Gwathmey, Robert

Gwathmey, Robert

(gwăth`mē), 1903–88, American painter, b. Richmond, Va. Gwathmey taught at Cooper Union from 1942 to 1968. Among the first white artists to portray African Americans with dignity, he created paintings with flat areas of color that combine empathy for impoverished Southern blacks with intense atmospheric effects of harsh sun and parched earth. Representative of his works, which are found in many museums, is Sowing (Whitney Mus., New York City).

Bibliography

See biography by M. Kammen (1999).

His son, Charles Gwathmey, 1938–2009, b. Charlotte, N.C., was an American architect. He is particularly known for residential structures, from with the small, modernist Hamptons, Long Island, house he designed (1966) early in his career for his parents to the signature mansions he created later. During the 1960s he was one of the "New York Five," which also included John Hejduk, Michael GravesGraves, Michael,
1934–2015, American architect, b. Indianapolis, Ind., educated at the Univ. of Cincinnati and Harvard. He taught at Princeton from 1962 to 2002. Graves was a member of the New York "Five" or "white" modernist architects during the 1960s, the other four
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, Peter Eisenman, and Richard MeierMeier, Richard
, 1934–, American architect, b. Newark, N.J., educated at Cornell. During the 1960s, he was a member of the New York "Five" or "white" architects, a group that emulated the early International style. In such projects as the Smith House in Darien, Conn.
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, modernist architects inspired by Le CorbusierLe Corbusier
, pseud. of Charles Édouard Jeanneret
, 1887–1965, French architect, b. La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Often known simply as "Corbu," he was one of the most influential architects of the 20th cent.
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's purist forms. Throughout the years Gwathmey remained loyal to the high modernist style. In 1968 he and Robert Siegel opened the firm Gwathmey Siegel & Associates. Gwathmey's later buildings include an addition to New York's Guggenheim MuseumGuggenheim Museum,
officially Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, major museum of modern art in New York City. Founded in 1939 as the Museum of Non-objective Art, the Guggenheim is known for its remarkable circular building (1959) with curving interior ramp designed by Frank Lloyd
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 (1992), the New York Public Library system's Science, Industry, and Business Library (1995), and the addition to Yale's Art and Architecture Building (2008).

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Gwathmey, Robert

(1903–88) painter; born in Richmond, Va. After studying art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1926–30), he participated in the New York art scene. He is especially noted for his sympathetic paintings of rural African-Americans, as in Singing and Mending (1945).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.