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.


 


EDUCATION


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


 


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS


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)


 


MUSEUM COLLECTIONS


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


 


CAREER


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