Oral history interview with Herbert Gentry, 1991 May 23
Gentry, Herbert Alexander, 1919-2003
Kirwin, Liza, 1957-
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes
Transcript: 31 p.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Herbert Gentry conducted 1991 May 23, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art.
Gentry recalls his childhood in Harlem; musicians he met and was influenced by, including Duke Ellington and Count Bassie; studies at New York University and at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and L'Academie de la Grand Chaumiere under the G.I. Bill; his jazz club/gallery in Montparnasse; friendships with Romare Bearden and Beauford Delaney; early exhibitions; his marriages; identification with the artist's group COBRA; and studios in Sweden and New York.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Herbert Gentry, 1991 May 23. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available online.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Herbert Gentry (1919-2003) was a painter from New York, N.Y., and Malmo, Sweden. Gentry was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., and moved to Harlem as a young child. After serving in WWII, he went to Paris to study painting. In 1948 he opened a club and gallery in Montparnasse that featured jazz and art. Gentry moved to Sweden in 1959 but kept his studio in Paris, and beginning in 1972, New York City.
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001