The Art Students League of New York: Highlights from the Permanent Collection and Selections from the Hillstrom Museum of Art Collection

September 10 through November 4, 2007


Wall label text for The Art Students League of New York: Highlights from the Permanent Collection 

Shoichi Akutsu (born 1956)

Untitled, 1999

Oil on canvas

Born in Japan, Shoichi Akutsu earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Musashino Art University in Tokyo. He studied at the Art Students League from 1992 to 1998. His work has appeared in solo exhibitions at the Allen Sheppard Gallery in New York and group exhibitions at the Key West Museum of Art, Hirschl & Adler Galleries and Gallerie Albert Bonamou in Paris. Akutsu has received numerous awards, including the Allied Artists of America Gold Medal in 1998 and an Audubon Artists Silver Medal in 2001. His work is in public and private collections.


Charles Alston (1907-1977)

Red White and Black, no date

Oil on canvas

A North Carolina native, Charles Alston earned B.A. and M.F.A. degrees at Columbia University. He became an active force in the African American community, working at the Harlem Arts Workshop and helping found the Harlem Artists Guild. In 1935, Alston became the first black supervisor in the Federal Arts Project and directed the creation of murals at Harlem Hospital. His early work reflected 1930s social realism, Mexican muralists such as Diego Rivera, and the jazz culture. Later he moved into an abstract style. Alston taught at the Art Students League and the City University of New York.


Rudolf Baranik (1920-1998)

Dimmed Light, 1958

Oil on canvas

Baranik emigrated from Lithuania to the United States in 1938 and served in the army during World War II. He then studied at the Chicago Art Institute and the Art Students League, where he later taught. From 1949 to 1950 he studied with Fernand Leger in Paris. A political activist, Baranik often infused his work with commentary on such topics as the Vietnam War. He was married to the artist May Stevens.


Will Barnet (born 1911)

Portrait of Djoroje Milicevic, 1967

Oil on canvas

One of the most influential instructors at the Art Students League, Will Barnet forged a significant career as a painter and printmaker. Barnet's portraits were a major aspect of his work, often presenting well-known figures such as collector Roy Neuberger. Working from sketches of the sitter, Barnet sought to reflect his or her character through abstractly conceived compositions. In this rendering of a professional photographer, Barnet portrayed an acquaintance he recalled as "robust" and "serious."


Gifford Beal (1879-1956)

Net Wagon, 1926

Oil on canvas

Marine landscapes and subjects inspired by travels along the New England coast were a major part of Gifford Beal's artistic output. At 13, he began studies with William Merritt Chase, the prominent American Impressionist. After graduating from Princeton in 1900, he studied with Frank Vincent DuMond at the Art Students League and later served as the school's president for 14 years.


J. Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917)

Drying Fishing Nets, Cannes, 1911

Oil on panel

Born in Hannibal, Missouri, Beckwith studied art in Chicago and New York. Like so many American artists of his generation, however, he refined his skills in Europe. As a young man, Beckwith studied with Carolus-Duran and Leon Bonnat in Paris, and he shared a studio there with John Singer Sargent. He lived in Italy from 1910 to 1914. Beckwith painted murals in Paris and Chicago and enjoyed success as a landscape and portrait artist. As an instructor at the Art Students League from 1878 to 1881 and 1886 to 1897, he influenced generations of artists.


Cecil Crosley Bell (1906-1976)

After the Snowfall, no date

Oil on panel

The lives of ordinary New Yorkers were the major subject of Cecil Bell's prints and paintings. At the League he studied with John Sloan, one of the "Ashcan Artists" who believed in the frank portrayal of everyday life. Born in Seattle, Washington, he later lived on Staten Island, just a ferry ride across from Manhattan.


Nell Blaine (1922-1996)

Mountain Towns, 1953

Oil on canvas

As a high school student in Richmond, Virginia, Nell Blaine earned money selling her paintings and posters. She attended the Richmond School of Art and then headed for New York to study with the famed abstract painter Hans Hofmann. Blaine immersed herself in the city's cultural life of the 1940s, exploring jazz and joining the American Abstract Artists group. In 1959 she contracted polio and lost the use of her right hand. Undaunted, she learned to use her left hand and continued to paint.


