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
Biographical material, correspondence, legal and financial material, notes and writings, art work, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, printed material, subject files and photographs.
REEL 4154: Five scrapbooks containing clippings, exhibition brochures, photographs of Pittman and of his works (1934-1969); and two sketchbooks containing European views of landscape and architecture (1927-1956).
REELS 4468-4472: Biographical material; correspondence, 1920-1900, with family, colleagues, students, and patrons, including Ivan Albright, Walter H. Annenberg, John Canaday, Blanchard Gummo, Edward Hopper, Edward G. Robinson, Ann Southern, and others; Pittman's will and estate papers; receipts, 1921-1980; 2 address books; school notebooks; writings by and about Pittman, including his "Drift of Consciousness" manuscript; 4 scrapbooks of drawings, 70 unbound drawings, and 2 prints; a menu decorated with sketches of acrobats and annotated "to H. Pittman from R. Marsh" and "E. Hopper"; files containing letters, printed material, and photographs on topics including Clare Boothe Luce (1946-1972), Margaret Sanger (1947-1974), greeting cards designed by Pittman (1960-1965), Pittman residences (1945-1974), Woodstock artists (1972-1975) and Guggenheim fellowships (1938-1956-contains a travel journal about Italy); a scrapbook of clippings (1938-1971) and clippings (1931-1985); exhibition announcements and catalogs (1930-1989), and other printed material; and photographs of Pittman, his family, friends, art classes (1945-1971), and works of art.
ADDITION: Preliminary works of art by Pittman consisting of 1,538 sketches in watercolor, ink and graphite.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, art instructor; Philadelphia, Pa. Born in Epworth, North Carolina, Pittman moved permanently to Pennsylvania in 1918.
Letters from Pittman to his cousin Lucy Cherry Crisp located in Collection no. 154, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.
Material on reel 4154 lent for microfilming 1988 by Bryn Mawr College as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project. Papers on reels 4468-4472 were lent by the Edgecombe County Cultural Arts Council, 1990, who received it from Pittman's niece, Alyce Weeks Gordon.The sketches were donated in 1997 from the North Carolina Museum of Art, which had received it from the Hobson Pittman 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.
Art teachers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Search this
Letters to Bowdoin while he was art critic of the New York Evening World, most of which are brief expressions of appreciation for reviews which Bowdoin has written.
Correspondents include: Walter M. Aikman, C. E. Althouse, J. M.Andreini, Joseph H. Appel, A. Archibald, Richard F. Bach, J. Stewart Barney, William J. Beauley, Martin Birnbaum, Gustav Brock, Margaret F. Browne, Aline Caro-Delvaille, J. H. Chapin, S. Jay Chapman, W. A. Clark, Thomas B. Clarke,William Clifford, Robert G. Cooke, Mrs. Henry E. Coe, Esther A. Coster, Bertram Cox, E. J. Craine, Winifred M. Crawford, Charles H. Davis, H. C. Denslow, Joel R. Detwiller, Olive Earle, Henry S. Eddy, Harold L. Ehrich, Leon Fleischman, Carlton C. Fowler, William H. Fox, the Gorham Co., Beryl M. Greene.
Also, Frances Hall, John W. Harrington, Richard B. Harte, Rachel I. Hartley, T. F. Hatfield, Edward Heine, Claude R. Hirst, Harry L. Hoffman, A. A. Hopkins, Alex Hudnut, Susan A. Hutchinson, Katherine Inness, T. Seton Jevons, Henry W. Kent, William Knable & Co., Robert C.Lafferty, Mme. Andree Lenigue De Franceville, Robert W. Macbeth, Edith Magonigle, Elizabeth Marbury, Eric C. Maunsbach, Herbert Meyer, D. Roy Miller, Percy F. Montgomery, G. Laurence Nelson, Sydney P. Noe, David Owens, Ralph M. Pearson, Walter S. Perry, George A. Plimpton, Rabinovitch, Edward Robinson, A. S. W. Rosenbach, James Scott, James G. Shepherd, John M. Siddall, Robert Spencer, Edward F. Stevens, Marion Swinton, Floyd Vail, Willis A. Voorhees, John Wanamaker, Bertrand H. Wentworth, Clarence H. White, Guy Wiggins, Max Williams, and E. C. Zabriskie.
Biographical / Historical:
Art critic; New York City.
