Feature Articles

December 2011

How About an Art Book for Holiday Gift Giving? Try These

During 2011 we received several art books from publishers here at Carolina Arts. We thought we would revisit them to remind you that art books can make great holiday gifts. Why just these books when many others were probably published in 2011 about the arts or artists in the Carolinas? These are the ones that were sent to us. Here’s four good selections.

Selected Letters of Anna Heyward Taylor
South Carolina Artist and World Traveler

Edited by Edmund R. Taylor and Alexander Moore

Published by USC Press

7” x 10”, 360 pages, with 79 illustrations
ISBN 978-1-57003-945-4

Heavily illustrated with representative color and black-and-white artwork, the selected correspondence of Anna Heyward Taylor (1879–1956) captures the globe-trotting adventures of an intrepid South Carolina artist and a guiding spirit of the Charleston Renaissance. These letters and articles frame her intriguing life against the changing events of twentieth-century American art history and global events to illustrate how this acclaimed South Carolina original came to view and be viewed by the world.

The highly skilled artworks of Anna Heyward Taylor - especially her celebrated woodblock prints and watercolors - are well known to students and collectors of southern art. However, Taylor was also a dedicated letter writer and persistent student of art. Edited by her descendant Edmund R. Taylor and Alexander Moore, this first publication of Taylor’s letters provides a new dimension to the artist’s life and works. A native of Columbia, SC, Taylor received professional art training from William Merritt Chase in New York and B. J. O. Nordfeldt in New England. In Japan she studied the works of the classical printmakers and developed an appreciation of textile arts.

Drawn to roam abroad, Taylor traveled to the Far East before World War I, served in the American Red Cross in wartime France and Germany, and visited Europe both before and after the Great War. She also made lengthy excursions to British Guiana, the Virgin Islands, and Mexico to study and create colorful works of art in several media: watercolors, woodblock prints, and textiles. She traveled to British Guiana in the capacity of scientific illustrator, and her correspondence and art from such excursions are emblematic of her well-informed interest in botany. Between the wars and amid her travels, Taylor worked and studied at the renowned artists’ colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

In 1929 she settled in Charleston, SC, and became one of the key participants in the Charleston Renaissance. In the mid-1930s, Taylor spent time at an artists’ colony in Taxco, Mexico, fully immersed in the bohemian life among the artists, which she keenly describes with an anthropologist’s eye. Wherever she traveled, lived, or worked, Taylor made her life a celebration of innovation, independence, and creativity—traits that illuminate the vibrant character of her chronicles of exotic people, places, and events.

The accompanying illustrations and photographs add a visual element to the remarkable story of this versatile artist. The introduction and extensive annotations by southern historian Alexander Moore establish a broader place for Taylor in American art history and the intellectual life of the twentieth century.

The Life and Art of Alfred Hutty
Woodstock to Charleston

Edited by Sara C. Arnold and Stephen G. Hoffius with a foreword by Angela D. Mack and a catalog of known prints by Edith Howle

Published by USC Press

9 1/2” x 10 3/4”, 224 pages, 96 color and 231 b&w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-61117-041-2

Alfred Hutty (1877–1954) was a master painter and printmaker whose evocative landscapes and realistic studies of the human condition represent the best aspects of the Woodstock and Charleston art traditions of his era. Edited by Sara C. Arnold and Stephen G. Hoffius, this illustrated survey of Hutty’s career offers the first comprehensive examination of his impact on American art in the South and beyond. The text and catalog of prints offer authoritative documentation of more than 250 of Hutty’s works.

Among the first artists to settle in the Art Students League colony at Woodstock, New York, in the early 1900s, Hutty established himself as a leading painter of the town’s natural environs. For more than a decade, he honed his skills in oil and watercolor, producing intimate portrayals of Woodstock’s mountains, lakes, and streams before his career took him to South Carolina.

Hutty first visited Charleston, SC, in 1920 and, according to one of the staple legends of the Charleston Renaissance, he excitedly wired his wife back in Woodstock: “Come quickly, have found heaven.” Hutty began dividing his time seasonally between homes and studios in Charleston and Woodstock, teaching art classes for the Carolina Art Association at what is now the Gibbes Museum of Art - a relationship that eventually led to the Gibbes’ status as the largest public repository of Hutty’s work. In Charleston, Hutty was inspired to try his hand at printmaking for the first time, and it is this artistic medium for which he is best known. His skillful prints depicting the city’s surviving colonial and antebellum architecture, its rural environs, and its African American population drew unprecedented national attention both to Hutty and to Charleston.

Published in cooperation with the Gibbes Museum of Art, The Life and Art of Alfred Hutty features essays by Sara C. Arnold, Alexis L. Boylan, Harlan Greene, Edith Howle, a foreword by Gibbes executive director Angela D. Mack, and a catalog of known prints by Hutty.

Working South
Paintings and Sketches by Mary Whyte

by Mary Whyte

Foreword by Martha Severens, former curator of the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, SC

Published by USC Press

10” x 11 1/2”, 128 pages, 61 color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-57003-966-9

In Working South, renowned watercolorist Mary Whyte captures in exquisite detail the essence of vanishing blue-collar professions from across ten states in the American South with sensitivity and reverence for her subjects. From the textile mill worker and tobacco farmer to the sponge diver and elevator operator, Whyte has sought out some of the last remnants of rural and industrial workforces declining or altogether lost through changes in our economy, environment, technology, and fashion. She shows us a shoeshine man, a hat maker, an oysterman, a shrimper, a ferryman, a funeral band, and others to document that these workers existed and in a bygone era were once ubiquitous across the region.

