An interview of George Biddle conducted in 1963, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Biddle speaks of his background in Philadelphia; his Harvard education in preparation for a law career; literary acquaintances; travel; the beginning of his art career; his preoccupation with portraiture; his tragic and pleasant works; the importance of mood; his drawing techniques; drawing from nature; color experimentation; Stieglitz's circle; the susceptibility of artists to change during the 1930s; his involvement with the Public Works of Art Project; government censorship of his murals; his involvement with artists overseas during World War II; and his aesthetic philosophy. He recalls Max Weber, Maurice Sterne, George Grosz, William Zorach, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Peggy Bacon, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Edith Halpert, Boardman Robinson, Reginald Marsh, Thomas Hart Benton, Henry Billings, Ned Bruce, Holger Cahill, Philip Evergood, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo.
Biographical / Historical:
George Biddle (1885-1973) was a painter and sculptor, in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
Originally recorded 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 13 hr., 56 min.
Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
This interview is open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
An interview of Edith Halpert conducted 1962-1963, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Halpert speaks of her childhood in Russia and growing up in New York City; working at Bloomindale's, Macy's, Stern Brothers, and Cohen Goldman; her marriage to artist Sam Halpert, his health, and living in Paris in 1925; becoming an art student at the Academy of Design and feeling that Leon Kroll was an excellent art teacher until he began to correct her drawings; when George Bridgman thought she was ruining his class; the Lincoln Square Arcade, when she and Ernest Fiener and Robert Brackman would rent Conan's studio evenings and bring in instructors; how Newman Montross influenced her more than anybody about showing her art that she loved; burning all of her work because Kroll said she had no talent; receiving a painting from John Marin; her friendship and working relationship with Abby Rockefeller and other family members.
She recalls opening the Downtown Gallery, in Greenwich Village, in 1926; a brief history of modern art; many artists helping decorate the new Daylight Gallery in 1930 and the first show being called "Practical Manifestations of Art"; meeting Robert and Sonia Delaunay in France; when she refused to allow Ezra Pound to speak at one of the gallery lectures because of his anti-Semite remarks and William Carlos Williams and Ford Madox Ford argued with her over it; experiencing jealousy and professional attacks from other dealers; the successful "Pop" Hart show and book in 1929; the "Thirty-three Moderns" show in 1930 at the Grand Central Galleries; the Jules Pascin show in 1930; in America, most of the art buyers supporters of culture were women, until the WPA and World War II, when it became fashionable for men to be involved; Ambroise Vollard's advice on selling art; handling the frustrations of working in the art field; friendships with Stuart Davis,Charles Sheeler, and Ben Shahn; how artists work through dry periods in their creativity and the "Recurrent Image" show; a discussion on modern art galleries of New York City, such as Daniel, Knoedler, Ferargil, the New Gallery, 291, the Grand Central, Kraushaar, and Montross; her travels through Pennsylvania and Maine for good examples of folk art for the gallery; the "The Artist Looks at Music" show; the non-competitive spirit of the early modern American artists; of being saved financially in 1940 by selling a William Harnett painting to the Boston Museum and then renting new space for the gallery.
Also, Mitchell Siporin bringing Halpert and Edmund Gurry to Mitchell Field during World War II for a camouflage show and consequently Downtown Gallery artists and others were enlisted in the camouflage corps for the U.S. Air Force; Charles Sheeler and his wife find Halpert a house in Newtown, Conn.; her decision in 1933 to push folk art for acquisition by the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri; her great concern about what to do with her folk art literature collection; dismay and that no one writes about the history of folk art and those responsible for its creation and popularity; Louis Stern hiring her to organize a municipal exhibit in Atlantic City, N.J., with Donald Deskey designing the furniture and Holger Cahill managing the publicity; Joe Lillie helping her meet Fiorello La Guardia and Joe McGoldrick in 1934 about a municipal show in New York City, but it is moved to Radio City Music Hall through Nelson Rockefeller; the "Salons of America" show; wanting articles written about art for love rather than art for investment; working with Aline Saarinen on her book, "Proud Possessors;" letters from Stuart Davis, William Zorach and others that hurt her feelings; enjoying giving educational lectures and considering retirement because of ill health; the desire to write a book on the history of trade signs in folk art; feeling that the young artists are being ruined by too much support without working for it; planning to write a book entitled, "Unsung Heroes," about artists brave enough to experiment; organizing a show in Russia at her own expense; later representing the U.S. in art at the "American National Exposition"; the agitators and success of the exposition; Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe.
