FYI March 01, 2020

On This Day

1628 – Writs issued in February by Charles I of England mandate that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date.
Ship money was a tax of medieval origin levied intermittently in the Kingdom of England until the middle of the 17th century. Assessed typically on the inhabitants of coastal areas of England, it was one of several taxes that English monarchs could levy by prerogative without the approval of Parliament. The attempt of King Charles I from 1634 onwards to levy ship money during peacetime and extend it to the inland counties of England without Parliamentary approval provoked fierce resistance, and was one of the grievances of the English propertied class in the lead-up to the English Civil War.

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Born On This Day

1890 – Theresa Bernstein, Polish-American painter and author (d. 2002)
Theresa Ferber Bernstein-Meyerowitz (March 1, 1890 – February 13, 2002) was a Polish-born American artist, painter, and writer.

Career
Theresa Ferber Bernstein was born in Kraków, the only child of Jewish parents, Isidore and Anne (née Ferber) Bernstein, who emigrated to the United States. According to an original certificate issued by the Board of Public Education of the First School District of Pennsylvania (currently in the possession of Bernstein’s great-nephew, Keith Carlson), Bernstein graduated from the William D. Kelley Elementary School in June 1907.[1][2]

She studied with Harriet Sartain, Elliott Daingerfield, Henry B. Snell, Daniel Garber and others at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women[3] now Moore College of Art & Design. Bernstein was part of the Philadelphia Ten, an influential group of female artists.

She graduated in 1911 with an award for general achievement (the college awarded her an honorary doctorate in 1992). After enrolling at the Art Students League in New York City, where she took life and portraiture classes with William Merritt Chase,[4] she traveled for a second time to Europe with her mother, her first trip abroad having been made in 1905. She admired Robert Henri’s style of depicting the city’s everyday drama.

In 1912 she settled in Manhattan. Her studio near Bryant Park and Times Square allowed her to paint a cross-section of New Yorkers; she also painted harbors, beaches, fish, and still-life. She and her husband William Meyerowitz lived for many decades in a rent-controlled loft-style studio apartment at 54 West 74th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, just one block from Central Park West, and this studio was her home at the time of her death.

Bernstein was a member of the National Association of Women Artists and the North Shore Art Association.[3] Her works were exhibited extensively with the National Academy of Design and the Society of Independent Artists[5] (which she co-founded with John Sloan). Her work includes the oil on canvas mural titled The First Orchestra in America in the Manheim, Pennsylvania post office, commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts, and completed in 1938.[6] In the male-dominated art world of her time, Bernstein often signed her works using just her surname. Her self-portrait is part of the Jewish Museum collection.[7] Two of her paintings, The Readers of 1914[8] and Polish Church: Easter Morning of 1916,[9] were donated to the National Gallery of Art in 2018.

Husband and family
Her husband William Meyerowitz was also an artist.[10] Following the death of their only child in infancy, the couple remained childless during their marriage.[3] Bernstein and Meyerowitz were quite close to two of their nieces who were both musicians, Laura Nyro and Barbara Meyerowitz (aka Barbara DeAngelis). Nyro and DeAngelis were supported in their musical educations by Bernstein and Meyerowitz. DeAngelis graduated from The Juilliard School of Music in the 1940s and enjoyed success as a songwriter, composer and teacher of piano and voice in New York and New Jersey. DeAngelis lived and taught piano and voice in Atlanta, Georgia from March 2010 until her death from a stroke in 2011.[1][2] Following the death of her husband, Bernstein developed a strong relationship with DeAngelis’ youngest son, Keith Carlson, who detailed the extent of their relationship on a well-documented website created by the City University of New York.

Death
Bernstein died on February 13, 2002 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, 17 days before her 112th birthday and several years after suffering a stroke.
 
 

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