Arthur B. Carles: Philadelphia Artist

A 50 minute documentary that examines Philadelphia artist Arthur B. Carles

Arthur B. Carles: Philadelphia Artist is a 50 minute documentary that examines the virtuosity of a seminal artist whose career captured the very essence of artistic freedom at the height of Philadelphia’s cultural legacy during the first part of the twentieth century.

Arthur B. Carles: Philadelphia Artist was brought to you by American INSIGHT’s Internship Program. By developing real-life and virtual communities among students, citizens, scholars, educators, and the general public American INSIGHT creates dialogues about Free Speech.

“Arthur B. Carles: Philadelphia Artist explores one of the most creative eras in Philadelphia’s history”

Arthur B. Carles

Born the son of a lower middle class watchmaker, Arthur Beecher Carles (1882-1952) soon numbered among his friends collector Alfred Barnes, Alfred Stieglitz, John Marin, Gertrude Stein in Paris and scores of Philadelphia aristocrats. His social acumen, courage, intelligence and artistic virtuosity eventually succeeded in opening the stifling doors of academe to the exotic flood of French Impressionism, and later, laid the groundwork for the New York School of Abstract Expressionism.

A highly gifted artist who knew no intellectual boundaries, Carles was a painter whose works reflect the birth pangs of modernism in America. His electrifying canvases sparked innovations in the American art world by bringing fresh ideas from Paris to conservative turn of the century Philadelphia. “Arthur B. Carles: Philadelphia Artist explores one of the most creative eras in Philadelphia’s history,” says Founder Margaret Chew Barringer. “Over 200 individuals and institutions have been involved in bringing Carles’ story back to life.”

On-camera interviews include Anne d’Harnoncourt (Director/CEO Philadelphia Museum of Art, deceased); Edmund Bacon (City Planner, deceased); Dr. Perry Ottenberg (Carles collector); Mary Ann Meyers (writer, Senior Fellow, John Templeton Foundation); and Dr. Barbara Wolanin (Carles scholar).

Poetry readings occur throughout the film by Carles’ contemporaries Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and William Carlos Williams. Archival photographs, film clips and footage of locations important to Carles’ life also provide the backdrop from readings from Carles’ own letters. Philadelphia composer Eric Sessler’s original and witty music enhances this exploration of Arthur Carles’ brilliant canvases as they explode on the television screen, electrifying, emotional and gorgeous in all their Abstract Expressionist glory.

Sources

  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
    Still Life with Flowers, c. 1933-35
  • Curtis Galleries, Minneapolis, MN
    White Nude, 1910
    Reclining Nude, 1921
  • Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY 
    Table Arrangement, 1929-31
  • Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
    Abstraction (Last Painting), 1936-41
  • Vivian Bullaudy for Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
    Still Life with Copper Kettle, 1904
    Notre Dame, 1907
    Mlle de C., 1908
    Portrait of Katherine Rhoades, 1912
    Still Life with Blue Glass Bottle, 1912
    Pheasant with Green Apple, 1924
    Nude with Red Background, 1925
    Modernist Seated Nude, 1929
    Abstraction, 1935-40
  • Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art, Utica, NY
    Bouquet (Derivation), 1929-33
  • Newark Museum/Art Resource, Newark, NY
    Still Life with Compote, 1911
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    An Actress as Cleopatra, 1914
    White Callas, 1925-27
    Composition No. 6, 1936
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
    The Marseillaise, 1918-19
    Steichen’s Garden, 1921
    Composition of Flowers, 1922
    Turkey, 1927
    Blue Abstraction, 1928
  • Saint Paul’s Reformed Episcopal Church
    Copy of Raphael’s Transfiguration, 1909-10
  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
    Nude, 1930
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
    Bouquet Abstraction, 1930

Scholars

  • Anne d’Harnoncourt
    George D. Widener Director/CEO
    Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Isadore Scott
    Former Chairman
    Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Richard J. Boyle
    Former Director
    Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  • Dr. Barbara A. Wolanin
    Carles Scholar
    Curator for the Architect of the Capitol
  • Dr. Perry Ottenberg
    Carles Collector
    Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
    Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Michael Taylor
    Acting Chief Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
    Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Edmund Bacon
    City Planner
    Ed Bacon Foundation
  • Leslie Paul Symington
    Art Researcher
  • Mary Ann Meyers
    Writer; Senior Fellow
    John Templeton Foundation
  • Elizabeth Osborne
    Artist
    Elizabeth Osborne Fine Art

