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Hovsep Pushman (American, 1877-1966)


Also known as:  Pushman, Hovsep T; Pushman, Hovsep T.

The Armenian-born Hovsep Pushman, who trained at the Art Institute in Chicago and the Académie Julian in Paris before settling in New York in 1919, established the standard for Orientalist still-life and figure painting during the 1920s through '40s. His paintings typically include a wide range of Asian objects glowing duskily, as if illuminated by candlelight: Tang Dynasty horses, Buddha statues, porcelain bowls and vases, jade snuff bottles, Chinese illuminated manuscripts, even silk wall hangings. An aficionado of Chinese culture and philosophy, Pushman intended his paintings to function symbolically, and he often paired them with mystical or spiritual readings. His signature works exhibit exotic artifacts, impeccable technique, and a mysterious mood. During his 1932 one-man show at New York's Grand Central Art Galleries, Pushman, lauded by critics and collectors alike, managed to sell all sixteen of his exhibited paintings by the end of opening day.

The Detroit Institute of Arts; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Montclair Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; and Seattle Art Museum count among the numerous museums nationwide featuring Pushman's work.

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