1884 (Bialystok, Russia)
1930 (Detroit, Michigan)
New York / France
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painting-landscape, cityscape, interiors
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New York Armory Show of 1913
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Born in Bialystok, Russia, (now northeastern Poland) Samuel Halpert
emigrated to the United States in 1890 with his parents when he was age
five. He was raised in the Lower East Side tenement area with other
East European Jewish immigrants. One of his adult friends at that time
was sculptor Jacob Epstein who took him to art museums, and encouraged
his artistic talents and interests.|
During the 1890s, he
lived on and off in Paris. He studied at the National Academy of Design
in New York with J Carroll Beckwith, who raised funds to send Halpert
to Paris where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts with Leon Bonnat.
He also studied at the Academie Julian with Jean Paul Laurens, but left the school
to "learn on the streets of Paris" and from the Old Masters in the
He exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, a venue for modernist
works. However, at this point in his career, he considered himself an
impressionist combining influences of French Impressionism, James
Whistler, Childe Hassam, and John Twachtmann.
Halpert became a
pioneer of modern art in America, having been in Paris at a
revolutionary time in the art world during the first decade of the 20th
century. His painting was influenced by Paul Cezanne and the French
avant-garde, and in adapting the French culture, he had an edge in that
he, unlike most American artists, spoke and wrote French fluently. He
formed close friendships with modernists Robert and Sonia Delaunay,
Fernand Leger, Jean Metsinger, and some of the older artists including
Henri Rousseau and Henri Matisse.
After about three years in
Paris, he returned to New York, where he met Alfred Stieglitz and
became exposed to the avant-garde activities of Stieglitz's Little
Galleries of the Succession (291). He stayed in New York for less than
a year before returning to Paris where he developed his own style that
embodied Post-Impressionism and Fauvism.
He returned to New
York City during 1911 to 1914, the time of the 1913 Armory Show that
had such a profound modernist impact on American art. Although he lived
and painted in the city, he also painted extensively in the
countryside. He exhibited in the Armory Show and encouraged other
artists towards modernism including Marsden Hartley. He became close
friends and mentor with Man Ray, whose work went towards Dadaism,
something Halpert did not embrace.
From 1914 to 1916, he was in
Paris and then returned to New York. In 1918, he married Edith Fein, an
art student and very adept businesswoman. They lived both in and out of
the city, with him painting both landscapes and city scenes. He also
painted numerous interior scenes, often with Edith posed as a figure
subject. However, his income was minimal, and to supplement, he did
The marriage became strained, major factors
being that Halpert had constant ringing in his ears and that he felt
diminished by her ability to earn much more money than he. It was
thought that the ringing in his ears was psychosomatic, but towards the
end of his life, they learned it was the result of childhood meningitis.
spent time in France trying to maintain their relationship, and then
returned to New York. In 1926, Edith founded the Downtown Gallery, a
very successful venture. In 1927, he became head of the painting
department at the Society of Arts and crafts in Detroit, having been
recommended by John Sloan. This position brought him some financial
success. He stayed in touch with New York family and friends; Edith's
Gallery represented him, and although the marriage broke up, he and
Edith remained friends with her as his art dealer.
Just as his
finances were strengthening as well as his reputation, the stock market
crash of 1929 hit. Halpert died the next year in Detroit at age 45.
Diane Tepfer, "Samuel Halpert: Art & Life 1884-1930", American Art Review, June 2002
Note to AskART from Diane Tepfer of Washington DC:
WWI, Halpert traveled in Spain and Portugal with his friends Robert and
Sonia Delaunay. There they experimented "in the antique method of
painting in wax as a medium."
|Biography from Blake Benton Fine Art, Artists G - K:|
Halpert was born in Russia, December 25th, 1884, and was brought to the
United States as a young child. His early artistic talent was
recognized and encouraged by teachers Jacob Epstein and Henry McBride
at the Educational Alliance in New York City. After three years of
traditional study at the National Academy of Design, he traveled to
Paris to work with Leon Bonnat (1883 -1922) at the Ecole des
Beaux-Arts. While in France, Halpert was strongly influenced by his
exposure to the works of the French modernists, especially Paul Cézanne
(1839 -1906) and Henri Matisse (1869 -1954), and by his colleagues
Fernand Léger (1881 -1955) and Jean Metzinger (1883 -1957). |
1905, which coincided with the first favorable review of the Fauvists'
daring use of color, until 1911, Halpert participated in the annual
Salon d'Automne in Paris, one of few Americans to be so recognized.
signature use of solid, thickly outlined block-like forms, as evidenced
in this composition, reflects his Paris experiences. He was known for
genre, landscapes, farms, citys, Paris, interiors, lakes and coast.
Halpert was also influenced by the bright colors of Ogunquit Maine
where he took up summer residence for many years.
He was a member of
the New Society of Artists; (pres.) Society of Independent Artists of
Detroit; Societare Salon d'Automne, Paris.
He died in 1930.
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