John Kasmin

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John Kasmin (born as John Kaye on 24 Sept 1934)[1] is a British art dealer and collector, also known as "Kas".[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Was born John Kaye in Whitechapel, in 1934.[2][3] His mother was a seamstress and his father was a factory foreman.[2]

In 1938 he went to Magdalen College School in Oxford but was removed from school at 16 years of age by his father. Went to work for Pressed Steel in Cowley. At 17 years of age moved to New Zealand, where he had a role of a junior legal clerk.[2]

Further years[edit]

In 1956 returned to London due to problems with the police.[2]

On his return to London, worked at gallery One for Victor Musgrave.[4] Was initially paid a half a crown a day. Had a sexual encounter with Ida Kar, wife of Musgrave, without objection of his employer.

In 1960 Kasmin met David Hockney and when he set up his own gallery in 1963 Hockney became one of his first artists[5] (Kasmin appears, as himself, in the 1974 Hockney biopic, A Bigger Splash).

Other artists that Kasmin showed included: Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, Helen Frankenthaler, Anthony Caro, William G. Tucker, John Latham, Richard Smith, Bernard Cohen, Robin Denny, Howard Hodgkin and Gillian Ayres.[4]

Kasmin opened a large white space on 118 New Bond Street that was unusual for the time, as until then most commercial galleries had been domestic in scale. Kasmin closed his gallery in 1972 but continued to operate in partnership with other London dealers into the 1990s.


  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. 24 Sep 2014. p. 41. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  3. ^ a b "ARTS / Time, Gentlemen: Kasmin is a small man with a big name as a". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  4. ^ a b "John Kasmin - Person - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  5. ^ Melia, Paul (1995). David Hockney. Manchester University Press ND. p. 13. ISBN 9780719044052. Retrieved 26 August 2010.

External links[edit]