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Oral history interview with Edith Gregor Halpert

Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
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
436 Pages (Transcript)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
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.
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 -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Camouflage  Search this
Folk art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art

Henry Ernest Schnakenberg papers

Schnakenberg, H. E. (Henry Ernest), 1892-1970  Search this
American Academy of Arts and Letters  Search this
Artists Equity Association  Search this
Angel, John, 1881-1960  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Barye, Antoine-Louis, 1796-1875  Search this
Beal, Gifford, 1879-1956  Search this
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Billings, Henry, 1901-  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Blume, Peter, 1906-1992  Search this
Bouché, Louis, 1896-1969  Search this
Brooks, Van Wyck, 1886-1963  Search this
Buller, Audrey, 1902-  Search this
Cadmus, Paul, 1904-1999  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Catherwood, Frederick  Search this
Congdon, William, 1912-  Search this
Day, Horace Talmage, 1909-1984  Search this
Dows, Olin, 1904-1981  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Etting, Emlen, 1905-1993  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Faulkner, Barry, 1881-1966  Search this
Fiene, Ernest, 1894-  Search this
Goff, Lloyd Lozés, 1919-  Search this
Guys, Constantin, 1805-1892  Search this
Hardy, Thomas, 1921-  Search this
Harnett, William Michael, 1848-1892  Search this
Hartl, Léon, 1889-  Search this
Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910  Search this
Hoyt, Whitney Ford, 1910-1980  Search this
Inness, George, 1825-1894  Search this
Ivins, William Mills, 1881-1961  Search this
Johnson, Eastman, 1824-1906  Search this
Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907-  Search this
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laning, Edward, 1906-  Search this
Lasker, Joe  Search this
Leighton, Clare, 1899-  Search this
Locke, Charles, 1899-  Search this
Low, Sanford B. D. (Sanford Ballard Dole), 1905-1964  Search this
Lucioni, Luigi, 1900-1988  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Robus, Hugo, 1885-1964  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Homer, b. 1880  Search this
Savery, Rockland  Search this
Schmidt, Katherine, 1898-1978  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Speicher, Eugene Edward, 1883-1962  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Tait, Arthur Fitzwilliam, 1819-1905  Search this
Watkins, Franklin Chenault, 1894-1972  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Watson, Nan, 1876-1966  Search this
Weisgard, Leonard, 1916-  Search this
5.1 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 6 reels))
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scope and Contents:
Photographs, correspondence, appointment books, etchings, a scrapbook, printed materials, writings, and posters.
REEL D113: Primarily letters received from artists, 1940s-50s; background material for Ft.Lee and Amsterdam (N.Y.) murals; and miscellaneous printed material and photographs.
Correspondents include John Angel, Artists Equity, Peggy Bacon, Gifford Beal, Henry Billings, Isabel Bishop, Peter Blume, Louis Bouche, Van Wyck Brooks, Audrey Buller, Paul Cadmus, Alexander Calder, William Congdon, Horace T. Day, Olin Dows, Marcel Duchamp, Emlen P. Etting, Philip Evergood, Barry Faulkner, Ernest Fiene, Leon Hartl, Whitney F. Hoyt, William M. Ivins, Jr., Lincoln E. Kirstein, Leon Kroll, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Edward Laning, Joseph L. Lasker, Clare Leighton, Charles W. Locke, Sanford B.D. Low, Luigi Lucioni, Reginald Marsh, Kenneth H. Miller, Nat'l Institute of Arts and Letters, Betty Parsons, Hugo Robus, Homer Saint-Gaudens, Katherine Schmidt, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, Eugene Speicher, Theodoros Stamos, Franklin C. Watkins, Forbes and Nan Watson, and Leonard Weisgard.
REEL 847: Photographs, including 67 of Schnakenberg and friends, 1 of a portrait of him by Lloyd Goff, 95 of his oil paintings, 33 of his watercolors, 25 of his works in unidentified media, 29 of works by other artists, and 46 of pre-Columbian art from Central and South America. Among artists whose works are included are Antoine Louis Barye, Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Catherwood, Constantin Guys, Thomas Hardy, William Harnett, Winslow Homer, George Inness, Eastman Johnson, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Reginald Marsh, Rockland Savery, Theodoros Stamos, and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait.
REELS 850-853: Biographical information; personal and business correspondence; 17 diaries, mainly about Schnakenberg's travels, 1905-1960; appointment calendars, 1963-1969; 70 etchings by Schnakenberg; a scrapbook containing clippings, catalogs, and other printed material; a book published by G. Alan Chidsey on Schnakenberg; clippings, catalogs, and announcements; papers relating to gifts and acquisitions of works of art; receipts for Schnakenberg paintings from C.W. Kraushaar Galleries; a 650-page typescript for a book "The Background of Painting" by Schnakenberg; and drafts of speeches.
UNMICROFILMED: Six World War I posters designed by Schnakenberg; Christmas cards from artists and other friends; printed material; and a photograph of Lloyd Goff, inscribed to Schnakenberg, in front of one of his paintings, 1939.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, etcher; Newton, Conn.
Material donated 1963-1971 by Schnakenberg and, after his death, by his estate.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Etchers -- Connecticut -- Newton  Search this
Painters -- Connecticut -- Newton  Search this
Art, Prehistoric  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Etching  Search this
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art

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