First Presbyterian Church
Bachman, Dr. Jonathan Waverly
Hergesheimer, Ella Sophonisba
Fowle, Dr. James Luther
(D.D., L.L. ThM)
|Grechs, Elmer Wesley Greene
Williams, Robert Bruce
McCallie, James Park
Palmer, B. M.
Venable, Dr. Joseph Glass
||Judd, C (or S) M.
Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer
Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer (1873 - 1943) was a painter and printmaker, best known for her images of Tennessee notables, especially society women and their children. Hergesheimer was the great-great granddaughter of the Philadelphia artist Charles Willson Peale, who named one of his daughters Sophonisba after the Italian woman artist of the Renaissance, Sophonisba Anguissola (1523/35-1625).
Hergesheimer was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where her student works impressed her teachers. She studied for two years at the Philadelphia School of Design and then for four years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under William Merritt Chase and Cecilia Beaux. In her first year (1900) she won the prize for perspective, in her second year the prize for animal and figure drawing, and in her third year the prizes for landscape and anatomy. She was judged the best pupil of her senior class and won a three-year Cresson traveling scholarship (1904-1907). She visited Paris and Normandy, Madrid, Germany, Italy, and Holland. In Paris she worked at the Colorossi School and had four paintings chosen to hang at the Paris Salon.
Returning home in 1907, she was commissioned to paint a portrait of
Bishop Holland M. McTyeire, the Methodist clergyman who had persuaded Cornelius Vanderbilt to endow what became Vanderbilt University. The commission brought her to Nashville, Tennessee, which became her home for the rest of her life. She exhibited her work extensively in the South and won numerous awards including gold medals at the Appalachian Exposition in 1910 and the Tennessee State Exposition in 1926. She also exhibited at the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial Exhibition in 1926. A lithograph titled "Still Life with Apples" was chosen as one of the "Fine Prints of the Year in 1938."
Her works are in the collections of
Vanderbilt University; Heckscher Museum in Huntington, New York; Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery in Reading, Pennsylvania;
Tennessee State Museum; and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia.
Above information from this University of Delaware Library, Special Collections Department.
http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/graphics/findaids/hergesh.htm. Most of it has been copied
here, other than their reference sources and collection, since their original link may or may not be permanent.
Gordon Wetmore's painting assignments have taken him all over the world during the last three and a half decades. With his family, he has lived and worked in Ireland, France, England, and other countries.
Wetmore has created over 700 portraits of many distinguished and well-known subjects including: President Richard M. Nixon, Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples, Dr. and Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale, Leon Uris, Princess Grace, Prince Rainier and Prince Albert of Monaco. Private commissions include: Ford, Wrigley, Hewlett, Bechtel, Post, Searle, Brock, Perkin, Baker, Duke, Gannett, The Lord Inchiquin in Ireland, and The Lord and Lady Tollemache of England.
His paintings are in the collections of:
The White House
The Royal Palace of Monaco
The Knessett in Jerusalem
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The University of Texas, Houston, Texas
Hunter Museum of American Art
Presbyterian Hospital, New York
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Harvard Medical Center
Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
The Buckley School
St. Georges School
St. Marks School
The McCallie School
The Boston Company
The Southern Company
Georgia Power Company
Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. and others.
Wetmore earned a degree in art and continued his studies at the Art Students League in New York. He is a member of the Artists Fellowship of New York and the Oil Painters of America and is a member of the board of Overseers of Opera Boston. He is the founding and current chairman of the Portrait Society of America.
In 1978 and 1998, a collection of Wetmore's paintings was published in the best-selling art book, Promised Land, with text by noted author Leon Uris and Israeli statesman Abba Eban. Ireland - Portrayed by Gordon Wetmore, with text by the artist and a foreword by Princess Grace of Monaco appeared in 1980. Gordon Wetmore's Prayers for Boys and Girls was published in 1986. In 2004, Vanishing Kingdoms, with 20 portraits by Wetmore and text by Ambassador Walter J.P. Curley, was published in Ireland by Lilliput Press.
American Artist magazine has described Gordon Wetmore as, "a friendly, open person, uniquely suited to portrait painting". He is known for his accuracy and vivid interpretations of people. He captures the true character of his subjects and his brushwork flows with feeling and responsiveness towards each person he paints.
