Oral history interview with Ingrid Hutton, 1993 March 4

Hutton, Ingrid

Size: Sound recording: 1 sound cassette (65 min.) : analog.
Transcript: 34 p.

Collection Summary: An interview of Ingrid Hutton conducted 1993 March 4, by Rose-Carol Washton Long for the Archives of American Art.

Hutton discusses her and her husband Leonard's origins in Germany and their emigrations to the United States, she in 1960 and he in 1934. She explains how her husband's career as an interior decorator led him to open the Leonard Hutton Gallery and how she became involved with it. Hutton talks of their focus on German expressionism and Russian constructivism, including a discussion of public interest in the movements and patronage trends. She mentions her plans to show contemporary Russian art in the future.

Biographical/Historical Note: Ingrid Hutton is an art dealer and part of the Leonard Hutton Galleries in New York, N.Y. Leonard Hutton Galleries changed its name in 1969 to Hutton-Hutschnecker Gallery, and back again to Leonard Hutton Galleries in 1971.

This interview is 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 administrators. Funding for this interview was provided by the Art Dealers Association.

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Interview Transcript

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 Ingrid Hutton, 1993 March 4, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Interview with Ingrid Hutton
Conducted by Rose-Carol Washton Long
March 4, 1993

Preface

The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with Ingrid Hutton on March 4, 1993. The interview was conducted by Rose-Carol Washton Long 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.

Interview

ROSE-CAROL WASHTON LONG: This is Rose-Carol Washton Long, doing an interview with Ingrid Hutton of the Leonard Hutton Galleries. It's March 4, 1993.

Okay, the first question that I would like to ask you is if you could just tell me a little bit about your own biography, where you were born, and when, and -

INGRID HUTTON: I was born in Hamburg, Germany. I was born April 2, 1932. I was educated in Hamburg, and went to high school, Lyceum, I don't know the equivalent of it here. And I started to work, I came to this country in 1960, and -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did you study any art history?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, I did. I did study art history.

MS. WASHTON LONG: In Hamburg?

MS. HUTTON: In Hamburg, yes, but I didn't finish it.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Where did you study the art history?

MS. HUTTON: At the -- there is a school, evening courses I studied.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So you studied studio art, or -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes. And also art history.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And also art history?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes. Mm-hmm, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And do you remember going to any of the museums when you were -

MS. HUTTON: Younger?

MS. WASHTON LONG: Younger, yes.

MS. HUTTON: In Hamburg?

MS. WASHTON LONG: In Hamburg, mm-hmm.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes. I went many times to the Kunsthalle in Hamburg. And churches, and things like that.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And you met Mr. Hutton in Germany or in this country?

MS. HUTTON: I met -- no. I met Mr. Hutton in this country in 1963.

MS. WASHTON LONG: In 1963?

MS. HUTTON: Mm-hmm.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So that was after he started the gallery.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And you were married?

MS. HUTTON: In 1968.

MS. WASHTON LONG: In 1968. And when did you start to work for him?

MS. HUTTON: In 1964, I think.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Okay. Is there -- could tell us a little bit about how you came to be working for an art gallery, and happened to be working for the Hutton Gallery?

MS. HUTTON: I met Mr. Hutton at a party in 1963, in January. And at that time he was preparing an exhibition with Laura Wright [phonetic]. And he needed somebody -- and he asked me whether I would like to earn some extra money in writing German letters, and I agreed to do that. So, once or twice or three times a week I would -- in the evening -- I would type some letters for him. And this is how I started to get to know him, got to know him.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Were you working in the gallery at that time?

MS. HUTTON: No, no. I was working at the -- somewhere, I don't even know any more, in the -- for a German company.

MS. WASHTON LONG: For a German company?

MS. HUTTON: For a German company who made automotive things. I don't remember.

MS. WASHTON LONG: It doesn't really matter.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Just one other question in relation to your own biography. What were -- were there any specific reasons that led you to come here in the 1960s, to New York?

MS. HUTTON: I wanted to see what it looked like around the corner. I wanted to see more, to know more.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So, when you met Mr. Hutton in the 1960s, he had already had the gallery for how many years?

MS. HUTTON: He already had the gallery. I think he started the gallery in 1957 or 1958, around that time.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Okay. And do you -- did he -- do you remember his discussing with you what he began with? I think French, or -

MS. HUTTON: He started to -- he was an interior designer. And this he also studied in Germany.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He did?

MS. HUTTON: He came from Berlin.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He came from Berlin?

MS. HUTTON: His parents -

MS. WASHTON LONG: I forgot to ask when he was born, for the record, if you have that.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, okay. He was born on June 26, 1902.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And he studied in Berlin?

MS. HUTTON: He studied in Berlin. His parents had a furniture store, interior -- to decorate, things like that. And when he came here to this country, this is what he did.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Now, when did he come to this country?

MS. HUTTON: He came to this country in 1934 to visit his older sister, and didn't go back to Germany at that time. And he immigrated from Canada then to the United States.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Were his parents able to -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, the whole family came then, one after the other.

MS. WASHTON LONG: They did?

MS. HUTTON: Which -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Now, why did they leave?

MS. HUTTON: They were Jews.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Mm-hmm. And so, by -- even in 1934, they were clearly aware?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Of how dangerous it could be?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Because many Jews actually were not aware in 1933, 1934 -

MS. HUTTON: Well, not all of them, but he has a brother, an older brother, who read Hitler's Mein Kampf.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Really?

