Maurice Grosser

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Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964)/LOC van.5a52069. Maurice Grosser, 1935

Maurice Grosser (October 23, 1903 – December 22, 1986) was an American painter and writer and the longtime companion of Virgil Thomson.


Maurice Grosser was born on October 23, 1903, in Huntsville, Alabama.[1]

He attended Harvard University, graduating with honors in 1924 in mathematics. Thanks to a two-year fellowship, he travelled to France and Italy where he took up painting.[1]

He designed the scenario for two operas by Virgil Thomson, Four Saints in Three Acts (1934) and The Mother of Us All (1947). In 1985 he created 18 Portraits, and each lithograph was accompanied by a musical portrait composed by Thomson.[1]

He was a landscape painter and portratist, his more famous subjects being: Alfred North Whitehead, Mary Garden, Jane Bowles and the same Thomson.[1]

Grosser wrote four three on painting: The Painter's Eye (Rinehart, 1951), Painting in our time (Charter Books, 1964), Painter's progress (C. N. Potter, 1971). At the time of his death, Grosser was writing a memoir, Visiting Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, uncompleted.[1]

From 1956 to 1967 he served as art critic for The Nation.[1]

Grosser died on December 22, 1986, in Manhattan and is buried at Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville.[1]


  • Galerie Vignon, 1931, Paris
  • Galerie des Quatre-Chemins, April 10 – 22, 1933, Paris
  • Galerie des Quatre-Chemins, April 10 – May 3, 1938, Paris
  • American Paintings from the Museum Collection, December 23, 1948 – March 13, 1949, The Museum of Modern Art
  • New Acquisitions: 12 American Paintings, January 19 – March 26, 1944, The Museum of Modern Art
  • New Acquisitions: American Painting and Sculpture, July 26 – October 18, 1940, The Museum of Modern Art[2]
  • Paintings of Morocco, March 29 – April 23, 1960, Carstairs Gallery
  • Maurice Grosser, Recent Paintings, Greece and Brazil, March 19 – April 6, 1957, Carstairs Gallery



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Glueck, Grace (December 24, 1986). "Maurice Grosser Dead at 83; Painter, Author and Art Critic". The New York Times. p. D15. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Maurice Grosser". MoMA. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Maurice Grosser". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Maurice Grosser papers, [undated] and 1919-1983". Archives of American Art. Retrieved 15 January 2018.

American male painters Painters from Alabama American landscape painters 20th-century American painters