Arthur B. Davies was born in Utica, New York. He became interested in art at the age of 15, after he saw a traveling exhibition of American landscape paintings. Davies trained in Chicago and New York. Regular trips to Europe helped him formulate his distinctive, dreamlike landscapes and imaginative figure paintings, which were purchased and promoted by leading American collectors.
Granville Redmond was born in Philadelphia, and his family migrated to San Jose, California, a few years later. He lost his hearing as a young child, and he attended the California School for the Deaf in Fremont until the age of 19. He continued his education at the California School of Design in San Francisco, and the School for the Deaf funded additional study in Paris. Redmond eventually returned to California, where he made his reputation as a painter of coastal landscapes.
Gottardo Piazzoni was born in Intragna, Switzerland; he moved with his family to California at the age of 15. His father had established a dairy farm in Carmel Valley, and life on the farm taught Piazzoni to revere and respect nature. He studied with Arthur Mathews at the California School of Design, followed by a sojourn in Paris. Piazzoni eventually settled in California, where he developed a mature style featuring harmonious palettes, spare compositions, and poetic symbolism.
Born outside of Pittsburgh, Mary Cassatt studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1866 she traveled to Paris, where she eventually settled. After studying the old masters, Cassatt became interested in the work of Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet. She also developed a close friendship with Edgar Degas, who championed her inclusion in the circle of artists who would become known as the Impressionists, the only American to do so.
The artists William T. Wiley, Robert Hudson, and William Allan grew up together in Richland, Washington. All three continued their art studies at the California School of Fine Arts in the 1950s, although they ultimately rejected the then-dominant Abstract Expressionist style for more intensely personal visions inspired by Dada and Surrealism. Often credited as pioneers of the Bay Area art movement known as Funk, they occasionally create complex collaborative works in their idiosyncratic style.
Born in Albany, New York, Homer Dodge Martin freely painted landscapes that link the Hudson River School to the French Barbizon tradition and Impressionism. He traveled widely through Europe, and was greatly influenced by the works of Claude Monet. He established a studio in the famous Tenth Street Studio Building in New York City, though he eventually left to join his son in St. Paul, Minnesota. As his eyesight failed with age, he painted increasingly abstract landscapes from memory.
Mayhew honed his improvisational skills as a jazz singer in New York, and his love of music is evident in his work. Mayhew cites jazz musicians Miles Davis and Cecil Taylor as creative influences, and many of his paintings have titles that allude to music, such as Rhapsody, Overture (2001) and Orchestration (2006).
George Inness’s earliest paintings were made in the style of the Hudson River School. On a trip to France in 1853, however, he was exposed to the work of the Barbizon school of painters, who used a looser brushstroke and softer tonal qualities. He began painting landscapes with ethereal, atmospheric effects. The writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, which described the visual world as a metaphor for a higher metaphysical reality, also influenced him and became apparent in his paintings.
Los Angeles artist Sandow Birk is known for his bold vision of contemporary life, which he develops into expansive, cross-disciplinary projects. His work has addressed the themes of urban violence, religious tensions, political leaders, travel, war, and the American prison system. One of his recent projects centers on the significance of the Qur’an and Islamic traditions in American culture.