Monday, November 11, 2013

A few simple bonnets on a few not-so-simple American women


















































American Folk Art - David Waite Bowdoin (c 1819-c 1872)


In 1840, David Waite Bowdoin (ca. 1819-ca. 1872), an obscure portraitist (only 2 paintings are known & the other is of his father) from New Braintree, Massachusetts, painted an intense portrait of his mother wearing an unusual brown dress and bonnet with yellow ribbons.


David Waite Bowdoin (ca. 1819-ca. 1872), The Artist's Mother Tirzah Waite Bowdoin, New Braintree, Mass., 1840


American Folk Art - Susan Catherine Moore Waters 1823-1900



Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) The Lincoln Children 1845

Susan Catherine Moore Waters was born in Binghamton, New York, on May 18, 1823, the daughter of Sally Camp Moore (1788-a 1880) & Lark Moore (1790-1871). Susan's only sibling Amelia was born 2 years later. The Moores moved near Friendsville, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, when the girls were children & lived on a farm, which Susan painted as a landscape about 1843. Susan Waters & her sister Amelia attended female seminary of The Susquehanna Academy. Recruited by her teachers to create drawings, Water’s received tuition help for both herself & her sister. Using fabrics of cotton or mattress ticking as her medium when linen was not available, Waters demonstrated that her work was technically sound, as she painted copies of specimens for the class in natural history. She was considered a prodigy by her teachers.


Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Woman in Black Dress

In 1841, she married William Waters, a Quaker, who encouraged her talent. She painted a number of her early portraits in southern New York state, including Cannonsville, Berkshire, Richford, Kelloggsville, & Oxford. Susan became a successful itinerant portrait artist; a supporter of women's rights & the humane treatment of animals; a photographer; & a deeply religious Quaker. She is well known for her portraits of inhabitants of the southern New York done between the years 1843 & 1850, but she was also a successful still-life & animal painter in her later life.


Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Brothers 1845

Faced with a dwindling market for portraits due to the invention of the camera, Waters continued in her chosen field by teaching drawing & painting. However, both she & her husband learned photography as well. After her husband's health faltered, they decided to stop traveling & established themselves in the business of taking fine ambrotypes & daguerreotypes. They settled in Bordentown, New Jersey, where she taught & painted there & in nearby cities. They built a cottage on Mary Street which was later sold. Susan traveled & painted & then returned to Bordentown, to repurchase her former house. For 27 years, Mrs. Waters painted pictures in her quiet studios there encouraged by her husband. In 1876, Waters was honored with an invitation to show 2 of her paintings at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.


Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Man in Black

Perhaps driven by a change in public demand for fashionable paintings as parlor ornaments, Waters began to paint primarily animals; still lifes; maritime & landscapes; & religious images. This shift in her practice may be evidence of Waters’ ongoing artistic development. Like other late 19th century still-life, some of her works depict objects hung on boards & doors, in a realistic manner. In several instances she combined traditional fruit subjects with incidental animals such as rabbits & squirrels. Waters real specialty, however, was painting farm animals, cattle & particularly sheep. She kept sheep in a pen behind her house.


Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Young Boy with Knife

After her husband's death in 1893, she devoted herself entirely to her art, living alone most of the time. At the end of the decade, she boarded at the Friends' Home home in Trenton, and faithfully attended the Friends meetings. On June 6, 1900, she reported on the census; that she had borne 2 children, but that neither was living. She died on July 7, 1900, & was buried in a cemetery at Bordentown, New Jersey.


Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Girl with Dog in a Grape Arbor



Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Portrait of a Lady Reading



Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Mary E Kingman 1845



Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Lyman Kingman



Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Helen Kingman



Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Henry L Wells 1845



Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Young Woman Holding a Rose



Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Nicholas Catlin 1852


Probably by Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Probably Girls from The Lincoln Family, because the dog is the same as in the above identified portrait.

I am posting only one of her later paintings, because I am most interested in her early portraits.


Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Barn with Livestock

For more information on Susan Catherine Moore Waters see:

Bice, Arlene S. Bordentown. Portsmouth, NH: Arcadia Publishing, 2002. p. 61.

Heslip, Colleen C. “Susan C. Waters.” The Magazine Antiques. vol. 115 (1979): 769-777.

Gerdts, William H. Painting and Sculpture in New Jersey. Princeton, NJ: 1964. pp. 109-112.

