In an era when American artists didn't count and women were expected to stay home, Edith Gregor Halpert burst onto the fledgling New York gallery scene, defying all cultural and societal rules. In 1926, Halpert, just 26 years old, opened one of the first art galleries in Greenwich Village and set about turning the art world upside down.
This is the untold story of the trailblazing art dealer Edith Halpert, set against the backdrop of Manhattan in the forties and fifties. In 1926, Edith Gregor Halpert, just twenty-six years old, opened one of the first art galleries in Greenwich Village and set about turning the art world upside down. Her Downtown Gallery, which ran for forty-four years, laid the groundwork for the art market's modern era, and its aggressive promotion and sale tactics. Halpert cultivated the most illustrious art collectors of the day, from Abby Aldrich Rockerfeller to Stanley Marcus. She invented the market for folk art. And she pushed the first group of American artists working in a modern vernacular into the history books, including Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O'Keefe, Ben Shahn and Arthur Dove. Despite all this, Edith Halpert herself has been lost to history. Until now. In "The Girl with the Gallery", journalist Lindsay Pollock brings Halpert and her era vividly back to life. She delves deep into the passion and power of this remarkable woman, revealing how a penniless Russian Jewish immigrant - armed with only a Harlem public-school education, a few years in the working world, and an abundance of determination and charisma - made it her mission to fight for American art and artists. This is biography at its finest, an unforgettable life story of class, money, vanity, jealousy, bitterness and tragic loss. And all of it for the love of art.