MS. HUTTON: And who said to the family that, "We have to leave. We cannot stay here." And so -- and they left, one by one by one by one, his family, all -

MS. WASHTON LONG: And that's something you remember him talking about?

MS. HUTTON: Oh, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He talked about that.

MS. HUTTON: Oh, yes, yes, yes. Of course.

MS. WASHTON LONG: I guess that older brother was very smart -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- that he read it.

MS. HUTTON: His older brother is still alive. He is 94 years old.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, my. What is his brother's first name?

MS. HUTTON: Hutschnecker.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Hutschnecker?

MS. HUTTON: Arnold Hutschnecker.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Arnold, of course, that's right.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He is -

MS. HUTTON: The psychiatrist.

MS. WASHTON LONG: A psychiatrist, yes.

MS. HUTTON: Right.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Now, so when Leonard Hutton was in Germany, he had studied interior design, or -

MS. HUTTON: Interior design. He also studied art, because he -- very often he told me that he knew Tapac [phonetic], who was a teacher at the academy.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Really?

MS. HUTTON: He was aware of Schmidt-Rottluff, he was aware of Franz Heckendorf , and he was aware at that time.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's quite amazing.

MS. HUTTON: He loved art, he loved everything that was beautiful. He had a knowledge of carpets, of porcelain, of silver, of furniture, and art.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And so he -

MS. HUTTON: It's --

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did he talk about some of the artists?

MS. HUTTON: Oh, absolutely.

MS. WASHTON LONG: To you? That he remembered?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And then, when he came to this country, did he continue -

MS. HUTTON: He did what he knew. He decorated. Also, when he came here, also other Jews from Berlin came here.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes.

MS. HUTTON: And not all of them that came were poor. Some also came out with money. So -- and they came to him to decorate their apartments and their houses. This is how he started.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's how he started.

MS. HUTTON: Yes. And then, what he also did, then he also would always hang some paintings in their houses. That is how he came to know the art scene in New York.

And one day, he decided -- one day he told me this story. He had done an apartment for Charles Lachtman, who was [inaudible]. And he had -- there was one bathroom that was leaking. In order to get the leak, he had to have the [inaudible], the electrician, the tile layer, and so on and so on. It took a long time.

And Charlie, at that time, owed him $4,200. And Charlie said to him, "You know, if this is not done, forget the rest of the money." He said, "But at the same time, I offered him a Chagal." And he said, "And the Chagal, I had on consignment from the gallery. The Chagal was $20,000, and I asked him $28,000, and he agreed to buy it for $26,000," and he said, "And this is what I did then. No more decorating, no more bathrooms. No more this and no more that." And then he switched to art.

MS. WASHTON LONG: About when do you -- did he -

MS. HUTTON: Must have been in the 1950s.

MS. WASHTON LONG: In the 1950s?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, in the 1950s.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And this was Charles who?

MS. HUTTON: Lachtman.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Lachtman.

MS. HUTTON: He -- then he also -- what he also did was they became very close. Charles Lachtman, when -- after he had decorated his apartment, he also wanted paintings. And he wanted paintings -- Renoir, and Monet, this and that.

And so, he would go to him, I believe, every Thursday at 8:00, and would -- I don't know whether I could say lecture, but would tell him about Renoir, and what period, and about Monet, and all of this, these things, and got him interested also in buying these paintings.

And so, he thought first he would go into French art. But that was not -- there were so many dealers who all were in that, and he didn't -- I think it didn't satisfy him. There was nothing he could teach. He loved to teach. He was a very good teacher. He was a good teacher to me and to many collectors.

And so, then he said, "Why would I deal in French art, when I grew up in Germany, and really do know German Expressionism?" And that is when he came to exhibit German expressionist art in the United States.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Now, he started, I think, the exhibit with Oscar Mahl, this was not really an expressionist, but -

MS. HUTTON: No.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- already in 1960, he had some German -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes. I think his first real expressionist exhibition was in 1961, with Gabriele Münter.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, really?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. He met -- he saw paintings by Gabriele Münter -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes.

MS. HUTTON: -- at Arpels, at the gallery in Arpels, in Cologne, and asked in Arpels, "Who is Gabriele Münter?" And she told him, "You know, Gabriele Münter is still alive, and she lives in Murnau. And that is where he went.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And he went to Murnau?

MS. HUTTON: He went to Murnau, to -

MS. WASHTON LONG: To see her in 1960, or -

MS. HUTTON: In 1960, and talked to her. And she was already old, of course. And they liked each other. So she would tell him many stories of artists, of their lives together, of their painting together at the time. When Gabriele Münter was with Kandinsky and with Lablinski [phonetic] and with Mariana Berefket [phonetic].

So, this is how he -- and then he told Gabriele Münter that he would make her famous in New York, which, in a way, he did.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He did, yes.

MS. HUTTON: Yes. He had this exhibition in 1961, and this is also when he met Messer for the first time.

MS. WASHTON LONG: How did they -

MS. HUTTON: There was a young man. He told me there was a young man, going from one painting to the other painting, and so finally Leonard went and said, "I am Leonard Hutton, who are you?"

And so, he said, "I am Thomas Messer, I am the new director of the Guggenheim Museum." This is how they met. So -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Isn't that -- that's very interesting. Did he ever speak about the fact that he was exhibiting a woman artist, rather than a male artist? I mean, with Gabriele Münter, she, at that time, was certainly not considered -

MS. HUTTON: He was really not so much a man's man, he was more a woman's man. He never made -- they were all people for him, human beings for him. They were not a woman and a man.

