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Edith Halpert in her Downtown Gallery

Artist
Marguerite Thompson Zorach, 1887 - 1968
Sitter
Edith Gregor Halpert, 25 Apr 1900 - 6 Oct 1970
Unidentified Man
Date
c. 1930
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Frame: 56.5 x 74.3 x 4.8cm (22 1/4 x 29 1/4 x 1 7/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
© The Zorach Collection, LLC
Object number
NPG.95.50
Exhibition Label
Born Odessa, Ukraine
In 1926, after years working in business, Edith Halpert opened the Downtown Gallery in New York City, resolving to give new and less conventional artists a chance to show their work. She opened her exhibition space to Ben Shahn, William Zorach, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Stuart Davis, and John Marin and over the next decade became an important force in winning acceptance in the art world for various strains of modernism. At the same time, Halpert was passionately interested in long-neglected American folk art traditions. Under her guidance, several of the country’s most distinguished folk art collections were formed.
Painted by Marguerite Zorach, one of the artists Halpert represented, this portrait is set in the Downtown Gallery’s new “daylight gallery.” Halpert and her unidentified visitor sit in swivel chairs conceived by the modernist designer Donald Deskey.
Nacida en Odesa, Ucrania
En 1926, luego de varios años en el mundo de los negocios, Edith Halpert abrió la Downtown Gallery en la ciudad de New York con la intención de ofrecer espacio de exposición a artistas nuevos o menos convencionales. En su galería acogió a Ben Shahn, William Zorach, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Stuart Davis y John Marin, y a lo largo de la década contribuyó notablemente a propulsar la aceptación de diversas vertientes del modernismo estadounidense en el mundo del arte. Al mismo tiempo, Halpert sentía pasión por las tradiciones artesanales americanas, que tan relegadas estaban. Bajo su guía se formaron algunas de las colecciones de arte popular más destacadas del país.
Este retrato de Marguerite Zorach, una de las artistas representadas por Halpert, se pintó en la “galería de luz natural” que acababa de estrenarse como parte de la Downtown Gallery. Halpert y su visitante anónimo aparecen sentados en butacas giratorias creadas por el diseñador modernista Donald Deskey.
Provenance
The sitter; her estate; private collection; (Kraushaar Galleries New York); purchased 1995 NPG
Provenance according to Kraushaar Galleries.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Place
United States\New York\Kings\New York