his landscapes. Some of Brenner's favorite sites were Cherokee Park, River Road, and Pewee Valley. He is the father of artist Carolus Brenner (1865-1924).
This was only the second exhibition in the state of art by Kentucky-born Ellis Wilson (1899-1977), although he had achieved national acclaim by the 1930s and 1940s for paintings that depicted the everyday life and work of African-Americans. (The first was in 1947 at the public library in his hometown of Mayfield.) Renewed interest in his work came in 1985, when an episode of The Cosby Show featured Wilson’s Funeral Procession, which remained hanging over the living room mantel for the remainder of the series.
Dorothy (1907-1964) and Norman Kohlhepp (1892-1986) both studied with French cubist painter Andre Lhote in Paris, where they met between the wars. Norman, an engineer, had become interested in the fine arts during his mid-thirties and was further encouraged to pursue painting by his future wife. They eventually settled in Louisville, Norman’s hometown, where they were active in the Art Center Association and the Louisville School of Art.
Eugene W. Leake (1911-2005) was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and studied at the Yale School of Fine Arts and the Art Students League in New York. He became a manager of WAVE radio station in his wife's hometown of Louisville in 1946, then taught painting at the Art Center Association and served as its Director, 1949-59. after Mary Spencer Nay (1913-1993) stepped down. Leake was president of the Maryland Institute College of Art 1961-74 and remained in that state, where he became best known for his landscape paintings, until his death.
Paul Sample (1896-1974) was botn in Louisville, but his family moved frequently. After serving in World War I, he graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He studied art in New York's Adirondacks with impressionist painter Jonas Lie during a lengthy recuperation from tuberculosis, then moved to Los Angeles in 1926 and taught for ten years at the University of Southern California. Sample returned to Dartmouth as artist-in-residence in 1938, where he developed a national reputation for his paintings of rural New England. He retired in 1962.
William Hentschel (1892-1962) was a designer at Rookwood Pottery and an instructor at the Cincinnati Art Academy. As a printmaker, he developed two innovative stencil techniques. His first wife was Russian dancer Halina Feodorova, for whom he designed a dance school in Cincinnati. In 1939, Hentschel married former student Alza Stratton of Lexington and moved to April Hill, built in 1812 by Gabriel Tandy in Burlington, Kentucky.
Oliver Frazer (1808-1864) was born in Fayette County, Kentucky. He left school at the age of 17 to study under portrait painter Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827) and, after Jouett’s death, with Thomas Sully in Philadelphia. After four years in Europe, Frazer returned to Lexington and opened a studio on Main Street. He painted portraits of prominent local subjects and notable Kentuckians until failing eyesight in his later years forced him to cease painting.
Dean Cornwell (1892-1960) was a Louisville-born illustrator and muralist who, at the height of his popularity, was nicknamed the "Dean of Illustrators". His oil paintings were frequently featured in popular magazines and books as literary illustrations, advertisements, and posters promoting the war effort. This catalogue includes his own detailed autobiographical account, as well as a photograph of Cornwell as a student in an art class taught by Paul Plaschke (1880-1954) at the Louisville YMCA in 1910. (See 1936 exhibition catalogue on Cornwell's murals in the Los Angeles County Public Library above.)
Jay Thurston Robinson (b.1915), born in Detroit, was a resident of Kentucky during his youth. After graduating from Yale, he studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He served in the OSS in Washington, D.C., during World War II. In the early 1950s, Robinson executed a series of works based upon scenes and people in his native state. He said that his grandfather, a "wheeler-dealer" and sheriff, drove him "all over, any place, for as long as I wanted to work down there." Works from the "Kentucky series" were shown in two New York exhibitions by Milch Galleries in 1953 and 1954.
Austrian-born sculptor Romuald Kraus (1891-1954) studied in Vienna, Germany, and New York City. While still an instructor at the Cincinnati Art Academy in 1939, he began teaching at the Art Center Association School in Louisville for one day and one evening a week. In 1947, the newly formed Allen R. Hite Institute brought him to the University of Louisville as a full-time sculpture instructor.
William P. Welsh (1889-1984) was born in Lexington and studied art in Paris, France, and New York City. While based in New York and Chicago for more than twenty years, he painted murals and portraits as well as producing posters, cover designs, and illustrations for several major publications. After World War II he returned to Lexington, where he painted portraits and taught art.
Written to accompany the centenary exhibition commemorating the birth of Paul Sawyier (1865-1917), this volume provides a detailed account of the artist's life and works. A list of the lenders and pictures in the exhibition is included at the end. Willard Rouse Jillson (1890-1975) was a Lexington historian and geologist who authored numerous publications on Kentucky-related subjects. He also was a founding shareholder of the Bybee Pottery Company in Lexington. (See 1940 exhibition catalogue of works owned by the Jillsons under "Paintings" below.)