Howard Russell Butler (1856-1934)

Sunset from the Cliff, Ogunquit,

no date

Oil on board

A landscape artist who portrayed both the California and New England coastlines, Butler also became known for his paintings of solar eclipses. As a young man he studied at the Art Students League and lived for several years in Paris, painting in the surrounding countryside with John Singer Sargent. In 1911 he settled in Princeton, New Jersey.


John Fabian Carlson (1874-1945)

The Pink Kimono, 1906

Oil on canvas

As a student at the League, Carlson earned a scholarship with this portrait. The son of Swedish immigrants, he became one of the leading landscape artists of the early 20th century. His winter scenes were particularly popular. From 1911 to 1918, Carlson directed the League's summer school in Woodstock, New York.


Jean Charlot (1898-1979)

Marchanta con Bebe y Canasta, 1968

Oil on canvas

After studies at the École de Beaux Arts in his native Paris, Charlot moved to Mexico City in 1920. There he met the leaders of the Mexican Mural Movement, Diego Rivera, José Orozco and David Siqueiros and introduced them to the fresco technique. These artists then traveled to New York City. Charlot taught at the Art Students League during the1931-32 season and from 1938 to 1941. The subject of this painting typifies his focus on universal themes centered on humanity.


William Merritt Chase (1849-1916)

Fish Still Life, 1908

Oil on canvas

Perhaps the League's most colorful instructor, and a prominent American artist in his own lifetime, William Merritt Chase taught portrait and still-life painting at the League from 1878 through 1896 and 1907 to 1912. Fish Still Life displays his famed ability to portray various textures and his belief that the humblest items were worthy subjects for artists. The painting was most likely one of his well-known "demonstration pieces" done in class in under one hour and captured in one of the archival photographs in this exhibition.


Howard N. Cook (1901-1980)

Tower, no date

Oil on canvas board

Known best for his prints, Howard Cook produced oil paintings and murals as well. He left his native Springfield, Massachusetts with a scholarship to attend the Art Students League in 1919 and studied there with noted printmaker Joseph Pennell, illustrator Wallace Morgan and others. Throughout the 1920s he had a successful career as an illustrator for such well-known magazines as Century, Harper's and Forum. During the 1930s, he traveled across the United States on mural commissions for such cities as Pittsburgh and San Antonio. From Southwest landscapes to New York skylines, Cook gave his subjects a sense of energy and movement.


Ben Cunningham (1904-1975)

Laocoon, 1958

Oil on canvas

Cunningham grew up in Reno, Nevada and attended the California School of Fine Arts. He was one of 26 artists commissioned by the Public Works of Art Project to paint murals in San Francisco's Coit Tower in 1934. He then served as art director for the Federal Art Project in northern California. Cunningham moved to New York in 1944 and gradually shifted his painting style from representational to abstract. He taught at the Art Students League from 1967 to 1974.


Charles Courtney Curran (1861-1942)

Girl in White, Reading Outdoors, 1897

Oil on canvas

Curran enjoyed early success when, at 23, he had his first public exhibition at New York's National Academy of Design. He went on to studies at the Art Students League and the Académie Julian in Paris. By 1903, he had staked out the Impressionist themes that appeared in much of his work, in particular, young women enjoying leisure activities in pleasant, outdoor settings.


Dorothy Dehner (1901-1994)

Virgin Island Still Life, 1932

Oil on canvas

Painter, sculptor and printmaker Dorothy Dehner produced this cubist-inspired still life shortly after her studies in Jan Matulka's class at the League. Matulka shared his knowledge of European modern art with his students, including Burgoyne Diller and David Smith, whom Dehner eventually married. When they divorced in 1952, her career gained momentum with several exhibitions in New York City. Over time, she focused on sculpture, producing geometric, abstract works in bronze, wood and corten steel.


Edwin Dickinson (1891-1978)

Gas Tank, 1937

Oil on canvas

According the artist's daughter, Dickinson painted this scene on a road called Aunt Sukey's Way in Provincetown, Mass. It typifies his series of "premier coup" landscapes, the French term for "first strike" paintings created outdoors and at rapid speed. Dickinson studied at the League with William Merritt Chase, Frank DuMond and Charles Hawthorne. He taught there from 1946 to 1966. He explored a range of styles throughout his career and remained independent of passing artistic movements.


Sidney Dickinson (1890-1980)

Still Life, 1910

Oil on canvas

This student work, done in the class of William Merritt Chase, anticipates Dickinson's long, successful career primarily as a portrait artist. Versatile and prolific, he portrayed such notables as Harvard University President James B. Conant and the artist Raphael Soyer.


