Kenneth Stubbs
(American artist, 1907-1967)

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Art: Mr. Minnigerode Honored by Portrait At Corcoran

"The establishment of the (Corcoran) biennials, for almost half a century one of the most important series of exhibitions of contemporary painting in the Nation, is the accomplishment of one man, C. Powell Minnigerode, for 32 years the director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and for the last five years director emeritus. His recent death has saddened his colleagues and the many artists who held him in the highest regard for his taste, knowledge and his personal charm."

This tribute in the 22d biennial catalogue foreword to an outstanding Washingtonian by his successor, Hermann Warner Williams, Jr., is echoed in the hearts of countless others, for many of whom the most recent biennial opening, March 31, was saddened by Mr. Minnigerode's absence. The officers of the gallery have further honored his memory by the prominent placement of his excellent portrait by John C. Johansen, in the lower atrium. It conveys something of the charm and warmth of his personality; but as it depicts him in a contemplative mood, it does not show his contagious enthusiasm, which was inevitably transmitted to all who came in contact with him.

He would have been pleased that so large a number of Washington area artists are represented in the 22d biennial. As Mr. Williams mentions in the catalogue, next to New York, the District offered the largest number of entries (201) of which 18 were accepted, and 17 others invited. In addition, there are a number from nearby Virginia and Maryland. The fairly even division between conservative and modern works reflects the exhibition as a whole.

Faculty Paintings

One work by each faculty member of the Corcoran School of Art was among the invited paintings. Richard Lahey, principal of the school, won second honorable mention, as is well known. Eugen Weisz, vice principal and a member of the 22d biennial juries, is showing an "interior," in raucous colors in contrast to his familiar deep-toned close harmonies.

Omar Carrington's panoramic "Poetic Seascape" is romantic, with a charming bit of still life. White outline figures appear wholly transient compared to the solid architecture of Kenneth Stubbs' "Ponte Vecchio." Edmund Archer and Jessalee Sickman show portraits, Mr. Archier a "Baroque" one of himself, satirically elegant with draperies and sculpture; Miss Sickman a quiet study of an elderly woman.

Several members of American University's art faculty are represented: William Calfee, with "Bean Plant," a large interpretation in green and gray, rather monotonous, Robert Franklin Gates, with a typical abstraction, "Garden Procession," and Joe Summerford, "Still Life With Cigarette Package."

Lois Jones of Howard University's art faculty is showing another colorful Paris steet scene.

Among the paintings by Washington area artists which I imagine will be particularly appealing to the public are Marjorie Phillips' lovely landscape, "Counterpoint"; Polly Wayne Kittelle's sunny "Truro, Mass." cottage; Dean Stambaugh's "Midsummer," Lloyd Embry's "Sleeping Model," admirably painted, and Walter Bachrach's high-keyed "Hazy Sunlight" (people on a lake). These are conservative works.

John Chapman Lewis' "The Bridge" is typical of his urban scenes in muted blues and grays. Samuel Bookatz, too, is represented with a street corner "Night Glow" in grayed colors. Herman Maril's reduction of a scene to its minimum of details is carried to greater starkness in "Inlet." Prentiss Taylor's "Architectonic Corner" appears half real, half abstract, and pleasing withal. "Sunday Morning, Taxco" is a colorful souvenir of Theodora Kane's recent trip to Mexico.

It is pleasing to note that two of a group of artists who have been holding an annual exhibition in Leesburg, Va., are represented: Vinton L. Pickens, with a large landscape, "Broad Run Quarry," and Katherine Slappey, with a near-abstract arcade, "Roman Arches." Samuel Pratt, a Virginian who works at the Corcoran, is showing a romantic nocturne, "In the Park."

Florence S. Berryman, Washington Post, Sunday, April 15, 1951, page C-3