Oral history interview with Eugene V. Thaw

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.thaw07
Creators:
Thaw, Eugene Victor
McElhinney, James, 1952-
Dates:
2007 October 1-2
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
33 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Eugene V. Thaw conducted 2007 October 1-2, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art's Art Dealers Association of America Project, at Thaw's residence, in New York, N.Y.
Scope and Contents
Thaw speaks of his childhood in New York City; Mexican art in his home including watercolors by Diego Rivera; beginning classes at the Art Student's League of New York at age 14; attending St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland; attending Columbia University for graduate courses in art history and studying with Meyer Shapiro and Millard Meiss; an early interest in Old Master, Renaissance, and German Expressionist art; studying in Florence, Italy for four months after World War II; opening The New Bookstore and Gallery with friend Jack Landau above the Algonquin Hotel upon his return to New York City; giving Joan Mitchell and Conrad Marca-Relli their first shows; ending his partnership with Landau, closing the bookstore, and moving the gallery to Madison Avenue; becoming involved in the international art market; the practice of buying and selling works of art in shares with other dealers; showing American and European artists; renaming the gallery E.V. Thaw & Company; operating essentially as a one-man gallery with very limited staff; his relationship with museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art; his personal collections, including extensive ancient Eurasian artifacts and American Indian art; establishing the Pollock-Krasner Foundation; the philanthropic vision of his own foundation, the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust; his retirement from dealing; the "hand of the artist" in historical context and its lack of significance in contemporary art; and advice for young and emerging art dealers. Thaw also recalls Richard Offner, Evelyn Sandberg-Vavala, Norbert Ketterer, Günther Franka, Pierre Matisse, Leo Castelli, Julius Held, Theodore Rousseau, Lee Krasner, Norton Simon, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Eugene Thaw (1927- ) is an art dealer from New York, N.Y. James McElhinney (1952- ) is a painter and educator from New York, N.Y.

Administration
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 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 26 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.

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
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Meiss, Millard, 1904-1975 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Franka, Gunther Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ketterer, Norbert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landau, Jack, 1925-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mitchell, Joan, 1926-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Offner, Richard, 1889-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vavala, Evelyn Sandberg Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Matisse, Pierre, 1900-1989 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Castelli, Leo Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rousseau, Theodore, 1912- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shapiro, Meyer Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Simon, Norton, 1907-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Held, Julius Samuel, 1905- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Columbia University -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
St. John's College (Annapolis, Md.) -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cleveland Museum of Art Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
E.V. Thaw & Co. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pollock-Krasner 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/