May 31, 1929: This afternoon at two o'clock the doors of the Special Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum will be thrown open to the public. This event is the opening of the Special Summer Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings by American and Foreign Artists, which will be on view until October 1st. Following the regular policy of the Museum, Mr. Herbert B. Tschudy, Curator of Paintings, and Dr. William Henry Fox, Director of the Museum, invited 26 artists to send their works to make up a summer exhibition. This year the complexion of the show is decidedly international as artists are represented in it whose origins are Russia, China, Japan, Hungary, Italy, France, Germany, Mexico, Palestine and the United States. The large exhibition gallery on the third floor is devoted entirely to the snow, which consists of nearly 370 exhibits. This exhibition is especially interesting to the public as it gives them a chance to really see and study a man's work, as each exhibitor is given ample space to show ten or fifteen works. In this way the public can become thoroughly acquainted with each individual's work and can compare it with an adequate display of work by other artists. The exhibition follows the policy of bringing forward work which has not been generally seen before and also of showing things which aroused special interest during the last season, both in and out of New York. The artists who will make up this exhibition are: Harriet Blackstone, Kenneth Frazier, Arthur C. Goodwin, Hans von Hayek, Berta de Hellebranth, EIena de Hellebranth, Fritz Herpfer, Malvina Hoffman, Frank Horowitz, Kowhoo Ishii, C. A. Korthaus, Bessie Lasky, Jean-Julien Lemordant, Ernst Liebermann, Edward Michael McKey, Faust Vittoria Mengarini, Ugo Mochi, Hans Neumann, Israel Paldi, Roland Rolando, Rubin, Rudolf Scheffler, Kwei Teng, Lajos Tihanyi, Isabel Whitney and Angel Zarraga.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 04-06/1929, 059.
June 3, 1929: To the Art Editor:
Preparations are now completed for the Editors of the art pages of the New York papers to view the Summer Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition is hung and numbered and catalogues are available.
We are, therefore, extending to you this invitation to come any time that may suit your convenience to view this show.
We are sure you will find it a very interesting exhibition, as it is highly international in character and follows the Museum's usual policy of bringing forward work which has not been shown before and other work that has aroused considerable interest but which has not necessarily been generally seen in New York City.
It has the virtue of being a non-jury exhibition as it has been gathered together entirely by Mr. Tschudy, Curator of Paintings, who is in touch with artists and the art movements in this country.
ARTHUR H. TORREY
FOR THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 04-06/1929, 060.
June 3, 1929: THE SUMMER EXHIBITION
This exhibition is the annual summer event at the Brooklyn Museum. It is one of the largest and most popular non-jury shows in the city, as the invitations to exhibit are extended by Mr. Tschudy, Curator of Paintings, based on his wide acquaintance with artists and interesting developments which has has observed. In many cases he has brought forward people whose work has not been generally known before and in others he has shown work which has caused considerable stir during the past season but which was not generally seen in New York City. This year the exhibition is extremely international in character, as the foreword of the catalogue shows. The names of the artists and the number of exhibits are given in the catalogue. We give below what facts are available on the several artists. Photographs may be obtained from Miss Sparks in the publicity office on the fourth floor of the Museum.
The work of Kenneth Frazier is well known in this country. He is a member of the National Academy and his work can be described as conservatively modern. He occupies himself with scenes of the Hudson River and is also a portrait painter.
ARTHUR C. GOODWIN
The impression made on Boston by Mr. Arthur C. Goodwin's first exhibition was that there had appeared in this conservative New England city a modern impressionist who must have been studying abroad. Greatly to everyone's surprise, it was found that he was a New Englander and a business man, who had not done anything in the fine until he was 35, when he began work on his first pastel.
As an emotional interpreter on canvas of American streets he has become a devotee of the dynamic qualities of the streets and water fronts of New York and Boston. He expects to leave shortly for Europe to try his facile brushes on the streets of Europe.
