Hartigan, Grace

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Painter; Baltimore, Md.

From the description of Grace Hartigan interview, 1979 May 10 [sound recording]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81992713

Painter; b. 1922.

From the description of Oral history interview, 1975. (Maryland Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 32822067

Grace Hartigan (1922-, painter of Baltimore, Md.

From the description of Oral history interview with Grace Hartigan, 1979 May 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 646397329

Grace Hartigan was an important participant in the Abstract Expressionist School of art, which emerged in New York City in the 1950s. Her circle of friends included Jackson Pollock, Larry Rivers, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Frank O'Hara, and many other luminaries of the artistic and literary scene. She has had dozens of solo exhibits as well as participation in group shows, and her paintings are held by the most prestigious national and international museums. Since 1965 she has been director of the Hoffberger Graduate School of Painting, Maryland Institute of Art. In that capacity, she has influenced students from all over the world.

Grace Hartigan was born in Newark, New Jersey on March 28, 1922. During a bout of pneumonia at age 6, she taught herself to read and draw, although she did not take formal art lessons until she was nearly twenty. In 1941, she married Robert Jachens and traveled to Los Angeles, where she took her first drawing classes. In 1942, after the birth of her son Jeffrey, she returned East, worked as a draftsman in a war plant, and began studying with Newark, New Jersey painter Isaac Lane Muse. Moving to New York City in 1945, Hartigan became acquainted with several important artists, many of whom remained lifelong friends and artistic allies: Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko. Hartigan and Robert Jachens divorced in 1947.

In 1948 she was deeply impressed by an exhibit of Jackson Pollock's work and met both Pollock and Willem de Kooning. In 1949 she married fellow painter Harry Jackson, and they spent most of that year painting in Mexico. Hartigan was painting full time and in 1950 returned to New York City; her marriage to Jackson was annulled that same year. After exhibiting in several small avant-garde shows, her work was selected by Clement Greenberg for the Koontz Gallery's "Meyer Schapiro New Talent" Exhibit. The next year Hartigan had her first solo exhibit at Tibor de Nagy Gallery, a new gallery run by John Bernard Myers, and, in 1952, a second solo show there. In 1953, at her third show at Tibor de Nagy, the Museum of Modern Art purchased her painting Persian Jacket. Despite this coup and the critical notice she was receiving, Hartigan continued to struggle financially.

Like other painters of the Abstract Expressionist scene in 1950s New York, Hartigan was closely associated – personally and professionally – with several outstanding poets of the time such as Barbara Guest, James Schuyler and Frank O'Hara. She incorporated the text of O'Hara's poems "Oranges" into a series of twelve paintings, also titled "Oranges," in 1953. Later in her career, she created prints based on work by James Schuyler and Barbara Guest.

In 1959 she married gallery owner Robert Keene, participated in several international exhibitions including "Twelve Americans," "Art in Embassies," and "New American Painting," and was featured in a Life magazine essay. In 1960 she divorced Keene, married Dr. Winston Price, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University and an Abstract Expressionist collector, and moved to the Baltimore, Maryland area, where she lives and works today.

In the early 1960s, she invented a new medium, watercolor collage, using washes to create form, then tearing and reassembling the pieces. In 1965 she approached the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) to explore the possibility of her teaching graduate students there. Almost immediately, her offer was accepted and she continues not only to teach at the Hoffberger School but also to serve as its director.

In 1969 her husband became ill as a result of a self-administered experimental vaccine. For this and other reasons the 1970s proved emotionally trying for Hartigan, as reflected in her work from this period. Dr. Price died in 1981. In the early 1980s, Hartigan focused on heroines as her subject matter. She created a series of Paper Dolls based on 1930s movie stars and did a series of "Great Queens and Empresses" including Theodora, Empress of Byzantium; Elizabeth I of England, Empress Josephine of France; and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Hartigan continues to paint and direct students to the present day (2006). She was the subject of a major monograph, Grace Hartigan: A Painter's World, by art historian Robert Mattison, as well as two important exhibit guides, Grace Hartigan and the Poets, by Terrence Diggory and Painting Art History, by Sharon L. Hirsh.

