Past Exhibitions

All Good Art is Political

Käthe Kollwitz and Sue Coe

October 26, 2017 - March 10, 2018

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 11, 2017 - October 13, 2017

The Woman Question

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka

March 14, 2017 - June 30, 2017

You Say You Want a Revolution

American Artists and the Communist Party

October 18, 2016 - March 4, 2017

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 12, 2016 - October 7, 2016

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Featuring Watercolors and Drawings from the Robert Lehman Collection

March 29, 2016 - July 1, 2016

Paula Modersohn-Becker

Art and Life

November 3, 2015 - March 19, 2016

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 21, 2015 - October 16, 2015

Leonard Baskin


April 23, 2015 - July 2, 2015

Alternate Histories

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015

Marie-Louise Motesiczky

The Mother Paintings

October 7, 2014 - December 24, 2014

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 15, 2014 - September 26, 2014


Father & Son, Inside & Out

April 24, 2014 - July 3, 2014

Modern Furies

The Lessons and Legacy of World War I

January 21, 2014 - April 12, 2014

Käthe Kollwitz

The Complete Print Cycles

October 8, 2013 - December 28, 2013

Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

July 9, 2013 - September 27, 2013

Face Time

Self and Identity in Expressionist Portraiture

April 9, 2013 - June 28, 2013

Story Lines

Tracing the Narrative of "Outsider" Art

January 15, 2013 - March 30, 2013

Egon Schiele's Women

October 23, 2012 - December 28, 2012

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 17, 2012 - October 13, 2012

Mad As Hell!

New Work (and Some Classics) by Sue Coe

April 17, 2012 - July 3, 2012

The Ins and Outs of Self-Taught Art

Reflections on a Shifting Field

January 10, 2012 - April 7, 2012

The Lady and the Tramp

Images of Women in Austrian and German Art

October 11, 2011 - December 30, 2011

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 5, 2011 - September 30, 2011

Decadence & Decay

Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz

April 12, 2011 - June 24, 2011

Self-Taught Painters in America 1800-1950

Revisiting the Tradition

January 11, 2011 - April 2, 2011

Marie-Louise Motesiczky

Paradise Lost & Found

October 12, 2010 - December 30, 2010

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 13, 2010 - October 1, 2010

Käthe Kollwitz

A Portrait of the Artist

April 13, 2010 - June 25, 2010

Seventy Years Grandma Moses

A Loan Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Artist's "Discovery"

February 3, 2010 - April 3, 2010

Egon Schiele as Printmaker

A Loan Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

November 3, 2009 - January 23, 2010

From Brücke To Bauhaus

The Meanings of Modernity in Germany, 1905-1933

March 31, 2009 - June 26, 2009

They Taught Themselves

American Self-Taught Painters Between the World Wars

January 9, 2009 - March 14, 2009

Elephants We Must Never Forget

New Paintings Drawings and Prints by Sue Coe

October 14, 2008 - December 20, 2008

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 24, 2008 - September 26, 2008

Hope or Menace?

Communism in Germany Between the World Wars

March 25, 2008 - June 13, 2008

Transforming Reality

Pattern and Design in Modern and Self-Taught Art

January 15, 2008 - March 8, 2008

Leonard Baskin

Proofs and Process

October 9, 2007 - January 5, 2008

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 5, 2007 - September 28, 2007

Who Paid the Piper?

The Art of Patronage in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

March 8, 2007 - May 26, 2007

Fairy Tale, Myth and Fantasy

Approaches to Spirituality in Art

December 7, 2006 - February 3, 2007

More Than Coffee was Served

Café Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna and Weimar Germany

September 19, 2006 - November 25, 2006

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 6, 2006 - September 8, 2006

Parallel Visions II

"Outsider" and "Insider" Art Today

April 5, 2006 - May 26, 2006


His First American Exhibtion

January 17, 2006 - March 18, 2006

Coming of Age

Egon Schiele and the Modernist Culture of Youth

November 15, 2005 - January 7, 2006

Sue Coe:

Sheep of Fools

September 20, 2005 - November 5, 2005

Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

June 7, 2005 - September 9, 2005

Every Picture Tells a Story

The Narrative Impulse in Modern and Contemporary Art

April 5, 2005 - May 27, 2005

65th Anniversary Exhibition, Part II

Self-Taught Artists

January 18, 2005 - March 26, 2005

65th Anniversary Exhibition, Part I

Austrian and German Expressionism

October 28, 2004 - January 8, 2005

Sue Coe: Bully: Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round and Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 8, 2004 - October 16, 2004

Animals & Us

The Animal in Contemporary Art

April 1, 2004 - May 22, 2004

Henry Darger

Art and Myth

January 15, 2004 - March 20, 2004

Body and Soul

Expressionism and the Human Figure

October 7, 2003 - January 3, 2004

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 24, 2003 - September 12, 2003

In Search of the "Total Artwork"

Viennese Art and Design 1897–1932

April 8, 2003 - June 14, 2003

Russia's Self-Taught Artists

A New Perspective on the "Outsider"

January 14, 2003 - March 29, 2003

Käthe Kollwitz:

