|Edith Halpert in the Downtown Gallery with artists in the background|
Edith Halpert's name may be scarcely recognized today, even among art scholars and her peers till now. THE JEWISH MUSEUM presents EDITH HALPERT AND THE RISE OF AMERICAN ART, the first exhibition to explore the remarkable career of Edith Halpert, (1900-1970) the influential art dealer and founder of the Downtown Gallery in New York City. On view through February 9, 2020. Image: Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery, wearing the 13 watch brooch and ring designed for her by Charles Sheeler, in a photograph for Life Magazine in 1952. She is joined by some of the new American artists she was promoting that year. Photograph (c) Estate of Louis Faurer.
|Stuart Davis, LITTLE GIANT, 1950|
Halpert also brought vital attention to overlooked nineteenth-century American artists, such as William Michael Harnett, Edward Hicks and Raphaelle Peale, as well as little-known and anonymous folk artists. With her revolutionary program at the Downtown Gallery, her endless energy, and her extraordinary business acumen, Halpert inspired generations of Americans to value the art of their own country, in their own time. Image: Stuart Davis, Little Giant still life, 1950, oil on canvas. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, John Barton Payne Fund. Artwork (c) Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA at Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York; photograph by Katherine Wetzel.
The Downtown Gallery quickly attracted important clients. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, founder of The Museum of Modern Art, under Halpert's tutelage became a key patron to many modern artists and later an enthusiastic collector of American folk art. Halpert became an influential advisor to other art patrons, who, like Rockefeller went on to build new museums or donate major collections of American art to public institutions across the country. Halpert's circle of collectors
included Duncan Phillips, founder of the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; William H. Lane, the great benefactor of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Electra Havermeyer Webb, who established Shelburne Museum in Vermont.
In addition to regularly presenting work by women, immigrants, and Jewish artists, the Downtown Gallery was the first major mainstream art space in New York City to consistently promote the work of African American artists, including Jacob Lawrence and Horace Pippin.
|Jacob Lawrence THE MUSIC LESSON from the Harlem Series, 1943|
Ta Ta Darlings!!! Kudos to Edith Halpert, and amazing visionary who continues to inform our understanding of American art today. Fan mail welcome email@example.com. Visit Polly's other Blogs on www.pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left-hand column to visionary men, women determined to succeed. the fashion historian, and poetry.