Frederick Weygold (1870-1941) visually documented one of the first serious systematic research studies of Native American culture and languages. His detailed sketches and paintings of scenes in and around the Louisville area are less well known; he also illustrated several books, including German translations of popular authors. Weygold donated a large portion of his own personal collection to The Speed Art Museum in the 1930s. (See 1934 exhibition catalogue on Weygold's collection under "Miscellaneous" below.)
This exhibition catalogue includes works by Morris B. Belknap, Jr. (1893-1952) on p.3, Sophie DeButts Gray (1854-1942) on p.4, Mary Spencer Nay (1913-1993) and Paul Albert Plaschke (1880-1954) on p.6, Robert Martin Rasmussen (d.1967) and Frank G. Robbins (active circa 1930s) on p.7, and Ann Troutman (1897-1989) and Frederick Weygold (1870-1941) on p.8.
This exhibition catalogue includes works by Sophie DeButts Gray (1854-1942) on p.4; Dorothy Kohlhepp (1907-1964) and Norman Kohlhepp (1892-1986) on p.5; Mary Spencer Nay (1913-1993), Paul Albert Plaschke (1880-1954), Robert Martin Rasmussen (d.1967), and Frank G. Robbins (active circa 1930s) on p.6; and Ann Troutman (1897-1989) on p.8.
This exhibition catalogue includes works by Morris B. Belknap, Jr. (1893-1952) on p.3; Sophie DeButts Gray (1854-1942) on p.5; Paul Albert Plaschke (1880-1954), Robert Martin Rasmussen (d.1967), and Frank G. Robbins (active circa 1930s) on p.8; and Ann Troutman (1897-1989) on p,10.
Willard Rouse Jillson (1890-1975) was a Lexington historian and geologist who authored numerous publications on Kentucky-related subjects, inluding artist Paul Sawyier (1865-1917). Jillson taught geology at the University of Kentucky and later at Transylvania University. He also served in various state government positions and was a founding shareholder of the Bybee Pottery Company in Lexington. (See Jillson's 1965 exhibition catalogue on "Paul Sawyier and His Paintings" above.)
This exhibition of historic and modern oil paintings and watercolors lent by private collectors in the city of Louisville was "the first in a series of exhibitions sponsored by the J.B. Speed Memorial Museum and designed to show the Art Resources of Kentucky." Kentucky artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are well represented, and include works by Joseph H. Bush (1794-1865), Chester Harding (1792-1866), John Wesley Jarvis (1781-1840), John James Audubon (1785-1851), William Brown Cooper
(1811-1890), Godfrey N. Frankenstein (1820-1873), George Peter Alexander Healy
(1813-1894), Benoni Irwin (1840-1896), Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827), William Ver Bryck (1823-1899), Alexander Helwig Wyant (1836-1892), Maud Ainslie (1870-1960), Jane Mengel Allen (1888-1952), Charles Joseph Fox (b.1908), Dorothy Kohlhepp (1907-1964), Norman Kohlhepp (1892-1986), Mary Spencer Nay (1913-1993), Ferdinand Graham Walker (1859-1927), and Charles Sneed Williams (1882-1964). There also are several portraits of Kentuckians by unknown artists.
The museum's own portraits by Kentucky artists and/or with Kentucky-related subjects were in this exhibition. At the end of the catalogue is an index of artists, followed by several black-and-white photographs that include works by Oliver Frazer (1808-1864), John James Audubon (1785-1851), Joseph H. Bush (1794-1865), William Brown Cooper (1811-1890), and Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827).
Self-portraits included in this exhibition catalogue are by Mary Louise "Terry" Baringer (1900-1988), Eleanor Beckham (b.1901), Dorothy Kohlhepp (1907-1964), Norman Kohlhepp (1892-1986), Mary Spencer Nay (1913-1993), Paul Albert Plaschke (1880-1954), Ann Troutman (1897-1989), and Ulfert Wilke (1907-1987). The personal and professional biographical details provided for each artist are particularly informative.
The first work listed in this exhibition catalogue is a watercolor by John James Audubon (1785-1851). Selected pages also include the Introduction, an essay by Madeline Cundiff Covi, who also wrote the catalogue, and the Bibliography.
An entire issue was devoted to the exhibition of Mrs. Blakemore Wheeler's bequest to the museum. Several works with Kentucky connections were featured, illustrated by black-and-white photographs. These include prints by John James Audubon (1785-1851), paintings by Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827) and William Edward West (1788-1857), a portait of Mrs. Blakemore Wheeler by Eleanor Beckham (b.1901), and the anonymous Girl with Cats, circa 1825. An alphabetical list of all artists represented in the exhibition is at the end.
