An interview of Eleanor Ward conducted 1972 February 8, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Ward speaks of her family background and early interest in art; starting the Stable Gallery; the first Stable Annual Exhibition, 1953; Abstract Expressionist artists she showed; the success of the Stable Gallery's shows; her own collection; collectors; the gallery's move to 74th Street; the gallery scene in New York; finding new artists; the influence of critics; the reasons for the closing of the Stable Gallery. She recalls Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol, and other artists.
Biographical / Historical:
Eleanor Ward (1912-1984) was an art dealer from New York, N.Y.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 13 min.
This interview is part of the Archives' 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 others.
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
An interview of Isamu Noguchi conducted 1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
NOVEMBER 7, 1973 session: Noguchi discusses his family background; growing up in Japan; returning to the United States in 1917; his identity as an artist; Gutzon Borglum; Columbia University and studying pre-med; attending Leonardo da Vinci Art School; apprenticing to Onorio Ruotolo; quitting Columbia to become a sculptor; Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927; J.B. Neumann; Alfred Stieglitz; George Grey Barnard; James Earle Fraser; Brummer and the Brummer Gallery; studying at Chaumiere and Collarosi; working with Brancusi; meeting Sandy Calder in Paris; Stuart Davis; Morris Kantor; Andrée Ruellan; his work, "Sphere"; reacting against Brancusi; Eugene Schoen's; his Carnegie Hall studio; Michio Ito; Martha Graham; Buckminster Fuller; traveling in China and Japan; meeting Chi Pai Shi; John Becker; his works, "Play Mountain," "Monument to the Plow," "Monument to Ben Franklin," and "Orpheus" for Balanchine; designing for the stage; Audrey McMahon; Harry Hopkins; Holger Cahill; Mexico; Diego Rivera; Miguel Covarrubias; and the Artists Union.
DECEMBER 10, 1973 Session: His reaction to the Spanish Civil War- avoided direct involvement; Stuart Davis; Gorky; Andre Breton; David Hare; Marcel Duchamp; John Graham; Julien Levy; his artist friends dying at the peak of their success; Leger; Stirling Calder; associating himself with the laboring class; Buckminster Fuller; being American; expanding the possibilities of sculpture; his Associated Press Building project in Rockefeller Center, it being done in stainless steel instead of bronze; John Collier; Japanese-American Citizens League; organizing Nisei Artists and Writers Mobilization for Democracy; Jeanne Reynal; going to Poston, Ariz. to assist with American Indian Service camp under John Collier and becoming an internee there; returning to New York in 1942; Bollingen Foundation; trip around the world in 1949; and Philip Guston.
DECEMBER 18, 1973 session: Best work in studio; reaction against expressionism; artists protesting against the Establishment; his objection to the WPA, influenced by William Zorach; exhibiting in group show called, "Fourteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art"; show at Egan Gallery in 1949; accepting art in its most aesthetically pure form without reference to social issues; movement in Japan since war to get away from refinement of Japan; Yoshiro Hiro responsible for Gutai and the happenings; his work, "Monument to Heroes," using bones; his work takes years to do; materials used in his work; his work, "Cronos"; doing theater stage sets for the Library of Congress including, "Appalachian Spring" and "Herodiade"; wants a given space which he can call his own and do something with it, has to be a work of art.
DECEMBER 26, 1973 Session: Show with Charles Egan in 1948 arranged by de Kooning; applying to the Bollingen Foundation to write a book on leisure, which was never written; traveling to Italy, Egypt, and India for two years; being removed from the New York scene with Franz Kline and de Kooning; his light objects; sculpture as environment; respect for material; Mondrian and his art deriving from nature; his time in Japan in 1931; visiting Japan in 1951; working in stone; projects in Japan; Taniguchi; Antonin Raymond; designing Japanese gardens; discovery of Zen; Hasegawa Saburo; Skidmore; Hans Knoll; Edison Price; Italy in the 1960s; Peter Gregory; Henry Moore; Louis Kahn; UNESCO; Noguchi Foundation and Plaza Company; Shoji; Eleanor Ward; and his autobiography, "A Sculptor's World."
Biographical / Historical:
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) was a Japanese American sculptor based in Long Island City, New York.
Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 25 min.
