|John Wesley Beatty (1850~1924)
John Wesley Beatty's legacy as an artist would be surpassed by the official positions he held and impact on the region's appreciation and understanding of art. As the first director of the Department of Fine Arts at the Carnegie Institute, Beatty would organize and oversee the development of the Carnegie Internationale. In addition, along with George Hetzel, he would open the Pittsburgh Art School and involve himself in many other functions directly related to the promotion of artists and art in Pittsburgh and beyond.
As an artist, John Beatty would begin as a silver engraver in Pittsburgh before going to Munich to study formally. Upon his return, his passion was painting but most of his activity would be in the area of illustrating and etching.
Around 1890, he would finally pursue his preference to paint with oil. Most of the works he produced would include horses and men working the land.
|David Gilmour Blythe (1815~1865)
David Gilmour Blythe was responsible for capturing Pittsburgh history during a time when the city was beginning an industrial expansion never seen before in the United States. His art would reflect the artist, the time, the city and the country in a satirical yet poignant manner.
One of his favorite subjects were the people, mainly children, that did not share in the prosperity of the city.
Something of a tortured soul, resulting from his own personal family tragedies, Blythe's paintings often represented his own dark mood and political irreverence. Initially a carver and sculpture, the best example of his carving can be found in the Fayette County Courthouse, where there stands a oversized full wood sculpture of Lafayette.
Believed to have been destroyed, Blythe also painted a 300 foot panorama that was part of a traveling exhibition.
Considered the American Hogarth by many, Blythe paintings are included in many of the finest public and private collections in the country.
|James Bonar (1864~1942)
A President of Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and Co-founder of a Hundred Friends of Pittsburgh Art, Bonar painted industrial scenes and city views. Works have been exhibited at the Corcoran Galleries, St. Louis Art Museum and Philadelphia Memorial Hall. An employee of Carnegie Steel and the Pittsburgh Board of Education, Bonar was first a businessman and second a part-time artist. He exhibited his works not only in Pittsburgh but also at Philadelphia's Memorial Hall, Cocoran Galleries, St. Louis Art Museum and others. Although his subject matter was diverse, the industrial scenes around Pittsburgh are among his more desired paintings.
|Emil Bott (1827~1908)
Born in Germany, Emil Bott would return to his homeland for formal training in Dusseldorf. While in Western Pennsylvania, Bott would concentrate his works on capturing the river scenery around the Beaver River near his home in what is now known as Monaca. In addition, it is believed he made several trips down the Ohio River and may have decorated interiors in some of the many steamboats that traveled from Pittsburgh.
Emil Bott would also do some illustrating for regionally themed publications in addition to teaching for a period of time.
|William Anderson Coffin (1855~1925)
Born on what is now known as the Northside of Pittsburgh, William Anderson Coffin would become widely known for his opinions as well as his paintings.
After graduating from Yale, Coffin would travel to Paris for training under Leon Bonnat and as his student exhibit at the Paris Salon in 1879.
Upon returning to the United States, Coffin resided in New York City where he continued to paint but took on many other related professions as well. He would write about art or serve as a critic for several publications such as Harper's Weekly, Scribner's, the New York Sun, the New York Evening Post and several others.
He was a member of the Architectural League, the Union League and the Lotos Club. He exhibited at the American Watercolor Society and was awarded the Hallgarten Prize at the National Academy of Design. Coffin would also serve as the director of fine arts at the Pan-American Exposition in 1901.
William Anderson Coffin's connection to Western Pennsylvania, aside from his youth, would be the family farm north of Jennerstown in Somerset County. Many of his canvases depicted the rolling hills and small towns that surrounded the farm.
|John Donaghy (1837~1931)
John Donaghy lead an interesting life as an artist, a writer and a soldier.
As an artist, he would receive training at the National Academy of Design, Art Student's League and the Pittsburgh School of Design. Donaghy, over his professional career, would illustrate for several publications including Harper's Weekly and Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper.
As a soldier in the Duquesne Grays, Donaghy rose to the rank of captain and spent some time in the Andersonville Prison after being captured by the Confederacy. He would later escape and write a book about his adventure in the army. During his time as a soldier, John Donaghy would sketch scenes depicting the war which would lead to some of his illustration work.
After the conflict, Donaghy would reside in Pittsburgh and New York where he pursued his career as an artist. He enjoyed painting rural genre scenes that often showed a more innocent charm than that of his instructor, David Gilmour Blythe.
