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Artist Colonies in Europe, the United States, and Florida b y Jennifer L. Aldrich A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Liberal Arts Department of Humanities College of Arts and Sciences Un iversity of South Florida Co Major Professor: Gary Mormino, Ph.D. Christopher Meindl, Ph.D. Rose Marie Prins, Ph.D. Date of Approval: October 3, 2008 Keywords: Regionalism, artwork, creative, painters, beautification Copyright 2008, Jennifer A ldrich
i Table of Contents Abstract iii Introduction 1 Chapter One: European Artist Colonies 5 Barbizon, France 6 Pont Aven, France 9 Skagen, Denmark 12 Chapter Two: American Artist Colonies 17 Hudson River School of Painters 18 New England Colonies 18 Upstate New York Colonies and New York City 21 Western Colonies 24 Monterrey and the coast, California 24 Taos and Sa nta Fe, New Mexico 27 From Haystacks to Soup Cans: American Modern Art 29 Chapter Three: Florida Artist Colonies 31 St. Augustine, Florida 35 Maitland Art Colony 40 Sarasota Arts Community 43 Towles Court and Other Art Communities 52 Conclusion 55 Bibliography 61
ii Florida's Art Communities: From Rural Artist Colonies to Urban Art Centers Jennifer Aldrich ABST RACT During the nineteenth century, an artistic trend spread across Europe A s urban centers housed the majority of professional artists, individuals and groups relocated to remote bucolic areas to form art colonies. Artist colonies are typically defin ed as a group of artists, generally painters, writers, and composers who worked and lived as a community for a certain period of time. 1 Artists left their city lifestyle s as a response to urbanization and industrialization. In other words, the movement enc ouraged reform of social, environmental, and economic conditions to prevent the decline of true artisanship. The artistic response personified an underlying utopian theme: preservation of the simple life, nostalgia, and set of values threatened by industr ialization. This idyllic impulse eventually spread to America. The American art colonies were mainly located in the Northeastern states, the Southwest and Northern California. The present study seeks to analyze art colonies' transformation from rural set tings to urban art communities, particularly Florida's art centers. The study finds commonality among the artist colonies of yesterday and the modern art enclaves of today. Some common themes include : desire for seclusion, camaraderie with fellow artists, and 1 Nina Lubbren, Rural Artist Colonies in Europe, 1870 1910 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press 2001), 2.
iii inspiration from a environment and/ or nature. Chapter one offers a brief history of art colonies in Europe and the influence of landscapes on artists. Chapter two explores the development of American art colonies and their connection to landscapes and the urban influence of modern art on the artists. Chapter three investigates the history of the most significant art colonies in Florida: St. Augustine, Sarasota, Maitland, and New Smyrna Beach. This chapter also examines how artist enclaves support urb an communities economically, culturally, and through diversity; specifically through examples in small towns transformed into diverse Floridian art communities. Art has always provided a unique historical record of social, regional, environmental, and creative changes. The art colonies and communities discussed in this thesis show how the artistic impulses for creativity attract individuals to places and transform them into important art centers.
1 Introduction The term "art colony has become a descr iptive but somewhat vague notion in the American language, sometimes referring to a place where artists once gathered and worked, sometimes to a place where the one time art colony has evolved into a community in which art and artists are vital to the econ omy, and, more currently a place where artists and art galleries are concentrated in a particular area of a town or city. Steve Shipp, 2 Art colonies in the nineteenth century flourished in Europe and spread quickly in America as the artists who for med them continued to seek alternatives to the urban and industrial patterns sweeping across the developed world The urban ideals of a prudent soci ety economic growth through industrialization, and institutions of conformity motivated artists to seek ou t alternative places for creative expression and inspiration wit h other like minded individuals. The late nineteenth century artists' rebellion lured artists to rural villages and small towns to study the aesthetics of nature and the simpl icity of rural life. In the eyes of artists, peasants and villagers represented the common folk who embodied the purest sense of an idyllic lifestyle T he villagers displayed true craftsmanship through everyday tasks that was not tainted by the destructi ve nature of u rba n society and industrialization. The artists utopian concept resisted modern industrialization, which paralleled the longing of agrarian romanticism that influenc ed the creation of artist enclaves in pastoral reg ions 3 2 Steve Shipp, American Art Colonies, 1850 1930: A Historical Guide to America's Original Art Colonies and Their Artists ( Westpor t, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1996), ix x. 3 Nina Lubbren, Rural Artists' Colonies in Europe 1870 1910 ( New Brunswick, New Jersey : Rutgers University Press, 2001), 11 13.
2 The agrarian impulse of the art ist colonists in Europe found suitable subjects in the faces of common people as much as they did the rural landscape. In fact, m any such artists were landscape painters who often painted the local villag ers T ownsfolk were typically curious yet suspiciou s of the artists at first ; however they welcomed the economic value of artists' presence since artists could afford such a self directed lifestyle The relationshi p with villagers was reciprocal; artists were dependent on the services provided by the loca l innkeepers, models, and townsfolk while the townsfolk reshaped their own occupations and their village's infrastructure to accommodate artists and tourists 4 Often t he interaction s between villagers and artists reflected a regional style that was cha racteristic ally evident in the artwork. Some artists discovered fishing villages while others sought out rural hamlets The differences in art colonies depended largely upon their location A rtists with similar European backgrounds found comfort among kind red spirits. T he Danish artists of the Skagen, Denmark colony, located on a peninsula in the North Sea observed fishermen and the ir watery world as the most important subjects but the colony also attracted artists with similar regional heritage such as the Swedes and Norwegians The portrayal of regional subjects invoked in these artists a romanticism and nostalgia for past places, almost freezing them in time This thesis explores the shift of the European artist colony t o the United States occurring at the end of the nineteenth century with specific emphasis on the decline of rural artist colonies and the growth of modern urban art communities as they contributed to the economic and cultural revival of urban centers in the United Sta t es What factors 4 Ibid., 38.
3 explain the t ransition from rural art colonies to urban art centers ? As will be seen cyclical changes in economics changes in the arts cultural mores, urban growth and decline tourism, and historic preservation all played a role. This paper ultimatel y focuses on art communities in Florida : from the original art colony of St. Augustine to smaller colonies such as the Maitland Art Center the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach and a few communities in Sarasota and Sanford, Florida that b ecame or attempted to become art colon ies through redevelopment. These cycles of birth and decline in places where artists congregate are often associated with similar cultural ideals. In other words, what is important or valued by artists at the time? I n the nineteenth centur y agrarianism motivated artists to hold rural areas in high regard. C hapters one and two discuss how European and American art colonies shared similar rural and utopian concepts even if artists in the U.S. later resurrected urban settings as their new home Artists, who once dutifully avoided the clu tter of city life, began to embrace modern co nceptual art forms and reclaim ed urban life to be their new canvas at the turn of the nineteenth century What was once the rural utopia n ideal and the artist's inclination to rebel from what society represented was urban conformity, mass productio n, and capitalist driven culture transformed into an artistic impulse that informs and defines the urban sensibility, if not reclaims it. Chap ter three examines Florida art colonies as they developed into modern art centers through u rban renewal trends such as historic preservation attracting arts culture and nostalgic longing for the past even if the past does not accurately represent a tru e
4 re presentation 5 Social and economic factors that contribute to an art community's success are noted. Artists attracted to decaying urban areas, often attempt to rescue urban spac es becoming the harbingers for cultural revitalization The Renaissance of m any once troubled communities in Florida is directly linked to the sweat equity invested by artists who saw potential and beauty amidst, or in spite of, the faded ruins of once glorious, bustling industrial and railroad towns Th is creative class of in dividuals bring s resourceful ideas and intellectual capital replacing the archaic need for natural resources and mechanical innovation to drive its economy 6 These old towns usually provide cheaper living, an established community, and sometimes business opportunities that large cities cannot affordably offer. Communities revitalized by the arts are too numerous to cover however some examples of art communities examined in this thesis are St. Augustine, Maitland, Sanford Sarasota, and New Smyrna Beach, Florida. These communities share similar traits and are closely connected to their natural environment. All f ive places represent how art ha s transform ed them into quaint cultural centers supported artists, patrons and business es in a cyclical manner of b irth, decline, and rebirth 5 David Hamer, History in Urban Places: The Historic Districts of the United States (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1998), 23. 6 Richard Florida, Cities and the Creative Class (New York: Basic Books, 2005). 144 145.
5 Chapter One: Artist Colonies of Europe From 18 2 0 to 19 00 popular European cities such as Paris Florence, and Rome attracted many i nternational artists interested in pursuing art as an academic study. During the ninetee nth century, artists from Europe and America descended upon these exotic cities to enhance their artistic abilities and sensibilities In deed an artist's education was not considered complete until they spent time in Europe. 7 A rtists immersed in the Europ ean art world often found themselves in a foreign place unable to speak the local language. They frequently gravitated to other artists from their own countries leading to the development of enclaves of expatriate artists in European cities 8 Groups of f oreign artists disenchanted with the convention s of academic painting and meaning, and the indoor painting of historical or mythological subjects with artificial light challenged traditional schools of thought in the cities Artists who resisted the conve ntional style of painting created a new way to paint known as open air or (in French ) plein air' painting Artists then began to seek rural settings in which to paint in the o pen air, which involved natural subjects : landscapes and people in their environ ment. The popularity of open air painting led to the cr eation of rural artist colonies as early as the 18 2 0 s. 9 Three of the most famous European art colonies that produced the most prolific work in the heyday of the 18 70s as a consequence of the open air movement were 7 Michael Jacobs, The Good and Simple Life: Artist Colonies in Europe and America (Oxford: Paha idon Press Limited, 1985), 9. 8 Ibid 9 Lubbren, 1.
6 Barbizon and Pont Avon, France, and Skagen, Denmark. 10 These artist villages known f or their bucolic landscapes on the outskirts of major European cities flourished as the open air painters embraced the aesthetics of village life. Barbizon France Located in the forest of Fontainebleau twelve miles south of Paris and on the western plain of Chailly, Barbizon was one of the first rural European art colonies B eginning in the 1820s Barbizon's sylvan landscape first evoked the imagination of its artist visitors to a mythical place where druids, elves, and pixies exist ed Part of Barbizon's enchanting allure rested in the requirement that visitors needed to be escorted by horse drawn carriage twelve miles in to the tiny forest village 11 The qua int village offered no shops or stores just a few inns and a few moss covered thatch roofed homes giving the impression of being suspended in another time Barbizon attracted artists from France, Germany, Belgi um the Netherlands, the United States Ita ly and Britain T he American s fascination with Barbizon's forest of Fontainebleau paralleled that of their own admiration for the virgin forests of the U.S. bringing droves of Yankees to Barbizon 12 During the first half of the nineteenth century, the Bar bizon art colony produced the Barbizon School of Painters, which consisted of mostly French open air painters In the 1850s as open air painting became more of an accepted practice for art students, the Fontainebleau forest and the village of Barbizon sa w the greatest number of artis ts descend upon its wooded landscape 10 Ibid. 11 Jacobs, 26. 12 Ibid., 20.
7 In 1848 twenty eight artists stayed at the Auberge Ganne I nn By the sum mer of 1849 their number had increased to forty 13 Some artists rented property in the village and settled there permanently They includ ed Barbizon's most famous artists Theodore Rousseau Jean Francois Millet and Charles Jacque. By the 1870s, t hree establishments emerged to cater to artists' needs These included Ganne's I nn as well as two new hotels, the Hotel Siron and the appropriately named Villa des Artistes. 14 The artists world revolved around the village inns Hotel Siron for example offered a nnual exhibitions in the hotel lobby and social gatherings in the dining rooms where artists decorated the walls with their finished paintings leaving room for encouraging discussion and critique. The gastronomic center of the village frequently became a focal point of socializing in the rural artist colony. 15 When artists returned from a day of painting in the for est, they gathered in the dining room for coffee, strong spirits and a leisurely smoke telling stories and sharing warm and jubilant conversation 16 These social experiences among artists were part of a pleasant lifestyle yet at times, many artists form ed their own cliques anchored in shared nationality and similar academic upbringing. Despite the diversity a rtists recollection of summers spent in art colonies share similarities of delight and camaraderie such as t his account from American painter Anne Goater's 1885 essay about life at the Hotel de Voyageurs in Pont Aven France 's art colony: Russia, Sweden England, Austria, Germany, France, Australia, and the United States were represented at our table, all as one large family, and striving towards t he same goal. After lunch, on pleasant, sunny days, would follow the mid day chat, as seated outside on hotel stoop and doorway, we leisurely sipped coffee and cognac Criticism would be 13 Lubbren, 166. 14 Ibid., 166. 15 Ibid., 24. 16 Ibid., 26.