Master Printmaker

October 1, 2002 - January 4, 2003

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 25, 2002 - September 20, 2002

Workers of the World

Modern Images of Labor

April 2, 2002 - June 15, 2002

Grandma Moses

Reflections of America

January 15, 2002 - March 16, 2002

Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoscha

From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

November 23, 2001 - January 5, 2002

The "Black-and-White" Show

Expressionist Graphics in Austria & Germany

September 20, 2001 - November 10, 2001

Recent Acquisitions (And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 26, 2001 - September 7, 2001

Art with an Agenda

Politics, Persuasion, Illustration and Decoration

April 10, 2001 - June 16, 2001

"Our Beautiful and Tormented Austria!": Art Brut in the Land of Freud

January 18, 2001 - March 17, 2001

The Tragedy of War

November 16, 2000 - January 6, 2001

The Expressionist City

September 19, 2000 - November 4, 2000

Recent Acquisitions (And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 20, 2000 - September 8, 2000

From Façade to Psyche

Turn-of-the-Century Portraiture in Austria & Germany

March 28, 2000 - June 10, 2000

European Self-Taught Art

Brut or Naive?

January 18, 2000 - March 11, 2000

Saved From Europe

In Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

November 6, 1999 - January 8, 2000

The Modern Child

(Images of Children in Twentieth-Century Art)

September 14, 1999 - November 6, 1999

Recent Acquisitions

(And a Look at Sixty Years of Art Dealing)

June 15, 1999 - September 3, 1999

Sue Coe: The Pit

The Tragical Tale of the Rise and Fall of a Vivisector

March 30, 1999 - June 5, 1999

Henry Darger and His Realms

January 14, 1999 - March 13, 1999

Becoming Käthe Kollwitz

An Artist and Her Influences

November 17, 1998 - December 31, 1998

George Grosz - Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler

Art & Gender in Weimar Germany

September 23, 1998 - November 11, 1998

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts About Looted Art)

