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Oral history interview with Edith Gregor Halpert

Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-1979  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 dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Camouflage  Search this
Folk art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Women art dealers  Search this
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
Online Media:

Edwin Coupland Shaw papers

Shaw, Edwin Coupland, 1863-1941  Search this
Akron Art Institute  Search this
Carrig-Rohane Shop (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
E. & A. Milch, Inc.  Search this
Ferargil Galleries  Search this
Gorham Company. Dept. of Sculpture (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Grand Central Art Galleries  Search this
Hatfield & Clark (Firm: Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Howard Young Galleries (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
J.W. Young (Gallery)  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Macbeth Gallery  Search this
Montross Gallery  Search this
R.C. & N.M. Vose (Firm)  Search this
Robert C. Vose Galleries  Search this
Thomas Whipple Dunbar Art Galleries (Milwaukee, Wis.)  Search this
Thurber Art Galleries (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Barrie, Erwin S., 1886-1983  Search this
Batts, J. E.  Search this
Beckwith, J. Carroll (James Carroll), 1852-1917  Search this
Benson, Frank Weston, 1862-1951  Search this
Blakelock, Ralph Albert, 1847-1919  Search this
Carlsen, Emil, 1853-1932  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Cole, Timothy, 1852-1931  Search this
Daingerfield, Elliott, 1859-1932  Search this
Dallin, Cyrus E. (Cyrus Edwin), 1861-1944  Search this
Davis, Charles H. (Charles Harold), 1856-1933  Search this
Davis, Warren, 1865-1928  Search this
Derujinsky, Gleb W., 1888-1975  Search this
Dewey, Charles M., 1849-1937  Search this
Dewing, Thomas Wilmer, 1851-1938  Search this
Dougherty, Paul, 1877-1947  Search this
Dunbar, Thomas Whipple  Search this
Duveneck, Frank, 1848-1919  Search this
Eaton, Charles Warren, 1857-1937  Search this
Frieseke, Frederick C. (Frederick Carl), 1874-1939  Search this
Fuller, George, 1822-1884  Search this
Genth, Lillian Mathilde, 1876-1953  Search this
Gerrity, Thomas F., 1873-1935  Search this
Hassam, Childe, 1859-1935  Search this
Hatfield, D. H.  Search this
Hawthorne, Charles Webster, 1872-1930  Search this
Hunt, William Morris, 1824-1879  Search this
Inness, George, 1825-1894  Search this
Johansen, John C. (John Christen), 1876-1964  Search this
Konti, Isidore, 1862-1938  Search this
La Farge, John, 1835-1910  Search this
Lathrop, William Langson, 1859-1938  Search this
MacMonnies, Frederick William, 1863-1937  Search this
MacNeil, Hermon Atkins, 1866-1947  Search this
Metcalf, Willard Leroy, 1858-1925  Search this
Milch, Albert, 1881-1951  Search this
Minns, Hervey W.  Search this
Montross, N. E. (Newman E), 1849-1932  Search this
Murphy, Hermann Dudley, 1867-1945  Search this
Murphy, John Francis, 1853-1921  Search this
Price, F. Newlin (Frederic Newlin)  Search this
Proctor, Alexander Phimister, 1862-1950  Search this
Purdy, W. Frank, 1865-1943  Search this
Ranger, Henry Ward, 1858-1916  Search this
Ritschel, William, 1864-1949  Search this
Russell, T. H. (Thomas H)  Search this
Russman, Felix, 1888-1962  Search this
Ryder, Albert Pinkham, 1847-1917  Search this
Sellstedt, Lars Gustaf, 1819-1911  Search this
Sherman, Frederic Fairchild, 1874-1940  Search this
Shonnard, Eugenie Frederica, 1886-1978  Search this
Torrey, Elliot, 1867-1949  Search this
Tryon, Dwight William, 1849-1925  Search this
Turner, Helen Maria, 1858-1958  Search this
Twachtman, John Henry, 1853-1902  Search this
Vedder, Elihu, 1836-1923  Search this
Vonnoh, Bessie Potter, 1872-1955  Search this
Vonnoh, Robert William, 1858-1933  Search this
Walker, Horatio, 1858-1938  Search this
Weir, Julian Alden, 1852-1919  Search this
Williams, Frederick Ballard, 1871-1956  Search this
Wolf, Henry, 1852-1916  Search this
Young, J. W.  Search this
