Scope and Contents
An interview of Everett Ellin conducted 2004 April 27-28, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art, in Washington, D.C.
Scope and Contents
Ellin speaks of his childhood and early education in Chicago; taking an aptitude test in high school and learning that he had multiple aptitudes; attending the University of Michigan and earning a BSE in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; earning a law degree at Harvard Law School; his tour as an Air Force officer and tenure as law clerk to the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court; working at Columbia Pictures as house legal counsel; serving as aid for the vice president at William Morris Agency; studying acting; Hollywood in the 1950s; opening his own gallery, the Everett Ellin Gallery, in Los Angeles, in 1957-1958; his marriage to painter Jane Jacobs; working for French & Company, in New York in 1959, as director of the contemporary gallery; Clement Greenberg's role at French & Company; opening his second gallery in Los Angeles, the Everett Ellin Gallery, Inc., 1960-1963; artists he has shown including Bruce Beasely, Jasper Johns, Arshile Gorky, David Smith, and others; represented working for Marlborough Gallery, in New York, as director, 1963-1964; organizing the Jackson Pollock retrospective at Marlborough Gallery in 1964; being hired by Harry Guggenheim as public affairs officer of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and his promotion to assistant director; travel to Peru to help organize an exhibition of Peruvian ceramics for the Guggenheim; founding the Museum Computer Network (MCN) and establishing a base of operations at the Museum of Modern Art with support from the Mellon Foundation; early MCN planning meetings; and his vision for the future of MCN. He recalls artists Lee Krasner, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, and others; collectors Frederick Weisman, Edward G. Robinson, Milton Sperling; museum professionals Rene d'Harnoncourt, Thomas Messer, Lawrence Alloway, Frank O'Hara, Walter Hopps, and others.