Founded in 1939 by Otto Kallir (1894-1978), the Galerie St. Etienne is the oldest gallery in the United States specializing in Austrian and German Expressionism. We mounted the first American one-person shows of such artists as Erich Heckel (1955), Gustav Klimt (1959), Oskar Kokoschka (1940), Alfred Kubin (1941), Paula Modersohn-Becker (1958) and Egon Schiele (1941). St. Etienne was also instrumental in arranging the first American museum acquisitions of works by these artists, through sales and donations. Firmly committed to scholarship, the gallery’s directors have authored catalogues raisonnés on Richard Gerstl, Grandma Moses and Egon Schiele. The gallery is also known for its expertise on Käthe Kollwitz. The current director, Jane Kallir, has written over 20 books and is the leading authority on Schiele.
The Galerie St. Etienne developed a commitment to the work of self-taught American and European artists after “discovering” Grandma Moses, who had her first one-person show here in 1940. The gallery has represented Moses ever since. We have also worked with the estates of Ilija Bosilj (Basicevic), Henry Darger, Morris Hirshfield and John Kane, as well as the artists of Gugging, Austria. While our focus is on self-taught artists of the prewar period, Jane Kallir has written extensively about contemporary “Outsider” art and Art Brut.
In 2017, the Kallir family established the Kallir Research Institute (kallirresearch.org) to continue the scholarly tradition established by Otto Kallir. As its first project, the Kallir Research Institute is updating and digitizing Jane Kallir’s catalogue raisonné Egon Schiele: The Complete Works (published in 1990; expanded edition, 1998). Phase I of the digital Schiele catalogue, which includes all the artist’s paintings, graphics, sketchbooks and sculpture, launched in November 2018 (egonschieleonline.org). Phase II, including the watercolors and drawings, should launch by the end of 2019. Future planned projects include online catalogues raisonnés of Grandma Moses and Richard Gerstl.