The late 1920s and 1930s were crucial years in New York’s rise as an international artistic center. Cultural contacts between Europe and the United States multiplied. American artists who had studied in Paris returned with fresh ambitions; dollar rich patrons were willing to finance new initiatives; the First World War had unsettled European artists and gallerists, many of whom settled in New York. They were joined by others who fled the Nazi threat. Manhattan was turning into a Mecca of modernism where a multi-national cohort of artists, dealers and investors mixed and mingled.
By our standards the art world was relatively small. At any one time in that epoch, there were probably fewer than fifteen galleries active in New York with only a handful concentrating on contemporary art. A pioneering role was played by Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery on Fifth Avenue. Operational since 1905, the gallery introduced the Parisian avant-garde to an American audience. In modernist Manhattan, Stieglitz was the Godfather. [Read more…] about Julien Levy & Art at the Heart of Manhattan