ELENA AND BERTA DE HELLEBRANTH
The two Hellebranth sisters, Elena and Berta, compose one of the most delightful pairs of artist that one is likely to run across. Their method of painting always arouses astonished comment as they invariably paint together on the same subject. The resulting works are interesting for their different interpretations.
Their father, who is a well-known doctor in Hungary, has always encouraged his daughters' talents. Their first study was at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, where they studied under Stephen Csok. On completion of their courses there, they held an exhibition and then studied in Paris, Italy, Vienna and Berlin. By living in the capitals of Europe they have become versatile linguists. Besides being painters of ability, they are interested in designing and producing hand-wrought jewelry. They also do some writing and are throughly acquainted with music, the advantages of which they have always had in their home. Their mother often plays for them while they are playing.
When they expressed a strong desire to come to the United States their father immediately acquiesced and decided that the whole family would come. So the father, mother, brother and daughters are all living at present in Ventnor, New Jersey.
Public attention was first directed to them by their portrait painting. Some of the best-known people who sat for them in Europe are the baby Princess Glatzine, the old Hungarian Count Cziraky, Baron Gotz von Berlichingen, Baroness Gaudernak of Hungary, and Dr. Henry Eversole, chief of the Paris branch of the Rockefeller Foundation. The first two of these are in the exhibition. Three Americans they have painter are Major-General Haskell, Countess Scéchényi (the former Gladys Vanderbilt) and Senator Wadsworth.
A painter who has mastered the painting of Jewish character types, in a modern but not eccentric manner, is Frank Horowitz, who has won an important place for himself. He was born in Odessa, Russia, in 1889 and came to America in 1906. When 20 years old he entered a class at the Graphic Sketch Club of Philadelphia but supported himself during the day as a sign-painter. By winning a scholarship, he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1917 to 1918. A permanent result of his attendance there can be seen in a "Still Life" which the Academy purchased for its collection.
In 1928 he was commissioned to go to Russia to paint representative characters in the new agricultural colonies founded by the Agro Joint Society, a movement in southwest Russia fostered by a group of Americans. He spent three months in the Crimea, Kherson and Kriboy Rog districts, which meant pending a day in each of the 15 Jewish farming colonies of the Ukraine.
Last May he held an exhibition in New York at the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society on Lafayette Street, in which this type of work was shown, as well as the scenes he painted around Beacon, New York, where there are Jewish camps.
While in Russia Horowitz painted several well-known persons, two of whom are known to this country through their participation in the rescue of the Nobile Expedition. These two are Prof. Simoilovitch, Navigator of the ice-breaker "Krassin" and Shuchnofsky, the aviator. Four other persons of prominence in Russia whom he painter are: Smidowitch, vice-President of Soviet Russia Iuncacharsky, Minister of Education; Epolitoff Evanoff, composer of music; and Oborin, pianist.
He studied in the Imperial Academy of Art in Tokio where he graduated with high honors. In Paris he work has received a great deal of attention.
He has been one of the great exponents of the Neo-Orientalism Movement of which his good friend Foujita is probably the best known member. He came to this country in February and exhibited on the coast in Seattle and San Francisco.
Ishii's uncle is in the diplomatic service and will be remembered as Ambassador to France. It was also his family who gave the name to one of the American-Japanese treaties.
Mrs. Lasky, the wife of Jesse L. Lasky of the motion picture industry, showed her first interest in the fine arts in the field of music. As a girl she studied at first at Notre Dame Academy and later at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Her performances won her a silver and gold mdeal for piano.
It was only a few years ago that she became deeply interested in painting. She felt the urge to take up this art seriously after a visit to the studio of William Silva at Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. He was her first teacher. With him she studied composition and color. Since then she has "painted furiously" and has made a vocation of painting instead of a hobby.
During the winter after her work with Silva in California she began her study with Felicie Waldo Howell in New York, where she painted both in water color and in oil. Since then she has worked continuously in New York, Gloucester, California and France. Her paintings have been shown in the National Academy of Design, the Corcoran Gallery at Washington, the New Haven Paint and Clay Club, the Philadelphia Art Club and the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy.
