André Kertész, born Kertész Andor, was a Hungarian-born photographer known for his groundbreaking contributions to photographic composition and the photo essay. In the early years of his career, his then-unorthodox camera angles and style prevented his work from gaining wider recognition. Kertész never felt. Today he is considered one of the seminal figures of photojournalism. Expected by his family to work as a stockbroker, Kertész pursued photography independently as an autodidact, his early work was published in magazines, a major market in those years; this continued until much in his life, when Kertész stopped accepting commissions. He served in World War I and moved to Paris in 1925 the artistic capital of the world, against the wishes of his family. In Paris he worked for France's first illustrated magazine called VU. Involved with many young immigrant artists and the Dada movement, he achieved critical and commercial success. Due to German persecution of the Jews and the threat of World War II, Kertész decided to emigrate to the United States in 1936, where he had to rebuild his reputation through commissioned work.
In the 1940s and 1950s, he stopped working for magazines and began to achieve greater international success. His career is divided into four periods, based on where he was working and his work was most prominently known, they are called the Hungarian period, the French period, the American period and, toward the end of his life, the International period. Andor Kertész was born on 2 July 1894 in Budapest to the middle-class Jewish family of Lipót Kertész, a bookseller, his wife, Ernesztin Hoffmann. Andor, known as "Bandi" to his friends, was the middle child of three sons, including Imre and Jenő; when Lipót died in 1908 from tuberculosis, the widowed Ernesztin was without a source of income to support their three children. Ernesztin's brother, Lipót Hoffmann, provided for the family and acted much like a father to the boys; the family soon moved to Hoffman's country property in Szigetbecse. Kertész grew up in a leisurely pace of life and pastoral setting that would shape his career path. Hoffman paid for his middle nephew's business classes at the Academy of Commerce until his 1912 graduation, arranged his hiring by the stock exchange soon after.
Unlike his older brother Imre, who worked at the exchange in Budapest for all his life, Kertész had little interest in the field. He was drawn to illustrated magazines and to activities like fishing and swimming in the Danube River near his uncle's property. Kertész's first encounters with magazine photography inspired him to learn photography, he was influenced by certain paintings by Lajos Tihanyi and Gyula Zilzer, as well as by poetry. After earning enough money, Kertész bought his first camera in 1912, despite his family's protests to continue his career in business. In his free time, he photographed the local peasants and landscape of the surrounding Hungarian Plains, his first photograph is believed to be Sleeping Boy, Budapest, 1912. His photographs were first published in 1917 in the magazine Érdekes Újság, during World War I, while Kertész was serving in the Austro-Hungarian army; as early as 1914, his distinctive and mature style was evident. In 1914, at the age of 20, he was sent to the frontline, where he took photographs of life in the trenches with a lightweight camera.
Most of these photographs were destroyed during the violence of the Hungarian Revolution of 1919. Wounded in 1915 by a bullet, Kertész suffered temporary paralysis of his left arm, he was sent for convalescence to a military hospital in Budapest, but was transferred to Esztergom, where he continued to take photographs. These included a self-portrait for a competition in the magazine Borsszem Jankó, his most famous piece of this period was Underwater Swimmer, Esztergom, 1917, the only surviving work of a series of a swimmer whose image is distorted by the water. Kertész explored the subject more in his series of "Distortions" photographs during the early 1930s. Kertész did not heal soon enough to return to combat, with peace in 1918, he returned to the stock exchange. There he met his future wife Erzsebet Salomon, who worked at the exchange, he began to pursue her romantically. During this period of work and throughout his whole career, he used Elizabeth as a model for his photographs. Kertész took numerous photographs of his brother Jenő.
