Scope and Content Note


Compiled by A. E. Gallatin, these three scrapbooks chronicle his most ambitious venture--establishing the first museum gallery in America devoted to modern art. The scrapbooks consist of newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases and announcements of exhibitions, acquisitions and new publications. The earliest volume begins in 1927 when New York University announced its opening of the Gallery of Living Art. Gallatin, who served as co-chair to the founding committee, contributed on permanent loan paintings, drawings and watercolors by artists such as Braque, Picasso, Matisse and American artists such as Demuth, Marin and Sheeler. A good deal of publicity included in the second volume focues on Gallatin's acquisition of the 1921 version of Picasso's painting "The Three Musicians," which Gallatin described as one of the most important paintings of modern times and a better realization of the subject than the artist's earlier version. It was also during this time that the gallery was renamed the Museum of Living Art. According to a 1937 article in the NYU student publication, the Album, the name change was to make it clear that the pictures on display were not for sale. The third scrapbook contains clippings, press releases and ephemera from 1942 to the summer of 1943. Although less than half its pages are filled, the scrapbook chronicles two significant events. In December of 1942, the University announced that it would close the museum, citing economic reasons and describing the closure as "one of the casualties of war." In February 1943 came the announcement that Gallatin's collection of approximately 170 works of art would go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as a loan during his lifetime, with ownership coming to the museum thereafter. Media coverage of the exhibition opening is included from both the Philadephia and New York press