8 freely given and received ; all were at liberty to say just what they pleased, and without any ill feeling They were pleasant hours, indeed, spent around that Breton doorway and not wholly fruitless ones either. 17 In th e summer of 1874, an eccentric English artist, R.A.M Stevenson, joined the ranks of Hotel Siron 's soc ial crowd. D ressed in striped socks, a huge sombrero and a long thick mustache, the Bohemian Stevenson was a highly regarded artist who influenced many young artists including his younger cousin, the writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Robert lived under the h eavy hand of repressive parents and welcomed the invitation from his avant garde cousin to study in the French for es t. It was at Barbizon, immersed in the French countryside, that Robert adopted his writing style 18 In the Barbizon artist colony as in al l artist colonies relationships and the creative sociability among artists p rovided mutual support, structured routine, creative production and development of style The Stevenson s and their art school acquaintances became known as the "Anglo Saxons ," a n avant garde group and the largest group of English and American artisans to work in the forest of Fontainebleau throughout Barbizon's heyday, from 1840 1910 19 The Anglo Saxons shared a romantic style of painting that generated an intense study of color and light. Alt hough they were regarded as the new generation of landscape painters their contributions are considered noteworthy by art historians for inspiring Impressionism. 20 Impressionism is an art term used to define the French style of painting devel oped around the 1870s particularly from painter Claude Monet in wh ich the artist used primary colors for highlighted areas with 17 Ibid., 26 27. 18 Ibid., 27. 19 Ibid., 28. 1 8 Joshua Taylor, The Fine Arts In America (Chicago: University of Chic ago Press, 1981), 130 31.
9 emphasis on light and visible brush strokes 21 The Impressionis t movement consequently was named after Monet's signature piece Impression soliel levant, or Impression Sunrise in 1872. 22 The Barbizon painters are typically c ited as a transcendental generation, helping to bridge the gap between classical land scape pa inting of the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century Impressionism. 23 Barbizon's artists avoided conventional school s of painting as they carved out their own niche of landscape painting that made an indelible impression upon the emerging artists of the twentieth century and inspired the formation of art col onies throughout Europe and the United States. Pont Aven, France Located in the western part of France the tidal river port Pont Aven was even more quaint and mysterious than the forest of Fontainebleau. The myst ic landscape was scattered with Celtic dr uid ruins from the Gaelic P eriod roughly 500 1100 AD The history of this area date s back to the spread of Christianity around 460 AD. The Celts left England to escape the Anglo Saxon invasion leading them to the Atlantic shores of France where Pont Aven is located 24 Interestin gly enough, the Bretons (Celts) maintained their independence from the French government and joined in the Vendean wars against the Parisian leader ship in 1793 Although they were generally independen t 21 Ibid., 133. 22 Ibid., 135. 23 Ibid., 109. 24 Sandra Bardwell, Laurence Billiet, Jean Bernard Cartillet, Gareth McCormack,Miles Roddis, and Tony Wheeler, Walking in France, Lonely Planet Guide (Victoria, Australia: Lonely Planet Pub lications, 2000), 127.
10 the French government attem pted to curtail the Breton language. 25 Despite the efforts, t he Bretons continued to keep their h eritage and spoke both French and Breton to keep the government at bay. The Brittany coast and the village of Pont Avon share a rich cultural history and a dee p seated supernatural folklore that also attracted artists to the area. The supernatural lore of fairies, elves, witches, ogres, giants and the like can be linked to stories of events passed down from generation to generation. In 1842, a group of cattle robbers posed as devils in gray canvas dressed like the salt smugglers that lived in the mountain caves who were believed to live among the fairies. Stories of mysterious lights hovering over the cliffside were meant to keep the curious at bay but of cour se only intrigued the visitor even more. 26 The charming history and natural attraction to Brittany (Breton) France was analyzed in 1866, by Ameri can painter Benjamin Champney. He articulated "the i dea of a small oppressed race fighting to keep its nation al identity had undoubtedly a romantic appeal to artists and tourists alike especially when a spirit of nationalism was spreading all over Europe, coupled with a growing fascination with Celtic art and literature." 27 Just like Pont Aven's famous sister ar t colony Barbizon, the English and American s were prominent nationalities among the artist visitors to Pont Aven in the late nineteenth century. 28 Pont Aven's similarities in landscape to New England and the English countryside enhanced the fasc ination wit h the ostensibly Old World French village 25 Jacobs, 43 44. 26 Eugen Weber, Peasants Into Frenchman: The Modernization of Rural France 1870 1914 (Palo Alto: California: Stanford University Press, 1976), 23 24. 27 Ibid., 43 44., 28 Ibid., 45.
11 In 1863 the American artist Robert Wylie visited Pont Aven as it developed into an artist colony. When Wylie first came to France, he met Charles Way the son of a wealthy Bostonian Way introduced Wylie to an A merican painter named Henry Bacon, who encouraged the men to visit Pont Aven. 29 A year later, the artists went to Pont Aven and were joined by two Philadelphia artists, Earl Shinn and Howard Roberts. The circle of American artists was expanded again in la te summer w ith Bostonian painter and writer Benjamin Champ ney and Frederick Bridgeman, an eighteen year old Alabama n The popularity of Pont Aven grew during the 1870s with the arrival of a railroad into Brittany, which made it more accessible for touris ts and artists Hotel des Voyageuers and Pension Gloanec provided housing for artists and b y the 1880s over one hundred artists lived in the village. 30 Part of Pont Aven's charm consisted not only with the natives and their traditional costumes and headd resses but the village's myriad of natural subjects ranging from the forest to the river to the seaport all of which provided countless opportunities to inspire m any artists In 1886, the French painter Paul Gauguin came to Pont Aven from Paris Gauguin went on to be Pont Aven's most internationally renowned artist increasing the colony's reputation Gauguin 's seminal paintings significantly influenced the direction of modern art. He and his pupil s response to romantic and realistic painting developed i nto a style known as "synthe tist or symbolist ." Symbolist painting required the use of bold contrasting colors and simple contour lines outlining objects in flat patterns and shapes resulting in an abstract rather than a realistic style 31 A great example of this genre is portrayed in Gauguin's famous 29 Ibid., 45 47. 30 Ibid., 50. 31 Will iam A. Davis, "Where Gauguin Became Great," The Boston Globe, September 12 2004
12 "The Yellow Christ inspired by the religious landmarks dotting the rural landscape by the Aven River. The painting features warm colors, few details on the human form, and unusual colors ( for the time ) for shadows and land scape. The mystical Pont Aven landscape inspired artists from the 1860s to the 1910s I n the latter part of the nineteenth century Pont Aven was no longer dominated by Americans but included Dutch and French artists such as Gauguin. Hot el des Voyageurs continued to be the center of social life yet as the older generation of artists like Robert Wylie moved on or passed away a new era of artists discovered Pont Aven as a source of inspiration and didactic center for artistic studies Sk agen, Denmark In the 1870s Scandinavian artists found themselves smitten with the picturesque fishing village of Skagen, Denmark l ocated on the northern most tip of the Danish peninsula where the North and Baltic Seas meet. A rtists appreciated Skagen for its various seascapes alternating among sand dunes ships, lighthouses, bright yellow houses, mariners, and fisherm e n. 32 Scandinavian artists typically trained in traditional German art form s quickly embraced the French open air painting style as they set out to preserve their own folk cultures from the encroaching industrial world. In t he late 1800s Danish culture found itself in a great deal of turmoil almost losing its identity due to the i mposition of Swedish custom s 33 This period of cultural histo ry marks a time of change and great introspection for artists, writers, and musicians who came to Skagen. 34 32 Jacobs, 92. 33 Ibid.,90 91.
13 One of the unique characteristics of the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere is the incredibly long summer hours of daylight, a phenomenon t he locals call the midnight sun. Day length increases with latitude in the northern hemisphere summer until one reaches the Ar c tic Circle (66.5 degrees North latitude) where the sun never sets during the summer. Skagen is located roughly at 58 degrees n orth latitude, giving it more than eighteen hours of summer daylight. The artists' greatest advantage was being able to paint for long hours during the day ; the so called blue hour around 10 p.m., occurs when the low summer sun transforms the atmosphere into a blue haze, which led artists to produce some distinctive and haunting Scandinavian paintings. 35 Yet the long dark and extremely cold winter made outdoor painting a difficult task. Skagen receives as little as 6.5 hours of daylight during the winte r yet this did not deter all artists. Some titled their painting by the temperature outside, such as Victor Westerholm's painting, Minus 40 degrees to Minus 37 degrees. 36 B esides the extremely long daylight hours in summer and brutally cold winter, Skagen was a challenging place to work For instance it was difficult to get to The nearest town Frederikshavn, is l ocated twenty two miles away The deep sandy roads leading out to the peninsula made it difficult for stagecoaches to pass through Another way to get to Skagen was by boat which was not much easier in a rough sea notorious for shipwrecks P assengers had to wait for low tide to allow the local fishermen to row out to retrieve the m taking them to the beach because there was no harbor 37 Yet t he a rduous 34 Ibid.,92. 35 Ibid.,91. 36 Ibid. 37 Lubbren, 146 47.
14 journey to Skagen for the artist was part of the romance of the experience, and the anticipation became the inspiration The remoteness of the Skagen art colony kept artists isolated on the peninsula for extended periods of time creating relatio nships between the artists and villagers. Skagen's population increased during the summer when artists and vacationing tourists descended upon the Danish shores. The Brondum family, Erik, A n ne and their six children, accommodated many artists with warm ho spitality and compassion for their artistic endeavors. The Brondums owned an inn and a grocery store that functioned as the local pub and lodge for travelers. 38 The Brondum children developed relationships with the artists too ; their son Degn formed frien dships with several artists while their daughter Anna a painter, eventually married a visiting painter named Michael A r cher 39 Anna went to drawing school in Copenhagen in the mid 1870s after encouragement from local artists. Anna's two cousins, Henriett a and Martha married visiting painters too The three women are responsible for enriching the relationships with locals by helping villagers to accept the artists as part of the community 40 The most significant artists from Skagen include Scandinavian pai nters Christian Krohg, P eder Kroyer, Carl Larsson and Michael and Anna Archer. The relationship between visiting artist Peder Kroyer and Michael Archer and Christian Krohg who became residential artists, proved to be very competitive. Kroyer was the only Danish artist to receive international acclaim His fame set the stakes higher and promoted the men to compete with one another. L ater in his career, Kroyer painted artists gatherings at 38 Ibid., 73. 39 Jacobs, 96. 40 Jacobs, 96.
15 t he inn this annoyed Archer and Krohg but Kroyer's advantage was th at he seemed to effortlessly gain trust of the locals he used as models in his paintings Archer, Krohg, and Kroyer spent a period painting the locals of Skagen from the fishermen to common craftsm e n. The paintings reflected their drive to capture the i nnocent, almost primitive lifestyle of the local s rather than the landscape Other artists captured the landscape through picturesque seascapes and the village's traditional Scandinavian architecture. Skagen's significance as a prestigious ar t colony is d irectly related to its isolated location, the quality and length of daylight in summer, and the inter personal relationships developed between artists and villagers. Artists emerged in the folkwa ys and traditions of the locals, and they developed a romantic view of Scandinavian tradition preserving it in time. The European art colonies declined af ter 1900 but continued to attract amateur artists and tourists until the 1940s. 41 Alas, the rural art colonies could not prevent modernization from penetrating i nto the countryside Developments in transportation and communications made rural areas more accessible with better roads and expanded railway s. As a result, t he increase in tourism to rural villages forced the need for better accommodations and services leading to development and growth The new development and growth in rural villages saddened artists looking for contemplative solitude from the hectic urban setting. Modernity altered artists utopian ideals of bucolic landscapes once sought after in the rural art colony by the advent of avant garde art forms and style. 42 The new century ushered in vastly different, non traditional art movements beginning in the 1920s Urban 41 Lubbren, 162. 42 Nancy Heller and Julia Williams The Regionalists (New York: Watson Guptill Publications, 1976), 13.
16 Realism, Surrealism, and Abstract E xpressionism signaled other rebellion s from you nger generation s of artists These new art forms relied on distorting reality through emotion and no logical comprehension, and expressing urban settings with drab realistic colors rather than using romantic perspective s as the ir nineteenth century predece ssors did 43 With the changes in style artists who studied at the European art colonies returned to the United States eager to define American art form s through their regional writings and paintings leading to the creation of art col onies in the United S tates 44 American art began to emerge independently and claim its own identity during the first half of the twentieth century. During t his renaissance period from the 1920s to the 1960s, American art ists thus attained international acclaim and respect fr om the European art world 43 John Updike, Still Looking: Essays on American Art (New York: Random House, 2005), 102 03. 44 Ibid., 35.