Burgoyne Diller (1906-1965)

Still Life, 1932

Oil on canvas

Diller's still life reflects the influence of his instructor at the League, Jan Matulka, also represented in this exhibition. Matulka's familiarity with art developments in Paris attracted numerous students, and it surfaces here in Diller's exploration of cubism and surrealism. Diller went on to develop a geometric abstract style and became one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists. As Director of the Mural Division of the New York City Federal Arts Project, Diller found work for numerous artists during the Depression, including those working in abstract styles.


Bruce Dorfman (born 1936)

Umbria, 1984-87

Mixed media

Dorfman studied at the League with Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Arnold Blanch and Charles Alston. He has taught there since 1964. His mixed media constructions, worked in rich hues and subtle compositions, have been exhibited nationwide and in Europe. Dorfman cites Italian Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca as a key influence on his own aim of achieving "a nuanced, stately quality and a warm sense of color."


Arthur Wesley Dow (1857-1922)

Landscape, 1889

Oil on canvas

The meadows surrounding Ipswich, Massachusetts, where Dow was born and established a painting school, are the subject of this work. He had spent several years in France during the 1880s, developing a conservative style reflected in this landscape. His work changed dramatically after his encounter with Japanese art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he eventually served as curator. His ideas on the abstract qualities of line, composition and color in Japanese art formed the basis of his popular manual Composition (1899) and his courses at Columbia University, Pratt Institute and the Art Students League. Max Weber and Georgia O'Keeffe acknowledged the importance of his teachings in their own artistic development.


Frank Vincent DuMond (1865-1951)

Trout Stream, no date

Oil on canvas

Vibrant images of New England landscapes established DuMond's reputation as a painter after an equally successful career as an illustrator for Harper's Weekly, Century and other magazines. As an instructor he influenced generations of young artists both at the Art Students League, where he taught for 50 years, and at the Lyme Summer School of Art in Old Lyme, Connecticut. DuMond's talent emerged early in his student drawing of an old man, also in this exhibit.


Ernest Fiene (1894-1965)

Mirror Reflections, 1962

Oil on canvas

Born in Germany, Fiene came to the United States in 1912 and studied at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. He worked in numerous media, including painting, fresco, etching and lithography and developed a reputation in the 1930s for his depictions of the American Scene. He taught at the Art Students League from 1938 to 1964.


Karl Fortess (1907-1995)

Subject Matter, no date

Oil on canvas

Karl Fortess created surreal landscapes such as this in both paintings and lithographs. As a League student, he studied drawing with George Grosz and graphics with Will Barnet and Harry Sternberg. He spent many years in the artist community in Woodstock, New York.


Frederick Warren Freer (1849-1908)

Untitled, no date

Oil on board

A Chicago native, Freer spent four years studying art at the Royal Academy in Munich, Germany. This particular work reflects the dark, limited palette of that region's art in the late nineteenth century. As a young man he traveled and painted throughout Europe but eventually settled in New York, where he became active in various artist clubs and frequently exhibited his work. He took up teaching at the Art Students League in 1883 on the recommendation of his friend, William Merritt Chase. By 1890 Freer and his family had moved to Chicago, where his painting and teaching career continued to flourish.


Peter Golfinopoulos (born 1928)

Untitled, c.1984

Oil on canvas

A League instructor since 1966, Peter Golfinopoulos also taught painting for many years at Columbia University. His career as an artist has reflected his interest in both pure abstraction and figurative work. Golfinopoulos is represented in museum, corporate and private collections.


Xavier Gonzalez (1898-1993)

Low Tide, 1981

Oil on canvas

Born in Spain, Gonzalez subsequently moved with his family to Mexico, where he studied at the San Carlos Academy in Puebla. Later he enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago, supporting himself designing signs for the Carson Pirie Scott department store. After teaching at various art schools in Texas, the artist moved to New York in the 1940s, where he spent the rest of his life. He taught in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, The Art Students League and the Brooklyn Museum. A sculptor as well as a painter in both oil and watercolor, Gonzalez worked in figurative and abstract styles. He was married to the artist and teacher Ethel Edwards.


