An interview of Herbert Palmer conducted 2004 Dec. 6 and 22, by Susan Ehrlich, for the Archives of American Art, in West Hollywood, Calif.
Palmer discusses his family background and childhood in New York City; early exposure to art exhibitions; music appreciation; attending New York University; taking classes with Winhold Reiss, Meyer Shapiro, Richard Offner, and Heinrich Wolfflin; his master's thesis on Paul Cezanne's paintings of Mount Saint Victoire; moving to California; learning to fly; meeting Lillian, his wife; founding Feigen-Palmer Gallery with Richard Feigen; other galleries in the area, including Irving Blum, David Stuart, Felix Landau, Charles Garabedian, and Joan Ankrum; Monday Night Art Walks; John Cage and David Tudor performance pieces; the many artists he's exhibited; Andy Warhol's "The Kiss"; 1968 split with Richard Feigen to become the Herbert Palmer Gallery; the theft of a Picasso sculpture in Dec. 1981 and the ensuing legal case, which involved numerous galleries and collectors; his longstanding friendships with Gordon Onslow Ford, Lee Mullican, and Wolfgang Paalen; membership to the Art Dealers Association of California; and his enjoyment of discovering art, old and new. Palmer also recalls Henriette Riess, Harold Stevenson, Lucienne Bloch, Bridget Riley, Vasa Mihich, Maillol, Red Grooms, Norman Bluhm, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Herbert Palmer (1915-2006) owned the Herbert Palmer Gallery of West Hollywood, Calif. Interviewer Susan Ehrlich is an art historian from Beverly Hills, Calif.
Originally recorded on 4 mini discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 35 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.