17 Chapter Two: Art Colonies in the United States Ar t colonies became popular in the United States i n the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century when artists returned from their European excursions Numerous artists who studied abroad in European cultural centers, the gold standard for art education, returned mainly to New England ( but also to California and New Mexico ) with the desire to establish their own art schools, communities, and style Many of the ar tists trained in the French plein air painting style erected schools and workshops, and painted during summer s in small New England villages 45 The first North American a rt colonies established in New England were due to upper class patrons generosity, cap ital, and self interest invit ing artists to stay at their homes The homes transformed into colonies were the equivalent of the European inns in which artists worked and lived Although the American art colon ists still practiced French plein air technique s the American colonies differed greatly from their European counterparts; they were less traditional and more experimental 46 Artists' desire for independence and experimentation with avant garde techniques germinated aspirations to esta blish their own st yle setting them apart from European painters The European art coloni sts steeped in tradition did not experiment with their artwork to the degree that occurred in the North American colonies. This defined the major differences between American and Europe an colonies. 45 Dona Brown, Inventing New England: Regional Tourism in the Nineteenth Century (L ondon: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2005), 41 56. 46 Ibid.
18 Hudson River School of Painters From the 1820s to the 1850s, an important group of artists emerged from upstate New York, the Hudson River School of painters. Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of painters, infused allegor ical meanings to his landscape paintings. For example, he used the various growth stages of a tree to suggest cycles of life and death. He also studied light and captured the moodiness of certain times of the day. The Hudson River Painters also asserted t he importance of regionalism, which lends itself to depicting geographic areas. These landscape artists painted the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Catskills Mountains and Adirondack Mountains of New York and the Hudson River Valley. Their contribut ion to the American art form is significant for their precise interpretation of geography and regional landscapes. The Hudson painters realized that the American landscape, along with its relatively young history, evoked a tremendous amount of inspiration. The greater American audience embraced the regional art with pride influenced by the contagious nationalism and agrarianism impulse of the early twentieth century. 47 In other words, the art reflected how society tried to define its identity with American landscapes during the middle to late 1800s an identity initially representing innocence and freedom. 48 New England Colonies Before American art colonies were established, artists traveled around the New England countryside looking for quaint rural and coastal villages to paint in. In 1877, the 47 Joshua C. Taylor, 87 88. 48 Heller and Williams, 40 47.
19 former Barbizon paint er William Morris Hunt started one of the first open air painting school s in the fishing village of Magnolia, Massachusetts. The art colonies at Magnolia and nearby v illages such as Glouceste r intrigued artists and tourists with outdoor painting sessions. 49 In the 1880s, a nother artist, Pont Aven landscapist William Lamb Picknell joined other Pont Aven friends, Aurthur Wesley Dow and John Kenyon to reminisce about their painting days in Britta ny They enjoyed Pont Avenesque painting excursions in Ipswich, Massachusetts where Dow opened his own painting school. 50 The three significant rural artist colonies of New England (and there are many others) that played a role in the development of Americ an Impressionism were Yaddo, Mac Dowell, and Old Lyme. 51 The Old Lyme colony began in 1899 when artist Henry Ward Ranger stayed at the home of Florence Griswold in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Located on the mouth of the Connecticut River, Old Lyme was an old s hipbuilding town from the Revolutionary War era, but with the advent of the modern steamship, the town's economic stability faltered, eventually reverting to its agricultural roots. 52 The old shipyards proved to be an excellent resource for artists seeking the roman ce of maritime nostalgia Old Lyme reminded Ranger of his days studying abroad in Europe. Ranger convinced Ms. Griswold to turn her old family mansion into a boardinghouse for artists, which in turn would help pay her for the upkeep of the fami ly home. 53 In 1900, Ranger brought to the mansion a group of painters : Lewis Cohen, Henry Rankin Poore, Louis Paul Dessar, and William Henry Howe. They began the decades long cycle of visiting 49 Jacobs, 169. 50 Ibid 51 Ibid., 170 171. 52 Laura Wolfe Scanlan, High Thinking, and Low Living, the Story of the Old Lyme Art Colony H umanities Magazine ( September/October 2007), 26. 53 Ibid., 25.
20 artists to come to the emerging colony including s o me of America 's finest painters such as Ch ilde Hassam a leader in Impressionism and Willard Metcalf who had the ability to capture sunlight with pastels The two men are towering figures of early twentieth century American art 54 Wealthy patrons started both the Yadd o and MacDowell colonies In 1881 Spensor Trask a financier from New York and his wife Katrina, a poet purchased a 400 acre estate in Saratoga Springs New York and named it Yaddo based on a suggestion by their young est daughter 55 Edward and Marion Mac Dowell of Peterborough, New Hampshire started the Mac Dowell art colony in 1907. The old farmstea d they purchased in 1896 made a perfect place for a colony with its peaceful surroundings. Edward a composer knew that artists of all disciplines benefit ed from association with one another and helped raise funds for his colony from New York's weathiest and distinguished citizens such as Grover Cleveland, Andrew Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan. 56 Yaddo and Mac Dowell colonies can boast to have housed many renowned a nd prize winning visual artists, writers, composers, and filmmakers Elizabeth Condon a visual artist and professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa recently took up residency at Yaddo. Condon says that Yaddo is the queen bee of the art colon ies in the Northeast because of its reputation and traditional operation Condon recalls having dinner with fellow residents. "When you have dinner with writers and composers the wordplay and level of intelligence is inspiring. I t made me open my awareness about how 54 Ibid., 26 27. 55 Yaddo Records, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library, New York Public Library Digital Library Collections accessed, February 29, 2008. http://digilib.nypl.org/dynaweb/ead/human/mssyaddo 56 Shipp, 80.
21 creation happens in all disciplines and reaffirm ed to me that their experiences are similar to when I am making a painting." 57 The jubilance, camaraderie, and inspiration among artists exist today as much as it did in the 1880s and 1890s when the y began B oth Yaddo and Mac Dowell continue to produce award winning artists internationally including Guggenheim fellows and Pulitzer Prize winners. Today Yaddo and Mac Dowell continue as residential art colonies however, the Old Lyme colony has be come the Florence Griswold Museum of American Impressionism. Residents of New England farmsteads, villages, and towns kept the compa ny of major and minor artists, from professional Impressionists and Modernists to amateurs alike, but the urb an centers of the n ortheast soon lured artists back to the cities during the 1920s as the art style cha nged in the 1930s T he urban landscape became avant garde to artists as American cities developed international attention. Cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphi a b ecame American cultural centers as museums and art schools were established Upstate New York Colonies to the City With the first painting schools, a steady influx of artists came to New York state establishing their own art enclaves. The Byrdscliffe art colony emerged in Woodstock, New York founded by utopian idealist Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead in 1902 Whitehead shared beliefs similar to those of the Arts and Crafts Movement that began in England in the 1880s, under its founder John Ruskin. The move ment was a response to the 57 Interview with Elizabeth Condon, Assistant Professor of Art, University of South Florida, Tampa, February 10, 2008.
22 perceived negative effects of modernization and industrialization on true artisanship. 58 Woodstock became the epicenter for the movement and sparked the careers of famous artists such as Robert Henri and his pupils George Bellows, William Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shinn, and John Sloan. They called themselves the six and formed the Ashcan school of painters around 1900 when they moved to New York City 59 They embraced the urban setting represented in realistic paintings of cit y life often known as Urban Realism 60 Urban Realism emphasized the expressive nature of life and character rather than romantic beauty and traditional academic style. 61 American cities thus began to attract artists who craved the realistic urban side of lif e rather than the isolated and idyllic landscapes of rural art colonies. A t the turn of the century New York was America's most cosmopolitan city. It was the portal for new beginnings and the hub of fashion and the arts New York's polyglot enclaves of European immigrants inspired many artist enclaves in Greenwich Village, SoHo, and East Hampton on Long Island. Greenwich Village and SoHo were more secular and ethnic art enclaves than an actual art col ony like that of the one in East Hampton out on Long Island The enclaves located in the city painted cityscapes while East Hampton became the "American Barbizon ." 62 East Hampton like Barbizon France attracted artists searching for meaning in the rural life style of the local residents who lived a suppo sed noble and honorab le life before industrialization Despite the fact that most of the locals live d in poverty the 58 Ibid., 170; Heller and Williams, 114 15. 59 Rebecca Zurier, Picturing the City: Urban Vision and the Ashcan School ( Berkley, California: University of California Press 2006), 41. 60 Updike, 109 117; Zurier, 23 24. 61 Zurier, 23. 62 Helen A. Harrison and Constance Ayers Denne, Hampton's Bohemia: Two Centuries of Artists and Writers on the Beach, ( San Francisco, California: Chronicle Books 2002), 44.
23 paintings often portrayed a naivet or an innocent version of their lives. 63 Noteworthy l ate nineteenth century artists on the island wer e William Merritt Chase and Thomas Moran. Moran mostly known for his dramatic panoramas of Yellowstone National Park enjoyed the more simplistic and intimate landscapes of the seaside rather than the majestic mountain landscapes he painted prior to his arrival in East Hampton. In 1884, he erected the first studio residence on Long I sland which still stands today at 229 Main Street in East Hampton 64 Moran's studio served as the gathering place for artists and other guests, which made it a n art colony alm ost instantaneously 65 The colony provided a tranquil haven as well a s a unique quality of light, which i n s pir ed the urbanites who wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. East Hampton became the epicenter for socializ ation and camarader ie among artists and writers until the late 1960 s when escalating land values drove artists out As with other artist colonies, urbanization took its toll on the landscape as farmland disappeared, making room for housing resorts, a nd tourists, which star ted the decline of the Hampton colony. However, some artists who could afford to live there ( like Jackson Pollack ) stayed permanently. Writers John Steinbeck and Truman Capote came to the island in the late 1950s and wr ote some of their best pieces Steinb eck knew he was dying of cancer so in 1960 he decided to travel around the United States with his dog Charley in a pick up truck camper to see the country one last time In 1962, he released his book Travels W ith Charley before his death in 1968. 66 In his observations of individuals he met, he noted that I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation -a burning desire to 63 Ibid., 43. 64 Ibid., 45. 65 Ibid., 46. 66 Ibid., 86 89.
24 go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any h ere." 67 Steinbeck captured the desire for wanderlust and it was definitely a trait shared by the artists of the East Hampton art colony. Other m odern artists such as abstract painter Jackson Pollock, William de Kooning, Lee Krasner, and pop artist Roy Lichenstein to name a few lived on the islan d during the zenith of their careers Western U.S. Art Colonies The western part of the United States enticed artists during the westward migration of the nineteenth century to places like Taos, New Mexico and Monterey, California. The appetite for a dventure and majestic landscapes propelled artists to move to these sparsely populated areas. Beginning i n 1875, the seaside communities of Carmel, Pacific Grove, and Monterey in northern California, a ttracted artists after painter and explorer Jules Taver nier discovered unique landscapes and seascapes around the craggy cliffs of the Pacific coast 68 The Monterey peninsula harbored artists for decades after the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, a great influx of San Franciscan artists relocated to the penin sula. 69 This would bond the Monterey Coast art scene with San Francisco's, even though one was urban and the other rural, much like the art scene in East Hampton, Long Island, and in New York City. W anderlust brought both artists and writers to the region for a number of reasons: the camaraderie, the beauty of the landscape, simplicity of rural life inspiration of nature and timing for establishing a "ground floor" art community. During the late 1800s, Cal ifornia was still a young state with artistic pote ntial beckoning 67 John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley: In Search of America (New York: Vi king Press, 1962), 225. 68 Scott A. Shields, Artists at Continent's End: The Monterey Peninsula Art Colony, 1875 1907, (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2006), 11. 69 Ibid., 11.
