Kraushaar, Antoinette M.
Active in New York, N.Y.
Size: Transcript: 90 p.
Format: Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformated in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 18 min.
Collection Summary: An interview of Antoinette Kraushaar conducted 1982 Feb. 21-Sept. 18, by Avis Berman for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical/Historical Note: Antoinette M. Kraushaar (1902-1992) was an art dealer in New York, N.Y.
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
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This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Antoinette M. Kraushaar, 1982 Feb. 21-Sept. 18, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Interview with Antoinette Kraushaar
Conducted by Avis Berman
February 21, July 19, September 8, and September 18, 1982
The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with Antoinette Kraushaar on February 21, July 19, September 8, and September 18, 1982. The interview was conducted by Avis Berman for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The reader should bear in mind that he or she is reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose. This is a rough transcription that may include typographical errors.
AVIS BERMAN: Oh, no, this - it will pick it up. I'm talking with Antoinette Kraushaar in her apartment on February 21st. I guess just the - we might as well start with when and where you were born.
ANTOINETTE KRAUSHAAR: Well, I was born in New York in December of 1902.
MS. BERMAN: Would you like to give the exact day?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Twenty-fifth.
MS. BERMAN: Merry Christmas.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: And what was your mother's maiden name?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: She was Antoinette Mamon, M-a-m-o-n.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm. And did you have any brothers and sisters?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I had one brother, Charles Kraushaar. He died in [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, did your mother have a liking for art?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No [inaudible]. I think like most wives of that period, she was home. She ran the house. And she knew some people, of course, much more in later years than in the early years, I think. And I don't think she did more than be interested in what was on the walls and what she saw when we went to Europe.
MS. BERMAN: What paintings were on the walls in your house when you were a child?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think they had some modern, late nineteenth-century things, not of any great importance. Seems to me I remember a dog picture and a copy of a Lawrence. But that was very early, and that changed in the middle teens, began to be different pictures.
MS. BERMAN: Do you consider better pictures, or --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, certainly things that had more relation to the gallery and its interests. We had Tiny in the house for a good many years and [inaudible] portrait.
MS. BERMAN: Of you?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. We had at one time [inaudible] pictures. That would be in the 20s.
MS. BERMAN: Pictures by whom?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, we had Mogliani, and we had some [inaudible]. And I don't exactly remember what else. Maybe just those. We had two Moglianis at one point. And some American paintings. Other, Luke and Biel and people that the gallery handled. I don't think that my father collected much outside of that. I think that he wasn't a collector in the sense that he is buying [inaudible]. But he was very interested and very - stirred by the Amish [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Oh, did he ever talk to you about that and what his reactions were?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, in later years, yes, a great deal because that was one of the first things of that kind that we'd seen. And yes, I think he was very stirred by it.
MS. BERMAN: When you say "stirred," do you mean shocked?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, I don't think particularly shocked. I think that he might have been startled by it - I mean, he just sat in the staircase. But I don't think he was shocked. He talked for many years about the [inaudible], which he had apparently loved. [Inaudible] He wasn't - he didn't talk about art in the terms that I think we talk about it these days. I think it was a business. It was a merchandising problem. I think he was deeply interested in thinking. He was working heavily. And believed - and then, of course, he went to Europe with me at the end of the first World War. That was his first trip, and he got to working for the [inaudible]. And he still brought me - everyone knows he still brought the Whistler. [Inaudible] But he came back, and he went on with more contemporary, more of the French thing.
MS. BERMAN: Do you think that what he saw in the Armory Show influenced some of the things he started buying and the choices in the gallery?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think very definitely.
MS. BERMAN: Could you be specific?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. I have seen catalogs that my uncle brought when he went - he went to Europe every summer, I guess from the early 90s on. And there was a lot of interesting cataloging, and I don't know where it's gone, that he'd mark as one of the big German shows, which indicated that he too had taken a look. Of course, he died in 1960.
MS. BERMAN: So when - of course, there was maybe more looking at some of what the French were doing. Was there also more of perhaps an influx of the Americans because of the Armory Show?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Luks and perhaps Dubois - Dubois was very early - they were all ready and interested in a gallery. I don't know. It's - because he was very involved in the eighth group. And I think that that took the attention of the gallery, developing that. So like many galleries, they missed out on the next generation. You find it in history, you find it in Jerome Noelle. And you find it in some of the various galleries in New York - did as an early thing. But their interest in -- Betty Parsons - their interest was taken up in developing what they had found, probably pioneered it. And so they had a tendency to miss the next one.
MS. BERMAN: Well, yes. I think - well, you think it's because of a concentration of interest. Do you also think that maybe that one's eye and one's sympathy can only really be captured by, you know, as maybe a certain number or a certain period? And it's hard to bridge the various periods to keep up?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know. Most of the things - most of the people who've undertaken a set period take a period of their same age. And I think for that reason, it again was the excitement and the freshness of discovery.
MS. BERMAN: I ask you that because I think of Edith Halpert, who did very, very well with that one generation that she started with and never - and couldn't sustain the momentum.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Sure. Well, she did take on some new people, you know, different faces. The idea that she would support - I think she had five artists. But the ones who did well got mad because they were supporting the ones who didn't do as well, even though it might not have been [inaudible] that artist.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Some artists catch on to sell more easily, more quickly than [inaudible] artists. And if you were going to do that kind of thing, you would have to have five or six in order to have the spread of one that starts out well, one that comes on more slowly and turns out to be better. But it doesn't work because they all want the fruits of their own successes.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I think that Sidney Janis certainly tried for a time to keep up very much.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he had - he was a collector before he was a dealer. And then he also went in very heavily for the naïve painting.
MS. BERMAN: Yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Particularly the tail of the [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Oh, yes, Hirshfield, Morris Hirshfield.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Uh-huh. But he took - he bought a Matisse from us that he was collecting. And that would have been in the late 20s.
MS. BERMAN: Do you think it helps to have been, say, a collector, a writer, and an art historian before attempting a gallery, in terms of deciding what you want to do?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No idea. Some of them are more interesting and less successful galleries than others. Someone, like Noyman, for example - a few dealers like that who were extraordinarily aware of certain periods themselves may be at the expense of [inaudible] successful gallery. I don't know. It depends. Of course, [inaudible] some art historians have no interest in pictures.
MS. BERMAN: That's true.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Only what the books say about them. And I mean, you have to be - you have to run a business. You have to be a salesman. You have to be able to cope with the artist and his problems if you are handling contemporaries. Much easier not to handle contemporaries, I'm sure. But it's much less exciting.
MS. BERMAN: Well, we were talking about generations. So which - who were some of the people in the generation or the group that you felt most personally identified with?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You mean the people I took on?
MS. BERMAN: Yes, that you --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, that would be another generation. That would be [inaudible], Keenbush, Shragg. Actually, one of the early ones was John Hartell, who is now having a kind of second interest and is painting very well in his late 70s. But that would have been mine. There have been others who came along later, and - but that would have been the main ones.
MS. BERMAN: Now, going - backtracking a little bit, you said before that you lived out of town. Where was the house where you grew up?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I went to school in Yonkers. And we moved back to New York at some point. I can't remember exactly when. Oh, I think in the 20s because we were going to Europe in the summer. And we didn't have much use out of a - on vacation when we came back, so we didn't have much use for the house in the [inaudible]. So we moved into a - I mean, various, several different places. The Depression came along. You moved from one apartment to another. You couldn't find an apartment.
MS. BERMAN: So the first time you went to Europe was about, 19 --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: The early 1900s.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm. And you went to Paris, I imagine, and where else?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We went to London and Paris. Sometimes, on one or two trips, we all went. Some trips - I went on most of the trips. I went with my father about three or four times. My brother was younger, and at some point or other my mother stayed home. And in the last couple of years, she and I would both work with father. We went to Germany one year. That was in the late 20s. We went to Italy another year. We always went to London and Paris and Amsterdam. And we went to Scotland, you know, things like that. But basically, it was London and Paris and Amsterdam.
MS. BERMAN: Why Amsterdam?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We bought quite a few things in Amsterdam. They handled - several of the dealers there handled French things. And we had good friends who went sometimes. And then we went on a trip with [inaudible] motor trip with the Germans several times. They had a daughter about my age who also was becoming concerned with the gallery. Now her daughter runs a gallery in London.
MS. BERMAN: What's the name of the gallery?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: In London?
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know what she [inaudible] under now. It's not very well known. But she worked for another galleries man who had a gallery in Dublin for awhile. And that about [inaudible]. I mean, I can fill them in for you sometime.
MS. BERMAN: All right.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But that's one of the problems of age. Maybe you have too many on your mind.
MS. BERMAN: Now, did you used to visit some of the European artists or did you mainly go to auctions?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We mainly went to dealers. We didn't particularly - we knew very few of them. We knew Zikozak [phonetic] slightly, but not because we bought directly from him, but they had European outlets. And I sat next to Guillard at dinner one night, and you know, that kind of thing. But not to go to the - we didn't go to try and do that. We went [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, were you a shy child? Would you have talked to Guillard? Or were you quiet?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, my French was not quite adequate.
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I tried, and I do know some French. I knew more then than I do now. But I don't think he was deeply interested. I wasn't exactly a child.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But I'm sure I was very young.
MS. BERMAN: Well, you may have been a child to him at his age.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes. He was well along by that time.
MS. BERMAN: You made an interesting observation before. You were talking about your father and how he looked at art. And it seemed to me that you were saying that when he would talk or think about it, it wasn't - he wasn't thinking himself in terms of history in the making
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. I suppose that what he knew about art history was what he picked up. And I remember going through the entire - through the museums in Italy with him and having him take tremendous interest in the pictures we'd see. I think it was always to him an instinctive response to pictures. We had arguments because I thought Rafael was the most marvelous thing I had seen, and he wanted me to look at [inaudible]. He was right, although I still look at the Rafaels with great pleasure.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess I didn't mean it in that respect, in terms of being instinctive. But as you know, as we read in the art histories of the teens and the 20s and the struggle for establishing native art and - what - did he have the sense of that, of really - I'll just say try to develop the eight, but beyond that, just realizing that - the great problems of the artists and the American artist at the time?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You know, the thing changed during the first World War because there were no pictures coming from Europe, really not much after the Armory Show. And of course - so the Americans had more of a plight. When the war was over - established - back and forth, things back and forth again, then the wave of Matisse, of Mortiami, Sutine, people like that, as well as the impressionists, came. The impressionists always were - well, [inaudible] in Europe because [inaudible] wealth. But that next group would - came over. And then I think it pushed the Americans back for a time. Perhaps the next wave came because the French impressionists got so expensive, people started looking around. And first maybe it was like slumming a little bit. Then it became after a relatively short time a real interest.
MS. BERMAN: When you mean - when you're talking about slumming, you're talking about the second generation of French, or the Americans?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, the American impressionists.
MS. BERMAN: The Americans. In other words, was it a bit bohemian?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, no. It was buying because it was within a class, and you could afford it because [inaudible] bought high. And I can remember people are the mind of - would you shut that off for just a moment?
MS. BERMAN: Be glad to; certainly.
[OFF THE RECORD.]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And that's rather - when I say "slumming," that's rather a nasty expression to use. But it was as if they were buying something which was nice, but not as good as they would have if the prices hadn't been high. And you can say all these things, and they are oversimplifications, you know. There were people who all the time were interested in the [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, "slumming," as you say, might be a little too rough. Maybe "bargain hunting."
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, for instance, Ryder and Trotman brought very good prices in the 20s, because nothing brought very good prices in the 30s. It's hard to make people realize that I can do in a day what we did in a year in those years. It's [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: How did you survive?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I never knew. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, everybody was in pretty much the same boat. I mean, leases were almost meaningless because if you throw somebody out for not paying all that rent, you couldn't find anybody to take the place anyway. Some of it's - there were people who came through beautifully, who would recognize the [inaudible] signs and got out of the market in the middle to late 20s. But pretty much everybody was caught in some form.
MS. BERMAN: Did the Kraushaars own stocks?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yeah, but they didn't last very long.
MS. BERMAN: I mean, did you - in other words --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Do you mean did we own pictures?
MS. BERMAN: No, no. I meant stocks on Wall Street.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes, but not to the extent of playing the market. That was never part of my father's great interests. No, he did his thing in buying pictures.
MS. BERMAN: You also said before that his knowledge was instinctive and he was deeply interested. So this - actually, he did have a great love, and aptitude for it. He didn't just go into the business because his elder brother was in it?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he went into it because his older brother was into it. And his older brother was in it because he got his first job working for Shaus [phonetic] [inaudible] Shaus apparently was a very good friend in its day. And after a few, a couple of years, he got enough money together to take a store on Broadway and started out maybe with artists materials because I think that was some of the early thing. If artists were then like now, he got some pictures instead of money. Because they had J.G. Brown and the American field. They had [inaudible] maybe Joyce Smiley.
MS. BERMAN: Yeah, they shot in the sentimental genre, painters.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And the - well, that was - those were the ones who were buying paint.
MS. BERMAN: Right. That one - I think - was it Brown that was called the Bootblack Rafael, the one who had all the little children?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes, yes. Who went to nothing, and now has come up to have - tremendously. The other one that's having fantastic success is the one who did the beach scenes with the children on the beach.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, Pothast?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Pothast.
MS. BERMAN: I think Pothast is better, actually, than some --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: At his best, I think he was. But J.G. Brown is apparently an exceptionally nice man. So there you go. [Laughter] Crazy.
MS. BERMAN: What do you think of the revival in a lot of these academic - well, not just academic, but these sorts of painters who were disdained, not just perhaps because of fashion, but maybe commonplace sentiment and iconography?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think that I wouldn't trust it too far. I don't - I think there's always an interest in a kind of [inaudible], but then it depends on what the fashion is for at that point. I think some of these are good, but not - certainly not great works. And I'm amazed at some of the prices. I wouldn't touch them.
So - there is another interest coming in, and that is to find some of the more interesting people who were working and establishing their own manners, manner of working, painting, who were sort of engulfed by the abstract expressionists. And I think that's a much more interesting approach to it. There are some people there who deserve to be looked at again. But I think the sentimentalism is an incredible thing, is incredible at the moment because it seems to me that it has - some of it is such academic painting and such - it's almost Victorians of subject.
MS. BERMAN: Well, it's well, for example, for Philadelphia to give an enormous retrospective to Lansier, for example.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, the most beautiful Lansier I ever saw was a study that was in the collection that was shown at the Cultural Center - really quite beautiful, but obviously unfinished.
MS. BERMAN: Well, on the one hand, I guess as a dealer you might see that someone might, you know, want to make a business of it. But on the other, do you feel that this sort of upgrading by some - of some of these painters pollutes standards? I mean, to me I should also say that it comes from, not just dealers, but sometimes it seems to come from academics who are looking for an unworked-on topic. And so some of these people are the ones that are left.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, that may be. I'm not sure that I think that art historians make fashions.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think - because the real fad, the real interest, reputation, is made by other - by artists, because they also [inaudible] have affinity for certain earlier artists of a period. It may change from generation to generation. It's even the Old Master things. The days when only Rembrandt was an important early artist are certainly gone. And for awhile, it's almost as if he weren't quite that important.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess I don't understand how artists might make the fashion for some of these less --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: They don't make it fashion. They make them only on reputation, not on fashion. They don't make a fashion for that. I don't know how much the present realism is pulling people back to the earlier things. I would think that many of the earlier painters, while they may not have been very great creative artists, were certainly better technicians.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And better trained. Of course, that doesn't make them artists in the creative sense. But I don't know how much the looking for a new subject in art, discovery is responsible for this. I think it's in the air. To some degree it's in clothes.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm, that's true. Well, certainly, art is related to what we wear, what we see, what we live in, and everything.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Maybe it's feeling that it was a pleasanter day, the earlier day was much happier than this one. I'm not too sure about that.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I also think, now, so artists can't do anything that can shock us anymore. I mean, there's no more progression in terms of that, which used to happen in the avant garde.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yeah, but shocking - big shock isn't necessarily owned by the avant garde. A lot of it's by free, thin stuff which is done for shock value.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm. Well, I guess that's what I mean. I don't think there is such a thing as shock value anymore among people used to looking at art.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I suppose not. And I suppose that one of the reasons that they accept the more extreme things is that they hope they're going to get in themselves this time on the ground floor. You know, you know that somebody draws a picture for a few hundred dollars. I can remember a Brock of some importance that sold for two or three thousand dollars with difficulty at one point. Try to sell it now.
MS. BERMAN: Was this in the 30s or 20s?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Who knows? And whoever bought it has a very valuable picture. I think it's in the MOMA museum now. But that was one of the reasons I think that a great many very shocking things were accepted, because if you were shocked, therefore it was going to be more important later on. But you know, all these things are oversimplification, again. You know, among the people who buy pictures and buy very nice things are people who really enjoy [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Certainly. But in terms of - sometimes, when you're talking about art, especially as it relates to fashion and social history, you tend to generalize because --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, you generalize, also, depending on what your particular experience is.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It's always - I always have to remember that in certain ways I'm a dealer before anything else. And I don't think that's a shameful thing to do, since you - if you do it well and you do it with integrity, and like I say, a reasonable amount of taste. But I think anyone coming from - let's say an art expert of a kind is not likely to have that approach as much as I do.
MS. BERMAN: When you say "approach," and you mention a few ways that you say - "in a few ways, I'm a dealer first." In what ways?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, because you think of it in terms of merchandising. And that was the business. And as I remember, we heard as much from that point of view as from the art point of view. My father didn't think he was doing a great service to art. He was building up an interest in something which would be - he thought would be, eventually, more important, more valuable [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Certainly he was. It was more valuable, from his point of view. But on the other hand, there was the eye and the taste to somehow recognize that this painting was solid.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Do you think he would have bought all these Prendergasts in the 20s if he hadn't believed in it? [Laughter] You know.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: The Sloan we had - this was not the one we had originally. We had the 14th Street Wigwam one. And Legget one summer when we were going to be away to a show in the Cleveland Museum, and it was a train wreck coming back.
MS. BERMAN: And that was the end of the picture?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That was the end of the picture once he did that. He got his one instead. So you know, those were things which were not considered that important. He missed out on a lot of other things that would have been important [inaudible], just as I'm sure I'm missing out on a great many things, too.
MS. BERMAN: Well, when you speak of your father so much, it seems that you two were very close. And did you have a sense of being educated in terms of art and in looking all the time, since you were a child?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I suppose since I was about 16 or 17, maybe not when I was a child. I can remember going to Metropolitan with him. We went with him, and I [inaudible] the kind of interest that most kids at that time, and felt that it would be more fun to go riding in the goat wagons.
MS. BERMAN: Was your brother interested in art?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes, and he was in the gallery for a time. He was in the - I mean, all of it [inaudible]. He came back and he was there for a time and then went off to other things.
MS. BERMAN: Did you go to school in Yonkers?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes. What schooling I had.
MS. BERMAN: Why do you say that?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Because I didn't even graduate from high school.
MS. BERMAN: Why did you drop out?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I had pneumonia. And they had the great flu epidemic. And then my uncle - well, after my uncle died, my father suddenly realized [inaudible] sister had died, and that nobody in the family had the vaguest idea of what this was all about. So it was decided I would come, at least until I got married. Somebody would know what had to be done. And then he got rather upset that I hadn't gone back to school. But by that time, I thought the art business was more important.
MS. BERMAN: Did you want to go to college originally?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It was not as much expected that you would go to college in my day. The girls got married rather than went to college.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I know --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And some of my friends; some didn't.
MS. BERMAN: But I know, notwithstanding expecting or not, did you want to go to college? Were you much of a student?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: As such, I suppose not. I got good grades. That part was all right. I didn't have any problems.
MS. BERMAN: Did you like school?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think one accepted school. Sure, I liked history. I was interested. And it's - I'm sorry in some ways I didn't. But then I would have missed out on a lot of things that I have enjoyed very much.
MS. BERMAN: But what did your mother think when your father decided you were going to go into the business, or invited you into the business, whichever?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: She left the business to him. I don't really know.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I mean, I know she left it. But did she like the idea of you going in?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't think she either liked or disliked. She sort of accepted it. But I did go around with him a great deal to sales, to auctions, to openings, and all sorts of things. And sometimes, she and I both went. But since we lived out of town, it was simpler that I did. I was right there.
MS. BERMAN: Well, so eventually, the two of you commuted back and forth. Or actually, I guess in the 20s, by the time you were entering the gallery, you would have moved back into New York?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. We still lived downtown.
MS. BERMAN: So I see. So didn't --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Whereas in the later 20s, we moved back into New York.
MS. BERMAN: Did you ever rebel?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, I don't think so. I don't think it's my nature. I don't really think about that kind of thing very much. And the day by day, running the businesses, to my mind is quite engrossing. And no, I don't think I'm the rebellious type at all.
