Art Communities: Historical
Chicago Artist Colonies by Keith M. Stolte, Amy E. Keller (Foreword), Zac Bleicher (Foreword) – Paperback: 208 pages; The History Press (July 22, 2019)

For more than a century, Chicago's leading painters, sculptors, writers, actors, dancers and architects congregated together in close-knit artistic enclaves. After the Columbian Exposition, they set up shop in places like Lambert Tree Studios and the 57th Street Artist Colony. Nationally renowned figures like Theodore Dreiser, Margaret Anderson, Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan became colleagues, confidants and neighbors.

In the 1920s, Carl Sandburg, Emma Goldman, Ernest Hemingway, Ben Hecht, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Clarence Darrow transformed the speakeasies and bohemian bistros of Towertown into Chicago's Greenwich Village. In Old Town, Renaissance man Edgar Miller and progressive architect Andrew Rebori collaborated on the Frank Fisher Studios, one of the finest examples of Art Moderne architecture in the country. From Nellie Walker to Roger Ebert, Keith Stolte visits Chicago's ascendant artistic spirits in their chosen sanctuaries.

Artists at Continent's End: The Monterey Peninsula Art Colony, 1875-1907 by Scott A. Shields – Paperback: 357 pages; Publisher: University of California Press; 1st edition (April 17, 2006)

Few regions rival the magnificence of California's Monterey Peninsula. This beauty, together with a mild climate, rich history, and simplicity of lifestyle, encouraged the development of one of the nation’s foremost art colonies. From 1875 to the first years of the twentieth century, artists were drawn to the towns of Monterey, Pacific Grove, and then Carmel. Artists at Continent's End is the first in-depth examination of the importance of the Monterey Peninsula, which during this period came to epitomize California art. Beautifully illustrated with a wealth of images, including many never before published, this book tells the fascinating story of eight principal protagonists—Jules Tavernier, William Keith, Charles Rollo Peters, Arthur Mathews, Evelyn McCormick, Francis McComas, Gottardo Piazzoni, and photographer Arnold Genthe—and a host of secondary players who together established an enduring artistic legacy.

Call of the Coast: Art Colonies of New England (Portland Museum of Art) ~ Mr. Thomas Andrew Denenberg, Amy Kurtz Lansing, Susan Danly, Jamie Wyeth (Preface) – Paperback: 128 pages; Portland Museum of Art (June 2, 2009)

The early 20th century brought renewed focus upon the image of the coast and witnessed the formation of art colonies in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Ogunquit and Monhegan, Maine. These creative communities became an inspiration for artists and art students, among them Edward Hopper, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Rockwell Kent, and George Bellows. Visually stunning, Call of the Coast: Art Colonies of New England explores the importance of place for artists in these colonies, and the development of impressionist Connecticut and modernist Maine within the visual traditions of the coast of New England.

Featuring approximately 80 works, Call of the Coast illustrates each major painting with extensive interpretative text and includes documentary photography to provide historical context for the artworks.

Hamptons Bohemia: Two Centuries of Artists and Writers on the Beach by Helen Harrison, Constance Ayers, Edward Albee (Foreword) – Hardcover: 176 pages Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 1, 2002)

An unspoiled coastline bathed in spectacular light—just far enough from Manhattan bustle—made the Hamptons seductive for generations of creative types. Hamptons Bohemia: Two Centuries of Artists and Writers on the Beach is an entertaining survey of the personalities who found a summer or year-round haven on the southeastern end of Long Island. Numerous color photographs—of artworks, personalities, and landscape views—offer inviting glimpses of the shifting tides of culture. The story begins with early 19th-century figures like James Fenimore Cooper, who abandoned a failing whaling business to take up writing novels. Then came the genteel landscape painters with their portable easels and sunshades. By the 1950s (the era of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, and many others), bohemia was in full swing. Since then the Hamptons have become a clubby getaway for artists who've already made it, from Kurt Vonnegut to Julian Schnabel. —Cathy Curtis

Cottages by the Sea, The Handmade Homes of Carmel, America's First Artist Community by Linda Leigh Paul, Radek Kurzaj (Photographer) – Hardcover: 224 pages; Universe Publishing (November 18, 2000)

Carmel, California, has always been a community of artists, writers, and freethinkers. During the early part of its rich history, the area was home to Robinson Jeffers, Mary Austin, Ansel Adams, Charles Greene, Jack London, George Sterling, Upton Sinclair, and Henry Miller, among other great artists of the twentieth century. During the late 1980s, actor Clint Eastwood, a longtime resident, served as mayor.