25 creative minds to tap its beauty A ccording to Eloise J. Roorbach, writer for the Craftsmen Journal "The work of the California landscape m a n is of native growth and inspiration, springing from the soil with that marvelous spontaneity tha t is only seen in young lands and with youthful genius ." 70 Writers and painters i nspired by the mountains searching for meaning and communion with nature fou nd California's Monterey coast fulfilled their creative longing. The California coast al region sha red some coastal characteristics of the Mediterranean but the bright colorations and the harsh sunlight of Southern Europe did not fit the often misty and muted sunlight of the California coast Some of the first interpretive paintings of California lacked their own style looking similar to European landscapes of harsher light like that of Greece. 71 Among the most important California artists who often worked in Monterey were Jules Tavernier, William Keith, Arthur Mathews, and photographer Arnold Genthe. 72 Another relevant Monterey artist visitor was George Inness. Inness spent time at several art colonies throughout the United States. His paintings were lauded by the locals for their accurate color, surfaces, and techniques, exemplified in the painting Near Monterey which resembled the style of early European and first American art col onies of the nineteenth century Clearly, California's artists shared the anti modern or utopian ideal of embracing nature and the rural lifestyle for inspiration. Moreover, C alifornia's Spanish and Mexican settlements exemplified th e romantic ideal of the noble lifest yle of the local 70 Ibid., 4. 71 Kevin Starr, Americans and the California Dre am (New York, Oxford University Press, 1973). 300 02. 72 Ibid., 2.
26 peasant. Even after the gold rush of the 18 5 0s, the Monterey peninsula remained mostly untouched with its qua int Spanish adobes and haciendas 73 California landscapes blessed as they were with mountains, coastline, rolling hills, and old trees embodied the spirit and transcendentalist beliefs that many explorers, naturalists, and artists shared during the late 1890s The transcendentalist ideal c onnected human spirituality and the divin ity of nature 74 Transcendentalism became popular especially in California where industrialization had not spread nearly as much as along the e ast ern coast of the U.S. The movement spurred the writing careers of inte llectuals such Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Both writers compared the majestic qualities of nature to the human s pirit 75 An appreciation for natural landscape s prevailed in California and the man who delivered transcendentalism to the main stream was conservationist John Muir who withdrew from modern civilization to explor e the Sierras, a spiritual retreat he thought to be divine Muir's philosophy to value nature coincided w ith the utopian ideals of artists 76 Many painters, writers, and photographers depicted the places Muir fought to preserve through their artwork; places such as Yos emite National Park, the Sierra Nevada Mountains Muir Woods, and Big Basin Redwoods State Park At the beginning of the twentieth century California's art ists began to include the Western frontier with paintings of the pioneers and cowboys, Native Americans, buffalo, horses, covered wagons, and prairies. Th e transition from coastal landscapes to western 73 Ibid., 6. 74 Ibid., 148 160. 75 Ibid., 154. 76 Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind ( New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1982), 124 125.
27 frontier landscapes arrived in the 1920s as the Santa Fe Railroad reached the greater West and Southwest areas of the U.S. The period en couraged the romanticism of the American Western Art Movement. 77 California's art scene dwindled during the Depression years and a new hub for art came to fruition in the urb an setting of Los Angeles and Hollywood As Hollywood's population and fame increased as a performing arts center, so too did the aristocracy of art buying by wealthy movie stars. Collecting art became a trendy hobby of actors and actress es and th eir col lections were directly responsible for the building of museums and galleries in a town where acting was king. 78 Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico Meanwhile, i n the Southwest parts of New Mexico became significant arts centers Santa Fe and Taos had the large st concentration of artists but t hey exuded different landscape qualities. Santa Fe, the territorial and later state capital is located in the juniper foothills and eventually became a railroad destination. Taos, l ocated 70 miles north of Santa Fe, is on a 7000 foot pueblo and old pioneer outpost in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains Taos was explored by sketch artists Joseph Henry Sharp and John Hauser in 1893. They discovered the grandeur of the semi desert landscape finding it to be an extraordinary pla ce to paint with its warm colored sand and rocks enhanced by the western sun. 79 In 1914, t wo of Sharp's paintings published in Harper's Weekly brought 77 Judith A. Barter, "Chicago and the Art of the Western Frontier Museums Today," USA Today July, 2003. 78 Kevin Starr, Material Dreams: Southern California Through the 1920's (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 325 333. 79 Shipp, 109 113.
28 international recognition and stir red interest in the Taos area 80 Taos and Santa Fe continued to attract artists who traveled by train in the early twentieth century By 1915, Sharp joined the Taos Society of Painters and established an artist colony A year later Mabel Dodge a famous wealthy New York socialite and her husband artist Maurice Sterne moved to Taos. Dodge later divorced Sterne and married a Pueblo Indian, Tony Lucerne. She is credited for starting the first literary colony in Taos and recruiting artists to relocate there including New Mexico's most famous artist Georgia O' Keefe 81 Dodge's exquisite home and inn hosted several famous artists including photographer Ansel Adams, writ er Virginia Woolf, and painter Edward Hopper. Georgia O' Keefe first came to Taos in 1929 and visited every summer until 1946 when she moved permanently to a tow n southwest of Taos called Abiquiu New Mexico after the death of her husband and photographer, Alfred Steiglitz. In 1924, O'Keefe began as a watercolor artist in New York when a friend brought her work to Steiglitz's Studio 291, where he offered to show her watercolors and sketches In the late 1920s h er paintings were inspired by a circle of artists she socialized with such as Paul Strand and Edward Steichen. She began to use oil paints and focus ed on subjects as if they were under a microscope paint ing on a much larger scale. O'Keefe's modernistic ap proach to the New Mexican landscape became her iconic abstract style of sun drenched flowers, adobes, animal bones, and sky. 82 O'Keefe also redefined the image of the body. She successfully used abstracti on to feminize her subjects as in her 1925 painting Red Canna, a flower made to represent the female labia. This disturbed many male art critics 80 Ibid., 109. 81 Ibid.,119. 82 Ibid.,120.
29 who often tried to discredit her work. O'Keefe's sexualized paintings assured her a place in the modernist a rt world and broke the barriers of what was proper for women to paint. 83 Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico continu ed to attract artists throughout the twentieth century New Mexico fostered respect for the highly regarded contributions of the Indian artists s uch as Allan Houser, Michael Naranjo, and Pablita Velarde. Taos and Santa Fe are still important art destination s complete with museums galleries, schools, and historical sites pertaining to the arts and famous artists and patrons From Haystacks to Soup Cans : American Modern Art World War I, the Great Depression, and yet another World War in the 1940s all changed the American art scene dramatically during the first half the twentieth century. The American painter s w ere well on their way to setting themselves apart from their European ancestors in the twentieth century. 84 Rather than resist modernity as the nineteenth century open air painters did, American artists confronted the transition to increasing urbanization with new styles of art such as U r ban R ealism and Abstract Expressionism which changed the concept of what constitutes art. The world was in a whirlwind of change and turmoil leading up to World War I. The war influenced America n art by institutionalizing patriotism and encouraging xenoph obia against foreign communism. N on traditional art came to be considered 83 Frances K.Pohl, Framing America: A Social History of America (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2002), 334 335. 84 David Rosand, The Invention of Painting in America (New York : Columbia University Press, 2004) 116.
30 ra dical and fascist 85 Most of t he art created during this time promoted patriotism through military posters and paintings portraying American life. After the war ended in 1918, arti sts remained mostly conservative. In the 1930s, American artists went to work for the government through the Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. President Franklin Roosevelt's WPA programs put artists and writers to work creating murals sculptures recordings photographs, beautification projects and written collections of American culture with an unspoken effort to preserve history. 86 The F ederal A rt P roject gave artists a sense of professionalism th rough its commissions allowing artists freedom and individuality to pursue art as a mean s to make a living. This period turned out to be a pivotal point for strengthening American art and leading to moderni st movements on the American art scene As most o f the old artist colon ies faded, art clubs and associations formed where artists supported each other in local communities. By the 1940s, World War II again engendered patriotic and propaganda art for mass culture. Adolph Hitler's demise and the dawn of th e nuclear age brought a new sense of utopianism to the modernist art movement. A rtists portrayed the era's consciousness with new art forms and techniques while adapting to the urbanization and maturing American nation. Artists individuali ty was inspired and relished in the pursuit of wealth and personal recognition 87 This did not fit the communal utopian ideal of the rural artist colony. By the 1950s many of the 85 Ibid., 113. 86 Ibid., 123 24. 87 Edward Roths tein, The NewYork Times Guide to the Arts of the Twentieth Century (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2002) Vol.2, 794 95.
31 original artist colonies disbanded as the landscapes in which they painted were reconfigure d into urban areas. The last few decades of the twentieth century climax ed with an explosion of artistic innovation known as postmodernism. 88 Artists of the new frontier of the nuclear age were recognized as innovative A leading example of th e new generat ion of modern artists can be found in abstract artist Jackson Pollock with his unorthodox paint dripping technique. Pollock objected to the traditional painting style of his mentor, Thomas Hart Benton which typified what Pollock called the "American scen e." 89 The 1960s ushered in commercial a rtists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein who brought P op A rt to the forefro nt of the cultural art scene and once again challenged what was accept ed as art Warhol used iconic figures like Marilyn Monroe and the com mon Campbell's soup can and turned them into art with repetitive patterns and loud colors. These artists turned to popular culture for inspiration rather than to the landscape. 90 The landscape offered little relevan ce to the revolutionary social upheaval of the 1960s leaving the traditional artist colony to fade into history. 88 Robert Williams, Art Theory: An Historical Introduction (Oxford, Britain: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2005), 224 25. 89 Rothstein, 894. 90 H arrison and Denne, 103 109
32 Chapter Three: Florida's Artist Colonies The first professional artist to produce art in the New World was French artist Jacques LeMoyne. In 1564, LeMoyne crossed the Atlantic O cean with French Huguenot expeditionary leader, Rene Laudonni e re to claim land for a French settlement in Florida. 91 L e Moyne a trained sketch artist, surveyed and recorded the exotic landscape and native Floridians through etchings He depicted native s adorned in colorful animal pelts, bird feathers, shells, bones, trin kets, and tattoo like designs on their bodies. I t is unknown how accurate these engravings are because t he depictions of arrow quivers and planted fields resemble that of European quive rs and fields Some a nthropologists contend that LeMoyne Europeanized many depiction s 92 An example of questioning his accuracy is an engraving of a Timucuan executioner with a paddle shaped club which he used to bludgeon a kneeling man. The club that the executioner used is a style of weaponry that comes from South America, particularly coastal Brazil according to scholars of anthropology. 93 Despite the contention surrounding the engravings' accuracy, in 1591, Flemish writer and engraver Theodore De Bry pu blished a book of Le Moyne's woodcuts in two volumes, one called Brevis Narratio eorum quae in Floridae Americae provincial Galles and the other entitled Historia Americae. 94 The first volume showed scenes of Ribault's first Florida voyage which LeMoyne was not part of T he second 91 Gordon Patterson, "LeMoyne's Florida, Europe's First Pictures from America" FEH Forum ( Spring 1991 ), 5 7. 92 Ibid. 93 Miles Harvey, Painter in a Savage Land: The Saga of the First European Artist in North America (New York: Ran dom House, 2008), 220. 94 Ibid.
33 volume depicted LeMoyne's historical scenes of Native American social hierarchy, food gathering rituals, and healing medicinal practices 95 With the exception of a few artifacts left behind from St. Augustine's Spanish missions, a rt in Florida barely existed throughout its first few centuries of settlement by Europeans 96 E xplorers came to the unfamiliar landscape of Florida and found it to be a natural science laboratory due to uncharted areas where nature was left unto itself In the 1730s to late 1740s, Mark Catesby a n English journalist, created depictions of the American Southeast's sub tropical environment in a natural history journal The journal contained colorful sketches of birds, insects, animals, fish, serpents, and flor a and fauna. 97 A rt was still relatively sparse until 1832 when painter and naturalist John James Audubon came to Florida to do research for his book The Birds of America 98 Audubon wrote incessantly and with fervor and astonishment, about the behavior of the flocks of ibis, spoonbills, egrets, and other birds He hired a taxidermist and Swiss landscape painter George Lehman to accompany him in the backwoods and swamps of northeast Florida near the St. Johns River Their days were spent drawing and trackin g their specimens Audubon also reported upon Florida's citrus fruit, observing that "Nothing can be more gladdening to the traveler, when passing through the uninhabited woods of East Florida, than the wild orange groves which he sometimes meets with. A s I approached them, the rich perfume of the blossoms, the golden hue of the fruits, that hung on every twig, and lay scattered on the ground and the deep green of the glossy 95 Ibid., 19. 96 Works Projects Administration, Florida : A Guide to the Southernmost State, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956), 157. 97 Ibid., 159. 98 Richard Rhodes, John James Audubon: The Making of an American, (New Yor k: Random House, 2004), 358.