MS. BERMAN: I was wondering if you were when you were a child.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I suppose one always rebels a little bit. But I didn't see any reason why. Certain things were expected of one or not allowed, whatever. When you think that I would be at least your grandmother's age, you realize that that was a very different generation.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, it certainly was. But it doesn't mean that there weren't exceptions --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, there were great exceptions of people who rebelled.
MS. BERMAN: My grandmother happened to rebel a great deal.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Did she?
MS. BERMAN: Yes, she did. [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I didn't - my rebelling, of course, could have been that I should go to college instead. And since I was offered the chance, I can't say that I refused it. I can't say that I had to rebel to do it. But you remember that I crossed generations. I ran into knowing a generation which was not my own-age generation. In fact, I lost touch a great deal with my own-age generation.
MS. BERMAN: Do you regret that now?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes and no. I think it probably would have made the kind of friendships that more people have during their lifetime. But on the other hand, I have made some very interesting ones which had no relation to my age group. So how do you know? You can't have it both ways. But yes, I think it makes a difference. I ran into a generation, a much more sophisticated generation. And I guess I had to be very cautious about not showing it. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: When you say this other generation, are you talking about the artists of the Eight Group?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: The artists of the Eight Group, the artists who came later, [inaudible] various and sundry kinds. Those things always color one's life a little bit. But then I don't think that has much to do with the history of art dealing in the United States.
MS. BERMAN: No. No, it doesn't.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: But I'm also trying to get your personal recollections for this interview.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, you know, when I came into the gallery, there were almost no women even in the secretarial jobs.
MS. BERMAN: How did you feel about being a curiosity?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I got by with it because everybody [inaudible] because I was a daughter I did that. But Mary Sterner [phonetic],who was very interested in the art world, very important, worked for various galleries, and had her own gallery, both early and late [inaudible] between the two. And there was a friend in Chicago whose father had a gallery, a very good printery in Chicago. And she had the same position that I did. But I don't think people minded, maybe one or two.
MS. BERMAN: Edith Halpert opened her gallery in 1926.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That's right, and closed it in the 30s, early 30s.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, but reopened it.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But reopened it.
MS. BERMAN: And Katherine Cue [phonetic] was in Chicago.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That's right. But she was later [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Were there any women in positions in some of the Old Master galleries?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think there were a few wives in the smaller ones. But I don't think so. I don't think that the -I don't think they were very visible. And I think that one of the amusing things was, we went into a gallery in Derland [phonetic] on one of the trips. And this would have been in the 20s. And the name my father asked for, whoever it was, wasn't in. And they said Dr. So-and-so will be very glad to take care of you. And Dr. So-and-so turned out to be a rather charming young blond woman. And this was a great shock to him. [Laughter] But of course, you know, it isn't - my starting out isn't like somebody who takes a job or anything like that and has to make their way. I suppose if I had to make my way, that I found that was in the 40s when I really took it over. And then I had to prove that I could do it.
MS. BERMAN: Are you saying that you were always assisting beforehand?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yeah.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm. Do you think, though, that then - of course, you were the first, if not one of the first to have a position in a gallery. But do you think that that was a field closed to women? Or it was just that it hadn't happened?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No more than to other - in other fields. Quite a few of the dealers did out of town trips. They'd take pictures to a favorite city or a city where they also probably had connections and set up in a hotel suite. And that's specifically a masculine job. And we didn't do it that way. I guess I told you this the other day. We - my father always did it through an established gallery, but usually very small galleries. [Inaudible] a private business in Cleveland. But then he used to go to Boston [inaudible] and again they both set up in galleries. Two weeks - I used the gallery for a couple of weeks [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, I found that the first - Charles Kraushaar did that, too, and was importing - let's see. In the - between 1900 and 1910 he was sending shows to Boston, Hartford, Chicago, and they were very well covered in the press, too. Was it much of a novelty to be importing these shows?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: To be importing?
MS. BERMAN: Exporting - he was exporting.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, I don't think so. I didn't remember that there were any Chicago shows. We never had much connection with Chicago. Our connection with Boston was quite strong. And - but it was done by all of the dealers.
MS. BERMAN: When did you stop sending off to Boston?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, we stopped sending to Boston, I suppose, in the 20s. By that time, travel was easier. And our Canadian customers came down [inaudible] a number of them. And the ferries crossing - there was nothing to do like that because the Canadian business was stopped because of the restrictions on sending money out of the country. [Inaudible] Canadian restriction.
MS. BERMAN: Was that a restriction for the whole British Empire?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know. We never did much with the [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: What kind of pictures did your Canadian collectors tend to buy?
[END OF TAPE 1.]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Korvais [phonetic] [inaudible]. There were a few Dutch painters, I think. But then when [inaudible] gallery in Holland, in Amsterdam, did a great deal of business in Canada, too. We had one customer who bought - sent to America and bought Matisse [inaudible]. That was rare.
MS. BERMAN: I'd like to ask you about your uncle Charles Kraushaar, the founder of the business, and what you remember him in terms of what he was like and his tastes and in general.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he traveled more than everybody else in the family. He took an interest in opera. I never quite knew whether it was a social interest or - and he belonged to the opera guild. He was much more socially aware than my father was. He was a bachelor and the artist in the family. And I think he lived with his father and mother. His father was - his father died before Charles did. But his mother lived well after.
MS. BERMAN: So these were - did you know your grandparents?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes. I knew them. Christmas. During Christmas, that's where we were. We used to go there Christmas Eve. My aunt, the one who was - well, she's the only one of the girls who lived past early adulthood. She married a German [inaudible]. And - but she had been a buyer for all of us very early and went to Europe to buy bride's clothes. But she did have more business training than most women of her period.
MS. BERMAN: Well, she held a full-time job that involved traveling and staying in hotels, then.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That's right. That's right.
MS. BERMAN: But she must have been an anomaly. Was she --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I do think that buyers in department stores were not women that early?
MS. BERMAN: Some of them must have been, but most of them weren't, I'd imagine.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I suppose that's true.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I just was reading a biography of Elsie DeWolf. Now, she was - it was considered that she invented the profession of interior decorating. And she started in 1905, and it was quite a big difference. Of course, no one thought of having a professional interior decorator, so that made a difference. But the things that - the large sums of money that she was dealing with were quite different, that no woman had ever really --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, weren't the men who dealt - who did the decorating the before this? Or was there no such thing as decorating?
MS. BERMAN: No such thing as the complete interior decorator. You'd buy it from the furniture people. You know, you'd buy the pictures from the dealers. You had the art experts, the Samuel P. Avery's. But just the different merchandisers would come in, and you would just buy it or they would give it to you. But no one would coordinate it before.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, as I remember from the early buyers of pictures, they bought pictures to hang. That was a sign of more than ordinary interest. It was a sign of some success, perhaps.
MS. BERMAN: Was your uncle born in Germany, or was he born in --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yeah, they were all born in Frankfurt. My grandfather came in 48.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And my grandmother came in the potato famine period. And they met in New York [inaudible]. I don't think that either of them ever went back to Europe.
MS. BERMAN: Was your - did your grandfather take part in the revolution of 1848?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He got out. [Laughter] You know, it was part of the revolution that so many of them came at that time, settled in St. Louis, settled in New York. And it was conscription and all the rest of it.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know that he was a rebel, either.
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: My grandmother had the energy.
MS. BERMAN: Before working for Schaus [phonetic], did your uncle train to be in any sort of profession?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yeah, he graduated from college, from a college course. Maybe it was a two-year thing, I'm not sure.
MS. BERMAN: In business?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I guess just a general academic course.
MS. BERMAN: And he just got this job assisting shows?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he just got a job. I don't know what he did at the beginning. He was there for a couple of years. He got a very nice letter of approbation when he left.
MS. BERMAN: And then he set up the gallery in 1885?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Right.
MS. BERMAN: Did he meet the art - do you know if he met the artist whom he carried at first through Schaus or if he had a certain idea of what he wanted to do in terms of art?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: As I say, I think they have artist materials.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He would have met the artist that way. He went to Europe pretty early. I can't quite tell - well, I should be - I could be able to tell because of the books buying and Broadway show just when he went. I will find it sometime. They kept all of their books.
MS. BERMAN: Now, was Schaus a dealer or a framer?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Schaus was a dealer. Schaus was the dealer and had such things as Rembrandts and Mesilliers [phonetic] and things like that. I did keep some of the Mesilliers at the Metropolitan or that's at the Metropolitan.
MS. BERMAN: From 1900 to 1919, we see you were at 260 Fifth Avenue. And I'd like to know what that gallery looked like.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, there's a photograph of it somewhere. It had velvet columned walls. It was a store. And the building still exists between 28th and 29th Streets. And it - the star then and the star that we had - and near 53rd Street - were not too dissimilar as far as the actual setup was concerned. They had places for boxes in front. And they had a gallery that had - for hanging things. And then maybe one or two rooms following that because those stores were about 80 to 100 feet deep.
MS. BERMAN: When you say store, do you mean they were in the storefront, in the window?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible] ground floor. Um-hm.
MS. BERMAN: Was there a sense there - were most galleries in stores? Or are they the discrete that we know of them - know them as today?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think they were probably in stores. It seems to me that - well, there was a gallery around the corner. And they were great friends of my father's - Klackner [phonetic]. And Klackner had the - Klackner did this - handled things like the man who did all the Eerie Canal pictures, you know. What's his name? He would have been late nineteenth century.
MS. BERMAN: I'm afraid I don't know --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes, you would. You would know the name, but I don't remember. And they went out of business just - I think just about the time that we moved uptown. When the gallery was there - I know the gallery very well from then because we used to go to the circus, Madison Square Garden. And also there were parades.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And my mother would bring us into town, and we'd see the parades from the window.
MS. BERMAN: Did you set up chairs there and watch?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I'd set up chairs and watch. And a lot of people stopped by, and the gallery had sent out for sandwiches. But - and they did that for the parades well into the 30s. And the new place uptown, the same thing. But it had velvet walls and velvet curtains.
MS. BERMAN: Red?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think ours were brown. I never remember that they swept aside the curtains to show you the masterpiece, the way they did in London the first few visits I was there. And - but my customers [inaudible]. And all sorts of names, some people very interested, some developed. But like Whistler and things like that.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, yes. That was sold - in 1916 you sold a version of The White Girl to - who was it? That got all sorts of coverage, that you had a version of that.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And we had an earlier one, The Coast [inaudible], which is now a part of the museum. And we had the famous [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm. And [inaudible] and a lot of other etchings, too.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You've done your homework, haven't you?
MS. BERMAN: Well, I wouldn't have dared come here if I didn't. So -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It reminds me of things I'd forgotten.
MS. BERMAN: Well, you mentioned the theatricality of London, and people would sweep aside the curtain. Would they do that for other dealers, for other people in the business, too?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, one or two dealers did it for us. We were good customers in London. And there wasn't the scarcity that there is now that keeps dealers from showing each other their pictures. The houses like - well, Yardley had a big London and a Paris place. And they were always good friends [inaudible] very well. When we'd go to Paris we'd have dinner with Weldon Yardley, whose apartment overlooked the garden of the hotel we'd stayed at. And there would be a kind of [inaudible] family dinner party with my parents and me and then the cousin, and sometimes John Levy and his wife Eudora.
MS. BERMAN: Did you know DuVine?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He came in the gallery once, and I went to see his Blue Boy because I think I had the same feeling about DuVine that people would have still. It wasn't a place you just dropped in. As we had a show, some sort of show, he came in to see it once. I didn't really know him. But it's very amusing to read the New Yorker stories about the DuVine and Charles of London. And there was a man that worked for DuVine whose name escapes me at the moment. Charles [inaudible], who was supposed to be the one who really knew. But all the stories between DuVine and the experts are very amusing.
MS. BERMAN: Yes. I wonder how much truth there is. DuVine's correspondence is still sealed for another 20 years.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Great rivalry between DuVine and Nodeler [phonetic] for Frick and Hutch customers.
MS. BERMAN: I realize that these people were mostly buying the Old Masters. But it seemed to me at the time when Kraushaar gallery was getting off the ground, that there was suddenly - New York was swollen with millionaires and near-millionaires. And I was wondering if your father and uncle found that there was a demand, suddenly an increased demand for pictures for decorations of these mansions and all. This would probably mostly have been your uncle.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, you know, the nineteenth century was pretty new, for the most - all the fortunes made then. I don't - I suppose that also there was an influx of Germans, as there was in the 30s here, 20s and 30s. And I think that may have changed the point of view then, because these were Germans or - mostly Germans, I think , that came. The Irish, of course, got the jobs digging ditches. But the Germans had quite the family backgrounds. And maybe it was the first time that - well, I wonder how money - I mean, a Schaus is the only name that I know early in the nineteenth century as a dealer. There was an early dealer in Chicago. And I think the oldest that was then still established was Gillespie in Pittsburgh.
MS. BERMAN: Was there - speaking of Germans, was there a market for the Dusseldorf school of painting?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, there was a market for German painting. There was a gallery, Schultheist [phonetic], down in the financial district - stayed there for years - that made a specialty of German painting. Some of it was the rather storytelling. It was rather closer to the Dutch kind of storytelling, nineteenth century, kind of. But they had a big trade of big German artists. And they were specialists. I think they existed still into the - maybe into the 30s.
MS. BERMAN: But when he started, Charles Kraushaar must have been one of the few that was handling Americans at all, I imagine?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, MacBeth handled Americans right from the beginning. And Klackner had Americans. Who else would have been on the scene then? Dorme [phonetic] had Kluhmer [phonetic] early. I had some Americans. I don't know who else I might have had. Ryder had a dealer in New York, a dealer of sorts in New York.
MS. BERMAN: Perhaps someone handled the Hudson River School?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: The Cavilli [phonetic]. That's another school - maybe it handled itself to some degree. Because even into the beginning of the 20s, I think artists had their own studios and sold pictures from the studios, or sold pictures from various galleries. There was a price list with sizes, priced by size.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess I should ask you then, when did the idea of exclusivity, or pretty much exclusivity, come in in terms of art dealing?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, quite a lot later, because in the 20s we had an occasional Hanratty [phonetic]. He had shows at MacBeth's. Lawson had shows all over the place. And you could buy a Lawson, and he got Baroque from him. And I don't think - I don't - one of the galleries - I don't think it really started until the late 20s and well into the 30s. You had shows of some new artists, but they had shows - they had pictures other places, too.
MS. BERMAN: Did you welcome that change? As a dealer, did you prefer that kind of arrangement?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It grew gradually, and you had it. It meant you gave shows, frequent, at intervals. Not frequent necessarily, or only shows of new pictures, but artists would have enough pictures for a show to come and talk about it. But I think it was really late 30s and almost into the 40s, because when we took on people like Shragg and [inaudible] and Kibrish [phonetic] after the first World War. He came out of the army. And that's when we had his. And it was more or less agreed, there never have been very many contracts. And I think now there's a tendency to mix things up a little bit more. But maybe it's right, through the dealers themselves. I mean, we've lent some pictures to borrow the next five-person show - Gloucester pictures. And I'm sure she must have borrowed things from other galleries, too.
MS. BERMAN: Those pictures, for example, for the Gloucester show, I assume you must have loaned to Sloan, for example. Now, were those actually in your collection, or pictures for sale?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: They were pictures for sale. We owned the pictures. We owned a good number of pictures one way or another, buy it at auction or buy it privately. And - but we also handled them [inaudible] estates in New York. Because we'd handle not only the Blackens, the [inaudible], and the Myers.
MS. BERMAN: What about the Zorack, Margaret Zorack?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We have the Zorack, and we have Mary Bouchet, and we have --
MS. BERMAN: Laurent.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Laurent.
MS. BERMAN: Both.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: So that it's - you go right from handling the artist as a contemporary into handling [inaudible]. But you do that very well because you know where the pictures are. You know something about the range of the artist's work.
MS. BERMAN: If you, aside from pictures, you say you might have bought at auction or from someone else, that you own outside - if the pictures you get from an artist, do you buy the pictures or do you take - do you just keep them and take a commission?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We do it on commission. We've never been, except for briefly from Lachez, we were never involved in subsidizing the artist.
MS. BERMAN: Why did you get involved in subsidizing and what happened?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, because Lachez was always so broke. It was [inaudible] on a regular basis.
MS. BERMAN: So were you subsidizing him at the same time Mrs. Whitney was?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Lachez?
MS. BERMAN: Yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, Lachez was all over the lot. He added his figures at a lot of places. So he'd need money. I'd say he's broke because [inaudible]. So I've made a - and I understand it's a very beautiful collection of early American furniture. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Terrifying sounding, although his inspiration - I guess he wouldn't have had it any other way. But she seemed to have drained him.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think she did. That's happened before with other artists.
MS. BERMAN: I know that they certainly had - she wouldn't let him live with her.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] Among other things. Did you know Barinson, by the way?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No.
MS. BERMAN: I was wondering if on any of your trips into Italy, if you've ever met him.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We just went to museums.
MS. BERMAN: You had mentioned the theatricality before. Now, how did the Kraushaars conduct their business? I mean, did you go out and talk to people or let people wander around? Still talking about, say, in the early days?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I would think that in the early days, people didn't just wander around galleries in the same way they do now. There weren't as many shows. And your customers came to look at what you had the way of museums. Or I suppose it was the same when my uncle came back to Yonkers when my father did. He might put on a show, or he would write to several of his customers that he had bought such-and-such an artist.
MS. BERMAN: So it was mostly probably having the easel and taking pictures on and off?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think there was more of that than there was of - I don't remember that - we were always a little friendlier, I think, than some galleries. It's kind of a point of view. But because I remember one of the art teachers at Pinch School used to bring her class in. Father would get out things to show.
MS. BERMAN: Excuse me, what school did you say?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Pinch.
MS. BERMAN: Oh.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I'm sorry.
MS. BERMAN: Sure.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Turn it off a minute.
MS. BERMAN: Sure.
[OFF THE RECORD.]
MS. BERMAN: You as an employee in the gallery and having some familiarity, would you go into some of these other places and find them forbidding, yourself, in atmosphere?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I used to go to sleep.
MS. BERMAN: Ah. You must tell me about that.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It was forbidding.
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I didn't see as many shows as [inaudible]. And then I saw a lot of good shows, which makes me an expert on names in the 20s.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm. Well, when did you go to Stiegler's? Or start going?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Can I give you some tea or something?
MS. BERMAN: Well.
[OFF THE RECORD]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: I don't think that matters that much, since we're - what I - we were talking a little bit about your uncle. And I'm interested in, I guess, some of the evolution of the artists that were handled, say, between about 1885 and 1915. As we started with some of the local painters, possibly because they were getting supplies.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I don't think they handled -- certainly Sloan and du Bois would have been about the earliest. And they weren't handled in the sense that they were later. I think in some cases, they mostly just bought pictures. Well, artists would set up, the ones who had sort of reputations - I think a great many things were sold out of the National Academy shows. And I think that artists set up a studio and had a price list. A 20-24 costs so much money. A 25-30 was something else. And it's one of the carryovers we have now in pricing pictures. But the other thing is that the dealer would get a discount. And he could go into one of these studios, buy a picture, and then put it on the market for his customers. And supposedly, the artist protected him from cut prices. I don't know how well that worked. But the theory was fine.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I'm wondering, I guess, then, to say - how to phrase it, is how the original paintings led into moving into a Corvais and the Barbarzone School and Bragwine [phonetic] and Fanton Letour [phonetic].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, that's because my uncle was going to Europe.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And he bought things in Europe.
MS. BERMAN: Well, did you feel that there was a special - also besides what would sell that he had a taste or an eye towards some of these quite realistic paintings?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Corvais was never as good a seller in this country as other - Corvais and Delequois never sold as well in this country as they did in Europe.
MS. BERMAN: Why was that?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know. The kind of thing that sold over here would be the more storytelling things, the nineteenth century artists. Then of course, Karl always - and the Karlists, as long as they've had a long life of [inaudible] really. But in the beginnings, the Karl figures and the Italian Karls got nowhere. Everybody wanted the [inaudible] or the peasant or the red cap or the glistening one or whatever, the trees.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I'm just - I guess what I'm trying to get at is that he didn't go for the storytelling, the big salon paintings. He went for the ones that we might consider more striking and more substantial today. And I was just wondering - somewhere, there was either an educating of taste or something moved him. And I was wondering if you knew, besides --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I really don't know. You see, I knew him - I was - well, I knew him just about until about the time of my [inaudible] because the gallery has - I have a portrait of him that looks - you know, I have it on my shelf.
MS. BERMAN: Yes. Yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And so I don't know. I mean, he was my uncle, you know? He was not the head of the business so much, unless he and my father had an argument, which they did on occasion. And it's very hard to tell because I don't remember them together except at family parties, Christmas Eve parties and so forth.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I thought I'd ask just to check. Well, it seems to me that George Luks was the first major American artist who came into the gallery.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: George Luks may have been my father's thing. Probably, Luks in early, very early 1900s down in Long Island, when they were on vacation. And that would go back to - well, that would go back to maybe 1900, 1901, because that's where he met my mother. And they were married in 1902. They were married in January of 1902. And that was about the end of the year.