MS. WASHTON LONG: I see.

MS. HUTTON: It was -- if there was something special in somebody, he didn't look whether this was man or woman.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: It was something special -

MS. WASHTON LONG: So -- but was he ever worried, that you remember, that she might not sell as much as the more well-known male artists of her circle, Kandinsky, Ovlensky [phonetic]?

MS. HUTTON: No, no.

MS. WASHTON LONG: At first, when he exhibited her, though, didn't she bring in much less prices than -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- Kandinsky, Ovlensky?

MS. HUTTON: Oh, yes. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did -

MS. HUTTON: But he was also at the beginning then.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes.

MS. HUTTON: In dealing. So you know, Münter would -- we would sell for $1,200 and $1,500 and $1,800. Today they are fetching hundreds.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes.

MS. HUTTON: And thousands of dollars.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So, do you think it was from Münter that he then began to focus on the Blaue Reiter?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: During that -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, definitely, because they were talking about the Blaue Reiter. Also, Gabriele Münter also made him aware of Lionel and Gunterova, because they used to, you know, exhibit with the Debski [phonetic] --

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: So he was asking -- would ask her all these questions, "Who is this," and, "Who is that?" And she was very happy to give of herself.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So that was, indeed, a very fortuitous meeting.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, it was. Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And then, when you started to work at the -- for the gallery in 1963, and you started part-time, or -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Do you remember what you started to help with?

MS. HUTTON: Well, it was really -

MS. WASHTON LONG: In terms of the letters, or -

MS. HUTTON: -- letters to secure also some loans from German museums, or some loans from Sonia Delaunay or from Madame Kandinsky, way back.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And then, eventually, when did you start to work full-time for the gallery, do you remember?

MS. HUTTON: He had to go to Europe, and his secretary at that time was in Europe. Now, he didn't want to leave the gallery alone, so he asked me whether I would take care of the gallery for 10 days or whatever it was. And I liked it. I liked the [inaudible], and I was there alone, not knowing very much.

And, you know, sometimes it's -- how do you say this? The dumb bird also finds the corn, or something? Isn't there a saying?

MS. WASHTON LONG: I think so.

MS. HUTTON: A saying like that. Anyhow, so I sold. I sold. And this is how it really came. So, I -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Do you remember about when that was?

MS. HUTTON: It was in 1964. I remember that I sold -- he had a sculpture by Avidon [phonetic]. This is also how I learned, also, the difference of Alexis Fudie [phonetic] and Georges Fourier [phonetic] and so on and so on, and somebody, Rodin.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Rodin?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. Somebody wanted it, and I sold it. And then I sold some Kirchner drawings, and whatever there was. So -- and I liked this. And that's also when I -- how shall I say? I was very curious. I still am very curious. I always like to know. I don't like to stay somewhere, I always -- there is so much more one can learn.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Of course.

MS. HUTTON: So -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Do you remember who some of the early collectors were in the 1960s? I mean, who -

MS. HUTTON: Charles Benetson [phonetic], oh -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Or, if you don't remember -

MS. HUTTON: Cushman, Drake, they were mostly really -- a lot of them were Jewish upper-class, well-educated -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Well-educated, professionals?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And why do you think they were interested in collecting, say, German art? Because mostly -

MS. HUTTON: Because their background was German.

MS. WASHTON LONG: I see. So these were mostly, you think, your early clientele -

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- then, in the 1960s, was mostly -

MS. HUTTON: Yes. They were the children of -- were mostly the children of -- that came to the States in -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Children of the emigres?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And so they had information or contacts with things German.

MS. HUTTON: Absolutely. Also, their parents had -

MS. WASHTON LONG: In some cases, that has worked toward making people -- particularly people who emigrated from Germany -- many of them seemed to have felt a great dislike for things German.

MS. HUTTON: Not of German expressionism.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Not of German expressionism?

MS. HUTTON: No, because German expressionism wasn't -- was also forbidden.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's true.

MS. HUTTON: I mean -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Correct, okay.

MS. HUTTON: So it was not -

MS. WASHTON LONG: But were they conscious of that?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, they knew that, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: These people who, in the early 1960s -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, oh yes, they knew that. They knew that.

MS. WASHTON LONG: They knew?

MS. HUTTON: This was well known.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did any of these collectors -- I mean, do you think they were very conscious of wanting to somehow reclaim early German modernism in contrast to French, or it was not quite so conscious --

MS. HUTTON: No, I think it's something they grew up with. I think -- and it was -- maybe it was also easier, affordable.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, you think it may have been more -

MS. HUTTON: This is also -

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- affordable in the 1960s, the German art?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Rather than the French art?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, I think. Yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: How was the -- do you remember what other galleries in the early 1960s were exhibiting German art? I'm trying to think, myself. There would have been St. Etienne [phonetic].

MS. HUTTON: They had more Viennese than -

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's right, more Austrian, definitely.

MS. HUTTON: He had Klimt and Sheela, and more of the Austrian things. Gaspar [phonetic] --

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes, yes, the Viennese, yes.

MS. HUTTON: Kokoschka --

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: You know, this was his -- well, there was Manuel Gerson [phonetic] --

MS. WASHTON LONG: Gerson?

MS. HUTTON: Had still -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Some Germans?

MS. HUTTON: Some Germans from the Gerson Gallery.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, right. Was Seborski [phonetic] in New York at that time?

MS. HUTTON: No. Seborski started only much later --

MS. WASHTON LONG: Much later?

MS. HUTTON: Seborski started in the 1970s, much later.

