Woodmere Art Museum

Philadelphia, PA



The Paintings of Arthur B. Carles: Orchestration of Color


Woodmere Art Museum presents three exhibitions from April 16 through June 25, 2000, showcasing Arthur B. Carles (1882-1952), one of the long lineage of artists associated with The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts who studied under William Merritt Chase, Cecilia Beaux, Hugh Breckenridge and Henry McCarter.

The centerpiece of Woodmere's exhibitions is "The Paintings of Arthur B. Carles: Orchestration of Color," a groundbreaking show which provides testimony to the distinct contribution of this ingenious artist in the development of the American modernist movement. Organized by Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY, and curated by Gallery Director Vivian Bullaudy along with noted Carles scholar and art historian, Barbara Wolanin, Ph.D., the exhibit includes nearly 100 paintings illustrating the full spectrum of Carles' endlessly innovative and experimental technique. (left: Arthur B. Carles, Jr. (1882-1952), Floral Arrangement, oil on canvas, 33 3/4 x 39 3/4 inches)

"The Dr. and Mrs. Perry Ottenberg Collection of Arthur B. Carles," and "Students of Arthur B. Carles" which was assembled by artist Bill Scott, will further augment an understanding of Carles, his art and his teaching. The selected works, ranging from his early academic compositions to his personal interpretation of Fauvism and astonishing anticipation of Abstract Expressionism, have been assembled from museums and private collections as well as directly from the artist's estate, including many of the works Caries himself chose to exhibit in his lifetime.

Arthur B. Carles was a passionate painter, a flamboyant, formidable character and a spirited and influential teacher, helping to spawn the careers of local artists Jane Piper, Quita Brodhead, Mop Glidden, Fay and Bernard Badura, Agnes Hood Miller, Margaret Gest, Betty Hubbard, and Jessie Drew-Bear.

In 1917, Carles was hired as an Instructor of Drawing and Painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He taught there until his dismissal in 1925, dut to, according to Wolanin, of "uninhibited behavior and flaunting of convention." Wolanin adds, "The Academy, following a nationwide conservative trend, became more entrenched at the same time that Carles was becoming more outspoken and freer in his own work."

Throughout his life, Carles was an active protagonist in bringing Modernist thought to other artists and to the American public.

You may also enjoy our article American Illustrations in the Time of Maxfield Parrish: From the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Collection (6/17/99)

Read more about the Woodmere Art Museum in Resource Library Magazine.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

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