Halpert also recalls Juliana Force, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Buckminster Fuller, George Luks, Edsel Ford, Max Weber, Danny Diefenbacker, Hamilton Easter Field, Frank Stella, Glenn Coleman, Margaret Zorach, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Henry Mercer, Romany Marie, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Mellon, Charles Pollet, Alex Brook, Lunca Curass, Dorothy Lambert, Duncan Candler, Frank Rhen, Louis Rittman, Bea Goldsmith, Arthur Craven, Robert Frost, Philip Wittenberg, Caesar de Hoke, Richard deWolfe Brixey, Seymour Knox, Walt Kuhn, Elisabeth Luther Cary, Charles Locke, Duncan Fergusson, Mrs. Solomon Guggenheim, Bob Tannahill, David Thompson, Marsden Hartley, Erwin Barrie, Robert Laurent, Conger Goodyear, Henry McBride, Edward Hopper, Charles Daniel, William Merritt Chase, Charles Hopkinson, Thomas Hart Benton, Frank Crowninshield, Alfred Barr, Lord Duveen, Jacob Lawrence, John Marin Jr., Karl Zerbe, Franz Kline, Arthur Dove, Julian Levy, Jack Levine, Valentine Dudensing, Peggy Bacon, Stefan Hirsch, Gertrude Stein, Isamu Noguchi, Jasper Johns, Chaim Soutine, B. K. Saklatwalla; Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, Ben Shahn, Charles Demuth, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Edward Steichen, Carl Sandburg, Clement Greenberg, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Edith Halpert (1900-1970) was an art dealer from New York, N.Y.
Originally recorded on 7 tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 27 digital wav files. Duration is 32 hrs., 27 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art 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 others. The transcript was microfilmed in 1996.
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
An interview of Reuben Nakian conducted 1981 June 9-17, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art.
Nakian speaks of his childhood, growing up in New York City; his early interest in art; early ventures in sculpture; working for Paul Manship; meeting Daniel Chester French; teaching; early influences; his European travels; techniques and materials; the relationship of artists and suffering; his portrait busts of other artists; dealers he has been affiliated with, including Edith Halpert and Valentine Dudensing; animal sculptures; his Babe Ruth sculpture; critical and public reaction to his work. He recalls Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Duchamp, Raoul Hague, William Zorach, Gaston Lachaise, and J. B. Neumann. The third voice heard on the tape is that of Nakian's assistant, Don Ross, who helps prompt Nakian to recall certain incidents.
Biographical / Historical:
Reuben Nakian (1897-1986) was a sculptor from Stamford, Conn.
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 15 min.
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 others.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
REELS N591-N597: Photographs of the Museum, Juliana Force, Herman Moore; scrapbooks on the Whitney Studio Club, Whitney Studio Galleries and the Museum, 1927-1965.
REELS N599-N604: Notebooks of Edwin W. Dickinson; photographs and provenance information for works by Philip Evergood; a catalog of information and some photographs of Chinese ink drawings and other works by Reginald Marsh; and photographs and information on Bernard Reder, Jack Tworkov, Max Weber (portions also microfilmed on reel NY59-8 (fr. 497-658), reel NY59-9 (fr. 1-51), and William Zorach.
REELS N604-N609: Exhibition catalogs, 1946-1966, for artists and groups shows at the Museum, including Robert Feke, William Rimmer, Ralph Blakelock, Albert Maurer, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Thomas Cole, Max Weber, Arshile Gorky, Mark Tobey, John Sloan, Loren MacIver, I. Rice Pereira, George Grosz, Reginald Marsh, Charles Burchfield, Morris Graves, Theodore Roszak, John Marin, Hans Hofmann, Bradley Tomlin, Stuart Davis, Milton Avery, Lee Gatch, Jose De Creeft, Maurice Prendergast, Edward Hopper, Hyman Bloom, Robert E. Jones, Balcomb Greene, Karl Zerbe, Arthur G. Dove, William Zorach, Philip Evergood, Bernard Reder, Herbert Feber, Oliver O'Connor Barrett,Arthur B. Davies, Jose De Rivera, Paul Burlin, Joseph Stella, Jack Tworkov, Ivan Albright, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, John Quidor, and Niles Spencer.
