An interview of Phillip A. Bruno conducted 2009 January 13-21, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at the Archives of American Art, in New York, New York.
Bruno speaks of some his earliest impressions of art while growing up in New York and Paris; attending Columbia University, where he majored in the history of painting and architecture and studied under Meyer Schapiro; his first job at the Weyhe Gallery as a gallery assistant; helping create the Grace Borgenicht Gallery, where he served as director for five years; traveling to Mexico, meeting Jose Cuevas and exhibiting his work at the Edward Loeb Gallery in Paris; traveling to Brazil and meeting a family of naturalist painters who emphasized the importance of painting outdoors, unlike many painters from the New York school; working with Henry Clews and the La Napoule Art Foundation; selling a piece of Salvador Dali jewelry made by Carlos Alamanni to Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Magazine; working as director of The World House Gallery and selling works by Fancis Bacon and Max Ernst to clients such as Joseph Hirshhorn and Roy Neuberger; organizing a exhibition of artists shown at the Brussels World Fair in 1958 at World House and meeting George Staempfli through the artist Joan Brown; moving from World House to the Staempfli Gallery in 1960 to work as co-director; the Staempfli Gallery's role in the international art world; an original drawing by Leonard Baskin inscribed to Phillip in 1954; selling the work of artists such as Harry Bertoia, Fritz Koening, and David Park; meeting Henri Matisse in Paris at the age of 21; visiting the studios of Alexander Calder and Mark Rothko; the difference between galleries that can spot new talent and galleries that sell certain artists well; the art market becoming less idealistic and more commercial; the rising importance of auction houses and the possibility of their taking the place of traditional art galleries; the move of the Staempfli Gallery to the SoHo neighborhood and soon after, leaving Staempfli for Marlborough, where he was one of the New York directors for 18 years; his appreciation for the creativity of others, retirement and current plans to write his memoirs. Bruno also recalls Milton Avery, Gabor Peterdi, Hans Muller, Ralston Crawford, Randall Morgan, Charlotte Willard, Dorthy Satterlee, Masayuki Nagare, Claude Bemardin, Kubach-Wilmsen, Louise Nevelson, Cladio Bravo, Lopez Garcia, Alberto Giacometti, The Barnes Foundation, Richard Estes, Alex Katz, and Neil Wlliver.
Biographical / Historical:
Phillip A. Bruno (1930- ) is an art collector and director of Marlborough Gallery, New York, New York.
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 45 min.
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.
Gallery directors -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Funding for this interview was provided by the Widgeon Point Charitable 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.
The collection consists of two (2) color woodblock prints and eight (8) crayon and pencil drawings made by Inuit residents of Cape Dorset in Nunavut territory, Canada, from 1963-1966. The prints and drawings depict traditional Inuit subjects, including birds, bears, fish and hunting scenes. Many of the items are labeled with titles, dates, and artists' names.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Cape Dorset is an Inuit community located on Dorset Island in the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut, Canada. Since the 1950s, Cape Dorset, often called the "Capital of Inuit Art," has been a center for Inuit artists, especially in the areas of drawing, printmaking, and carving.
NAA MS 1988-27
The Department of Anthropology object collections holds materials transferred from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Accession 370312.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Works of art
MS 1988-27 Inuit drawings and prints, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
United States of America -- Connecticut -- Fairfield County -- Greenwich
There are 400 pieces of sculpture in the collection; 120 pieces were on the grounds. Pieces were transferred to the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Picture taken during the Garden Club of America's 1968 Annual Meeting. Side view of house and formal rose garden.
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