Kertész left his career at the exchange to try agricultural work and beekeeping during the early 1920s. This venture was brief given the political turmoil that accompanied the revolution and coming of communism. After returning to the stock exchange, Kertész decided to emigrate, to study at one of France's photographic schools, his mother dissuaded him, he did not emigrate for several years. Working during the day at the exchange, he pursued photography the rest of the time. In 1923, the Hungarian Amateur Photographer's Association selected one of his photographs for its silver award, on the condition that he print it by the bromoil process. Kertész disliked this, so turned down the medal. Instead, he was given a diploma from the association. On its 26 June 1925, the Hungarian news magazine Érdekes Újság used one of his photographs for its cover, giving him widespread publicity. By that time, Kertész was determined to photograph the sights in Paris and join its artistic culture. Kertész emigrated to Paris in September 1925, leaving behind his mother, his unofficial fiancée Elizabeth, both brothers, his uncle Hoffman, who died shortly afterward.
St. Louis is an independent city and major inland port in the U. S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois; the Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city. These two rivers combined form the fourth longest river system in the world; the city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, the 22nd-largest in the United States. Before European settlement, the area was a regional center of Native American Mississippian culture; the city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War, the area was ceded to Spain and retroceded back to France in 1800. In 1803, the United States acquired the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
During the 19th century, St. Louis became a major port on the Mississippi River, it separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Summer Olympics; the economy of metropolitan St. Louis relies on service, trade, transportation of goods, tourism, its metro area is home to major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Boeing Defense, Energizer, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Post Holdings, Edward Jones, Go Jet and Sigma-Aldrich. Nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri are located within the St. Louis metropolitan area; this city has become known for its growing medical and research presence due to institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. One of the city's iconic sights is the 630-foot tall Gateway Arch in the downtown area.
The area that would become St. Louis was a center of the Native American Mississippian culture, which built numerous temple and residential earthwork mounds on both sides of the Mississippi River, their major regional center was at Cahokia Mounds, active from 900 to 1500. Due to numerous major earthworks within St. Louis boundaries, the city was nicknamed as the "Mound City"; these mounds were demolished during the city's development. Historic Native American tribes in the area included the Siouan-speaking Osage people, whose territory extended west, the Illiniwek. European exploration of the area was first recorded in 1673, when French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette traveled through the Mississippi River valley. Five years La Salle claimed the region for France as part of La Louisiane; the earliest European settlements in the area were built in Illinois Country on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia and Fort de Chartres. Migrants from the French villages on the opposite side of the Mississippi River founded Ste.
Genevieve in the 1730s. In early 1764, after France lost the 7 Years' War, Pierre Laclède and his stepson Auguste Chouteau founded what was to become the city of St. Louis; the early French families built the city's economy on the fur trade with the Osage, as well as with more distant tribes along the Missouri River. The Chouteau brothers gained a monopoly from Spain on the fur trade with Santa Fe. French colonists used African slaves as domestic workers in the city. France, alarmed that Britain would demand French possessions west of the Mississippi and the Missouri River basin after the losing New France to them in 1759–60, transferred these to Spain as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain; these areas remained in Spanish possession until 1803. In 1780 during the American Revolutionary War, St. Louis was attacked by British forces Native American allies, in the Battle of St. Louis; the founding of St. Louis began in 1763. Pierre Laclede led an expedition to set up a fur-trading post farther up the Mississippi River.
Before Laclede had been a successful merchant. For this reason, he and his trading partner Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent were offered monopolies for six years of the fur trading in that area. Although they were only granted rights to set-up a trading post and other members of his expedition set up a settlement; some historians believe that Laclede's determination to create this settlement was the result of his affair with a married woman Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau in New Orleans. Laclede on his initial expedition was accompanied by Auguste Chouteau; some historians still debate. The reason for this lingering question is that all the documentation of the founding was loaned and subsequently destroyed in a fire. For the first few years of St. Louis's existence, the city was not recognized by any of the governments. Although thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over the settlement, thus St. Louis had no local government; this led Laclede to assume a position of civil control, all problems were disposed i
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. MoMA plays a major role in developing and collecting modernist art, is identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world. MoMA's collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, painting, photography, illustrated books and artist's books and electronic media; the MoMA Library includes 300,000 books and exhibition catalogs, over 1,000 periodical titles, over 40,000 files of ephemera about individual artists and groups. The archives holds primary source material related to the history of contemporary art; the idea for the Museum of Modern Art was developed in 1929 by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and two of her friends, Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan, they became known variously as "the Ladies", "the daring ladies" and "the adamantine ladies". They rented modest quarters for the new museum in the Heckscher Building at 730 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, it opened to the public on November 7, 1929, nine days after the Wall Street Crash.