MS. WASHTON LONG: The German -

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Because I know, in my mind, the Hutton Gallery always stood out in the 1960s for German art.

MS. HUTTON: Yes. I don't know who was in the -

MS. WASHTON LONG: But, even in the 1960s, late 1960s, you yourself weren't conscious of competitors in the gallery?

MS. HUTTON: No, no, no.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Do you think most others weren't interested in German art, even then?

MS. HUTTON: No, they were. They had some -- there was some -- Ritzenholter [phonetic], I remember, had some, went in a little bit. Lebweciez [phonetic] --

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's right, of course. They collected, they had a lot of German art.

MS. HUTTON: Yes. But I think Leonard was somebody who was really committed to German expressionist art.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And that certainly -- he probably -- do you think he had more oils and watercolors than, say, Lebweciez?

MS. HUTTON: I -- that I really don't -- I don't know how -- we never had much watercolors. We always had more oils than -

MS. WASHTON LONG: More oils. Yes, that's right. That's my memory, too.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes. We didn't go into that very much.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Now, I always thought it was very interesting that he also worked with scholars on these catalogs, the early catalogs in the 1960s.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He -- oh, I forget who he worked with on the Blaue Reiter.

MS. HUTTON: With Myrtle [phonetic].

MS. WASHTON LONG: Myrtle?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So, he had met -- when had he met Myrtle?

MS. HUTTON: Myrtle he met when he did the Münter exhibition.

MS. WASHTON LONG: I see, in 1961.

MS. HUTTON: Because -- yes, because Wilbur had the -- he was a member in the foundation of Münter. [Inaudible] the Münter Foundation, and he had to go through Wilbur in order to get paintings by Gabriele Münter to exhibit.

MS. WASHTON LONG: To exhibit here?

MS. HUTTON: So this is how he met Wilbur.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And, now, he also would have -- when he got paintings of Münter's to sell here, did he have to get Myrtle's permission?

MS. HUTTON: From who?

MS. WASHTON LONG: To sell any of her oils.

MS. HUTTON: No, he got -- no, they were for sale.

MS. WASHTON LONG: From -

MS. HUTTON: It was a foundation.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Maybe you could explain to me, because I -

MS. HUTTON: It's not what she gave as a present to the museum. Then there was a foundation of hundreds of Münter paintings, only Münter paintings.

MS. WASHTON LONG: I see.

MS. HUTTON: That could be sold. And for the money, they had to buy something for the -- that fitted in the Blaue Reiter, whether it was Kandinsky or Klee or Koveen [phonetic] or so. But they had to use that money to buy something of the Blaue Reiter that -- and so they needed also to sell the Münters in order to round out their holdings they had.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Holdings, mm-hmm. Do you -- did you ever get to meet Münter?

MS. HUTTON: No.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yourself?

MS. HUTTON: No, no, no.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Because, of course, she never traveled.

MS. HUTTON: No. I didn't -- and she died, also, in 1962. She died soon after he had the exhibition, I believe, in 1961.

MS. WASHTON LONG: But she at least knew -

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- that he had the exhibit.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did any of her work sell in the first exhibit? Would you remember, or maybe you wouldn't know?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. Yes. And the one who bought was Bradley [phonetic].

MS. WASHTON LONG: Bradley?

MS. HUTTON: From Milwaukee. I don't know what her name, her first name, was. But she came in -- this is also -- she came in and he was, at that time, at 41 East 57th Street, and she told him, "I will take this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one."

MS. WASHTON LONG: Really?

MS. HUTTON: "Send it to me."

MS. WASHTON LONG: From that first exhibit?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. So he said -- so he was sitting there, and he only knew her name. "Send it to me." Who is she? Where do I -- what -- "Send it to me?"

So, he also -- he didn't want to ask a colleague, "Do you know Mrs. Bradley," and so on and so on, so he went to his bank, and he found out who she was, and where she lived. And that is how they also got to know each other.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Does she still have the works?

MS. HUTTON: No, she gave everything to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Wow. You can really say the museum was -- the gallery was the direct conduit -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- to the Münters being in the middle of this country.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And when they had the Blaue Reiter exhibition --

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- you were then here.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So, do you remember if a lot of the work sold?

MS. HUTTON: No, he didn't sell anything.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Is that right?

MS. HUTTON: From the Blaue Reiter exhibition.

MS. WASHTON LONG: How surprising.

MS. HUTTON: He had -- he always said, "I have 12 Kandinskys and I have 20 Klees, and I have so-and-so many of this, and so-and-so many of that," and nobody bought anything in 1963.

MS. WASHTON LONG: How did he account for it? Why didn't anyone buy any?

MS. HUTTON: Nobody at that time was interested in that.

MS. WASHTON LONG: When did they start being interested?

MS. HUTTON: They really started to be interested in the late 1960s.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Late 1960s.

MS. HUTTON: And the way he would survive all this would be that he would sell a Monet in the back to be able to afford the German expressionist exhibition in front.

MS. WASHTON LONG: But then, the -- of course the Guggenheim did have a Kandinsky -

MS. HUTTON: In 1963, a Kandinsky exhibit, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And didn't that help sell -

MS. HUTTON: No.

MS. WASHTON LONG: It didn't?

MS. HUTTON: No, no. No.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Then, in the mid-1960s, 1967, didn't they have a Kandinsky glass painting exhibit?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. But then it was also -- then he was already on Madison Avenue.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's right.

MS. HUTTON: That also changed a lot.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes, I can remember.