Strass, Stephanie. “Susan Waters.” American Women Artists, 1819-1947. The Neville Strass Collection, 2003.

Waters, Susan C. and Paul D. Schweizer. “A Letter by Susan Waters Provides New Information on Her Career.” American Art Journal. Vol. 19, No. 1 (1987): 76-77.


Susan Catherine Moore Waters (American artist, 1823-1900) Photograph from Newark Valley Historical Society


Fashion! - Angelica Kauffman, Swiss-Austrian artist, 1741-1807 paints Newoclassical & Turquerie self-portraits



Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Said to be both a Self Portrait and Bacchanal 1785


Angelica Kauffman was born in Switzerland, but grew up in Austria, where her family had originated. Her father, Joseph Johann Kauffman, was an itinerant artist who often traveled Europe seeking painting commissions. He taught his daughter to paint. Angelica Kauffman was quick to adopt his best qualities & sought to learn more. Her mother taught her several languages. The young artist read incessantly & showed talent as a musician. Her greatest gift seemed to be painting.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self -portrait as Singer, Holding a Sheet of Music. 1753


By the time she was 12, she had bishops & nobles for her sitters. In 1754, her father took her to Milan.  Additional family visits to Italy led to Rome in 1763-64.  From Rome, she ventured to Bologna & Venice, where she was celebrated for both her talents & her personal charm. By this time, the young artist spoke Italian as well as German, French, & English, making her a favorite portratist of English visitors taking the grand tour to Rome.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait 1763


In 1763, she became acquainted with Johann Joachim Winckelmann, & she attended Winckelmann's courses in perspective. Winckelmann was a leading German historian & architect. Her interactions with Winckelmann forced her broaden her stylistic horizon & aroused her interest in neoclassicism. Winckelmann espoused the virtues of Greek & Roman art, whether in the field of architecture or painting.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Writing from Rome in August 1764, to his friend Franke, Winckelmann refered to her popularity. (She was then painting his portrait of which she also made an etching.)  She spoke Italian as well as German, he reported & expressed herself with facility in French and English - one result of the last-named accomplishment being that she became a popular portraitist for British visitors to Rome. “She may be styled beautiful,” he added, “and in singing may vie with our best virtuosi.”



Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait 1760s


While at Venice, she was invited by Lady Wentworth, the wife of the German ambassador, to accompany her to London, where the royal family received them. When Angelica Kauffman decided to move to London in 1766, she enjoyed a reinvention of herself as a neoclassicist that would produce her greatest artistic successes. The movement of neoclassicism sought to embrace the ancient, namely in Greek & Roman art. She also included recent references to Turquerie in her portraits.  As characteristic of most neoclassical painters, her paintings also began to depict classical mythology & allegory


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


In London, she became close with Joshua Reynolds & was included in the 1769 initial catalogue of the Royal Academy of Painting a& Sculpture. From 1769 until 1782, she was an annual exhibitor, sending sometimes as many as 7 pictures, generally classic or allegorical subjects.



Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Said by Some to Be a Self Portrait 1781


In England & on the continent, she inspired & developed friendships with many artists, ranging from Philipp Hacke to Goethe. Indeed, Goethe was among her greatest supporters, describing her as the most “accomplished woman in Europe” as a female painter. She painted his portrait, as well.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Kauffman's strength became her work in history painting, the most elite category in academic painting during the 18th century. Despite the popularity that Kauffman enjoyed in English society & her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the English had for history painting, prefering portraits of their family members instead. It was the same complaint that John Singleton Copley had of colonial Americans.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807)


She married Antonio Zucchi (1728–1795), a Venetian artist then resident in Britain, & they decided to return to Italy. Ultimately, she left England for the continent, where history painting was better established, esteemed, & patronized. She continued at intervals to contribute to the Academy in London, her last exhibit being in 1797. In the last years of her life she was sorely tried by reverses of fortune & by the death of her husband in 1795. "The poverty does not terrify me," she confided to an intimate friend, "but the loneliness kills me."


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait 1780


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait with the Blustockings 1778


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait 1781


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait_1784


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Allegory of Poetry and Music Self Portrait on Left 1782


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) - Self Portrait 1787


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait Hesitating Between the Arts of Music and Painting. 1791 Angelica showed a great aptitude for music and singing, and some of her father's friends strongly urged her to give up painting, but in vain.