Daniel Greene (born 1934)

Demonstration Portrait of Ira Goldberg, 2002

Oil on canvas

An artist who paid his way through art school by selling pastel portraits on the street, Daniel E. Greene is known today for his portrait commissions that hang in the White House, the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His oil and pastel works earned him the John Singer Sargent Award for lifetime excellence in portraiture and the Medal of Honor from the Portrait Society of America. In 1983, he became the first living artist inducted into the Pastel Hall of Fame. Greene studied at the League and now conducts popular workshops there. This study of the current director of the League was done in such a workshop.


Stephen Greene (1918-1999)

Plan 1967, 1967

Oil on canvas

Born in New York City, Stephen Greene studied at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. He went on to earn B.F.A. and M.A. degrees from the State University of Iowa. He also spent time studying with Philip Guston at the College of William and Mary. Greene's modernist art was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Academy, the Art Institute of Chicago and other venues. He taught at the League from 1959 to 1965.


Sidney Gross (1921-1969)

Untitled, 1962

Oil on canvas

In the 1940s, Gross used jewel tones and stylized forms to portray the docks and industrial scenes of New York City. By the early 1960s, he had forged a unique visual language that combined hard-edge and gestural abstraction, still in bold colors. Gross had studied at the League and became an instructor in 1961. He also taught at the University of Maryland. His paintings are included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Butler Institute.


George Grosz (1893-1959)

The Crucified Ham, 1949

Oil on canvas

Known internationally for his satirical drawings, Grosz came to New York from his native Germany in 1932. A demanding instructor who emphasized anatomy and perspective, he taught intermittently at the League until 1959. The grim events of World War II were disturbing for the artist. In the late 1940s, his series of "Stickmen" paintings featured fantastic stick figures attacking a fat man, alluding to the violence and torture known to have occurred in his native country. In this work, the stickmen crucify a human-like ham.


Yasuo Kuniyoshi (1893-1953)

Bananas and Plums, 1926

Oil on canvas

A League student and later a popular instructor, Yasuo Kuniyoshi forged a distinctive, personal style that combined European modernism, folk art and oriental elements. His prints and paintings often strike a note of fantasy. Born in Okayama, Japan he immigrated with his family in 1906 to the United States. Art studies in Los Angeles were followed by years at the National Academy of Design, the League with Kenneth Hayes Miller, and the New York School of Art with Robert Henri. He taught at the League from 1933 to 1953 and was a member of the artist community in Woodstock, New York.


Huey Lee-Smith (1914-1999)

Abandoned, 1986

Oil on canvas

Huey Lee-Smith studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and was later employed by the Works Progress Administration during the Depression. His prints and paintings from that period, done in a social realist style, focused on patriotic and political themes. After moving to New York in 1958, he taught at the Art Students League for 15 years.


Hayley Lever (1876-1958)

Forest Pool, 1933

Oil on canvas

Lever left his native Australia around 1900 for travel and study in Europe. He eventually settled in Cornwall, England and found inspiration in the region's port scenes and subjects. His work earned several awards, and his friend, the American artist Ernest Lawson, convinced him that greater success awaited him in this country. Sales from New York gallery exhibitions enabled him to maintain a summer studio in Gloucester, Mass., where he continued to paint marine subjects throughout the 1920s. Many of these works entered museum collections. Lever taught painting at the Art Students League from 1919 until 1931.


Norman Lewis (1909-1979)

Untitled, 1976

Oil on canvas

Raised in New York City, Norman Lewis depicted urban black families in a realist style during the 1930s. By the 1940s he had developed his own abstract style. In 1955 he became the first African-American artist to receive the prestigious Carnegie International Award in Painting. With Romare Beardon and Ernest Crichlow, Lewis founded the Cinque Gallery in 1969 to present the work of minority artists. He taught at the League from 1972 to 1978.


Leo Manso (1914-1993)

After the Storm, 1977

Oil on canvas

An abstract expressionist who exhibited with Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollock and Adolph Gottlieb, Leo Manso later developed a keen interest in collage and produced many works in that medium as well. Widely exhibited in the United States and Europe beginning in the 1950s, Manso's work was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy. Throughout his career he lectured frequently at universities and museums, and he taught at the Art Students League from 1974 to 1993. Manso summered in Provincetown and was a primary founder of the Long Point Gallery, an artists' cooperative in which Robert Motherwell, Paul Resika, Sidney Simon and others participated.


