Timeline

 
  • 1883

    Born Charles Rettew Sheeler, Jr. on July 16 in Philadelphia to Charles Rettew Sheeler and Mary Cunningham Sheeler
  • 1900

    Attended the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia with a focus on industrial drawing and applied arts
  • 1903-1906

    Attended Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia for traditional education in drawing and painting

    [Pennsylvania] Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pa., c. 1900, Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

    [Pennsylvania] Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pa., c. 1900, Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.



    Traveled to Europe with William Merritt Chase and PAFA students

    Mortimer Menpes, William M. Chase, and James McNeill Whistler standing together outdoors. c 1880-1900. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

    Mortimer Menpes, William M. Chase, and James McNeill Whistler standing together outdoors. c 1880-1900. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.



    Met lifelong friend Morton Schamberg

  • 1907

    2 paintings are exhibited in PAFA annual exhibition
  • 1908

  • 1909

    Traveled through Europe with parents and met up with Schamberg to tour Naples, Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence, Paris, and London

    Visited Stein Salon in Paris

    Wide World Photos, Inc. Gertrude Stein sitting on a sofa in her Paris studio, with a portrait of her by Pablo Picasso, and other modern art paintings hanging on the wall behind her. May 1930. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

    Wide World Photos, Inc. Gertrude Stein sitting on a sofa in her Paris studio, with a portrait of her by Pablo Picasso, and other modern art paintings hanging on the wall behind her. May 1930. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.



    Found inspiration from Italian Renaissance artists and French Modernists
  • 1910

    Began renting a 1768 Pennsylvania fieldstone home called the Worthington House in Doylestown with the help of Henry Chapman Mercer

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), House Exterior, c. 1912. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Lane Collection.

    Doylestown House, Stairway, Open Door, Negative date: about 1916-17, gelatin silver print. © The Lane Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.



    Bought what is most likely an 8 x10 inch view camera ca. 1910-1912

    Began photographing new buildings for local architects as a means to supplement income
  • “I went in for architectural photography, starting right at the bottom with the architecture of Philadelphia, and that was after learning the rudiments of photography and processing. It was encouraging. I had quite a good many architects engage me to photograph the house that had been completed. And then I began to add to that, I had commissions. I'd go around to see these people and show some of my photographs, and people would respond to them, and then they'd call me later and would I come and make some photographs of their house or whatever, and I got to -- took on, in addition to the architects, collectors of notable things.”
    - An interview of Charles Sheeler conducted by Martin L. Friedman on 1959 June 18 for the Archives of American Art.
  • 1913

    6 paintings are exhibited in the famed 1913 Armory Show in New York, the International Exhibition of Modern Art

    Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), The Kiss, exhibited at the Armory Show of the Association of American Painters and Sculptures, New York. 1913. Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

    Image of bust sculpture of a couple kissing by Constantine Brancusi, exhibited at the Armory Show of the Association of American Painters and Sculptures, New York. 1913. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.



    Began exploring Cubism
  • 1914

    Visited Carroll Galleries in New York with Schamberg for Exhibition of Synchromist Painting by Morgan Russell and S. MacDonald-Wright

    Gertrude Käsebier (1852-1934), Alfred Stieglitz, 1902. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

    Gertrude Käsebier (1852-1934), Alfred Stieglitz, 1902. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.



    Met Alfred Stieglitz and became a frequent visitor to his gallery 291

    Sent Stieglitz photographic notes

    Made short film with Schamberg

    Began photographing works of art for dealers and private collectors
  • 1915

    Moved to 1822 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

    Met Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray at Walter Conrad Arensberg’s home
  • 1916

    Invited by Stieglitz to show paintings and drawings

    Made first visit to Stieglitz’s home

    Began working for Marius de Zayas at the Modern Gallery
  • 1917

    First exhibition of photographs with Schamberg and Paul Strand at Modern Gallery

    Paul Strand (1890-1976), New York, 1916. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

    Paul Strand (1890-1976), New York, 1916. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.



    Exhibited work with the Society of Independent Artists group

    Photo of Brancusi sculpture reproduced in Vanity Fair August issue

    Became staff photographer at Modern Gallery
  • 1918

    Participated in 13th John Wanamaker photo exhibition, winning the first and fourth prizes for Doylestown photographs

    Schamberg died October 13 from influenza
  • 1919

    Barn Abstraction featured in the first and only issue of the New York Dada magazine TNT

    Moved to 160 East 25th Street, New York and sold first paintings to art collector Ferdinand Howald through dealer Charles Daniel

    Made film starring his future wife, Katharine Baird Shaffer
  • 1920

    Solo exhibition of paintings, drawings, and photos at Modern Gallery


    Filmed Manhatta with Paul Strand


    Manhatta frame enlargement. Courtesy of Charles Musser.

    Manhatta frame enlargement. Courtesy of Charles Musser.

  • 1921

    Moved to 344 8th Ave., New York

    Married Katharine Baird Shaffer on April 7

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Katharine by the Mantel, c. 1925, gelatin silver print. © The Lane Collection
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Katharine by the Mantel, c. 1925, gelatin silver print, © The Lane Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.



    First public showing of Manhatta in New York Cityon July 24

    Moved to W 147th Street, New York in fall
  • 1923

    Duchamp photographed Sheeler for “Among the Best of American Painters” in Vanity Fair

    Met poet William Carlos Williams

    Began work on commercial photography commissions mainly through N.W. Ayer & Son

    Moved to 10 W. 8th Street, New York above the Whitney Studio Club

    Became Whitney Studio Club photographer
  • 1924

    Organized exhibition of works by Picasso, Duchamp, de Zayas, and Braque for Whitney Studio Club

    Solo exhibition of paintings and drawings at Whitney Studio Club of still lifes and landscape vignettes

    Photographed sculpture of Gaston Lachaise

    Gaston Lachaise’s Head of a Woman, 1924. Published in A. E. Gallatin, Gaston Lachaise (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1924).