Mr. Wetmore resides in Chattanooga, and his website, which provided the above
information, is http://www.gordonwetmore.com/index.html
Robert Bruce Williams
Commentary by John
Source is http://www.worldofportraitpainting.com/. See complete article and links.
How One Good Idea
By One Artist Changed
Portrait Painting Forever
An Artist's Extraordinarily Good Idea
Reshaped the History of the Profession
The following article was posted
on May 14, 2008. On that day, unknown to us, Robert Bruce Williams died in
Westminster, Maryland. He was one of the most remarkable human beings I have
ever known. For now, we leave the article as posted. J.H.S.
Robert Bruce Williams is an American portrait painter who, almost
single-handedly, brought about a total transformation a revolution, really
in the profession of portrait painting. I want to tell you his story, because it
is an amazing story, and even though I will be recounting events from the very
recent past, there are many today who are not aware of this chapter of history.
A number of important innovations grew out of the career of Robert Bruce
Williams, but I want to focus on one of his innovations an extraordinarily
good idea which all by itself turned the profession of portrait painting into
an entirely new direction.
Robert Bruce Willams in his Washington, DC studio
who today lives in retirement in rural Maryland, had a meteoric and in many ways
unparalleled career in American portrait painting. Dashingly handsome, he was
for nearly five decades a whirlwind of activity and energy, traveling constantly
and fulfilling an astonishing number of portrait commissions. Unmarried
throughout most of his adult life, he had the looks and presence of a film star.
Robert and I were associated in the National Portrait Seminars in the 1970's and
80's, where his charisma and enthusiasm were experienced by thousands of artists
during his brilliant demonstrations.
I first met Robert Williams in the auditorium at the Art Students League of New
York in September of 1973. This was the first day of my first announced ten-week
lecture/demonstration series on portrait painting. The gallery was packed with a
sold-out audience, and there in the front row sat this strikingly handsome,
slender young man who introduced himself to me as artist Robert Bruce Williams
of Washington, DC. With him was his even younger friend, artist Steven Moppert
of Jackson, Mississippi. The two had seen the announcement about the lecture
series, and had traveled from Washington to be present. The two young artists
thereafter came every Monday night for the next ten weeks, and we became fast
I learned that Robert was based in Washington, and had his studio there (at that
time a beautiful stone townhouse on Dupont Circle), but that he traveled
incessantly across the United States, painting portrait commissions. I was aware
of his name, because at that time Robert was really the only portrait artist in
America who did regular full-page space advertising in major magazines. This was
one of his innovations, and to this day no other artist has made as extensive
use of magazine advertising as Robert did. As we talked over the next few weeks,
I learned quickly of another important innovation that Robert had put into place
in the course of his career.
A REVOLUTIONARY MARKETING CONCEPT
In several locations, mostly in the southern states, where he had had a
significant local success, he thereafter used the services of local salespersons
to secure additional commissions for him. These agents wore normally young women
who had been the subjects of one of his portraits. Well-pleased with their
portrait, these young women all of whom were socially prominent in their
communities were well-placed to network with their friends and peers to obtain
further assignments for Robert. In fact, so successful were these youthful
representatives, that Robert was able to return to their communities and find as
many as a dozen assignments at one time, awaiting his attention. This
arrangement, repeated multiple times across the South and the Midwest, resulted
in Robert Williams being perhaps, at that time, the busiest portrait artist in
America. The artists complex business affairs were ably handled by a most
capable manager, Gail Rogers.
These representatives received a percentage of the sale price of each portrait.
Thus they were highly motivated to identify multiple customers for their famous
artist client. The highly developed skill of the artist assured the success and
popularity of the undertaking. Both the representatives and the artist found the
arrangement to be very financially rewarding. In fact, the success in several
instances was on a scale so dramatic that one artist however skilled and
energetic was not capable of meeting all of the demands. The logical next step
was for the representative to add additional artists to help fulfill the
commissions that were coming in.