MS. BERMAN: When you say out on Long Island, were they on Bellport?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Bellport.
MS. BERMAN: And Luks was there, too?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Luks was there. Luks was married for the first time. He was there, and they played baseball.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm. And that's how they met? So in other words, Luks didn't - as far as you know, Luks didn't come into the gallery or --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You said you had an early date for Luks.
MS. BERMAN: Well, the clippings go back to 1903.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I see. So then it would have been very close.
MS. BERMAN: Yes. Certainly. So he started almost as a friend or an acquaintance before he was a business associate, shall we say.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That's right. No, it would have had to be 1900, 1901 when they first knew each other.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't think that marriage lasted very long. I think it was one child, who turned into an architect, ended up in Vermont, and painted tame little pictures of Vermont barns. He was -he took his stepfather's name, because Luks' wife married an illustrator from - Luks' first wife married an illustrator from Cornell by the name of Crane. And the boy was Kit Crane. And Sloan did quite a beautiful portrait of him.
MS. BERMAN: Oh. Well, Luks certainly wasn't tame, in a different sort of - so that would have been, say, one of your father's introductions or changes into the gallery?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I don't know. If we had 1903, he might have known Luks before they went to Long Island. But that was the first - my mother's recollection of Luks was from that. And no, he was not tame.
MS. BERMAN: Were the pictures - were you showing his pictures before the Eight show in your gallery? Would you know that?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know. You say that 1903?
MS. BERMAN: Well, that's the first clipping. But I mean, I don't know. Obviously, there are no records in the archives in American Art paper. But just for --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I didn't realize it was that early. I thought there was a greater gap because he was doing - carrying on the yellow kit, wasn't he, at that time? [Inaudible] strict?
MS. BERMAN: Possibly that - I didn't know he was doing it that late. But you --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He may not have been. He may not have been. I saw Carl's name the other day and I was curious as to what his dates were.
MS. BERMAN: I'd have to look in the Immortal Eight for that, and I don't know - I can't remember offhand to tell you that. Which did you - which of the brothers was more influential in the business, your uncle or your father?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I couldn't say. You see, my uncle was the one who started it. The man who worked them - and he knew both of them for many years, he knew both of them well - I think thought that my uncle was the better businessman, but he liked my father best. [Laughter] But you know, a man who started the business like that, started it from the ground up, would have to have had a very close - I don't know when Ed Pierce started to work for them, but it must have been very early. And he worked into my time, well into my time. As a matter of fact, he was still working for us just before my father died. And he's the kind of person that, every gallery had him. They don't exist anymore. He could do everything. He could cut mats. He could go out and hang pictures for people. He could sell a thing, on occasion. He could do errands. He could do anything.
MS. BERMAN: Many times those people were artists who worked part-time.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, he worked full time. He wasn't an artist. And he had very definite ideas about the various artists in the gallery, which ones he liked and which ones he didn't.
MS. BERMAN: What were his judgments based on?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: How much trouble they gave him.
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: How much they tried to tell him how he should do things.
MS. BERMAN: Was it your father who was responsible for bringing more Americans into the gallery?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think so. I think that he got more interested in the Americans. We didn't go to Europe until the beginning of the 20s, at all.
MS. BERMAN: And also, besides Americans, was it more to his taste to handle living artists?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't think so. I don't think it's because he did, but I think because he got interested in them and maybe thought they had a future. He had to because, after all, they didn't sell well at first.
MS. BERMAN: No. Was Luks - was the association with Luks responsible for bringing other member of the Eight into the gallery?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't particularly think so. Lawson was always around. I mean, I can't tell you that, because Sloan was [inaudible]. We never had Davies very much. We had an occasional Henrond [phonetic], still do. And the Prendergasts came later. Shinn, we had, and Shinn was around the gallery, I'm certain of that. Shinn had shows in various places.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess I was --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He was the actor.
MS. BERMAN: Yes. And playwright. Well, George Luks was - I don't know if I want to say actor, but certainly a tale-teller.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. His tales and his boasting. I was in a thing with two or three other people in Tacoma a couple of years ago [inaudible] they had a panel discussion. And Bill Young, Henri Young --
MS. BERMAN: Yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: -- was on it, and the man who wrote The Immortal Eight. And the girl, a young woman, who had done her thesis on Lawson. I didn't know much about the others. And they batted [inaudible] back and forth, what the terrible, bluff, braggart and all the rest that he was. And I had to get mad because Luks was a lot more than that. Luks had a very tender and very touching side. He couldn't have painted those children scenes [inaudible] without having something. Rather interestingly well read - I remember a discussion somewhere about a certain number of books. And I think he was a bluff and a braggart. And I think he was a lot more than that, and I said so.
And they started asking each one of us, Who was your favorite artist? That's a question I don't answer.
MS. BERMAN: Well, it's an anti-intellectual kind of question, to be able to think you can pick out something like that.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, the others did. Sloan was - what's the name on that?
MS. BERMAN: Benard Perlman.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Perlman. Sloan was for Perlman. And Lawson was for the lady who the piece on him. And Henri was Bill Young. And I said I had no favorite [inaudible] what picture I had seen most recently. Somebody in the audience said, "Well, it has to be Luks. It's obviously your favorite." And I said, "No, it isn't my favorite. But I do think it needs defending."
MS. BERMAN: Well, my opinion of him was really raised when I was looking through your - the papers, because you had so many, of course, in reproductions. But looking at the [inaudible] very good, really, I mean, not that he wasn't considered good before. But better than what --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, much better. But he sold better than the others, earlier.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And he got a lot of publicity.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, he was wonderful at that.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Carrie -- Elizabeth Luther, what was her name? Carrie.
MS. BERMAN: Yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: She wrote willingly all the time on Luks, interviewed him and all sorts of things.
MS. BERMAN: Well, as a newspaper illustrator, he understood how to get publicity. But he was - I mean, I'm sure the press loved him because he was so quotable, too. It was easier than --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, sure, he and his stories about being a prize fighter. My father, of course, knew him very well. And he used to laugh at those tales. He said Luks was good at starting a fight, but he'd leave. But they were always friends. They broke over - the broke because Luks made a demand about somebody's work and my father said no. And Luks said my father would do as he wanted or he'd leave. And he left.
MS. BERMAN: When was that? That must have been toward the end of his life, wasn't it?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes, well toward the end. It was in the late 20s, I think. And I think - well, I think we were lucky, because his work went downhill from then. And - but I saw him one night do a demonstration. He had Louis Waldheim [phonetic] who was then [inaudible], which was a great success, as a model and a kind of stage superette, bringing things, brushes and things, to Luks. And Luks feeling no pain whatever and just marvelous to watch him perform [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Oh, can you tell me how he went about it?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, it was a demonstration. And well, he did the same thing in my portrait. He used a big, heavy brush to draw it in and then worked from there. But of course, this was not finished. It was what he did in that work, two hours, whatever it is. It was extraordinary - Waldheim was made to order for him, you know, sitting hunched up. And not too many years ago, I saw the picture again. Wilderstein called me, said they had a Luks and would I come look at it? And he said what it was. And so I was very interested to come look at it. And I don't think he'd ever touched it.
MS. BERMAN: You mean after the demonstration?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: After the demonstration. But it was really extraordinary.
MS. BERMAN: I think that he and Shinn had the most facility, of the Eight.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think they did. I don't think that Davies had facility at all. But you know, some of the everyday cartoons - he had two or three of them. And I've seen one that belongs to Mrs. Bliss Parkins, one of his, a woman in one of those old-fashioned washbasin little rooms and the light - naked - fall over her - just beautiful. But those later nudes are awful.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm. They are. Well, I was just wondering, when he painted, I mean, how did he - I was wondering if you had seen how he had mixed his colors or what he had done in terms of that.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he used a palette. I don't remember, really. He was a showman. And - but of course, I couldn't see what he put on the canvas because the canvas was really between me and Luks.
MS. BERMAN: Right.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But I do know that he put it down with big, broad strokes. Again, he did the Waldheim portrait that way.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm. Well, how long did it take and how many sittings for your portrait?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think maybe three, four. I don't think there were much more than that.
MS. BERMAN: How long were they? How long did you have to sit for?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, a morning, a morning, maybe. And he did a number of portraits. He did some during the war, in Washington [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Yes. Elihu Root.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, did he do - I'd forgotten that. I usually think of Elihu as happy, Augustus Taft's portrait of Elihu Root.
MS. BERMAN: Yes. You had Taft, too, during the war years.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We had Taft, too. Just at the beginning of those so-called abstractions. Was that mean?
MS. BERMAN: I don't know. I don't know Taft's work well enough to --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, Thorpe shows a great deal. I think Taft left his pictures to him.
MS. BERMAN: Possibly. When you sat for Luks -- I realize again I'm going back a long way - did he talk? I'm just wondering what his method was. Did he try to make you feel at home? Or were you just expected to sit quietly?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think I was expected to sit quietly. I think he talked to a certain degree. But I don't remember him talking, you know, beyond the casual sort of thing.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think my father went with me a couple of times because we were living out of town. And I think my mother went at least once. And so he may have talked to them a little bit as the thing went on. And then he decided that the white dress was too much white and went looking around for something. He got the dirtiest -
[END OF TAPE 2.]
MS. BERMAN: Antoinette Kraushaar at her gallery at 724 Fifth Avenue on July 19, 1982. And as I just said, I'm going to ask you about the artists that you represented in your gallery for a long time and if you know how they came into the gallery, and what was it that Kraushaar saw in the artists' work. So why don't we start with Gifford Beal [phonetic]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Gifford Beal must have come after the second world - after the first World War because one of the pictures I remember was the Armistice Day celebration, which I suppose he painted - finished a year or so afterward. But how much earlier than that I really don't know. I suppose if you look at - we look at the records, we could find out. But certainly, it was by 1920, I think. And as was customary in those days, the arrangement was never quite as tight as it came down - as it was in later years. They had exhibitions of his whole lifetime [inaudible]. So I can't tell you how - I had nothing to do with taking him on, so I can't tell you exactly what. It might be a picture that my father saw somewhere and liked. I have no idea, because he did have some reputation early, very early. And he showed - had shown at the Academy quite early. But he certainly was young when he had started studying with Chase in his teens, because his brother was with Chase and what-not. So he'd gotten an early start. He graduated from Princeton [inaudible] in his 20s. He was born, I think, around 1881. And the next one?
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] Guy Pène du Bois.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He came quite early. And one of his first admirers was Chester Dale for a good number [inaudible] something - that choice of the early - choice early ones. And those, I think, are many of them now in museums. He was a writer [inaudible]. And it was very interesting because he saw so many of the shows in New York and came into [inaudible]. Some of them, I'd seen, but he insisted I go see. He was very knowledgeable about painting in general. I don't know exactly why one painting is taken and another turned down. I don't myself, I'm sure. You see certain promise and respond to the pictures in some form. But I can't say exactly why.
MS. BERMAN: You said that - in other words, du Bois was giving you - was the unofficial tutor to you. You must have learned a lot from him.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I did. I did. Yeah, the gallery was the street floor in the 20s. So if they were passing, they had a tendency to drop in. So there was hardly an afternoon where there weren't two or three ones gathered together discussing a show or discussing whatever was going on that was interesting.
MS. BERMAN: Can you make any generalizations or remember what sorts of things du Bois would direct you to go see or what he'd recommend?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, I don't specifically remember. Sometimes, there were shows I'd seen because I got out more in those days. I'd seen some of Stiegler's shows. I went to - well, when the Whitney opened, I went to the Whitney shows. And I don't know. I saw shows of galleries on [inaudible] shows. There were small galleries. Daniels was still active. And I saw a great many of his shows. And there were some small galleries. [Inaudible] had a very interesting gallery. And they had shows for -- Associated American artists must have - may have started a little later. So that there was very limited area.
MS. BERMAN: Well, with a painter like du Bois, using him as the example for, say, painting very strongly during a certain period and then around, say, 1940, the late 30s, his work began to take a different turn and not always for the better - what would you do if you saw an artist losing ground? What would be the policy? What can you do about this?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, sometimes he leaves of his own accord because he's not doing well enough. Sometimes, he changes style to such a degree he's not comfortable with this particular gallery. And sometimes, you simply have to say, try to take a small group of things, but then that you're not interested in that show. And it's very difficult and very sad. But usually, the artist himself becomes dissatisfied so it becomes [inaudible]. And you know, every artist of great promise [inaudible]. And sometimes you see the early work and you can understand why people were very excited - promise.
One of the outstanding examples [inaudible] those early ones. You see them again [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: The next one I want to go into is Maurice Prendergast.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Prendergast came -- was not mine. [Inaudible] Prendergast, I think, was the latest he took on. My father announced where he took a show in Boston at a gallery that used to have exhibitions, one of the Boston galleries - for about two weeks. [Inaudible] But Prendergast came around 1940 to New York and must have known from then. But he was the latest [inaudible] that I remember. I can't remember too much.
MS. BERMAN: Was his work hard to sell then?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes, quite difficult. The watercolors were much easier. In the 20s we had [inaudible]. In 24 we had a show. And we sold a good number of watercolors. And then, of course, the Depression, you see. But I [inaudible]. I was looking through the records not long ago for another purpose. And I discovered that the [inaudible] that's still true, although not as much. Art people were starting to [inaudible]. And I try not to [inaudible]. [Laughter] So that was [inaudible], I'm sure. But there were [inaudible]. But then the Depression [inaudible]. And I found that [inaudible]. And that's when the oils began to sell [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Do you think in general that recognition of Prendergast was more belated than some of the others of the Eight?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think Lawson was early. [Inaudible] Henri had always done well. Sloan, because of his New York patron, is now considered vulgar [inaudible] and so forth, as was [inaudible]. And Glackens was sort of in between. [Inaudible] As I say, it's a little difficult from the 30s and the 40s for quite the recognition because [inaudible] tangible group of them.
MS. BERMAN: Did you meet or know Maurice Prendergast yourself?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I knew him very slightly. Just [inaudible]. He was a little feeble, I think [inaudible] because even in that period [inaudible]. So it's perhaps [inaudible]. It's luck. That's luck.
MS. BERMAN: Did your father ever - did the Kraushaar Gallery have to subsidize [inaudible]? You bought a lot of --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That was 1924.
MS. BERMAN: Right.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: My father bought some himself at a show. And he sold [inaudible]. Shows were never the gallery and printing [inaudible]. Shows were not necessarily the way he imagined they would be, and still aren't, unless of course you [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, I'm also interested in Prendergast as in the difference in feeling and openness between the paintings and the watercolors and water types. And I was wondering if Prendergast had ever discussed --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: The paintings were the watercolors, the early watercolors were very lovely and a subject of [inaudible] the women got to paint, especially the ones where [inaudible] was my father. I didn't know Maurice back in Charleston, though, saw a great deal of him [inaudible]. So I heard he could [inaudible]. But they were not unlike. Charles himself was a very gifted artist. [Inaudible] trunks of frames, the boxes of [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, did Charles ever say anything about this, the difference in the intent and composition about --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You mean why the difference between the watercolors?
MS. BERMAN: Yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, most of the watercolors were early 1900s. Paintings, really, didn't start that much until, oh like 1910. I think there's one in the [inaudible] National Gallery is about as early in date as 1908, maybe. Then there's one in the Opera Show, which [inaudible] about 1912. And I guess by that time his style of painting - many early paintings were [inaudible] French Coast [inaudible] Italian watercolors [inaudible] were lovely to look at, but not as much of a point.
MS. BERMAN: Have you seen the show at the Metropolitan now, the large Boston Gardens [inaudible]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I have seen it in a show. When someone was doing [inaudible] and the small ones, two smaller ones [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Just wonderful. They're displayed beautifully in a [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: What did they do about [inaudible]?
MS. BERMAN: They have [inaudible]. Some of them, they have displayed on one size. Most of them, they don't.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: The sketchbooks, he made in the navy. And Charles kept those sketchbooks almost intact. And the sketchbooks, one he [inaudible]. They are amusing to go through because they had monuments and notes of books he read - they're not very interesting [inaudible]. I found a letter that he had trouble writing and all kinds of [inaudible]. I don't know where they are [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Do you feel that there was a conscious decision on Maurice Prendergast's part to give up watercolors, or just not go out on location?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He didn't give them up. They went into the [inaudible]. They went into the [inaudible]. I think they were not as popular as the early [inaudible]. The one I had, I sold because [inaudible] wanted to buy it. So I decided [inaudible]. Well, because I think that [inaudible]. Not unless it stays so long I get irritated.
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Laughter] But nobody buys it, nobody likes it as well as I do.
MS. BERMAN: I think that anyone [inaudible]. It's impossible to resist buying it, I think, to buy when you're surrounded with it. You appreciate it. It's very hard.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That's part of the deal if you buy as a collector. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: So I think it's understandable.
MS. BERMAN: Let's move on to Jerome Meyers.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Jerome Meyers had no special gentleman in those days. He had shows at the Met, shows - at the galleries we had [inaudible] do shows and he always had some pictures. But he did some on [inaudible]. And I think he was the best kind of a gallery [inaudible]. Unfortunately, or fortunately, he was not [inaudible] show because he was trying to [inaudible]. But he was in and out of the gallery [inaudible]. But his interest in the [inaudible] styles were not perhaps as appealing. [Inaudible] hard in retrospect to [inaudible] much more appreciated now than he was then.
MS. BERMAN: You've said before it was to his [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: You had said before that it's too bad he wasn't in the Eight show because [inaudible] sell much faster. Did any of members of the Eight ever talk to you or look back on that show and say anything about it? Say, "Gee, we didn't realize it then, but"?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, I don't think so. I had had a show at [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: I think you misunderstood my question. I meant, did any of the members who were in the Eight show, the artists, ever talk with you or reminisce with you about their --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You have to remember that I'm turning out [Laughter] - as then, somehow or other, they - no, I took part in conversations with - more as a [inaudible] and sometimes took my friend to a show [inaudible]. But they were all very interested in the press.
MS. BERMAN: I was just thinking possibly there would have been, like John Sloan, for example - he did know well, and also, you grew up with, if you know what I mean --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I saw Sloan a good deal [inaudible]. And he talked in the past, of course. And it sounded interesting, but then I [inaudible] sit down at the table [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Just as I mentioned Sloan, let's talk about Sloan for a little while. Did he ever talk about the Eight show or the Armory Show or looking back and see his part?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I suppose he did. But you know, he would have talked about it. I did not realize how important [inaudible] [Laughter] But yes, I talked about it. [Inaudible] what should I say or did I resent that I didn't [inaudible]. I remember going to the shows [inaudible]. It's always something like that. [Inaudible] But that was an interesting thing because [inaudible]. But you know, it's very hard to say what your first reactions were. It's very hard to say that I had long, serious conversations with these people. [Inaudible] very nice man [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Let's talk about those independent shows. The effect, as you say - it seemed to me that the sort of - it seemed to be extremely open. You could find Chazey or find something like Picasso, and you could find --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, they were in there [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: It was a post-war flood.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Did you have [inaudible]? Did it extend out for sculpture? [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I didn't have any sculpture. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: That must have accounted for some of that crazy way of looking at [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It was. [Laughter] [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Waldorf was very democratic to the [inaudible] to go with the image?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I don't know. We went to the Waldorf [inaudible] special event parties [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Even with [inaudible]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Laughter] [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Do you think we could do something like that today?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I couldn't say. But I consider [inaudible] the character for some pictures. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: [Inaudible] you said that few artists are painters anymore.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, a great many of them paint, but I find that [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Would you say that you limit the artist's appeal [inaudible]? Do you feel you could expand slowly, but in a way infinitely if you found someone or if you always had a certain number of artists and you didn't go over the -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible] I have 29 artists now. [Inaudible] It's interesting because they, the artists themselves, decide whether [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Yes, where they would fit in. But do you find it that that actually works against them because you don't want the same -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: To some degree - to some degree it might. Again [inaudible] painting a different picture [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: I wanted to ask you, because you do have the estates of many of these artists. By and large, your artists have stayed with you for many, many years [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Well, okay, yes, I have had [inaudible] artists, but as I look at this list it stretches from Luks and Neal to [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Well, I still think in general that your gallery has been able to reach out to inspire a lot more loyalty from artists than many other galleries. And I was wondering if you might be able to comment on how [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Laughter] I don't think it was [inaudible]. The artists wanted a gallery that had a lot more extent to it. I don't know. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: But most of them [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: I'd like to ask you about that. [Inaudible] When I was going through the clippings, there were lots of those articles about the Kraushaar Gallery and sending shows from Boston and Hartford and Chicago and reviews, very well covered -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Overall, did you feel that most of the other of the galleries were covered as well as the -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think they covered [inaudible] very well. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Did your father and uncle have to seek publicity or cultivate it or did it just - did you have to work hard?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think in the beginning or at first that [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: [Inaudible] John Lavry [phonetic].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: No, I meant that there was a society page.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: When you were saying that the art world didn't seek publicity [inaudible] when did this begin to change, in your view?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, it changed in a great way first [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Just for your artists in terms of your shows here, do you [inaudible]. Are you annoyed at NSA hat there is the comparative lack of coverage?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: How do you feel about paying for advertising today in The Times because you have to?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: How do your artists feel that the gallery is in this quiet - this steady [inaudible]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, some of them are very [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: You were just talking about the artists and they were happy that, as you said, they did that and that they're friends. And I'm sure that sales is one area [inaudible] a craving to be more well known?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Very, yes. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: They appreciated [inaudible]. Is there anything in here?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Well, I think that [inaudible] for a certain generation or primary [inaudible] that not enough people are just [inaudible] -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: [Inaudible]
[END OF TAPE 3a.]