3 Microfilm reels
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence with dealers, artists, museums, publishers, photography studios, and others regarding art purchases, loans, and Shaw's collection; and 16 v. of scrapbooks containing photographs, letters, and biographical information on artists. Much of the correspondence with artists relates to Shaw's requests for the information which was then used in the scrapbooks. Also included is one volume compiled in 1947 outlining the contents of the scrapbooks.
REELS 1124-1125: 16 vol. of scrapbooks, 1864-1930, relating to artists represented in Shaw's collection, containing letters, many from artists, photographs of artists and their work, biographical data, clippings and articles, and comments on their work; and 1 v., "Notes: Edwin C. Shaw Collection of Paintings," compiled in 1947, and annotated "Used at Women's Art League Meeting at Miss Shaw's in 1947 by Mrs. [Jane S.] Barnhardt, who compiled it, and then given to the Art Institute Library," containing an outline of the contents of the 16 v. of scrapbooks.
Artists represented in the scrapbooks include J. Carroll Beckwith, Frank W. Benson, Ralph Blakelock, Emil Carlsen, William Merritt Chase, Timothy Cole, Elliott Daingerfield, Cyrus B. Dallin, Charles Davis, Warren Davis, Gleb Derujinsky, Charles M. Dewey, Thomas W. Dewing, Paul Dougherty, Frank Duveneck, Charles Eaton, Frederick Frieseke, George Fuller, Lillian Genth, Childe Hassam, Charles Hawthorne, William Morris Hunt, George Inness, John Johansen, Isidore Konti, John La Farge, William Lathrop, Frederick MacMonnies, Hermon A. MacNeil, Willard Metcalf, Herman Dudley Murphy, J. Francis Murphy, A. Phimister Proctor, Henry Ward Ranger, William Ritschel, Felix Russmann, Albert P. Ryder, Eugenie F. Shonnard, Lars Gustaf Sellstedt, Elliot Torrey, Dwight Tryon, Helen M. Turner, John Twachtman, Elihu Vedder, Bessie P. Vonnoh, Robert Vonnoh, Horatio Walker, J. Alden Weir, Frederick Ballard Williams, Henry Wolf and "The Ten."
REEL 4597: Correspondence, ca. 1916-1941, concerning art acquisitions with dealers Erwin S. Barrie of Grand Central Art Galleries; Thomas Whipple Dunbar; Frederic Newlin Price and T.H. Russell of Ferargil Galleries; W. Frank Purdy of the Gorham Co. Dept. of Sculpture and later the School of American Sculpture; D.H. Hatfield of Hatfield & Clark; Thomas Gerrity of M. Knoedler & Co.; Robert Macbeth, Robert McIntyre and Henry Miller of the Macbeth Gallery; Albert Milch of E.& A. Milch, Inc.; Newman Montross of Montross Gallery; J.E. Batts of the Thurber Art Galleries; Robert C. Vose of R.C. & N.M. Vose and Vose Galleries, and their frame shop, Carrig-Rohane; Howard Young of Howard Young Galleries; and J.W. Young; correspondence with artists and/or their families requesting the artist's portrait, biographical information and background, including letters from Elliot Daingerfield, Charles Dewey, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, John C. Johansen, Willard Leroy Metcalf, Hervey W. Minns, Hermann Dudley Murphy, A.P. Proctor, Eugenie Shonnard, Elliot Torrey, Dwight W. Tryon, Helen M. Turner, and Horatio Walker, and the families of J. Carroll Beckwith, George Inness, Lars Gustaf Sellstedt, John Henry Twachtman and J. Alden Weir; correspondence with the Dayton Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art regarding works lent for exhibition; with publisher Frederic Fairchild Sherman; with photography studios; and other miscellaneous correspondence.
Biographical / Historical:
Art collector; Akron, Ohio. Shaw, a BF Goodrich executive and avid collector of post-Civil War American art, was one of the founders of the Akron Art Institute, now the Akron Art Museum.
Lent for microfilming 1976 and 1992 by the Akron Art Museum. Shaw bequethed his art collection and papers to the Museum, then named the Akron Art Institute.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Philanthropists -- Ohio -- Akron  Search this
Art, American -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art

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