June 9, 1998 - September 11, 1998


Repression and Revolt in Modern Art

March 26, 1998 - May 30, 1998

Sacred & Profane

Michel Nedjar and Expressionist Primitivism

January 13, 1998 - March 14, 1998

Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

Master Draughtsman

November 18, 1997 - January 3, 1998

The New Objectivity

Realism in Weimar-Era Germany

September 16, 1997 - November 8, 1997

Recent Acquisitions

A Question of Quality

June 10, 1997 - September 5, 1997

Käthe Kollwitz - Lea Grundig

Two German Women & The Art of Protest

March 25, 1997 - May 31, 1997

That Way Madness Lies

Expressionism and the Art of Gugging

January 14, 1997 - March 15, 1997

The Viennese Line

Art and Design Circa 1900

November 18, 1996 - January 4, 1997

Emil Nolde - Christian Rohlfs

Two German Expressionist Masters

September 24, 1996 - November 9, 1996

Breaking All The Rules

Art in Transition

June 11, 1996 - September 6, 1996

Sue Coe's Ship of Fools

March 26, 1996 - May 24, 1996

New York Folk

Lawrence Lebduska, Abraham Levin, Isreal Litwak

January 16, 1996 - March 16, 1996

The Fractured Form

Expressionism and the Human Body

November 15, 1995 - January 6, 1996

From Left to Right

Social Realism in Germany and Russia, Circa 1919-1933

September 19, 1995 - November 4, 1995

Recent Acquisitions

June 20, 1995 - September 8, 1995

On the Brink 1900-2000

The Turning of Two Centuries

March 28, 1995 - May 26, 1995

Earl Cummingham - Grandma Moses

Visions of America

January 17, 1995 - March 18, 1995

Drawn to Text: Comix Artists as Book Illustrators

November 15, 1994 - January 7, 1995

Three Berlin Artists of the Weimar Era: Hannah Höch, Käthe Kollwitz, Jeanne Mam

September 13, 1994 - November 5, 1994

55th Anniversary Exhibition in Memory of Otto Kallir

June 7, 1994 - September 2, 1994

Sue Coe: We All Fall Down

March 29, 1994 - May 27, 1994

The Forgotten Folk Art of the 1940's

January 18, 1994 - March 19, 1994

Symbolism and the Austrian Avant Garde

Klimt, Schiele and their Contemporaries

November 16, 1993 - January 8, 1994

Art and Politics in Weimar Germany

September 14, 1993 - November 6, 1993

Recent Acquisitions

June 8, 1993 - September 3, 1993

The "Outsider" Question

Non-Academic Art from 1900 to the Present

March 23, 1993 - May 28, 1993

The Dance of Death

Images of Mortality in German Art

January 19, 1993 - March 13, 1993

Art Spiegelman

The Road to Maus

November 17, 1992 - January 9, 1993

Käthe Kollwitz

In Celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth

September 15, 1992 - November 7, 1992

Naive Visions/Art Nouveau and Expressionism/Sue Coe: The Road to the White House

May 19, 1992 - September 4, 1992

Richard Gerstl/Oskar Kokoschka

March 17, 1992 - May 9, 1992

Scandal, Outrage, Censorship

Controversy in Modern Art

January 21, 1992 - March 7, 1992

Viennese Graphic Design

From Secession to Expressionism

November 19, 1991 - January 11, 1992

The Expressionist Figure

September 10, 1991 - November 9, 1991

Recent Acquisitions

Themes and Variations

May 14, 1991 - August 16, 1991

Sue Coe Retrospective

Political Document of a Decade

March 12, 1991 - May 5, 1991

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, drawings and prints

January 22, 1991 - March 2, 1991

Egon Schiele

November 13, 1990 - January 12, 1991

Lovis Corinth

A Retrospective

September 11, 1990 - November 3, 1990

Recent Acquisitions

June 12, 1990 - August 31, 1990

Max Klinger, Käthe Kollwitz, Alfred Kubin

A Study in Influences

March 27, 1990 - June 2, 1990

The Narrative in Art

January 23, 1990 - March 17, 1990

Grandma Moses

November 14, 1989 - January 13, 1990

Sue Coe

Porkopolis--Animals and Industry

September 19, 1989 - November 4, 1989

The Galerie St. Etienne

A History in Documents and Pictures

June 20, 1989 - September 8, 1989

Gustav Klimt

Paintings and Drawings

April 11, 1989 - June 10, 1989

Fifty Years Galerie St. Etienne: An Overview

February 14, 1989 - April 1, 1989

Folk Artists at Work

Morris Hirshfield, John Kane and Grandma Moses

November 15, 1988 - January 14, 1989

Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

June 14, 1988 - September 16, 1988

From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

April 12, 1988 - May 27, 1988

Three Pre-Expressionists

Lovis Corinth Käthe Kollwitz Paula Modersohn-Becker

January 26, 1988 - March 12, 1988

Käthe Kollwitz

The Power of the Print

November 17, 1987 - January 16, 1988

Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

April 7, 1987 - October 31, 1987

Folk Art of This Century

February 10, 1987 - March 28, 1987

Oskar Kokoschka and His Time

November 25, 1986 - January 31, 1987

Viennese Design and Wiener Werkstätte

September 23, 1986 - November 8, 1986

Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, Drawings and Prints

May 27, 1986 - September 13, 1986

Expressionist Painters

March 25, 1986 - May 10, 1986

Käthe Kollwitz/Paula Modersohn-Becker

January 28, 1986 - March 15, 1986

The Art of Giving

December 3, 1985 - January 18, 1986

Expressionists on Paper

October 8, 1985 - November 23, 1985

European and American Landscapes

June 4, 1985 - September 13, 1985

Expressionist Printmaking

Aspects of its Genesis and Development

April 1, 1985 - May 24, 1985

Expressionist Masters

January 18, 1985 - March 23, 1985

Arnold Schoenberg's Vienna

November 13, 1984 - January 5, 1985

Grandma Moses and Selected Folk Paintings

September 25, 1984 - November 3, 1984

American Folk Art

People, Places and Things

June 12, 1984 - September 14, 1984

John Kane