Prints and Drawings
This is the first exhibition catalogue published by the J.B. Speed Memorial Museum. Selected pages include an etching by Alexander J. Van Leshout (1868-1930), cartoonist for Louisville's COURIER-JOURNAL and TIMES and the founder and director of the Louisville School of Art, on p.10.
Selected pages from this exhibition catalogue include etchings by Alexander J. Van Leshout (1868-1930) on p.6 and p.8, and by Carl Christian Brenner (1838-1888) on p.8. Brenner is more well known for his paintings.
This was a "Special Exhibition" of historic "Prints, Paintings, and Maps from local collections & others". Several of these works on paper were produced by makers already in KOAR, but many more are from others not yet included.
This was a "Special Exhibition" of historic prints from the collection of Martin F. Schmidt of Louisville Kentucky. "A Few Remarks" by Mr. Schmidt provided as an introduction to the catalogue gives some insights into his interest in collecting, which at the time of this exhibition amounted to more than 500 works on paper.
Selected pages from this exhibition catalogue include a cherry inlaid slant-top secretary originally made for Kentucky's first (and fifth) governor, Isaac Shelby, on p.6; a Shaker rocking chair made in Shakertown on p.7; and a pair of brown dogs produced in Louisville at the Whitehouse Pottery for the first Louisville Exhibition (held in 1875) on p.9.
Selected pages from this supplemental exhibition catalogue list several traditional Kentucky patterns in the "Quilts, Coverlids and Counterpanes" section. It also includes "Three Handwoven 'Changeable Silk' Scarfs / Made by Shakers in Shakertown, Ky., who raised their own Silk Worms" on p.6.
Produced to accompany an exhibition, this volume is among the first illustrated books on antebellum Kentucky furniture. Even though some of its information is now recognized as being incorrect, the book still provides access to pieces from a number of important collections.
Lou Tate (1906-1979), professional weaver and founder of The Little Loonhouse in Louisville, assembled this exhibition. Tate published KENTUCKY COVERLETS the following year, and subsequently many other booklets on historic and contemporary experimental handweaving, as well as the monthly news bulletin, KENTUCKY WEAVER.
Selected pages from this exhibition catalogue include an early Kentucky blue and white coverlet on p.4; a small rug woven on an old loom in the Museum of the Fort at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and a white silk square with a lengthy inscription concerning Aboyeur (winner of the 1913 Kentucky Derby) and "Noting the names and owners of Derby Winners in England and America From 1780 to 1913" on p. 9; and a straw bonnet with gray silk "curtain" made by early Shakers on p.10.
This exhibition was assembled by Louisville weaver Lou Tate (1906-1979) to demonstrate developments in handweaving over the previous fifty years. Several Kentucky weavers and Fireside Industries are represented, including Lou Tate on p.11, and one of her students, Jane Todd Samuels (active circa 1939), on p.10.
Selected pages from this exhibition catalogue include miniatures by Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827) on p.4, p.14-16, and p.18; by William Brown Cooper (1811-1890) on p.15; and of John Speed on p.7. There is also a silver cup marked "James Speed Guffy" on p.12; a silver tea kettle made by Tiffany that was owned by Governor John Crittenden on p.16; and a silver ladle made by Allen Rhodes of Bardstown, Kentucky, on p.19.
This exhibition was on loan from The Mabel Brady Garvan Collection by The School of Fine Arts at Yale University. Included are works by Asa Blanchard (d.1838) of Lexington, Kentucky, and John A McCaulley of Richmond, Kentucky, on p.3.
Ceramics and Glass
Selected pages from this exhibition catalogue include works by Louisville Glassworks (estab. circa 1855, closed 1873) on p.11-12; two small Kentucky "Little Buttercup" bedside coal-oil lamps, clear and amethyst, on p.16; a Kentucky coal-oil lamp on p.16; and part of a cast iron fence from the residence of Sally Ward on p.25.
The Lincolniana section of this commemorative exhibition included numerous potrayals in various media of Abraham Lincoln, as well as historical objects and documents related to his life, loaned by private collectors, Mrs. J.B. Speed, and from The Speed Art Museum's collection.
This exhibition drew from The Speed Art Museum's extensive collection of Lincoln related works and materials, including numerous potrayals of Lincoln in various media, as well as historical objects and documents.
A detailed bibliography of publications related to Lincoln. Among the numerous entries are various papers by James Speed and by Joshua F. Speed, including Joshua Speed's "Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln".
