Thursday, November 8, 2012

American Artist Joseph Badger 1708-1765

c. 1749 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Elizabeth Campbell (Mrs. William Foye)

1746 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Eliz Storer (Mrs. Isaac Smith).

Joseph Badger was born on March 14, 1707/8, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the 6th of 9 children of Mercy Kettell and her husband Stephen Badger, a tailor. Joseph Badger died in Boston on May 11, 1765.

1750 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Anna Porter (Mrs. Nathaniel Brown)

Badger began his career as a house painter and glazier and moved his growing family to Boston in 1733. It is not clear how he evolved into portrait painting, but he probably used a few imported English prints as sources for his compositions, although his poses and formats are similar.

1755 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Eleanor Wyer (Mrs. Isaac Foster)

In Boston, Badger lived in the same neighborhood with Scottish-born portriatist John Smibert (1688–1751), who had emigrated from London in 1728, and John Singleton Copley's stepfather, London artist and engraver Peter Pelham ( (1695-1751), who had arrived in Boston a few years earlier than Smibert. And of course, as you have already guessed, both artists sold prints out of their shops introducing poses and costumes from English mezzotints in the baroque depictions of Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723) and Peter Lely (1618–1680) and in the updated rococo style of Thomas Hudson (1701–1779) to local artists and townsfolk.

1758 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Hannah Minnot (Mrs. Samuel Moody )

Artist Thomas Johnston (1708–1767), who painted portraits, furniture & coats of arms; engraved maps, music, bookplates, & clock faces; and even cut gravestones, also lived nearby. Johnston trained artist John Greenwood (1727–1792), who was his Boston apprentice from 1741 to 1745.

1759 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Hannah Upham (Mrs. John Haskins).

Additionally, Badger would have known artist Robert Feke (c 1708–1751) and Joseph Blackburn (fl 1754–1763), who arrived in Boston around 1754, just after Copley's stepfather died.

1760 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Mrs. Thomas Shippard.

Apparently paint ran through the Badger family veins. Two of Badger's sons moved to Charleston after his death, advertising themselves as painters in the South-Carolina Gazette, in Charleston, December 8, 1766. Joseph Badger, Jr. and his brother William moved to Charleston in 1766, announcing that "they propose to carry on their business of painting and glazing in all their branches." A Daniel Badger, perhaps related to the elder Joseph, had advertised himself as a painter in the same newspaper on December 6, 1735, just 2 years after Joseph Badger had settled in Boston.

1750-1760 Joseph Badger (American Colonial Era artist, 1798-1765) Mrs. John Edwards (Abigail Fowle)

1760 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Sarah Larrabee Edes.

1763 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Mary Croswell.

Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Mrs Andrew Sigourney

1760-65 Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, 1708-1765) Sarah Badger Noyes.

Joseph Badger (American colonial era artist, c 1707–1765) Faith Savage (Mrs. Cornelius Waldo) 1750

The Print Dresses of American Artist Thomas P. Anshutz (1851-1912)

Thomas P. Anshutz (American artist, 1851-1912) The Flowered Gown 1906

Thomas P. Anshutz (American artist, 1851-1912) Emily Fairchild Pollock

Thomas P. Anshutz (American artist, 1851-1912) Rebecca H. Whelan 1910

A few intriguing non-American 1750s portraits

François-Hubert Drouais (French painter, 1727-1775) Anne-Marie Françoise Doré

 Alexander Roslin (Swedish Painter, 1718-1798) Baroness de Neubourg-Cromière 1756

 Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss painter, 1702-1789) Madame Jean Tronchin

Martin van Meytens the Younger (Swedish artist, 1695–1770) Maria-Maria Theresa (1717-1780), archduchess of Austria, Holy Roman Empress, and queen of Hungary and Bohemia

Maurice Quentin de La Tour  (French painter, 1704-1788) Mlle Ferrand Meditating on Newton

 Vieira Lusitano (Portugese artist, 1699–1783) Maria I of Portugal 1753

 Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss painter, 1702-1789) Marthe Marie Tronchin

A few intriguing non-American 1760s portraits

Jacques Louis David (French artist, 1748–1825) Madame François Buron, 1769

 Joseph Wright of Derby (English artist, 1734-1797) Portrait of a Lady

Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss artist, 1702–1789) Empress Maria Theresa (1717-1780) was Marie-Antoinette's mother

