by John Ruskin
John Ruskin (February 8, 1819 – January 20, 1900) was a brilliant English writer, artist, thinker and philanthropist. He was born into a family of means, which afforded him an excellent education. His parents were very encouraging of him, and Ruskin benefited from frequent travels throughout his lifetime. He began publishing, often poetry and articles on nature, and attended the University of Oxford, where he graduated with rare highest honors, despite bouts of illness.
He began traveling with his parents throughout Italy, France and other parts of Europe, where his writings on art criticism and history were well received. Among other arguments, Ruskin felt that architectural restoration was in fact, a form of destruction, and felt that preservation and conservation were better approaches. In 1848 he married Effie Gray, but the marriage was very unhappy and remained unconsummated until 1854, when it was annulled.
By 1850, in addition to much writing, Ruskin began to give popular public lectures on architecture and on painting in particular. But by the later 1850s, Ruskin began focusing his work on economics, particularly labor and social justice. His political ideas became extremely influential, particularly to Mohandas Gandhi. Later, he was invited to lecture at the University of Oxford. He also founded a utopian society, the Guild of St. George, in 1871. Ruskin wrote a great deal, lectured, and experimented with architecture and community until he died of influenza January 20, 1900 at the age of 80.
This new edition is dedicated to Dr. Ruskin Chádez Ibarra, scholar and researcher.
Sir David Wilkie RA was born on November 18, 1785 in Scotland. Although he family was not terribly pleased with his devotion to the arts, they supported his choice to become a painter, and he went on to study at the Trustees’ Academy in Edinburgh. After graduation, he returned home and was commissioned to do many portraits, as his talent was already well recognized. After approximately a year, Wilkie went to study at the Royal Academy in 1805, again finding great success. Wilkie was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1809, and by 1811 he became a full Academician.He primarily did portraiture work, often for royalty, which was very stressful for Wilkie and took a toll on his health. He traveled through Europe and the Middle East, which broadened his influence and interests, although he remained primarily commissioned to do portraits.
Interestingly, several subjects were not terribly pleased with the outcome of his work, finding it not particularly flattering, while he served as the Royal Limner for Scotland. While traveling, Wilkie picked up a terrible illness in Malta, and passed away while heading to Britain on June 1, 1841. He was buried at sea near the Bay of Gibraltar.
by George Lansing Raymond
When on July 12, 1929, George Raymond died of pneumonia at the age of 89 he had enjoyed a crowded life as a professor and popular author of esthetics. He was born into fortunate circumstances, having a father who was one of the first mayors of Chicago. In 1862, he graduated from Williams, and went on to graduate from Princeton Seminary in 1865. For 25 years he taught at Princeton University, and then he began teaching at George Washington University from 1905 to 1912.
He became well-known for his writings on esthetic history. He combined psychology, history, art and biology in his theories. He also wrote on ethics, natural law, oration and poetry. His writings were so well received that he was nominated seven times for a Nobel Prize in Literature.
by William Jones FSA
William Jones takes on the difficult tasks of collecting and categorizing the many ways that precious gems have taken on value in different cultures. For example, he studies pearls and the appeal that they have had in different cultures, time periods, uses and across various religious rituals including Judaism, Christianity and the occult. His work tends to highlight lore and legend.Jones was deeply devoted to his research of all things jeweled and ornamental. He wrote several books on related topics, including Finger-Ring Lore: Historical, Legendary and Anecdotal; Crowns & Coronations: A History of Regalia and Credulities Past and Present.
This new edition is dedicated to Kelvin Low, who takes a special interest in things gold and silver, both old and new, Asian and American.
by Mary Knight Potter
Mary Knight Potter was born in Boston into a family of artists. While she initially studied art herself, she preferred writing. Unfortunately, she battled health ailments. In September of 1915, she had married longtime friend and musician, Thomas Parker Currier, but sadly passed away only three weeks after. She left a great deal of writing behind, having published numerous books on art, including The Art of the Louvre, The Art of the Venice Academy, Love in Art, and a book of short stories called Ten Beautiful Years. Potter was an esteemed, world-renowned art critic, as well as a prized writer of fiction. Her stories appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, and To-day’s Magazines, among others.
by Clara Erskine Clement
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Clara Erskine Clement was born on August 28, 1834 to John and Harriet Bethiah Erskine in St. Louis, Missouri. She was able to get an education through private tutors. After her first marriage, she relocated to Massachusetts. Throughout her life, she wrote a great deal, primarily on art history, including such works as Handbook of Legendary and Mythological Art (Boston, 1871), Stories of Art and Artists (1886), Women Artists in Europe and America (1903) and Women in the Fine Arts (1906). She loved traveling, and was known especially for her travels to Turkey, Palestine, and parts of Europe. She did not let age stop her, and climbed the Great Pyramid when she was 66. She passed away in 1916 while in Brookline, Massachusetts of chronic myocarditis. Her papers are held by Princeton University.This new edition is dedicated to the members of the National Sculpture Society.
by Eugen Neuhaus
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Eugen Neuhaus was born on August 18, 1879, in Germany. He moved to the United States in 1904, ultimately becoming a US citizen in 1911. He began teaching various art and design classes at colleges in northern California, including the University of California. He lectured at numerous colleges, including internationally over the years, before ultimately retiring from the University of California in 1949, at the age of 70. He died at the age of 84 in 1963, in Berkeley.
One of the highlights of Neuhaus’ career was his assistance in developing the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco during 1915. This work, The Art of the Exposition, is derived from lectures he gave to the public about its design and development, which were very well received. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915 was an event celebrating the development of the Panama Canal. Many beautiful pieces of architecture were developed for the Exposition, perhaps the most notable being the Palace of Fine Arts. A number of members of the National Sculpture Society exhibited, and this new edition is dedicated to their memory.