MS. HUTTON: That's where we met.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's right.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Why did that make a difference, moving to Madison?

MS. HUTTON: It was on the street. At that time, you know, if you see --

MS. WASHTON LONG: When did he move?

MS. HUTTON: Today you see the Fuller Building is full of galleries.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: It's different. At that time, there were maybe three or four galleries. The elevators were very slow. People would not wait until an elevator came. They would just walk away, you know? You went out, and you had another gallery right there.

MS. WASHTON LONG: When did --

MS. HUTTON: It was different.

MS. WASHTON LONG: When did he move to Madison? I'm trying to remember.

MS. HUTTON: He moved to Madison after the Blaue Reiter exhibition. I believe he moved to Madison in December 1963, if I'm not mistaken.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And after that he felt -

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- being on the ground floor -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- was better?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, it was better.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And during the -- you remembered that he -- that you both noticed there was a difference -

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- the late 1960s?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And is there anything else that can account for that change? Museums, more exhibits, or -

MS. HUTTON: No -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Because I -

MS. HUTTON: I can't say -- I don't know whether -- I don't remember that museums did more exhibits. But he was very engaged in exhibiting, not only in the very well-known artists, but he also exhibited Gehrt Tabert [phonetic], nobody knew -

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's right.

MS. HUTTON: He also -- he had many exhibitions that -- he also made the comparison exhibition of the [inaudible] and the German expressionists.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes, I remember that exhibit.

MS. HUTTON: And all of these people got more interested at the time in art. There was a time when it was -- you were -- on a Saturday you would go from gallery to gallery, which you don't have today any more. People, 20 or 30 years ago, were much more involved in art, poor art, not so much like today, "This painting is $30,000, how much is it going to be worth next year?" There is a difference.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So you feel -

MS. HUTTON: And it was very exciting, also, in the 1960s and 1970s, not only for gallery owners, also for collectors. Collectors were -- loved to discover.

MS. WASHTON LONG: I was --

MS. HUTTON: And I think the greatest collections were also started at that time.

MS. WASHTON LONG: In America?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: In the 1960s?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: You mean by German and -

MS. HUTTON: Oh, whether it was German or whether it was even French, or whether it was pop art or contemporary, American art. I have a feeling many collections were started.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That is very interesting.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: I remember that he also had an exhibit of the not-widely-known cubists.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: The Section d'Or -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, the Section d'Or -

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- cubists.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, mm-hmm.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And that was very unusual at the time.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did he ever talk about that exhibit?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. He knew Madame Glass [phonetic] or Madame Cabia [phonetic], Madame Knowles [phonetic] --

MS. WASHTON LONG: How did he know them?

MS. HUTTON: He was interested in the second generation of cubism. He could never quite afford to buy Picasso or Braque. And so, he went to the next generation. He did this also in the -- in German expressionist. He didn't go to Kirchner and he never had a Kandinsky exhibition. He always had a -- if he had Kandinsky, he also had with somebody.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Kandinsky and his circle?

MS. HUTTON: Exactly. Exactly. So -- and so he went -- I don't remember who got him to the Section d'Or. That I don't remember.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Well, the scholar that he had who wrote the catalog was William Campfield [phonetic].

MS. HUTTON: Yes, but that is -

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's not -

MS. HUTTON: That is not who brought him -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Brought him -

MS. HUTTON: to the Section d'Or.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Okay.

MS. HUTTON: That -- and I don't know how he got to that. It is possible that after he did the Blaue Reiter exhibition, that he went into groups. That is very possible. He -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Or, it says here, it was Campfield and Robbins [phonetic], and Robbins worked at the Guggenheim.

MS. HUTTON: Yes. But Robbins also -- it -- now I know how it started. He wanted to make a Glass exhibition. And then he went to Madame Glass, and he had the exhibition all lined up.

And then, Daniel Robin [phonetic] went to Messer and said, "There is a Leonard Hutton, and he was an interior decorator, and he wants to make exhibition of Glass. He is going to murder Glass. Why can't we make the exhibition?" This is when he got back to Madame Glass, you know, Leonard said, "Who am I to fight the Guggenheim Museum?"

So, then he went into the Section d'Or, which he found much more interesting than just the Glass exhibition, because he also found -- also, again, the lesser, even lesser, known artists of the Section d'Or -

MS. WASHTON LONG: And at that time no one -

MS. HUTTON: No.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- was looking at these Section d'Or -

MS. HUTTON: No, no, no, no.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Very important.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes. And he thought -- and he never really let go of the Section d'Or. He always would buy a [inaudible], he never really let it all go. He would do, later on, also a Lotte [phonetic] exhibition.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes.

MS. HUTTON: And that all came from the Section d'Or. He was very influenced by that.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So, these two -- several exhibits in the early 1960s determined a lot of his collection and interest.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did the works by the Section d'Or, did any of them sell, do you remember?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: How was the -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- the reaction to that?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. We sold. We sold [inaudible]. He also sold Glass paintings. He sold some very unknown to the museums.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, really?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. Yes, it was really a successful exhibition.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And the Tapart [phonetic], was that successful, that exhibit?

MS. HUTTON: Enormous.

MS. WASHTON LONG: No? It was?

MS. HUTTON: Enormous, yes. Enormous, because all of Hollywood liked Tapart.

MS. WASHTON LONG: How did they happen -- Hollywood -- come to Tapart?

MS. HUTTON: Leonard knew Sidney Cohn [phonetic].

MS. WASHTON LONG: How did he know him?