Microfilmed 1956 by the Archives of American Art with other art-related papers in the Manuscript Division of the New York Public Library. Included in the microfilming project were selected papers of the Art Division and the Prints Division.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
George Sidney (1916-2002) was a film director during the Golden Age of Hollywood filmmaking (1927-1954). He spent the longest period of his career at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) until the 1950s. He later produced and directed films for Columbia Pictures and Paramount Pictures. He was a president of the Directors Guild of America and an avid photographer. He was the recipient of three awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscar). The collection consists of photographs, photographic negatives, personal and business materials, and film. The collection also contains material created by George Sidney's uncle, George Sidney, vaudevillian and motion picture actor.
Scope and Contents:
The George Sidney Collection consists of approximately eighty-eight cubic feet of photographs and materials from the Hollywood director George Sidney, most dealing with his career in motion pictures. Sidney was an avid photographer and collector of photographs documenting extremely well the Hollywood film community during the Studio Era (1927-1954) of filmmaking. The bulk of the collection is from Sidney's most productive years, circa 1937-1968.
MGM's motto was "More Stars than there are in Heaven" and the researcher would be advised that the extent of this collection is such that it is impossible to list and identify all of the celebrities and personalities photographed, both behind and in front of the camera. There are stills from Sidney's many productions as well as his on-set personal photographs. There are photographs from dinner parties, and many studio and film community functions. Productions are dated to their generally accepted first theatrical release date (Los Angeles and New York) and in the case of a Broadway show to their opening date.
The collection is arranged into six series.
Series 1: Photographs, Photographic Negatives, and Slides, 1914-1996, undated.
Subseries 1.1: The Camera Eye of George Sidney, undated.
Subseries 1.2: Productions (Motion Picture, Stage, and Radio), 1921-1968.
Subseries 1.3: Personalities and People, 1932-1996, undated.
Subseries 1.4: Personal and Family, 1914-1992, undated.
Subseries 1.5: Family Photograph Albums and Scrapbooks, 1918-1950, undated.
Subseries 1.6: Travel and Locations, 1940-1981, undated.
Subseries 1.7: Studio, Entertainment, and Public Events, 1949-1995, undated.
Series 2: Production Ephemera, Posters, Scripts, 1930-1991, undated.
Subseries 2.1: Production Posters, 1943-1964, undated
Subseries 2.2: Production Ephemera and Scripts, 1930-1991, undated
Series 3: Office Files and Personal Material, 1903-2002, undated
Subseries 3.1: Personal Material, 1944-2002, undated
Subseries 3.2: Correspondence, Random Files, Indices, and Inventories, 1903-2002, undated
Series 4: Music Manuscripts, Sheet Music, and Music Related Material, 1885-1992, undated
Subseries 4.1: Music Manuscripts, 1937-1960, undated
Subseries 4.2: Sheet Music, 1885-1990
Subseries 4.3: Music Related Material, 1971-1992, undated
Series 5: Audiovisual, 1933-2001, undated
Subseries 5.1: Film, 1940-1960, undated
Subseries 5.2: Audio, 1933-2001, undated
Subseries 5.3: Video, 1989-2001, undated
Series 6: George Sidney (1877-1945), 1909-1945, undated
Biographical / Historical:
George E. Sidney was born in New York, New York on October 4th, 1916 into a show business family. His father Louis K. Sidney (birth surname Kronowith) (1891-1958) was a Broadway producer, actor-manager, and one of the vice-presidents of Loew's Incorporated. Sidney's mother, Hazael Mooney (?-1969), was a vaudeville performer, part of a sister act known as The Mooney Sisters. She was a native New Yorker, daughter of prominent New York City attorney Henry Mooney. She and Louis were married at her home, 12 West 109th Street, New York. Another residence was 179 West 63rd Street.
Louis K. Sidney began working for Loew's Incorporated in 1923. He managed theatres in Denver, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Dayton, and New York. Later he was in charge of stage productions for the theatre circuit. He was in charge of MGM's East Coast film production facility in New York. He and Hazael followed son George to Los Angeles in 1937. Louis produced two motion pictures at MGM, The Big Store with the Marx Brothers and Hullabaloo. After February 1951, he was a member of the four man executive committee in charge of MGM. At his retirement in 1955, Louis K. had risen to the position of vice-president of Loew's, Incorporated. He served as vice-president and director of the Motion Picture Producers Association, as a director of the Motion Picture Relief Fund, and the Hollywood Coordinating Committee.
