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 Suzy Frelinghuysen  (1911 - 1988)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: synthetic cubism, collage-music themes

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Mrs. George L. K. Morris is primarily known as Suzy Frelinghuysen

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Suzy Frelinghuysen
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Mostly showing her work in group exhibitions in New York with abstract artists, Suzy Frelinghuysen (aka Estelle Condid Frelinghuysen) showed a long-term interest in Cubism, although her early work was realism. She became known for her collages made from corrugated paper, magazine and newspaper clippings, often with musical themes. These subjects were taken from her years as an opera singer, 1947 to 1951, having taken voice lessons as a child. She made her debut with the New York City Opera in 1947, singing the title role in "Ariadne auf Naxos". She was a critical success then and later, called a "sumptuous dramatic soprano," received rave reviews for "Tosca".

From a well-to-do family, she grew up in New Jersey on the family estate in Elberton as well as in Princeton. She was born Estelle Condit Frelinghuysen, the grand daughter of Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, President Chester A. Arthur's Secretary of State, and the grand niece of Theodore Frelinghuysen, a United States Senator from New Jersey, and second chancellor of New York University.

Frelinghuysen moved to New York City some time between 1929 and 1931. She married geometric abstract artist George L. K. Morris in 1935, and he inspired her to move seriously into abstract art. She had little formal training, but her Cubist collages, made up of bits of opera scores and programs, appropriated elements from major Cubist painters like Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris. Although she was focused on Cubism as a style, she shared the belief with modernists Stuart Davis and A.E. Gallatin that most real art is derived from nature.

Soon after its founding in 1936, she became a member of, and yearly exhibitor with the Abstract American Artists in New York City, and one of her patron's was artist and philanthropist Peggy Guggenheim. However, unlike many members of American Abstract Artists, Frelinghuysen was not a political activist, and her work had only personal meaning with no ideological undertones. A reviewer of the Whitney Museum of American Art annual of 1944, described her work as the "outstanding item" of the 1936 exhibit. In 1938, the Museum of Living acquired a collage, "Carmen", but the museum closed before a projected show planned for her work in 1943 could take place.

Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"

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