“When a person works with little audience and few accolades, a truer portrait of character is revealed,” explains Whyte in her introduction. As a genre painter with skills and intuition honed through years of practice and toil, she shares much in common with the dedication and character of her subjects. Her vibrant paintings are populated by men and women, young and old, black and white to document the range Southerners whose everyday labors go unheralded while keeping the South in business. By rendering these workers amid scenes of their rough-hewn lives, Whyte shares stories of the grace, strength, and dignity exemplified in these images of fading southern ways of life and livelihood.

Watercolor artist Mary Whyte is a teacher and author whose figurative paintings have earned national recognition. A resident of Johns Island, SC, Whyte garners much of her inspiration from the Gullah descendents of coastal Carolina slaves who number among her most prominent subjects. Her portraits are included in numerous corporate, private, and university collections, as well as in the permanent collections of South Carolina’s Greenville County Museum of Art and the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. Her paintings have been featured in International Artist, Artist, American Artist, Watercolor, and American Art Collector, L’Art de Aquarelle, and numerous other publications. Whyte is the author of Alfreda’s World, a compilation of her Gullah paintings, as well as An Artist’s Way of Seeing and Watercolor for the Serious Beginner.

Brian Rutenberg Art: Monograph

by Martica Sawin

Preface by Gregory Amenoff with an introduction by Walter Darby Bannard

Published by Radius Books

11” x 11”, 164 pages, 85 color illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-93435-09-0

Brian Rutenberg’s paintings reinvigorate and revitalize the medium. Raised in the South Carolina lowlands, Rutenberg has lived and worked in New York for the past 20 years. His work elicits a profoundly visceral experience as he reinvests abstraction with a sense of spirituality. Influenced by the music of Glenn Gould and Celtic culture, as well as the painters Joan Mitchell and Hans Hofmann, Rutenberg draws on the landscape that he remembers from childhood, growing up between Pawley’s Island and Charleston, where the rivers and lakes join the ocean. The landscape, complex in its layers, has guided Rutenberg’s approach to composition and color. This volume is the first comprehensive presentation of his work.

Brian Rutenberg was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, SC, and he received his BFA at the College of Charleston. He received an MFA in 1989 at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has shown his work at a variety of galleries and museums, including the Albright-Knox, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, the American Academy of Arts & Letters Invitational, the Oakland Museum of Art, and Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. His work is held in the collections of the Yale Gallery of Art, The Butler Institute of American Art, Peabody Essex Museum and the Greenville County Museum of Art, among others. He is currently represented by Forum Gallery, New York and Los Angeles.

Painting Portraits and Figures in Watercolor

by Mary Whyte

Published by Watson Guptill

Size: unknown, 160 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8230-2673-9

available after Dec. 6, 2011

Author and renowned artist, Mary Whyte guides beginner and intermediate watercolorists through the entire painting process - from selecting materials to fundamental techniques to working with models and exhibiting the finished painting. Filled with clear and concise language and in-depth step-by-step demonstrations, Whyte’s book goes beyond the practical application of techniques, by teaching new artists to not only capture the model’s physical likeness, but their unique personality and spirit, too.

The book’s earlier chapters focus on the basics, such as materials and tools, paint techniques, and drawing. Later chapters focus on color, posing the model, and how to achieve a personal point of view. Each chapter is built on the chapter preceding it. Chapters include: Brief History of Watercolor; Getting Started; Materials and Tools; Basic Techniques; Drawing, Composition, and Principles of Design; Value, Depth, and Form; Handling Edges; Color and Light; Backgrounds; and Becoming a Professional Artist.

Richly illustrated throughout, Painting Portraits and Figures in Watercolor features Whyte’s vibrant, emphatic watercolors and works by such masters of watercolor as Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Painting Portraits and Figures in Watercolor is the complete reference on portraiture and figure painting in watercolor.

Whyte has earned national recognition as an artist and illustrator. Her watercolors have been exhibited at some of the nation’s most prestigious museums and exhibitions, including the American Watercolor Society and the Allied Artists of America. Beginning in 2011, a three-year museum tour of fifty of Whyte’s watercolors will be traveling throughout the country.

City Art in Columbia, SC, will offer a book signing with Whyte on Dec. 7, 2011, from 2-3pm. If you cannot make it and would like to reserve a copy, call them at 803/252-3613. Whyte will sign your book for yourself or your favorite artist.

For further information about USC Press visit (http://www.sc.edu/uscpress/). For further info about Brian Rutenberg visit (http://brianrutenbergart.com/). For further info about Mary Whyte visit (www.marywhyte.com).

Editor’s Note: These books can probably be found in most art museum shops or stores in SC or in some cases you can purchase them from the publisher or artists involved.

The exhibition, Brimming Tide: Paintings and Drawings by Brian Rutenberg, is on view at the Franklin G. Burroughs - Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC, through Jan. 3, 2012. The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, will present the exhibit, The Life and Art of Alfred Hutty - Woodstock to Charleston, from Jan. 20 through Apr. 22, 2012 and Working South, featuring works by Mary Whyte from the book of the same name, May 4 through Sept. 9, 2012.

Don’t forget shop local and support small businesses.


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Carolina Arts is published monthly by Shoestring Publishing Company, a subsidiary of PSMG, Inc. Copyright© 2011 by PSMG, Inc., which published Charleston Arts from July 1987 - Dec. 1994 and South Carolina Arts from Jan. 1995 - Dec. 1996. It also publishes Carolina Arts Online, Copyright© 2011 by PSMG, Inc. All rights reserved by PSMG, Inc. or by the authors of articles. Reproduction or use without written permission is strictly prohibited. Carolina Arts is available throughout North & South Carolina.