REELS N646-N694: Artists' files on: Oliver O'Connor Barrett,William Baziotes, George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Peter Blume, James Brooks, Patrick Henry Bruce, Charles Burchfield, Paul Burlin, David Burliuk, Paul Cadmus, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Cole, Glenn Coleman, Jon Corbino, John Steuart Curry, Jo Davidson, Arthur B. Davies, Jose DeCreeft, Charles Demuth, Jose De Rivera, Arthur Dove, Guy Pène du Bois, Stuart Davis, Frank Duveneck, Ralph Earl, Eastman Johnson, The Eight, Philip Evergood, Robert Feke, Lyonel Feininger, Ernest Fiene, George Fuller, Lee Gatch, William Glackens, Arshile Gorky, Balcomb Greene, Chaim Gross, George Grosz, William Harnett, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, John Heliker, Robert Henri, Hans Hofmann, George Inness, Leon Kelly, Franz Kline, Karl Knaths, Leon Kroll, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Gaston Lachaise, Robert Laurent, Ernest Lawson, Jack Levine, Seymour Lipton, George B. Luks,
Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Loren MacIver, John Marin, Reginald Marsh, Alfred Maurer, K. H. Miller, Robert Motherwell, William Mount, Jerome Myers, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O'Keeffe (portions also microfilmed on reels NY59-13 (fr. 98-115, 406-424, 586-685), reel NY59-14 (entire), and reel NY59-15 (fr. 1-140, 145-153), I. Rice Pereira, Bernard Perlin, Joseph Pollett, Jackson Pollock, Reginald Pollack, Henry V. Poor, Richard Pousette-Dart, Maurice Prendergast, Abraham Rattner, Bernard Reder, Ad Reinhardt, William Rimmer, Larry Rivers, Hugo Robus, Theodore Roszak, Mark Rothko, Concetta Scarvaglione, Henry Schnakenberg, Ben Shahn, John Sloan, David Smith, Eugene Speicher, Theodoros Stamos, Joseph Stella, Maurice Sterne, Mark Tobey, Bradley Tomlin,Trajan, Allen Tucker, John Twachtman, Jack Tworkov, Abraham Walkowitz (also on reel NY/59-15) , Max Weber, James M. Whistler, Gertrude Whitney, Grant Wood, Alexander Wyant, Mahonri Young, and William Zorach.
REELS NWH 1-NWH 7: Artist files on Charles Sheeler, Bernard Karfiol, Louis Eilshemius; scatterred records of the Whitney Studio Club and Museum, 1914-1945, including minutes, Oct. 15, 1930, and Whitney Studio ledgers, 1928-1931; catalogs of one-man shows, 1932-1945; catalogs of annual painting exhibitions, 1932-1940, sculpture, watercolor and drawing exhibitions, 1933-1945, and group exhibitions, 1932-1945; and clippings, Oct. 1935-1936.
REELS NY59/8 (fr. 256-end)-NY59/10: Files on Max Weber, including biographical material, lists of work, and miscellany. Also found (NY59/8 frames 354-383) are ca.20 letters from Weber to Abraham Walkowitz, 1907-1924.
Biographical / Historical:
Whitney Museum of American Art is an American art museum in New York, New York. Founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and formally opened in 1931. Previous to its opening as a museum it was known as the Whitney Studio Club (1914-28) and Whitney Studio Galleries (1928-30).
The Weber files on reels NY59/8-10 were lent for microfilming 1959 by the Whitney Museum of American Art; the remainder was lent 1964-1967; additional material from the Museum was lent at the same time, and subsequently donated, including the papers of Lloyd Goodrich, Juliana Force, Thomas B. Clarke, the American Art Research Council, and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney; these have each been cataloged separately. Portions of Weber, and O'Keeffe material that was microfilmed in 1959 were refilmed in 1967.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States Search this
Artists -- Exhibitions -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The papers of realist painter Isabel Bishop date from 1914 to 1983 and measure 2.6 linear feet. The collection documents Bishop's painting career, her friendship with other artists, and her participation in several arts organizations. There are scattered biographical documents, correspondence with fellow artists such as Peggy Bacon, Warren Chappell, Edward Laning, and R. B. Kitaj, and with writers, curators, museums, galleries, arts organizations, and others. Also found are arts organization files, Bishop's writings about Warren Chappell and friend Reginald Marsh, notes, exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material, photographs of Bishop and her artwork, and photographs of Reginald and Felicia Marsh. Original artwork includes 8 sketchbooks, loose sketches, prints, and watercolor figure studies.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of realist painter Isabel Bishop date from 1914 to 1983 and measure 2.6 linear feet. The collection documents Bishop's painting career, her friendship with other artists, and her participation in several arts organizations. Scattered biographical documents include awards and a file on her participation in art juries.