Abby had invited A. Conger Goodyear, the former president of the board of trustees of the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, to become president of the new museum. Abby became treasurer. At the time, it was America's premier museum devoted to modern art, the first of its kind in Manhattan to exhibit European modernism. One of Abby's early recruits for the museum staff was the noted Japanese-American photographer Soichi Sunami, who served the museum as its official documentary photographer from 1930 until 1968. Goodyear enlisted Paul J. Frank Crowninshield to join him as founding trustees. Sachs, the associate director and curator of prints and drawings at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, was referred to in those days as a collector of curators. Goodyear asked him to recommend a director and Sachs suggested Alfred H. Barr, Jr. a promising young protege. Under Barr's guidance, the museum's holdings expanded from an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing, its first successful loan exhibition was in November 1929, displaying paintings by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat.
First housed in six rooms of galleries and offices on the twelfth floor of Manhattan's Heckscher Building, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, the museum moved into three more temporary locations within the next ten years. Abby's husband was adamantly opposed to the museum and refused to release funds for the venture, which had to be obtained from other sources and resulted in the frequent shifts of location, he donated the land for the current site of the museum, plus other gifts over time, thus became in effect one of its greatest benefactors. During that time it initiated many more exhibitions of noted artists, such as the lone Vincent van Gogh exhibition on November 4, 1935. Containing an unprecedented sixty-six oils and fifty drawings from the Netherlands, as well as poignant excerpts from the artist's letters, it was a major public success due to Barr's arrangement of the exhibit, became "a precursor to the hold van Gogh has to this day on the contemporary imagination"; the museum gained international prominence with the hugely successful and now famous Picasso retrospective of 1939–40, held in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago.
In its range of presented works, it represented a significant reinterpretation of Picasso for future art scholars and historians. This was wholly masterminded by Barr, a Picasso enthusiast, the exhibition lionized Picasso as the greatest artist of the time, setting the model for all the museum's retrospectives that were to follow. Boy Leading a Horse was contested over ownership with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In 1941, MoMA hosted the ground-breaking exhibition, Indian Art of the United States, that changed the way American Indian arts were viewed by the public and exhibited in art museums; when Abby Rockefeller's son Nelson was selected by the board of trustees to become its flamboyant president in 1939, at the age of thirty, he became the prime instigator and funder of its publicity and subsequent expansion into new headquarters on 53rd Street. His brother, David Rockefeller joined the museum's board of trustees in 1948 and took over the presidency when Nelson was elected Governor of New York in 1958.