34 leaves, never failed to produce the most pleasing effect on my mind .." 99 Audubon' s accurate representation of specimens and Lehman's detailed landscape illustrations combined were among the finest contributions to any visual naturalist or historical guides of Florida at this time. 100 In 1877, George Inness moved to Tarpon Springs to reti re on the Anclote River. Inness frequented many art colonies including Monterey, California and Barbizon, France where he learned to study light. Inness focused his painting on atmospheric studies of early morning misty pine forests and late afternoon sto rm clouds indicative of Florida's stormy summer weather rather than the usual fascination with palm trees as with later landscape painters Inness' son George Jr. was also a landscape artist and he is recognized for his collection of paintings that are on display at the Church of the Good Shep he rd in Tarpon Springs George Junior painted mostly maritime scenes of shrimp boats and sponge docks yet still displayed his father's influence by engaging in atmospheric interpretations of light in his Florida pain tings M ost of the American artists who came to Florida adopted the motif of open air landscape painting, leaving classical portrait painting behind. 101 However, George Catlin of the Hudson River School of painters contributed a series of Seminole Indian portraits for the U.S. government including his most famous painting of Indian leader Osceola. 102 Like European an d other American artist colonists Catlin immersed himself in the local culture using nearby Indian tribes for his paintings Indeed, f ascinati on with the South 99 John J Audubon, as quoted in Rhodes, 360. 100 Ann Vileisis, Discovering the Unknown Landscape: A History of Americas's Wetlands, (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1997), 56 57. 101 Works Progress Administration, 158. 102 Ibid.
35 became more and more enchanting to the northern artist. The antebellum S outh consisted of many people of Anglo Saxon, African, French, Spanish, Creole, and Native American descent and was an intriguing place to paint 103 Along with ethnic d iversity came the unc ultivated landscape known as swamp s The swamps mysterious aura inspired artist s not through romance but c uriosity. Art and literature connected the experience of swamp s through folklore and its strange beauty making it accessible fo r people to discover. Artist William Morris Hunt captured the mysterious essence of swamp s with his 1874 painting Governor's Creek, Florida 104 The thick foliage and contrast of deep shadows to light areas spurred the imagination. Humanity versus nature wa s a common theme but swamp s and marshes not easil y accessible or tamed by people created a mystical and majestic character to its landscape. 105 Florida attracted a diverse group of artists and landscape painters who ventured into its swamps and marshes and produced works unlike anything seen before in the American art scene. Another trait that attracted artists was Florida 's compelling luminosity with it s dramatic sunrises and sunsets and atmospheric changes all of which contributed to the uniqueness of Fl orida landscape paintings. There are too many art colonies and communities to discuss in this chapter. T he following art colonies and communities were chosen : St. Augustine, Sarasota, Maitland, and New Smyrna Beach. All of these places share similar charac teristics concerning their relationship to nature, the type of artists who lived there particularly landscape painters, 103 Es till Curtis Pennington, "Southern Landscape Painting, 1865 1925," American Art Review, Vol.XI No. 6, (1999), 131. 104 Ibid., 130. 105 Ann Vileisis, 95 100.
36 and the fact that the art colony continue s to function either an art colony or has developed into an art community St. Augustine Art C olony Despite humanity's in ability to conquer swamp s in the middle of the nineteenth century, it did not stop people from settling the rest of Florida The state attracted capitalists who saw the potential to create a paradise such as oil tycoon Henry Morr ison Flagler in the 1880s Flagler built hi s railroad down the E ast Co ast and saw the potential for tourism and leisure in Florida's tropical and exotic landscape while his railroad s allowed travelers to reach destinations previously unattainable. In 188 7, Flagler built the most luxurious hotel of the Gilded Age, the Ponce de Leon. He promoted his luxury hotel, in St. Augustine as a place where tourists could experience the Old World His hotel offered a variety of art s and culture and encouraged norther n artists to come paint in the s unshine and fresh air. 106 Artists fascinated by Florida's varied landscapes and the rawness of the unsettled place came to Florida to paint in the winters. Starting in the 1890s, t he Ponce de Leon became the centerpiece of the St. Augustine artist colony. Tucked in between two rivers and the Atlantic Ocean, St. Augustine the oldest European settlement in the U.S. ( established by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565) was the most popular winter vacation spot for northern tourists from the 1890s to the 1910s. Flagler's hotel provided guests with a Renaissance atmosphere and cultural activities and included seven art studios for vacationing artists in the winter T he steady patronage of 106 Tiffany Aumann, "Reclaiming A Forgotten Past," St Augustine Record, October 5, 2001.
37 wealthy guests provided a reasonable income for artists 107 Flagler was an art con noisseur and collector and promoted the resort hotel to be the "closest thing to painting in Europe." 108 He even sponsored a monthly newspaper called The Tatler, which featured the latest artists in residence and promoted the sale of their artwork. His familiarity with northern artists allowed him to entice prestigious artists to stay at the Ponce de Leon. Moreover, t he famous Hudson River School landscape painter, Martin Johnson Heade (1819 1904), settled in St. Augustine in 1883. Heade created several paintings of orchids and seascapes but h is most famous Florida painting is "The Great Florida Marsh" (1885). 109 I nternational artist Thomas Moran created a monumental historical Florida painting Ponce de Leon in Florida whic h was inspired by the forests surrounding the St. Johns River. Moran depicted a romantic painting of Ponce de Leon the Spanish conquistador exploring a clearing in the midst of the forest with live oaks covered in Spanish moss and soldiers trading with n ative Floridians In reality Ponce de Leon had mostly hostile interactions with the native peoples rather than Moran's cordial portrayal The St. Augustine art colony declined during the late 1890s when a national economic downturn and devastating free zes occurred leading remaining vacationers to migrate southward to new resorts. Flagler's railroad brought tourists south to n ew destinations like Palm Beach and eventually, the Keys Yet a rtists continued to pass through St. Augustine and in 1924, they created the Pen and Brush Club. 110 The Pen and Brush Club consisted of twenty local writers, painters, sculptors, and photographers. Club 107 Robert Torchia, Lost Colony: The Artists of St. Augustine, 1930 195 (S t. Augustine, Florida : Lightner Museum, 2001). 8 9. 108 Ibid, 38. 109 Edward Gomez, "Where Exuberant Dreams Often Sink Out of Sight," New York Times April 8, 2001. 110 Torchia, 10.
38 members later that year changed the name to the Galleon Club and started an art school under the direction of Chicago s culptor Adele Barrett. The group then became the Galleon Art School and nominated Hildegarde Muller Uri to direct the art club 111 Within a few years t he artist club abandoned its original focus and became more of a social club I n 1931, Muller Uri and ama t eur painter J. Dexter Phinney put together the St. Augustine Arts Club. Phinney a local jeweler encouraged the business community to support the Arts Club. 112 The new Arts C lub advertised in the community newspaper ( The St. Augustine Record ) which helped s teadily build its reputation in the community Between the Record and the business community, the St. Augustine Arts Club attracted many new members, some of which were businesspersons who turned to art as a hobby or an alternative career after retirement. T he Arts Club began to have regular exhibitions cr eating a need for an art center and s ome of the historic buildings like the Davenport Park Clubhouse were used for club meetings, classes, and exhibitions. 113 By the early 1940s, the Art Club had roughly s ixty members. It grew to 532 members by 1949, and became nationally known in the American arts community Also i n 1949, Art Digest printed an advertisement for the St. Augustine Chamber of Commerce which attempted to entice artists to come "paint like you are in Europe Throughout the 1940s and early 19 50s the Club prospered and evolved into the Arts Association bu t it gradually decl ined in the late 1950s 114 The decline of the artist colony was due to social and political conflicts among the Arts Assoc iat ion members and 111 Ibid.,10. 112 Ibid.,11. 113 Ibid, 12 114 Torchia, 38
39 the community. 115 According to Robert Torchia author of St. Augustine's Lost Colony, "as the group of artists grew so did the politics, fighting erupted over acceptance of modern art and backing from local businesses became a double edged deal, with expectations placed on the type of art the painters created." The artists tried to recapture the magic of the Flagler era but it was an elusive goal. 116 The colony declined despite the efforts of many community members According to 74 year ol d William Puckett, native St. Augustinian artist and gallery owner, World War II contributed to the decline of the colony. It adversely affected tourism and winter visitors to Florida. The original 1930s artists of the art colony began to retire and som e passed away. It took a lot to rebuild the art community and we never have to that caliber 117 Puckett grew up in St. Augustine and was a young man during the art colony (1930 1950s). He remembers wanting to be an artist and actively apprenticed some of the local artists, helping them hang shows and doing whatever needed to be done at the Art Association. His parents sent him to architecture school at the University of Florida but later he attended the Ringling School of Art after local artist Emmitt Smi th helped convince Puckett's parents that their son was a talented artist. 118 Puckett is currently a prominent local artist and owner of the Aviles Street Gallery in the historic Aviles Street district. Puckett adds "I n the last ten to fifteen years artists continu ally move d to St. Augustine ; an artist can find an aesthetic and charming quality in the architecture, small streets, beaches, maritime scenes and the St. John's River to the West There is a lot to 115 Ibid, 49. 116 Robert Torchia quoted in Aumann, 8 9 117 William Puckett, St. Augustine artist and Aviles Street Gallery owner, interview by author, May 14, 2008. 118 Torchia, 49.
40 offer artists here from architecture and landscap es to the forty to fifty galleries dedi cated to local and regional art." 119 Like the art colonies of the nineteenth century, the past remain ed a central focus as did the landscape and architecture Despite the Art Club's demise in the late 1950s, the art s continued to flourish in St. Augustine. Even the original Arts Association is active today and is supported by members that host several art exhibitions, gallery walks, and galas. The St. Augustine artists of today still steep themselves in the tradition al plein air painting style of the original art colony. In 2006, a group of thirty artists captured outdoor scenes for the nearby Crescent Beach Paint Out. 120 The artists set out to paint various landscapes around Crescent Beach I sland enjoying the camarade rie of other artists and the sense of urgency to finish their work. One artist opined So much of Florida is being eaten up by developers that we want to capture the raw nature of Florida while it's still with us The development of Florida was a concern to the nineteenth century painters as much as it is to artists today. The beauty of Florida has captured artists fancy for generations and the nostalgic longing for the past keep s artists coming back to the oldest city supported by a community that unde rstands the value of art. Maitland Art Colony In an area northeast of Orlando, Florida is the quaint, hilly little town of Maitland. One of t he oldest town s in central Florida the community dates back to 1838 when it became a post for the U.S. Army during the Second Seminole War T he rich 119 William Puckett, Interview. 120 Lori Pounder, "Florida Pa inters Gather in St. Augustine to Pursue Plein Air Art," St. Augustine Record, August 13, 2006.
41 landscape, dotted with lakes and hills along the Central Florida ridge and considered the state's Fertile Crescent was a major orange producing area in the 1870s 121 After a series of devastating freezes in the 1880 s 1890s many of the orange growers left but the town continued to be a winter vacation spot for wealthy travelers. Maitland later became known as an art colony thanks to Florida winter visitor Jules Andre Smith. In 1880, Smith was born in Hong Kong to Da nish parents. He grew up in Germany and New York and graduated from Cornell University with a Masters of Science in architecture. His artistic skills brought him to France during World War I with the American Expeditionary Forces where he and eight other artists' mission was to sketch battles for publication 122 After the war, Smith returned to the United States and designed sets for the Parish Players Theater Company in Stony Creek, Connecticut He frequently traveled to artist colonies in both Europe and t he United States During the 1930s, Smith became a winter resident of Maitland Through his connections in New York, he met Annie Russell, a New York actress who was a p rofessor of Theatre Arts at Rollins College in neighboring Winter Park Smith built se ts for Ms. Russell's productions at the college and they later became romantically involved 123 In 1937, Smith purchased land in Maitland next to Lake Sybe l lia. He said the light there would be perfect for an art studio since the sunset cast a pinkish light over the lake in the winter afternoons 124 In 1938 he added a gallery and a nother studio with the financial help of Mary Curtis Blok a patron of Rollins College. Blok admired Smith and encouraged him to explore the art problems of the day therefore his new studio 121 Richard Colvin, curator of collections, Maitland Art Center, taped interview by author, June 4, 2008. 122 Ibid 123 Ibid. 124 Ibid
42 would essentially be come a "laboratory" for modern art. 125 He named it the Research Studio The Research studio's gardens and courtyards were a marvel of stucco buildings carved with murals, etchings, and statues of Aztec and Mayan motifs The co mpound itself was truly a work of art with its unique ornamented architecture. 126 Smith invited prominent artists to stay at his compound such as Ralston Crawford, David Burluik, Earnest Roth, Mi lton Avery, Arnold Blanch, Doris Lee, and Harold McIntosh. H e personally selected the m to work at the Research Studio based on personal connections to the artists and to their dedication and innovative approach to modern art. He encouraged artistic experimentation with his resident colonists. His art colony differe d greatly from other art colonies of this era because of his "i nvitation only" model Although the artists were not s olely plein air painters, they did have the benefits of seclusion and a bea utiful landscape to inspire them like the painters in the north ern colonies. Smith's goal was to provide a place where an artist could focus on their work and be able to experiment without judgment or distraction. It was his dream to create a place where artists could learn and be inspired in a beautiful setting. C ommunity was important to Smith, so he often invited the public to view the artwork being created through exhibitions and open house parties He was also a humanitarian of sorts. The nearest town, Eatonville, an African American town and home to writer Z ora Neale Hurston, was a favorite place for Smith to paint. He often painted black laborers working the fields and was rumored to visit with Ms. Hurston 127 Before Eatonville was established in 1887, black settlers in the area lived in Maitland. The white t ownspeople of 125 Anonymous "Research Studio Plans Enlarged", Winter Park Topics: A Weekly Review of Social and Cultural Activities During Winter Resort Season (Winter Park, Florida, March 6, 1937) Vol.4, No. 9, 1 4. 126 Chuck Twardy, "Spreading the Word about Andre Smith" Orlando Sentinel, December 8, 19 91. 127 Colvin, interview.