These interviews are part of the Archives' 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 others.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Transcript of an interview with Surrealist painter Enrico Donati conducted by Ann Temkin, 1997 Jan. 07 in preparation for an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Temkin interviewed the nonagenarian Donati, who reminiscences about his involvement with Marcel Duchamp and other artists, including André Breton, David Hare, Julien Levy, Arshile Gorky, Victor Brauner, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, John Ferren, Jeanne Reynal, Hans Richter, Giorgio di Chirico, Maria Martins, Eleanor Ward, Nicholas Carone, and Betty Parsons. The reminiscences are mostly anecdotal.
Biographical / Historical:
Donati is a painter and object maker, New York, N.Y. and Temkin, a curator of modern and comtemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Donated 2000 by Ann Temkin.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
The Stable Gallery records measure 2.9 linear feet and are dated 1916-1999 (bulk 1953-1970). The gallery was known for its representation of the New York School. Records consist mainly of artist files containing biographical notes, correspondence, price lists, sales and payment information, printed matter, and photographs. A small number of gallery administrative and financial records are included, along with printed matter, photographs, and personal papers and estate records of gallery founder and owner Eleanor Ward. There are also reminiscences by gallery owner Eleanor Ward and her assistant Alan Groh, a sound cassette recording of Eleanor Ward, and a videoreel (1/2 inch) documentary of a 1973 Sotheby auction of works from the Robert C. Scull collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The Stable Gallery records measure 2.9 linear feet and are dated 1916-1999 (bulk 1953-1970). The gallery was known for its representation of the New York School. Records consist mainly of artist files containing biographical notes, correspondence, price lists, sales and payment information, printed matter, and photographs. A small number of gallery administrative and financial records are included, along with printed matter, photographs, personal papers, and estate records of gallery founder and owner Eleanor Ward. There are also reminiscences by gallery owner Eleanor Ward and her assistant Alan Groh, a sound cassette recording of Eleanor Ward, and a videoreel (1/2 inch) documentary of a 1973 Sotheby auction of works from the Robert C. Scull collection.
The Stable Gallery's administrative records includes both general correspondence and copious letters from Eleanor Ward to Alan Groh, her assitant regarding gallery business, lists, floor plans, financial records, printed matter, and photographs of unidentified artwork and exhibition installations. There are also reminiscences by gallery owner Eleanor Ward and Alan Groh, a cassette recording of Eleanor Ward, and a film recording of a 1973 Sotheby auction of works from the Robert C. Scull collection. Additional Stable Gallery administrative and financial information, as well as related printed matter is included with the artist files.
Artist files contain biographical notes, correspondence, price lists, printed matter, and photographs of artists and artwork. The correspondence includes memoranda regarding payments to artists and sales information. Among the printed matter is documentation of the Stable Gallery and other exhibitions, reviews, and miscellaneous articles. Unfortunately, no records about the famous Stable Annuals held between 1953 and 1957 survive.
Artwork consists of 4 sketchbooks and loose sheets with charcoal drawings by unidentified artist(s).
The Eleanor Ward papers include miscellaneous personal papers and records concerning her estate. Photographs in the series are of Eleanor Ward, friends and family, parties, and the interior and exterior of Ward's Connecticut house.
The collection is arranged as four series:
Series 1: Administrative Records, 1955-1986 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 1, 4, 5)
Series 2: Artist Files, 1952-1997 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 3: Artwork, circa 1955-1970 (3 folders; Box 4)
Series 4: Eleanor Ward Papers, 1916-1999 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 2-4, 5)
Established in 1953 by Eleanor Ward (1911-1984), the Stable Gallery derived its name from its first home, a former livery stable on Seventh Avenue at West 58th Street, New York City. Long interested in art and recognized for her "good taste" and "flair," Mrs. Ward had vaguely considered the idea of opening her own gallery for some time and received encouragement from Christian Dior, with whom she had worked in Paris. In 1952, opportunity arose to lease a suitable building that would later become a gallery. At first, Ward and a friend sold mannequins and made the large, empty space available for fashion photography; in December, she operated a Christmas boutique for a few weeks.