One of the most remarkable figures resulting from the War is that of Jean-Julien Lemordant, Breton of St. Malo. He left his native granite ramparts for the École des Beaux arts at Rennes where, before going to Paris, to the studio of Bonnart, he studied under the sculptor Lenoir, the painter Lafont and the architect Leray. Several of Lemordant's paintings have been lent for the exhibition by Miss Malvia Hoffman.
He began his painting in Brittany where he produced landscapes and studies of sea-faring folk. This phase of his work is beautifully illustrated in the decorations which he did for the odd Hôtel de l'Épée at Quimper. His most important work, however, is his decoration of the ceiling of the Theatre at Rennes, the capital of Brittany. The original sketches for this decoration are shown in the exhibition.
Lemordant is an important figure for his tremendous physical sacrifice for France during the War. At 37, when he properly belonged in the home defense, he insisted on volunteering for front line duty. Quite by accident there was a post of sergeant in the 41st Infantry open and this was given to him. The story of his leadership and sacrifice in an epic in itself by only the horrible consequences can give an idea in a few words of what he did for his country.
He is now blind, dumb and paralyzed on the left side. But the right side, as is often true in such cases, has accumulated all the vigor of the rest of his body. Before he was paralyzed on the left side his hands and arms were remarkably powerful but, such is his indomitable will - the will that forced him to stay at the Front when he should have been retired - he still works with his right hand. He uses it for long-hand writing and for operating a typewriter and is now in the process, at the age of 51, of writing a book.
Lemordant was in the thick of the action at Charleroi, the battle of the Marne, the battle of Champagne, Artois and the action before Arras. In all of these actions he suffered wounds that should have retired him to the base hospital but he would not leave his troops. In the final action at Arras in the assault upon the German trenches he was obliged, in order to be able to walk, to have his leg put in splints formed by bayonet scabbards and strapped on with his soldiers' belts. Shortly after the action began he was struck in the forehead by a German bullet which immediately blinded him. He was left for five days and nights in the German trenches for dead and was finally picked up by the enemy. He was taken then to the Rhine cities but, in spite of his wounds, tried twice to escape. Finally he was taken to Switzerland and exchanged for German disabled prisoners.
Needless to say, he has received important decorations from the Government.
EDWARD MICHAEL McKEY
A man hade a name for himself with the Italian troops, Edward Michael McKey, is well represented in this exhibition. He was one of the first ten to operate American ambulances in France with the French army. However, when Italy entered the war, he felt his duty lay there, as he had spent ten years there studying art and had an abiding love for the country. He developed a kind of rolling kitchen that made it possible for him and his assistants to stay with the troops at all times and to be in the thick of the fighting. It was his eagerness to be of the utmost service to the actual fights that resulted in his death in the Piave battle line where he was struck by a shell.
McKey's art career began in Sibley House, the oldest stone house at Mendota, Minnesota. There was being carried on there a summer art school organized by Bert Harwood. When McKey attended this school he was 18 years old and his instructor was Miss Ina Barber, a southern woman of talent, who first awakened his keen interest in color and composition. He was fortunate in obtaining a scholarship which enabled him to attend the School of Fine Arts in St. Paul, where he remained about a year and a half. He went on developing his talent in New York, Paris, Rome, and many other foreign cities. In 1908 he went to Italy where he worked and exhibited until 1913. The War interrupted his career with the results related above.
Among the portraits painted McKey were the life-sized full-length works of Mr. Robert McClay of New York City, Barone Amerigo Serrao of Rome and Mrs. Edward Mellon, daughter of Judge Alexander Humphrey of Kentucky.
His service to France was recognized in the award of the Croix de Guerre and he was given the Silver Medal of Valor by the Italian Government in recognition of splendid efforts that held the morale at a critical moment and for bravery in action on the front line.