David subsequently employed the noted architect Philip Johnson to redesign the museum garden and name it in honor of his mother, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. He and the Rockefeller family in general have retained a close association with the museum throughout its history, with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund funding the institution since 1947. Both David Rockefeller, Jr. and Sharon Percy Rockefeller sit on the board of trustees. In 1937, MoMA had shifted to offices and basement galleries in the Time-Life Building in Rockefeller Center, its permanent and current home, now renovated, designed in the International Style by the modernist architects Philip L. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone, opened to the public on May 10, 1939, attended by an illustrious company of 6,000 people, with an opening address via radio from the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On April 15, 1958, a fire on the second floor destroyed an 18 foot long Monet Water Lilies painting (the current Mone
Hatmaking or millinery is the design and sale of hats and head-wear. A person engaged in this trade is called a hatter. Millinery is sold to women and children, though some definitions limit the term to women's hats. Milliners female shopkeepers, produced or imported an inventory of garments for men and children, sold these garments in their millinery shop. More the term milliner has evolved to describe a person who designs, sells or trims hats for a female clientele; the origin of the term is the Middle English milener, meaning an inhabitant of the city of Milan or one who deals in items from Milan, known for its fashion and clothing. Many styles of headgear have been popular through history and worn for different functions and events, they worn to indicate social status. Styles include the top hat, hats worn as part of military uniforms, cowboy hat, cocktail hat. A great variety of objects are or were used as trimmings on women's fashionable hats: see Trim #See also. In former times use of colorful bird feathers and wings and tails and whole stuffed birds as hat trimmings led to the formation of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Link to images and descriptions of hats trimmed with birdsThis link, with references to 1880s newspaper issues, describes as ornaments on fashionable hats, bird feathers, stuffed birds and other small animals, fruit, flowers and lace. It says that in 1889 in London and Paris, over 8,000 women were employed in millinery, in 1900 in New York, some 83,000 people women, it described a fashion for stuffed kittens' heads as hat ornaments in or around 1883 in Paris posed looking out from among foliage and feathers, to the point where some people were reported to breed kittens for the millinery trade. This is a partial list of people who have had a significant influence on millinery. International Hat Company, an American manufacturer credited with inventing one of America's most popular early 20th century harvest hats for field hands and workmen. Hawley Products Company, an American manufacturer credited with inventing the tropical shaped, pressed fiber sun helmet used from World War II through the Persian Gulf War.
John Cavanagh, an American hatter whose innovations included manufacturing regular and wide-oval fitting hats to enable customers to find better-fitting ready-to-wear hats. James Lock & Co. of London, is credited with the introduction of the bowler hat in 1849. John Batterson Stetson, credited with inventing the classic cowboy hat Giuseppe Borsalino, with the famous "Borsalino" Fedora hat. Anna Ben-Yusuf wrote The Art of one of the first reference books on millinery technique. Rose Bertin and modiste to Marie Antoinette, is described as the world's first celebrity fashion designer. Coco Chanel: Creator of the fashion house and creator of Chanel No.5. John Boyd was one of London's most respected milliners and is known for the famous pink tricorn hat worn by Diana, Princess of Wales. Lilly Daché was a famous American milliner of the mid-20th century. Frederick Fox was an Australian born milliner noted for his designs for the British Royal family. Mr. John was an American milliner considered by some to be the millinery equivalent of Dior in the 1940s and 1950s.
Stephen Jones of London, is considered one of the world's most radical and important milliners of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Simone Mirman was known for her designs for Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family. Barbara Pauli was the leading fashion modiste in Sweden during the Gustavian era. Caroline Reboux was a renowned milliner of the early 20th centuries. David Shilling is a renowned milliner and designer based in Monaco. Justin Smith is an award-winning milliner creating bespoke and couture hats under the J Smith Esquire brand. Philip Treacy Irish-born award-winning milliner. Draper Haberdasher Hat Works Mad hatter disease Mad as a hatter Marchandes de modes All Sewn Up: Millinery, Dressmaking and Costume 18th Century millinery Popular Science, November 1941, "Pulling Hats Out Of Rabbits" article on modern mass production hat making Individuality in millinery, a 1923 book on hatmaking from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries Millinery guide
University of Hawaii at Manoa
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is a public co-educational research university as well as the flagship campus of the University of Hawaiʻi system. The school is located in Mānoa, an affluent neighborhood of Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaiʻi, United States three miles east and inland from downtown Honolulu and one mile from Ala Moana and Waikīkī; the campus occupies the eastern half of the mouth of Mānoa Valley. The John A. Burns School of Medicine, part of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, is located in Kakaʻako, adjacent to the Kakaʻako Waterfront Park; the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges from the western mainland U. S. and is governed by the Hawaii State Legislature and a semi-autonomous board of regents, which in turn, hires a president to be administrator. This university campus houses the main offices of the entire University of Hawaiʻi system; the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was founded in 1907 as a land-grant college of agriculture and mechanical arts.
