Edith Halpert: The Dealer Who Changed How We Look at Art


Thursday, November 14, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Community Room

Inspired by the Jewish Museum’s autumnal exhibition “Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art,“ our talk will explore the fascinating life and career of this entrepreneurial Russian émigré, turned New York art dealer, who propelled American art to the fore, at a time when the European avant-garde was all that mattered.

For decades, Halpert, who opened her “Downtown Gallery" in the Village in 1926, was pivotal in scouting, supporting, and promoting a diverse stable of artists, including African Americans, Jews, and women; her most iconic artists were Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Ben Shahn.

Through her tireless and pioneering strides, she not only paved the way for women dealers, but created a market that inspired generations of Americans to value their own culture and situated American art (folk and modern) in public and private collections across the country. Today, lesser known than other proponents of American modernism, like Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Alfred Stieglitz, and Alfred H. Barr Jr., Edith Halpert’s immense role in shaping the landscape of American art should not be underestimated.

About the Presenter

Larissa Bailiff is a specialist in modern French art and social history. Formerly an associate educator at MoMA, she continues to offer tours and courses at the museum. For the last three years, she has also worked for Boulevard Arts, an immersive arts technology company, where she creates cultural content for virtual and mixed reality platforms.

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