Thomas Cole (1801 – 1848) was an English-born American artist. He is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid- 19th century. Coles Hudson River School, as well as his own work, was known for its realistic and detailed portrayal of American landscape and wilderness, which feature themes of romanticism and naturalism.
He was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England in 1801. In 1818 his family emigrated to the United States, settling in Steubenville, Ohio, where Cole learned the rudiments of his profession from a wandering portrait painter named Stein. However, he had little success painting portraits, and his interest shifted to landscape.
PaintingCole was primarily a painter of landscapes, but he also painted allegorical works. The most famous of these are the five-part series, The Course of Empire, which depict the same landscape over generations—from a near state of nature to consummation of empire, and then decline and desolution— now in the collection of the New York Historical Society and the four-part The Voyage of Life.
Personal lifeAfter 1827 Cole maintained a studio at the farm called Cedar Grove in the town of Catskill, New York. He painted a significant portion of his work in this studio. In 1836 he married Maria Bartow of Catskill, a niece of the owner, and became a year-round resident. Thomas and Maria had five children. Thomas Cole died at Catskill on February 11, 1848. The fourth highest peak in the Catskills is named Thomas Cole Mountain in his honor. Cedar Grove, also known as the Thomas Cole House, was declared a National Historic Site in 1999 and is now open to the public.
Winslow Homer (1836 – 1910) was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th century America and a preeminent figure in American art.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1836, Homer was the second of three sons His mother was a gifted amateur watercolorist and Homer’s first teacher, and she and her son had a close relationship throughout their lives. Homer took on many of her traits, including her quiet, strong-willed, sociable nature, her dry sense of humor and her artistic talent. Homer had a happy childhood, growing up mostly in then rural Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was an average student, but his art talent was evident in his early years.
His early works, mostly commercial engravings of urban and country social scenes, are characterized by clean outlines, simplified forms, dramatic contrast of light and dark, and lively figure groupings — qualities that remained important throughout his career. His quick success was mostly due to this strong understanding of graphic design and also to the adaptability of his designs to wood engraving.
Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), known as Jackson Pollock, was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety. He was regarded as a mostly reclusive artist. He had a volatile personality, and struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. In 1945, he married the artist Lee Krasner, who became an important influence on his career and on his legacy.
Pollock died at the age of 44 in an alcohol- related car accident. In December 1956, he was given a memorial retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, and a larger more comprehensive exhibition there in 1967. More recently, in 1998 and 1999, his work was honored with large-scale retrospective exhibitions at MoMA and at The Tate in London.In 2000, Pollock was the subject of an Academy Award–winning film Pollock directed by and starring Ed Harris.
In November 2006, Pollocks No. 5, 1948 became the worlds most expensive painting, when it was sold privately to an undisclosed buyer for the sum of $140,000,000. The previous owner was film and music-producer David Geffen. It is rumored that the current owner is a German businessman and art collector.
Georgia Totto OKeeffe (1887 – 1986) was an American artist. OKeeffe was a major figure in American art from the 1920s.She received widespread recognition for her technical contributions, as well as for challenging the boundaries of modern American artistic style. She is chiefly known for paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones, and landscapes in which she synthesized abstraction and representation.
Her paintings present crisply contoured forms that are replete with subtle tonal transitions of varying colors. She often transformed her subject matter into powerful abstract images
Importantly, OKeeffe played a central role in bringing an American art style to Europe at a time when the majority of influence flowed in the opposite direction. This feat enhanced her art-historical importance given that she was one of few women to have gained entry to this level of professional influence. She found artistic inspiration, particularly in New Mexico, where she settled late in life.
Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967) was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist . In both his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life
With his paintings, Hopper paid particular attention to geometrical design and the careful placement of human figures in proper balance with their environment. He was a slow and methodical artist; as he wrote, “It takes a long time for an idea to strike. Then I have to think about it for a long time. I don’t start painting until I have it all worked out in my mind. I’m all right when I get to the easel (мольберт)"
His paintings combine apparently incompatible qualities. Modern in their bleakness and simplicity, they are also full of nostalgia for the puritan virtues of the American past - the kind of quirky nineteenth- century architecture Hopper liked to paint, for instance, could not have been more out of fashion than it was in the mid 1920s, when he first began to look at it seriously.
In 1929, he was included in the Museum of Modern Arts second exhibition, Paintings by Nineteen Living Americans, and in 1930 The House by the Railroad entered the museums permanent collection. In the same year, the Whitney Museum bought Hoppers Early Sunday Morning its most expensive purchase up to that time. In 1933 Hopper was given a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. This was followed, in 1950, by a fuller retrospective show at the Whitney.