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

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 504 pages
Published October 30th 2006 by PublicAffairs
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Alexis Stahl
Sep 07, 2012 Alexis Stahl rated it really liked it
Crammed full of information, but an eminently readable story. This biography on Edith Halpert introduced me to a remarkable person and filled in a lot of gaps in my understanding of 20th century art collecting. I cannot believe this woman was never more than a footnote in any book that I have read on collectors, galleries, museums, or artists. According to this book, she was very ahead of he time and worked tirelessly on promoting enduring and important American art. She is responsible (at least ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Brita rated it really liked it
A very interesting biography of the very influential, but often not mentioned, gallerist Edith Gregor Halpert, who singlehandedly revolutionized the downtown art market scene. Very well written and thoroughly researched. A good read for anyone who is interested in the art market, and in particular, the development of the NY City market in competition with the European scene to establish and recognize American genres, movements and artists.
Aug 18, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
Perhaps I'm burning out on detailed biographies, perhaps it was the author. I enjoyed learning more about the WPA period. I have a great interest in the modern art movement and American artists. I think that as we went through her life it was a lot if the same patterns over and over. It wore me out.
Susan Weinberg
Sep 01, 2013 Susan Weinberg rated it really liked it
Very interesting biography of the woman who played a significant role in furthering the early modern art movement. She brought a unique drive and creativity to her gallery which launched many well-known artists. Very much worth reading for anyone with an interest in the arts as it presents an intimate view of the artists and the efforts to shape their legacy.
Jun 04, 2010 Marcia rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating view of the world of art and the art dealer in NY during the 30s and beyond. I am amazed and embarrassed that I had never heard of Edith Halpert before reading this book. What an influential person she was....and what a sad ending her life had. I would have loved to have known her in her prime. I'll bet she and Georgia O'Keeffe were quite the pair!
Dec 11, 2012 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating biography of an art world pioneer, a remarkable businesswoman and conoisseur. Pollock draws upon extensive archival records in presenting a meticulously detailed insider's view of Edith Halpert's development of the Downtown Gallery and her relationships with artists and collectors.
Mar 10, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about a woman who startrd with nothing and became on of the top gallery owners in NYC and was the first big dealer and believer or American art in the 30s. I am taking the knowledge of Edith and appling it to my life. I also love that I met the autor at the museum and she signed my book!
Jessica Thomson
Nov 08, 2007 Jessica Thomson rated it really liked it
This book provided a nice view of the New York art scene prior to the explosion of the abstract expressionists. Halpert kept her business afloat through the depression by searching out untapped prospects such as Folk art, which she sold to wealthy clients. Halpert represented artists such Charles Sheeler, Stuart Davis, Ben Shahn, and (after Stieglitz' death) Georgia O'Keeffe.
Barbara Marburger
May 31, 2015 Barbara Marburger rated it really liked it
Terrific read but depressing! Working in the art world, astonished at how much I did not know about this woman who dedicated her life to putting American modernist artists on the map at such a challenging time. I have long known the sticker, DownTown Gallery - but so little about the woman, Edith Halpert. A must read for anyone making their way in the art biz.
Dec 24, 2010 Kelly rated it liked it
This book was longer and harder to get through than I would have liked. It reads a little like a chock-full-of-information thesis turned into a book because the subject matter was somewhat interesting. However, I did end up liking it overall, but it is a little too dense and a little less exciting than I'd hoped.
May 16, 2010 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, 2009-2010
This was a fascinating look at one woman's energy and vision in creating an interest in American modern and folk art. As the owner of Downtown Gallery, she helped make a name for such artists as Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Arthur Dove, Ben Shahn, Georgia O'Keefe and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Her unraveling toward the end of her life was sad.
Oct 08, 2008 Liz rated it liked it
A likable biography of Edith Halpert -- a significant and somewhat mysterious art dealer. Like many biographies it went on a bit too long and I never finished it. It kind of read like a PhD dissertation.
Nils Montan
Dec 27, 2009 Nils Montan rated it it was amazing
This is the biography of the great New Yokr city art gallery owner and dealer, Edith Gregor Happert. She made her way in a man's world and a man's profession and along the way supported some of the great artists of the first half of the 20th century.
Nov 22, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
a fairly light, easy read for a biography. am now fascinated with edith gregor halper + find her totally inspirational.
Sep 04, 2009 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: artlandia
Loved it! How I wish I could have met Edith. What an amazing woman! I wish I could read this book daily to remind me how important the work of art professionals are. She is my new art hero.
Mar 17, 2009 Robin marked it as need-or-want-to-resume
I started this and loved it. It has gotten lost in the stacks since. Hopefully I pick it back up and finish it soon!
Sarah Hemm
Nov 29, 2010 Sarah Hemm rated it really liked it
very interesting!
Jan 10, 2009 Phil rated it it was amazing
An interesting story of an early modernist art dealer working out of Greenwich Village. Represented Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence early in their careers.
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