[TAPE 3b IS INAUDIBLE.]
MS. BERMAN: Interviewing Antoinette Kraushaar on September 8, 1982, in her apartment on 79th Street. And today I think we're going to talk about some of the dealers that you came to know and observe over your time as an art dealer. And you had just mentioned that there were some that you felt were forgotten. Would you like to start with some of those? Who were you thinking about?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, there was a friend who may - good friends of my father's and my uncle, Klackner, K-l-a-c-k-n-e-r. And the only reason they might be remembered is, that's the name of the man who did the Eerie Canal painting.
MS. BERMAN: I don't know. But I know what you're talking about.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I can't remember his name. They handled him, and they handled other things of that period, because they disappeared completely, of course. But there were some whose names - I meant to write down some names. And maybe I'll do that for you one of these days. But there was one who handled - made screens and a writer, painted some of the leather screens. The thing is like the top part. And oh, there was the story. I don't know that it's about Ryder or Homan [phonetic] who used to come to New York because they liked to go to a movie. Movies were just starting. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] Seems that would be Ryder; don't you think?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: More likely, yeah. But you know, Merdler [phonetic] and Kennedy, but under the name of - it wasn't Kennedy then. I think it was [inaudible]. They were in existence, of course, when I came into it, and before that. And a number of print dealers - there were very few women. I think Mary Sterner, who was in and out of the art field a good deal, both as a private dealer, as an employee of Merdler and of French Company, and then finally, with their own gallery years later. She had a very active life. She was the ex-wife of Albert [inaudible].
And Alice Roulier [phonetic], who was - whose father had a very important print business in Chicago, came into it the same way I did, sort of slid in the back door. And she was always very active, long after her father's death, very active in Chicago in the arts club and various activities then. And there were several - a very good dealer in Boston, a woman, was early and a cousin [inaudible] galleries [inaudible]. She had a gallery which handled things from New York more than the Boston things. And there were several of the older galleries like Boast [phonetic] and another one. I think nearly went out of business afterward, many years. But Chicago had one of the oldest dealers in American paintings in the country, O'Brien . And one of the oldest galleries, and it existed well into the 30s, was in Pittsburgh.
And I will get these. I will remember these names. I was thinking about it the other day. But there were some interesting galleries that came and went. They were more experimental. Of course, Nundorf [phonetic] [inaudible] existed long into 40s, I guess. Nundorf is longer than that.
MS. BERMAN: Nundorf, I think, until about 1950 because Nundorf gave Louise Nevelson those first shows in the 40s.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I saw her first show at the Grand Central uptown, Grand Central Modern [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: She had two in the 40s before that.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Before that?
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It was really fascinating because it was a tiny gallery. And it was so well installed, considering the problem. It was interesting to see. Actually, the woman who ran that gallery was very interesting, very self - and I think that they gave her a rather free hand.
MS. BERMAN: Who ran that [inaudible]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I'm so horrible about names today. I haven't been concentrating. Robert something. Again, I do know them on occasion.
MS. BERMAN: Was it Collette --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Collette Roberts.
MS. BERMAN: Collette Roberts, right.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: She did some interesting things. She lives up 78th Street.
MS. BERMAN: What were Mary Sterner's tastes like?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, she was occasionally - she was very knowledgeable. She started something which - by which - I think it was called the Junior Patrons or the Patrons League, in which everybody paid relatively few hundred dollars and agreed to buy a picture of anyone's. And she had early Bellows, quite early. She borrowed from other galleries. She had some influence with the Mercen, Adolf Mercen, collection. I think she sold him a few things, and she later went to [inaudible]. But she had many interesting things. I'm sure that at some point or other, you must have come across her name.
MS. BERMAN: Yes, mostly with Rockwell Cantwell, she had --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, did she?
MS. BERMAN: Yes. She promoted him for awhile.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Wasn't Cantwell - promoted himself?
MS. BERMAN: Equal. [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: Well, when he was in Alaska, he needed someone down here to be drumbeating.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He must have been quite a boy with the ladies.
MS. BERMAN: I think so.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Which is, of course, beside the point.
MS. BERMAN: Well, what about Dudensing [phonetic]? What was he --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Dudensing, as it existed first, the family first were on 43rd Street and were one of the groups of people like Boast and two or three others who went through the country showing pictures, hotels or places, various places. Boast did it, and Dudensing was [inaudible]. And then [inaudible] Densing. And this must have been - well, the year that the [inaudible] sale in New York, which I think must have been very early 20s. I remember going in there then. And now Dudensing was still working with his [inaudible]. "Look at my big art catalog," he said. "Are you going to the sale?" And I said, "Yes, I am, with my father." And it was not very long after that that he started his own gallery. And he did some pioneering [inaudible]. But at one time, Pierre Mantisse worked for him.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, really?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: When he first came over here. But [inaudible] Dudensing [inaudible] had both American and European pictures. And again, it's very easy to check with the reviews, because he did a [inaudible] and had a very interesting gallery. And [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, what was the connection between Dudensing and Eilshemius?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Val Dudensing, who changed - who dropped the Dudensing name and called himself [inaudible] for obvious reasons, bought a lot of things from Eilshemius, decided he had been as ignored as Eilshemius thought he was, and went in and bought a great deal. And started getting some of the other dealers around New York interested in handmade [inaudible] and built up a very considerable reputation. But he had a lot of interesting people.
MS. BERMAN: Did you ever handle Eilshemius?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, although I have an Eilshemius letter somewhere. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: Doesn't everyone? [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Marvelous exchange of letters between Bright and Eilshemius. I think maybe it was in Creative Arts, one of the magazines at that time. Everyone waited for the next issue to see what the answer was.
MS. BERMAN: Well, Dudensing, I guess - didn't Eilshemius accuse Dudensing of exploiting him?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I wouldn't be surprised. I don't know that.
MS. BERMAN: I thought that was in some of the public salvos, too.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, it may be. But certainly, Eilshemius owed quite a bit to him because he started that reputation going up. And had enough rather interesting things. He handled Europeans like Matisse.
MS. BERMAN: What happened to Dudensing [inaudible]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He just closed up, went abroad to live. And I think he was alive until a few years ago. And Vivy died a long time ago. But they used to be around New York a lot with artists, some of the big art parties and dances and meetings. I think when he first retired, he came back a few times and did some business over here. But he gave it up. I think he lived finally in England, maybe.
MS. BERMAN: I don't know.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: His daughter married an Englishman [inaudible]. It was not too many years ago. I asked Frye Newburgh [phonetic] about it because he must have sold Newburgh some of the paintings that he had.
MS. BERMAN: Did you know Joseph Brummer?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I used to go to the gallery to see the exhibitions, and particularly when he did some sculpture exhibitions because he really revolutionized the [inaudible] sculpture. He had a Matisse. He had a Picasso exhibition. He had the Chez, and he showed them in his gallery, which wasn't terribly large - upstairs, with white walls and plants. And with vases brought out into room instead of, you know, one of each all around the room, as so many of the sculpture shows had. Really, it was a great education, to see what he did with those shows. I didn't come into his part with the earlier things, of course. But he [inaudible] then-contemporary sculpture shows.
MS. BERMAN: Did you see his Brent Crusy [phonetic] shows?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I must have.
MS. BERMAN: Well, when you say he revolutionized the showing of sculpture, did other people start emulating?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I did. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Changed my whole idea of how sculpture shows should be done. I'd never do a sculpture show without thinking of it. He must have had beautiful things in earlier days.
MS. BERMAN: I got the impression that many times the artist would arrange some of these sculptures - arrange some of those shows themselves at [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Matisse, Picasso, and Brancussy?
MS. BERMAN: Well, Brancussy did come over for the show.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Did he come over?
MS. BERMAN: Yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I didn't know.
MS. BERMAN: Duchamp arranged shows there, too.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, whoever did it did a lovely job, and Brown got the credit.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I'm sure he must have learned, too. Who were some - did you feel were some of the most - the dealers putting on the most interesting or exciting shows in the 20s?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You see, in the 20s - of course, Ren was bringing out some of his people, like Plotkins. We had French pictures as well as the Americans. We always had more sculpture than some of the other galleries. And I don't think - associated with us back when all this must have started back in the 20s.
MS. BERMAN: I think it was the 30s.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Was it the 30s?
MS. BERMAN: I think it started with the American scene and those lithographs [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That may be, that they were doing the five-dollar prints. That would have been in the 30s. And then they gradually branched out. Margaret Sullivan, Kate Sullivan, who used to work - who worked for MacBeth before that was a very strong influence. She had a great deal of interest in the artists themselves. And I think the most beautiful [inaudible]. But it was a big gallery. And they had - well, they had all American paint. Rand, of course, had his booth. It's a little hard for me sometimes to remember the dates. Kemple [phonetic] was still an important [inaudible] dealer. And there were several others. Kennedy - and Kennedy was originally Gwendolick [phonetic] and Company. And they were a very, very long time in New York. I think as long as - maybe longer.
MS. BERMAN: Did you know Montros [phonetic]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. Saw my first Van Gogh show there. Came back - I even have a catalog. The catalog is about this - about as big as a three-by-five postcard, with a list of pictures in. He got them over from Europe, and every one of them went back. I was very excited. I didn't know anything about Van Gogh. I must have been 20. I don't know exactly. And it was very exciting because Stevens [inaudible].
There were two or three small galleries that came and went. And somebody was going - and when the national collection was going to do a piece on the history of dealing in this country - and I always meant to write down all these names. And then she gave us a project.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, it would be enormous. It's a terrifying project. Think about it.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, it isn't in some ways because the numbers in newspapers and magazines that reviewed, if you followed those, would give you a very good idea of the galleries and the things they were showing, because everyone was reviewed.
MS. BERMAN: Well, the enormousness (sic) of doing that. It would take you forever to do that. And plus, going to all the issues, as well as the names and the tapes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, you could start with Bride, who did a pretty good job on those things and for a long time. Did you ever read the book or the excerpts?
MS. BERMAN: Yes, I did.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I always loved the one of the - seeing the portrait of Wilson at the Metropolitan, wandering all around, talking about the cat and so forth.
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And then at the very end of the article, giving it a first-class jab, [Laughter] which it well deserves. I think it's the worst thing he ever did, Sardon [phonetic] ever did.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I want to go back to Montros for awhile, besides --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Montros had a very interesting gallery because he had early Matisse, and of course, he showed the Toronto - not the Toronto [inaudible]. He showed the Seven, Nine, not the Eight, which was Weir and [inaudible], naturally, American impressionists. And he had some Mechez, early [inaudible]. And he did very interesting shows. The Archives had early material on him.
MS. BERMAN: I think it's just a little bit because he was before --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh yes, much before. The gallery continued a little while after he died. [Inaudible] Butler, assisted, whatever, carried it on for awhile. But of course - and then the later - his later years it wasn't so active. But early, he must have started in the late teens, right from the time of the first World War.
MS. BERMAN: Yes. He had Ryder also.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Ryder was around quite a bit in those days. I mean, to show Ryder's paintings - in later years, Ryder was a specialty. Back - now, whether Ryder was still alive, I don't know. I think maybe not, because Ferengil [phonetic] had an interesting hour or two.
MS. BERMAN: Yes, I was getting to that sooner or later. I was just waiting [inaudible] since I don't know very much about him besides the artists that he handled. What was - I guess --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he was just himself in the gallery. It was a small gallery. He was in it alone [inaudible], I think. And on Fifth Avenue, and I thought his Van Goghs were very exciting. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: He must have told you they all went back.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I heard it later. I heard it later. But in the 20s, my father bought one of them in Europe and brought it back here. It was the group of people in the hospital [inaudible]. I may say that the price at Montros had it [inaudible], although that sounds like nothing now, it was very considerably a difference. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: When did - by the way, for your gallery, when did American paintings get to be the sole interest and support?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Really, not until the 30s, late 30s and 40s, because they had always had Europeans, as well as Americans. They had a lot - they had, very early, some of the Dutch painters who worked out at [inaudible] and Dutch towns and Bisenbruck [phonetic] and [inaudible], people like that. My uncle went to Europe in the 90s, and quite early 90s, I think. And he bought a variety of things. Then when we had things like Decampf, and later we had [inaudible] and quite a bit of [inaudible] and we had Rouel and Soutine [inaudible] particularly liked.
MS. BERMAN: You could sell Soutine?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He sold Soutine, yes. He also bought Soutine and kept them until - I guess we sold one of the Soutines - we sold one of the Soutines after he died.
MS. BERMAN: I would think that would be a very difficult painting to sell.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No more difficult than Rouel. We had Rouel, too. [Inaudible] There were some Hollywood collectors in the 20s into the 30s who could come from Europe because the beginning of - well, partly the work here, and then later some came because of the [inaudible]. And they were [inaudible]. And Rouel, I think - well, you know, you only have to sell two or three. And you wouldn't have 20 Soutines. Of course, I don't know how many Dr. Barnes bought because at one time he was selling some of his. And he bought Soutine heavily. There still are a good number of them. But Rouel had a following. And there were, of course, two kinds of German-descent buyers, one who bought the old-fashioned German painters, and the other bought the more expressionist things. But --
MS. BERMAN: Am I wrong? Didn't Kraushaar have the Picasso white girl that floated --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes, we did, and we had a couple of other small ones. We had the one [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Right, that went between the modern and --
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That's right. And only almost went out of the Met.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess you have Picassos then in the 20s; is that correct?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh yes, because we didn't go to Europe after 29.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Nobody had any money. [Laughter] Or, you know, things had got --
MS. BERMAN: Was it difficult to obtain Picassos?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. I think that we bought the Woman in White in London, actually. We bought the - there's a Matisse that's in the Modern. We sold both of them originally to Lizzy Bliss.
MS. BERMAN: Was she a regular client?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. She was really one of the important collectors. And she - when she moved from her house in the 30s to an apartment uptown, they set up her - from [inaudible] would be all the wood articles done by Charles Framingham, lovely wooden [inaudible]. I don't know where he was; I think maybe one of the nieces has it. The sons, her brother's children - but it was brooding. She built into this. It was when one of the early [inaudible]. She had lovely homes.
MS. BERMAN: Well, what was she looking for when you were selling to her? What was the sort of thing that appealed to her?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Could never tell. Mrs. Colleen Sullivan and her husband were very good buyers. The town was smaller then. So you really - everybody knew who were the buyers, pretty much. But you didn't always have them. And they all had favorite galleries. And - but Edith Whetmore, because had a big house in Rhode Island. And her father was of course a Senator from Rhode Island. And she had some lovely things. She was less likened to dine in what was then the modern field. And [inaudible] very interesting. They were very prone to want Hochs [phonetic]. And of course, Park was just experiencing the Armory Show and he was very well known to a number of people [inaudible]. Actually, Park took me to Ellie L.A. Fours [phonetic] one evening because he had friends who had some - done some translating before. And I must say I think Forest Bontlebaum [phonetic] was not as exciting as it might have been for the period.
MS. BERMAN: Well, just to keep on the collectors for a minute, you had Taft, of course. So you must have gotten to know Ducan Phillips rather well.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We knew Duncan Phillips before Taft, before - long before [inaudible] when he started to collect. And this would have gone back to the days when he was at [inaudible]. After that, he moved uptown. So he bought Luks. He bought some of the Americans from us - less of the European things, although I think one of his Guiyas [phonetic] came from us. But he bought Luks and Prendergast.
MS. BERMAN: Were his tastes decided or formed when you knew him?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, you see, I really didn't have a great deal to do with him. I'd met Mark about -- a good part of it I was in the gallery. You know, art was not my function. I didn't know enough to talk to these people except when there was nobody else to do it or - nor would I have known very much, necessarily, about the esthetic tastes. I saw the Phillips collection long before it went to the museum. But - well, not long before because the museum [inaudible]. When was it [inaudible]?
MS. BERMAN: About 21 or 22.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, just about that time. And he got some Luks, a few Glackens, I think a few European paintings. But he also got it for himself. He married [inaudible] niece. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Well, I think I found, in about 1922 or so, that Margerie Phillips was an artist who had a show at the Kraushaar Gallery.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We had a few pictures. We never had a show. Oh, we had a show as Margerie Phillips, yes. But we knew her first as Margerie Atkin. We had one of her pictures before she knew Phillips.
MS. BERMAN: Did you - you must have known MacBeth?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes, very well. I didn't know the father. I don't know when he died, but I never knew him. I knew about him, about McIntire, John McIntire. Oh, I saw a great deal of them and the girls who worked for them, like Peg Sullivan and one or two others worked for him because we were of an age.
MS. BERMAN: Did you - this is a different sort of mentality than we would have now. But did you consider them competitors?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Sure they were competitors in a more friendly way than some of them now. There were as many different kinds of dealers [Laughter] as there were dealers. We were always on very nice terms with the Modlers [phonetic]. And people from [inaudible] MacBeths, although my first beau was kind of in between generations, in a sense - Robert MacBeth. His father, I understand, was something of a real personality. And - but I don't know whether he was alive. I was not conscious of it.
MS. BERMAN: Did you feel that the gallery dealers who were showing American artists, particularly ones who weren't quite popular - did you feel that there was a sense of mission, of trying to bring these people into the open?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think there had to be or you wouldn't do it to give them, people - give people a sense of importance. I think the American things got more attention in the period of the first world war because there were no European things coming over. The dealers weren't going to Europe, and of course there was no shipping because, I mean, the U-boat wars. And then after that, then this was this rush of things from Europe in the early 20s, all of the things that had been just barely known in the Amory Show and then almost lost sight of during the war years.
Then all of a sudden - it was a gallery - it was one of the older galleries who had taken on a European, a Frenchman who showed Motiyani [phonetic] and Matisse and very interesting shows. They had a gallery in the North Side, St. Patrick's [inaudible]. And they had some very important shows. See, we were in the street floor, 53rd Street. And so to go to 57th, [inaudible] to go across the street to [inaudible], it was a little trick, sort of, a trip. And it was a more leisurely kind of business. I don't mean you didn't work hard, but there wasn't the pressure. In fact, nobody wanted to - nobody did research. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And don't think that's just meant to be funny, because really, it has come - I get at least two, a couple of telephone calls a day - "We've bought a picture with your label on the back. Can you tell me something of the history?"
MS. BERMAN: Excuse me?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: "Can you tell me some of the history, something of the history?" [Inaudible] for good reasons [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess in so - the paintings were, quote, weren't worth much. No one thought about doing all of this background or establishing things.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: They weren't. They weren't worth thinking [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And so the background has become very important. And of course, with the museum catalogs, things like that - never bothered [inaudible] whole histories before. Sometimes we had a history. We bought some things from a very good English auction, then contemporaries like [inaudible] and people like that. And then we used them. But the prestige [inaudible] reassurance.
MS. BERMAN: Well, when did the museum catalogs start becoming useful documents to dealers for establishing authenticity?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, books always were because, after all, there was [inaudible] was faking in some of the earlier things. They would still turn up in museums. So a book - for example, I had some [inaudible] books published toward the end of his life and right after. And you know, that would be done as part of [inaudible]. And that would be a pretty good indication that the picture was done while he was still alive to protest. But that has always been, that it's been prestige, too, to have a book - picture that was considered important enough to be in a book.
Now, if you have a picture of which there is a color reproduction been made, it can be put in about five different books. [Laughter] I've got a couple of those.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I should ask you about the Daniel Gallery, its place in the art scene at the time.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think it was extremely important. He must have had some working arrangement with [inaudible] because he had Marins and Demuths, things like that. And he had - of course, his great find was the Man Columbus.
MS. BERMAN: Howell?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Howell. But he also sold things to [inaudible] collectors. But I know - I used to go to the gallery to see his shows, early [inaudible]. I must have seen at least one of the [inaudible] shows. And because he had [inaudible]. And he was showing - some of his became quite well known later, showing them early. Very interesting man. And of course, he went out in the early days [inaudible]. Because I don't think he ever made a great deal of money because he was pioneering and you didn't sell [inaudible] very easily and didn't make great sums of money in those days. But he had interesting pictures.
And he used to come in the gallery a great deal after he closed. Once in awhile, he had a picture that he got from one of his framing galleries to sell. And they would give him something to sell for them [inaudible]. And so he talked a lot [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: In retrospect, what do you feel that, just starting now with the first, the 20s and 30s, were the contributions the Kraushaar Gallery made to art and art dealing?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I don't really know. I - we never thought about it that way. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: Well, I know you didn't then. But now, just -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Do I think about it now?