Knox Martin (born 1923)

Seated Woman, no date

Oil on canvas

A geometric abstractionist, Knox Martin has been active in New York City for many years. One of his large-scale outdoor murals adorns Manhattan's Bayview Correctional Facility on West 19th Street. Martin taught at Yale for several years and has taught at the Art Students League since 1972.


Frank Mason (born 1921)

Arden Mason, 1966

Oil on canvas

This portrait of the artist's ten-year-old son displays his interest in using light to render space and atmosphere. Mason has also painted the likeness of such notables as New York Governor Averell Harriman and Prince Giacchino Colonna of Venice. A recipient of numerous awards for his murals and paintings, the artist depicted scenes from the life of Saint Anthony for the Church of San Giovanni di Malta in Venice. Mason studied at the Art Students League with Frank Vincent DuMond and has taught there since 1951.


Jan Matulka (1890-1972)

Still Life with Horse Head and Phonograph, 1930

Oil on canvas on board

Born in Czechoslovakia, Matulka was raised in New York City and attended the National Academy of Design. Trips to Paris in 1919 and 1927 immersed him in avant-garde European art, which made him a compelling teacher at the League in the late 1920s. As a defender of modernism, he became a strong influence on his students Dorothy Dehner, David Smith and Burgoyne Diller. This still-life painting, with its unrelated objects, flattened forms and multiple patterns, reflects his interest in both surrealism and cubism. Eventually, he developed a cubist-inspired mode, like his friend Stuart Davis.


Kenneth Hayes Miller (1876-1952)

Women in the Store, 1937

Oil on canvas

In paintings like Women in the Store, Miller combined an interest in contemporary, middle-class life with a commitment to the balanced compositions of Renaissance art. A student of Kenyon Cox and William Merritt Chase, he became an influential teacher in his own right. Many of Miller's students at the League went on to successful careers. Later known as the "14th Street School" because of the location of their studios New York City, they included the urban realists Isabel Bishop, Reginald Marsh and Raphael Soyer. Marsh, in particular, valued Miller's advice to apply the weighty, majestic forms of Renaissance art to contemporary subjects like these shoppers.


Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)

Dead Rabbit with a Copper Pot, 1908

Oil on canvas

O'Keeffe's ability to portray metal and animal fur in this work earned her a scholarship in William Merritt Chase's still life class at the League. Her painting thus entered the collection. She recalled Chase as an energizing instructor who would arrive at the League for weekly critiques in a top hat, gloves and spats. To interest him, she said, the paintings had to be "alive with paint." In an interview years later, O'Keeffe remembered feeling that this type of painting had been mastered by many before her. "I didn't think I could do it any better," she said. "so I stopped painting for a while." Within ten years, she was producing vibrant, abstract watercolors that better anticipated her mature work.


James Penney (1910-1982)

Chelsea Studio, 1966

Oil on canvas

Penney painted this view from his New York City studio on several occasions. A native of Saint Joseph, Missouri, he came to New York in 1931 after studying art at the University of Kansas. At the League, he studied with George Grosz, John Sloan and the printmaker Charles Locke. The realist style of murals he painted for schools and post offices during the 1930s eventually gave way to a freer, more expressionistic handling of both oil and watercolor. Penney went on to teach at Hunter College, Bennington College and the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute. For more than twenty years he was a professor of art at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.


Fairfield Porter (1907-1975)

Katie, 1964

Oil on canvas

Porter studied with Thomas Hart Benton in the 1930s at the Art Students League. Known today for his serene landscapes and interiors, rendered in simple forms and pleasing colors, he also produced portraits of fellow artists such as Andy Warhol and Larry Rivers. Porter earned respect for his art criticism that appeared in major journals during the 1940s and 1950s.


Theodoros Stamos (1922-1997)

Soundings #2, no date

Oil on canvas

A self-taught painter, Theodoros Stamos was among the abstract expressionists who came to prominence in New York in the 1940s. His first one-man exhibition was held at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1943. He had a substantial teaching career at the League, Columbia University, Black Mountain College and Brandeis University. Stamos was a close friend of fellow abstract expressionist Mark Rothko and served as executor of his estate.


