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Info about - Schnakenberg
This biography from the archives of AskART.com.
Henry Ernest Schnakenberg, painter was born in New Brighton, New York, on September 14th, 1892. In 1913, he viewed the Armory Show in New York and had his first exposure to modernist art, a life-changing experience for him. Inspired, he enrolled at the Art Students League where his teachers were Kenneth Hayes Miller and John Sloan. During a time when the prevailing trends were away from naturalism, Henry Schnakenberg became one of the most accomplished "naturalistic painters." He was described as an "artist of unusual cultivation, familiar with the great art of the world."
Although he was not one to follow the winds of fashion in art he was equally "far removed from academic conservatism." This independence as an artist and a person helped preserve the integrity of his sincere personal vision.One critic wrote that "His art is not the expression of subjective emotions or a social philosophy, but the work of a man who looks upon the external world primarily for its aesthetic content, its offering of pleasurable places and objects and figures to contemplate and paint. His aim is less to express his own emotions than to create satisfying images of reality as he sees it."
Never one to "settle in a grove" of a specific subject matter, Schnakenberg sought out many aspects of the world that attracted him. His landscapes revealed his genuine love of nature and as far as naturalistic painters were concerned few came close to imparting the depth of feeling displayed in his works. His paintings usually contained a great amount of detail and "a concern with her [natures] solid realities rather than her evanescent appearances-qualities that link him with the tradition before impressionism." He was equally concerned with texture and detail that he created by building up layers of paint to "build a completely satisfying composition out of something no more grandiose than a weatherbeaten fencepost covered with scarlet ivy."He also did satirical and social realist views of urban life, often showing caricatures of urban dwellers whose facelessness showed their alienation from society. John Sloan, one of Schnakenberg's teachers was a master at depicting such scenes and no doubt helped to impart this interest in everyday life subjects to his gifted student as well as to many others working in this genre at the time.
He was a life member of the Art Students' League and served as president of the league in 1932. He was an instructor from 1923 to 1925. He was also a member of the Society of American Painters, Sculptors and Gravers; Society of Independent Artists; National Institute of Arts and Letters.Schnakenberg won numerous awards during his life including an honorable degree, D.F.A., University of Vermont. He also exhibited nationally. He was a contributor of articles and criticisms to "The Arts Magazines" and his work can be found in many important public collections. Henry Ernest Schnakenberg passed away in 1970.
Blake Benton Fine Art
Born in New Brighton, New York, he did satirical and social realist views of urban life, often showing caricatures of urban dwellers whose facelessness showed their alienation from society.
In 1913, he viewed the Armory Show in New York and had his first exposure to modernist art, a life-changing experience for him. Inspired, he enrolled at the Art Students League where his teachers were Kenneth Hayes Miller and John Sloan. In 1923, he became a teacher at the Art Students league and later succeeded Sloan as President.
Comollo Antiques & Fine Art Manchester Vermont
To keep artists off the bread lines during the Depression, the federal Government camp up with a creative alternative to ditch digging. It commission hundreds of unemployed artists to do murals and sculpture in public buildings.
While a lot of the resulting work has been lost or destroyed, some of it has been rescued from oblivion. Consider, for instance, the valuable modernist murals done for Newark Airport by Arshile Gorky, later a pioneer of abstract expressionism. These murals were discovered a decade ago under 14 layers of paint by an air sleuth.
Soon after the find, another art sleuth, Dr. Hildreth York, project director of Rutgers University's museum training program, used old brochures from the Works Project Administration (WPA) and other New Deal Agencies to track down the commissioned art in dozen of New Jersey buildings. Dr. York trekked with her students on what she called "'muraling' day which consisted of arduous and often delightful travels to school, post offices and other public building.
Those following a similar "muraling" trail today will find a great deal of the New Deal art intact in the original locations - schools libraries, courthouses, and most frequently, post offices.
For example, the post office in Fort Lee, at 229 Main St., has four murals by Henry Schnakenberg. Done in oils on canvas, the works depict various historical periods of the Fort Lee area. "The Half Moon Off New Jersey Shore" shows Henry Hudson's ship at anchor while his men trade with the Indians.
One untitled work is apparently of George Washington and his troops retreating from the British during the American Revolution. Another untitled mural show a family picnicking of the Palisades -- beyond them looms the George Washington Bridge, and below a barge puffs north with the New York skyline as backdrop.
In "The Early Moving Pictures," a golden-haired damsel cringes before an Indian who is blasting a pair of guns into the air, while cameras are cranked near a man seated in a director's chair.
"The moving picture theme was used because 'The Perils of Pauline' was filmed here and many other movies, too," explained Edward Lynch, the Fort Lee postmaster. "Fort Lee was the spot for making movies before Hollywood came along."
Schnakenberg was not a native of Fort Lee. He was born in New York in 1892, and went on to have his work", exhibited nationally; his name appears in the 1947 edition of "Who's Who in American Art."
The subjects of Schnakenberg's painting, like those of almost all New Deal art, were restricted to "the American scene," said Dr. York in her book, "New Deal Art: New Jersey! (Newark Museum/Rutgers University). The artists' styles ran nearly unanimously toward the conservative so the commissioned art was generally free from the imaginative contortions abstraction