THE BIRTH OF "PORTRAITS SOUTH"
Detail from the portrait by
John Howard Sanden
In Raleigh, North
Carolina, one young lady, Suzanne McKinney, found herself with an overwhelming
number of portrait commissions. She needed artists, in addition to Robert, to
fulfill these expectations. Suzanne came to New York and visited in my studio
for advice. I was happy to recommend to her a list of artists. Suzanne also
realized that if, working by herself, and with only one artist, she was able to
generate this kind of demand for portraiture, she could expand by adding
additional representatives as well as artists. It was from this idea and this
enthusiasm that the first of the important nationwide phenomena of regional
(later national) portrait agencies was born. Suzanne called her company
But before Portraits South could spring fully grown into existence, however,
there was one important detour that had to be taken. Suzanne's original idea had
been not to create a new entity, but to bring her exciting idea to the attention
of the one important portrait agency in America at that time. That would be
Portraits, Incorporated in New York.
SETBACK IN NEW YORK
In 1980, Portraits Inc., operating from its conspicuous and prestigious location
at the heart of the art capital of the world, essentially had the portrait
market in America all to itself. Suzanne McKinney saw her role as providing a
way for Portraits, Inc. to greatly increase its market share across the country
through a network of representatives (salespersons) which Suzanne would create
and supervise on their behalf. It was a sensational idea.
Suzanne made an appointment with the leadership at Portraits, Inc. and came to
New York to present her idea, and to offer it to the New York gallery. I recall
that Suzanne brought her mother with her for moral support, and the two ladies
came to my studio on West 58th Street for a bit of reinforcement and prepping
before their appointment at the gallery. I was positive that the people at
Portraits, Inc. would literally jump at the idea.
The National Portrait Seminar
Plays Its Part In the Story
The first national conference for portrait artists was The
National Portrait Seminar, presented by The Portrait Institute
in New York City, 1979-1982, Washington DC in 1983, Chicago in
1984, and Atlanta in 1990 and 1993. The faculty leaders at all
of these meetings were Robert Bruce Williams, Gordon Wetmore,
Margaret Holland Sargent, Patricia Hill Burnett and John Howard
Sanden. It was at these national conferences that Williams'
leadership and example attracted national attention.
The National Portrait Seminar panel, 1979, from left: Robert
Bruce Williams, Gordon Wetmore, and Margaret Holland Sargent.
Robert Bruce Williams
painting Meg Sargent,
New York, 1979.
Suzanne McKinney being interviewed by the Seminar chairman, John
So I was
astonished to learn later that day that the idea had been turned down. And not
just turned down, but completely rejected. Suzanne McKinney was not deterred
however, and returned to Raleigh to immediately organize the entity that became
known as Portraits South. This was her concept: a central office, supervising
and coordinating a network of thirty to forty representatives, all of whom were
socially prominent young matrons. These representatives were able to offer the
services of a list of leading American portrait artists who would be willing to
travel from their locations to the assignment. This was the idea that
revolutionized the profession of portrait painting in America, and it grew
directly out of the experience Suzanne had had in representing one artist,
Robert Bruce Williams.
THE IDEA WORKS AGAIN
Detail from the portrait by
John Howard Sanden
The success of
Suzanne McKinney which resulted in the formation of Portraits South was repeated
in Columbia, South Carolina. There, Harriet Keenan, wife of a prominent local
real estate executive and herself a leading figure in Columbia social and civic
circles, began discovering customers for Robert Bruce Williams among her many
friends and acquaintances.
Soon Columbia became, like Raleigh, a focal point for Robert's portrait work. In
time here, just as in Raleigh, the demand for portraits outstripped Robert's
capacity to supply. Harriet began representing other portrait artists (myself
included). Out of this effort when Harriet teamed with Beverly McNeil of
Birmingham, Alabama came the extremely successful firm of Portrait Brokers of
More than thirty years have passed since these two stories that I have related.
Today we find a situation in which the number of independent agencies and
portrait brokerages have multiplied across the country, with Portraits South and
Portrait Brokers of America still remaining in leadership positions in the
Recently, the firm in New York which resisted Suzanne McKinney's revolutionary
approach namely, Portraits, Inc. was actually purchased by Portrait Brokers
of America. This, in a way, puts the final stamp of approval on the remarkable
marketing concept that grew directly out of the career of one artist Robert
(Since the posting of this article was at the time of the artist's death, we
have copied nearly all of it for information about Mr. Williams in the event the
webpage referenced is removed.)