Bishop was friends with many artists and cultural figures and her correspondence includes letters to and from artists such as John Taylor Arms, Peggy Bacon, Peter Blume, Warren Chappell (many letters from Chappell are illustrated), Sidney Delevante, Edwin Dickinson, Philip Evergood, John Folinsbee, Malvina Hoffman, Jo Hopper, James Kearns, Leon Kroll, Clare Leighton, Jack Levine, Alice Neel, Hobson Pittman, Fairfield Porter, Abraham Rattner, Katherine Schmidt, Henry Schnakenberg, Raphael Soyer, George Tooker, Stuyvesant Van Veen, Franklin Watkins, Mahonri Young, and William Zorach. Bishop not only corresponded with artists but also many poets, authors, historians, and dancers, such as Van Wyck Brooks, John Canaday, John Ciardi, Merce Cunningham, Babette Deutsch, Edna Ferber, Richmond Lattimore, Marianne Moore, Lewis Mumford, Kurt Vonnegut, and Glenway Westcott. Also found are letters from many galleries, museums, and schools which exhibited or purchased her work, including curators Juliana Force and Una Johnson.
Bishop kept files from her affiliations with the American Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers and the New Society of Artists, containing mostly membership and financial records, and a file on a UNESCO conference. Unfortunately, files documenting her membership and vice presidency of the National Institute of Arts & Letters are not found here.
A small amount of Bishop's writings and notes include essays about friends and artists Reginald Marsh and Warren Chappell. Printed material consists of exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, magazines, and a design by G. Alan Chidsey for a book about Bishop. Photographs depict Bishop with her husband and in her studio, her artwork, and also include three photographs of her friend, Reginald Marsh.
Original artwork includes eight small sketchbooks, loose pen and ink sketches, intaglio prints, watercolor figure studies, and a drawing of Bishop by Aaron Bohrod.
The collection is arranged into 7 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1943-1975 (Box 1; 4 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1939-1983 (Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 3: Organization Files, 1924-1937, 1951-1952 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 4: Writings & Notes, 1937-1960s (Box 1; 4 folders)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1930-1979 (Box 2; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 6: Photographs, 1914, circa 1920s-1975 (Box 2, OV 5; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 7: Artwork, circa 1940s-1970s (Box 2-4, OV 5; 0.4 linear feet)
Isabel Bishop (1902-1988) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to John Remsen Bishop and Anna Bartram Newbold Bishop. Shortly after her birth the family moved to Detroit, Michigan. As a child Bishop took art classes and had a growing interest in drawing. In 1918 at the age of 16 she left home and moved to New York City where she enrolled in the School of Applied Design for Women to be an illustrator. However, her real interest was in painting, not the graphic arts, and she enrolled in the Art Students League in 1920. There she studied with Kenneth Hayes Miller and Guy Pene du Bois and met many young artists, including Reginald Marsh and Edwin Dickinson, both of whom became close friends. She took classes until 1924 and rented a studio and living space on 14th Street in a neighborhood where many artists maintained studios at the time.
Bishop began exhibiting her work and participated in artist groups, including the Whitney Studio Club and the New Society of Artists. During the 1920s and 1930s she developed a realist style of painting, primarily depicting women in their daily routine on the streets of Manhattan. Her work was greatly influenced by Peter Paul Rubens and other Dutch and Flemish painters that she had discovered during trips to Europe. In 1932 Bishop began showing her work frequently at the newly opened Midtown Galleries, where her work would be represented throughout her career.
In 1934 she married Harold Wolff, a neurologist, and moved with him to Riverdale, New York. Bishop kept her studio in Manhattan, moving from 14th Street to Union Square. She remained in her Union Square studio for fifty years (1934-1984). From 1936 to 1937 she taught at the Art Students League and in 1940 her son Remsen was born. In 1941 she was named a member of the National Academy of Design and from 1944 to 1946 she was the Vice President of the National Institute of Arts & Letters, the first woman to hold an executive position with that organization. She wrote articles and joined other artists in speaking out in support of realist painting and against the abstract style that was dominating the New York art scene.
During her long career which lasted into the 1980s, Bishop exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions, traveled throughout the U. S. as an exhibition juror, and won many awards for her work, including the award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts presented by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
Also found at the Archives of American Art are three oral history interviews with Isabel Bishop, April 15, 1959, May 29, 1959, and November 12-December 11, 1987.
The Whitney Museum of American Art and Midtown Galleries loaned additional Bishop papers to the Archives for microfilming on reels NY59-4 and NY59-5. These items were returned to the lenders after microfilming and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
The collection was donated in several installments by Isabel Bishop from 1959 to 1983.
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.