A bill by Maui Representative William Coelho introduced into the Territorial Legislature March 1, 1907 and signed into law March 23rd by the Governor enabled construction to begin. In 1912 it was moved to its present location. William Kwai Fong Yap petitioned the Hawaii Territorial Legislature six years for university status which led to another renaming to the University of Hawaii in 1920; this is the founding year of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1931 the Territorial Normal and Training School was absorbed into the University, becoming the U. H. College of Education. Today, the primary facet of the university consists of the four Colleges of Arts and Sciences: Arts and Humanities, Languages and Linguistics, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences; the college of agriculture and mechanical arts is now the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, one of the few agricultural colleges in the United States focused on the tropics. UH Mānoa is home to two of the state's most prominent professional schools.
The William S. Richardson School of Law and the School of Medicine are the only law and medical schools in Hawaiʻi, it is home to the Shidler College of Business which has the only AACSB accredited graduate business program in the state. It has the only Doctor of Architecture program in the country; the Center for Hawaiian Studies provides'excellence in the pursuit of knowledge concerning the Native people of Hawaii. Together, the colleges of the university offer bachelor's degrees in 93 fields of study, master's degrees in 84 fields, doctoral degrees in 51 fields, first professional degrees in 5 fields, post-baccalaureate degrees in 3 fields, 28 undergraduate certification programs and 29 graduate certification programs. Total enrollment in 2012 was 20,429 students. There are sixteen students per instructor. With extramural grants and contracts of $436 million in 2012, research at UH Mānoa relates to Hawaii's physical landscape, its people and their heritage; the geography facilitates advances in marine biology, underwater robotic technology, astronomy and geophysics, agriculture and tropical medicine.
Its heritage, the people and its close ties to the Asian and Pacific region create a favorable environment for study and research in the arts, intercultural relations, linguistics and philosophy. Extramural funding increased from $368 million in FY 2008 to nearly $436 million in FY 2012. Research grants increased from $278 million in FY 2008 to $317 million in FY 2012. Nonresearch awards totaled $119 million in FY 2012. Overall, extramural funding increased by 18%; the National Science Foundation ranked UH Mānoa 45th among 395 public universities for Research and Development expenditures in fiscal year 2014. For the period of July 1, 2012 to June 20, 2013, the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology received the largest amount of extramural funding among the Mānoa units at $92 million. SOEST was followed by the medical school at $57 million, the College of Natural Sciences and the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center at $24 million, the Institute for Astronomy at $22 million, CTARH at $18 million, the College of Social Sciences and the College of Education at $16 million.
Across the UH system, the majority of research funding comes from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Commerce, the National Aeronautics Space Administration. Local funding comes from Hawaii government agencies, non-profit organizations, health organizations and business and other interests; the $150-million medical complex in Kaka‘ako opened in the spring of 2005. The facility houses a state-of-the-art biomedical research and education center that attracts significant federal funding and private sector investment in biotechnology and cancer research and development. Research is expected of every faculty member at UH Mānoa. According to the Carnegie Foundation, UH Mānoa is an RU/VH level research university. In 2013, UH Mānoa was elected to membership in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, the leading consortium of research universities for the region. APRU represents 45 premier research universities—with a collective 2 million students and 120,000 faculty members—from 16 economies.