MS. BERMAN: Well, you might.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know. I suppose that we had made a contribution with the earlier people. They were just beginning to catch on. We had du Bois early. I think we missed a generation, although we did have single pictures. We always had [inaudible], still do. And then - but I don't think we were particular pioneers in that sense. When it came into the 40s, beginning in the 40s, into the 40s, then I think we picked up another group because we dated Cope and Heliker. And a little later, Carl Shragg. [Inaudible] a different group.
And then of course, it didn't take - those we were working on, again, didn't take the abstract, the more abstract expressionists. So I think we haven't contributed in that sense. I think we've contributed in a sense of making people interested in caring whether they were interested and caring whether they [inaudible]. And that's -
MS. BERMAN: You mean that you maybe performed a real service more toward collectors and buyers and educating them?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think we did a great deal in that regard. [Inaudible] talk about them?
MS. BERMAN: Excuse me?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Always willing to talk about them, to show them [inaudible]. I can remember my father getting pictures out to show one of the classes from one of the girls schools. And everyone liked [inaudible]. And I think that kind of thing is more than being a pioneer. Most galleries usually had one pioneer in the work. And interested to see if some of them can do it twice, now.
MS. BERMAN: Well, what about also in supporting artists? Don't you think that you've made a contribution in long -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes, because we cared about them, as we mothered them, saw them through times when they were difficult to sell, and saving some of them that are still difficult to sell.
MS. BERMAN: You said before that you did -
[END OF TAPE 4.]
MS. BERMAN: You said you had missed the abstract expressionist generation. And I wondered if that was a possibility or if you had been approached or if it was something that you were aware of or that you wanted?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know. I think people who did it were of their generation and knew them and took an interest. And perhaps I was a little aside from it. But it's - but I never thought of us as pioneers. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: Well, I don't know if so much as a pioneer, but certainly a solid, sturdy presence that lent a hand to a lot of artists.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, it does and the fact that you stayed with it and you are interested and you go on handling and following, I think gives them - gives the public a sense of continuity.
MS. BERMAN: Well, how about - it seems to me that the Kraushaar Gallery's reputation has always been, to use the cliché, sterling. Have you - do you think that you have helped by setting standards in business practices for our viewers?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think - set the practices. I think - [inaudible] other galleries that were very reliable. But we did one thing. We've always promoted drawings, which was not so with many galleries in the earlier days. And - but I don't know.
MS. BERMAN: In other words, you saw drawings as something other than just preparations for the -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. We thought drawing collecting as being one of the most sophisticated kinds of collecting, and not just pieces of paper that were scattered around the studio, which was - which many of them are. You know, they are working material. But there were a certain number of artists who did drawings, complete drawings for themselves, as, you know, as pictures. But you know, the feeling that an oil painting is the most sacred is still a little bit part of the picture. But it was much more so then. And that drawings were not hard work. You know, it's an interesting thing, and I think it's one of the reasons that etching [inaudible] has been more respected than drawing, for the technical difficulties, how it seemed to people to require more consideration and thought [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: How long did it take to build up a following for drawings?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, we had the gallery in 32 57th Street. We had a big room that had some big cases that had drawings. And you know, the kind of thing that - a thing comes up and has an area where you can stand paintings. And that was where almost always we had the drawings, and people used to go through them. And of course, artists always had a high affinity for them. They understood what drawing was. And if we built up more people, we got people interested in buying things as well as paintings. Watercolor has been [inaudible] looked to be an acceptable medium [inaudible] so forth. But it was [inaudible] glass was difficult. But that seems to have passed, so many people working in oil painting, oil on paper, these days. So then having to accept [inaudible] glass.
I don't know. You know, you work day to day. You really don't get a picture of the vast kind of things. I suppose I still work in many ways the way I used to, the way I was taught to work. Sometimes it goes down well, and sometimes you make a mistake. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: Were there any - I guess - what were the first museums who saw the importance of, say, twentieth century drawings, as opposed to, say, Old Master drawings?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think that's been slow. We've sold some extremely nice drawings to the University of Nebraska collection. The Chicago, I think - some of the museums put the drawings in the print department. And I think Chicago probably has been interested for quite a long time, and I think that would be - not only damage, but [inaudible] headache.
Also, they have had several extremely [inaudible] curators. And their print collections - I guess they have the greatest print - Toulouse Lautrec [phonetic] collection in the country. But I think they probably - they have always had a fund the director could call on without having to [inaudible]. And then he said, "Well, I can use my [inaudible] fund for this." And I think it made a great difference. As I said, we've sold some very nice drawings to [inaudible]. And [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Now, what about at the Metropolitan? Now, Ivans of course was the great curator of prints. Was he interested in drawings, too? Or was he allowed to be?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know. He used to come every night at the gallery [inaudible]. We'd never done a great deal of business with the Metropolitan Museum. I did know Ivans. Very definitely a personality. I saw him walk out of the - publicly walk out of the [inaudible] auction one night because they hadn't taken his bid. They took somebody else's bid. Oh, was he mad. He stormed out. But [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Would you surmise why that you, you say, haven't done a great deal of business with the Metropolitan?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I wouldn't think there's been any particular reason. Maybe we haven't worked hard enough at the Metropolitan. We've done a good deal with some of the smaller museums and some of the entrepreneurs. And I don't know. Maybe we weren't aggressive enough about the Metropolitan.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I think for many years, even until the mid-50s, they really were not interested in the American artists, anyway. So it was -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, they bought the Prendergast from us that they have, and they bought - I think they bought the Glackens from a show. Certainly they didn't buy the Prendergast. They could have bought from that same group, which I always thought was a great pity because, while it's a perfectly nice picture, it isn't the picture to represent Prendergast to the Met. And I think [inaudible] left them the [inaudible] Rousso. I think she left them the Prendergast, maybe two Prendergasts. I don't know whether they still have them or not. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: I don't know. At the -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That [inaudible] thing on that collection was -
MS. BERMAN: Oh, you're thinking of Adelaide DeGriff [phonetic].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Ad DeGriff. She was really quite a gal.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, did you - what was she like? I don't know anything about her but the paintings.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, she was brought up mostly in New York. And apparently, her mother was - well, I know from her - her mother was very strict. And she could go to some painting classes there, but that was all. And when her mother died, she went straight off to Paris, not only to paint, but to buy some pictures. And she, of course, bought some very handsome things, some very interesting [inaudible]. She was - yes, she never married.
But anyway, she came in one day. She'd been to a reading of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was kind of a fairly hefty-figured woman, with very nice skin, almost like the Dutch pink-and-white skin. And she was well along, I guess, you know. When I was 35 or 40, she looked - I thought she was a lot older than I look now. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And but she used to come in quite a lot. And she was fun. And she used to fuss around and do it. And one day she bought a picture, I don't remember which one it was. She looked at me and she said, "Hm. Never thought I'd buy anything, did you?" But she had been to this meeting. And she wore all her medals. She had a very curvaceous bosom. And they were - it was covered with them. The Daughters of the American Revolution were practically newcomers, of various English companies, which her family had English [inaudible]. And she - I think her father had a [inaudible] and an iron mine [inaudible]. And one doesn't think of Connecticutans having iron mines [inaudible].
And she was an independent woman, no question. Somebody - I never was in the apartment. She had one on Park Avenue. They tell me when they'd come here, it was just full of crates and things. And then she moved to 58th Street, I think. But she was spending a lot. She bought some things from us. But [inaudible]. So I think she had some fairly [inaudible], didn't she?
MS. BERMAN: I never knew that she actually had shows as a painter. I just knew it for her as a collector.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think she had one or two shows, you know, for obvious reasons.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible] used to do shows like that. They weren't necessarily bad shows, but what is now called vanity shows.
MS. BERMAN: Do vanity shows exist today in large part?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Not quite as often as some used to. I don't know. The town is so much bigger now that you don't - I don't really hear all the gossip. I seem to have just - I get more gossip from the customers than I do from the dealers. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] Well, it's so spread out. And you really have to go up to Madison Avenue and 57th and SoHo. I mean, it's too -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I thought probably we'd get more gossip when we got to 57th Street. And I think probably if you're one of the buildings and have had seven or eight galleries - well, I just heard - can't resist telling it. But there are only two other painting galleries [inaudible]. And they were more closemouthed than some. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] Well, in all this, you've seen so many collectors, I was wondering who have been the collectors that you've felt had the most discernment.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, of course, years ago, Arthur Eigman [phonetic], who was - for awhile had a cousin, a ward, I guess, of the museum. He was very interested in the Americans and did a great deal. Certainly, Diamond Phillips [phonetic], who did a very great deal, because when he liked an artist, he brought him in, real strong [inaudible] Marins and [inaudible]. But I mean, his little room of clay, alone, is I think one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen because it's a small room with pictures that are the right size. And he chose well.
I don't know. I've known people who have bought a few very nice things and consider themselves collectors, enjoyed paintings, bought a few. And I think maybe we've had more of that.
MS. BERMAN: I guess a collector isn't just buying something, that if you're really going to be one you have to have a point of view or a slant. I think you have to have to be a little bit more of an artist.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You have to not call yourself a collector. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: Well, it probably just sneaks up on you.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think for many people, the amount of money they can spend and the amount of wall space that they have has, perhaps, [inaudible] the kind of collection they make. I remember a man who bought four or five things from us. After he retired, he sold them. [Inaudible] them back, and certainly he had chosen well. You know, he was [inaudible] in the country, and he wasn't interested in keeping things, too much of things that were too valuable. He bought other things which were not as valuable. And then he hung them and he enjoyed them. And then of course he didn't have to worry about them.
No, I don't - I mean, the Lewisons were very important collectors, certainly. And we had a customer out of Jersey who bought some very nice things. But I don't know. I think we've sold occasional things to Riney Bregger [phonetic]. And I think R.B. has contributed tremendously now, because no one was buying when he could have bought all the fashion items. He had then lived several years in Paris [inaudible], had a few things with him. And then he elected to go and buy things which he thought were important and not getting enough attention. And I think he did a real service, because that collection has been around for [inaudible]. If you sold a picture to him and the artist was pleased, [inaudible].
I don't know. Who else is considered the important collectors?
MS. BERMAN: Did you know the Aronsburgs?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No.
MS. BERMAN: They must have been a little just before your time.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It was before our time. I don't think that - [inaudible] buy most of his things in Europe. He bought Bouchet somewhere in New York. That was very early in those career. And I don't know who bought things that - you know, Bouchet ran the Bur Maison [phonetic] area in [inaudible]. And he bought - it was one of the first [inaudible]. And this was very early. And I don't know how many - you know, there have been all kinds of collectors, some just names to me and some I knew quite well, never sold them any pictures.
MS. BERMAN: Well, you mentioned that that gallery that Bouchet had at Wannamakers. Were there other departments stores that had art galleries?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Department stores had sometimes what they called picture galleries, which meant landscapes with no frames. Sam Coots [phonetic] ran - I think may have run a department in - not Macy's. Did you read his obituary the other day?
MS. BERMAN: No, I didn't.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he was an interesting dealer in New York. He ran a gallery. He also at one point said that - it wasn't Macy's.
MS. BERMAN: Maybe Altman's or Gimbel's?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It might - Gimbel's. I think Gimbel's had the collection from the [inaudible] and Hearst. I think Gimbel's had had the Hearst collection - was one time.
MS. BERMAN: Coots?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: So Coots said that the dealers were not getting - making any effort to cover the numbers of interesting artists at the time in the country to show, and they were just sitting back and taking one here and there, and insinuating that they were taking whatever the easiest way was. And so he got them to open up a big exhibition and to - everything [inaudible] could send in and he would make selections.
I think I saw the show. I can't say I think that he had revolutionized the whole art picture. [Laughter] But he got a lot of publicity about it. And then he opened this gallery, and then he dumped a lot of the things, people he'd picked up. And he came back again when he went to Europe after the war and brought the first new Picassos.
That obituary is interesting. I saved it for Carol to read. She was in the country, so she wouldn't have seen the paper. And I may still have it.
MS. BERMAN: I'd like to see that, too. I only see the paper on Friday and Sunday. Otherwise, I just sit there and read it the whole morning and take too long on it. So I can't look at it.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But it - I'm sure I have it somewhere. And I will just put it in the mail to you. I didn't mean to keep it. I wanted her to see it.
MS. BERMAN: Was the gallery that Bouchet - was that serious? In other words -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. It was very - I think it was rather elegant, how it was set up. Altman's plays around with the idea once in awhile, not very much. And I don't think they've [inaudible]. I don't think it's Macy's. I think Gimbel's thing. Somebody was always getting up and saying, New York [inaudible] didn't know what it was all about.
The other one who did that was the man who started the Association of American Artists. He said that the dealers didn't know how to run a business. So he'd show. And he went on, for awhile, very nicely. We had the same problem everybody else had. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: So he went into something about being a broker and rolled. And I don't know how he did in that. But I saw him years afterwards very casually in some sort of a meeting.
MS. BERMAN: You mentioned Gwen, of course. Gwen was, it seemed to me, a tremendously powerful gallery. And you said [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he was. He came in with Spiker and Birchfield. But he had other things, too. Why, I'd seen him with other pictures that came in. You know, this was one of the reasons that [inaudible] with galleries like Danza. Ours is - that they have other things that they bought and sold. So they weren't dependent on it, and they could, in a sense, use that profit to underwrite the expenses. Expenses for shows were not like they are now because catalogs - to prepare the catalogs [inaudible] used to cost 12 dollars. And our mailing lists were done by hand and in the gallery. And the advertising was minimal. And then you got as many as seven reviews on one show.
Somebody was going through our scrapbook the other day, just something [inaudible] horrible condition. As a matter of fact, the archives has microfilmed it. And - but it was Jerry who used to write on Luke's wall [inaudible] got a great kick out of the thing. And as du Bois was editor of -
MS. BERMAN: Arts Decoration.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Decoration. I guess I told you that, how he used to come in to talk about the shows he'd seen. And had I seen this or that? And then - and they were on the [inaudible] and artists used to stop in after the studio walks. I don't know. You see, it's hard for me to know what the very contemporary rely on the real publicity. [Inaudible] [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: What do you think of that? I mean, it's just -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I remember how long it's taken me to learn a lot of things. And either I'm dreadfully slow or she's incredibly fast or she doesn't know it yet. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But I don't know. What do you think of it? Do you know her?
MS. BERMAN: No, I don't know her personally. Well, I think she's just - she's capitalizing on propensities of everyone else. A Mary Boone doesn't come along all by herself, right?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, she's getting a lot of help from -
MS. BERMAN: Costelli?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Costelli. And it will be interesting to see how much he can do to get her into the next generation.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know how old the one artist she has [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Thirty, Schnable.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Is he?
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It's going to be hard to keep that up.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I think it's going to be difficult for him, too, because people are watching him so much.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think it's dreadful - it's the worst thing that could happen to him, is they have that kind of thing and - because if they're good and they start to experiment, everybody's going to say, "Well, why doesn't he do the thing that they all thought he was so wonderful at?" He's either going to have to go through an absolutely hellish time finding his own way and losing the success he had, or he's just going to have to turn around and try and do more work again [inaudible]. And it's just so sad because not every man or woman can live through that [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, I think so, too. No, I think it's too bad that when the talent is still fragile that the system is spitting him out and just watching, as you say. And he can't -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You know, it's interesting. When we - if I told you this before, just stop me. We did the talent show, as a group of dealers we did, four or five years ago. It was suggested as an interesting way to show new things without commitments and to - you know, to do something at the end of the season, when we got to go into group shows and so forth. And I think about 15 galleries did it.
And the women's paper - you might have seen some papers - picked it up very strongly, with the feeling that this was the time when women could get looked at. Well, I never refused to look at women's work. And so we have points between us. Carol and I looked at 30 people one day. So I - we had, fortunately, too little things to look through. One of them was very good. But I found that there were some early brilliances, about 22, 23.
And then there was a kind of point when they were working their way toward their own kind of thing, when the early ones would show you pretty well who they worked with, who they studied with. And then the [inaudible] period in between, when they were working, working towards something that was their own. And it really was not until the late 20s, in most cases [inaudible]. And it's very hard to [inaudible]. A lot of them teach so they can get jobs. Even if some do, that's all the time for experimental. And they have the same pressure that [inaudible] did. They should exhibit.
So I don't know. I think they have a very hard time these days, I think harder than when they had what we think of as a hard time. But they could find a place to live. They could find a way to get along. But nobody but, you know, taught - to pay rent and you just stayed within working distance of what you knew you could do. I personally - Heluva [phonetic], he paid 15 dollars for his cold-water flat.
MS. BERMAN: It's impossible now because the - with inflation and materials, it's just all of that seems to be far -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And moving away from the city is no good. In fact, I think it's very bad for many artists because they do lose kind of touch with other artists and what's going on, not that they're going to do the latest thing, but the excitement and the stimulus.
MS. BERMAN: The edge of it.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That's right.
MS. BERMAN: That you know that other people are working away around you, so you've got to get to your own work.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: You know, I think it's very difficult. And I've never had so many applications for jobs. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: When you say jobs, you don't mean artists; you mean as workers in the gallery?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [No audible response.]
MS. BERMAN: Yes?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yes, right. Background, experience. Some of them had too many jobs. I always am ware of that - change too often. But it's - and of course, they're looking for a higher level job than I think they can easily get. But every mail brings more letters.
MS. BERMAN: Do you answer them?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I try to. It's been so frantic. Carol was away all the month, for four weeks, you know. And we have had the biggest attendance I can ever believe in August because of the review in the Times on Glacken's drawings. Starting at one [inaudible] through the day, and not only people who read the Times, but the ones who have never been in the gallery who suddenly - or some of them didn't know what a Glacken's painting looked like.
MS. BERMAN: Were you astonished? I mean, everyone says that the Times is powerful. Did you ever realize it was this powerful?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. We've had reviews before, but not for a long time. Maybe I forgot. [Laughter] We've had good reviews. And it brings a lot of people. But this was a little different. For one thing, the show was not reviewed, and shouldn't have been, as a great show, which it is not. It's a very nice, small [inaudible] show. And it was reviewed as such, which pleased me very much. It was much [inaudible] you know, too much. Well, maybe it was, but it certainly got a lot of people's talent.
It must indicate a large group of people who would like to do things and are afraid to try - don't know where to go, how to start. Now, some of it may be less than noble, but some of it I thought was rather interesting. People are still awfully afraid of galleries. I've been snubbed more than once sometimes. Or they're afraid they will be and their very fear brings on sometimes an unintentional snub. You know, they're looking for - almost looking for trouble.
And so we tried very hard.
MS. BERMAN: This is interesting, the idea , which is true, of the gallery snobbery. I can think of several instances in which I've gone to galleries and it's been awful. But was that in the, say, 30s and 40s? Were the galleries like this or did they -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't think that they - I don't think they were like this in terms of actual snubs. I think they were just indifferent. I think that some of them would not take the trouble if they thought that you weren't worth it. Sometimes, some of the stuff is kind of useless. I mean, you know, every student who's ever been in an art class wants to come in and see if you would pull out some of his teacher's pictures so he can see what they look like now. And we try to do it, but we can't always manage a better deal. And it's a temptation [inaudible].
But I don't think of it as being quite that direct. One of the stories in the - again, maybe I'm repeating myself. I don't tell my stories too often. There was one very important - a man who was interested in collecting. And he had the farm down in Long Island, and he worked in the fields with his help, with his men. So he works now as a gentleman farmer. Got an urgent call to come into New York and got in the farm truck and got to the station just as he was, all muddy. Got to New York, went to attend to what he had to do and then decided he had some time, he'd go and see a couple of art galleries.
So he went into a couple, looking like this. And apparently, they just looked him up and down and showed him the door. So he finally went into Charlie Fowles, who was then of Scot and Fowles, that had barely anything, so although I did see a Morris Stands [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: They have a Maxfield Parrish.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And Fowles, for some reason or other, didn't have anything to do and was very nice to him. And then sold him his [inaudible] any number of galleries you wouldn't want to look into. I often wondered who they were, but I didn't know. That was the story told up and down the street. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] Probably started by some client in hopes of raising -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, I think it may be - it may have been started by Fowles, who told the experience. [Laughter] Scot Fowles is probably now looking [inaudible] gallery just below 53rd Street. Martin Vinbaum works for them, and he, I think, was one of the most successful salesmen that the art world has ever known. Just marvelous, everybody said. I heard him once trying - selling a picture at some gallery. It was eggs. [Laughter] A plate of eggs. But he sold [inaudible]. His drawing is that drawing collection that was given to Harvard [inaudible]. He was the [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, then, when you do sell a painting, I mean, do you talk a little? Do you talk a lot? What -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Do I?
MS. BERMAN: Well, no, not you because you're [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I may tell a bit of something about the artist. I may tell something about what I think of the [inaudible] pictures in terms of its worth, especially if it's good. And I may answer all of the questions, starting with, "Do you think he's going to be more important in the future?"
