Tribute to the Art Students League
As part of the 130th anniversary celebration of the Art Students League of New York, Zabriskie Gallery exhibits former League instructors Kenneth Hayes Miller, William Zorach, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and League student Katherine Schmidt. The group exhibition includes drawings, etchings and oil paintings.
Kenneth Hayes Miller (1876-1952), who is considered to be one of the most influential instructors in twentieth-century American art, taught at the Art Students League from 1911 to 1936 and from 1944 to 1951. Some of Miller’s more notable students include Isabel Bishop, Peggy Bacon, Reginald Marsh, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Katherine Schmidt. William Zorach (1887-1966), another prominent League instructor, taught between 1929 and 1959. About his affiliation with the League, Zorach recalled in his autobiography, “this meant a great deal to me. It gave me status and it meant a dependable income of two thousand a year. . . I took the students very seriously and gave them everything I had.”
After being a student at the League, Yasuo Kuniyoshi (1889-1953) returned to teach life drawing classes at the League from 1933 to 1945, then from 1946 to 1949 and from 1950 until his death in 1953. For Kuniyoshi his affiliation with the League seems to have summed up his impressions of America: “It’s free and democratic. There has never been any pressure to teach one way or another—never any interference.” Katherine Schmidt (1898-1978) took Saturday classes at the League at age 13 where she learned to draw from antique casts. After graduating from high school in 1916, she enrolled at the League and took life classes with Kenneth Hayes Miller and studied briefly with John Sloan. Schmidt remarked that her work was most influenced by Miller; she commented, “My infinite debt is to Miller.” Schmidt and Yasuo Kuniyoshi later married in 1919.
Many of the galleries in and around 57th street will celebrate the League by mounting an exhibition in the fall of 2005 of their artists who have been affiliated with the League. Participating galleries include Alexandre Gallery, Babcock Galleries, David Findlay Jr. Fine Art, Forum Gallery, Gallery Henoch, Hammer Galleries, Knoedler & Company, Kouros Gallery, Kraushaar Galleries, Marlborough Gallery, The Old Print Shop, Gerald Peters Gallery, Michael Rosenfeld Galleries, Mary Ryan Gallery, Susan Teller Gallery and Joan T. Washburn Gallery.
This faIl 2005 Pam Koob, Curator of The Art Students League, will mount a Past/Present exhibition at the League, showcasing unique ephemera and photos from its Archives and work by some of its most outstanding current students. These student works will be selected by esteemed contemporary artists who studied at the League, such as Paul Jenkins, Louise Bourgeois, Lee Bontecou and Robert Kipniss.
Zabriskie Gallery represents the estates of William Zorach, Kenneth Hayes Miller and Yasuo Kuniyoshi.