FAUSTA VITTORIA MENGARINI
Fausta Vittoria Mengarini, the Italian sculptor, was brought up in the home of a scientist. Her father was Senator Guglielmo Mengarini, famous in the fields of electricity, physics and astronomy. Thus, the young artist grew up in a studious environment where she was thrown in contact with artists, authors and scholars of the day, so that her early training was a preparation for her later artistic success.
At the age of 18, and while still a student at the Fine Arts Academy, her work first began to impress Roman art critics. Her studies were completed in the galleries and museums in various European art centres and at one time she studied design under the painter, Edoardo Gioia.
Her early works include a series of terra cottas and majolicas but her reputation was established nationally by her monument to the Fallen Soldiers of Borgo in Rome. This led to her receiving commissions to execute the great medallions which form the sculptural decorations on the facade of the new Ministry of Justice in Rome.
She prefers working on a large scale, a desire which was gratified by a commission from the Italian Government for a design for a lighthouse to be constructed in the harbor at Massana to commemorate the Italian Conquest of Eritrea. She is also well-known for her portraits, among which is a bust of Mussolini that has brought considerable favorable comment.
Ugo Mochi, whose remarkable silhouettes are on of the most delightful groups in the exhibition is a versatile artist. Judging from this delicate work, on would hardly suspect the artist was a sculptor but that is his principal occupation in the fine arts. He is also an ardent student of music and has successfully appeared as a tenor on both concert and operatic stages. Mr. Mochi is an Italian and scion of one of the oldest noble families of Florence. He studied at the Academia di Belli Arti in Florence. The subjects of his silhouettes show a wide variety which entails different kinds of techniques, some of which are truly astonishing. His development of the art of the silhouette has brought it a long way from the traditional silhouette of a century ago.
Rolando was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1899. His talent for drawing and painting was evident as the early age of five years. At that time his family found him scribbling on every little scrap of paper that he could find. Finally his father realized the seriousness of his bent and gave him a box of color crayons which overjoyed the young artist.
After finishing his high school education, he entered the art school in Nuremberg and later the school in Munich, where he learned to handle water color and did still lifes, landscapes and animals. His teachers in Nuremburg were Prof. Director Paul Brochier, Prof. H. Grandl and in Munich, Prof. Julius Diez.
After completing this training, he took up commercial art and specialized in posters, He was very much helped in this work by a man well known in this field, Prof. Ludwig Hahlwein of Munich, who gave him private instruction.
After two trips to Russia during the late war, he returned to Germany and attended the art school in Munich until he was engaged as a poster artist in Hamburg. Later he became art director of the Hotel Exhibition there, an event which occurs every spring and fall. An opportunity to work in motion pictures lured him to Berlin, which resulted in his finding a second great interest in his life. In the motion pictures he worked both as actor and director and spent a great deal of his time on educational films.
It was this work that has led to his present great interest in the production of animal and expedition pictures. The animal pictures which he is showing in the exhibition are his favorite work.
RUBIN AND PALDI
These men are interesting for their modernity, as well as the fact that they are among the chief painters in what is now known as the Palestine School. This School consists of a group of Jewish artists who are living and working in Palestine.
Rubin was born in Roumania in 1893. He made his first sketch when he was two years old, and not so many year later received many a spanking for making charcoal drawing on the white-washed walls of the Hebrew school he attended. A scanty patronage helped him to visit Paris for a few months, and as representative of a leather factory he was able to visit the museums of Italy en route. During the war he was a "Technical expert" at this factory, incidentally making things easier for the village he lived in by drawing pictures of the rococo general in charge of it. He began to paint in earnest only after the war. He has had two exhibitions in New York City.
He has attained his full stature in the last few years, living in Palestine. Beside a prodigal productivity in oils - including many ambitious figure pieces - he has turned out a series of stark woodcuts quite different in spirit from the idyllic landscapes and poetic portraits in oil. Rubin has exhibited twice in Paris and has a London exhibition scheduled for next spring.