Donaghy would concentrate his exhibiting of artwork in Pittsburgh and New York at several different venues.
|Aaron Harry Gorson (1872~1933)
Before finding studio space in Pittsburgh, A.H. Gorson received formal training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Julian Academy in Paris. This immigrant from Lithuania would realize a very different direction than most of his contemporaries in Pittsburgh. Instead of focusing on the pristine natural scenes found in the countryside outside the city, Gorson would direct his attention to the city and its growing industrial structures that lined the three rivers. The effects of light at night coupled with the relections on the water would become his signature. Whistler was his influence and the large steel mills were his subject.
Gorson's favorite vantage point was looking from the hot metal bridge towards the Jones and Laughlin Mill on the Monongahela River. He would paint this scene numerous times in different light and in both small and very large format.
In 1921, A.H. Gorson would move to New York City where he painted in the city and also more tranquil vistas up the Hudson River. Although far away from the mills of Pittsburgh, Gorson continued to paint them. They became his identity as an artist and today serve as the region's reminder of a bygone era.
During his lifetime, Gorson actively exhibited at many venues including the Carnegie Internationale, the Corcoran Gallery, the National Academy of Design and many others.
|Johanna K.W. Hailman (1871~1958)
The daughter of Scalp Level artist Joseph Woodwell, Johanna Hailman was greatly influenced by her father and his fellow artists such as Alfred S. Wall and George Hetzel. A well traveled artist, Hailman painted landscapes throughtout the United States, Europe and the Bahamas. In addition, several examples of her works depict industrial views of Pittsburgh.
During a period of sixty years, Johanna Hailman only missed participating in two Carnegie Internationals. In addition, she exhibited throughout the United States. A spirited active member of the Pittsburgh artist community, Hailman's impact went well beyond her art.
|George Hetzel (1826~1899)
George Hetzel was born in the small village of Hangviller in the province of Alsace, France. Although Hetzel claimed to be French, German was the family's native language. Alsace was a bilingual area were both German and French were spoken.
George Hetzel was two when his father moved the family to America. After arriving in Baltimore, the family moved over land to Western Pennsylvania and finally took a riverboat on the Monongahela to Pittsburgh.
It was an apprenticeship to a house and sign painter that would be the catalyst for what lead George Hetzel to becoming the leading artist of his day in Pittsburgh. After a similar job with a mural and riverboat interior painter, George Hetzel, Sr. felt his son would benefit from formal training. In 1847, George Hetzel left for the Dusseldorf Art Academy. After returning from Dusseldorf in 1849, it was not long before Hetzel received portrait commissions. He supplemented those works with both still life and landscape paintings. He would soon maintain a studio where his produced works would later be displayed and sold at J.J. Gillespie Gallery. Founded in 1832, it was the focal point of all the artists in Pittsburgh and remained so for some time.
When Hetzel neared forty a fishing trip would introduce him to an area outside Johnstown, called Scalp Level. An immediate attraction for the natural beauty of the area would lead George Hetzel and many other artists such as Charles Linford, Alfred S. Wall, A.F. King, W.C. Wall, E.A. Poole and Joseph Woodwell to make Scalp Level their summer retreat. Pittsburgh artists of Hetzel's generation and beyond would make annual trips to Scalp Level for the next forty years.
At the age of seventy-three, George Hetzel died leaving a body of work that captured his talents as well as a region's beauty before the spread of industrialization would alter those pristine landscapes the artist had come to cherish. During his life, George Hetzel exhibited both regionally and nationally, receiving his due honors along the way. Today, he is not only recognized for being the guiding force of the Scalp Level tradition but included in many publications and discussions regarding the Hudson River School.
|Clarence Marshall Johns (1843~1925)
Specializing in animal paintings and genre, Clarence M. Johns was an active participant in the Pittsburgh artist community. Often an officer for the Pittsburgh Artist Association's exhibitions, Johns was considered something of a "character" among his fellow artists. C.M. Johns would also make trips to Scalp Level with George Hetzel where they were just as comfortable with a fishing pole and shotgun as well as a brush and palette. His exhibition record includes the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Annual, Philadelphia Centennial Art Gallery and Pittsburgh Artist's Association.
|Albert F. King (1854~1945)
AF King enjoyed a long life and career as one of Pittsburgh's most prolific artists. During his lifetime he was considered the premiere portrait painter in the city. With an ever-expanding population of industrialists and bankers in the region, King would receive a large portion of the commissions to capture their likeness.
Today, King is mainly remembered for his still life paintings. His subjects included fruit, vegetables, stoneware, and nature morte. On occassion, he would also test the eye with trompe l'oeil using a knife balancing on the edge of a tabletop in front of a melon that had been wedged.
Like so many of his contemporaries, AF King would travel to Scalp Level and produce landscapes from the surrounding streams and forests. Many of these trips were with his friend and mentor Martin B. Leisser.