George Sidney had two uncles in show business, Jack Sidney, known as "Jack of Spades" a black-face comedian, and Sidney's half-uncle, George Sidney (1877-1945) (real name Samuel Greenfield), a vaudeville comic. George had a successful Broadway and screen career, most notably as the bum, Busy Izzy, a character that lasted on the vaudeville circuit from 1901-1915. His initial Broadway success was in a show entitled Welcome Stranger that ran for 309 performances. Welcome Stranger had an extensive touring schedule across the United States. In conjunction with Charlie Murray, he developed a comedy act known as Cohen and Kelly that was not only a vaudeville success but easily made the transition to motion pictures. The Cohens and Kellys films became a motion picture franchise for Universal Studios in 1924. He was married to Carrie Weber (?-1940). George was a member of the Friars Club and an avid sports fan. He owned a racehorse named Kibbitzer.
George Sidney made his on-screen debut in The Littlest Cowboy (1921) starring Tom Mix. He moved to Los Angeles in 1930. Sidney went to work as a messenger at MGM. Louis B. Mayer's nickname for Sidney was "boy". Sidney flourished at the studio and by the time he was twenty he was directing screen tests and one-reel shorts. He directed installments in the Our Gang and Little Rascals series, as well as the Pete Smith and the Crime Does Not Pay series. He won back-to-back Oscars for two of his shorts, Quicker'n a Wink (1940) and Of Pups and Puzzles (1941). His feature film directing debut was Free and Easy (1941) starring Robert Cummings. His first major film musical was the all-star, war time musical, Thousands Cheer (1943), starring Kathryn Grayson and Gene Kelly. Sidney always indicated he viewed films as entertainment and seems to have rejected the auteur theory of directing embraced by some of his well known colleagues such as John Ford and Vincent Minnelli. His film, The Three Musketeers (1948), starring Gene Kelly and Lana Turner, was one of MGM's highest grossing films in the post World War Two period. He won his third Oscar for the short, Overture to 'The Merry Wives of Windsor, in 1954. Jupiter's Darling (1955) with Esther Williams was Sidney's last film for MGM. He was loaned to Columbia Pictures to direct The Eddy Duchin Story (1956), after which his contract at MGM ended.
Sidney went on to become an independent producer and director at Columbia Pictures where he directed such films as Pal Joey (1957), starring Frank Sinatra, and Bye Bye Birdie (1963) starring Ann-Margret. He returned to MGM in the 1960s to make A Ticklish Affair (1963), starring Shirley Jones and Viva Las Vegas (1964), starring Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley. His last film was the musical Half a Sixpence (1967) starring Tommy Steele for Paramount Pictures. Sidney also directed and produced for television most notably Who Has Seen the Wind (1964). He financed and founded Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1944. He was a two-term president, 1951-1959 and 1961-1967, of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), earlier known as the Screen Directors Guild (SDG).
In his personal life, Sidney was married in 1942 to legendary MGM drama coach, Lillian "Burnsie" Burns Salzer (1903-1998). He was eight years her junior. They lived at the Sidney home (1140 Tower Road) in Beverly Hills. They divorced in the mid 1970s. For a brief time Sidney maintained a penthouse apartment for George Sidney Productions at 144 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. He maintained a suite (301) in the Palm Wilshire Building, 9201 Wilshire Boulevard in the 1970s. He married his second wife, Jane Adler Robinson (?-1991), second wife and widow of actor Edward G. Robinson (1893-1974), around 1978. The house at 1140 Tower Road was sold and Sidney moved to the Robinson home at 910 Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills. Sidney married his third wife, Corinne Kegley Entratter (1937-?), widow of showman and Las Vegas entrepreneur John Entratter, in 1991. Sidney was a prolific photographer. He collected art and was apparently an avid gardener. He was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society. He died in Las Vegas, Nevada in May 2002.
The Harry Warren Collection, AC0750
The Groucho Marx Collection, AC0269
Sidney related artifacts from Sidney's films are housed in the Division of Culture and the Arts, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian. There are scrapbooks donated by the Sidney Estate in the collection of the Cinema-Television Library, Doheny Library, University of Southern California, consisting of eleven volumes containing photographs, correspondence, publicity documents, and other materials, circa 1933-1963.
This collection was donated to the Archives Center in 2005 by Corinne Entratter Sidney, widow of George Sidney.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with cotton gloves. Researchers may use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis and as resources allow.
Viewing film portions of the collection requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to LP recordings is only possible by special arrangement.
Special arrangements required to view materials in cold storage. Using cold room materials requires a three hour waiting period.
Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. All requests for permission to use these materials for non-museum purposes must be addressed directly to the Archives Center, and the Archives Center will forward the request to the copyright holder. Collection items are available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
The Gladys Lloyd Robinson and Edward G. Robinson collection : [catalogue] : an exhibition ... Los Angeles County Museum, September 11 to November 11; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, November 30 to January 13, 1956-1957