Screenings

A month-long Festival of Free Screenings of Arthur B. Carles: Philadelphia Artist was held at the following locations:

  • Abington Art Center
  • Barnes Foundation
  • Border’s Books and Music
  • Chester County Art Association
  • Fleisher Art Memorial
  • Free Library of Philadelphia Art Department
  • Highwire Gallery
  • Main Line Art Center
  • Manayunk Art Center
  • Michener Art Museum
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Philadelphia Sketch Club
  • St. Paul’s Reformed Episcopal Church
  • Wayne Art Center
  • Woodmere Art Museum

Documentary Credits

INTERVIEWS

  • Mary Ann Meyers
    Writer; Senior Fellow, John Templeton Foundation
  • Elizabeth Osborne
    Artist
  • Elizabeth Godshalk Burger
    Carles Student
  • Jane Lindenmeyer,
    Carles Student
  • Sarah Blakeslee Speight
    Carles Student
  • Sophia Sherry
    Student
  • The Reverend David L. Hicks
    St. Paul’s Reformed Episcopal Church
  • Patricia Mangione
    Artist
  • Quita Brodhead
    Carles Student
  • Anne d’Harnoncourt
    George D. Widener Director/CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Isadore Scott
    Former Chairman, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Richard J. Boyle
    Former Director, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  • Dr. Barbara A. Wolanin
    Carles Scholar
  • Dr. Perry Ottenberg
    Carles Collector
  • Michael Taylor
    Acting Chief Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
    Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Edmund Bacon
    City Planner
  • Leslie Paul Symington
    Art Researcher

LOCATIONS

  • “Appleford”
    Evergreen Avenue House, Mary Lee & Paul Cope
  • “Ardrossan,” Robert M. Scott on behalf of Montgomery Scott family
  • Green Street Brownstone, Allen W. Rubin
  • “Andalusia,” James Biddle
  • Woodmere Museum of Art, Dr. Michael W. Schantz,Director and CEO
  • Chester Springs Studio, Center for the Visual Arts, Sally H. Ritter
  • Ray Carr Automotive Museum Foundation, Raymond C. Carr
  • St. Paul’s Reformed Episcopal Church, The Reverend David L. Hicks
  • Historic Yellow Springs, Inc.,Village of Yellow Springs
  • Freeman Auctioneers, Samuel M. Freeman
  • Former Tyson Residence, Mr. & Mrs. M. A. Turnbull
  • Main Line Mansion, Dr. Stephen Lichtenstein and Dr. Peggy Abrams
  • The Quadrangle: A Sunrise Community, Alyce Gallagher
  • Genesis Health Ventures, Fairview Care Center of Bethlehem Pike
  • Wagner Free Institute of Science, Susan Glassman

POEMS courtesy of:

  • “The Candle A Saint” by Wallace Stevens, from The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens
    Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc
  • “Portraits and Repetitions” from Gertrude Stein’s Lectures in America, 1935
    Permission Granted by Estate of Gertrude Stein through its literary executor Mr. Stanford Gann, Jr.  Levin & Gann, P.A.
  • “Paul” by William Carlos Williams from COLLECTED POEMS 1939-1962 VOLUME II, Copyright © 1962 by William Carlos Williams
    Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
  • “De Aegypto” by Ezra Pound from American Poetry: The Twentieth Century
    The Library of America

PAINTINGS courtesy of:

  • Margaret H. Bullough
    Repose, 1912
  • Barbara K. Gordon 
    Still Life, 1913
  • Mr. & Mrs. Richard W. Graham
    Flowers, 1926
  • Adrienne Ottenberg Hartman 
    Woman on a Dune, 1909
  • Steve & Susan Jaffe
    Self Portrait with Shipping Label, 1922
  • Ellen Speiser Katz 
    Calla Lillies, 1922
  • Mark S. Kauffman M.D.
    Seated Nude with Red Hair, 1931
  • H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest 
    Abstract Still Life, 1930, Composition No. 1, 1937-41
  • Paul W. McCloskey 
    French Hamlet (L’Abbaye), 1912
  • Perry & June Ottenberg 
    Chamonix, 1912
    Portrait of Caroline Robinson, 1924
    Cubist Seated Nude with Red Hair, 1931
  • Orna L. Shulman 
    Vase of Flowers, 1922-30
  • Leslie Paul Symington 
    Chateau, 1912
    Landscape with Church, Voulangis, 1912
  • Howard & Fredrica Wagman 
    Fruit & Flowers (Reflections), 1925-30,
    Episode of the Mantis, 1930
  • Private Collections
    Moonlight, 1908
    Silence, 1908
    Flowers, 1908-09
    Venetian Gondolas, 1909
    Fields in Autumn, 1912
    Landscape, Stormy Sky, 1912
    The Window, 1921
    Flowers in a Yellow Vase, 1922
    Woman with Red Hair, 1922
    Abstract Still Life with Flowers, 1928
    Gay Madness, 1933
    Blue Nude, 1937
  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
    Still Life with Flowers, c. 1933-35, (Edmund Hayes & Elisabeth H. Gates Funds)
  • Curtis Galleries, Minneapolis, Minnesota 
    White Nude, 1910
    Reclining Nude, 1921
  • Everson Museum of Art 
    Table Arrangement, 1929-31, (Anonymous Gift)
  • Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, 
    Smithsonian Institution 
    Abstraction (Last Painting), 1936-41
    (Photo by Lee Stalsworth; Gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1972)
  • Vivian Bullaudy for Hollis Taggart Galleries, NY
    Still Life with Copper Kettle, 1904
    Notre Dame, 1907
    Mlle de C., 1908
    Portrait of Katherine Rhoades, 1912
    Still Life with Blue Glass Bottle, 1912
    Pheasant with Green Apple, 1924
    Nude with Red Background, 1925
    Modernist Seated Nude, 1929
    Abstraction, 1935-40
  • Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art, 
    Utica, New York
    Bouquet (Derivation), 1929-33, (Photo by David Revette)
  • Newark Museum/Art Resource, New York
    Still Life with Compote, 1911, (Bequest of Miss Cora Louise Hartshorn 1958)
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
    An Actress as Cleopatra, 1914, (John Lambert Fund)
    White Callas, 1925-27, (Gift of Harry J. Sundheim, Jr.)
    Composition No. 6, 1936, (Gift of Joseph Wood, Jr.)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
    The Marseillaise, 1918-19
    Steichen’s Garden, 1921
    Composition of Flowers, 1922, (Gift of Mrs. Earle Horter, 1950)
    Turkey, 1927
    Blue Abstraction, 1928, (Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Robert McLean, 1977)
  • Saint Paul’s Reformed Episcopal Church
    Copy of Raphael’s Transfiguration, 1909-10
  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford
    Nude, 1930, (The Ella Gallup Sumner & Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund)
  • Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, N.Y. 
    Bouquet Abstraction, 1930

PHOTOGRAPHS, MANUSCRIPTS, MEMORABILIA and ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE courtesy of:

  • Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection, 
    Bates College Museum of Art
    A Group of Young American Artists of the Modern School, September 30, 1911
  • Chestnut Hill Historical Society, 
    Philip Price Jr. and Margaret Newbold Pearson
    Historical Footage
  • The Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia
    Black and white photographs of Philadelphia, 1900 – 1925
  • Historic Yellow Springs, Inc. Archival Collection
    Photos of the Village of Yellow Springs
  • Peter Rudolph, McClees Galleries
    Photographs, Manuscripts, and Memorabilia
  • Dr. Perry Ottenberg 
    2508 Brown Street, 1908
    “The Decency in Teaching,” Arthur B. Carles manuscript
  • The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
    Arthur B. Carles, 1946, (Photo by Henri Marceau, Gift of Ida Harknes)
    Arthur B. Carles, Left Profile View, 1920s, (Gift of the Estate of Morris Blackburn)
    Arthur B. Carles, Right Profile View, 1920s, (Gift of Mrs. Edward Shenton)
    Arthur B. Carles with Unidentified Woman Student, 1930s, (Gift of the Estate of Morris Blackburn)
    Cast Drawing Class (#2), 1901,(Photo by J. Liberty Tadd)
    Men’s Life Class, c. 1924
    Mercedes Carles with Katharine Rhoades, 1912
    PAFA Costume Party, 1927 or 1928
    Women’s Life Class; Instructor: Philip Hale, 1919-1920
    Cover of Catalogue of an Exhibition of Contemporary European Paintings
    and Sculpture, April 11, 1923-May 9, 1923
  • The Philadelphia Museum of Art
    Arthur B. Carles, (Photo by Alfred Stieglitz, The Alfred Stieglitz Collection)
  • Private Collections
    Arthur B. Carles Visiting the Carles-Watkins Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1946, (Photo by Henri Marceau)
    Carroll S. Tyson, Jr., and Arthur B. Carles in the 1930s
  • Estate of Emma Rea
    Arthur B. Carles, 1898
    Carles as a Student, 1905
    Carles with Pipe, 1925
  • Estate of John Marin C.A.R.S.
    Courtesy, Richard York Gallery
    Arthur B. Carles with John Marin
    Arthur B. Carles Smoking Pipe
  • Leslie Paul Symington, Paul Family Photos
    Arthur B. Carles with Caroline Carles
    Memorabilia
  • Temple University Libraries, Urban Archives 
    Alfred Barnes
  • Dr. Barbara A. Wolanin 
    Arthur B. Carles Teaching, 1928, (Courtesy of Mrs. LeRoy Wolfe)
    Parkside Avenue Building, (Photo by Robert E. Harding)
    Steichen’s House
    View Down the Road from Steichen’s House
    Newspaper Headlines and Catalog Cover