Allen Tucker (1866-1939)

October Cornfield, 1906

Oil on canvas

As a young architect in New York City, Tucker took classes at the League in the 1890s, including painting studies with John Twachtman. Eventually, he left architecture for painting and became an active force in the New York art scene. As a charter member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, he was involved in the ground-breaking Armory Show of 1913. He later helped establish the Society of Independent Artists. Tucker's work evolved from Impressionist-inspired landscapes like October Cornfield to more stylized images reflecting the influence of Van Gogh.


Peggy Bacon (1895-1987)

At the Soda Shop, 1945

Pastel on paper

Bacon earned her artistic reputation with lighthearted satire aimed at both celebrities and ordinary people. The daughter of artists, she studied with John Sloan and George Bellows at the League and enjoyed success as a printmaker, illustrator and fine artist. Bacon also authored several children's books. She taught at the League during the 1935-36 season and from 1948 to 1952.


Will Barnet (born 1911)

Woman Reading, 1970

Color silkscreen

One of his most popular images, Woman Reading reflects Barnet's signature style of clean lines, bold colors and strong compositions. Barnet taught both printmaking and painting at the League for many years. His own work evolved from social realist images such as Fulton Street Fishmarket, also in this exhibit, to the semi-abstract Indian Space paintings of the 1940s, a movement that took inspiration from the tribal arts of the Northwest Coast. After a period of working in geometric abstraction, Barnet returned to figurative art and developed his mature style displayed here.


Will Barnet (born 1911)

Fulton Street Fish Market, 1934


As a boy, Will Barnet pored over the public library's art books in his native Beverly, Massachusetts. He went on to studies at the Boston Museum School. On the eve of the great Depression, he arrived in New York on a scholarship to the Art Students League. Working with instructor Charles Locke, he learned about the increasingly popular print medium of lithography. This outstanding student work reflects Barnet's technical skill and appreciation for the work of Honoré Daumier. In the years ahead, Barnet became a master lithographer at the League and printed for such well-known artists as José Clemente Orozco and Louis Lozowick.


William Behnken (born 1943)

Of Land and Sea, 2001


Bill Behnken's prints have been acquired by the British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library and other institutions. A native New Yorker, he studied at the High School of Music and Art and the City College of New York. He teaches printmaking at the League, the National Academy of Design and City College.


George Bellows (1882-1925)

The Murder of Edith Cavell, 1918


Bold images of prizefights and street scenes earned Bellows recognition beginning around 1910. He later took up lithography and depicted the horrors of World War I, including this brooding study of a nurse executed by the Germans for aiding prisoners of war. Raised in Ohio, Bellows traveled to New York to study with Robert Henri, who urged students to focus on the life around them. Bellows taught at the League from 1917 to 1919. He died of appendicitis at the height of his career.


Robert Blackburn (1920-2002)

Negro Mother, c.1944


Robert Blackburn achieved famed as a master printmaker who introduced the graphic arts to such notable artists as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. He is also known for his Printmaking Workshop, a cooperative press established in New York in 1948. For years it drew artists from around the world as a place to learn and experiment. Blackburn produced this lithograph while studying at the League with Will Barnet in the early 1940s. His mature prints were often highly experimental works in color lithography.


Frank Vincent DuMond (1865-1951)

Academic Study of a Male Nude, c.1885

Graphite and charcoal on paper

Like the great European art academies, the Art Students League established academic figure drawing as a cornerstone of an artist's education. Students typically worked three hours a day for five days on such a drawing, and they produced dozens of them. Outstanding examples were often displayed on classroom walls. DuMond drew this model while studying at the League. He went on to a career as an illustrator for the New York Daily Graphic, Harper's and McClure's magazines, and later achieved success as a landscape artist. He was also a popular and influential League instructor from 1892 to 1894 and from 1902 to 1951.


Ellen Eagle (born 1953)

Untitled, 1999


A pastel portrait artist, Ellen Eagle has written of her fascination with the way subtle details such as a sitter's posture can reveal an emotional state. Eagle studied for several years at the League with Harvey Dinnerstein, whom she cites as a major influence. This work was done in his class and purchased by the school for its permanent collection. Eagle also studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts and at the National Academy of Design.


Victoria Hutson Huntley (1900-1971)

Kopper's Coke, 1933


Huntley studied painting at the League in the 1920s with George Luks, John Sloan, and Kenneth Hayes Miller but cited the modernist Max Weber as her greatest influence there. Most critically, she worked and studied with master lithographer George Miller from 1930 to 1948. Huntley earned national recognition early for her 1930 "Steam and Steel" prints. Her award-winning graphic work, shown widely and acquired for numerous museum collections, reflected time spent in New York City, rural Connecticut and Florida.


