A Selfie Painting

Art on Sunday #10

Self-Portrait, ca. 1911, Oil on panel, Morton Livingston Schamberg, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, August 1, 2015

Self-Portrait, ca. 1911, Oil on panel, Morton Livingston Schamberg,
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,
Bentonville, Arkansas, August 1, 2015

Morton Livingston Schamberg
BORN: October 15, 1882, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DIED: October 13, 1918, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Morton Livingston Schamberg, a painter, sculptor, and photographer whose brief but innovative twelve-year career ended with his untimely death at age thirty-seven, personifies the image of young genius who was ahead of his time. Schamberg was the first artist to use industrial and mechanical images as the basis for geometric art, which developed into the early Twentieth Century style known as Precisionism. Following his graduation from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1906, Schamberg and friend Charles Scheeler traveled to Paris. Returning to Philadelphia, they set up a studio and did commercial photography for a living. By 1912, Schamberg began incorporating cubist elements in his paintings, showing “the prismatic shattering of light into its component colors”. Schamberg and Sheeler participated in the first Armory Show and were influential in bringing the first exhibit of these paintings to Philadelphia. By 1916, Schamberg’s style changed dramatically, with more emphasis on line and structure, fitting to his central topic, the machine. He shared the dadaists’ attitude towards technology, but emphasized the formal beauty of machines. Other painters, including Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth, and Elsie Driggs elaborated upon Schamberg’s mechanical theme in their work. Schamberg died prematurely during the 1918 Philadelphia influenza epidemic.

Michener Art Museum

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  • Hilary Jan 18, 2016

    Hi Mike – how very sad both he and his father died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Amazing art .. fascinating to read about him .. and yes ‘a selfie’ … cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…West Country Tour … Ilfracombe … part 12 …My Profile

    • Mike Jan 18, 2016

      There is actually one small gallery at Crystal Bridges devoted to self-portraits. I will likely share more of them at some point.
      Mike recently posted…DeSoto FountainMy Profile

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