Israel Paldi was born in Russia in 1893. His childhood was spent largely in Switzerland, and he studied art with Becker-Grundahl and Habermann in Munich, which has left a marked Germanic imprint on his work and character. Nevertheless, he has submitted himself to the influence of the Palestine scene itself which had made a marked impression on him when he lived there for two years in his boyhood. During the war Paldi lived in Turkey, sailing for Palestine as soon as peace was concluded. He is at present a teacher in the Tel-Aviv high school. Hampering as this occupation is, he has a great many canvases of a high order to his credit, as well as a series of woodcuts illustrating the Book of Joshua. He has been drawn time and time again to one of the most picturesque spots in Palestine for his theme - Jaffa Harbor, the boatman picture on view being only one of four treatments of it by his hand. His work has been reproduced here in The Arts, the Dial and the Menorah Journal, but this is the first showing of his painting in America.
This artist is now living on Brooklyn Heights. He was born in Saxony, Germany, in 1884 and showed from the first his aptitude for fine arts, which was encouraged by his grandfather. In spite of the fact that he had to stop his education at the age of fourteen in order to go to work, he made this change in his life fit in with his aims. The work that he chose was lithography which he pursued for three years.
At seventeen one of his drawings won a scholarship for him at the Royal Academy of Dresden. This was his great opportunity which he was able to take advantage of with the help of his friends who rallied around the assistance of the Burgermeister of his town.
After completing his studies, he traveled through Europe and studied the masters of all countries. He submitted his work in several competitions and due to this activity won the Prix de Rome which was awarded for his portrait of his mother. In 1924 he specialized in portrait work in Germany but he soon came to the United States to study the work of American artists and submit a design for an institution which was to be erected by one of our wealthy philanthropists.
After spending three months here he decided to make this country his home. One of his connections here has been with a corporation that designs mosaic work for churches and other public buildings. A result of this was his work on the dome in the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria in Brooklyn.
He is greatly interested in Manhattan and its skyline, as he is one of the many artists that has been attracted to Brooklyn Heights, where studios can be obtained that overlook this ever-changing scene which has been an inspiration to so many painters.
An unusual group of works are those of Kwei Teng who was born in Soochow, China, 1902. Mr. Teng has applied himself very seriously to the study of painting which included ten years of self-study in Chinese painting and ten years of self-training in the old Chinese art of finger painting, in which technique he has established his own method and style.
He continued his education at the University of Washington, where he majored in painting and sculpture and after graduation lectured on Oriental culture and taught painting to American students.
By his understanding of Oriental and Western education he hopes to be "one of the builders of the bridge between Western and Eastern civilizations".
His painting is in the pure Chinese manner but he is fully aware of the accomplishment and aims of the art of the West. Teng has exhibited in his native city in San Francisco, Rockford, Ill., and Seattle Wash. One of his bas-reliefs is permanently installed in the College of Mines Building, University of Washington.
Tihanyi is a Hungarian painter. He "was not a child prodigy in the usual sense. He showed no particular artistic gifts in his childhood, and it was not until he lost his hearing at the age of 11 that became interested in painting. He studied for two years at the Industrial Art School in Budapest, where he drew geometric forms and learned perspective. He began to draw from models when he was 21, at a private painting school in Budapest, but for the most part he is self-taught. The work of Greco, Gaugin and Cezanne had a pronounced effect on him at this time, which has not diminished with years. He has written: "I conceive of every work as mastery over the material. Critics has said much about my portrait paintings and drawings and they have generally reached false conclusions, especially when they say that I am concerned with the expression of the inmost soul. The expression of my own soul has as little to do with my work as the portraying of reality. My aim is the correct interrelation of colors and lines - the construction of the picture - which is achieved through the co-ordination of colors and the direction of movement of the lines. I try to give my pictures the appearance of the indissoluble whole, to make their mode of expression very simple and techtonical and to use very few colors."
Tihanyi is always spoken of as one of the prominent figures of the Paris Latin Quarter where he usually could be seen at the restaurants "The Dome" and "The Select".