43 Maitland treated blacks better than most areas of the South at the time The towns folk decided to create a formal government and in 1884, they elected a black man named Tony Taylor as the first mayor of Maitland. 128 Andre Smith died in 1959 w ith the hope that the Research Studio would continue to be a place where artists could create and experiment. After his death he left no heirs and the art center remained closed for ten years and was eventually purchased by the city of Maitland In 1971, a group of concerned citizens created a non profit art association to lease the property and reopen it as an art center. Today Smith's artistic dream is kept alive by support from the community, local artists, the sites historical recognition and art edu cation. The compound has a museum gallery for permanent and rotating collections a research library, museum store, and studios for art classes Despite, the great effort to preserve the Maitland compound, Andre Smith is not well known outside of central Florida. Many of his works are in storage, waiting to be restored and properly appraised. 129 In 1982, the art center became one of Florida's official Historical Site s and entered the National Register of Historic Places. Sarasota Arts Community The hist ory of visual arts in Sarasota, Florida has a profound beginning. In the 1840s in the midst of the Seminole Indian war, t he U.S A rmy's infantry division was stationed at Fort Amstead in Sarasota. A young artist soldier from West Point named Seth Eastman was assigned to document this area while the army's war against the 128 Valerie Boyd, Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston (New York: Scribner, 2004), 20 23. 129 Ibid
44 Seminole Indians raged on Painting i n the midst of the hot humid climate of Florida proved to be challenging for Eastman's health a nd the natives eluded the army easily through the swa mpy land. Using mainly watercolors, he documented the connection between the nativ e people and their environment He noted how the army spent the majority of their time seeking the Seminoles rather than interacting or fighting with them 130 Eastman gained national recognition for his study and depictions of Native Americans from his assignments in Texas, Florida, and Minnesota 131 Eastman's artistic legacy inspired others a century later to develop Sarasota into the arts capital of Florida. S everal people he lped to put Sarasota on the map: Oil tycoon William Selby and his wife Marie; Ralph Coples, a railroad magnate ; Bertha Palmer a wealthy socialite ; and John and Mable Ringling art collector s and philanthropist s 132 All were national figures noted for their ideas business sense, and lavish taste. Their passion and dedication to the community led to the creation of Sarasota's future development. 133 Each of them came to Sarasota around 1900 and fell in love with its natural beauty. In an editorial written in an Indiana newspaper in 1931, an unknown author characterize d Sarasota to be "Florida's Queen City ," adding that "There is everything here to delight the heart of a man who loves nature and seeks communion with her visible forms." 134 The Selbys came to Sarasot a in 1909 and lived part time on a houseb oat in Sarasota B ay. William Selby and his w ife Marie purchased land near the bay and 130 Sarah E. Boehme, Seth Eastman: A Portfolio of North American Indians (Afton, Minnesota: Afton Historical Society Press, 1995), 11 13. 131 Pat Ringling Buck, et al., "A Histor y of the Visual Arts in Sarasota" (G ainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2003), 1. 132 Ibid., 2. 133 Ibid., 2. 134 Unknown author, "Sarasota Pictured as Florida's Queen City By Indiana Newspaper," Sarasota Herald Tribune, January 15, 1931.
45 enjoyed the outdoors T hey could often be found gardening at their estate boating, fishing, and riding horses. Despite their w ealth from oil and mining, the Selby's lived modest ly and did not part icipate in the Sarasota social scene 135 William die d in 1956 and u pon Marie's death in 1971, her estate was donated to the city of Sarasota and would eventually become the Selby Botanica l Gardens Another important Sarasota figure was Bertha Honore Palmer She first visited Sarasota in 1910 from Chicago. After the death of her wealthy husband Potter in 1902, she inherit ed his wealth and put it to use. Palmer a savvy businesswoman, rea l estate investor and socialite fell in love with Sarasota's charm and purchased almost 80,000 acres of land 136 Her investments influenced the development of some of Sarasota's most cherished historic neighborhoods such as Spanish Point and Osprey Point w here her residence was appropriately named "the Oaks." Palmer was a huge patron of the arts and she purchased and put together a collection of Impressionist paintings with the guidance of artist Mary Cassett, and displayed them in Chicago's Columbian Expo sition in 1900 137 Palmer later displayed them at her home in Sarasota The collection was donated to the Art Institute of Chicago after her death in 1918 Palmer was an innovative woman for her time and her investments in Sarasota inspired others to invest in the new community Probably the most nationally known contributor s to Sarasota's visual art s were John and Mable Ringling. B orn in 1866 John Ringling grew up in Mc Gregor, Iowa and 135 Ibid., 3 7 136 Hope L. Black, "Mounted on a Pedastal, Bertha Honore Palmer" (master's thesis, University of South Florida, 2007) 1 3. 137 Gioia Dilberto, "A Painter and Her Patron: Two Modern Women, New York Tim es, December 20, 1998.
46 later moved to Baraboo, Wisconsin with his six brothers and two sis ters 138 He and his brothers organized town hall concerts and comedy shows during the winter and traveled by train visiting and entertaining small towns. In 1884, the Ringling brothers teamed up with experienced showman Yankee Robinson and organized a circus By 1906, the Ringling Brothers Inc. Circus was a tremendous success in the Midwest. Eventually, John realized he no longer wanted to be a clown and so he continued with a more traditional business role for the circus while investing his wealth in oil a nd other interests. 139 Ringling, a traveling bachelor until his late thirties married Mable Burton in 1905 in Hoboken, New Jersey. The couple, the Ringling b rothers, and their families spent winter s in Sarasota, finding it to be one of the fairest place s of all." John Ringling did not initially plan to invest in Sarasota because of his extensi ve travel schedule in New York and the daily circus activities but Mable wanted to settle down and they managed to visit Sarasota more often 140 D uring World War I, because of restricted travel John was unable to travel extensively, so he purchased thousands of acres i n Sarasota and several barrier islands He decided investing in the county would be a good business decision 141 In 1926, h e built a causeway linking the mainland and small islands and later built a Ritz Carlton Hotel on the south end of Long Boat Key. 142 In 1927, Ringling began to build the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art to house his extensive baroque art collection. The museum designed as an Ital ian Renaissance style villa, reflected the couple's love affair with Italy. His art collection of Italian Baroque is the 138 David C. Weeks, Ringling, The Florida Years 1911 1936, (Gainesville, Florida : University Press of Florida, 1993), xv. 139 Ibid., 1 17. 140 Ibid., 26 27. 141 Buck, 6. 142 Weeks, 104.
47 largest such collection outside of Italy. Italian art authority and collector Baron Von Hadeln visited the Ringling's during the buildi ng of the museum. He stated, "Mr. and Mrs. Ringling are to be the means of making Sarasota the art center of the entire South and one of the leading art centers of the world." 143 Following through with his plans, the museum later expanded to house the Ringl ing Brothers Circus memorabilia Then in 1931, Ringling dedicated the School of Fine and Applied Art s to Sarasota. He donated $45,000 along with the former Bay H aven Hotel to house the school. 144 Shortly after the school opened according to the instructor s "the type of work being done by these students here in Sarasota is as good as that of any art school in the country." 145 Today the school is named the Ringling College of Art and Design and it is considered a prestigious and successful school of the arts. In the 1930s despite the Great Depression, Sarasota attracted many artists from the No rtheast and Midwest With the construction of the Ringling School of Fine and Applied Arts and the Ringling Museum, the community hoped to becom e a mecca for the arts. T he creation of the Sarasota Art Association in the 1940s signaled the presence of a strong organization in the community with many members who contribut ed financially and artistically. Wells Sawyer, also a painter, moved to Sarasota in 1945 only to even tually become the dean of the Sarasota art colony. Sawyer, born in 1863, studied law while attending art classes at the Chicago A rt Institute. His first job as an illustrator for the U.S. 143 Floyd Bell, "Ringling Museum to Make Sarasota Center of Art" Sarasota Herald Tribune February 17, 1927. 144 Jeff La Hurd, Sarasota: A History, (Charleston, South Carolina : History Press, 2006), 110. 145 "Ringling Art Students Open Their Exhibit, Second Display of School Marked Advance in Quality Work" Sarasota He rald Tribune, March 20, 1932.
48 Geological Survey provided him with an opportunity to go on an arche ological expedition to San Marco, Florida. The archeologi sts found many Calusa Indian artifacts and Sawyer recorded them in his sketchbook. Unfortunately when s ome of the unearthed artifacts were exposed to air, they disintegrated, leaving Sawyer's drawin gs the only historical record of the Calusa's masks and woodcarvings. His drawings and watercolor painting are now in the collections of the Smithsonian Institute. 146 Wells Sawyer's daughter Helen Sawyer was also a painter and became the beacon for women art ists in Sarasota. Helen was born in1898 in Washington D.C. and s he developed a talent for paint ing at a young age. She remembered her father taking her on a trip to Europe t o see the famous masterpieces in the great museums of Europe. 147 At the age of sixt een one of her landscape paintings was accepted in a juried art show at the National Academy of Des i gn in New York. Her early success in the New York art scene catapulted her painting career S he moved to Sarasota in 1925 and later married portrait arti st Jerry Farnsworth. In 1939, they founded a successful art school, the Farnsworth School of Art, which lasted for over thirty years educating over 5,000 students from all over the world. 148 She and her husband became known as the "mother and father" of Sar asota's artist colony. 149 In the 1940s, Sawyer rediscovered spiritual themes that artists of the previous century explored in Florida landscapes She painted elaborate floral paintings circus clowns, and melancholic representations of light in her landscap e 146 Buck., 58 147 Marcia Corbino, Helen Sawyer: Memories of a Morning Star (Sarasota, Florida : Corbino Galleries, 1995), 12. 148 Ibid., 22 23. 149 Buck, 57.
49 paintings of Sarasota's waterfront and Siesta Key 150 In 1941, s he and Farnsworth organized and help ed raise money for Sarasota's Ringling School of Fine and Applied Arts and the Sarasota Art Association. Sawyer was also one of the first members of the al l women's painting club, the Petticoat Painters and remained active in the community until her death in 1993. One of the most important Sarasota artist s of all time was Lois Bartlett Tracy Born in 1901 in Jackson, Michigan she and her family visited Fl orida for winter vacations and eventually moved to Winter Park Her father invested in real estate and owned over 40,000 acres in Sarasota, DeSoto and Highland counties. 151 Bartlett married William Tracy and attended Rollins College. Together they ran her father's hotel, the Myakka Hotel in Venice to make ends meet. Summertime brought the Tracys to New Hampshire where they purchased a farmstead in hills of the White Mountains and turned the buildings into studio space s to form a small art colony called Ta ll Timbers. Tall Timbers paid for itself through the art gallery, Lois' s painting classes, and visiting artists. In 1939, she received a gold medal for her Florida landscape paintings in New York's World's Fair. 152 After her New Hampshire art studio burne d down, she made her permanent home in Englewood, a suburb of Sarasota. Mrs. Tracy eventually created another art colony on her wooded acreage in s outhern Sarasota County called Artists Acres. Artists Acres had a gallery, an art studio and nine cottages for visiting artists. Tracey was a pioneer in the Sarasota art scene ; her passion for art and zest for life made her one of the most influential patrons of the arts in Sarasota. She continued to be the 150 Ibid, 30 35. 151 Obituary "Love of Painting led Artist, 106, to Inspire and Teach," Herald Tribune, April 30, 2008. 152 Buck, 59.
