10th Street galleries

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The 10th Street galleries was a collective term for the co-operative galleries that operated mainly in the East Village on the east side of Manhattan, New York in the 1950s and 1960s. The galleries were artist run and generally operated on very low budgets, often without any staff. Some artists became members of more than one gallery. The 10th Street galleries were an avant-garde alternative to the Madison Avenue and 57th Street galleries that were both conservative and highly selective.


From the early 1950s through the mid-1960s (and beyond) in New York City, many galleries began as an outgrowth of an artistic community that had sprung up in a particular area of downtown Manhattan. The streets between 8th Street and 14th Street, between Fifth and Third Avenues attracted many serious painters and sculptors where studio and living space could be found at a relatively inexpensive cost. Finding the audience for vanguard contemporary art to be small and the venues in which to show few, artists began to band together to launch and maintain galleries as a solution to the lack of other showing opportunities. Thus began a neighborhood in which several, (some now legendary) co-operative galleries were formed, (and a few non co-operative galleries as well).

Many of the artists who showed in these galleries, which are often referred to as the 10th Street Co-ops or the 10th Street Scene, have since become well known. Other artists who showed in these galleries are still under known, but in many cases have continued to work with zeal and dedication whether or not they are now famous. Some of the most well-known galleries that made the area what it was were: the Tanager Gallery, The March Gallery, The Hansa Gallery, The Brata Gallery, The James Gallery, The Phoenix Gallery, The Camino Gallery and the Area Gallery. Although the 10th Street galleries have almost all closed The Phoenix Gallery remains albeit in a new location and with a new membership.[1]

"Approximately 250 artists were dues-paying members of these co-operative galleries between 1952 and 1962. More than 500 artists and possibly close to 1000 artists exhibited on Tenth Street during those years."[2] Several older and more established artists such as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Milton Resnick maintained studios nearby and often served a supporting role for the many younger artists who gravitated to this scene.

During the most active years of the 10th Street cooperatives, sculptors William King, David Slivka, James Rosati, George Spaventa, Sidney Geist, Israel Levitan, Gabriel Kohn and Raymond Rocklin, became known as representatives of the 10th Street style of sculpture, even though there was remarkable diversity in their works.[3]

Other galleries associated with the area and the time were the Fleischman Gallery, the Nonagon Gallery, the Reuben Gallery, the Terrain Gallery and the gallery at the Judson Church, which were not co-operatives.[4]

The galleries on and nearby 10th Street played a significant part in the growth of American art and in the diversification of styles that are evident in the art world of today. The10th Street scene was also a social scene, and openings often happened simultaneously on common opening days. This afforded a way for many artists to mingle with each other and the writers, poets, curators and occasional collectors who gravitated to the scene. The artists and galleries that made up the 10th Street scene were a direct predecessor to the SoHo gallery scene and the more recent Chelsea galleries.

The artists and the galleries[edit]

The following is a list of members of the co-operative galleries in the 1950s and 1960s (years next to gallery name denotes years of operation), artists with stars next to their names indicate either founding or original members:

Tanager Gallery[edit]

Tanager Gallery, 1952−1962: 90 East 10th Street, Fall 1953 - Summer 1962. 51 East 4th Street, Summer 1952 − Fall 1953, (*Founders) *Charles Cajori, *Lois Dodd, Perle Fine, Sidney Geist, Joseph Groell, Nanno de Groot, Sally Hazelet, *Angelo Ippolito, Ben Isquith, Lester Johnson, Alex Katz, * Wiliam King, Nicholas Marsicano, *Fred Mitchell, George Earl Ortman, Philip Pearlstein, Frank Stout,[5] Raymond Rocklin, Sal Sirugo, Tom Wesselmann, Mary Abbott, Charlotte Park.[6]

Hansa Gallery[edit]

[7] Hansa Gallery, 1952−1959. 70 East 12th Street, Fall 1952 − Fall 1954. 210 Central Park South, Fall 1954 − Summer 1959. (* denotes original members). Edward Avedisian, Maurice Barr, *Jacques Beckwith, Robert Beauchamp, Lilly Brody, *Jean Follett, * Barbara Forst, *Miles Forst, Hedi Fuchs, Paul Georges, *John Gruen, Dan Haugard, *Wolf Kahn, *Allan Kaprow, Fay Lansner, Andrew Martin, Dody Muller, *Jan Müller, *Felix Pasillis, George Segal, * Arnold Singer, * Richard Stankiewicz, Myron Stout, Robert Whitman, *Jane Wilson.[8] Directors of the Hansa Gallery were Richard Bellamy and Ivan Karp.