Modern America's First Folk Painter

April 17, 1984 - May 25, 1984

Eugène Mihaesco

The Illustrator as Artist

February 28, 1984 - April 7, 1984

Early Expressionist Masters

January 17, 1984 - February 18, 1984

Paula Modersohn-Becker

Germany's Pioneer Modernist

November 15, 1983 - January 7, 1984

Gustav Klimt

Drawings and Selected Paintings

September 20, 1983 - November 5, 1983

Early and Late

Drawings, Paintings & Prints from Academicism to Expressionism

June 1, 1983 - September 2, 1983

Alfred Kubin

Visions From The Other Side

March 22, 1983 - May 7, 1983

20th Century Folk

The First Generation

January 18, 1983 - March 12, 1983

Grandma Moses

The Artist Behind the Myth

November 15, 1982 - January 8, 1983

Käthe Kollwitz

The Artist as Printmaker

September 28, 1982 - November 6, 1982

Aspects of Modernism

June 1, 1982 - September 3, 1982

The Human Perspective

Recent Acquisitions

March 16, 1982 - May 15, 1982

19th and 20th Century European and American Folk Art

January 19, 1982 - March 6, 1982

The Folk Art Tradition

Naïve Painting in Europe and the United States

November 17, 1981 - January 9, 1982

Austria's Expressionism

April 21, 1981 - May 30, 1981

Eugène Mihaesco

His First American One-Man Show

March 3, 1981 - April 11, 1981

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele

November 12, 1980 - December 27, 1980

Summer Exhibition

June 17, 1980 - October 31, 1980

Kollwitz: The Drawing and The Print

May 1, 1980 - June 10, 1980

40th Anniversary Exhibition

November 13, 1979 - December 28, 1979

American Primitive Art

November 22, 1977

Käthe Kollwitz

December 1, 1976

Neue Galerie-Galerie St. Etienne

A Documentary Exhibition

May 1, 1976

Martin Pajeck

January 27, 1976

Georges Rouault and Frans Masereel

April 29, 1972

Branko Paradis

December 1, 1971

Käthe Kollwitz

February 3, 1971

Egon Schiele

The Graphic Work

October 19, 1970

Gustav Klimt

March 20, 1970

Friedrich Hundertwasser

May 6, 1969

Austrian Art of the 20th Century

March 21, 1969

Egon Schiele

Memorial Exhibition

October 31, 1968

Yugoslav Primitive Art

April 30, 1968

Alfred Kubin

January 30, 1968

Käthe Kollwitz

In the Cause of Humanity

October 23, 1967

Abraham Levin

September 26, 1967

Karl Stark

April 5, 1967

Gustav Klimt

February 4, 1967

The Wiener Werkstätte

November 16, 1966

Oskar Laske

October 25, 1965

Käthe Kollwitz

May 1, 1965

Egon Schiele

Watercolors and Drawings from American Collections

March 1, 1965

25th Anniversary Exhibition

Part II

November 21, 1964

25th Anniversary Exhibition

Part I

October 17, 1964

Mary Urban

June 9, 1964

Werner Berg, Jane Muus and Mura Dehn

May 5, 1964

Eugen Spiro

April 4, 1964

B. F. Dolbin

Drawings of an Epoch

March 3, 1964

Austrian Expressionists

January 6, 1964

Joseph Rifesser

December 3, 1963

Panorama of Yugoslav Primitive Art

October 21, 1963

Joe Henry

Watercolors of Vermont

May 1, 1963

French Impressionists

March 8, 1963

Grandma Moses

Memorial Exhibition

November 26, 1962

Group Show

October 15, 1962

Ernst Barlach

March 23, 1962

Martin Pajeck

February 24, 1962

Paintings by Expressionists

January 27, 1962

Käthe Kollwitz

November 11, 1961

Grandma Moses

September 7, 1961

My Friends

Fourth Biennial of Pictures by American School Children

May 27, 1961

Raimonds Staprans

April 17, 1961

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Alfred Kubin

March 14, 1961

Marvin Meisels

January 23, 1961

Egon Schiele

November 15, 1960

My Life's History

Paintings by Grandma Moses

September 12, 1960

Watercolors and Drawings by Austrian Artists from the Dial Collection

May 2, 1960

Martin Pajeck

February 29, 1960

Eugen Spiro

February 6, 1960

Käthe Kollwitz

December 14, 1959

Josef Scharl

Last Paintings and Drawings

November 11, 1959

European and American Expressionists

September 22, 1959

Our Town

One Hundred Paintings by American School Children

May 23, 1959

Marvin Meisels and Martin Pajeck

May 1, 1959

Gustav Klimt

April 1, 1959

Käthe Kollwitz

January 12, 1959

Oskar Kokoschka

October 28, 1958

Village Life in Guatemala

Paintings by Andres Curuchich

June 3, 1958

Two Unknown American Expressionists

Paintings by Marvin Meisels and Martin Pajeck

April 28, 1958

Paula Modersohn-Becker

March 15, 1958

The Great Tradition in American Painting

American Primitive Art

January 20, 1958

Jules Lefranc and Dominique Lagru

Two French Primitives

November 18, 1957

Margret Bilger

October 22, 1957

The Four Seasons

One Hundred Paintings by American School Children

June 11, 1957

Grandma Moses

May 6, 1957

Alfred Kubin

April 3, 1957

Franz Lerch

March 2, 1957

Egon Schiele

January 21, 1957

Josef Scharl

Memorial Exhibition

November 17, 1956

Irma Rothstein

May 19, 1956

Käthe Kollwitz

April 16, 1956

A Tribute to Grandma Moses

November 28, 1955

As I See Myself

One Hundred Paintings by American School Children

May 20, 1955

Juan De'Prey

April 19, 1955

Erich Heckel

March 29, 1955

Freddy Homburger

March 2, 1955

Masters of the 19th Century

January 18, 1955

Oskar Kokoschka

November 29, 1954

Isabel Case Borgatta and Josef Scharl

October 12, 1954

James N. Rosenberg and Eugen Spiro

April 30, 1954

Per Krogh

April 2, 1954

Cuno Amiet

February 16, 1954

Eniar Jolin

January 14, 1954

Irma Rothstein

December 8, 1953

Josef Scharl

November 11, 1953

Grandma Moses

October 21, 1953 - October 24, 1953

Wilhelm Kaufmann

September 30, 1953

Lovis Corinth, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

May 27, 1953

A Grandma Moses Album