50 president of Florida Artists Association well into her eighties At the age of 99, she was declared legally blind so she gave up painting and took up writing. She continued her role in the Sarasota art scene up until her death in 20 08, at the age of 106. 153 Sarasota certainly had its share of strong and talent ed women leaving a legacy of female community pioneers entrepreneurs, businesswomen and artists Another g roup of women to succeed in Sarasota's art world was the Petticoat Painters formed i n 195 3. The se ladies capped their membership at twenty and produ ced a large volume of artwork. The annual exhibitions were held close to Valentine's Day complete with invitations of pink stock, frills, and angels. The ir husbands put each year's event together and they served punch and cookies to the guests. I t was u nlike any other art show, being exclusively for female artists. The Petticoat P ainters continue to be one of the oldest and still exhibiting women's art clubs in the United States and it continues to cap its members hip to twenty artists 154 Finally, Saraso ta is home to yet an other artist colony called Towles Court. In 1995, a real estate and mortgage broker named N.J. Oliveri saw potential in leasing a group of derelict cottages to artists to live, work and exhibit their handiwork. 155 The cottages were built in the 1920s by a developer named William B. Towles near the downtown Main Street district. Over time, t he buildings and neighborhood fell into d isrepair and this usher ed in crime. Then Oliveri renovated the cottages and convinced the city to change the z oning restrictions to allow businesses to combine retail space and living space It took a lot of lobbying and then attracting artists to come and live there 153 Ibid 154 Amy A. Elder, Images of America: Sarasota 1940 2005. (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2005), 47 55. 155 Elizabeth Maupin, "A Haven for Artists: They Live, Work and Exhibit in Sarasota Colony," Orlan do Sentinel, December 10, 2000.
51 E ventually artists purchased cottages for $70,000 to $90,000 but t oday t hose same cottages sell for $280,000 to $300,000. 156 Towles Court has fifteen cottages and some carriage houses featuring studios, galleries, and living spaces for painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, and a few other non art businesses. Other buildings in the area ha ve been renovated for art studio s and living space crea t ing a dramatic resurrection o f the once dilapidated downtown neighborhood Sarasota attracted artists for an entire century and built its reputation as the art capital of Florida. Nevertheless, why d id so many people come to Sarasota with so many beautiful areas in Florida to choose from? T he quality of light Sarasota claims to have a better quality of light and is an energy vortex or "power spot." 157 The better quality of light may be due to less ai r pollution in Sarasota and Manatee Counties than its northern neighboring counties, Hillsborough and Pinellas County. According to Carl Keeler, professor of Biology at Manatee Community College agrees, "Our light is brighter, because it has less particle matter aloft, i n other words, less pollution blocking the sun. 158 Sarasota painter Maggie Davis claims that the s un shines brighter here than in Miami. A Long Island native who lived on Florida's east coast claims, "It took almost ten years to make a shif t in palette from north to south. However, it did not happen in Miami, I did not make the shift until I came to Sarasota. The light here has a physical impact that you have to answer. It is too brilliant, too startling, too dazzling to ignore. I used to paint in earth tones, now I can't live without cadmium red." As far as Sarasota being a "power spot" one explanation maybe that the beach sand, made of crushed quartz crystals can 156 Ibid 157 Joan Altabe, "Let There Be Light: Light's Spectrum Attracts Artists to Sarasota," Sarasota Herald Tribune. August, 31, 2000. 158 Ibid
52 change the molecular structure of water and the human body is mostly water therefore, "We can be affected too," claims Mary Jane Wilson, a local mystic and rock shop owner. 159 Power spots or energy vortexes are believed to be areas where temples like Stonehenge are built upon because of the physical energy witnessed there. Whateve r the reason citizens and artists live in the Sarasota area, it is still home to a potentially growing arts community. Towles Court and Other Art Communities C ommunities in Florida have taken notice of Sarasota's Towles Court as a model for redevelopment Tom Kohler, president of Orlando's Downtown Development Board helped bring in developers to renovate downtown Orlando neighborhoods and business districts. 160 Indeed, he hoped to creat e an affordable arts district At the same time, Kohler realized the possibility that wealthier people might discover the area and out bid artists An example of what c an happen during urban renewal is SoHo, New York, a once run down Manhattan warehouse district where artists moved into old buildings, turned them into stud ios, galleries, and living spaces and creat ed an international art enclave that eventually became un affordable for artists to live in T he re storation of inner cities brings a sense of nostalgia and excitement by breathing life back into urban areas left to decay. Florida 's cities as well as others in the United States find this same pattern of redevelopment taking place. What makes this phenomenon continue in the twenty first century as it did in previous generations of art colonies? As we look at the p revious 159 Ibid 160 Amy A. Elder, 65 70.
53 chapters about European and American art colonies of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the same factors attracted artists to live and create in the bucolic setting. A rtists longed for authenticity and quality of artisanship, the so cal led noble lifestyle of rural folk, and purity of the landscape. This utopian ideal became manifest in the creation of rural art colonies. Nevertheless, w hat factors determine how an urban setting b ecomes an art enclave? Aesthetics location, nostalgia, a nd now m ore than in the past, economics contribute to art districts In urban places where there is no art sce ne and no aesthetically pleasing rural landscape to draw inspiration from, there can still be characteristics which make an art enclave possible. Unlike a rural colony, the natural landscape is not usually available in an urban area but there i s a different landscape, a cityscape. The cityscape includes the downtown or central area, buildings, architecture, people, and even the natural landscape u pon which it was built The urban artist who is inspired by the cityscape may look at it through nostalgic or romantic eyes, seeing beauty in th e same way as a rural artist finds beauty in villages and sylvan landscapes Yet it is possible to combine rur al and urban landscape s as Doris Leep er did in 1977 when she founded the Atlantic Center of the Arts (ACA) in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. 161 Leeper was an artist, activist, and environmentalist and she believed that artists' communities should share a comm itment to artists and their work, artistic excellence and a strong connection to the environment. Whether situated in the mountains, framed in farmlands or shaped by a city's concrete confines, most residency programs have a symbiotic relatio nship with t heir surroundings. 162 Leeper was a visionary combining art 161 Elmar Fetscher The Second Decade 1987 1997 (New Smyrna Beach, FL: Atlantic Center for the Arts, 1998), ix. 162 Jim Frost, ACA Residency and Marketing Manager, Interview by author on March 4, 2008.
54 and environmentalism She purchased thousands of acres of wetland s turning them into a nature preserve (Spruce Creek Preserve) and devoted a small portion of her land for the ACA on Turnbull Bay The ACA is a sus tainable and green environment with buildings made of recycl ed materials that interact with nature. 163 The ACA has no utopian ideal or nostalgic influence but the camaraderie, community and landscape along with isolation allows artists time to focus on their projects Artists from all over the U.S even Europe have stayed at the ACA The artists include composers, writers, painters, musicians, and visual artists. The ACA has a different process for selecting artists to work at their fac ility. First, the staff director chooses master artists who apply to stay in residence. After the master artists are chosen, the master artist selects artists who desire to study under them based on their resume and portfolio. The ACA process is unlike most art colonies where an individual artist may apply and pay for their stay at the art colony. ACA artists are specifically chosen based on their skill level and primary goals that are complimentary with the master artist's. Poet, Chase Twichell master resident artist, stayed at the ACA in the February 18 March 9, 2008 Artist Residency Program and was blown away by the atmosphere at the ACA. "This place has brought together such an unlikely cast of characters. We all come from very different backgroun ds, yet we are all here for the same reason, to create. Sharing the creative process with musicians, composers, and brilliant young poets is the most electric atmosphere combined with the gorgeous outdoor surroundings of the woods, its hard not to be ins pired." 164 The ACA is an example of a modern art colony ; artists come here to study under a master artist for three weeks while immersing themselves in a creative 163 Ann Brady, executive director, Atlantic Center for the Arts. Annual Review 2006 2007 March, 2008. 164 Chas e Twichell, (Poet, ACA Master Artist in Residence), Interview by author, March 9, 2008.
55 atmosphere They come to begin or finish art projects and at the end of the three weeks, they p articipate in a public exhibition to display or perform their work Conclusion Location, aesthetic features, and economic resources are important but what about maintaining an art community? C an a person reasonably live there? Do city codes allow for suc h an activity? If not is the city willing to change them? I s there an investor who has vision to see it through and put up the resources to make it happen? After the project is completed, how will the new residents promote it and sustain interest in time s of economic stress ? Th e se are issues faced by virtually all modern art communities For instance, Sanford is a small agricultural town near the St. John's River on Lake Monroe built on rich delta soils and once known as the "Celery Capital of the Worl d The city government has made changes to revitalize the town, rezoning its entire historic downtown district to include mixed use real estate to attract artists and retailers. 165 In 200 7, developer John Giuliani put up $3 million to preserve historic al element s and convert some buildings into artist lofts complete with retail space on the ground floor 166 Like Sarasota's Towles Court, Sanford 's once quiet streets are now bustling with a renewed sense of vitality reminiscent of its cobblestone street days. In an interview with Sanford resident Bill Belle ville author of Losing It All to Sprawl: How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape, Belleville claims "Sanford is supportive of the arts but it does not 165 Bill Belleville, Losing It All to Sprawl, How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape (Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2006), 87 88. 166 Diane Sears, "Art Attack," Florida Trend August 1, 2007.
56 have the image or reputation as an art friendly commun ity yet, which may be to its benefit. Artists as you know, are often pioneers who move into less desirable places like SoHo in NYC being the best example I know because they are far cheaper. Then the chic factor kicks in when a certain critical mass of a rtis ts art buyers, browsers, and tourists is reached, and s uch a district gains prestige. 167 Sanford is an example of a communit y of citizens who realized the value of restoring its historical downtown and attempt ed to att ract creative people. However, t he area has not caught on as a trendy art enclave and perhaps for the better because it is able to sustain an affordable living for its citizens. T here are numerous Florida towns and cities where art has revived a once forgotten identity but also created a new identity and sustain ed itself through the inevitable changes brought about by growth, modernization and economic cycles P laces that survive growth lik e St. Augustine, have protected their historical past by preserving their architecture, art, and in frastructure Orlando never had an art co mmunity but now that the developers h ave created one, the city has much more to offer than just rides and entertainment at Walt Disney World. Another example on the East coast of Florida is Melbourne's Eau Gallie district. Eau Gallie is an artist friendly enclave where the ir City Council unanimously (6 0) passed rezoning ordinances to allow commercial business in the historically residential neighborhood. 168 "Build it and they will come, it is what the people want i n their community," says council member Ralph Sanders. 169 W ealthy benefactors, John and Mable Ringling, and other art patrons helped to create an art community in Sarasota by laying the foundation for art to become a 167 Bill Belleville, email interview by author, July 2, 2008. 168 Rick Neale, "Artists' Colony Gets Initial Approval," Florida Today, November 17, 2007. 169 Ibid.
57 permanent part of the town The area fl ourished until the sprawl of shopping malls and gated suburban communities drained the vitality of downtown, and yet a fresh focus on art once again helped revive downtown Sarasota. 170 In the last couple of years that same revitalized Towles Court has gone through its cyclical downturn. According to Chris Falk, Director of the Katherine Butler Gallery in Towles Court, the area is going through a transition. Many of the previous tenants did not agree on several issues such as how to allocate funds, how to pr omote, individuals not doing their part to support the court and losing faith in the big picture but mostly it was people's egos getting in the way." 171 Today t he co mmercial space appears vacant with very little foot traffic but the gallery owners are opti mistic. Recently, a n artist couple Andrew Bowers and Davi Kuhn inherited a little cottage in the Court after the death of Davi's father. They both moved to Sarasota from Indiana and attended Ringling College of Art and Design. They opened a gallery space in the cottage and waited for foot traffic. After unsuccessful attempts to create traditional gallery space and a frame shop, they decided to get creative and make plans for a coffee shop in the front of the building a dog boutique in back and to displa y artwork for artists of all levels. The non traditional approach to their gallery space has provided a place for Ringling graduates to show their work and get their name out there without years of experience. "In general, the art world can get kind of s nobbish and full of itself," says 29 year old Scott Moore, a Ringling graduate. "When you go to most galleries, they put everyone on the same plane.' If you are not a professional artist, then you are not welcome here. I like the down to earth quality of t he space," he says. "People 170 h ttp://www.towlescourt.com/history.htm. 171 Chris Falk (Director of Katherine Butler Gallery) interview by author, July 8, 2008.
