Oral history interview with Everett Ellin, 2004 April 27-28
Ellin, Everett, 1928-2011
Kirwin, Liza, 1957-
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 78 pages
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 6 min.
An interview of Everett Ellin conducted 2004 April 27-28, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art, in Washington, D.C.
Ellin speaks of his childhood and early education in Chicago; taking an aptitude test in high school and learning that he had multiple aptitudes; attending the University of Michigan and earning a BSE in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; earning a law degree at Harvard Law School; his tour as an Air Force officer and tenure as law clerk to the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court; working at Columbia Pictures as house legal counsel; serving as aid for the vice president at William Morris Agency; studying acting; Hollywood in the 1950s; opening his own gallery, the Everett Ellin Gallery, in Los Angeles, in 1957-1958; his marriage to painter Jane Jacobs; working for French & Company, in New York in 1959, as director of the contemporary gallery; Clement Greenberg's role at French & Company; opening his second gallery in Los Angeles, the Everett Ellin Gallery, Inc., 1960-1963; artists he has shown including Bruce Beasely, Jasper Johns, Arshile Gorky, David Smith, and others; represented working for Marlborough Gallery, in New York, as director, 1963-1964; organizing the Jackson Pollock retrospective at Marlborough Gallery in 1964; being hired by Harry Guggenheim as public affairs officer of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and his promotion to assistant director; travel to Peru to help organize an exhibition of Peruvian ceramics for the Guggenheim; founding the Museum Computer Network (MCN) and establishing a base of operations at the Museum of Modern Art with support from the Mellon Foundation; early MCN planning meetings; and his vision for the future of MCN. He recalls artists Lee Krasner, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, and others; collectors Frederick Weisman, Edward G. Robinson, Milton Sperling; museum professionals Rene d'Harnoncourt, Thomas Messer, Lawrence Alloway, Frank O'Hara, Walter Hopps, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Everett Ellin, 2004 April 27-28. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for this interview provided by the Goldsmith Foundation. 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.
Everett Ellin (1928-2011) was an art dealer, art administrator, and consultant of Diana, Tex. Liza Kirwin is an AAA collector in Washington, D.C.
This interview is 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