The daguerrotype portraits in this exhibition included several Kentucky artists among the many well know local subjects. Many were loaned by notable Kentucky families as well, in both the daguerrotype and photography sections.
This exhibition catalogue includes paintings by Edward Troye (1808-1874) on p.5, along with a Thomas Campbell (1790-1858) sketch from a Troye painting on p.3
and a print from a Troye painting on p.5. There are also works by Carolus Brenner (1865-1924) on p.4, Henry Stull (1851-1913) on p.4-5, and Lou Tate (1906-1979) and Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) on p.7.
The detailed firsthand observations that longtime Louisville resident Frederick Weygold (1870-1941) documented in his notebooks, photographs, sketches, watercolors, and oil paintings represent one of the first serious systematic research studies of Native American culture and languages. He lived among the Sioux on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations in South Dakota while assembling collections for various German museums. Weygold donated a large portion of his own personal collection to The Speed Art Museum in the 1930s. (See 2010 article on Weygold under "Individual Artists and Makers" above.)
Selected pages from this exhibition catalogue include works by Joel Tanner Hart (1810-1877) on p.8, Louisville Glassworks (estab. circa 1855, closed 1873) on p.9, Henry Strater (1896-1987) on p.19, and John James Audubon (1785-1851) on p.19. Other exhibited items related to Kentucky include a cane made of wood from Ashland, home of Henry Clay, on p.11 (see KOAR 1939.1.76 and 1939.1.76); Lincolniana on p.15-16; and lithographs of two Louisville societies on p.20 (see KOAR 1945.1.151 and 1938.1.66). Among the notable additions to the museum library are William Carnes Kendrick's "Reminiscences of Old Louisville" (see link above to this manuscript) and Lou Tate's autographed copy of Allen H Eaton's "Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands" on p.13.
Sponsored by The Elementary Division of The Louisville Public Schools, this exhibition was assembled and arranged primaily for children. Among many familiar traditional Kentucky objects are a butter knife by Asa Blanchard (d.1838) on p.5, a silhouette by Auguste Edouart (French, 1788-1861) on p.6, and early nineteenth century textiles from the research collection of Lou Tate (1906-1979) on p.8.
This exhibition was sponsored by the Louisville Camera Club. The Foreword describes photography as "the youngest art, so young, in fact, that it is not often recognized as an art." Photographers from Louisville and other areas of the Falls Cities are included.
This exhibition catalogue includes works by Joseph H. Bush (1794-1865) on p.3; Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827) on p.3 and p.5; Morris B. Belknap, Jr.
(1893-1952), Neville Cain (1855-1935), Nicola Marschall (1829-1917), George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894), and Mary G. Johnston (1872-1966) on p.4; and Auguste Edouart (French, 1788-1861) on p.8. There are also a colored photograph of Annie Fellows Johnston by Kate Matthews on p.4, a miniature of Joshua Fry Speed on p.5, and a covered dish once owned by Henry Clay on p.7. Notable additions to the museum library include Lou Tate's classic monograph, "Kentucky Coverlets" on p.8.
The Works Progress Administration, through its State-wide Museum Project, prepared for this exhibition articles designed to aid in the program for visual education. Included were many original wood and plaster models of historic places, homes, and early buildings in Kentucky.
This exhibition catalogue includes works by Aurelius O. Revenaugh (1840-1908) on p.3; Thomas E. Grove on p.4; Carl Christian Brenner (1838-1888) on p.4 and p.6; John James Audubon (1785-1851), Benoni Irwin (1840-1896), and Samuel Woodson Price (1828-1918) on p.5; Hewett Green (1865-1901) on p.6; Patty Prather Thum (1853-1926) on p.7; and John Bartholomew Botto (1835-1910) on p.8. Portraits of Nina Gordon Batchelor, Comtesse de Foiard (d.1912) by Gaston Casimir Saint-Pierre (French, 1833-1916) and M. Huet (French, active circa 1894) are on p.6. Other Kentucky-related items exhibited are on p.11-14, including a colored print of Ashland, home of Henry Clay, on p.13 (see KOAR 1939.1.76).
This exhibition catalogue includes works by Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827) on p.10; Carl Christian Brenner (1838-1888), Aurelius O. Revenaugh (1840-1908), and John James Audubon (1785-1851) on p.12; Paul Sawyier (1865-1917) on p.13; Enid Yandell (1869-1934) on p.17-18; and Alexander J. Van Leshout (1868-1930) and Joel Tanner Hart (1810-1877) on p.16. A photograph of Henry Clay from a portrait of Oliver Frazer (1808-1864) and photographs from Enid Yandell's studio are on p.14. Other Kentucky related items exhibited are on p.6 and p.8. Among additions to the museum library are books on Audubon and Lincoln on p.5.