MS. HUTTON: Sidney Cohn was a lawyer for artists, also. And Sidney Cohn was also a great human being. He was also somebody who would go on Saturdays from gallery to gallery, and with some he had a rapport, he would talk, and so he liked -- I'm coming, Doja [phonetic]. And he liked the --

MS. WASHTON LONG: Excuse me. Do you want me to stop this? Do you -

MS. HUTTON: No, no, no, no, no. Let's finish it. He liked Leonard, and Leonard liked him. And so it wasn't long and he would bring -- what would he bring? Rod Steiger, Swifty Lazar, he would bring people from the entertainment industry. And so -- and they -- and he also brought Feldman [phonetic], who was interested in Van Dongen, and then also bought a Tapart. It was a very interesting time, the 1960s -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Why did he -- why do you think the entertainment, or Hollywood, liked Tapart over, say, the Blaue Reiter, or artists -

MS. HUTTON: Because it was Berlin.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Berlin? Mm-hmm.

MS. HUTTON: It was also much more provocative than, really, the Blaue Reiter. It was black stockings and -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, the themes, subject matter.

MS. HUTTON: It was -- yes, yes, yes. Absolutely.

MS. WASHTON LONG: The young women.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's interesting.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So those things sold.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Now, did he ever sell to Riftkind [phonetic]?

MS. HUTTON: No.

MS. WASHTON LONG: No?

MS. HUTTON: No.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He probably came later.

MS. HUTTON: Riftkind came much later, and Riftkind also was much more in graphics -

MS. WASHTON LONG: In the beginning -

MS. HUTTON: -- anything else.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: And his best collection is also in graphics, I think.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Mm-hmm, yes.

MS. HUTTON: I don't remember any more of the painters -

MS. WASHTON LONG: His focus -

MS. HUTTON: That's all there was. But I think the graphics are the best.

MS. WASHTON LONG: When you, then, had the Vilensky [phonetic] and the Von Dongen exhibition -- that was now mid-1960s -

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So, did they sell?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. Yes, they did. They did. Greta Garbo. Not so much in New York. Much of it also went out to the -- into the country.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Do you think that there may have still been a prejudice against abstract art in the mid-1960s, because the Kandinsky -

MS. HUTTON: But you know, there still is. It is still easier to sell a 1910 Kandinsky than a 1921 Kandinsky.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Is that right?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And yet -

MS. HUTTON: It is people do still identify much more with figurative paintings than with abstract paintings. I -- believe me, it's -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Is that true? But then, you -- in the 1970s, have -

MS. HUTTON: That was mine. That is, the Russian was always mine.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That was -- you mean your interest?

MS. HUTTON: It was my interest, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: But that was -- the Russian constructivist is primarily abstract.

MS. HUTTON: Yes. But it is also -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Excuse me, I have to turn this -

[End of side A.]

MS. HUTTON: With the Russian, you also -- Russian avant garde, you really do start with Larionov and Goncharova.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes.

MS. HUTTON: And they are really figurative.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes, I agree with you.

MS. HUTTON: There is very little -

MS. WASHTON LONG: I -

MS. HUTTON: There is very little abstraction. And even in their realism, you still see the figures as -

MS. WASHTON LONG: I remember reading that in your article.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And thinking that's absolutely right. But you got interested in that from the Larionov --

MS. HUTTON: I got interested -- no, that wasn't so. It was really -- this was something Leonard brought to me through his meeting with Gabriele Münter. He then also went to Paris and met Goncharova.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And that would have been in -- say, in 1960?

MS. HUTTON: In 1962.

MS. WASHTON LONG: 1961, 1962?

MS. HUTTON: It must have been in 1962, just before she died. It was just before -- and so he met with her. He stayed in Paris for a week, and he would talk to her, and would get her part of history into him.

So, then, in 1962, there was -- or 1964, I don't remember -- there was also -- the book came out by Camilla Gray.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes.

MS. HUTTON: And he bought me this book. He said, "Here is a present for you. I want you to read it." And I read this book, and I went through this book, and I wanted to know more about it. And I got very involved in Russian -- in the Russian avant garde art.

What I did first -- what we did first -- is we did a -- I went also then -- it wasn't only -- I also went into the [inaudible] and to all of the Diaghilev exhibitions in the 1970s, the 1960s, 1970s. And since the Blaue Reiter and the Russian avant garde, there are many similarities.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh --

MS. HUTTON: There are many -- if you look at color, and if you look at inventiveness, it is -- and also, historically, it just went together. It was not that you had two different kind of arts. You didn't have -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Sure.

MS. HUTTON: -- pop art and expressionism.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: You had something that went well together. And so, that is when I got more and more involved in the Russian avant garde art, which he -- Leonard -- also liked very much.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He liked the constructivist art -

MS. HUTTON: He liked -- he was somebody who never really -- so he knew all of expressionism, and then this was -- no. He went -- he always wanted to know more, also. And because I was so curious always, so he -- many things we did together.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And in that early exhibit that you had -

MS. HUTTON: In 1970 and 1971, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes. And did those works sell, the Russian -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, some of them sold, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: They did?

MS. HUTTON: They were -- yes. Then -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Now, these were -

MS. HUTTON: The collections also came then, the [inaudible] started then somehow. Because we were once sitting next to somebody who was bidding for a Giacometti sculpture, and we got to talking to this man. And so he said, "You know, Tussin [phonetic] is looking for a Giacometti sculpture." And we had the dog by Giacometti, we had all kinds of -- and so this is how we got to know Tussin.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So you and Leonard Hutton went to auctions together?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: In New York?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And in Europe?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, mm-hmm.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Paris?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. Paris, London, Germany -

MS. WASHTON LONG: And Switzerland?

