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Oral history interview with Abraham Walkowitz, 1958 December 8-22

Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965

Painter, Etcher, Printmaker


Collection Information

Size: 66 Pages, Transcript

Format: Sound has been lost on tape reels; reels discarded.

Summary: An interview of Abraham Walkowitz conducted by Abram Lerner and Mary Bartlett Cowdrey for the Archives of American Art.
Walkowitz discusses his childhood and schooling; travelling abroad; influence of Claude Monet exhibit; his book, "Artists of Walkowitz: 100 Portraits"; Paul Cezanne's death; meeting artists in Europe; his 1908 exhibition of modern art at the Julius Haas Gallery, New York; getting Max Weber a show at the Haas Gallery; Steiglitz and his "291" Gallery; the Armory Show, especially the roles of Arthur B. Davies, Walt Kuhn, and Walter Pach; reactions to Nude Descending a Staircase; the Society of Independent Artists; thoughts on criticism of his work; his relationship with the critic Peyton Boswell; the importance in his work of dancer Isadora Duncan; opinions on American art, modern art, art schools, students and patrons; good art versus bad art; and the role of critics. Among others he recalls are Lizzie Bliss, William Merritt Chase, Kenyon Cox, The Eight, Jacob Epstein, Childe Hassam, and Georgia O'Keeffe.

Biographical/Historical Note

Abraham Walkowitz (1880-1965) was a painter in New York, New York.


This interview is part of the Archives' 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.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Transcript available on line at

Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Abraham Walkowitz, 1958 December 8-22. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.