SPECIAL THANKS

  • H. F. (Gerry) & Marguerite Lenfest
  • Alex Matter
  • Sharon Mullally
  • Perry and June Ottenberg
  • Lloyd Zane Remick, Esq
  • Laurence Salzmann
  • Paul Savedow, Music Department, Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Bill Scott
  • Martha Smith, Videosmith
  • Dr. Barbara Wolanin
  • Amy Coleman, Judi Garst, Barbara Katus, Cheryl Leibold
    Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  • Susan Anderson, Stacy Bamento
    Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Ted Swenson, Jennifer Shropshire
  • Nancy Barton, Yards Brewery
  • Elayne Bryn, Esq
  • Vivian Bullaudy, Hollis Taggart Galleries
  • Anthony Burokas. IEBA Communications
  • Erik L. Burr, Audio Visual Systems
  • Kent Cadwalader, Cadwalader & Associates Insurance
  • Michael Chiappenelli
  • Cynthia Close, Documentary Educational Resource
  • Sarah Braeme Congdon
  • Mr. and Mrs. Paul M. Cope
  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • Henry A. Gardiner
  • Julia Farnham Goldstein, Esq
  • Dr. Benjamin Hammond
  • Linda Kligman

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

  • American INSIGHT

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR

  • Margaret Chew Barringer

CAMERA

  • Peter Lorch, Director of Photography
  • Margaret Chew Barringer
  • Anthony Burokas
  • Leo Switucha
  • Todd Wall

EDITORS

  • Richard Hoffmann
  • Jonathan Shearburn

ASSISTANT EDITORS

  • Margaret Chew Barringer
  • Vicki Seitchik

COMPOSER

  • Eric Sessler, ASCAP

MUSICIANS

  • Eric Coyne, cello
  • Paula Nelson, flute
  • Arne Running, clarinet
  • Eric Sessler, guitar
  • Donald St. Pierre, piano

SOUND ENGINEER

  • George Blood
  • George Blood Audio, LP

LOCATION SOUND

  • Paul Alfe
  • Rick Wright

ACTORS

  • Traci Browne
  • Kathryn Cali
  • Jonathan Cranston
  • Adam Farrar
  • Bryan Farrar
  • George Johnston Jr.
  • Michael Malloy
  • Robert Moon
  • Mark Oteri
  • Hilary Pitts

VOICEOVERS

  • Barbara Greenfield
  • Jim Lloyd
  • Palmer Yale

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

  • Robert Buttel
  • Robert Fallon
  • Daniel Hoffman
  • Michelle Osborn
  • Leslie Symington
  • Seymour I. Toll

PROGRAM ASSOCIATES

  • Carla Gentile’
  • Jennifer Gilbert
  • Patricia Perez

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS

  • Linda diCamillo
  • Jet Cortez
  • Eileen Erwin
  • Emanuela Farris
  • Binney McCague
  • Martha McDonald
  • Jennifer Whartnaby

PRODUCTION INTERNS

  • Colleen Gillon
  • Sophia Sherry
  • Kirkley Silverman
  • Lisa Yamada