The Stable Gallery opened in 1953 with an exhibition of work by Ward's friend Mike Mishke, a commercial artist. She then arranged for the Stable Gallery to host a sequel to the 1951 Ninth Street Show (the initial show, organized by the Club with financial assistance from Leo Castelli, was held in an empty store on Ninth Street). The New York Artists Annual, better known as the Stable Annual, was selected by the artists themselves; this well-attended, widely-reviewed, and influential exhibition continued until 1957. Participating artists included Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Willem deKooning, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Richard Stankiewicz, and Jack Tworkov.
The Stable Gallery soon became a gathering place for artists, including some not in Stable's "stable." Over the years, the Stable Gallery presented the first one-man shows of Robert Indiana, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. Among the artists closely associated with the gallery were: Joseph Cornell, Edward Dugmore, John Ferren, Alex Katz, Conrad Marca-Relli, Marisol, Joan Mitchell, Isamu Noguchi, Richard Stankiewicz, Cy Twombly, Jack Tworkov, and Wilfred Zogbaum. The gallery was known for dramatic, somewhat theatrical installations, and occasionally presented exhibitions beyond its usual focus (photographs by Hans Namuth and pre-Columbian sculpture, which personally interested Ward).
When the block where the Stable Gallery stood was razed in 1960 to make way for a high rise apartment building, Mrs. Ward moved her gallery to 33 East 74th Street, where she was able to maintain an apartment for herself upstairs. Quite abruptly, Ward closed the Stable Gallery in 1970, noting changes in the art scene, growing commercialization, and a loss of enthusiasm that made the gallery merely a business for her. Alan Groh (1923-1996), who started as Eleanor Ward's assistant in 1956 and was eventually named gallery director, became director of A. M. Sachs Gallery. Mrs. Ward traveled widely and acted as an art consultant to selected clients.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Eleanor Ward conducted by Paul Cummings, February 8, 1972.
The Stable Gallery records were the gift of the Estate of Eleanor Ward. In 1984, artist files were received from Alan Groh, executor of Ward's estate and her assistant at the Stable Gallery. Additional records were donated in 1997 by Buzz Miller on behalf of the Estate of Eleanor Ward; Mr. Miller was Alan Groh's partner and executor of his estate. Another addition was received in 1999 from Paul Gardner, executor of the Estate of Buzz Miller. A final addition of 0.2 liner feet was donated in 2019 by Nancy Berner, Alan Groh's niece.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
An interview of Neil Welliver conducted 1996 November 14, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Welliver's home in Lincolnville, Maine.
Welliver talks about his childhood in Pennsylvania; his self-education; his marriage to a fashion illustrator; attending the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (now University of the Arts), receiving a BFA in 1953; teaching art in a public school; attending the Yale School of Art (MFA 1955) and teachers there; going to Maine; teaching at Yale (1955-1965); teaching at the University of Pennsylvania (1966-1989) at the graduate level. He recalls architect Louis Kahn at Yale and then at Pennsylvania; his various New York dealers from the 1960s, including Eleanor Ward at Stable Gallery, Aladar Marburger at Fischbach Gallery, and Pierre Lefraie at Marlborough Gallery; various art world friends, including Hilton Kramer, Clement Greenberg, and Fairfield Porter; and receiving an honorary doctorate of fine arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1996.
Biographical / Historical:
Neil Welliver (1929-2005) was a painter and teacher in Lincolnville, Maine.
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 8 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.
An interview of George Earl Ortman conducted 1963 Sept. 19-Nov. 5, by Richard Brown Baker, for the Archives of American Art.
Ortman speaks of critics' reviews of his work; his reactions to the early abstract expressionists; his family background and early experiences; his education; the California environment and its influence on him; his U.S. Navy service; the art scene in San Francisco in the 1940s; other artists he was acquainted with; coming to New York; influences on contemporary artists; pop art; establishing a reputation as a printmaker; studying under William Hayter; his time spent in France; development of his style; problems of making a living in art; his work in theatrical design; realism versus abstraction; his teaching career; exhibits he has had. He recalls Eleanor Ward, Howard Wise, Willem de Kooning, Nathan Oliveira, Gandy Brodie, Hans Hofmann, and Joan Mitchell.
Biographical / Historical:
George Earl Ortman (1926- ) is a painter, sculptor, and printmaker from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 52 min.
These interviews are 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 others.