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Gaston Lachaise’s Head of a Woman, 1924. Published n A.E. Gallatin, Gaston Lachaise (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co. 1924).

  • 1925

    Moved to studio at 17 W 8th Street, New York
  • 1926

    Solo exhibition of photographs at the Art Center, New York

    Hired by Edward Steichen to work for Condé Nast Publications producing fashion and celebrity photos for Vogue and Vanity Fair

    Moved to South Salem, New York

    Modern art collector Duncan Phillips acquired Skyscrapers, 1922

    Began freelance work for several advertising agencies

    Actress Ina Claire as Betsy Ross, designer of the first American flag, sitting with a large flag on her lap

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Ina Claire as Betsy Ross. Vanity Fair, July 1, 1926. © Condé Nast.



    Designed salt and pepper shakers and textiles
  • 1927

    Exhibited in Whitney Studio Club’s 12th annual exhibition of paintings and sculpture

    Received most important commission by N. W. Ayer & Son for new Ford Motor Company plant after spendingsix weeks at the River Rouge plant in Detroit

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Criss-Crossed Conveyers, River Rouge Plant, Ford Motor Company, 1927. Black and white print . 9 ¼ x 7 3/8 in. From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Criss-Crossed Conveyers, River Rouge Plant, Ford Motor Company, 1927. Black and white print . 9 ¼ x 7 3/8 in. From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

  • 1928

    Made short trip to Detroit in January to deliver photos to Edsel Ford

    Continued to photograph Ford Motor cars for company catalogue

    Photograph from Ford Motor Company advertisement.

    Photograph from Ford Motor Company advertisement.



    Moved studio from 80 W 40th Street to 47 W 49th Street, New York

    Sold American Landscape to art collector Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
  • 1929

    Visited Paris and Germany

    Exhibited in international photography exhibition in Stuttgart

    Began work in conte crayon

  • 1930

    Moved to studio at 310 E 44th Street, New York

    Photos exhibited at Harvard Society of Contemporary Art

    Classic Landscape exhibited at Edith Halpert’ Downtown Gallery

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Edith Gregor Halpert, c. 1940, gelatin silver print, 9 x 13 in. Downtown Gallery Records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Edith Gregor Halpert, c. 1940, gelatin silver print, 9 x 13 in. Downtown Gallery Records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

  • 1931

    Edith Halpert offered Sheeler exclusive representation at her Downtown Gallery in New York

    Resigned from Condé Nast position
  • 1932

    Stieglitz, Weston, and other photographers created f/64 group

    Moved from South Salem, New York to Ridgefield, Connecticut, near Steichen

    Purchased Contax camera

    A 1932 Contax camera.

    A 1932 Contax Camera.

  • 1933

    Wife Katharine Sheeler died June 1 from cancer
  • 1934

    Painted for Works Progress Administration
  • 1935

    Included in Whitney Museum’s exhibition Abstract Painting in America in New York

    Became member of New York Camera Club
  • 1936

    Painted The Governor’s Palace for Abby Rockefeller

    Bain News Service, publisher. Abby Rockefeller. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

    Bain News Service, publisher. Abby Rockefeller. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

  • 1937

    Sheeler’s father died

    Wrote his autobiographical notes
  • 1938

    Author Constance Rourke published the biography Charles Sheeler: Artist in the American Tradition, based on Sheeler’s autobiographical notes and Rourke’s conversations with him

    Was first American artist to be featured in issue of Life Magazine in four-page feature article: “Charles Sheeler Finds Beauty in the Commonplace”
  • 1939

    Married Musya Metas Sokolova (1908-1981) in Rutherford, New Jersey on April 2

    Painting Silo appeared on cover of Fortune April issue

    Commissioned to make a series of paintings on the theme of power for Fortune

    Traveled to New York, Tennessee, Alabama, Nevada, Arizona, and to Boulder Dam

    Featured in first US telecast of “Art in Our Time” at the Museum of Modern Art on October 6

    A retrospective exhibition of paintings, drawings, and photos featured in the Museum of Modern Art for which Williams Carlos Williams wrote exhibition catalog

    Bought a 9 x 12 Linhoff camera
  • 1940

    Solo exhibition of photographs in San Francisco
  • 1941

    Spent a few weeks photographing barns in Connecticut with Weston

    Exhibited Boulder Dam photos at the Museum of Modern Art
  • 1942-1945

  • 1943

    Became the first artist-in-residence at the Phillips Academy in Massachussetts

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Barn Abstraction, 1943, tempera on paperboard, 21 ½ x 28 3/8 inches. Collection Joseph P. Carroll and Dr. Roberta Carroll, Courtesy Forum Gallery, New York.

    Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), Barn Abstraction, 1943, tempera on paperboard, 21 ½ x 28 3/8 inches. Collection Joseph P. Carroll and Dr. Roberta Carroll, Courtesy Forum Gallery, New York.

  • 1948

  • 1949 – Early 1950s

    Received painting and photographic commissions for companies such as Pabst Brewing Company , Kodak, and U.S. Steel

    Steel Croton, 1953, oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts .

    Steel Croton, 1953, oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts .



    Visited Weston in Carmel
  • 1955

    Received commission from General Motors Company

    Spent summer in the Maine home of the late watercolorist John Marin
  • 1957

  • 1959

    Suffered stroke, essentially ending his career
  • 1962

  • 1963

    Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters
  • 1965

    Died May 7 after second stroke in Dobbs Ferry, New York
 
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