“Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art”

“In 1926 Edith Halpert (1900–1970) opened the Downtown Gallery, the first commercial art space in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.”

Jewish Museum, New York, through February 9, 2020

In 1926 Edith Halpert (1900–1970) opened the Downtown Gallery, the first commercial art space in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. Despite her status as a Russian-Jewish immigrant, Halpert helped cultivate American modernism by shifting her focus away from the European avant-garde and promoting contemporary US artists—among them Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Sheeler, and Jacob Lawrence. This show of one hundred works includes paintings, sculptures, and prints previously exhibited at the Downtown Gallery, along with related examples of modern art and folk art from Halpert’s personal collection.

Jacob Lawrence, The Music Lesson, from the Harlem Series, 1943, gouache on paper. New Jersey State Museum, Trenton. Artwork Copyright © The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.