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Day Schnabel

 (1898/1905 - 1991)
Day N. Schnabel was active/lived in New York / France, Holland, Austria.  Day Schnabel is known for abstract sculpture, easel painting, murals.

Day Schnabel

    SHNAH-bel  speaker-click to hear pronunciation  click to hear

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Day Schnabel
Day N. Schnabel (1898/1905 - 1991) (1)

A sculptor and painter, Day N. Schnabel (AKA: Daisy N. Schnabel; nee: Daisy N. Talberg) was born in Vienna, Austria and died in Paris, France, where she had lived since 1932. She also lived in Holland, for about three years, before 1932 and in New York City during World War II.

Her mediums were welded steel, bronze, brass, marble, limestone, granite, cast stone, terra cotta*, relief mural, found objects* (car parts), wood, plaster, cement, copper, Plexiglas, gouache*, ink, charcoal, chalk, pastel, crayon, pencil, and mixed mediums. Her subjects included heads, figures, cities, insects, birds, religion and symbolism, but most of her work would be described as pure abstraction, the subjects therefore being shape, color and texture. Her styles included Abstract Expressionism*, Constructivism*, Cubism*, Futurism*, Primitivism*, Realism* and Surrealism*.

Her education included studies in sculpture and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (1915 - 1918) and later in Berlin and Florence. She also studied architecture and sculpture in Holland under Barend Jordens. In Paris she worked in the studios of Marcel Gimond, Charles Alexandre Malfray and Ossip Zadkine. (2)

In New York she was an associate of Ibram Lassaw, Jacques Lipchitz and Jackson Pollock; in Paris, after the war, she was an associate of Constantin Brancusi, Emile Gilioli, Josef Schofer and Pierre Soulages. Schnabel's prolific work and diverse oeuvre reveals the influences of many of her prominent avant garde artist friends.

She exhibited in New York at the annual exhibitions of contemporary American art at the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1946 to 1966; in Paris at the Salon de Mai, the Salon des Realities Nouvelles, the Salon de la Jeune Sculpture, and at the Salon de Sculpture Contemporaine (Musee Rodin) from 1956; in Brussels at the Palais des Beaux Arts in 1963; and in Paris at the American Cultural Centre in 1968. She was also the subject of solo exhibitions at Betty Parsons Gallery, New York in 1946, 1947, 1952, and 1957; and, more recently, her work was included in "Clement Greenberg: A Critic's Collection" at the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon in 2001.

Schnabel's works are in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum (New York), The Blanton Museum of Art (University of Texas, Austin), the Musée des Beaux-Arts des Nantes (France), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York). (3)

1. Please note: among our sources there is some disagreement as to her birth year; for example, Benezit uses 1898, Joconde uses 1905 but with a question mark, most use 1905.
2. All artists mentioned in this biography have their own pages in AskART.
3. Who Was Who in American Art, 1564 - 1975 includes the Carnegie Institute (Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh) as a collector of Day Schnabel work and there is no reason to doubt it, although we could not confirm it on the museum's website or through SIRIS*.

Benezit Dictionary of Artists (2006), English version (see AskART book references)
Clement Greenberg: A Critic's Collection (2001), by Karen Wilkin and Bruce Guenther; Princeton University Press, NJ
E. Benezit Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs (1999) (see AskART book references)
Who Was Who in American Art, 1564 - 1975 (1999), by Peter Hastings Falk (see AskART book references)
Emigrants and Exiles: A Lost Generation of Austrian Artists in America, 1920 - 1950 (1996), by John Czaplicka and David Mickenberg; Mary and Leigh Block Gallery, Northwestern University, Illinois
Women Artists in the United States: a selective bibliography and resource guide on the fine and decorative arts, 1750 - 1986" (1990), by Paula L. Chiarmonte; published by G.K. Hall
New Dictionary of Modern Sculpture (1971), edited by Robert Maillard; Tudor Publishing Company, NYC
American Art of Our Century (1961), by Lloyd Goodrich and John I. H. Baur; published by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Sculpture Watercolors and Drawings, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (catalogues for 1946, 1947 and 1948 available online at Internet Archive)
SIRIS - Smithsonian Institute Research Information System* (museum source)
Joconde - Database of the collections of the state museums of France (museum source)
Internet Archive
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Brooklyn Museum, New York

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

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About  Day Schnabel

Born:  1898/1905 - Vienna, Austria
Died:   1991 - Paris, France
Known for:  abstract sculpture, easel painting, murals