Rothenstein, William, 1872-1945

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1872-01-29
Death 1945-02-14
GB
English

Biographical notes:

William Rothenstein was born in 1872 in Bradford. He studied art at the Slade School 1888-9 and in Paris at the Académie Julian from 1889 - 1893. Although he painted landscapes, people and architectural subjects he specialised in portraiture and published several series of lithographs from 1893, completing 800 portraits by 1926. He died in 1945.

From the guide to the Study collection of 179 drawings and lithographs by Sir William Rothenstein 1896 - 1942, 1896-1942, (Tate Gallery Archive)

Konody was responsible for organizing an exhibit of war drawings and paintings for the Canadian War Records Office at the end of World War I.

From the description of Letters, 1918-1919 : Stroud, Gloucestershire, and France, to Paul G. Konody. (Bryn Mawr College). WorldCat record id: 24838578

The English painter and writer Rothenstein wrote, compiled, and published these biographical sketches as English portraits, which appeared together with his lithographic drawings as a 12-part series in 1897-98.

From the description of Biographical sketches, 1897-1898. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 83836359

Rothenstein was born in 1872; became official artist of the British and Canadian armies during World War I; professor of civic art at Sheffield Univ. (1917-26), principal of the Royal College of Art (1930-5), and member of the Royal Fine Art Commission (1931); published art work and biographies, including Paul Verlaine (1897), English portraits (1897-8), A life of Goya (1900), Twenty-four portraits (1920), Whither painting? (1932), Since fifty : men and memories, 1922-38 (1939), Contemporaries, twenty-four portrait drawings (1937); he died in 1945.

From the description of Drawings, ca. 1898-1923. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 40352518

Sir William Rothenstein was an English artist, author, and spokesman for the arts. He was perhaps best known for his portraits of English and European authors and artists, and his paintings on Jewish themes. He served as an artist in both World Wars. He also published several volumes of biographical sketches, wrote books on art, and published an autobiography. He was also active in the art community, holding important positions with the Royal College of Art, the Tate Gallery, and the Royal Fine Arts Commission.

From the description of Twenty-four portraits, circa 1920. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 56717707

British painter and principal of the Royal College of Art.

From the description of Letters and autobiographical sketch, ca. 1896-1941. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 82778035

Sir William Rothenstein, the British painter and writer, was born at Bradford, Yorkshire, and he studied at the Slade School and Academie Julian in Paris. There he developed close friendships with Whistler and received encouragement from Degas and Pissarro. He served as the Principal of the Royal College of Art (1920-1935) and became a trustee of the Tate Gallery in 1927. Rothenstein's work includes lithographs, etchings, and oil paintings.

From the description of Correspondence, 1935-1937. (Temple University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 122526073

Principal at the Royal College of Art, London.

From the description of Correspondence to Morley Roberts, 1922. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 646275481

Rothenstein was an English painter and writer.

From the description of Correspondence, 1884-1934. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 84586715

From the description of Letters from Moritz Rothenstein, 1902-1911. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 79843088

From the guide to the Correspondence, 1884-1934., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

From the guide to the Letters from Moritz Rothenstein, 1902-1911., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Rothenstein was an English painter and president of the Royal College of Art (1920-1935).

From the description of Letters from various correspondents, 1900-1945. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 84317416

From the description of Sir William Rothenstein correspondence and other papers, 1887-1957. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612375485

From the description of Papers, 1887-1957. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 83767228

From the guide to the Sir William Rothenstein correspondence and other papers, 1887-1957., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

From the guide to the Sir William Rothenstein papers, 1887-1957., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

From the guide to the Letters to Sir William Rothenstein from various correspondents, 1900-1945., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

The English painter and writer Rothenstein wrote, compiled, and published these biographical sketches as English portraits, which appeared together with his lithographic drawings as a 12-part series in 1897-1898.

From the guide to the Biographical sketches, 1897-1898., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Chisholm, Anne and Michael Davie. Beaverbrook: A Life. London: Hutchinson, 1992. Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2004. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: The Gale Group. 2004 “Rothenstein Family Library Acquired.” Newsletter of the UD Library Associates. September 2002, no. 43 Speaight, Robert. William Rothenstein: The Portrait of an Artist in his Time. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1962. “William Rothenstein, Sir.” Almanac of Famous People, 8th ed. Gale Group, 2003. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: The Gale Group. 2004.

Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1872, William Rothenstein showed promise as an art student and in 1889 secured a place at the Academie Julian in Paris. He was soon moving in circles that included artists such as Edgar Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, and James McNeill Whistler. Returning to England in 1893, William Rothenstein began to receive commissions to paint the portraits of notable figures and became one of the best-known portrait painters of his time. He painted most of the celebrated figures of the period, including Max Beerbohm, Albert Einstein, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Bernard Shaw, Paul Verlaine, W.B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde, and the Duke of Windsor. William Rothenstein married Alice Knewstub in 1899 and they settled in London, eventually moving to a farm in Gloucestershire. In 1917 he was elected to the Chair of Civic Art at Sheffield, and in 1920 he was appointed Principal of the Royal College of Art in London. Artists who studied under William Rothenstein included Edward Bawden, Edward Burra, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth. William Rothenstein was awarded a knighthood in 1931. He died in 1945.

John Knewstub Maurice Rothenstein, the oldest of the four children of William and Alice Rothenstein, was born in 1901. Educated at Oxford, where he shared rooms with William Gerhardi, who would become a novelist of some note, John Rothenstein gravitated towards a career as an author and critic. Meeting with little success in England, he moved to the United States in 1927 where he obtained positions teaching art history at the University of Kentucky and later the University of Pittsburgh. While in Kentucky, John Rothenstein married Elizabeth Kennard Smith; they returned to England in 1929. Here he completed a novel, Morning Sorrow, which was published in 1930, and earned his doctorate in the History of Art at University College London the following year. In 1932, he was appointed Director of Leeds City Art Gallery and in 1934 became Director of the Sheffield Art Galleries and Museums.

In 1938, John Rothenstein was appointed Director of the Tate Gallery in London, a position he held until his retirement in 1964. One of his initial tasks was to prepare the museum for the onset of the second world war. He found safe refuge for many of the museum’s most important works of art in country houses, castles, and other facilities. During the German bombardment, the Tate Gallery sustained significant damage, but John Rothenstein’s foresight allowed the collection to survive. Under his leadership, the Tate recovered from the effects of the war and emerged as a strong proponent of twentieth-century British Art, championing the work of such artists as Wyndham Lewis, Walter Sickert, and Matthew Smith.

John Rothenstein retired from the Tate in 1964 and devoted the rest of his life to writing and lecturing. Over the course of his career he wrote more than thirty books primarily on contemporary British art. His most important work was Modern English Painters (1952-1974); and his autobiography was published in three separate volumes between 1966 and 1970. John Rothenstein died in 1992.

From the guide to the Sir William Rothenstein and Sir John Rothenstein collection, 1894–1983, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)

Epithet: artist and art administrator

Title: Knight

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000208.0x000361

Biography

Rothenstein was born in 1872; became official artist of the British and Canadian armies during World War I; professor of civic art at Sheffield University (1917-26), principal of the Royal College of Art (1930-35), and member of the Royal Fine Art Commission (1931); published artwork and biographies, including Paul Verlaine (1897), English Portraits (1897-98), A Life of Goya (1900), Twenty-Four Portraits (1920), Whither Painting? (1932), Since Fifty: Men and Memories, 1922-38 (1939), Contemporaries, Twenty-Four Portrait Drawings (1937); he died in 1945.

From the guide to the Sir William Rothenstein Drawings, ca. 1898-1923, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)



Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.

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SNAC ID:
72134846

Subjects:

  • Art, British
  • Artists--Archival resources
  • Finance, Personal
  • Painting, English--20th century
  • English literature--19th century
  • Arts--Management--20th century
  • Painting, British--19th century
  • Art--British--Reproductions
  • Arts--Management
  • Painting, English--Exhibitions
  • Biography--19th century
  • Lithography--Printing
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Art
  • Modernism (Literature)
  • World War, 1914-1918--Art and the war
  • Lithography
  • Artists
  • World War, 1914-1918--Exhibitions
  • Portraits
  • Authors, English--Portraits--Manuscripts
  • Art criticism
  • Poetry, Modern--20th century
  • Painting, British--20th century
  • Great Britain--Biography--Portraits--Manuscripts

Occupations:

  • Arts administrators.
  • Artists.
  • Artist
  • Biographers.
  • Artists--England--Archival resources.
  • Painters.

Places:

  • England (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • India (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Egypt (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)