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Morton Livingston Schamberg, a painter, sculptor, and photographer, had a brief but innovative twelve-year career that ended with his untimely death at age thirty-seven. Schamberg was the first artist to use industrial and mechanical images as the basis for geometric art, which developed into the early twentieth-century style known as Precisionism. Following his graduation from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1906, Schamberg and friend Charles Scheeler traveled to Paris. Returning to Philadelphia, they set up a studio and did commercial photography for a living. By 1912, Schamberg began incorporating cubist elements into his paintings, showing "the prismatic shattering of light into its component colors." Schamberg and Sheeler participated in the first Armory Show and were influential in bringing the first exhibit of these paintings to Philadelphia. By 1916, Schamberg's style changed dramatically, with more emphasis on line and structure, fitting to his central topic, the machine. He shared the dadaists' attitude towards technology but emphasized the formal beauty of machines. Other painters, including Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth, and Elsie Driggs elaborated upon Schamberg's mechanical theme in their work. Schamberg died prematurely during the 1918 Philadelphia influenza epidemic.
Education and Training
University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, c. 1898
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1903-1906
New York School of the Fine Arts (Chase School), New York, New York
Traveled to Paris, France, with Charles Sheeler, 1906
Major Solo Exhibitions
Retrospective Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1983
Major Group Exhibitions
Armory Show, New York, New York, 1913
Society of Independent Artists, New York, New York, 1917-1918
National Academy of Design, New York, New York, 1906, 1907
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1907-1910
Fiftieth Anniversary of the Armory Show, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, 1963
The Decade of the Armory Show, Whitney Museum of American Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1963
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Howald Collection, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
View from the Side Boxes (Opera)
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