From the guide to the Grace Hartigan Papers, 1942-2006, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Hartigan, Grace : Biographical file. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
creatorOf Soby, James Thrall, 1906-1979. James Thrall Soby papers, 1928-1975 (bulk 1935-1955). Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Samuel J. Wagstaff papers Archives of American Art
creatorOf Hartigan, Grace. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Dorothy C. Miller papers Archives of American Art
creatorOf Alternative Press (Detroit, Michigan). The Alternative Press records, 1961-1998 (bulk 1970-1995). University of Michigan
creatorOf Hartigan, Grace,. Oral history interview, 1975. Maryland historical society
referencedIn Hartigan, Grace, 1922- : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn American Federation of Arts records Archives of American Art
creatorOf Hartigan, Grace. Grace George Hartigan : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation 1930?-1990 [graphic] [compiled by staff of The Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
creatorOf Grace Hartigan Papers, 1942-2006 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Gertrude Kasle Gallery records Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hans Namuth photographs and papers Archives of American Art
creatorOf Research material on Martha Jackson Archives of American Art
creatorOf Hartigan, Grace. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn James Thrall Soby papers, 1928-1975, 1935-1955 Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Samuel J. Wagstaff papers Archives of American Art
creatorOf James Brooks and Charlotte Park papers Archives of American Art
creatorOf Hartigan, Grace, 1922-2008. [Grace Hartigan] : artist file John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Library, Ringling Museum Library
referencedIn Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists Archives of American Art
creatorOf Dorothy C. Miller papers Archives of American Art
creatorOf Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists Archives of American Art
referencedIn Cleve Gray papers Archives of American Art
creatorOf Hartigan, Grace, 1922-. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Brooklyn Museum. Listening to pictures : interviews. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Elisabeth Zogbaum papers regarding Franz Kline Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Oral history interview with Tibor de Nagy Archives of American Art
referencedIn Oral history interview with Robert Blackburn Archives of American Art
creatorOf Karl E. Fortess interviews with artists Archives of American Art
referencedIn Oral history interview with Larry Aldrich Archives of American Art
referencedIn Oral history interview with Helen Frankenthaler Archives of American Art
creatorOf Oral history interview with Grace Hartigan Archives of American Art
Relation Name
associatedWith ACA Galleries. corporateBody
associatedWith Aldrich, Larry, person
associatedWith Alternative Press (Detroit, Michigan) corporateBody
associatedWith American Federation of Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith Bahrych, Lawrence person
associatedWith Baltimore Museum of Art. corporateBody
associatedWith Bing, Alexander person
associatedWith Blackburn, Robert Hamilton, 1920- person
associatedWith Block, Corliss person
associatedWith Bocour, Leonard, 1910-1993 person
associatedWith Bos, Sally Lindsay. person
associatedWith Brooklyn Museum. corporateBody
associatedWith Brooks, James, 1906- person
associatedWith Buckwalter, Sue. person
associatedWith Budd, David. person
associatedWith Bush, Martin. person
associatedWith Cage, John. person
associatedWith Cheon, Mina. person
associatedWith Clyde, Mary Abbot. person
associatedWith Connor, Colin. person
associatedWith Correa, Federico, 1945- person
associatedWith Cranbrook Academy of Art. corporateBody
associatedWith De Kooning, Elaine. person
associatedWith De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997. person
associatedWith De Nagy, Tibor person
associatedWith De Nagy, Tibor, 1908-1993 person
associatedWith Dennis, Emily. person
associatedWith Evans, Mary Page. person
associatedWith Folger, Dotty person
associatedWith Fortess, Karl E. (Karl Eugene), 1907- person
associatedWith Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011 person
associatedWith Gertrude Kasle Gallery corporateBody
associatedWith Gertrude Kasle Gallery (Detroit, Mich.) corporateBody
associatedWith Gertrude Kasle Gallery (Detroit, Mich.) corporateBody
associatedWith Gray, Cleve. person
associatedWith Grimaldis Gallery. corporateBody
associatedWith Grosman, Tatyana, 1904-1982 person
associatedWith Gruenebaum Gallery (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Guest, Barbara. person
associatedWith Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979 person
associatedWith Guston, Philip, 1913-1980 person
associatedWith Haifley, Julia Link person
associatedWith Hansen, Waldemar. person
associatedWith Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966 person
associatedWith Jeffers, Wendy. person
associatedWith Joans, Ted. person
associatedWith Johns, Jasper, 1930- person
associatedWith Leslie, Alfred, 1927- person
associatedWith Lurie, Sheldon. person
associatedWith Maggio, John. person
associatedWith Marino, Louise. person
associatedWith Martha Jackson Gallery. corporateBody
associatedWith Maryland Institute, College of Art. corporateBody
associatedWith Matter, Mercedes, 1913-2001 person
associatedWith Mattison, Robert Saltonstall. person
associatedWith Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Michener, James A. (James Albert), 1907-1997 person
associatedWith Mikulski, Barbara. person
associatedWith Miller, Dorothy Canning person
associatedWith Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003. person
associatedWith Mitchell, Joan, 1926-1992 person
associatedWith Mondale, Walter F., 1928- person
associatedWith Morishita, Ryozo. person
associatedWith Motherwell, Robert. person
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Myers, John Bernard. person
associatedWith Namuth, Hans. person
associatedWith O'Hara, Frank, 1926-1966 person
associatedWith Perry, Beatrice. person
associatedWith Perry, Hart Jr. person
associatedWith Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956. person
associatedWith Porter, Fairfield. person
associatedWith Raimondi, John, 1948- person
associatedWith Rand, Harry. person
associatedWith Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002 person
associatedWith Rome, Paula. person
associatedWith Saler, Karen. person
associatedWith Schapiro, Miriam, 1923- person
associatedWith Schuyler, James. person
associatedWith Schweitzer, Albert (artist) person
associatedWith Silver, Walter. person
associatedWith Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. corporateBody
associatedWith Soby, James Thrall, 1906-1979. person
associatedWith Spaventa, George, 1918- person
associatedWith Steinberg, Saul. person
associatedWith Stevens, Rex. person
associatedWith Stiles, George. person
associatedWith Stolz, Joan. person
associatedWith Tabak, May Natalie. person
associatedWith The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Tibor de Nagy Gallery. corporateBody
associatedWith Vecchi, Floriano. person
associatedWith Wagstaff, Samuel J. person
associatedWith Waters, John. person
associatedWith Weissman, Julian. person
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
associatedWith Zogbaum, Elisabeth Ross. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
United States
Abstract expressionism
Abstract expressionism
Art, American
Art, American
Painting, American
Painting, Modern
Painting, Modern
Women artists
Women painters
Women painters


Birth 1922-03-28

Death 2008-11-15



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SNAC ID: 48532404