Recent Paintings, 1950-1953

April 15, 1953

Streeter Blair

American Primitive

February 26, 1953

Paintings on Glass

Austrian Religious Folk Art of the 17th to 19th Centuries

December 4, 1952

Hasan Kaptan

Paintings of a Ten-Year-Old Turkish Painter

October 29, 1952

Margret Bilger

May 10, 1952

American Natural Painters

March 31, 1952

Ten Years of New York Concert Impressions by Eugen Spiro; Four New Paintings by

January 26, 1952


Watercolors of New York by a Chinese Artist

December 1, 1951

Käthe Kollwitz

October 25, 1951

Drawings and Watercolors by Austrian Children

May 21, 1951

Grandma Moses

Twenty-Five Masterpieces of Primitive Art

March 17, 1951

Roswitha Bitterlich

January 18, 1951

Oskar Laske

Watercolors of Vienna and the Salzkammergut

October 14, 1950

Tenth Anniversary Exhibition

Part II

May 11, 1950

Austrian Art of the 19th Century

From Wadlmüller to Klimt

April 1, 1950

Chiao Ssu-Tu

February 18, 1950

Anton Faistauer

January 1, 1950

Tenth Anniversary Exhibition

Part I

November 30, 1949

Autograph Exhibition

October 26, 1949

Gladys Wertheim Bachrach

May 24, 1949

Oskar Kokoschka

March 30, 1949

Eugen Spiro

February 19, 1949

Frans Masereel

January 13, 1949

Ten Years Grandma Moses

November 22, 1948

Käthe Kollwitz


October 18, 1948

American Primitives

June 3, 1948

Egon Schiele

Memorial Exhibition

April 5, 1948

Miriam Richman

February 7, 1948

Vally Wieselthier

Memorial Exhibition

January 10, 1948

Christmas Exhibition

December 4, 1947

Fritz von Unruh

November 10, 1947

Käthe Kollwitz

October 4, 1947

Grandma Moses

May 17, 1947

Lovis Corinth

April 16, 1947

Hugo Steiner-Prag

March 15, 1947

Mark Baum

January 11, 1947

Eugen Spiro

November 25, 1946

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

May 17, 1946

Ladis W. Sabo

Paintings by a New Primitive Artist

April 8, 1946

Georges Rouault

The Graphic Work

February 26, 1946

Käthe Kollwitz

Memorial Exhibition

November 21, 1945

Fred E. Robertson

Paintings by an American Primitive

June 13, 1945

Max Liebermann

The Graphic Work

April 18, 1945

Vienna through Four Centuries

March 1, 1945

Eugen Spiro

January 20, 1945

Grandma Moses

New Paintings

December 5, 1944

Käthe Kollwitz

Part II

October 26, 1944

A Century of French Graphic Art

From Géricault to Picasso

September 28, 1944

Max Liebermann

Memorial Exhibition

June 9, 1944

Juan De'Prey

Paintings by a Self-Taught Artist from Puerto Rico

May 6, 1944

Abraham Levin

April 15, 1944

Lesser Ury

Memorial Exhibition

March 21, 1944

Grandma Moses

Paintings by the Senior of the American Primitives

February 9, 1944

Betty Lane

January 11, 1944

WaIt Disney Cavalcade

December 9, 1943

Käthe Kollwitz

Part I

November 3, 1943

Will Barnet

September 29, 1943

Lovis Corinth

May 26, 1943

Josephine Joy

Paintings by an American Primitive

May 3, 1943

Oskar Kokoschka

Aspects of His Art

March 31, 1943

Eugen Spiro

February 13, 1943

Seymour Lipton

January 18, 1943

Illuminated Gothic Woodcuts

Printed and Painted, 1477-1493

December 5, 1942

Abraham Levin

November 4, 1942

Walt Disney Originals

September 23, 1942

Documents which Relate History

Documents of Historical Importance and Landmarks of Human Development

June 10, 1942

Honoré Daumier

April 29, 1942

Bertha Trabich

Memorial Exhibition of a Russian-American Primitive

March 25, 1942

Alfred Kubin

Master of Drawing

December 4, 1941

Egon Schiele

November 7, 1941

Betty Lane

June 3, 1941

Flowers from Old Vienna

18th and Early 19th Century Flower Painting

May 7, 1941

Weavings by Navaho and Hopi Indians and Photos of Indians by Helen M. Post

January 29, 1941

Georg Merkel

November 7, 1940

What a Farm Wife Painted

Works by Mrs. Anna Mary Moses

October 9, 1940

Saved from Europe

Masterpieces of European Art

July 1, 1940

American Abstract Art

May 22, 1940

Franz Lerch

May 1, 1940

Wilhelm Thöny

April 3, 1940

French Masters of the 19th and 20th Centuries

February 29, 1940

H. W. Hannau

Metropolis, Photographic Studies of New York

February 2, 1940

Oskar Kokoschka

January 9, 1940

Austrian Masters

November 13, 1939


Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015


Baskin, Leonard

Coe, Sue

Hirshfield, Morris

Kane, John

Klimt, Gustav

Kokoschka, Oskar

Kollwitz, Käthe

Kubin, Alfred

Moses, Anna Mary Robertson ("Grandma")

Schiele, Egon


Art Spiegelman, an artist represented by the Galerie St. Etienne in the 1990s, subtitled his renowned Holocaust memoir, Maus, "My Father Bleeds History." This can probably be said of every Holocaust survivor. However, it might more accurately be said that Otto Kallir, founder of the Galerie St. Etienne, and before that Vienna's Neue Galerie, breathed history. Kallir was keenly aware that history surrounds us, and he had a sure instinct for discerning which of myriad daily experiences could likely prove to be of lasting significance. As a boy, he followed the Wright Brothers' experiments in distant North Carolina, convinced that aviation would one day revolutionize human travel. As a collector, again from a young age, he was fascinated by the physical traces of human achievement, be these in the form of aeronautica, musical manuscripts or historical documents. When Hitler came to power in neighboring Germany, Kallir had no illusions about the potential threat, and he made preliminary plans to emigrate already in 1935. He and his immediate family fled Austria in June 1938, scarcely three months after the Nazi Anschluss and just hours before the Gestapo intended to arrest him.