MS. HUTTON: Switzerland, mm-hmm.

MS. WASHTON LONG: What did you find the richest repository in Europe? I mean, for the Russian.

MS. HUTTON: Where? In -- with widows of Russian painters in Paris.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Widows of Russian painters in Paris?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. Like Madame Larionov [phonetic].

MS. WASHTON LONG: And so, through Larionov and Goncherova - through Goncherova?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: They gave you the names of the other Russian widows in Paris?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes. And then you -- you know, you go and you listen to it, and you look, and you -

MS. WASHTON LONG: So you were able to get the works directly from them.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Rather than from -

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- the majority -

MS. HUTTON: No, no, no.

MS. WASHTON LONG: The majority from the family --

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- rather than from the auction houses?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes, mm-hmm.

MS. WASHTON LONG: How did you -- what kind of job do you feel the auction houses did then?

MS. HUTTON: Well, they also introduced to people works of art that were, for many people, just names.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Do you feel that there was a difference between the kind of people who collected the Russian art in the 1970s from those who collected the German expressionist art?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Who were the collectors in the -

MS. HUTTON: The collectors came -- very many collectors also came who collected Rothko or Barnett Newman. They also came to Malevich and so on.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's very interesting.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Why do you think the -

MS. HUTTON: You know, if you look at Rothko, he is -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes, that's -

MS. HUTTON: First of all, he is -- he is also -- comes -- has a Russian background. And you look at Malevich, or at Reinhart, you look at these things and you say, "Well, where did they get this from?" You know, you look at -- even if you look at Prue [phonetic] paintings, constructivist, or reliefs or so on, and you look at pop art, you have -- you can also say, "Where does that -- how, why?"

MS. WASHTON LONG: Is there -- you have continued to sell in the 1980s?

MS. HUTTON: Mm-hmm.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And both German and Russian art?

MS. HUTTON: Mm-hmm.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Constructivist/Expressionist. Did you find there was a difference in the types of collectors, or the interest? Which -

MS. HUTTON: Today, it is the German collectors who buy back their art. There is very little that is being sold in this country to stay in this country. Most of it is going back to Germany, or to Switzerland.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Is this to wealthy collectors -

MS. HUTTON: They all -

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- or to museums in Germany?

MS. HUTTON: Both.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Both?

MS. HUTTON: Both, both. And, as with the -

MS. WASHTON LONG: What do they say to you? Do they express -- tell you why they want to bring these works back?

MS. HUTTON: No. They come to the gallery and they buy, not because they want to bring it back, because they like the art.

MS. WASHTON LONG: They like the art. And what about the people who are buying Russian art? Or has that tapered off?

MS. HUTTON: Well, Russian art, you still have -- it's like with the German expressionism, you have 10, 20 collectors a long time ago who bought German expressionism, and this is what you also have today in the Russian avant garde art. And I do believe that the Russian avant garde art will also go back one day to Russia. I think each country will collect their own art, as Americans collect American art.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's interesting.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Now, you are primarily running the gallery.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: How do you feel about being a woman running the gallery?

MS. HUTTON: Scary.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Why is that?

MS. HUTTON: It's scary sometimes. It's -- well, you know, when you are all of a sudden by yourself, it's scary.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes, of course.

MS. HUTTON: It takes time. It takes -- when you are married, you -- part of you, you give away. And that part is missing.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Of course.

MS. HUTTON: So it takes some time to get this all back.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And I had forgotten. Did he suddenly become ill? He had heart -

MS. HUTTON: No, no. No, no. He -- it was there. Yes. But -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Do you feel there is -- that this makes a problem for you with collectors, now?

MS. HUTTON: No, I don't think so. I feel secure enough. And I think the world culture has changed.

MS. WASHTON LONG: In what way?

MS. HUTTON: Well, I think it's not -- I feel a woman is, today, much stronger than she was 20 years ago.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes.

MS. HUTTON: That's what I mean. And more secure and -- it has changed.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Do you have any problems with -- or have had problems with fakes?

MS. HUTTON: Lots of fakes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: I mean, people trying to sell you fakes?

MS. HUTTON: Oh, lots of fakes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: What's the artist that is -

MS. HUTTON: Most?

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- most -- that they try to -

MS. HUTTON: Kandinsky.

MS. WASHTON LONG: The Kandinsky?

MS. HUTTON: Kirchner. Yolinski [phonetic].

MS. WASHTON LONG: What do they -- not with the Russians?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. The Russians are full of fakes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Full of fakes?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: What happens -

MS. HUTTON: There are whole factories.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Whole factories.

MS. HUTTON: Fakes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: What do they do? They come to you and -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, they come to me, and they fight to sell it. But, you know -

MS. WASHTON LONG: How do you know?

MS. HUTTON: You know.

MS. WASHTON LONG: You feel it, something intuitive?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, yes. Yes, because you know when it is -- the spontaneity isn't there, if you look at a drawing or a painting, even a painting. It's all -- it's measured. And an artist doesn't -- he paints, he doesn't measure. It doesn't matter whether the line is a little crooked or so. It's many things you see.

MS. WASHTON LONG: What do you -- what kind of exhibits are you planning for the mid-1990s, or -

MS. HUTTON: I don't know yet. I do -- I will stay for a little while longer with the Russian avant garde art, because there is still a lot that has to be done and should be shown and could be made aware of. In the -- a lot in [inaudible], but in smaller, to teach, also.

