Posts Tagged ‘WPA’

Artist of the moment…..Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson was an American artist born in the year 1899 in the city of Kiev, Russia. Her family emigrated to the United States in 1905 and as a child she grew up around Rockland, Maine. The United States Postal Service produced a commemorative stamp featuring the artist  in 2000 which is below. Louise Nevelson was most famous for her very large sized works made with wood. These works look like three dimensional puzzles. Some mediums used other than wood by Louise Nevelson include aluminum, metal, and plastic.


Nevelson’s father own a lumberyard when the family lived in Russia. When the family came to the States her father also would run a lumberyard and was made several successful real estate investments.

In this clip we view some of Louise Nevelson’s sculpture works:

She was married briefly to the owner of a shipping company. The couple divorced but had one child. The child’s name was Myron or “Mike” Nevelson who would go on to be a professional artist. As an artist Mike Nevelson focused on modernism and abstraction. I love this families of artists! Below some examples of Mike Nevelson’s style of art (born in 1922.)

For her artistic education Nevelson enrolled at Hans Hoffman’s School of Art located in Munich, Germany. In later years Nevelson studied the art off etching and printmaking with Stanley William Hayter. Hayter was an educator and world renown printmaker and below an example of his art. Nevelson also enrolled at the famed Art Student’s League of New York City.


Nevelson worked as an assistant to famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He also worked for the WPA as a teacher.

Nevelson was a participant in the Venice Biennale.

Her first solo exhibition was in 1941, whilst in her early 40s.

Louise Nevelson passed away in 1989.

In this clip we visit a show featuring Louise Nevelson that took place in Rome, Italy:

Louise Nevelson was also known for her unique and flamboyant style of dress. Often the artist would black mink eyelashes, silk scarves, and a black cap.

Louise was grandmother to another artist profiled here already, Neith Nevelson. What a creative family!

Its just amazing to see how many multiple generations of artist families exist worldwide. Myron worked with wood, but loved working with the figure.

Price range information:  Works in graphite, monoprints, and etchings can be found starting at $3,000 up to larger sized paintings reaching as a high as $400,000. Many works in wood range from $10,000 to the low six figures.


Artist of the moment…..George Biddle

George Biddle was an America artist born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1885. Biddle was one of America’s first “social realist” painters and took part in the Works Progress Administration painting murals. Biddle received a college degree from Harvard where he studied law. The artist passed the bar in Pennsylvania.

George Biddle moved to Paris, France and enrolled at the Academie Julian. Biddle then moved back to the United States and enrolled at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts. The artist then went to Munich, Germany where he studied printmaking.

Biddle moved back to the United States where he got married and joined the army. His marriage failed and Biddle traveled to Tahiti to forget his troubles.

Biddle moved to New York City and made a great name for himself as an artist with many successful shows. The artist also married for the second time.

Price range information:  Works range from $3,000 to $30,000. The artist worked in oils, watercolor, and also worked with lithography.

Biddle then moved back to Paris, France to further his art studies and worked as a printmaker. The artist met Diego Rivera and was moved by the messages of Rivera and his fellow muralist painters. Biddle was inspired to return to the United States and complete some murals of his own. He vowed to make his work political and social in nature, similar to what he saw in his travels with Rivera.

In this clip a great montage of works by George Biddle:

His second marriage ended and he would begin a new relationship with an artist named Helene Sardeau. The couple  moved to Rome, Italy where both artists worked vigorously exploring new medium. The couple then returned to Biddle’s estate in the U.S. Biddle prepared his idea to create a mural program similar to the one he saw implemented in Mexico. Biddle explained his idea to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president of the United States. The president favored the idea and began the program.

Biddle’s first mural was in 1933, for the Chicago World’s Fair.

Biddle was even assigned to be the head of United States War Artists. He produced several drawings and watercolors of the war front.

George Biddle passed away in 1973.

Though I have written before about the WPA and some of its artists, I had no idea the arts program here was patterned after what George Biddle had witnessed on his trips to Mexico and by being friends with Diego Rivera.