His portraits still hang in many boardrooms throughout the region. His still life paintings can be found in many public and private collections both on a local and national level.
|Jasper Holman Lawman (1825~1906)
Jasper Lawman was born in Ohio and moved to Pittsburgh in 1846. As with A.F. King, Lawman was considered one of Pittsburgh's top portrait painters. In addition, Lawman painted and exhibited many landscapes and a few still life. His works are few in number but often depict area landmarks such as Snyder's Hollow or Scalp Level.
Having studied in Paris, his landscapes are influenced by the French Barbizon school. His works are found at the Carnegie, Westmoreland and Butler Institute. As the case with many of the local artists of his time, Lawman exhibited and sold many of his paintings at Gillespie's Art Gallery.
|Martin B. Leisser (1846~1940)
Initially, Martin B. Leisser was trained by George Hetzel and other elder artists in Pittsburgh. This education was later supplemented in Paris and Munich. Leisser traveled extensively throughout the south and west of the United States as well as Europe. His body of work includes portraits, landscapes and a limited number of still life. In addition to his works, Leisser played an important role in the Pittsburgh art community with influence and instruction. One of the major influences that would lead to Carnegie inclusion of an art school at the Carnegie Institute.
|Charles Linford (1846~1897)
Charles Linford was one of the original members of the Scalp Level group. It is believed that it was he and George Hetzel, along with others, that discovered this area around Johnstown, Pennsylvania while on a fishing excursion. The two artists were struck by the natural beauty of the area and would make it into an artists' retreat that lead to summer sketching trips for a generation of artists and their students.
Linford's work is highly recognizable. Influenced by the French Barbizon painters, he seemingly only painted landscapes. He maintained consistentancy thru his lifetime in quality, composition, style and size. Generally, Linford's works are one of four sizes and are either verticle forest interiors of birch trees or horizontal scenes of neglected farms.
After spending his earlier years painting in Pittsburgh, Linford would move east and spend time in Philadelphia, New York City and Plainfield, New Jersey. There is evidence that he may have returned to Pittsburgh later on in his career. At the very least, he continued to exhibit and remain active in the Western Pennsylvania art community for most of his life.
Linford exhibited at the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Acacdemy of Fine Arts and the inaugural Carnegie Internationale just prior to his death.
|Hugh Newell (1830~1915)
Hugh Newell was born near Belfast, Ireland on October 4th, 1830. He began studying art at the age of nineteen in London at the Royal College of Art. Later he would receive instruction at the Academy of Antwerp and in Paris.
Newell came to the United States in his early twenties and soon settled in Baltimore. As a portrait painter, he achieved a degree of success in a relatively short period of time. He remained in Baltimore until sometime around 1863 at which point he traveled for several years before ending up in Pittsburgh around 1870. For the next nine years he would hold the position of Principal of the Women's School of Design. He then returned to Baltimore where he held posts at the Maryland Institute of Art and Design as well as Johns Hopkins University.
Hugh Newell throughout this time continued to exhibit at the Carnegie Internationale and there is some evidence he returned to Pittsburgh for three years prior to his death.
Newell's exhibition record also included the Maryland Historical Society, Washington Art Association, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Annual and the National Academy of Design.
|Eugene A. Poole (1840~1912)
EA Poole became known as a painter who specialized in autumn landscapes. Although the vast majority of his remaining works confirm that title, Poole's career started in a different direction. After receiving formal training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and then in Paris under Bonnat, Poole returned to the Baltimore area where he received acclaim for a number of portraits and sculpted busts of Civil War officers and other dignitaries.
It was not until he arrived in Pittsburgh, in 1887, that his focus would become autumn landscapes. The sketching trips to Scalp Level, a retreat for Pittsburgh artists, certainly offered Poole inspiration and oppurtunity to pursue this subject.
Poole would become an important part of the art community in Pittsburgh. He would serve on the jury of awards at the Carnegie Internationale as well as being named the director of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh.
EA Poole would also exhibit at the Carnegie Internationale. Based on titles of later paintings he exhibited, the artist likely spent some of his time along the coast of Connecticut.
|David Birdsey Walkley (1849~1934)
Although he was raised and died in Ohio, David Walkley's professional career is associated with Pittsburgh, New York and Mystic, Connecticut. His formal study included more travel including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Academy Julian and Academy Mosler in Paris, and the Art Students League in New York City.
The amount of time Walkley spent in Pittsburgh is uncertain. Based on exhibition records it is obvious he maintained a relationship with Pittsburgh throughout his career.
