October 6, 2013 – February 9, 2014
The new second floor exhibit, Frank Applegate, George Bradshaw and the School of Industrial Arts, consists primarily of works from the collection of the Trenton Museum Society affiliated with Trenton’s School of Industrial Arts.
The School of Industrial Arts played a prominent role in the industrial success of Trenton. The courses taught there enabled Trenton companies to hire skilled workers with training in a wide variety of fields. Trenton’s potteries, especially, grew to depend on the school’s training for their talented employees. Established in 1898, the School of Industrial Arts is most closely associated with the 1911 Cass Gilbert-designed Kelsey Building on West State Street.
Nationally renowned ceramic sculptor Frank G. Applegate (1882 – 1931) was head of the sculpture and ceramics department at the School of Industrial Arts where he taught from 1907 until he moved to Santa Fe in 1921. While he was in New Jersey, Applegate became known for modeled figures in clay. A number of his pieces are on display in this exhibit. In Santa Fe, Applegate turned his modern artistic interest to painting and was a founding member of los cinco pintores (the five painters) and joined a group called the New Mexican Painters in 1923.
George A. Bradshaw’s (1880 – 1968) career started in 1915 as student at the School of Industrial Arts where he quickly mastered drawing and etching. Upon graduation in 1921, he was hired to teach and stayed through 1945. Although he was also a fine painter, Bradshaw is known primarily for his original etchings. He excelled in this field both as an illustrator and an etcher of views in Trenton and other New Jersey locations. He was a member of the Brooklyn Society of Etchers, the Chicago Society of Etchers, and the North Shore Artists Association. In addition to the substantial collection held by the Trenton Museum Society, his works are found in public collections in Newark, the Smithsonian Institution, and elsewhere.
Included in the exhibit are paintings by Frank Forest Frederick (1866-1942) and Henry Ryan MacGinnis (1875 – 1962). Frederick was appointed director of the School of Industrial Arts in 1906 and credited with increasing the scope, standards and enrollment of the school. He authored a number of how-to books and pamphlets on painting and drawing.
MacGinnis moved to Trenton in 1906 replacing Rae Sloan Bredin as the head of the Art Department. From his New Jersey home base MacGinnis focused on painting portraits and landscapes near the Delaware River and New Hope, Pennsylvania region. He became best friends with Harry Leith-Ross and John Folinsbee, and exhibited regularly with the New Hope Circle. During this period, he also painted many landscapes and seascapes in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Cape Breton, New Jersey, and in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Exhibit curated by TMS trustee Brenda Springsted