America's Distinguished Artists
a national registry of historic artists
(above: Unidentified photographer, Field Studio, Pakatakan Artist Colony. National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)
America's Distinguished Artists is a catalogue and national registry of historic artists sponsored by Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO). Deceased American painters, photographers, sculptors and artisans of note who created representational art are indexed by last name in alphabetical order. An artist qualifies for inclusion in the catalogue if he or she produced significant artistic output while residing in, or visiting, the geographical area now encompassed by the boundaries of the United States. With thousands of artists researched, America's Distinguished Artists is the most complete and in-depth catalogue of its kind.
For each listed artist there is either:
TFAO's years of cumulative research saves viewers considerable time in finding valuable biographical information. Viewers avoid accessing many websites listed on first page search results where the links are mainly tools for marketing purposes and provide scant biographical information.
Many Resource Library links are to articles and essays written by noted authors. The vast majority of links are to Resource Library articles and essays with source material from art museums. Editor's notes following Resource Library's articles and essays often contain artist information otherwise not easily found online.
All links to artist biographies contain 100% free information. TFAO avoids websites that require a fee to view complete biographies and those that have information likely to be temporary. TFAO receives no compensation for providing links to biographical information in other websites.
Starting in 1997, the catalogue was named Distinguished Artists Series. In 2005 it was renamed Distinguished Artists. In May 2008 the catalogue was renamed America's Distinguished Artists.
Contents are valuable to educators designing course content, scholars, students and librarians conducting research, plus art lovers everywhere seeking greater understanding of American art. Enjoy!
Do you know of artists not yet included? We would like to hear about them. For details please click here.
(above: Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956), Homeward Bound, 1933-1934, oil on canvas, 30.2 x 36.2 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
Presentation protocol for each artist name
A link to one Resource Library page is presented first, followed in some cases by a link to one outside source. If there is a mention of an artist in Resource Library, a link to a page referencing the artist is presented. There may be many Resource Library articles and essays citing the artist, so always search within Resource Library for additional references. For instance, a November, 2013 search for Joseph Kleitsch within Resource Library yielded 38 pages referencing the artist. For some artists there are hundreds of pages.
If a Resource Library article or essay is wholly dedicated to an artist there is usually no link to an outside source. If a Resource Library article or essay is not dedicated wholly to an artist there may be a link to one outside page if we judge information from it to be of importance beyond that included in Resource Library. We review all outside pages we can find via search before making a choice. We choose outside information in accordance with our guidelines in Reviewing existing listings and Accuracy and trustworthiness.
(above: Ernest L. Blumenschein (1874-1960), Star Road and White Sun, 1920, oil, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)
Finding additional images of artworks
Besides the artwork images presented through the links to pages referenced in America's Distinguished Artists, many more images may be available online.
Sources of interest include The Athenaeum and Google Images. These sites use separate approaches to find and display images.
The Athenaeum is a directory of images that can be accessed in several ways. One of the ways is by artist name. Let's say that you want to see images of paintings by Joseph Kleitsch. If you chose the artist's name in November, 2013 you would have found images of 162 paintings attributed to Joseph Kleitsch uploaded by volunteers. Most of the images were cited as being from private collections, however some institutional sources were provided. Within source, images were listed in alphabetical order by painting title within the decade of creation. Thumbnail images could be magnified by clicking on them. Most of the images were cited as being from private collections, however some institutional sources were provided.
Google Images uses algorithms to find images already online. If you want to see images of paintings by Joseph Kleitsch you would enter the artist's name in the search box. The results you would see include images of paintings produced by the artist plus other images not related to the artist. If you conducted your search in November, 2013 you would have found about 400 images of Kleitsch paintings -- plus photos of the artist and his signature -- before non-Kleitsch images started being mixed in with those of the artist. You would find that images of some of the paintings were duplicated several times. A benefit of the Google Images search would be that for each image you would have access to the Web page containing it and therefore the context in which it was shown.
(above: Marsden Hartley, The Virgin of Guadalupe, c. 1918-19, oil and charcoal on paperboard, 31 7/8 x 23 7/8 inches, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Stieglitz Collection 1949, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)
For the 2011-2012 edition, TFAO researched all non-Resource Library artist listings in the America's Distinguished Artists catalogue. If a listing was from a non-Resource Library Web page, TFAO added the word "from" following the artist's name plus the name of the outside source.
For the 2012-2013 edition, TFAO added information regarding Resource Library citations.
The 2012-2013 edition served two purposes: visitors were given more information about Resource Library listings and TFAO's researchers gained better signals for searching inside and outside Resource Library for additional information in future editions of America's Distinguished Artists.
For the 2013-2014 edition, TFAO checked all outside source citations for linkrot. TFAO added artists as information on artists not previously listed became available from both newly published Resource Library essays and articles and from other online sources. If there was a previously listed Resource Library article or essay cited as being solely dedicated to an artist, TFAO did not search for an outside source. If there was a Resource Library article or essay cited as not solely dedicated to an artist, and no outside source was listed, TFAO searched for an outside source. If there was a Resource Library article or essay cited as not solely dedicated to an artist, and an outside source was listed, TFAO checked for linkrot from that source, and if linkrot was found, searched the Web for a replacement source. If an outside source was listed, but no Resource Library listing, TFAO did two things: 1. checked for linkrot from that source, and if linkrot was found, searched the Web for a replacement source; 2. searched Resource Library for a citation using a variety of keyword options.
For the 2014-2015 edition, TFAO used the same protocol used for most recent edition, with one exception: if an outside source was listed, but no Resource Library listing, TFAO did not search Resource Library for a citation because it was necessary to do so only once.
The 2015-2016 edition is following the same protocol as the prior edition.
For the 2016-2017 edition, TFAO checked links to outside sources of biographies for linkrot. If no substitute source was found, the artist was deleted. In instances where there is a Resource Library link, but no outside link, TFAO did not search for an outside link.
The 2017-2018 edition is following the same protocol as the prior edition.
The 2018-2019 edition is following the same protocol as the prior edition.
(above: William Leigh, The
Hold Up (The Ambush), 1903, oil on canvas, Sid Richardson Museum, Fort
Worth, Texas. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)
A word about linkrot:
Wikipedia defines linkrot as follows:
Linkrot from outside sources continues to be a problem, however it has gradually declined from about a 12-10 percent annual rate in years 2010-2013 to about a 9-7 percent annual rate in 2014-2015. The annual rate of outside source citations being added to existing Resource Library essay and article citations decreased slightly since 2013 and is running at about 2-1 percent for 2014-2015.
Sometimes, sources cause linkrot by changing their main URL without providing an automatic bridge to their artist name URLs. An example is <http://www.bbhgallery.com/Nepote_Alexander_.htm> which changed to <.http://www.bodegabayheritagegallery.com/Nepote_Alexander_.htm> with no automatic linkage. Also, sources sometimes shift artist biographies to new folders in their websites without providing automatic linkage from the old URL to the new URL.
Since the inception of America's Distinguished Artists
in 1997, linkrot for Resource Library essays and articles remains
at zero percent.
Return to America's Distinguished Artists site guide
Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.
*Tag for expired US copyright of object image:
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