The Girl With the Gallery: Edith Gregor Halpert And the Making of the Modern Art Market

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9781586483029: The Girl With the Gallery: Edith Gregor Halpert And the Making of the Modern Art Market

In an era when American artists didn't count and women were expected to stay home, Edith Gregor Halpert burst onto the fledgling New York gallery scene, defying all cultural and societal rules. In 1926, Halpert, just twenty-six years old, opened one of the first art galleries in Greenwich Village and set about turning the art world upside down. Her Downtown Gallery, which she ran for forty-four years, laid the groundwork for the art market's modern era, and its aggressive promotion and sales tactics. Halpert cultivated the most illustrious art collectors of the day, invented the market for folk art, and pushed the first group of American artists working in a modern vernacular into the history books, including Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O'Keeffe, Ben Shahn, and Arthur Dove. Despite all this, Edith Halpert herself has been lost to history. Until now.

In The Girl with the Gallery, journalist Lindsay Pollock brings Halpert and her era vividly back to life, tracing the story of how this remarkable woman, who started out a penniless Jewish immigrant, made it her mission to fight for American art and artists. Illlustrated with eight pages of full color photographs, this is biography at its finest, an unforgettable story of class, money, vanity, jealousy, and tragic loss.

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About the Author:

Lindsay Pollock is a journalist specializing in the art market. She currently works for Bloomberg News, where she writes a weekly column and reports frequently for TV and radio. A former columnist for the New York Sun, she also writes regularly for Art & Auction, Art News, Art Review, and The Art Newspaper. This is her first book. Lindsay lives in New York City.

Review:

"(starred review) A significant contribution to American beaux arts." -- Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006

"A picture of a brilliant businesswoman... [with] a ruthless commercial drive better suited to the Thatcherite era than her own." -- Daily Telegraph, December 30, 2006

"A rare view of the hardscrabble workings of a commercial art gallery many years before Manhattan became thronged with them." -- New York Times daily review, December 26, 2006

"Amply researched...successfully conveys the boldness of a woman who aggressively championed her artists." -- New Yorker, December 18, 2006

"An essential text on the New York art world...as well as a definitive account of a fascinating American woman." -- New York Sun, November 8, 2006

"Lindsay Pollock has given us this lively, illuminating, and wonderfully light-hearted portrait of Edith Halpert." -- Calvin Tomkins

"Packed with juicy details... This book is a highly readable, bittersweet rediscovery of an art dealer who made a difference." -- Miami Herald, December 10, 2006

"Pollock...resurrects energy, complexity, and optimism of long ago when modern art heralded a new era of creativity and hope..." -- ARTnews

"The enigmatic, beautiful, feisty, often brilliant, but always larger-than-life Halpert... is the subject of an engaging new biography." -- Antiques, November 2006

"This book has the goods, offering a refreshingly candid view of the mundane realities and strategies behind the art business" -- New York Times Book Review, January 14, 2007

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