Kallir's eye for art was of a piece with his feeling for history. Equally appreciative of quality and context, he was absolutely steadfast in his judgments. In many cases, his choices were not at the time obvious. The Austrian modernists--Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin and Egon Schiele--were virtually unknown in the United States when the Galerie St. Etienne opened its doors here in 1939. Anna Mary Roberston ("Grandma") Moses was an obscure farmwoman when Kallir mounted her first exhibition in 1940, and her rise to fame after World War II flew in the face of the entire American art world. Overall, St. Etienne's program was decidedly at odds with the formalist dogma put forth by critics such as Clement Greenberg and his allies at the Museum of Modern Art. Figural, folk, humanistic--the Galerie St. Etienne's artists present dissenting views and suggest alternate histories that challenge the dominant narratives of twentieth-century art.


The advent of modernism in Europe at the turn of the last century upended the structure of the Western art world. Through responses varied from country to country, artist to artist, modernists shared an aversion to the existing art establishment: the academies and salons that controlled the market and, in the artists' view, perpetuated stultifying, moribund aesthetic traditions. The modernists were not necessarily political, but they possessed an inochoate belief that art might remake society, or at the very least, that the rampant social changes of the industrial age demanded a new art. Their art was unlike anything that had graced the walls of nineteenth-century salons. Difficult for the average viewer to comprehend and widely reviled by professional critics, modern art in its early days depended on the support of a small cadre of committed collectors, curators and dealers. Gallerists such as Ambrose Vollard and Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler in France, Paul Cassirer and Herwarth Walden in Germany and Otto Kallir in Austria were proselytizers for the new art. By painstakingly educating the public, they created not only a market for modern art, but also the modern art market.


The selling of modern art, both commerically and intellectually, accelerated significantly in the years between the two world wars. The genre's subordinate "isms"--Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, Surrealism--became brands that could be used for promotional purposes, as well as explanatory categories wielded by art historians and curators. During the First World War, both sides had banned the enemy's culture, and as a result, many of the "isms" acquired nationalistic associations in the postwar period. "Expressionism," a term originally used by Lovis Corinth to distinguish the Fauves from the Impressionists, now became a specifically Germanic designation, albeit one artists themselves seldom embraced. In the United States, modernism was a foreign import with a decidedly French orientation. For Americans, wartime alliances enduringly ratified Paris's stature as the cener of the international art world.


Within this context, Austria was doubly cursed. Not only had that nation been on the losing side in World War I, it had sacrificed its identity to Germany as a result of the 1938 Anschluss. The Galerie St. Etienne's inaugural exhibition of nineteenth-century "Austrian Masters" in November 1939 was characterized as a "quaint display" by the New York Herald Tribune. Klimt and Schiele, introduced to the American public in a group exhibition several months later, were given scant chances of success. "It is difficult to awaken enthusiasm at this time for artists so little known and appreciated here and for many years passed from the contemporary scene in Europe," the Tribune opined. Among the triumvirate of great Austrian modernists, only Kokoschka was still alive, and because he had spent much of his career abroad, he was routinely grouped with the German Expressionists. Though Kokoschka's work was hardly popular (the New York Times called his colors "bilious"), the artist's higher profile yielded the Galerie St. Etienne some modest successes, most notably the sale, in 1940, of a major landscape oil to the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo.


German Expressionism, unlike its Austrian counterpart, did enjoy some recognition in the United States. In addition to the Albright's Director, Gordon Washburn, American advocates of Germanic art prior to World War II included Henry Rossiter at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Carl Schniewind at the Brooklyn Museum, Carl Zigrosser at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perry Rathbone at the St. Louis Museum and William Valentiner, Director of the Detroit Institute of Art. Valentiner was, among other things, an advisor to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the guiding force behind the Museum of Modern Art. MoMA's founding Director, Alfred Barr, had traveled widely in Europe, and in 1931 the museum mounted a groundbreaking exhibition of German Expressionism. Nevertheless, Barr noted disapprovingly in the catalogue that "German art is as a rule not pure art." Unlike French modernism it did not focus on "form and style as ends in themselves."


As MoMA's first Director, Barr wanted to contruct an intellectual framework that could be used to explain modernism and sell it to the general public. His efforts culminated in a highly influential chart, which was reproduced on the cover of the museum's 1936 catalogue, "Cubism and Abstract Art." With scant attention to the artists' individual contexts or avowed philosophical aims, Barr reduced the welter of multinational "isms" to their lowest common denominator. His chart plotted two essentially formal trajectories: the first leading from Cézanne to Cubism and thence to Constructivism, and the second leading from Gauguin through the Fauves to Expressionism and Surrealism. The first thread culminated in geometrical abstraction, the second in nongeometrical abstraction. That was it. Modernism came down to a choice between regular or irregular shapes the "square" or the "amoeba."