While much about Carmel has changed since the days when Robinson Jeffers could be seen strolling the beach, the area remains one of America's most beautiful. It is also home to many of America's most charming but rarely seen cottages. In Carmel's residential district—a very private, heavily wooded area surrounding the shops and tourist attractions of the town's often busy main street—there are no sidewalks or streetlights. The U.S. Postal Service does not offer mail delivery. Homes have no addresses; they are simply known by name.

Here, it is not uncommon for tourists, so intrigued by the uniqueness of the local architecture, to climb the fences of private homes in order to get a closer look or snapshot of the house on the other side. Now, for the first time, 34 of these homes can be seen more advantageously, in more than 270 specially commissioned and archival exterior and interior photographs.

A Place of Beauty: The Artists and Gardens of the Cornish Colony by Alma M. Gilbert, Judith B. Tankard – Hardcover: 136 pages Publisher: Ten Speed Press (August 2000)

Much has changed since the previous turn of the century, but our appreciation of the restrained and peaceful beauty of Cornish, New Hampshire has remained. In the early 1900s, Cornish was renowned as an artist's colony filled with magical gardens that appeared in the work of many resident artists like Frances Houston, William Hyde, Maria Oakey Dewing, and Stephen and Maxfield Parrish. In many cases, the fame of the gardens outlasted the reputation of the artist, but in A Place of Beauty, the art and the gardens that provided inspiration are seen as inseparable.

Garden admirers will enjoy this book as much as any art historian. Twelve different houses are discussed in detail--the owners, architects, gardeners, and their stylistic goals are revealed through fascinating text, historical photographs, and reproductions of the works of art that were created by the talented residents. Between painting, sculpting, and writing, Cornish's residents also found time to be surprisingly competitive in the realm of gardening. While each house maintained a clear style, the overall beauty was discussed and judged with a fairly critical eye, and professional designers such as Ellen Shipman were brought in for expert consultations. As one visitor said, "They bore me to death with their houses and their poor little flower beds." The text is filled with personal notes, diary entries, and letters—the Cornish residents were a prolific lot. And while the community was described by one female citizen as "a place where men are acknowledged to be more important than the women," the numerous photos and reproductions of paintings that fill the book show a world filled with an astonishing beauty rarely seen in our modern world. —Jill Lightner

The Good and Simple Life: Artist Colonies in Europe and America by Michael Jacobs – Hardcover: 176 pages Publisher: Harpercollins (June 1986)

Community of Creativity: A Century of Macdowell Colony Artists by P. Andrew Spahr, William Nathaniel Banks – Paperback: 103 pages Publisher: Currier Gallery of Art (October 1996)

Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885-1915 by Katherine M. Bourguignon – Paperback: 224 pages; Terra Foundation For American Art; 73rd edition (April 7, 2007)

Lured by the ineffable beauty represented in Claude Monet’s artwork and the promise of painting en plein air, artists from America and across Europe flocked to the French village of Giverny in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, transforming it from a sleepy hamlet to a colorful and thriving artists’ community. Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885-1915 evokes the longevity of impressionism and highlights the role Giverny played in the movement’s ascendance, placing Giverny in the context of other European artists’ colonies of its era.

Americans in Paris 1850-1910: The Academy, the Salon, the Studio, and the Artists Colony by Barbara H. Weinberg, Gabriel P. Weisberg, George Hardy, Carolyn Hill (Foreword), Hardy George (Editor) – Paperback: 130 pages; Publisher: Oklahoma City Art Museum (February 2004)

Americans in Paris 1850–1910 represents the profound French influence—both in style and subject—on American painters following the Civil War. There was a great deal of French art in America, mainly in the hands of urban industrialists and financiers eager to display their wealth. Meanwhile, American artists traveled to France to study under the masters, either at the École des Beaux-Arts or at one of the independent academies or studios. Paris proved immensely appealing as a locale in which artists were supported and valued, cultural life was rich, the surrounding countryside ispiring, and the cost of living relatively low. The landscapes and human figures favored by French painters offered a nostalgic appeal that American artists translated into a national vernacular.

Alternating beautiful color plates of some of the most influential artists from America and France—among them, James McNeill Whistler, Kenyon Cox, Mary Cassatt, Camille Cordot, and Honoré Daumier—with informative essays describing biographical, historical, and stylistic influences, this volume brings to life this pivotal and creatively vibrant moment in art history.

Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris 1870-1914: Strangers in Paradise by Karen L. Carter (Editor), Susan Waller (Editor) – Hardcover: 266 pages; Publisher: Ashgate Pub Co; New edition (May 28, 2015)

Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870-1914 constitutes a major contribution to art history and to the broader field of modernist studies. The essays throw new light on major artists, including Gwen John, Medardo Rosso and Gino Severini, as well as understudied subjects, such as the evolving development of Catalan, Czech, Polish, American, and Japanese communities within metropolitan Paris.

The Cos Cob Art Colony: Impressionists on the Connecticut Shore by Dr. Susan G. Larkin – Hardcover: 256 pages; Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (March 1, 2001)

What Argenteuil in the 1870s was to French Impressionists, Cos Cob between 1890 and 1920 was to American Impressionists Childe Hassam, Theodore Robinson, John Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, and their followers. These artists and writers came together to work in the modest Cos Cob section of Greenwich, Connecticut, testing new styles and new themes in the stimulating company of colleagues.

New Hampshire's Cornish Colony by Fern K. Meyers, James B. Atkinson – Paperback: 128 pages Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (April 27, 2005)

New Hampshire’s Cornish Colony illustrates this distinguished American art colony. First settled in 1885 by colleagues of America’s Michelangelo, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the Cornish Colony was a retreat for sculptors, painters, writers, and musicians. They were attracted to this peaceful valley nestled in the New Hampshire hills in the shadow of Vermont’s Mount Ascutney. Known as “the Athens of America,” the Cornish Colony was a lively, glamorous society during its heyday from 1885 to 1925. One outstanding member, the famous artist Maxfield Parrish, was called a “chickadee” because he spent the entire year in Cornish, not merely the summer. In New Hampshire’s Cornish Colony, discover a portrait of the colonists’ society and the fascinating people who contributed to America’s cultural legacy.

Colonies of American Impressionism: Cos Cob, Old Lyme, Shinnecock, and Laguna Beach by Deborah Epstein Solon, Will South, Calif.) Laguna Art Museum (Laguna Beach – Paperback Publisher: Laguna Art Museum (December 1998)

American Art Colonies, 1850-1930: A Historical Guide to America's Original Art Colonies and Their Artists by Steve Shipp – Hardcover: 192 pages Publisher: Greenwood Press (December 30, 1996)

These colonies ranged from Carmel-Monterey in California to Gloucester-Rockport in Massachusetts to Taos and Santa Fe in New Mexico. Some of the artists are famous today, such as Georgia O'Keeffe, while others were well-known at the time and added to the name recognition of their particular colonies.

Scholars, students, and anyone interested in American Art History will find valuable information on how the closeness of colonies can affect and influence artists. For most artists, interest in art colonies began in the mid-1800s in Europe, where they had gone to live, work, and study. On returning to America, they continued what they believed was a practice that benefited their personal maturity as professional artists--living in a major city such as New York during the winter and spending summers with other working artists in art colonies. The impact of those early artists can be seen in the paintings of many of today's artists.

Rural Artists' Colonies in Europe: 1870-1910 by Nina Lubbren – Paperback: 238 pages; Publisher: Rutgers University Press (August 15, 2001)

Rural artists' colonies have been unjustly neglected by an art history preoccupied with the urban avant-garde. Yet these communities hatched some of the most exciting innovations of late nineteenth-century painting. Moreover, the practices and images of rural artists articulated central concerns of urban middle-class audiences, in particular the yearning for a nostalgia-filled life that was considered authentic, premodern, and immersed in nature. Paradoxically, it was precisely this perception that placed artists' colonies firmly within modernity, mainly through their contribution to an emergent mass tourism.

The Tenth Street Studio Building: Artist-Entrepreneur from the Hudson River School to the American Impressionists by Annette Blaugrund – Paperback: 143 pages; Publisher: Univ of Washington Press (June 1997)

Just before the Civil War, the entrepreneur James B. Johnston (1822-1887) commissioned the beaux-arts architect Richard Morris Hunt (1827-1895) to design a building on Tenth Street in New York City for the sole purpose of housing artists' studios (some with living quarters) as well as a communal space for exhibitions. This concept was entirely new to the city's artistic community, and when the building was finished in January 1858, it quickly achieved prominence among a wide circle of artists, architects, designers, art dealers, collectors, and critics. This book accompanied a 1997 exhibition by that same name at the Parrish Art Museum. The 150 objects in the exhibition include paintings, prints, and photographs representing the work of artists who lived and worked there as well as the building itself.

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