According to the 2010 report of the Institutional Research Office, a plurality of students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are Caucasian making up twenty-five percent of the student body. Other backgrounds
Publishing is the dissemination of literature, music, or information. It is the activity of making information available to the general public. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers, meaning originators and developers of content provide media to deliver and display the content for the same; the word "publisher" can refer to the individual who leads a publishing company or an imprint or to a person who owns/heads a magazine. Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works such as newspapers. With the advent of digital information systems and the Internet, the scope of publishing has expanded to include electronic resources such as the electronic versions of books and periodicals, as well as micropublishing, blogs, video game publishers, the like. Publishing includes the following stages of development: acquisition, copy editing, printing and distribution. Publication is important as a legal concept: As the process of giving formal notice to the world of a significant intention, for example, to marry or enter bankruptcy As the essential precondition of being able to claim defamation.
Self-publishing: The author has to meet the total expense to get the book published. The author should retain full rights known as vanity publishing. Publishing became possible with the invention of writing, became more practical upon the introduction of printing. Prior to printing, distributed works were copied manually, by scribes. Due to printing, publishing progressed hand-in-hand with the development of books; the Chinese inventor Bi Sheng made movable type of earthenware circa 1045, but there are no known surviving examples of his printing. Around 1450, in what is regarded as an independent invention, Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type in Europe, along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould; this invention made books less expensive to produce, more available. Early printed books, single sheets and images which were created before 1501 in Europe are known as incunables or incunabula. "A man born in 1453, the year of the fall of Constantinople, could look back from his fiftieth year on a lifetime in which about eight million books had been printed, more than all the scribes of Europe had produced since Constantine founded his city in A.
D. 330."Eventually, printing enabled other forms of publishing besides books. The history of modern newspaper publishing started in Germany in 1609, with publishing of magazines following in 1663. Publishing has been handled by publishers, with the history of self-publishing progressing until the advent of computers brought us electronic publishing, made evermore ubiquitous from the moment the world went online with the Internet; the establishment of the World Wide Web in 1989 soon propelled the website into a dominant medium of publishing, as websites are created by anyone with Internet access. The history of wikis started shortly thereafter, followed by the history of blogging. Commercial publishing progressed, as printed forms developed into online forms of publishing, distributing online books, online newspapers, online magazines. Since its start, the World Wide Web has been facilitating the technological convergence of commercial and self-published content, as well as the convergence of publishing and producing into online production through the development of multimedia content.
Book and magazine publishers spend a lot of commissioning copy. At a small press, it is possible to survive by relying on commissioned material, but as activity increases, the need for works may outstrip the publisher's established circle of writers. For works written independently of the publisher, writers first submit a query letter or proposal directly to a literary agent or to a publisher. Submissions sent directly to a publisher are referred to as unsolicited submissions, the majority come from unpublished authors. If the publisher accepts unsolicited manuscripts the manuscript is placed in the slush pile, which publisher's readers sift through to identify manuscripts of sufficient quality or revenue potential to be referred to acquisitions editors for review; the acquisitions editors send their choices to the editorial staff. The time and number of people involved in the process are dependent on the size of the publishing company, with larger companies having more degrees of assessment between unsolicited submission and publication.
Unsolicited submissions have a low rate of acceptance, with some sources estimating that publishers choose about three out of every ten thousand unsolicited manuscripts they receive. Many book publishers around the world maintain a strict "no unsolicited submissions" policy and will only accept submissions via a literary agent; this policy shifts the burden of assessing and developing writers out of the publisher and onto the literary agents. At these publishers, unsolicited manuscripts are thrown out, or sometimes returned, if the author has provided pre-paid postage. Established authors may be represented by a literary agent to market their work to publishers and n
Constantin Brâncuși was a Romanian sculptor and photographer who made his career in France. Considered a pioneer of modernism, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century, Brâncuși is called the patriarch of modern sculpture; as a child he displayed an aptitude for carving wooden farm tools. Formal studies took him first to Bucharest to Munich to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1905 to 1907, his art emphasizes clean geometrical lines that balance forms inherent in his materials with the symbolic allusions of representational art. Brâncuși sought inspiration in non-European cultures as a source of primitive exoticism, as did Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, André Derain and others. However, other influences emerge from Romanian folk art traceable through Byzantine and Dionysian traditions. Brâncuși grew up in the village of Hobiţa, near Târgu Jiu, close to Romania's Carpathian Mountains, an area known for its rich tradition of folk crafts woodcarving. Geometric patterns of the region are seen in his works.