It is no coincidence that the interlocking "isms" on Barr's flowchart were almost exclusively European. Barr prized innovation, and Americans had not thus far been leaders in the international move towards abstraction. Believing that when it came to painting and sculpture, Americans remained inferior to the French, Barr placed special emphasis, in MoMA's programming and departmental structure, on photography, film, architecture and industrial design: areas in which the United States was widely agreed to excel. The view was resoundingly, and somewhat more harshly, affirmed by the French press in 1938, when MoMA sent a survey, "Three Centuries of American Art," to the Jeu de Paume. For Europeans, America was synonymous with Hollywood and skyscrapers. The United States was simply too youg, as a nation, to have developed the cultural traditions required to nurture meaningful fine art.


Europeans responded more favorably to America's folk arts and self-taught painters. Serious interest in such work had been initiated by modernists like Picasso and Kandinsky, who were inspired by the relative creative freedom of unschooled artists. This viewpoint became established in the United States when a Pittsburgh housepainter, John Kane, was admitted to the prestigious Carnegie International Exhibition in 1927. MoMA, founded two years later, quickly became a strong supporter of nonacademic American art. During the museum's first decade, Kane was included in no fewer than four roundups of contemporary trends, as well as a groundbreaking 1938 survey of self-taught artists, "Masters of Popular Painting." Barr at the time described the genre as one of the "major... movements of modern art," on a par with Cubism and Surrealism. In 1941, when MoMA opened its first gallery devoted to the permanent collection, the selection was limited to the work of untrained painters. Averring that these so-called "modern primitives" were more "international in character" than their trained American colleagues, Barr thought the new display was an ideal way to introduce the American public to the museum's tenets. This was modernism lite.


Like Barr and other partisans of the European avant-garde, Kallir did not initially find the contemporary American art scene particularly inspiring. He felt that the nation's nonacademic creations, whether produced in the pueblos of the Southwest or the hills of upstate New York, were far more vital and original. While the Galerie St. Etienne's 1940 Grandma Moses exhibition fit within an accepted art-world paradigm, it turned out that the artist also had an overwhelming popular appeal. Partly this was due to her advanced age and genuinely folksy personality, but beyond this, Moses represented an idealized vision of America that had originated in the depths of the Great Depression and would continue to resonate in the Cold War years. Similar to other self-taught painters who caught the eye of the art establishment in the 1930s, Moses epitomized democratic egalitarianism and self-made success. Often wrongly characterized as nostalgic, her paintings did not so much enshrine the past as depict enduring human values capable of withstanding both economic upheaval and the destructive force of mechanized warfare.


For a very brief period, self-taught artists like Kane and Moses were accorded a singular stature within the U.S. art world: they were perceived as being simultaneously American and modern. However, trained American artists resented being upstaged by amateurs, and when MoMA gave a one-man show to the retired garment worker Morris Hirshfield in 1943, a huge uproar ensued. MoMA's chairman, Stephen C. Clark, perceiving Barr as a threat to the museum's dignity, had him removed forthwith from his post as Director. Not only did MoMA hereafter cease promoting the work of self-taught artists, but the art word as a whole turned its back on the genre. In the wake of World War II, the United States needed a sophisticated art commensurate with its new position as a global superpower. When a Grandma Moses show, sent to Europe in 1950, received rave reviews, American critics were nonplussed. "Europeans like to think of Grandma Moses as a representative of American art," the New York Times complained. "[She] represents both what they expect of us and what they are willing to grant of us."


Moses unwittingly got caught up in a far-ranging battle for America's artistic identity. Even as the art world yearned for a sophisticated national art, the American public remained suspicious of modernism. "Ham-and-eggs art," President Truman called Jackson Pollock's dribbles. Right-wing congressmen thought abstration was a Communist plot. At the same time, Moses was probably the most beloved artist in America, the subject of best-selling books, mass-produced greeting cards and one of the first televised "docu-dramas." Unfortunately, popular success proved anathema to the postwar art establishment. Critics such as Dwight Macdonald, Russell Lynes and Clement Greenberg believed that democracy, universal literacy and technology were destroying American culture by dumbing it down for the masses. They sliced culture into high, low and middlebrow segments, or as Greenberg famously put it "avant-garde and kitsch." In a consumer society, only the avant-garde was capable of creating legitimate art, which was, by definition, incomprehensible to the masses.


Greenberg was pivotal in retooling Barr's formalism for the postwar era. Both men agreed that since the merits of an artwork derive solely from its aesthetic components, resemblance to nature might as well be dispensed with. Greenberg further decreed that the only viable subject for art is art itself. "Content," he wrote, "is to be dissolved so completely into form, that the work of art... cannot be reduced in whole or in part to anything not itself." This art of pure form first revealed itself, to Greenberg and others, in Abstract Expressionism. The Abstract Expressionists had absorbed the lessons of the European avant-garde and then bested it at its own game. The many vectors in Barr's flowchart, implying historical inevitability, had merged and then emerged in a single location: The United States of America.


