Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Masks of Władysław Teodor

Władysław Teodor "W.T." Benda (January 15, 1873, Poznań, Poland (Posen, German Empire) - November 30, 1948, Newark, New Jersey) was a Polish-American painter, illustrator, and designer.

The son of musician Jan Szymon Benda, and a nephew of the actress Helena Modrzejewska (known in the United States as Helena Modjeska), W.T. Benda studied art at the Krakow College of Technology and Art in his native Poland and at the School of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. He came to the United States at the very end of the 19th century, to visit his Aunt Helena, who then lived in California. He stayed, and moved to New York City in 1902, where he attended the Art Students League of New York and the William Merritt Chase School. While there, Benda studied under Robert Henri and Edward Penfield.

WT Benda with a Grotesque mask, accompanied by the dancer Margaret Severn with a lifelike mask.

Photography by Steichen, models wearing masks by WT Benda

via french sampler