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Oral history interview with Edith Gregor Halpert

Interviewee:
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Names:
C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries  Search this
Daniel Gallery  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ferargil Galleries  Search this
Grand Central Art Galleries  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Montross Gallery  Search this
New Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Barrie, Erwin S., 1886-1983  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Brackman, Robert, 1898-  Search this
Bridgman, George Brant, 1864-1943  Search this
Brixey, Richard de Wolfe  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Cary, Elisabeth Luther, 1867-1936  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Coleman, Glenn O., 1887-1932  Search this
Crowninshield, Frank, 1872-1947  Search this
Daniel, Charles, 1878-1971  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935  Search this
Deskey, Donald, 1894-  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine, 1892-1967  Search this
Fergusson, John Duncan, 1874-1961  Search this
Field, Hamilton Easter  Search this
Force, Juliana, 1876-1948  Search this
Ford, Ford Madox,, 1873-1939  Search this
Frost, Robert, 1874-1963  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Goodyear, A. Conger (Anson Conger), 1877-1964  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Halpert, Samuel, 1884-1930  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964  Search this
Hopkinson, Charles, 1869-1962  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laurent, Robert, 1890-1970  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Locke, Charles, 1899-  Search this
Luks, George Benjamin, 1867-1933  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Marin, John, Jr., 1915?-1988  Search this
McBride, Henry, 1867-1962  Search this
Mellon, Paul  Search this
Mercer, Henry Chapman  Search this
Montross, N. E. (Newman E), 1849-1932  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Pascin, Jules, 1885-1930  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Robinson, Edward G., 1893-1973  Search this
Rockefeller, Abby Aldrich  Search this
Saarinen, Aline B. (Aline Bernstein), 1914-1972  Search this
Saklatwalla, Beram K.  Search this
Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976  Search this
Soutine, Chaim, 1893-1943  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Stern, Louis E., 1886-1962  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Tannahill, Robert Hudson  Search this
Vollard, Ambroise, 1867-1939  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Whitney, Gertrude Vanderbilt, 1875-1942  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Wittenberg, Philip, 1895-1987  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
436 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Date:
1962-1963
Scope and Contents:
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.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 27 digital wav files. Duration is 32 hrs., 27 min.
Provenance:
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.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Camouflage  Search this
Folk art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Identifier:
AAA.halper62
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-halper62

The works of James McNeill Whistler : a study / by Elizabeth Luther Cary

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Former owner:
Freer, Charles Lang 1854-1919 DSI-F  Search this
Subject:
Whistler, James McNeill 1834-1903  Search this
Physical description:
[3]-302 p., 8 leaves of plates : ill., ports. ; 26 cm
Type:
Electronic resources
Date:
1907
Call number:
927.W57 C3
ND237.W6C3X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_184013

The works of James McNeill Whistler, a study by Elisabeth Luther Cary, with a tentative list of the artist's works

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Whistler, James McNeill 1834-1903  Search this
Physical description:
302 p. : front., plates, ports. ; 26 cm
Type:
Electronic resources
Date:
1913
Call number:
N40.1.W57 C37 1913
N40.1.W57C37 1913
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_256956

The works of James McNeill Whistler : a study / by Elizabeth Luther Cary ; with a tentative list of the artist's works

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Whistler, James McNeill 1834-1903  Search this
Physical description:
302 p., [39] leaves of plates : ill., ports. ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1907
Call number:
ND237.W6 C3 1907a
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_850832

The works of James McNeill Whistler : a study / by Elizabeth Luther Cary ; with a tentative list of the artist's works

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Whistler, James McNeill 1834-1903  Search this
Physical description:
302 p., [31] leaves of plates : ill., ports. ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1907
Call number:
ND237.W6 C3 1907
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_852372

The works of James McNeill Whistler : a study / by Elizabeth Luther Cary ; with a tentative list of the artist's works

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Whistler, James McNeill 1834-1903  Search this
Physical description:
302 p., [31] leaves of plates : ill., ports. ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1913
1913, c1907
Call number:
ND237.W6 C3 1913
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_852373

Artists past and present; random studies

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 176 p. plates, ports. 22 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1909
Topic:
Artists  Search this
Call number:
N7445 .C4 1909X
N7445.C4 1909X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_413072

William Morris, poet, craftsman, socialist; by Elisabeth Luther Cary ..

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 296 p. front., plates (part. col.) ports., facsims. 25 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1902
[1902]
Call number:
N40.1.M875 C3 1902
N40.1.M875C3 1902
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_417697

Tennyson [microform] : his homes, his friends, and his work / by Elizabeth L. Cary

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson Baron 1809-1892  Search this
Physical description:
viii, 312 p.,[22] leaves of plates : ports. ; 25 cm
Type:
Microforms
Date:
1981
1898
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Call number:
TR15 .H5810 no. 323
mfm 814
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_376419

The art of William Blake; his sketch-book, his water-colours, his painted books

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Blake, William 1757-1827  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 56 p. 51 plates. 27 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1907
Call number:
N40.1.B63 C3
N40.1.B63C3
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_267429

The Rossettis: Dante Gabriel and Christina; by Elizabeth Luther Cary ..

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel 1828-1882  Search this
Rossetti, Christina Georgina 1830-1894  Search this
Physical description:
2 p. l., iii-x p., 1 l., xi, 310 p., front., plates, ports. 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1900
Topic:
Pre-Raphaelitism  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.R79 C3
N40.1.R79C3
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_268549

George Luks, by Elisabeth Luther Cary ..

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Luks, George Benjamin 1867-1933  Search this
Physical description:
54, [2] p. incl. illus. (port.) plates. 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1931
[c1931]
Call number:
N40.1.L95 C3
N40.1.L95C3
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_288005

Art critics and criticism as found in the daily press of New York City at the turn of the twentieth century / by Arlene Rita Olson

Author:
Olson, Arlene R (Arlene Rita) 1945-  Search this
Subject:
Cortissoz, Royal 1869-1948  Search this
Huneker, James 1857-1921  Search this
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Physical description:
vii, 205 leaves
Type:
Books
Place:
New York (State)
New York
Date:
1977
1975
Topic:
Art criticism--History  Search this
American newspapers--Sections, columns, etc--Art  Search this
Call number:
mfm246
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_102094

A catalogue of the etchings of Levon West, compiled by Otto M. Torrington; with an introduction by Elisabeth Luther Cary

Author:
West, Levon 1900-1968  Search this
Torrington, Otto M  Search this
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Physical description:
[90] p. plates, ports. 31 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1930
Topic:
Etching, American  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.W51y T6
NE2115.W45 R3X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_145619

August Lepère / by Elisabeth Luther Cary

Author:
Cary, Elisabeth Luther 1867-1936  Search this
Subject:
Lepère, Auguste 1849-1918  Search this
Physical description:
[30] p., [2] leaves of plates : ill. ; 15 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
France
Date:
1914
Topic:
Engravers  Search this
Call number:
NE650.L5 C33
NE650.L5C33
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_82195

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