Robert Kipniss (born 1931)

Window with Tree and Bench, no date


The appeal of solitude informs the prints and paintings of Robert Kipniss. His meditative landscapes and still-lifes have been the subject of more than 40 one-man exhibits and are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Smithsonian and other institutions. A native New Yorker, the artist studied at the League in 1947 and earned a BA degree in English and an MFA in painting and art history at the University of Iowa.


Martin Lewis (1881-1962)

The Boss of the Block, c.1939

Etching and aquatint

Australian Martin Lewis trained as a printmaker in Sidney. He settled in New York City in 1910 and over the next three decades emerged as a major graphic artist in the United States. His etchings and aquatints celebrated the city's diverse population, its energetic street life and its architecture. He taught at the League from 1944 to 1951.


Reginald Marsh (1898 -1954)

Afternoon, Coney Island, 1947, 1947

Ink, gouache, watercolor on paper

Average New Yorkers enjoying the beach, amusement parks or sidewalk attractions were among Reginald Marsh's favorite subjects. He was known to carry a pen and small sketchpad with him everywhere so that he could draw subjects as he discovered them. He also photographed urban scenes like these beach-goers at Coney Island. Marsh studied art at Yale and at the Art Students League and earned a living as a free-lance illustrator for The New Yorker and The Daily News in New York City. He worked in oil, watercolor, egg tempera and produced a significant body of prints.


Seong Moy (born 1921)

Changes #2, c.1961


At ten, Seong Moy came from his native China to live with his grandparents in Minnesota. As a scholarship student at the St. Paul School of Art, he studied with Cameron Booth, who introduced Moy to modern art and encouraged him to attend the Art Students League (1941-44). Moy benefited from the WPA Art Project in Minneapolis, where he learned printmaking, the medium that would dominate his career. His color woodcuts and silkscreen prints were widely shown, and he developed a unique form of relief printing using pieces of cardboard, as in this work. Moy was a League printmaking instructor from 1963 to 1986.


Masaaki Noda (born 1949)

Echo, 2001


Noda's graceful forms moving through space have emerged in his silkscreen prints, metal sculptures and stained glass windows. Born in Japan, he studied at the Osaka University of Arts and the Art Students League. Today he makes his home in New York. Each of Noda's silkscreen works requires at least seventy and often more than one hundred passes, creating the illusion of space through transparent color. His work is in collections in Europe, South America and the United States. Most recently, he was commissioned to create a monumental, stainless steel sculpture, Apollo's Mirror, for the European Cultural Center of Delphi, Greece.


Michael Pellettieri (born 1943)

Winter '78, 1980


Award-winning printmaker Michael Pellettieri has taught at the League since 1977. He studied painting and graphics there in the 1960s with Edwin Dickinson, Harry Sternberg, Joseph Hirsch and Robert Beverly Hale. He also holds BFA and MFA degrees and is an adjunct instructor at Teachers College, Columbia University. His work has appeared in group and one-man exhibitions nationwide and is included in several public and private collections.


Michael Ponce de Leon (born 1922)

Roundabout, no date

Surface roll color print

In the free-wheeling 1960s, Michael Ponce de Leon shared a keen interest in experimental print techniques with his students at the League. He even invented a hydraulic press that allowed an artist to create three-dimensional, shaped prints. A product of the League, he had worked under instructors Harry Sternberg, Will Barnet, Cameron Booth and Vaclav Vytlacil. Ponce de Leon taught at the League from 1969 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1993.


Margaret Lente Raoul (1892 -?)

Provincetown, A Study in Angles, c.1926


Like many women artists of her generation, Raoul took up printmaking, with a particular interest in the woodblock technique. Her work often depicted scenes from Provincetown on Cape Cod. At the League, she studied with noted designer and printmaker Allen Lewis.


Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)

Untitled Student Sketch Illustrating a Passage from The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith, c.1911

Graphite and charcoal on paper

One of America's best-known illustrators, Rockwell was 17 when he produced this drawing as a first-year student in a League illustration class. The work earned him a scholarship, and he returned the following year to study life drawing. In this image, Rockwell illustrated a passage from a well-known poem. With dramatic shadows, he depicted the type of solemn scene that the poem's minister encountered among his parishioners. He is best known today for the dozens of covers he created for the Saturday Evening Post.