James Gallery[edit]

James Gallery, 1954−1962. 70 East 12th Street, Fall 1954 − Summer 1962. (**founders *original members). Rita Deanin Abby, * Margaret Bartlett, *James Billmyer, * Nieves Marshalek Billmyer, Betty Biship, M.L. Bonnell, Dorothy Eisner, Stan Freborg, * William Freed, **James Gahagan, *Tom Hannan, *Phillip Harrington, *Myrna Harrison, *Robert Henry, Alice Hodges, Robert Kaupelis, Robert La Hotan, *Gene Lesser, Arthur Lieneck, **Charles Littler, *Alvin Most, *Haynes Ownby.[8]

Camino Gallery[edit]

Camino Gallery, 1956−1963. 92 East 10th Street, Fall 1956 − Fall 1960. 89 East 10th Street, Fall 1960-Fall 1963. (* original members). *Ruth Abrams, Anneli Arms, S. Beerman, Theodore Brenson, Art Brenner, Kenneth Campbell, Francis Celentano, Jean Clad, Joe Clark, Ross Coates, Sally Cook, Daniel Cowan, John Curoi, *Don David, Leff Deffebach, Elaine de Kooning, Lester Elliot, Alice Forman, Connie Fox-Boyd, *Andree Golbin, *Sam Goodman, Raymond Hendler, Jorge Goya-Lukich, Philip Held, Jon Henry, *Stanton Kreider, *John Krushenick, *Nicholas Krushenick, Don Kunz, June Lathrop, Aaron Levy, Len Meiselman, Alice Neel, *Bart Perry, Jack Arnold Rabinowitz, Elaine Booth Selig, Gertrude Shibley, Sal Sirugo, Pat Sloane, Leon Polk Smith, Paul Waldman, Alida Walsh, Jo Warner * Samuel G. Weiner, *Florence Weinstein. (The Camino closed in November 1963. At that time 6 members, Alice Forman, Philip Held, Aaron Levy, Gertrude Shibley, Alida Walsh and Florence Weinstein, joined the Phoenix Gallery which had moved uptown to 939 Madison Avenue. The directors of the Camino Gallery were: Howard Rackliff, Bruno Palmer-Poroner, Bruce Glaser, David Feinstein, David Rosenberg, and Margot Sylvestre.[8]

March Gallery[edit]

March Gallery, 1957−1960. 95 East 10th Street, March 1957 − December 1960. (**Founder *Original Members). Lennart Anderson, *Rocco Armento, Anne Arnold, *Alice Baber, *Waldemar Baranowski, *Robert Beauchamp, *June Corwine, Elaine de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, *Francine Fels (Felsenthal), *William Gambini, *Joann Gedney, Paul Georges, Burt Green, *Burt Hassen, Bob Hauge, Raymond Hendler, *Budd Hopkins, * Richard Ireland, *Lester Johnson, * Matsumi Kanemitsu, Gesha Kurakin, * David Lund, * Boris Lurie, *Marcia Marcus, Joan Mathews, Hugh Mesibov,[9] *Steve Montgomery, **Felix Pasilis, *Patricia Passlof, Leo Rabkin, *Wallace Reiss, Marlene Schwanzel, Bill Seibring, *Ray Spillenger, *Peter Stander, Robert Tannen, Yvonne Thomas, Bob Tieman, Beate Wheeler, *Tom Young, Mario Yrisarry, Anthe Zacharias, Athos Zacharias, * Wilfrid Zogbaum.[8]

Brata Gallery[edit]