And then, I am also thinking to go into the Russian contemporary art. But that I am still hesitating. I don't -- I will see. I will see.

MS. WASHTON LONG: So you feel that you may focus more in Russian --

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- rather than, say, German, or -

MS. HUTTON: No, no. I will also have German. But I am not able to make a German expressionist exhibition any more. I just -- the paintings are too expensive for me to hold on to for long.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes. One -- just one or two more questions. The gallery has always tended towards abstract, or abstract figurative. You -- I don't believe you have ever really been interested in neue Sachlichkeit, is that correct?

MS. HUTTON: No, no, never.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Why do you think that -

MS. HUTTON: Neue Sachlichkeit is almost -- to me, it's like a dead -- it doesn't move. There is no energy in it. Even though there is energy in it, but it's no -- it's like you have -- you look at a painting of neue Sachlichkeit, it is almost like the world stood still. And that is not me. It wasn't Leonard, either.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did he ever make comments about that?

MS. HUTTON: The world -- yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: What did he say?

MS. HUTTON: The world is always turning, and he didn't like neue Sachlichkeit, either.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He didn't, either?

MS. HUTTON: No. He did like Dada.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He did?

MS. HUTTON: The Schwitters, and the -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, the Schwitters.

MS. HUTTON: And Hammer [phonetic] --

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did you ever have any of those in the gallery? You did -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, once in a while.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Once in a while?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Did he ever make a comment about his own preference for oil, rather than the collage or photomontage? I'm thinking it did Leonard Hutton -

MS. HUTTON: But he did -- he had that, also. He did have collage and he liked collage very much, also.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He did?

MS. HUTTON: Yes. But then he liked drawing more than the watercolor.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And what about the Russian art in the 1920s that moved toward a realism? I'm not talking about the Soviet realism from the 1930s. But in the 1920s, there was some aspect of Russian art that was moving towards a more figurative position.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, but that was also -- I am very much into suprematism.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes.

MS. HUTTON: Even more than in constructivism. And I feel that there are very few artists who really finished their art, their work. And I think that Malevich was one of them, because he really turned around without ever leaving suprematism.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: Even his late figurative is still, in a way, suprematism.

MS. WASHTON LONG: I might agree.

MS. HUTTON: So -- and if you look at Sergaten [phonetic], it's the same thing. It's -- and then, who would -- who, in the 1920s, went into -- I don't think that any of the earlier ones went into figurative, because -- Vorchenko [phonetic] went into photography.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Photography, right.

MS. HUTTON: Stepanova went into designing.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: Popova died, Hosanova [phonetic] died. Exter went into theater.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: Much more than before. I don't know that you -- that there -- Udaltsova stopped painting, or did paintings in terrible -- 10 years later, very figurative.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, I am just thinking of some I remember from a catalog that Boldt [phonetic] had done.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And they were somewhat figurative, and the paint was somewhat dry. I can't think of the names.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: One of them begins with "D." But, anyway, it's no matter.

MS. HUTTON: This is Dyneker [phonetic], but he came much later.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right, late 1920s, yes.

MS. HUTTON: He did not belong to the -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, no, no, no.

MS. HUTTON: -- Russian avant garde art.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Well, perhaps not.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: He might not.

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: But that was not something that either you or Leonard were ever interested in?

MS. HUTTON: No, no, no, no, no. But even today, when I look at some of them, they are today -- they -- I find them also interesting.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Oh, you do?

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Which ones?

MS. HUTTON: I find Tischler very interesting. I do find Dyneker very interesting.

MS. WASHTON LONG: You do? In contrast -

MS. HUTTON: I find Retco [phonetic] very interesting. I find Nikritin interesting.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Right.

MS. HUTTON: Yes, I do.

MS. WASHTON LONG: In contrast to, say, the Germans of the late 1920s?

MS. HUTTON: They -- the Russians have much more. I mean, to say.

MS. WASHTON LONG: To say -

MS. HUTTON: What is -- yes, but in the 1930s, German art is -- forget it, it's -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Of course, right, right.

MS. HUTTON: Whereas, in the 1930s in Russia, you do find good artists. Today, I think they are good. It's the next generation. Not all of them, but -

MS. WASHTON LONG: So is that something that you ever think you might be interested in exploring?

MS. HUTTON: Yes, but not yet.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Not yet?

MS. HUTTON: It's not time.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Not time?

MS. HUTTON: It's not time yet.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Why is that?

MS. HUTTON: It's too early.

MS. WASHTON LONG: How do you know that?

MS. HUTTON: I know that.

MS. WASHTON LONG: That's fascinating.

MS. HUTTON: I know that. You -- if you go to the Russian exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum -

MS. WASHTON LONG: Yes?

MS. HUTTON: -- and you find the later works somewhere in the room, which you can't even find or see, then it's too early. If a museum cannot display it openly and -- so there is something they don't feel comfortable with. So it's too early.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Well, perhaps at some time -

MS. HUTTON: Yes.

MS. WASHTON LONG: -- we will look forward to seeing -

MS. HUTTON: Yes, it will. It will be very interesting one day, to look at the 1930s of -- in Russia.

MS. WASHTON LONG: Well, I have taken up a great deal of your time.

MS. HUTTON: I have to go.

MS. WASHTON LONG: And I would like to thank you for -

MS. HUTTON: You are most welcome. I hope you can do something.

[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 Ingrid Hutton, 1993 March 4, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.