Oral history interview with Joseph A. Helman

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.helman10
Creators:
Helman, Joseph A., 1937-
McElhinney, James, 1952-
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation
Dates:
2010 January 4
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
4 Items
Sound recording: 4 wav files (2 hr.,19 min.)
digital
53 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Joseph A. Helman conducted 2010 January 4, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Helman's home in New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Helman recalls three major events from his early life--the exhibition "Masterpieces from the Berlin Museums: 1948-1949," the film "Lust for Life," and collecting--that led to his career as an art dealer; buying his first painting, which was a Jasper Johns work; meeting the art dealer Leo Castelli; opening his first gallery in St. Louis in 1969; selling his gallery to Ronald Greenberg and moving to Italy with his family; attending the Sotheby's auction of the Robert C. Scull Collection in 1973; teaming up with Irving Blum to open the Blum Helman Gallery in New York City; organizing exhibitions of established and emerging artists. Helman speaks about his relationship with Emily Rauh Pulitzer and the St. Louis Art Museum; his Happening with Allan Kaprow; the story behind Claes Oldenburg's drawing Tongue Cloud, over St. Louis, 1975; discovering the work of Ralston Crawford; introducing American art to Spain. In addition, Helman discusses the contemporary art market; collectors and the process of collecting; and the redefinition of Pop art to include British and American artists of the 1980s. Throughout the interview Helman mentions the various artists he has represented, exhibited or collected such as Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef Albers, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Ronald Davis, and Bryan Hunt.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Joseph A. Helman (1937- ) is an art dealer and collector in New York, New York.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Author
Sponsor
Funding for this interview was provided by the Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art 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 administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded on 1 sound disc. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr.,19 min.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Economic aspects Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, American -- Spain Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Happening (Art) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pop art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Italy -- description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Albers, Josef Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blum, Irving, 1930- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Castelli, Leo Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Crawford, Ralston, 1906-1978 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davis, Ronald, 1937- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Greenberg, Ronald K. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johns, Jasper, 1930- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaprow, Allan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kelly, Ellsworth, 1923- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pulitzer, Emily Rauh Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scull, Robert C. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Serra, Richard, 1939- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stella, Frank Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blum Helman Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
City Art Museum of St. Louis Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sotheby's (Firm) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/