Author Archives: maryannadair

BMD Was Your Friend | BMD Is No More

New Zealand legendary street art collective BMD is no more. Known for their distinctive wall markings, the two Taranaki artists behind BMD parted ways back in 2015. Throughout their partnership they chose to conceal their individual identities. They once cited … Continue reading

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I Don’t Work, I Don’t Do Anything, But I Am Indispensable

“I Don’t Work, I Don’t Do Anything, But I am Indispensable“, is how Russian art critic, patron, and ballet impresario, Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, described himself. Sergei Diaghilev was born on 19 March, 1872, in Selishchi. His mother died soon after … Continue reading

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The Riot of Stravinsky’s Spring

Russian composer, pianist and conductor, Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was born on 17 June, 1882, in Oranienbaum, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, 25 miles west of St. Petersburg.  The Stravinsky family was of Polish and Russian heritage, … Continue reading

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So Tell me, Did she read the name I carved with many vows?

Victorian English artist William Maw Egley was born in London, in 1826. He was the son of miniaturist artist William Egley, who was young Egley’s first tutor. Egley’s early works were illustrations of literary subjects typical of the period, which … Continue reading

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Rayonism + Designs for the Ballets Russes | The Work of Mikhail Larionov

Avant-garde Russian painter Mikhail Fyodorovich Larionov was born at Tiraspol, near Odessa, in the Russian Empire on June 3, 1881. In 1898, Larionov entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Isaac Levitan and Valentin Serov. However, he … Continue reading

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Yasemeen, “I Wontner Now”

Yasemeen from Arabian Nights (1919) English portrait painter William Clarke Wontner was born in Stockwell, Surrey, on 17 January 1857. Wontner received his earliest art education from his father, William Hoff Wontner, an architect, designer and renderer. Under his father’s … Continue reading

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A Trail Through Antiquity With Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Dutch-born painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, was born Lourens Alma Tadema, on 8 January, 1836, in Dronryp, in the northern province of Friesland, in the Netherlands. At the age of two, the Tadema family moved to the nearby city of Leeuwarden, … Continue reading

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The Pictures of Dorien Leigh

This has been a tough challenge, but I have not been able find any information about the photographer Dorien Leigh, whose photographs appear in the 1939 edition of The Modern Pictorial World Atlas, published by the Sun News-Pictorial, Melbourne, Australia. … Continue reading

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Young Advice for Young Illustrators

Sea-landscape and figure illustrator Cliff Young was born in New Waterford, Ohio in 1905 and died in 1985. He studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Grand Central School of Art with Harvey Dunn; the Art Institute of Chicago with … Continue reading

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Flame Leaper is a Surefire Keeper

A bronze and ivory figure of an acrobat entitled Flame Leaper after Johann Philipp Ferdinand (Fritz) Preiss ca 1930 height 35cm Even if ‘Flame Leaper‘ is not necessarily by ‘Fritz Preiss’ it is interesting to know his story. However, ‘Fritz … Continue reading

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Here’s a Foray of Doré | From Greek Mythology to Arthurian Legends

French artist, print-maker, illustrator and sculptor Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Doré was born in Strasbourg, France, on 6 January, 1832. At the age of 12, Gustave Doré began carving in cement. Three years later, at the age of 15, Doré … Continue reading

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From Cherry Trees to Rebellion | These actors look quite Machiavellian

The Stars of the Tokyo Stage: Natori Shunsen’s Kabuki Actor Prints, was an exhibition held in galleries around Australia during 2012-2014. It celebrated the glamour of the kabuki theatre amid the dynamic atmosphere of Japan in the 1920s and 1930s. … Continue reading

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Good golly Ms Olley, your art ain’t no folly

Australian still life artist, Margaret Hannah Olley, was born in Lismore, New South Wales on 24 June 1923. During her high school years, Olley attended Somerville House in Brisbane. After graduation from art school, Olley became an active member of … Continue reading

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Is Don | Is Good

Paul ‘Don’ Smith was born in London, but lived in Borneo for about four years, from the age of eight to twelve. In total contrast to life in London, Borneo provided the young ‘Don’ with new horizons, open spaces, the … Continue reading

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You Can Bank on Hanke | When it comes to Portrait Art

Australian painter and teacher Henry Aloysius Hanke (14 June 1901-1989), was born in Sydney. He won the Archibald Prize in 1934 with a self-portrait (see above), and the inaugural Sulman Prize, in 1936, with his painting ‘La Gitana‘. Hanke served … Continue reading

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