His parents Nicolae and Maria Brâncuși were poor peasants who earned a meager living through back-breaking labor. He showed talent for carving objects out of wood, ran away from home to escape the bullying of his father and older brothers. At the age of nine, Brâncuși left the village to work in the nearest large town. At 11 he went into the service of a grocer in Slatina; when he was 18, Brâncuși created a violin by hand with materials. Impressed by Brâncuși's talent for carving, an industrialist entered him in the Craiova School of Arts and Crafts, where he pursued his love for woodworking, graduating with honors in 1898, he enrolled in the Bucharest School of Fine Arts, where he received academic training in sculpture. He worked hard, distinguished himself as talented. One of his earliest surviving works, under the guidance of his anatomy teacher, Dimitrie Gerota, is a masterfully rendered écorché, exhibited at the Romanian Athenaeum in 1903. Though just an anatomical study, it foreshadowed the sculptor's efforts to reveal essence rather than copy outward appearance.
In 1903, Brâncuși traveled to Munich, from there to Paris. In Paris, he was welcomed by the community of intellectuals brimming with new ideas, he worked for two years in the workshop of Antonin Mercié of the École des Beaux-Arts, was invited to enter the workshop of Auguste Rodin. Though he admired the eminent Rodin he left the Rodin studio after only two months, saying, "Nothing can grow under big trees."After leaving Rodin's workshop, Brâncuși began developing the revolutionary style for which he is known. His first commissioned work, The Prayer, was part of a gravestone memorial, it depicts a young woman crossing herself as she kneels, marks the first step toward abstracted, non-literal representation, shows his drive to depict "not the outer form but the idea, the essence of things." He began doing more carving, rather than the method popular with his contemporaries, that of modeling in clay or plaster which would be cast in metal, by 1908 he worked exclusively by carving. In the following few years he made many versions of Sleeping Muse and The Kiss, further simplifying forms to geometrical and sparse objects.
His works became popular in France and the United States. Collectors, notably John Quinn, bought his pieces, reviewers praised his works. In 1913 Brâncuși's work was displayed at both the Salon des Indépendants and the first exhibition in the U. S. of modern art, the Armory Show. In 1920, he developed a notorious reputation with the entry of Princess X in the Salon; the phallic appearance of this large, gleaming bronze piece scandalized the Salon and, despite Brâncuși's explanation that it was meant to represent the essence of womanhood, removed it from the exhibition. Princess X was revealed to be Princess Marie Bonaparte, direct descendant of the younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte; the sculpture has been interpreted by some as symbolizing her obsession with the penis and her lifelong quest to achieve vaginal orgasm, with the help of Sigmund Freud. Around this time Brâncuși began crafting the bases for his sculptures with much care and originality because he considered them important to the works themselves.
One of his major groups of sculptures involved the Bird in Space — simple abstract shapes representing a bird in flight. The works are based on his earlier Măiastra series. In Romanian folklore the Măiastra is a beautiful golden bird who foretells the future and cures the blind. Over the following 20 years, Brâncuși made multiple versions of Bird in Space out of marble or bronze. Athena Tacha Spear's book, Brâncuși's Birds, first sorted out the 36 versions and their development, from the early Măiastra, to the Golden Bird of the late teens, to the Bird in Space, which emerged in the early 1920s and which Brâncuși developed throughout his life. One of these versions caused a major controversy in 1926, when photographer Edward Steichen purchased it and shipped it to the United States. Customs officers did not accept the Bird as a work of art and assessed customs duty on its import as an industrial item. After protracted court proceedings, this assessment was overturned, thus confirming the Bird's status as a duty-exempt work of art.
The ruling established the important principle that "art" does not have to i