CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 1, 2000
Former art dealer Allan Frumkin will be Ida Cordelia
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Allan Frumkin, who was for many
years one of the most distinguished and influential art dealers in the United
States, will discuss "The History of the Frumkin Gallery" as an
Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa,
at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, in Room E109 of the UI Art Building.
While visiting the UI campus, Frumkin will also participate
in a panel discussion, "Art Dealers and the Museum," at 4 p.m. Tuesday,
Sept. 12 in the Lasansky Gallery of the UI Museum of Art. Other participants
on the panel will be Thomas Aprile, UI professor of art; Michael Stutzer,
UI professor of finance; and Pamela Trimpe, curator of painting and sculpture
at the museum. The moderator will be author and legal consultant Serena Stier.
Both events will be free and open to the public.
"The role of the art dealer as connoisseur, visionary
and astute businessman is a subject not often explored in art or business
schools," Aprile commented. "Frumkin is all of these, and his visit
offers the public a unique inside perspective into these areas."
"For 40 years Frumkin was a visionary in the
art dealing business," he said. "He had the ability to always be
on the cutting edge of presenting the best and most interesting artists of
the day. Many of the works of art that passed through his hands are now represented
in museum collections around the world."
Frumkin graduated from the University of Chicago in
1946 with honors. After traveling to Europe, he returned to Chicago to open
his gallery, with the assistance of surrealist painter Sebastian Matta, whom
he had met in Italy. Showing Matta, American Joseph Cornell and others, Frumkin
was the first art dealer in the Midwest to introduce collectors and artists
in the region to Surrealism.
In 1954 Frumkin arranged for Matta to teach at the
Art Institute of Chicago for a semester. In that class were artists whose
work was later sold through Frumkins gallery, and who also went on to
teach generations of younger artists that at one time or another have shown
in Frumkins gallery. Also in 1954, he introduced artists Richard Diebenkorn
and Franz Kline to the Chicago area.
With his gallery still thriving in Chicago, Frumkin
decided to open a gallery in New York City in 1959. For years, he continued
to introduce new artists through the two galleries. In the
mid-1970s he brought a group of young artists from the Bay Area of California
to New York, and he held some of the first major realist exhibitions in a
major gallery. In 1975 he introduced the Texas sculptor James Surls and exhibited
West Coast artist Robert Arneson. In the1980s his New York Gallery presented
new Latin American artists.
In 1978 Frumkin was the first dealer in New York to
show the late work of Phillip Guston, who was on faculty at the UI School
of Art and Art History from 1941 to 1945. Guston, an abstract painter in the
1950s, shocked the art world in the 1970s with paintings of surreal-like images
of figures, often with political overtones.
In 1981 Frumkin received an alumni achievement award
from the University of Chicago in recognition of his achievement in the art
world. He retired from the gallery in 1995 and is now a private dealer in
master drawings of the 20th century. Currently he is teaching a gallery management
course at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
Frumkins activities at the UI are supported
by the Ida Beam Visiting Professor program, which brings distinguished scholars
to the UI campus for residencies ranging from a few days to an entire academic
year. The program was begun in 1977 with funds provided by the estate of Ida
Beam of Vinton.
Frumkins visit is the result of collaboration
between the UI School of Art and Art History, the UI Museum of Art and the
Henry J. Tippie School of Business.
For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima
on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at