David Walkley's body of work varied in style and subject. His genre paintings ranged from dark interior scenes of Dutch peasants to American scenes capturing young admirers leaning on a post and rail fence. His landscapes could be done in a highly realistic style or varying degrees of impressionism.
|A. Bryan Wall (1861~1935)
With a father and uncle already well established artists in Pittsburgh, A. Bryan Wall's path in life was determined at a young age. By the time he was eighteen, the young Wall was exhibiting his work at the National Academy of Design and receiving a fair amount of recognition. His many trips to Scalp Level certainly were great encouragement to a young artist with such mentors as George Hetzel, Joseph Woodwell, his uncle and father offering assistance along the way.
Initially, A. Bryan Wall would focus on still life and portraiture painting but his attention soon became pastoral scenes of sheep. Wall would dwell so much on these farm scenes he would often be referred to as the sheep painter.
As the case with other artists of A. Bryan Wall's generation, his later work became increasingly influenced by Impressionism and his attention to detail gave way to a looser lighter style.
For a period of time, Wall maintained a studio in Philadelphia were he became acquainted with many artists such as Thomas Eakins. In 1904, Eakins would paint A. Bryan Wall's portrait.
As did his father, A. Bryan Wall would serve as a trustee to the Carnegie Institute and involve himself in many regional and national exhibitions.
|Alfred S. Wall (1825~1896)
The father of A. Bryan Wall and brother of William C. Wall, Alfred was a large influence on many artists and collectors. In addition to his painting, he became a well respected consultant to the emerging collectors in Pittsburgh. He was one of the initial trustees to the Carnegie Institute. As the case with the other Scalp Level artists, Alfred S. Wall concentrated his efforts on landscapes but painted portraits to help support himself.
|William Coventry Wall (1810~1886)
At the age of eleven, WC Wall's family moved from England to Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. With an artistic minded father, Wall would explore painting at a fairly young age but not receive much attention until years later. In his twenties, Wall moved to Kentucky for a short time before returning and settling in Pittsburgh. Once there, Wall would open an art supply store to help support him while developing his skills as an artist.
It was after the Great Fire of 1845 in Pittsburgh that Wall received his first financial success as an artist. He had painted two scenes of the city after the fire and decided to have lithographs made of both. They sold well and lead to more attention and work for Wall.
Although he never had the benefit of formal training, WC Wall developed as a landscape painter. He would join his younger brother, Alfred, George Hetzel and others on their sketching trips to Scalp Level. He had a detailed style that would capture autumn colors reflecting off a winding river with a trail of smoke coming from a distant cabin's chimney. Other examples of his work showed close-up depictions of a frontier lifestyle along a river in Western Pennsylvania.
As the future would reveal, William Coventry Wall would be the catalyst of a family of artists that would influence and contribute to Pittsburgh's art community for over ninety years.
|Christian J. Walter (1872~1938)
Known as the "Ligonier Artist", Christian Walter was an integral part of the art community in the early part of the twentieth century in Pittsburgh. Aside from being an accomplished artist himself, Walter would also be responsible for the promoting of all the area's artists. This was a result of his efforts as President of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh for sixteen years until his untimely death.
As an artist, Walter did not restrict himself to just working with oils. Among his body of work there are examples of stained glass, woodblock prints, etchings and watercolor.
The largest known collection of Christian Walter's work can be found on the campus of Penn State University at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. A number of relevant paintings were commissioned by then dean, Judge Steidle. Walter's works show the role of steel, oil and glass in the state's industrial past.
Today, Christian Walter is identified mainly for his landscapes of the countryside around Ligonier where he spent his summer months.
|Joseph Ryan Woodwell (1843~1911)
Born to a well known woodcarver in Pittsburgh, Joseph Woodwell started submitting paintings to exhibitions at a very early age. The same could be said for his daughter, Johanna Woodwell Hailman who was a well known Pittsburgh artist as well.
A frequent visitor to Scalp Level, an active exhibition record, well traveled to Europe and an original trustee to the Carnegie International made Joseph Woodwell among one of the constants of the Pittsburgh's art scene for over fifty years.
|Austin C. Wooster (1838~1916)
AC Wooster's legacy is the artist's paintings. There is not much information available about his life beyond his remaining body of work.
Aside from his duties in the Civil War, as soldier and artist, it appears that Wooster lived out most of his life in or around Pittsburgh.
There is no evidence of him receiving any formal training yet his still life works often mirror that of AF King. It is unclear if King served as instructor at some point or just inspiration. Wooster, as King, would do portraits, landscapes and a large number of still life paintings. In addition, he would paint scenes of client's farms, houses and surrounding landscapes.
AC Wooster had no known exhibition record and seems to have relied on local galleries and department stores to promote and sell his works.