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] People ask you that?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes, more than they used to. They always wanted to know, but they didn't always ask it in quite the same terms.
MS. BERMAN: Gee, that seems to me that's the last question I'd ask a dealer. Is a dealer ever going to say, "No, my artist is not going to be important"?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, he isn't. [Laughter] And the client knows that.
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But - so it's mostly the [inaudible], either salesmen or executives or some sort themselves. But I think they would like to know how they think the question is going to be answered, so it's not just a [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: But would ever say, "But of course"?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I wouldn't say, "But of course." But I would say what he has accomplished over the years and how the record has developed, at least. I would say that he paints - I have said that he paints extremely well. Did I think that it's just about what [inaudible]? He does it well, but he [inaudible]. Sometimes I have even made a sale that way because the price would be in keeping.
And it's very difficult to do because you never know who they are going to quote.
MS. BERMAN: Well, when someone - say, typically, someone needs reassurance or can't make up his mind, what is it that they're looking for, what they need to know?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, they need to know - I don't know that they need to know that they're going to have moneywise a more important picture. But I think they need to know that they will be considered knowledgeable enough to have some respect in terms of their having chosen this one. Maybe money is, to them, at some point an indication of this proof, just as if you get a better salary, you're supposed to be better than somebody else.
But I think they would like the reassurance of being right and of being thought discerning. I think it's a matter of pride. And a picture is always on the wall to be talked about and seen. I mean, you could buy [inaudible] and some very bad ones that you're [inaudible] and you know people would laugh at you. You can always say, "Oh, well, I thought it would be interesting to have that in terms of" and then point to the fact that they have great [inaudible] as well.
You know, it's not something that you can laugh off that easily.
MS. BERMAN: No, of course. It's personal.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It's very personal, and they're not going - rarely going to buy if they can't bear looking at it. But it's sometimes with people like that, we try very hard to get them to let us put it away for a few days and then come look at it again. Because by that time, they will have - be able to look at it in less personal terms. And you know, it's almost as if you get over the shock of the subject and you can see it as a design or even as a decoration, if you like.
MS. BERMAN: Are people afraid to acknowledge painting as a decoration, in their thoughts?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I've been told that that's not the way - that's not what you should do. I think paintings are beautiful decorations.
MS. BERMAN: Do you tell people that?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I do. I say it's no disgrace to have a picture that makes your whole wall in your room look lovely. They think of buying for decoration as matching curtains. I mean, that's the sort of thing thrown at them, you know. The picture matches.
I did pull out a couple of pictures the other day for somebody who said, "Oh, well, I don't think that color would go; I have a room that's thus-and-thus color." And some pictures won't hang up in certain rooms. That I know. I've been fooled myself. But I pulled out two pictures which were very strong of colors the that we'd been talking about, put this in between them - the one discussing it, between - and I was fascinated because I don't think it'd ever done it.
[END TAPE 5.]
MS. BERMAN: Interviewing Antoinette Kraushaar on September 18, 1982, in her apartment on East 79th Street. You said to me - this was quite some time ago, but we didn't go into it. You said that you got in on a lot of things early, that that was very important.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, it's one of the reasons that I know about a lot of things, because if you and I, I mean, went to work for the gallery when - the time I did, and of the age, they wouldn't know as much behind the scenes things and they wouldn't be told as much of the past as my father could tell me. After all, in a sense, you see, his brother had died and so had his sister. Both - his brother was - founded the business. His sister was not ever active in it, but she was a businesswoman in her day. She was out pioneering. And she had lived with a family after her husband died. So that she knew a great deal about what went on. And that's one of the reasons I had - he got me in so early, was that nobody out in the family knew anything about it. And you know, it would be helpful.
But, I mean, I knew people who wouldn't be introduced to the girl who came to do stenography. And he wouldn't have told me background things if I hadn't been somebody he wanted to know about it. So I think it was very beautiful to have done it. And anyone coming to work, I would say the things that I would tell the girl who works for me now - not Carol, but Elizabeth who comes and does the kind of things that I did at the beginning.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I wouldn't tell her all of his background. And, of course, he also knew I wasn't going to go out in public and tell what I knew. [Laughter] Because once you tell a thing in the art world, you can forget you had to keep it a secret. So, a very gossipy world.
MS. BERMAN: I've noticed. [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: What was your - by the way, what was your sister's name, just for - your father's sister's name, for the record?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: She was Helena Lowell, L-o-w-e-l-l. And she, interestingly enough, married her deceased sister's husband. And he had married a younger sister, and she died a couple of years later in childbirth. And he lived with the family for awhile. This was a great many years back - and then married the oldest sister. It's interesting because that is a - way, way back, that was forbidden.
MS. BERMAN: How did they get around it?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: They didn't. They just did it. [Laughter] They were both pretty mature by that time.
MS. BERMAN: Well, there was one incident - speaking of getting things early - that you mentioned, but you didn't discuss. And it was a - you mentioned a dinner given by Frank, Crown and Shield in which you thought might be a prelude to the Museum of Modern Art. And maybe you could tell me what you remembered or what this was.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I remembered I went with my father because he took me to quite a few things like that. My mother had a younger child, and you know, we lived in the suburbs. I was quite often, well, conveniently, right there. So I went to a good many things with him. And I didn't have any particular part in the dinner. And unfortunately, I did not remember the guest list. But nobody - I don't think there is anyone living who went to that dinner.
MS. BERMAN: Was this given in the late 20s?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, it must have been at least that. Crown and Shield thought that there should be some place in New York where the modern - and he was thinking partly of the European terms because he was very interested in what was going on in Europe and could be shown. And the discussion was where could such a place be set up? And one of the places discussed was the National Academy exhibition space in what is now the Art Students League. And it was a big, very handsome series of exhibition rooms that they used to use a great deal. I don't think - I don't know when they cut it up. I guess when the League or the Academy moved uptown and the League needed the extra space for some classes.
And there were discussions. You see that there were exhibitions of these things in New York. They had some - I tried to remember Selligman's name the other day when I was talking about some of the galleries that showed the European things early. And there was a man who ran a gallery in the Selligman firm. And it was north of - they have a place north of [inaudible] house. And he had very interesting [inaudible]. He chose all sorts.
So there was no - well, no great lack of exhibitions [inaudible] period. But there was no place where things could be brought over, exhibitions could be brought over that would be more complete. I mean, these were dealers' exhibitions, and that meant what they had to sell. And he was very interested. I would have supposed that Ms. Cornelia Sullivan was [inaudible], but I really can't remember. I can't remember who I sat next to. Quite often, you do remember that, even for one reason or another.
MS. BERMAN: Well, do you think this was a dinner independently given by Crown and Shield or after -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. I think he gave the dinner. I think he invited the guests, gave the dinner, and hoped that something would come out of it. Now, whether it did, I don't know. But it was [inaudible]. And I said this to someone from the Modern Museum, who said, "Oh, I've heard of that dinner," but apparently there was no - nobody kept minutes or anything like that. And as I say, nobody - I'm sure that none of them who was there is still alive.
MS. BERMAN: So you think this was given probably before the three ladies got together?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think probably it may even have been the reason for the three getting together.
MS. BERMAN: And in turn, they invited Crown and Shield to be on their original committee?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Um-hm. But he was a very important figure in the moment. Nancy [inaudible] used to call me up, said, "Not married yet. Why not?" [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: Could have said the same to him.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: In that case, at that point, I was just sufficiently sophisticated. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: One day he called up and said this and I said, "You mean you haven't heard?" He said, "I haven't heard - don't tell me you're married." I said, "Well, I couldn't imagine your not hearing; you hear everything." Well, we went on and on and on [inaudible] where I laughed and spoiled the joke. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I said, "I thought we kept it so quiet."
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It isn't often I go into things like that.
MS. BERMAN: Well, I want to ask you about some of the personalities who were considered important during the time. And I think in hindsight we see them as significant, but maybe then things looked a little bit different. And I'd like to ask you, first of all, was Stieglitz perceived - I guess I should ask you, How was Stieglitz perceived while he was operating his gallery?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I think he was perceived as a very interesting and very forward-looking person. There was enough acceptance on the part of some artists and a few collectors of, let's say, Marin. And he was perceived as something of a crotchety personality. But I would think that at that point in my career I thought I should go and see Stieglitz's shows. But it was considered important. I mean, I thought that exhibition was sort of [inaudible]. Laughed at myself when I saw that their exhibition at the Whitney a good many years later - I thought, how dumb can you be? [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] Did you ever have much contact with him? Did you - he liked young people.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I went in the gallery occasionally, not very often. He came in - didn't I tell you he came in the gallery to turn over [inaudible] to my father?
MS. BERMAN: No.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he did. And they went toward the back of the gallery. And the office was a small, hardly a room, just a sort of enclosure back there. And they parked themselves outside the office door. And I think it must have been a good hour speech that Stieglitz made to my father. And he felt that Toulouse had - he had done as much as he could. And he wanted Toulouse to be accepted more widely and he thought my father could do it.
And he did. And interestingly enough, we did it without ever doing the show. I mean, we showed them to our customers. We put them [inaudible]. We didn't [inaudible] group showing in those days - and at more important times than they do now. You've got the news. So you know, here as well. So it's same with La Chaise. We had La Chaise all over the gallery. So anyhow, La Chaise never had a show.
MS. BERMAN: Did he care about having a show?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he had had several shows, I think. Maybe [inaudible] did a show, as well as the gallery we talked about the other day that did the sculpture shows.
MS. BERMAN: Brummer.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Brummer. And he was - always had a piece in the windows because we were on the ground floor. And sold steadily, got a steady income from [inaudible]. And so I don't think artists had quite the same approach to exhibitions that they did later. I don't think they put the value on exhibitions quite the same. They didn't have them at such regular intervals. They didn't necessarily have them only of their latest work. And they [inaudible] things sometimes. There would be a few earlier pictures in it. And I don't think that it had quite the same status. But you know, when you did have one, you got all those reviews.
MS. BERMAN: True. Were you aware of a John Quinn while he was -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. I don't think I ever saw him.
MS. BERMAN: Did you feel the effect of the dispersal of his collection?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, sure. I sat through all the auctions. And I saw the exhibition. They had an exhibition of selected things [inaudible] in the gallery in 56th Street. They had a beautiful [inaudible]. And I went down and gave [inaudible]. They [inaudible] Prendergast's selected things. And then they had a whole week of auctions. And I went to almost all of them. As a matter of fact, I didn't go to the last one, which was a Saturday afternoon, because my mother and I were away. But some of the oriental things that are little things that are scattered around here, came out of that sale. And I had a lamp that - a vase that was made into a lamp that came out of that.
And we had a group of people from the Brooklyn Museum, not collectors - club [inaudible]. They liked to go through these houses and see the pictures. And we gave a cocktail party. I gave a cocktail party here. And the curator of the oriental art, or assistant curator I think she was then, sat in that chair and never moved.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I didn't think he was wildly interested in twentieth century Americans, but I didn't know. Connie said to me, "Do you know what you have here?" And I said, "Yes, I know what's [inaudible] family heirloom, came out of the Quinn collection." But I don't know how good their description was and I didn't think at that moment that I had remembered it. And he said, "Actually, the descriptions in that catalog were surprisingly good for that period."
So I said, "Well, do you have one?" He said no. It turned out it was taken [inaudible]. He said, "No, we don't have one. We can't afford it." I said, "Well, I'd give you that except it's got some damage."
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He said, "Don't worry about the damage. We would be very happy to have it." So I lost my lamp. Fortunately, my father when it was made said you cannot drill through the [inaudible]. So that they just - so what I have there is to take its place, and I've never been very happy. I've missed it. But he told me later that they cleaned it, you know, and did a better job of restoration.
So there were things. But there was quite a bit of - have you seen the [inaudible]?
MS. BERMAN: No. But I was going to ask you - I mean, I know from Judith Zilzer's [phonetic] catalog that everything was ridiculously low. And I was going to ask you if that affected the market, the poor prices that were received?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, they weren't low because they were poor prices. They were low because those were not things that were selling at the time. They were arrogant. That was not that they were such poor prices, but some of those things had not ever reached prices. Many of them had not. So that what looks like poor prices from where we stand were the going prices [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, I was just wondering. They seem to have dispersed the collection so quickly, it almost seemed careless the way it was handled.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, you've got a collection like that. You see, one thing, his Irish things have brought very little. He was - he had one favorite. I mean, he never has reached a great stature. And but when she did that show, it was just lovely. Apparently, one in the family had bought quite a few of those things in the set and it worked very well. We bought several of the Prendergasts. [Inaudible] bought a sculpture by one of the three brothers.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, Duchamp, Duchamp?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yeah. Also [inaudible], also Duchamp.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, no, was it Duchamp or Duchamp-Villon?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Duchamp Vion - which was the sculptor, Duchamp-Villon. Also, Villon was the - Villon is the painter. And there were two of them.
MS. BERMAN: But there was Duchamp. There was Villon and Duchamp?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Duchamp-Villon. The Duchamp -Villon things came out very rarely. [Inaudible] tickets to see Jacques Villon and see Paris. And we [inaudible] down where [inaudible]. And he had in the studio a place for those big aqua tints that he did after works by Picasso, Monet [inaudible] people like that. He did that. And then, of course, he did his own original print, making prints. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: What exactly - he seemed to have so many careers, so many sorts of things. What was Walter Pock [phonetic]'s position and contributions, do you think?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, of course, he did such a variety of things. He was very - he was quite important in the Amory Show because he was in Europe. And he knew a number of the people who were there. He translated the Delaquois [phonetic] journals, edited in the sense that he left out a lot of the artist's description, how he worked [inaudible] and the materials he used. And one artist complained bitterly about that. He said that was the part he wanted to read.
But I think he made a more readable book out of it, because I have it in both forms. And I was [inaudible] at that time had read it in the French. In the summertime I read French because I just didn't have that much to do in the gallery. All I had to do was be there. But that [inaudible]. He knew it didn't have the collectors. He was very anxious. We had a couple of shows of his own work - very anxious to be recognized for that. Very friendly with Prendergast. He got around an awful lot.
MS. BERMAN: I guess that's why I asked. He was very slippery and quick. I don't mean slippery in a pejorative sense - nimble is what I mean.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, he did. I guess I told you [inaudible] together before one evening in Paris.
MS. BERMAN: No - took you to see who?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Eddie Forbe [phonetic], all those volumes of the history of art. Forbes was quite elderly at that time [inaudible] published. Pock didn't think he went far enough in accepting some of the new people. But that was understandable after all he'd done, because at that point his history of art was really a classic. I don't know whether it still is or not.
MS. BERMAN: What about the place of the Whitney studio club and galleries before the Whitney Museum? What was the - I guess, how was that regarded? Not now, really, but how was that regarded as it was coming into being and developing?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, it was a meeting place for artists. It was an opportunity for assembling the newer ones at a show. And it looks as if it was easy in those days. But those people were not [inaudible]. And she bought things by young artists. And Juliana Forest did, too. It's - there weren't - there were meeting places for artists such as they really are not now. I suppose it's because I don't know that generation [inaudible]. But that was a place for artists to go and to meet and to talk and had a chance to be bought and a chance to be shown.
As I told you, there were not as many exhibitions. There's not nearly as much opportunity for artists to show in many galleries, where new ones, small ones came and went. And Wannamaker knows he has had a bad interesting gallery [phonetic]. Louis Bouchet ran it.
MS. BERMAN: Well, what did dealers think of the Whitney studio gallery when it was selling pictures?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I have no idea. I don't think that I heard very much about that. I know that some of the people we had showed there - but the Whitney Museum was founded 50 years ago. It must be 52 years now.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: In 1940 - 1930.
MS. BERMAN: Right. Well, that's when it opened, but in 1929, they -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Um-hm.
MS. BERMAN: Yeah. But when they had the galleries, they were selling, they used to have ads in the yard saying, "What is home without a modern picture?"
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, when you consider that The Eight show was as early as it was, there was almost war those years they [inaudible] war in between. And I think it was - I think in the first years, they probably - MacBeth was showing a few things. But MacBeth also had some very much more conventional things. But MacBeth showed Dave's [phonetic] early, so that we had Sloans early. And Glacken and Prendergast were later. And we had Luks and du Bois early. And we Luks quite early and du Bois fairly early. But - as he was young at Paris.
But I don't know that there was a great feeling about it, or I don't know whether there was any feeling about it or whether the dealers had paid any attention.
MS. BERMAN: Was Mrs. Whitney interested in the Kraushaar Gallery because so many of her friends and artists she found compatible were represented there?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't think she was particularly interested in the gallery. She came in for the shows, and as long as she was around and getting to exhibitions. I don't know that she was particularly interested in the gallery. She was a picture collector. She would have been on our lists. She must have bought things other than [inaudible] the people I think of as part of it and the studio company and group. But it would have been a very minor thing.
The Academy sold very well out of their shows. And the National Academy exhibitions were in their very different field, though very important field. And that's one of the reason that Henri tried so hard to get some of his friends into it, because it was a place where artists could show and sell their pictures.
MS. BERMAN: Now, how about Juliana Forest [inaudible] what sort of dealings she had had with that?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: With the dealers?
MS. BERMAN: No, no, with you?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, there was a very strong, a very friendly feeling. We saw her several times in the summers that she was still living or staying in Europe. We went down and saw the house she had [inaudible] one Sunday for lunch. And we saw her in Paris a number of times because the years the du Bois was there, we all went with the du Bois one Sunday. We'd get in the car and we'd go down, we drove down [inaudible] for lunch.
And we stayed with her. She had a favorite hotel. We stayed with her one weekend at the France [phonetic]. It was the France. And at the same time, Margot Gruening and her husband, who was John Anderson [inaudible] were there. And she practically took over that hotel, which was the way she had. She was - she had a house way down in Pennsylvania. She loved it. We went down there for a Sunday party, my mother and father and I. And Lowell and I went when she had the house up in North Sen [phonetic], I think, Connecticut. And she loved doing it, decorating houses. I mean, I think that her interest in a house was what she could do with it. After that, she was perfectly willing to sell it.
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] I think you're right.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Because she did - she had this charming little house in New England in a very small town. But she was a very important personality. In the dealers' meeting, her suite was always the focal point of using people who were at the meetings. And she always had a party upstairs at the Whitney openings. And it was always considered a very touchy question, would you be asked to come upstairs, because you were asked to come upstairs. You just didn't go. And sort of like, someone went around touching the people who were - [Laughter] -
MS. BERMAN: Yes, tapped.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But we went to a couple of dinner parties there. And my mother was with us when we stayed in France. And for two such dissimilar people, they had a very nice attachment, because they couldn't have been more different. My mother was very quiet, no great part of the art world other than through Father and me, and Juliana - and not a personality on the terms that Juliana Forest was. But she certainly did a great deal. She bought impulsively.
And I must have been telling someone else the other day about the fact that, after the - after her death and when the Whitney moved uptown that they did some weeding out. But they did it beautifully. They would take a picture which was less important, perhaps not as good as a later one, and make an arrangement with the artist. And they were very fair.
MS. BERMAN: That would have been Herman Moore and Lloyd Goodrich doing that?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, it would have been really Lloyd, because I don't think Herman ever went uptown. I think he was only when they were still on 8th Street.
MS. BERMAN: Well, he was on 54th Street.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He made it on 54th Street, that's right. He was a rather good painter. The Whitney has one very handsome big landscape of his they have showed very, very occasionally. But of course, he never had time - wouldn't have time for very much painting. He had a lovely house overlooking the whole of the Woodstock valley, beautiful, on the cliff.
MS. BERMAN: That must have been when Juliana was in Woodstock. She moved up there for a summer or two to be near him.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Last year she stayed up there. What was Dr. Barnes like?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Dr. Barnes was pretty much as presented.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We went down - Father and I went down to see the collection of Glackens. I asked Dr. Barnes, if you please, would you make an appointment for us to see it, and he did. And he was very pleasant about it. When we were there, he had just come back from Europe. And he had bought a St. Jerome Greco's in Germany because that was the time when the German marc was thousands to the dollar. And they had just opened the case and brought the picture in. And that was interesting to see. We had gone down by ourselves. And we saw him once in Paris in the 20s with a whole retinue of people, mostly younger people. Father, I think, knew him years before. He had been around New York [inaudible]. And I don't think he ever bought anything from us.
He had been on this ship that we crossed on one summer. But we didn't see anything of him during the thing. I only knew it later, because he wasn't listed on the passenger list, and when he told me that he remembered seeing me on that trip, remembered we were on it. And he came in the gallery occasionally.
