Anna Walinska

(American, 1906 – 1997)


Anna Walinska was a woman ahead of her time.

At the age of 19, she left NYC for Paris to study painting, lived around the corner from Gertrude Stein, and hung out with Poulenc and Schoenberg.  

In the WPA era, she founded a gallery on 57th Street, gave Arshile Gorky his first NYC one-man show, danced flamenco at Town Hall to benefit the Spanish Loyalists, and served as Assistant Creative Director of the Contemporary Art Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair.

In the fifties, she traveled around the world ... by herself... on prop planes.  Her diary of that six-month journey now resides in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and includes stories about her adventures with journalist Joseph Alsop, Burmese Prime Minister U Nu, and many other writers, artists, and diplomats.

A number of her works were shown during the artist's lifetime at the Jewish Museum in NYC (1957 one-woman Retrospective), MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum, NYC, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Museum of Religious Art at St. John the Divine, NYC, including works inspired by Walinska's extended stay in Burma in 1954-55.



1918             Art Students’ League, NYC, NY

1926             L’Académie de la Grand Chaumière, studied with André L’Hôte, Paris, France

                    Musée Luxembourg, independent studies, Paris



1927 – ’30     Salon des Indépendents, Paris

1937             American Artists’ Congress, 1st Annual Membership Exhibition, NYC

1942             Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Artists for Victory,” NYC

1946             National Academy of Design, “Paintings of the Year,” NYC

1956             Museum of Modern Art, “Recent Drawings USA,” NYC

1957             Jewish Museum, NYC

                    Baltimore Museum of Art, MD

1960             Monede Gallery, “The Collage and the Figure,” solo show,
                    including Shan paper works executed in Burma, NYC

1957 – ’71     Riverside Museum, NYC

1979             Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC

1999             Clark University, Center for Holocaust Studies, solo show (posthumous)

2000             Ghetto Museum, Terezín Memorial, Czech Republic (posthumous)



Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.

Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

National Portrait Gallery, D.C.

Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the Bancroft Library, Berkeley, CA

National Museum of Women in the Arts, D.C.

Archives of American Art, Walinska’s sketchbooks, journals, travel diaries, permanent collection, NYC and D.C.

Jewish Museum, NYC

Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Museum of Religious Art, Logan, IA

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, D.C.

Yad Vashem, holocaust memorial monument, Jerusalem

Clark University Museum, Worcester, MA

Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ



1935             Curator, Federal Arts Project (WPA), NYC

                    Proprietor, Guild Art Gallery, NYC – inaugural American exhibition for Arshile Gorky

1939             Assistant Creative Director, Contemporary Arts Pavilion, World’s Fair, NYC

1955             Portraitist, commissioned to paint Prime Minister of Burma U Nu

1957             Riverside Museum, NYC, teacher and artist-in-residence