Arthur Secunda (born 1927)

The Looters, 1967


Known for his skills as a printmaker, Secunda is also a painter, sculptor and collage artist. During the 1940s, he studied at the League with artists Harry Sternberg, Reginald Marsh and Julien Levi. His art has been exhibited in numerous one-man exhibits here and abroad. Secunda has been an instructor at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, Long Beach State College and the University of California at Los Angeles.


John Sloan (1871-1951)

Connoisseurs of Prints, 1905


As a young newspaper artist in Philadelphia, Sloan learned to portray contemporary life in a few telling strokes. Moving to New York, he joined other artists interested in urban subjects and a candid rendering of them. They became known as the Ashcan School. This particular print was one of his "New York Life" series, which offended some with its satirical note. A League instructor from 1916 to 1924 and 1935 to 1938, Sloan contributed his fierce engagement with contemporary art and politics to the school's richly diverse staff.


Raphael Soyer (1899-1987)

The Team, c.1932


Soyer's family moved to New York City in 1913 after being ousted from Russia by the Tsarist regime because of his father's liberal views. One of three artist sons, he often focused on the lives of immigrants and humble workers such as dancers, artists and shopkeepers. Soyer's paintings and lithographs reflect his admiration for Degas' and Rembrandt's candid portrayal of contemporary subjects. He taught at the League from 1933 to 1942.


Harry Sternberg (1904-2001)

Steel, 1935


Sternberg studied anatomy and drawing at the League during the 1920s and taught printmaking there from 1933 to 1966. A major American printmaker, he shared with students his interest in technical innovations and social issues. His work often focused on the nobility of the worker, racism and the effects of industrialization on society. This print anticipates the year he spent among Pennsylvania coalminers and steel workers, documenting their lives in a series of powerful prints.


Charles White (1918-1979)

Ruth, no date


Chicago-born artist Charles White studied at the Art Institute there and with Harry Sternberg at the League. From 1939 to 1940, working for the Illinois Federal Arts Project, he won recognition for his murals depicting highlights of African-American history. These subjects remained the focus of his work, which garnered him many awards and one-man exhibitions.


Roberto Franzone (born 1948)

Prometheus, 2000


An architect trained at the University of Rome, Roberto Franzone studied drawing and sculpture at the National Academy of Design and then earned a certificate in Fine Arts Sculpture from the League. His wood, bronze and stone sculptures have been exhibited frequently in New York and have earned numerous awards from the League.


Margo Hammerschlag (? ­ 1998)

Untitled (Rabbit), no date


Most of Hammerschlag's work was exhibited under the name Margo Liebes Harris. She studied in Italy and from 1950 to 1955 at the Art Students League. Her career centered in New York City, where she was active in the American Society of Contemporary Artists and the New York Society of Women Artists. Hammerschlag created portrait sculptures of such well-known figures as Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya and Rex Reed. Her work was acquired for private collections and for the Portland Museum in Maine.


Rhoda Sherbell

Aaron Copland, 1977


Well-known portrait sculptor Rhoda Sherbell has created images of such prominent Americans as Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra and William Zorach, her instructor at the Art Students League. Sherbell's work is in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and many other institutions. She has taught sculpture at the Art Students League since 1988.


Harry Wickey (1892-1968)

The Wrestler, 1938


As a nationally recognized graphic artist, Wickey taught print classes at the League from 1929 to 1933. When etching acids took such a toll on Wickey's eyesight that he had to abandon printmaking, he refocused his artistic efforts in the realm of sculpture. The Wrestler was one of his first forays in the new medium.


William Zorach (1887-1966)

Mother and Child, no date

Terra cotta

Zorach's family emigrated from Lithuania to Chicago in 1891. As a lithographer's apprentice, he earned enough to enroll in painting classes at New York's National Academy of Design. Further studies in Paris introduced him to the Cubist and Fauve movements, which influenced his work. Zorach took up sculpture in 1922 after carving woodblocks for prints. Though self-taught, he enjoyed a highly successful career and an international reputation, producing images of universal themes like this mother and child. Zorach taught at the League from 1929 to 1959.

Go back to main article

Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Hillstrom Museum of Art in Resource Library.

Visit the Table of Contents for Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art

Copyright 2007 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.