And when we were at 32 East 57th, he lent me a picture for a Glacken show. This was Glacken - insisted when we had the show [inaudible] I must ask. And I said he wouldn't lend me anything. Well, I asked and asked if I had could have The Racetrack. Well, of course, he wouldn't lend me that. But he lent me an earlier one which was a very handsome seaside picture, not particularly a beach scene, but you know, the edge of the water.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, was that the Bellport? I think the -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. No, no. It was much earlier than Bellport. It was [inaudible]. And he wouldn't lend me the frame, the picture turned - because the frame was an old one, he wouldn't let it go out. The picture was no known size. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Terrible time getting a frame. And then when we sent it back, the man who was supposed to take it was sick that morning, and a younger man - wasn't very able, bright - took it over. And he and the doctor - the doctor was to meet him at the railroad station. He and the doctor missed connections. The telephone that morning went back and forth. Finally, I said, "Look, Doctor. I will hear from him, and as soon as I do I'll call you. Give me your number." Well, to give the [inaudible] telephone number was unheard of. Finally, he said, would I promise that I would - as soon as I called him and got the thing straightened out, would I tear the paper up and never try to memorize it? Well, sure. I don't need his telephone number. So I got his telephone number, and I did exactly as I promised.
But I went down later with one of the girls who worked with me then because he wanted to exchange a Charles Prendergast panel I had for one that he had. And I remembered his big gold panel, but I didn't remember the smaller ones. And I said, "Well, I'd like to see it." And he said, well, I could come down and see it. And so I said, "Well, could I also see the collection again?" Yes, I could come down on Sunday and see the collection. So the girl who worked for me said, "Oh, couldn't you try to get me in?" - and I said, "Well, I could try." I haven't told you this before?
MS. BERMAN: No.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I guess I tell my stories too often. I said I could try, but we'd see. So I wrote him a letter and said, could she come? She was very interested [inaudible]. So he called me up and he said, "Is she good-looking?" I said, "Yes, she's a very handsome young woman." And she was. "Well, I'll come and see." So he came in the gallery, took a look, and said yes, she could come. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: So we went on a Sunday afternoon. He was sitting with his two [inaudible] the women who worked for him in the big gallery.
MS. BERMAN: His acolytes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And said that we could walk around until five o'clock. So, come five o'clock, we came - we went through the gallery. We went across three to go to the other part of the gallery. And stopped to say how much we were enjoying it. He asked me about some of the artists he had known, because he was very generous about letting artists come down on Sunday afternoons all through the years. Not dealers or - particularly not collectors or museum people, but artists could come. And so I had seen some of them, you know, who came in the [inaudible] gallery.
We went on. At five o'clock, we went back and he said, "Well, did you see it all?" We said, no, we didn't see the room with the watercolors. Well, we could have another half hour. So we had another half hour. [Laughter]
I've seen it since, and I really must go down again, because it's a long time. This was not too long before he was killed. Oh, he scared the daylights out of me and he knew he did. And he enjoyed it. He really had - you've seen the -
MS. BERMAN: Oh, yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, a lot of people hadn't.
MS. BERMAN: True.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: For one reason or another.
MS. BERMAN: It's not that hard to get to if you just make time and you decide you're going to do it. It's a day expedition.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think it's - I think you can do it now. But of course, for a long time, it was more difficult. And then he had to be only one - well, it still is only on the weekends. I know a lot of people who have taken courses. I must say that Mr. Mazy [phonetic] has been very nice to me about - that he was telling people we had the Glackens and the Prendergasts. I see her - I used to see her very occasionally. I don't know what happens to that museum after her.
MS. BERMAN: I don't either. The teaching part, especially - well, the museum may not go on; it's just the classes and the upper -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, the museum may go on. And can they keep it always because they never change the hanging. When they have the classes, they have - they bring in things from anywhere [inaudible] from storage or from the house. Line them all up. This would be the one reason for taking the classes, to be able to see those things in different combinations.
MS. BERMAN: I want to return to what we were discussing last time. There were a few more dealers that I wanted to ask you about and your memories of them and their place in the art of their time. And another one is Marie Harriman [phonetic].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: She had a very good gallery. She was very serious about it. She had a young woman who had worked, and her husband, Avril Harriman's office, who ran it, Ray - names. They never called her anything but Ray - and did it very well. And Mrs. Harriman took a very active part in it. I don't think she did the day-by-day anything, but she really was concerned with it. And I knew her very slightly. But the gallery had a real standing.
MS. BERMAN: Why did it close?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, maybe she was not enough interested. Maybe she was getting older; I don't know. I know the girl who worked for her was still active. But she was not [inaudible] when she was a middle-aged woman, I guess. And so I really don't remember if I ever knew her.
MS. BERMAN: What about Rosenberg?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Rosenberg when I first remember them were in the same place with Rubenstein. But Rosenberg is a very important dealer in his field. And he did show some American things. He had one rather interesting sculpture that he showed a good deal. And then of course he had the Hartford things. And he had - his work - I bought a couple of pictures recently. The Thorpe's galleries hadn't showed by now.
MS. BERMAN: Tafts [phonetic]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Tafts. And he showed Tafts many, for quite a few years. And I knew the father slightly. I came on him having a conversation in the corridor once with Stieglitz, when Stieglitz was about to close and everybody was gunning for Marin. And started to back out, to get a - to leave the room that was part of the exhibition, actually. And Stieglitz says, "It's not private. Don't worry."
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I didn't stay long. I didn't know him well. When we moved uptown into 80th Street, we asked all of the people who were in the neighborhood to come to a party. And to my surprise, he came. I know Alexander, who has been - he was the first president of the dealers association. And I admired him a lot for that because he's rather a retiring man. And I thought that he did a great service to the dealers when he gave his name to that because it's through the gallery - was very prestigious. We were in the gallery in Paris once or twice working with some [inaudible] drawings. Paul Rosenberg himself was showing them to my father, and the two of them went through it pretending they didn't know each other, which I thought was terribly funny. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] Were you allowed to know both?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I was allowed to know both.
[END OF TAPE 6.]
MS. BERMAN: You just mentioned Stieglitz was closing. Did the Kraushaar Gallery try to get, buy some of its artists?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't think we did. It must have been in the 40s it closed.
MS. BERMAN: Forty - well, yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: We had quite a lot of things to cope with right then. We had [inaudible]. And of course, Hartley had left him before. I wanted Hartley when Hudson Waffle closed. But Hartley decided that he liked MacBeth better at that time. One time being a woman I don't think was a great advantage. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But he was a very [inaudible] person, to say he appreciated - that he was sorry. He must have been sorry later because MacBeth closed not too long after that. We were lucky to know the Rosenberg. But - oh, I don't know. I don't know what Rosenberg's relationship with dealers in general was. But as far as I know, he was much admired, respected. I saw him at an auction in Paris. The Daumier [phonetic] collection had been shown up there [inaudible] period almost - either during Daumier's last years or right after, I forget which. Beautiful collection, Daumier's.
And then in the Paris auctions it is considered improper to bid against the Louvre. So for one picture that came up, the Louvre announced that it was bidding. And of course, everybody was allowed to make a planned, token bid, but not the full bidding. Rosenberg bid against the Louvre and got it. And it was a very tense moment because this was unheard of. But he sat in this corner like a wiry little man, bid doggedly.
MS. BERMAN: Maybe he resold it to the Louvre later.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, he didn't. He sold it to John Haywood in Sicily. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I saw [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: You mentioned the art dealers association. Perhaps you could talk a little bit about what impact that's had on the profession.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, this is about the third try. There were - in the 20s, there was a small group of them got together, used to have meetings. And somehow or other, it broke up. And then Edith Talp [phonetic] tried pulling a group together. Something - somewhere that had taken place, which she felt there should be a concerted effort on the part of the dealers to do something about it, and there was an effort then to set up an association.
And there were a certain number of meetings, but it never really took off. And after they had made their point and whatever the question was, and one or two other things that came up immediately after, the thing just sort of dissolved.
But the dealers association, of course, when it started again, Ralph Cohen took a very great interest in it and pulled it together. And it was well enough started, finally. And now I think it - while he still has a very active part, I think that it is well enough established. And my feeling - my own feeling is that it is very important because it's there for emergency.
I was on the board for a couple of years. And I'd done two terms. So that's all. And I certainly would never have been a candidate for the presidency because I don't have the personality or the time. But it has become a rather important organization. I don't know whether some of the smaller galleries feel that they no longer have as important a place on it. I haven't been to the last couple of meetings because I couldn't get away in time. And I really must make a point to go.
But it's needed these days because it has - there are problems that come up, and they are there to handle them and meet. And some things have been successful in changing, and some still go on the same way.
MS. BERMAN: Well, what would be - what is typically discussed in a meeting?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Practical matter. Well, sometimes, for instance, there was the discussion at one meeting that I went to of this suit that the dealers in London brought against the museum - the auction houses for the 10 percent surcharge. I see that suit was dropped, finally. I've forgotten. I think that the surcharge still exists; it has been lowered in one case. I don't know exactly how they settled it. They didn't win, anyway. It never did come to court, to trial.
And there are practical matters. There are discussions of galleries. The initial requirement for membership is to have been in business five years. And then, of course, there are inquiries made of various galleries who have taken on, had dealings. And now there are - I notice there are an increasing number of out-of-town members, which I think is very good. And it is the usual meetings and things like that. Somebody asks a question, makes a speech at the same time. There are differences of opinion. Some galleries carry a good deal of weight; some very little; some don't.
I haven't been to some of the meetings lately since [inaudible] 80th Street. I couldn't get there at 5 o'clock, or even 5:30.
MS. BERMAN: But it seems to be it's mostly for self-examination or policing, as opposed to a social -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, it has one dinner a year. And the dinners are very nicely done, as a matter of fact. I went - I managed to go to those. And then actually, the last one was at the Metropolitan. I must say they always have good dinners, which is very nice; but Ralph sees to that. And no, it's policing and of its own members. And it's also a discussion of experiences with various organizations that do various things. And a lot of - to deal over auctions. And they were the ones who go finding out [inaudible] of auction houses to publish [inaudible] pictures that have to be sold, because in the beginning when they published prices, they published whatever it was knocked down at. And that was very confusing because we do need that for our appraisal jobs from time to time. And of course, it was unfair.
Actually, the system of having reserves still makes it slightly unfair because the price may be made by the owner rather than by two bidders. But it has had a big [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: So people apply to get in? Or do you -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: They have to be invited. And this is rather interesting because I know of several people who applied. And they have to be sponsored by a gallery. I sponsored one who didn't get in. I think they were absolutely wrong, and I don't know why it was turned down. But somebody must have had some experiences that they didn't like. And so, you know, in the earlier days, while there were very friendly feelings among certain dealers and certain member of them, there wasn't the need for asserted action that there is these days. I mean, it's expected that there be concerted action. Everybody has their group of people who have -
MS. BERMAN: Interest group.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Interest group. And it's necessary. I mean, there was discussion about this new print law, for example, which is going to be an awful nuisance for the in-between people. But it is in one way, again, you have some of the things that are being done in the name of prints and are not properly explained.
MS. BERMAN: I don't know. I guess this -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, you see, some of these reproductive things that are published as a limited edition of the prints.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, you mean like this Wyeth reproductions for sale?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, of course, the Wyeth reproductions, more or less, are known for what they are.
MS. BERMAN: Hm-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Because, of course, the paintings are so well known. There are lots of other things going around.
MS. BERMAN: So this defines what an original print is?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: What an original print is. And you have to give - there is required information. Of course, it's hard to put the required information on the in-between ones. The early people are not the - that is not required, like the Sloans and things like that. But let's say in the case of a Bacon, we didn't keep any records. So it's alive. She might be an intra [inaudible], see. And that has some difficulties. But basically [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: See, I guess now I want to switch back to going over some of the artists who you had and some of your memories of them or just things that are important to you about those artists. And you mentioned Keenbush [phonetic] before.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, he came - I took the various things that he had shown me when he came back from the army, the second World War. And he was in the army a long time, about as long as you could be, in the Pacific area. And because he was absolutely unknown, he had really, was really behind his generation because some of them who were not in the army had gone on working. He got interested in working [inaudible]. And that, through the whole career, was his usual medium, although he did [inaudible].
He was - it's the generation of James Brooks, people like that. They were younger than the abstract expressionist group, although they went to the meet things at the club and knew most of those people.
MS. BERMAN: Did you ever go to the club?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, I don't think I ever did. I heard a lot about it. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Do you feel that you were pioneering when you took Keenbush on?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I didn't feel I was pioneering. I liked the things very much. And I didn't think of them as [inaudible]. This was Carol's - said, "Didn't you think you were?" Well, no, not particularly. I thought that it was a fresher point of view than we already had. But on the other hand, I didn't think I was being that daring. And of course, it took awhile. But gradually, we got [inaudible]. And I don't know. I don't think at the time you think of it as being pioneering, because some of the things like that you do don't work out. Artist goes to pieces at some early point because they won't do - start out with great promise. So I don't think you would stand up and say, "Oh, I'm so daring today." [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter] What about John Coke [phonetic]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, John Coke actually came at the very end of my father's choosing. And in certain years, you were more daring to have Coke than you were to have a Keenbush. But - because his reputation as an artist is very much higher now than it was during a good part of his lifetime. Sold very well. People liked his work. But for the artists, it was only his last show that he had many young artists to come to see his pieces. At an earlier part he was just so old-fashioned. So it was - again, it was the question of thinking he was a good man.
MS. BERMAN: Well, what was Coke's own reaction to these changes in fashion?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He took it very well. For someone like Alexander Brooks, for example, or his generation, it was very bitter because they had been very prominent young artists. And Brooks - or Alexander [inaudible] at his top was considered one of the most promising [inaudible] painters. And they felt, of course, that some of - many of them felt they were pushed aside. And in a sense, they were, not intentionally, but because there were new, exciting things coming along. And there was a lot of [inaudible].
Some of them tried very hard to climb on the bandwagon and did it rather badly. And they were the ones who, in a sense, pulled down some of that generation because they were bad people. People bought not very good things to try to be part of the movement, collectors, and wouldn't go the whole way, so they bought rather watered-down things. And they were disenchanted when the tide turned and only the good ones held up. Certain ones held up. Time will tell whether some of them were good.
MS. BERMAN: How about Ernest Lawson?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Lawson, of course, was one of the group of the early [inaudible]. They were definitely my father's generation because they were all born about the same time. And Lawson was a very nice man. He used to come to our house for dinner [inaudible] artists sometimes. And then he had a hard time. His wife was very, very interested in travel and all kinds of things, and I suppose rather demanding. And he - although he sold rather well in his lifetime, he's in a great many museum collections from that period, he never could quite keep up. And so he was always [inaudible] one step ahead.
He went out to - of course, they came in the gallery a great deal, those men, in the 20s and the early 30s because we were on the ground floor, 32 - at the 53rd Street [inaudible] put them at 53rd Street. And they would be walking by, and they'd stop in. And of course, we had shows of their friends. I don't think we ever had a Lawson show, but we've had a great many Lawsons from time to time. And he had shows at various places. He had shows at MacBeth's, he had shows at Harrigan's. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: How did you, I guess, I mean acquire - how did Kenneth Callahan start with you?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, when Leonard Walker closed his gallery, he asked me which of his painters I might like. And I actually took three. I took Von Flannery [phonetic], who was a horse painter, Luellen [phonetic], who was much earlier, and Callahan.
And Callahan, in Walker's time, was showing mostly drawings because Walker liked his drawings much better than his paintings. So when we started with Callahan, we had to do the job on the paintings, which have been seen very little.
MS. BERMAN: Did you like the paintings, or were you just going on the basis of the drawings?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, I liked the paintings. I liked the paintings very much. I like the drawings - I think they're beautiful. And we're going to - in the show that opens Wednesday - maybe you'd like to come in? We're going to have a small party for Kenneth. And he knows few people in New York, and of course, he's just staying for a few days. So I thought it would be nice to throw a party on Wednesday night. So it would be nice if you could stop by.
MS. BERMAN: I'd like to.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think you'd enjoy meeting him. He's -
MS. BERMAN: I love his work. You were just saying that Callahan was hard to sell?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Callahan was - still hard to sell. But he has a very much higher reputation on the West Coast than he has in the East. And he is considered with Toby and Graves to be the three older ones who are the most important. But that's a very special group of artists in that Northwest area.
And then a good number of galleries in Portland, then Seattle, very active galleries, and it seems to me are much more interesting, the area, from that point of view than California.
MS. BERMAN: Does Callahan see himself as being influenced by Toby or Graves?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, I think he's the middle of the three in the thing. No, I don't think he thinks that. But they were great friends. They were all - and they were pioneers because they were really the start of that Northwest area.
There was one older painter who is rarely seen in New York. Edith Halpert had a few of his things once. I've never been able to find any of them. And he was the one who supposedly really broke ground. And one of these days I'll remember the name. But you'll find it anywhere, anyway, because he's in all the western and Southwest museums.
But the next generation, I knew Toby actually. He was a friend of Karl Morrison's [inaudible]. And he used to come to the gallery. He was going through New York and never had his work. He had had the group from Boston at the contemporary museum there. And they had Callahan and Graves, Toby and the fourth man was [inaudible] I didn't know. And they were little retrospectives. Toby's were awesome. Toby's and the Callahans were beautiful because both men had continued their quality right through their career, Callahans in the 70s. Graves, of course, the early ones were nothing, but his less interesting later ones, and his group was small. So it was interesting to see.
MS. BERMAN: Would you have liked to have handled Toby?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know. I never thought about it, particularly. And Marian Willetts had him for so many years that I never even thought about it. I enjoy his work. I'm sure he - I always go along with it. But this particular group that was in the Boston show were just beautiful.
MS. BERMAN: And you said that Callahan is still working as productively?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. This will be all pictures. The paintings will have been none since his last show. Two came from his summer's work, came from the gallery from the latest winter, maybe. And some of the drawings were done on a trip to China. A few of them are later mountain drawings. And they have birds that he draws along the coast, where he has a house, sea birds. And that's a wild ocean out there.
MS. BERMAN: How about John Heliker [phonetic]?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Heliker had - when Walker - I took Heliker, actually. He was the fourth when Walker closed.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: And I had only seen drawings. It was just at that time that he took [inaudible] and Cochran and a very small painting. And Cochran had fits because they like large and handsome paintings for their first prizes. But his painting went on very excitingly after that, particularly toward the [inaudible] 40s and then 50s when he had to edit. The end of the 40s was a very brief nonobjective period.
MS. BERMAN: Right.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It was almost a break between the earlier landscapes and the things he did [inaudible] his wonderful breaking-loose.
MS. BERMAN: What did you feel about that when he did that?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I feel that Heliker knows what he's doing. And I've seen him through his various periods. I've seen him sometimes periods a picture would come in that seems a little tired. And I almost always will have seen the next picture come in and it's a fresher approach. And he's also [inaudible]. So usually I feel with him as with Callahan, that these are artists who have grown and developed through many movements and certainly have taken something from the excitement of the movements, not to imitate it, but to be stirred by it, because I think artists who are of any quality are.
MS. BERMAN: What do you do - and I'm not talking about someone who doesn't pan out, but maybe someone who is going through an infelicitous period - do you say anything or do you just wait for them to come out of it? Or what happens?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I keep looking at them myself because sometimes I'm the one who doesn't cull all his facts. You know? It's a surprising thing. I had some of those out recently to show someone. We have only two or three of them. It's a very nice pastel of that period that I saw recently, a year or two ago, up in [inaudible] property at the [inaudible]. And I've seen them in someone's house. A friend where I stayed this Fourth of July weekend has four or five Helikers, and they range from quite early to more recent ones. And it's interesting to see them again because you begin to see, then, their place in the development of his work.
MS. BERMAN: I see. What about Carl Shragg?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Shragg I looked at first and went to see his paintings because I had liked one or two that he brought in and did not like what I saw at the studio [inaudible]. They were very definitely depression things, dark, rather dark figures. And although very well drawn, I think they didn't look like they had much sparkle.
And a couple of years later he came in [inaudible] and said he'd like to show it to me because he felt that they were a change in his work and he hoped to get a reaction. And I didn't show up. Of course, I've had them ever since. But they were the beginning of what is his name, what his work, I think. This year's show had less of the outline drawing quality, and so the color moved and was subtler than some of the earlier shows. I thought that was an interesting development because he's been a very important printmaker and [inaudible].
So that sometimes you like one period more than another, but you believe in the artist and you feel that his - this is part of his development and you go along with it.
MS. BERMAN: Do you feel in Shragg's case that the watercolors perhaps freed up the painting?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, they make - they were a real change. They were - to some degree, they were colored drawings, as well as being watercolor. But the lineal - the sense of line has always been important in his work. But I think - and still is. But I think now he's drawing in color more than he did in some periods. And it gives an openness and a subtlety.
But no, of course you don't walk in. [Inaudible] comes in sometimes. In any show, we make it a point for that particular item, like when the artist feels strongly about [inaudible]. Sometimes he's right, and sometimes I'm right. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: How about Elsie Mann?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, she is much less - she is much more merry than people realize from the last couple of shows, and where she's doing still lives. The first things of hers were sometimes still lives. They were more figure pictures [inaudible]. She's had quite a varied career. She's going to have a show at the [inaudible] museum over on Staten Island, the Taylor [inaudible] show, a retrospective [inaudible] season. [Inaudible] And I'm very pleased because it will give us a chance to [inaudible]. This is something that has throughout - she did lovely flower still lives [inaudible] and said she never was going to do another daisy picture.
