Perhaps the best known painting by an artist living in Cleveland is Archibald Willard’s patriotic painting Yankee Doodle, better known as The Spirit of 76,” exhibited at the Centennial exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. This painting of battered soldiers with fife and drum, set during the Revolutionary War was popular enough in its day that Willard painted many copies (one is in the lobby of Cleveland City Hall).
Archibald Willard (1836-1918) was self-taught, mostly, starting as a painter of scenes on carriage doors. By the time of Yankee Doodle, he was teaching aspiring artists in his studio, among them Frederick Gottwald (1858-1941).
Gotwald studied in Germany after his time with Willard, and became known for his impressionist paintings, particularly of scenes in Europe. He taught in Cleveland at the Design School for Women (later, the Cleveland School of Art) from 1885 to 1926. Among his students was Henry Keller (1869-1949
Keller attended the Design School for Women 1887-1888, then studied in Germany. His work Wisdom and Destiny (now in the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art) was in the famous Armory Show in New York in 1913. Keller taught at the Cleveland School of Art 1902-1945. His students included Charles Birchfield and Paul Travis (1891-1975).
Travis graduated from the Cleveland School of Art in 1917 and taught there from 1927-1957. He was among the great Cleveland Watercolorists of the 1920s – 1940, becoming best known for paintings inspired by his trips to Africa. His students included Julian Stanczak, Richard Anuskiewicz, and Joseph O’Sickey (1918-2013)
O’Sickey graduated from the Cleveland School of Art in 1940, and later taught at Kent State University 1964 to 1989. His earlier paintings were more influenced by early modernism – his later work by post-impressionism. Craig Lucas (1942-2011) was among his best students.
Craig Lucas received a BFA from Kent State University in 1967 and taught at Kent State University from 1969-2004, inspiring generations of undergraduate students. His work was never very popular, except among artists and critics and curators. Extraordinary in composition, ingenious in technique, and brilliant as a colorist, he was sometimes prickly, often generous, and always inspiring.
The Busta gallery represents several of his students –
Michael Loderstedt (born 1958) received an MFA from Kent State University in 1985.
Hildur Asgiersdottir Jonsson (born 1963) received an MFA from Kent State University in 1995.
Andrea Joki (born 1969) received a MFA from Kent State University in 2006.
Timothy Callaghan (born 1976) received an MFA from Kent State University in 2005.
The best students do not mimic their teachers, but they receive and pass on key structural concepts and formative gestures, generation to generation.
William Busta Gallery
2731 Prospect Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Closed the month of August for Summer Holiday