Alexander Roslin (Swedish painter, 1718-1798) Lady with Veil

Miguel Cabrera (Mexican artist, 1695–1768) Doña María de la Luz Padilla y (Gómez de) Cervantes

Pompeo Batoni (Italian artist 1708-1787) Lady Mary Fox

 Unknown Artist of the German School, Princess Augusta of Great Britain c 1763

 Sir Joshua Reynolds (British artist, 1723-1792) Anne Dashwood (1743-1830)

 Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss artist, 1702–1789) Empress Maria Theresia of Austria

Self-Taught Southern Artist J. B. Murry (1908-1988)

J. B. Murry is one of my favorite self-taught artists. He simply was not interested in the commercial aspect of producing his art. He did not paint because he was trying to impress anyone. His abstract art & brilliant use of color are endlessly compelling.

John Benjamin or Bunion Murry (1908-1988) (or Murray, as it is sometimes spelled) was a religious, visionary artist who spent his entire life as a sharecropper in rural Glascock County, Georgia.

Visionary art is a type of "outsider art," or self-taught art produced by people with little or no formal training & little or no connection to the art establishment. But visionary art has an added dimension: Its practitioners feel an overwhelming compulsion, usually religious, to create. They view their imagination as a force of God or nature. In the words of John J.B. Murry, "When I started I prayed & prayed & the Lord sunk a vision from heaven."

Born into a poor family & without any formal education, he married a young neighbor, Cleo Kitchens, when he was in his early twenties. He built a small house for the 11 children they eventually had together, & he supported the family by working on nearby farms. His wife later left him, & he never remarried.

In 1977, soon after a dislocated hip forced his retirement, Murry experienced his vision from God, in which he was called to spiritually mediate between God & humankind in a world beset by evil forces. During the last 10 years of his life, Murry created a great number of works which featured his unique spirit script, which he believed contained direct messages from God. Many of his paintings deal with heaven & hell and the battle between good & evil.

Murry came under the care of Dr. William Rawlings, Jr. for a hip problem in 1977. Believing that Dr. Rawlings was also a spiritual doctor & would understand them, Murry began sending his physician these spirit script messages. At the time, Murry was drawing on whatever pieces of paper were at hand. While Dr. Rawlings may not have understood the writing on Murry's brightly colored designs, he did realize that J. B. Murry was a talented artist & began to supply him with higher quality materials.

Although unable to read or write the English language, he subsequently began to compose calligraphic texts that he claimed were spiritually inspired - essentially a written equivalent of glossolalia, or speaking in tongues. He believed that this writing was the direct word of God & that it could be deciphered by spiritually pure individuals, but only if they read it through a clear glass container filled with clean water.

Murry wrote his spirit messages while in a trance. To understand the script he had written, he would pray, and then would view the writing through a bottle of holy water drawn from a well in his back yard.

Murry wanted to share his vision with fellow believers, & he inserted some pages of this “spirit script” in envelopes that he passed out to fellow members of his church congregation, until the pastor asked him to refrain from doing so. Others he nailed to the walls of his house, in keeping with an African American tradition that writing of any kind can be used to deflect & confuse evil spirits. Murry developed a growing body of followers who came to his home & listened to his interpretations of God’s teachings as expressed through him & his art.

Though Murry at first produced the script on whatever materials he could find, including scraps of papers & receipts; his drawings became more & more complex over time, as he added abstract, human-like figures to his creations & began to draw & paint in bright colors on larger canvases.

He began salvaging discarded objects that he felt were symbolically significant & painting them with expressionistically abstracted, columnar forms that have been characterized as guardian figures. As with the spirit scripts on his walls & the piles or rocks, bricks, & broken concrete slabs he constructed in his yard, he strategically placed these painted objects around his house for purposes of spiritual protection.

In his early paintings, he employed a color scheme that was specifically coded, with yellow representing divine presence; blue connoting positive energy, & red signifying evil. White & black represented spiritual purity & impurity. All of his work deals with the interplay of these forces in the mortal world, from which he departed in 1988, after succumbing to prostate cancer.