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: [Laughter] But the day may come when she'll do another bowl.
MS. BERMAN: So you feel that she's wrongly labeled as probably being part of the Bailey [phonetic] crowd?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That's right. I think she's more in many - not necessarily more than Bailey, but mostly she's in many of them.
MS. BERMAN: I just meant that Bailey is the one -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes, Bailey is the one that has the highest reputation, and anybody who thinks pots on the table is considered not the proper form.
MS. BERMAN: When did she first come to the gallery?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Maybe in the 60s. I have a very bad memory for dates. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: How did you get Peggy Bacon?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Peggy has - Peggy was a long time ago an associate of Mary Bacardes [phonetic] when they had big [inaudible] paying gallery. And she had had a show at Siegler's years before and the [inaudible]. And, well, of course, she did so much illustrating over the years. And she must have come in to see me, said would I be interested, and I was. I think she may have been at Ren [phonetic] for awhile, wasn't entirely happy, and left and was without a gallery. And that has built up very nicely. Too bad that she didn't have it listed sooner. But she did have some successful shows and was able to come to them.
MS. BERMAN: Well, that show at the Smithsonian really helped.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, it really did. And the catalog -
MS. BERMAN: Was great. Bobby did a great job on it.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: She did a wonderful job on it. And actually, Bobby's catalog [inaudible] did, too. I wish she hadn't stopped quite so soon. But of course, that break came because of the embroideries committee, the big fabric things - was really a break in work. But I was so pleased that they showed the [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Well, can you sell Peggy Bacon's paintings?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: She did very - well, when you say paintings, she did very few oils. She has never been at home with the medium. But we sell her pastels and watercolors. And we sell her prints very well [inaudible]. And she has a real following now.
MS. BERMAN: Are they mostly people who are maybe in their 30s and early 40s?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, they're all ages.
MS. BERMAN: I always got the sense of rediscovery with Peggy Bacon, by younger people.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, yes, they come to know her name. But the old ones know her name anyway. And she has been more affordable. I mean, discoveries - although now if we want a print, we have to go out to an auction and pay for it. And I'm pleased to do it. But she's the tag of illustrator. It's a very unfortunate one, in people's minds because they associate it with doing things for pay, which for no reason that I could ever discover seems to be rather wicked on the part of an artist. And also they confuse it with a lot of very bad things that are done as illustrations.
But so many artists have made their living by illustrating. Of course, photographs [inaudible] are back again an awful lot.
MS. BERMAN: Well, they were [inaudible].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, yes, as illustrations. There was a time when photographs had been overdone, and drawings [inaudible]. Other things came back as illustrations. Now I think it's going to reverse again.
MS. BERMAN: Well, how about Louis Bouchet?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Bouchet was first - he had his first show - or the first show I ever sold was at the Ballantine Gallery, Ballantine Densk [phonetic]. And that closed shortly after that, and I took Bouchet on. And I think he is a much better painter than is recognized. He also did some very interesting decorations. We have in storage, too big for anything, some [inaudible] things, very handsome decorations.
MS. BERMAN: Those are paint with pineapples and all? Is it those? They are panels with things like pineapples on them?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Maybe. I haven't seen them in so many years. They actually - they belong to his daughter. And I really only got a glimpse of them when they went into our storage. He ran the gallery at -
MS. BERMAN: Wannamakers.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Wannamakers. And he had - there was a period when he was more abstract and did some very entertaining portraits. He did one of - well, he did some self-portraits, and they were always fun. One is three portraits on one canvass with the three - he loved English clothes. And the three [inaudible] great place to buy your hats. But he did one of Eloise -
MS. BERMAN: Spade?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Spade, standing in the modern museum with a Picasso on the wall that is a very nice picture. And he did a number of figure paintings. The Metropolitan has, actually, I think four paintings. And the one that gets on the wall occasionally is the one of the ferryboat beside the deck - a ferryboat, which is very old. He's a very quaint, very good, very knowledgeable painter. Talking to Louis was an education.
MS. BERMAN: Do you mean about art or just all sorts of things?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: About art, the past, and artists who were lesser known, artists who had risen, who were good in that field, some who were considered good at the time and went back. He says he knew more names of more artists than anybody in the world. And I came next. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, you see, I've gone to auctions for so many years, and both here and abroad. And Louis has had a great interest.
MS. BERMAN: Did he collect?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Not really. He had a few things that were exchanges that artists did. Something that artists did out of love more before. I understand they do it now and give each other's pictures to museums. [Laughter] I don't know. None of mine have done it that I know of. And I don't like it [inaudible] because you can't take [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Right.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Which is too bad because some small museums would get quite a bit. They might find it useful to have.
MS. BERMAN: I thought Bouchet was a very versatile painter, from what I have seen. I assumed he did a lot of different things with genre painting and landscaping and all this.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. He did landscapes. He did still lives. He did quite a few decorative things for people, for some of the [inaudible]. I haven't seen very many of those, but I've seen some photographs. And he had a feeling of style and very interesting painting.
MS. BERMAN: What about Henry Shnackenberg?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, Henry was of the art students league in [inaudible]. He was in France. He traveled [inaudible] with watercolors, a few oils, to places - very fond of the islands in the Caribbean, and now has a renewed reputation and interest because he did people in parks. He did a number of things of Central Park, of the Bethesda fountain. And particularly in the years when the - during the war, in the 40s, when sailors in their white suits with the girls and [inaudible]. And he did street scenes.
He was considered a more prosaic painter perhaps than Bouchet. But at the moment and - but he was a good, solid painter and a realist. And at the moment, he's a better painter as a realist than a lot of things people are looking at. Now, I mean, he had a real painter feeling. And his place perhaps is not as great, but it was well done and I'm very glad to see the paintings going into a variety of collections. There are some very nice things in the Whitney collection, and one or two - one at least in the Metropolitan, and a number of collections of his good watercolors.
MS. BERMAN: Well, when the Whitney had that tradition in modernism show a year or two ago, or figurative - one or the other - that was the first time I'd ever seen Shnackenberg out.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It's the one of two women.
MS. BERMAN: The conversation.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: They have a beautiful one of an air plant in the Caribbean, which they used to show quite a bit. It's a very different picture. It's surrealist, but the realism of things that are not as usual thought of together.
MS. BERMAN: It must have been that figurative tradition that Bobby and [inaudible] did.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That's right. Well, they have another picture of the friend and his man in the evening clothes [inaudible]. But that one, of course, filled the bill, you know?
MS. BERMAN: Is that a man with high cheekbones and sort of a long face?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I've forgotten his face. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Mrs. Forest used to hang it upstairs quite often.
MS. BERMAN: Yes, yes. I'll have to tell you about that. I was just looking at that, the picture of her with the painting behind her of that. And I was trying to find out who it was. And I thought I couldn't tell. I thought it was maybe Luks or Cue [phonetic]. But it wasn't.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. It's a Schnackenberg.
[END OF TAPE 7.]
MS. BERMAN: You had a very long association with John Sloan.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: With John Sloan.
MS. BERMAN: Right. So he was a colorful artist and a colorful personality. So it would be interesting if you had some favorite stories about him.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I knew him before I came to the gallery. And I can't remember him exactly. Of course, I knew him in all those years, but he was not dealing with me. And once in awhile, I made the mistake in title, and then I got called down. But he liked his titles. And if I changed them, that may have missed the point. But he was in and out of the gallery a great deal.
And he had one point in which he was very interested - it was in the depths of the Depression. There was a movement started to bring art to the middle classes by sending shows through the places that were lower and selling techniques which were more in the temporary way than dealers used, and so forth. They did - there was a question between him and my father, but my father did not think that the idea was practical. Sloan was in favor because he thought it would help a lot of artists. And I don't think it was entirely from selfishness on his part because I think he knew that what a horribly hard time artists were having in those years, even though the WPA was a great help.
So he was very much in favor and definitely had his name to it. My father went along, not happily, but did. And it didn't pan out. It didn't work. This, though, is interesting because, once you take away - even though some of the galleries seem impersonal, once you take away that personal contact, it lost something. And I don't think it will change drastically. I'm sure that some of the methods seem to be more at this time. But basically, they come back to the same old idea.
You're selling a special thing. And so you want the person to feel he's a special person. And in many cases he is because there are startling people who have taken an interest, and no backgrounds, with no experience, very little knowledge. But somehow or other come [inaudible] and get the courage to start going around looking, or go to museums and suddenly discovering that there's a whole world of art that is shown in galleries, that is for sale, that you can go look at and sometimes buy. And [inaudible] to people who have absolutely no connection, no knowledge.
And quite often, a man will say to me [inaudible], well, you know, I wasn't brought up with any idea, any connection with art, or any way of knowing about it. So I don't know anything about it. But what he does have is an interest. And [inaudible] - startling - very, very excited. Some of them don't do it very well, but some of them do learn and try and work at it and become - it becomes an important part of their life, and they have a whole new area of friends, people. And it becomes much more [inaudible].
But Sloan - anyway, Sloan was very much in favor of it. And since we weren't selling that many pictures anyway, we couldn't [inaudible] him much of an argument. But - because my father died in 46. And although, in general terms, I was running the gallery before that, the fact that he was still alive and still turned up once in a great while. There's a little difference sometimes, in general, when he died and it was really my gallery. And while people usually are used to dealing with me and occasionally with [inaudible] first. And none of it turned out to be very serious, but it was there. Sloan did not. I must say that his acceptance and willingness to go along without the least hesitation was one of the things I remember most gratefully.
And we had very good relations all the years, and our relations still are very good. So I saw more of him in the later years I was there, for dinner occasionally [inaudible]. It was very fun with Dolly, and I remember her with great warmth. But I didn't get to go there quite as often. They were much more active [inaudible] doing things that [inaudible]. So then it's been a very long dream [inaudible], on my part at least. [Inaudible]
MS. BERMAN: No, but Sloan is another person - although the case was different from Cook. How did he deal with her when people would ask for these - what they considered to be Sloan's New York scenes?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: They still do. You have to fight this battle every single day. [Laughter] It's made little headway. Part of it is because of those traveling shows, which had [inaudible] particularly we've lost a show, because the fact that you have lost the street scenes, bigger pictures, the things that he had painted in New York [inaudible] the things he looked at in New York. [Inaudible] Glaucester Streets. And that has done [inaudible], but we fight that battle every single day. That's quite the same.
MS. BERMAN: Well, what does Sloan think of that?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, I suppose that, since he had fought the battle to have the New York things accepted, maybe he felt a little differently. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. I think he - because when the nudes came, those - and got called [inaudible] had those crosshatch nudes, that was more difficult because there weren't even too many people with proper paintings. But one of the things that we did and worked at was to show people, well, this was not just nudes. And he was using this same theory on landscapes and on other kinds of bigger pictures, on scenes. And so we broke down, I believe, showed very few of the nudes without reason. But you can see the change, the shift from the nudes with no crosshatch [inaudible] and see the ones that did.
And there was a period when I think the [inaudible]. And it was a period when the pictures of that time would not come. But after that, they were not crosshatched afterwards. It was something that was planned right from the beginning, and he felt would spoil the picture. And they were much better.
And of course, at that time we had the - the public had gotten caught on the tide thing. And it's very hard to show them different. But now that there are practically no [inaudible] on the market, they have to decide [inaudible], they have to look at other things. And they gradually get used to it. It's very interesting.
MS. BERMAN: Did he ever talk about what he was trying to do with these nudes?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, it's in [inaudible]. And he was trying to make the color work, the vibration of color. And in the later ones, I think he did. But where you had a feeling that he had [inaudible] on top of the painting, the more realist one, that without the [inaudible], that it was superimposed. That changed. And it's interesting to show people this. But all that is explained in the list [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Probably, but I was just wondering, since you did have such a cordial and warm relationship, if you ever did talk at length of these matters.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No, one of the things people think is that artists bear their souls to us all the time. They tell us their troubles. And they talk about really business things. And it's interesting because much of it is gained by being in a conversation where there are artists together. [Inaudible] give and take about painting or the discussion of painting of one of their own or somebody else's paintings. You don't get this face to face. I'm not an artist, and I [inaudible] to talk about the artists.
MS. BERMAN: Have you ever done any writing for any of your prefaces or catalogs?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No.
MS. BERMAN: Were you ever moved to?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I have a very strong feeling I'm not a writer. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Carol has done some of them. And sometimes it's a joint venture in that one of us will scribble out a thing, and then - because when we're writing it, let's say I don't think we are only interested in paintings. To some degree, we have a motive that is a little prejudiced. Sometimes, it's to point out a lesser known kind of thing in the artist's work. Sometimes it's the given sense of a color or place in his paintings to make people interested and look. So in a sense, we come into the advertising kind of writing. And I don't think I have much of a gift for it, although I have tried.
And sometimes I do - sometimes I may do it in a letter, because there I'm talking to a [inaudible] special, single person. It's like my telling my stories. It's in a sense geared, and all the story, is chosen for the needs of the moment, the interest of the person. And I suppose I've got to consider a part of salesmanship.
MS. BERMAN: Sort of a pointed eloquence.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: To some degree. And it also gets me a [inaudible]. I should be interested in other people's points of view, not only my own. But I get those, one way or another.
MS. BERMAN: I wanted to ask you about George Ricci. What happened?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, George felt that he could do better on his own without, you know [inaudible]. I guess we had one show that bothered him, one group show that bothered him. And he said that he would like to be free to do his commissions without any involvement of paying us a commission. We had, I think, three shows?
MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess I -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yeah, I think so. When I took his work first, I had a few drawings. I didn't have the mobiles at all. He was in the army, the most unsoldierly looking private I've ever seen. And like a number of other people who were going away, they wanted to find somebody who would be interested so that they feel they had a little [inaudible]. And I took three or four people at that time that way. And I liked George's drawings, but he hadn't shown me anything else.
MS. BERMAN: Did you know he was a sculptor at the time?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I suppose so. But I have no - I didn't see anything of any of his sculptures, just the drawings. And then when he came back, he started to do, brought them in, and of course, we [inaudible]. And we went through the business of listening to the fact that he was just imitating. And of course, we got past that, too.
Now, I have another problem, another matter that's moving things. And I am fighting the business of his [inaudible] Ricci. [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Forgot to go back to the Old Master. But - and I think Christiano's did show many things. But how do you start [inaudible]? Now I think he's finding his own way.
MS. BERMAN: Well, did Ricci's work change while you have him?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh, yes. Changed quite a bit. The first things were more like his father's and the hanging, different ones. And then they changed and became much more sharply geometric. We had - the last one we had was one of his beginning of his series of the blades. And I think it's one of the most beautiful pieces he ever did. And I was sorry, but, of course, much of the work he was beginning to do were commissions, and he could plow through on those because they had to be done by him, you know, the whole problem of costs and all the rest of it.
He had a [inaudible] and some on the coast. But I don't think he's ever made a commitment to [inaudible]. I don't believe that. Stemply [phonetic] doesn't have his work anymore. So once in awhile, she turns up somewhere else. I saw the show at the Guggenheim. And the space was not well suited to [inaudible] at all. And it was a great pity. And I thought that some of the early pieces were not the same early pieces. But I thought that the setting was very [inaudible]. All he could do was have the catalog say that he made the show. It was very disappointing.
I had, of course, a number of his big things from Europe. But we loved her shows. Of course, we went through people knocking - [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Turning the fans on at night. And then there came a kind of peace and quiet in the gallery. When we moved uptown and had the shows there, we had the room there. So we had a rather more variable air. And that was much pleasant.
MS. BERMAN: Well, also, now was his work getting too big for you to show anyway very well?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Well, only in commissions, because [inaudible] commissions. There might be studies for them. But [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: And the last one I want to ask you about is Mahonri Young [phonetic].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Oh. Hardly anybody knows his name anymore.
MS. BERMAN: Oh, I think he's delightful sculptor.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: He's a very beautiful sculptor and a beautiful watercolors paintings. We had quite a bit of his sculpture. Of course, we sold the [inaudible] boxing ones very well. We sold some of the early ones. The first ones were a little bit of a feeling of [inaudible], especially done in Paris. But he was a very interesting man. He knew a great deal about painting. He was a great friend of the Fields. And [inaudible]. And we had some Mahonri on the shows. [Inaudible] had some. They had at one time the most beautiful sketch.
We had taken the watercolors that he did in various places and had taken them apart and had put them each one in a book in its place - I mean, a book of various places. I have a watercolors [inaudible] Cici. And one of the sculptures came up at auction. You know they are all tied up at Brigham Young University.
MS. BERMAN: Is that where he left them?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: No. They bought the contents of the studio, everything. Every book, every paper, every piece.
MS. BERMAN: Are his papers available?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I have no idea what's available. Notar [phonetic] had a show. They were [inaudible] somebody over at the university. The university just keeps them in cold storage. It is wicked.
MS. BERMAN: Yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I bought from time to time some of the watercolors and have sold them.
MS. BERMAN: I guess I should ask is why the family - and especially some of the villas that he was in charge as an art historian - would have done that.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: It was the way of settling the estate. You know, an artist's estate, unless the heirs are willing to go on for years - Sloans or Bouchets or any of them - is terrible. Seems quite often there's not enough money to pay taxes. And every once in awhile someone comes in and says, from Brigham Young and says, "What should we do with it?" And I know exactly what they should do with it. Pick out a very good collection, make a traveling show, do a good catalog, and gradually trade off or sell the rest, get other things, and make a collection for the museum for the university.
MS. BERMAN: Um-hm.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: But while they all agree that's a very good idea, could be done, but necessarily being too expensive, either, because they have to give [inaudible] doesn't have money. Every time I saw a Mahonri [inaudible] I have to go through the whole thing again. Addison [phonetic] Gallery did very nice shows some years ago. And they did catalogs.
One of the most delightful sculptures of his I've ever seen is the portrait of Alfred Moore. It's quite small, very elegant deft little figure. And the Modern Museum had that. I've never seen a cast of it but once. Modern Museum had it in an exhibition of portraits. Oh, it was delightful. I don't know whether it was ever [inaudible].
MS. BERMAN: Must have been Monroe Wheeler's show in 1942, then.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That would be about it.
MS. BERMAN: That would be the last time that anyone paid attention to that [inaudible]. That's too bad.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: That whole - I guess that whole early group of them, of the modern now are all gone. People who were - there was [inaudible] in the paper the other day [inaudible] of one of them who had been up in the Schnick [phonetic] at the -
MS. BERMAN: Was it possibly Jerry Abbott?
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Yeah. Yeah. [Inaudible] Incidentally, is it you that wanted to see the Salz [phonetic]?
MS. BERMAN: Yes, yes, yes.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Not Salz -
MS. BERMAN: San Kutz [phonetic].
MS. KRAUSHAAR: There it is. You can have it.
MS. BERMAN: Possibly, do you think that Brigham Young University was hesitant because the sculpture, the watercolors and everything was - was it too secular for them? I know that sounds old fashioned, but do you think that was -
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't know. They did let this one show out. Merver [phonetic] had it. They had prices high. And I answered the question, "Who was Mahonri Young?" endlessly. But of course, they had the show and then it was finished.
One of their men went to Rubstein Creek [phonetic] and he had a few things there. But after that [inaudible]. I think they leak out into California once in a great while, so I suppose some of the people from the Coast gets hold of them. If it's a sculpture, I'm never quite sure that somebody has its copy of one. But I've only seen one that I think that might be [inaudible] bought it and put it away. It's kind of a small head of Rembrandt - Rembrandt, it's very nice.
MS. BERMAN: I always thought that he must have influenced Gertrude Whitney, because she changed the way she was doing it - academic, sort of, nudes people called abstraction and her fountains and all. And then around World War One, of course, she was influenced by the impact of the war. She started doing those little soldiers. And then there was a sense that - they reminded me of his work, something that he had been doing.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I don't think he was ever that strongly in that group. He may have been and I not know it. There's a sculptor by the name of O'Connor.
MS. BERMAN: Andrew O'Connor.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: Who had, I think, some influence. Now, whether it was at that time or not -
MS. BERMAN: That time, in the earlier - there was always gossip about that, that he was doing a sculpture for her or helping her.
MS. KRAUSHAAR: When they - she did that monument for the - one of the [inaudible] friends, we were in Europe that summer and heard about the party. It was a private train took the party down for the unveiling. [Inaudible] [Laughter]
MS. BERMAN: [Laughter]
MS. KRAUSHAAR: I think that - I guess the du Bois from Paris [inaudible] on the trip.
MS. BERMAN: Yes. He mentions that in [inaudible] that he went. And so did Shakaver [phonetic]. Well, I guess that's it. Thank you very much. Thanks for the time.
[END OF INTERVIEW.]
This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Antoinette M. Kraushaar, 1982 Feb. 21-Sept. 18, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.