Autoru meklejumos: Baltijas un Peterburgas vacu makslas kritiki 19.-20. gs. mija un vinu ieguldijums latviesu makslas popularizesana
ATTRIBUTION OF AUTHORSHIP: ART CRITICS IN THE BALTIC AND ST. PETERSBURG GERMAN PERIODICAL PRESS AT THE TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROMOTION OF LATVIAN ART
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The reader is invited to follow the researcher on her way from the abbreviated signature marks to obvious or hidden clues for eventual attribution of their owners and further on to often extraordinary biographies. The venture results in bringing together a colourful society of personalities interested in art who were born between the late 1840s and mid 1880s and who represented partly incompatible aesthetic platforms and basically moved within the area between St. Petersburg and German cities, the most distant sites of activity being located in the USA. Among these people, architect and art historian Wilhelm Neumann (1849-1919) is one of the very few who already hold a place of prominence in our cultural history, but his regular reviews for ‘Rigaer Tageblatt’, signed with -n, N., N-n, -nn or W. N-n, still is an almost obscure fragment in the work of this versatile intellectual. Other dramatis personae elucidated in the narrative are: Woldemar Baron von Mengden (1867-1939, sign. W. B. M.) - secretary of the Riga Art Society (Riga(sch)er Kunstverein); Friedrich Moritz (1866-1947, sign. -tz) - painter and art critic of ‘Düna-Zeitung’ in Riga until his emigration to Berlin in 1906; Ernst von Blumenthal (1872-?, sign. -en-, -um-) - section editor of ‘Duna-Zeitung’ and afterwards ‘Rigasche Zeitung’; Alfred Blumenthal (1876-after 1939, sign. Alfred Bl., A. Bl., B-l (?)) - art-interested freelance contributor to ‘Düna-Zeitung’, Wilhelm Neumann’s godson but most likely no close relative of the editor; Dr. Alfred Ruetz (1876-1955, sign. A. R.) - co-publisher and editor of ‘Rigasche Rundschau’, next to his father Richard Ruetz; Gerhard von Rosen (1856-1927, sign. G. v. R.) - painter and contributor to ‘Rigasche Rundschau’; Wilhelm Sawitzky (1879-1947, sign. W. S., S-y) - culture journalist in Tallinn (‘Revalsche Zeitung’) and Riga (‘Rigasche Rundschau’, ‘Rigasche Neueste Nachrichten’, ‘Baltische Post’) until 1911 when he left the Baltics for the USA to become a prominent researcher of early American painting in his later life; and many others.
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