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Samuel Halpert


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Painter. Stylistically indebted to the examples of Cézanne and Matisse, Halpert's cityscapes, still lifes, portraits, and interiors demonstrate solid pictorial composition, technical proficiency, and expressive warmth. Born in Bialystok, Russia, he moved with his family in 1889 to New York. In 1899 he began three years of training at the National Academy of Design. Subsequently he lived in Paris for several years before returning to New York. Abroad, following a year of study at the École des Beaux-Arts, he became intrigued with modern art. At first influenced by the fauves, he soon developed a lifelong admiration for the work of Cézanne and became acquainted with Matisse. Combining their strengths, he generalized form in an approach that varied relatively little throughout his career. He died in Detroit, where he had resided for about three years. His wife, gallery owner and collector Edith Gregor Halpert (1900–1970), played a major role in promoting American early modern art and folk art. Born in Odessa, Russia (now Ukraine), Ginda Gregoryevna Fivoosiovich arrived with her family in New York in 1906 and studied in 1914–15 at the National Academy of Design. She married Halpert in 1918, but they separated when he accepted a teaching position in Detroit in 1927. In 1926 she established the Downtown Gallery (known for the first year as Our Gallery) in partnership with Berthe Kroll Goldsmith, sister of the Halperts' close friend Leon Kroll. (Halpert bought her share in 1935.) Isabel Bishop, Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, and William Zorach numbered among major early-twentieth-century artists whose careers or estates the gallery represented. She died in New York.

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