Brata Gallery, 1957 − mid '60s. (**Founders *Members at 89 East 10th Street). *Takeshi Aseda, Dick Ahr, Rex Ashlock, Sal Barone, *Ronald Bladen, Ed Bleicher, *Edward Clark, *Bill Creston, *Berenice D'Vorzon, John Dunlop, Peter Forakis, *Joseph Feldman, Harold Goldstein, *Al Held, Roger Jorensen, *Franz Kline, *Robert Kobayashi, *Joseph Konzai, **John Krushenick, **Nicholas Krushenick, *Yayoi Kusama, *Nanae Momiayama, Frank Montgomery, David Owens, *Jack Arnold Rabinowitz, *Salvatore M. Romano, David Seccombe, Frank Sepa,[10] William P. Sildar, Hal Silvermintz, Nico D. Smith, Patricia Stegman, *Knute Stiles, Sylvia Stone, *George Sugarman, *Julius Tobias, *Louis Trakis, Wilhelmina Van Ness, *Felix Welensky.[8]

Phoenix Gallery[edit]

Phoenix Gallery, 1958–present. 210 Eleventh Avenue, 2003–present. 560 Broadway, 1977-2003. 30 West 57th Street, June 1977, 939 Madison Avenue, Jan. 1963-May 1977. 40 Third Avenue, Oct. 1958-Dec. 1962. (*Original Members, **Founder ***Phoenix Members since 10th Street). Members at 40 3rd Avenue). **Isser Aronovici, Jean Auger, Frank Bernaducci, John Blake, Michael Boyd, Francis Celentano, John Civitello, Joe Clark, Sally Cook, *James Cuchiara, *Marsha Dale (Gurell), *Helen Daphnis-Avalon, Leon De Leeuw, *Michael Donohue, Annick du Charme, George Englehart, *Blossom Esainko, Marlyn Fein, ***Cecily Barth Firestein, John Fisher, *Irwin Feeminger, Ed Golik, *Karen Greenberg, *Red Grooms, Judith Hart, Pat Hartman, *John Hoffer, **Lenore Jaffee,[11] *Edwin Jastram, Francis Jennings, *Ted Joans, *John Kazann, Robert Kohls, Miriam Laufer, Michael Leff, Ann Leiter-Larsen, Tom Lenihan, ***Eleanore Lockspeiser, Robert Ludwig, *James Martin, *Jay Milder, Earle Miller, William Pellicone, George Preston, Gwytha Pring, Arnold Price, John Pupura, Ingrid Rehert, Marlyn Ries, *John Servetas, Herbert Simon, Helen Soreff, Natalie Sterinbach, Robert Wiegand, Gerald Willen, Ralph Wehrenberg, Peter Wrangel, Frank Yee, Zalmar.[8]

Area Gallery[edit]

Area Gallery, 1958−1965. 80 East 10th Street, Fall 1958 − Summer 1962. 90 East 10th Street, Fall 1962-Summer 1965. (*Original members). Members (at 80 East 10th Street). Harvey Becker, *Tom Boutis, Lydia Brown, Jean Cohen, *John Ireland Colins, *Charles DuBack, *Joe Fiore, Ruth Fortel, *Norman Kanter, Tom Kendall, *Bernard Langlais, Ellen Leelike, Emily Mason, Ernest Marciano, Doris Matthews, *Ed Moses, *Daphne Mumford, Gordon Press, Philip Russell, Selina Trieff, Nadine Valenti, Conni Whidden Marjorie Windust, *Paul Yakovenko.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Phoenix Gallery Retrieved October 14, 2009
  2. ^ Tenth Street Days, The Co-ops of the 50s. Catalog for exhibition of the same name, researched and organized by Joellen Bard in co-operation with Pleiades Gallery and The Association of Artist-Run Galleries, 1977, Foreword, pp. III-IV.
  3. ^ American Sculpture in Process: 1930/1970. Wayne Andersen, Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1975. P.106 ISBN 0-316-03681-1
  4. ^ Tenth Street Days, The Co-ops of the 50s. Catalog for exhibition of the same name, researched and organized by Joellen Bard in co-operation with Pleiades Gallery and The Association of Artist-Run Galleries, 1977, Foreword, p. IV.
  5. ^ Brattleboro Museum biography
  6. ^ Tenth Street Days, The Co-ops of the 50s. Catalog for exhibition of the same name, researched and organized by Joellen Bard, pp. 1-7
  7. ^ interview with Richard Bellamy, 1963, Archives of American Art, retrieved February 1, 2009
  8. ^ a b c d e f g 10th Street days
  9. ^ Hugh Mesibov
  10. ^ 10th Street Galleries Retrieved January 30, 2011
  11. ^ a pioneer painter

External links[edit]