He has had exhibitions in Budapest, Vienna, San Francisco, Boston, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Stockholm, The Hague, Amsterdam, Dresden and Paris.
Tihanyi was in vanguard of the modern movement and has weathered the storm and stress period of the artists who first broke away from the influence of the old masters. He has achieved enough of a reputation now so that his early canvases are said to have become valuable investments.
Miss Whitney is a native of Brooklyn and her early art training took place at Pratt Institute, after which she studied in Europe, travelling and painting in the galleries copying old masters. These she found the most enlightening teachers, for in studying the differing technics and trying to follow the train of thought which prompted them, she in a measure partook of their artistic creeds.
Returning to New York she began work as an illustrator but soon abandoned it for she felt her strength lay not so much in dramatic contrasts - which she considers the essence of illustration - as in space relations. So she designed wall paper friezes for the principal wall paper firms and form that gradually began work for the architects and decorators, designing overmantels, mural panels, screens and such things a pertained to room decoration. And always she painted pictures for her own pleasure, exhibiting them when occasion arose.
In the past ten years whenever she had time she experimented in the process called fresco buono, that which was practised by the Italians until the 16th century and since then fallen into disuse. She finds it very beautiful for decorative purposes and through her own formula it can be used on exterior surfaces even in this northern latitude exposed to frost and snow.
The twelve pictures now showing in the Brooklyn Museum were painted on Brooklyn Heights, a section which she has long studied and felt beautiful with a quiet simplicity of its own. These changing times are affecting this old section and already some of the houses shown in these paintings have been demolished. The square buildings of an ample period and the little gardens beside them with their old fountains and trellises overlooking the harbor and warehouses have long fascinated her. They bespeak romance and the days of clipper ships.
She has also painted a good deal in water colors, both landscapes and flowers.
One of the interesting young Mexican painters, Angel Zarraga, is well represented in the exhibition. Through his friendship with Miss Malvina Hoffman, the sculptor, has has become well known in New York and his paintings are hung in a room with well known in New York and his paintings are hung in a room with her sculptures, which can be taken to symbolize the fraternity of Pan-American art. Tangible expression of this is given in a bas-relief plaque done especially for the exhibition by Miss Hoffman.
Zarraga was born in Mexico in 1886. His father was a doctor and wished his son to follow a medical career but the boy's desire for painting and his obvious talent led his father to surrender his own plans, so that at the age of 17 Zarraga went to Paris. He decided in 1904 that he preferred Brussels with its calmer atmosphere where he could carry on more serious study and acquire purer technique.
At the age of 20, while in Spain, he had an exhibition of his work in Madrid at the National Exposition of Fine Arts in 1906. Soon after this he craved solitude, again and retired into seclusion or months at Toledo and Segovia, where he worked indefatigably. In 1911 he exhibited for the first time in Paris at the Salon l'Automne.
After considerable success there he again retired from public life to work out new experiments in cubism, from which he emerged as member of the Cubist School, This did not last long, as he was very much influenced by Renoir after meeting him and painting his Portrait at Cagnes. He also formed a close friendship for Pierre Bonnard, whom he admires greatly. The influence of these two men hanged his painting to a more direct and less, restricted style.
He began to feel the urge for expression on wide surfaces which led him into mural painting. One of his first commissions in this field was the mural decorations in the Chateau fe Vertcoeur, which he began in 1921 and carried on for five years. A later commission in 1924 was for the decoration of a little church near Paris at Suresnes and he later decorated the walls of the church at Rethel, which was destroyed during the World War and rebuilt in1925. Probably his best known work at present is the murals which he did for the Mexican Legation at Paris along with the architect, André Durand. This work included the decoration of the walls, selection of the draperies, rugs and lights.
His work can now be seen in several collections, such as that of Doucet, Besnard, Comte Philipon, Mrs. Chester Dale and the Luxembourg, where he has two canvases.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 04-06/1929, 061-71.