58 can show their stuff -and if it isn't up to the standards of subject matter or concepts, so what?" 172 Artists invent new ways to survive and revitalize spaces and areas that they work in. These creative types of individuals co ntinue to come together for support and fresh ideas as did artists living in the artist colonies of two centuries ago. As a result, cities that attract creative people often bene fit from the cultural diversity and genuine interconnectedness that make s a c ommunity thrive. 173 St Petersburg, Florida is a great example of a n arts community that has grown in the last twenty five years O nce known as "God's waiting room where senior citizens spent their remaining years, it is now a thriving arts community supp orted by passionate artists, citizens, and local organizations. St. Petersburg is home to the Salvador Dali Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts among other planned museums and a gallery at the Arts Center, dedicated to the glass works of artist Dale Chihul y. According to artist Rebecca Skelton "Artists come to St. Pete because it is affordable to rent a space and live here. When you come from New York, these prices are low compared to those in the northeast ." 174 However, recent local budget cuts have trans lated into much less support for the arts Sarah Ellen Smith poignantly put it this way, "Artists suffer the consequences of an economic downturn, we are like the canary in the coalmine, we are the first to go ." 175 Once the upper echelon of society move s into these areas, they produce another dynamic where historical authenticity is often displaced for the sake of revitalization or 172 Joel Rozen, "Towles Court Gallery Makes Room for Young Artists," Sarasota Herald Tribune July 6, 2008. 173 Richard Florida, T he Rise of the Creative Class (New York: Basic Books, 2002), 324. 174 Rebecca Skelton, (Painter, sculptor, art instructor); Interview April 12, 2008. 175 Sarah Ellen Smith (Artist and sailor); Interview April 10, 2008.
59 so called progress. Cities take the wre c king ball to old buildings to make way for new development, but the wealthy and creati ve people who move into these diverse areas cannot assume that their existence assures the "revitalization of an area 176 In fact, many times great wealth and transition make these areas unaffordable for nearly everyone including artists surviving on a limi ted income This certainly appears to be the case in Towles Court, where it is nearly impossible t o afford even a small apartment let alone a studio space Art colonies and modern art communities share styles and ways of connecting people to their environm ent and society The question remains : H ow do we ma intain and include art as a vital part of the community? Villages in Europe, small rural towns in the United States, and modern art communities in Florida ar e connected to the cyclical creative process, which results in the periodic r enaissance of each consequent place Art is a precious asset and when understood and direct ed carefully in our communities, results in positive effects that connect people and creative ideas upholding healthy, livable, and diverse communities. N urtur ing art in our communities and u tilizing creative groups of people to flourish in a sustainable manner is fundamental Society today can learn from the first art colonists and their utopian ideals of honoring the natural enviro nment and true craftsmanship of artisans. The creative pioneers who resist the adverse consequences of technology by utilizing existing resources to create in and live in will survive by enhancing our lives and not giving into the quick fix society that risk s losing the value of creativity and our ingenuity. 176 Ibid., 325.
60 If progressive individuals remain in these art communities, the likelihood of its survival is better as artists invent ways to raise the resources to maintain their creative lifestyle Fundraisers, e xhibitions, monthly walks or galas, and grant writing are necessary for arts organizations galleries, individual artists, and businesses to raise capital. Although a rtists' support ers have varied through out the centuries during periods of r enaissance and decline, whether it is wealthy socialites, supportive patrons, local government, or great ingenuity, artists will continue to thrive if they have a strong and supportive community.
61 Bibliography Books Bardwell, Sandra, and others. Wal king in France, Lonely Planet Guide. Victoria, Australia: Lonely Planet Publications, 2000. Belleville, Bill Losing It All to Sprawl, How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape Gainesville Florida: University Press of Florida 2006. Sarah E. Boehme, Seth Eastman: A Portfolio of North American Indians Afton, Minnesota: Afton Historical Society Press, 1995. Boyd, Valerie. Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston New York: Scribner, 2004. Brown, Dona. Inventing New England: Regional T ourism in the Nineteenth Century. London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2005. Buck, Ringling Pat, et al. A History of the Visual Arts in Sarasota Gainesville Florida : University Press of Florida, 2003. Corbino, Marcia. Helen Sawyer: Memories of a Morning Star Sarasota, Florida: Corbino Galleries, 1995. Elder Amy A. Images of America: Sarasota 1940 2005. Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2005. Florida, Richard. The Rise of the Creative Class New York: Basic Books, 2002. Florida, Richard. Creative Cit i e s and the Creative Class. NewYork: Basic Books, 2005. Hamar David. History in Urban Places: The Historic Districts of the United States Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press 1998 Harvey, Miles. Painter in a Savage Land: The Saga of the First European Ar tist in North America. New York: Random House, 2008.
62 Heller, Nancy and Williams, Julia The Regionalist s. New York: Watson Guptill Publications, 1976 Jacobs, Michael. The Good and Simple Life: Artist Colonies in Europe and America Oxford: Pahaidon Pr ess Limited, 1985. LaHurd, Jeff. Sarasota: A History. Charleston, South Carolina: History Press, 2006. Lubbren Nina. Rural Artists' Colonies in Europe 1870 1910. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2001. Mormino, Gary. Land of Sunshi ne State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida. Gainesville Florida: University Press of Florida, 2005. Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1982 Pohl, Frances. Framing America: A Social History of America New York, Thames & Hudson, 2002 Rhodes, Richard. John James Audubon: The Making of an American. New York: Random House, 2004. Rosand, David. The Invention of Painting in America New York: Columbia University Press, 2004 Rothstein, Edward. The NewYork Times Guide to the Arts of the Twentieth Century London: Fitzroy Dearborn 2002 Sheilds, Scott. Artists at Continent's End: The Monterey Peninsula Art Colony, 1875 1907 Berkeley, California: University of California Pr ess, 2006. Shipp, Steve. American Art Colonies, 1850 1930: A Historical Guide to America's Original Art Colonies and Their Artists. Westport, Connecticut: Green Wood Press, 1996. Starr, Kevin. Americans and the California Dream: 1815 1915. New York : Ox ford University Press, 1973. Starr, Kevin, Material Dreams: Southern California Through the 1920's. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. Taylor, Joshua. The Fine Arts in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
63 Torchia, Robert. Lost Co lony: The Artists of St. Augustine, 1930 1950 St. Augustine, Florida : Lightner Museum 2001 Updike, John. Still Looking: Essays on American Art. New York: Random House, 2005. Vileisis, Anne. Discovering the Unknown Landscape: A History of Americas's W etlands. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1997. Weber, Eugen. Peasants Into Frenchman: The Modernization of Rural France 1870 1914. Palo Alto California: Stanford University Press, 1976. Weeks, C David Ringling, The Florida Years 1911 1936 Gainesvill e, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1993 Williams, Robert. Art Theory: An Historical Introduction Oxford, Britain: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2005. Works Projects Administration. Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State New York: Oxford Univers ity Press, 1956. Zurier, Rebecca. Picturing the City: Urb an Vision and the Ashcan School. Berkley, California: University of California Press, 2006. Periodicals Laura Wolfe Scanlan, "High Thinking, and Low Living, the Story of the Old Lyme Art Colony, Humanities Magazine (September/October 2007), 26. Gordon Patterson, "LeMoyne's Florida, Europe's First Pictures from America" FEH Forum Spring 1991, 5 7. Estill Curtis Pennington, "Southern Landscape Painting, 1865 1925," American Art Review Vol.XI No. 6, 1999, 131 Anonymous "Research Studio Plans Enlarged", Winter Park Topics: A Weekly Review of Social and Cultural Activities During Winter Resort Season ( March 6, 1937) Vol.4 No 9, 1 4. Diane Sears, "Art Attack ," Florida Trend August 1, 2007. Rick Neale, "Artists' Colony Gets Initial Approval," Florida Today, November 17, 2007.
64 Newspaper Articles "Ringling Art Students Open Their Exhibit, Second Display of School Marked Advance in Quality Work" Sarasota Herald Tribune, March 20, 1932. Joan Altabe, "Let There Be Light: Light's Spectrum Attracts Artists to Sarasota," Sarasota Herald Tribune. August 31, 2000. Judith A. Barter, "Chicago and the Art of the Western Frontier Museums Today ," USA Today July 2003. Floyd Bell, "Ringling Muse um to Make Sarasota Center of Art" Sarasota Herald Tribune February 17, 1927. Obituary "Love of Painting led Artist, 106, to Inspire and Teach," Sarasota Herald Tribune April 30, 2008. Elizabeth Maupin, "A Haven for Artists: They Live, Work and Exhi bit in Sarasota Colony," Orlando Sentinel December 10, 2000. Gioia Dilberto, "A Painter and Her Patron: Two Modern Women, New York Times December 20, 1998. Chuck Twardy, "Spreading the Word about Andre Smith" Orlando Sentinel December 8, 1991. Unkno wn author, "Sarasota Pictured as Florida's Queen City By Indiana Newspaper," Sarasota Herald Tribune January 15, 1931. Tiffany Aumann, "Reclaiming A Forgotten Past" St Augustine Record October 5, 2001. Edward Gomez, "Where Exuberant Dreams Often Sin k Out of Sight," New York Times April 8, 2001 Lori Pounder, "Florida Painters Gather in St. Augustine to Pursue Plein Air Art," St. Augustine Record August 13, 2006. William A. Davis, "Where Gauguin Became Great," The Boston Globe September 12, 2004 Joel Rozen, "Towles Court Gallery Makes Room for Young Artists," Sarasota Herald Tribune July 6, 2008.
65 Elizabeth Maupin, "A Haven for Artists: They Live, Work and Exhibit in Sarasota Colony," Orlando Sentinel December 10, 2000. Interviews Ann Bra dy Interview by author. Telephone interview New Smyrna Beach, F L March 4, 2008. Richard Colvin Interview by author. Tape recording. Maitland, F L June 4, 2008 Elizabeth Condon Interview by author. Telephone interview. February 10, 2008. Chris Fa lk Interview by author. Tape recording. Sarasota FL July 8, 2008. Jim Frost Interview by author Telephone Interview. March 4, 2008. William Puckett Interview by author. Tape recording. St. Augustine FL May 14, 2008. Rebecca Skelton. Interview b y author. Tape recording. St. Petersburg, FL. April 12, 2008. Sara Ellen Smith. Interview by author. Tape recording. St. Petersburg, FL. April 10, 2008. Chase Twichell. Interview by author. Tape Recording. New Smyrna Beach, FL. March 9, 2008 Unpubli shed Works Yaddo Records, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library, New York Public Library Digital Library Collections accessed, February 29, 2008. http://digilib.n ypl.org/dynaweb/ead/human/mssyaddo Fetscher, Elmar. The Second Decade 1987 1997. New Smyrna Beach, FL: Atlantic Center for the Arts, 1998. Black, Hope L. "Mounted on a Pedestal Bertha Honore Palmer (master s thesis, University of South Florida, 2007) 1 3.
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Aldrich, Jennifer L.
Artist colonies in Europe, the United States, and Florida
h [electronic resource] /
by Jennifer L.Aldrich.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 65 pages.
Thesis (M.L.A.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: During the nineteenth century, an artistic trend spread across Europe. As urban centers housed the majority of professional artists, individuals and groups relocated to remote, bucolic areas to form art colonies. Artist colonies are typically defined as a group of artists, generally painters, writers, and composers who worked and lived as a community for a certain period of time. Artists left their city lifestyles as a response to urbanization and industrialization. In other words, the movement encouraged reform of social, environmental, and economic conditions to prevent the decline of true artisanship. The artistic response personified an underlying utopian theme: preservation of the simple life, nostalgia, and set of values threatened by industrialization. This idyllic impulse eventually spread to America. The American art colonies were mainly located in the Northeastern states, the Southwest and Northern California.The present study seeks to analyze art colonies' transformation from rural settings to urban art communities, particularly Florida's art centers. The study finds commonality among the artist colonies of yesterday and the modern art enclaves of today. Some common themes include: desire for seclusion, camaraderie with fellow artists, and inspiration from a environment and/or nature. Chapter one offers a brief history of art colonies in Europe and the influence of landscapes on artists. Chapter two explores the development of American art colonies and their connection to landscapes and the urban influence of modern art on the artists. Chapter three investigates the history of the most significant art colonies in Florida: St. Augustine, Sarasota, Maitland, and New Smyrna Beach.This chapter also examines how artist enclaves support urban communities economically, culturally, and through diversity; specifically, through examples in small towns transformed into diverse Floridian art communities. Art has always provided a unique historical record of social, regional, environmental, and creative changes. The art colonies and communities discussed in this thesis show how the artistic impulses for creativity attract individuals to places and transform them into important art centers.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Advisor: Gary Mormino, Ph.D.
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.