Despite the American public's lingering unease with Abstract Expressionism, the genre proved to be the perfect art form for the Cold War. Ideologically neutral, abstraction was said to represent creative freedom, an imposing moral counterweight to the Soviet Union's socialist-realist propaganda. In jettisoning content, however, apologists for the postwar American avant-garde rejected, ignored or misinterpreted vast swaths of modernist art history. Combined with the Cold War's political agenda, this created a vexed environment for socially engaged artists such as Käthe Kollwitz. Contemporary humanists like Leonard Baskin found themselves in a position similar to that of Grandma Moses: successful, but increasingly at odds with the critical elite. The irony is that, for all its purported political neutrality, abstraction was promoted by an anti-Communist idealogy as rigid as anything in the Soviet Union.


Yet even at the height of the Cold War, the American art scene was far from monolithic. Kallir persisted in his program of educating the public about Austria's figural Expressionists by repeatedly exhibiting their work, and he gradually forged alliances with like-minded museum personnel. Under the aegis of Richard Davis, the Minneapolis Institute of Art became the first American museum to acquire a Schiele oil, through a bargain sale facilitated by the Galerie St. Etienne. Through gift or sale, Kallir placed Klimt paintings in the collections of Harvard, MoMA, the Carnegie Museum and the National Gallery of Art. MoMA turned down Kallir's offer to give them a Schiele oil, but Thomas Messer, Director of the Guggenheim, was delighted to accept. Messer also collaborated with Kallir on the first American museum show of Schiele's work, which traveled to six institutions in 1960, and on a monumental Klimt/Schiele exhibition, held at the Guggenheim in 1965. Many of Kallir's scholarly counterparts had roots in Central Europe. Messer was a Czech émigré, and Peter Selz, who wrote one of the first English-language textbooks on Expressionism, had fled Nazi Germany before the war. Gradually these cumulative efforts trickled down to younger American art historians like James Demetrion and Alessandra Comini. Modernism's Germanic strain has since been acknowledged on its own terms in major exhibitions at the Getty, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery and many other American institutions, as well as by the establishment of the Neue Galerie New York, Ronald Lauder's museum of Austrian and German art.


These relatively recent developments are part of a broader, ongoing effort to extract modernism's multivalent components from the formalist schema imposed by Barr, Greenberg and others. Modernism is no longer seen as a singular movement, deriving from similarly cohesive component "isms," but rather as a complex web of loosely related aesthetic impulses incorporating minutely calibrated personal and local differences. "Folk," "primitive" or "outsider" art, long modernism's impoverished stepchild, is also coming in for reappraisal. For the first time, the self-taught artist's intentions, methods and individual context are receiving serious attention. To some extent, these changes reflect the decentralization of the art world produced by globalization. The United States is no longer an overarching superpower. As centrifugal forces continue to draw money and attention to areas like China, India and the Middle East, we can expect to witness the critical elevation of innumerable artistic creations that would formerly have been dismissed.


Today it is not so necessary to win "converts" to the cause of figural Expressionism, but correcting the broad stereotype of the past through in-depth research remains of pressing concern. Since Otto Kallir's death in 1978, his successors Hildegard Bachert and Jane Kallir have considerably expanded the Galerie St. Etienne's commitment to scholarship. The Schiele catalogue raisonné project, begun by Otto Kallir when he was still in Vienna and continued by his grand-daughter Jane, has acquired increased significance in light of the artist's high values and the concomitant proliferation of forgeries. Provenance research, too, has greater meaning in a climate newly hospitable to Holocaust-related restitution, a cause championed by the Galerie St. Etienne long before it became fashionable. In addition to her many Schiele publications, Jane Kallir has writted extensively on all the gallery's artists, and her quarterly newsletters have won a wide following. In 1980, St. Etienne established the practice (then virtually unheard of for commerical galleries) of mounting ambitious loan shows on its own premises. The gallery has also, in the intervening decades, curated exhibitions for over 50 museums across Europe, the U.S and Asia, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Belvedere in Vienna.


The artists represented by the Galerie St. Etienne over the course of its 75-year history vary greatly, but all share a common humanistic orientation. Content and form complement one another in their work, combining to affect the viewer on a profoundly personal level. In the last decades, the gallery has broadened its original Austrian base to encompass the full range of German Expressionism. Similarly, the gallery has extended its reach from prewar self-taught painters, such as Hirshfield, Kane and Moses to art brut and "outsiders." Sue Coe, a contemporary artist who mines the same vein of social criticism as Käthe Kollwitz, has been represented by St. Etienne since 1989. Leonard Baskin joined the gallery's roster in 2007.


The alternate views of art history presented at the Galerie St. Etienne offer more than just a corrective to an outmoded formalism. The lasting resonance of the St. Etienne artists cautions us not to take too seriously any of the art world's momentary trends. As Otto Kallir knew, one needs a deep understanding of historical context, as well as an instinct for quality, to assess any artist's long-term importance. Kallir once predicted that formalist art would not ultimately survive, because future generations will lack the specific theoretical grounding required to make sense of it. Great art taps into universals that transcend the boundaries of time and place.