Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Parsons, Betty

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role Dealer/Gallery Artist Collector
dates 1900-1982
city New York City
stateNY
other citiesParis, France;
gender F
historical notes Described by ARTnews as the "den mother of Abstract Expressionism," Betty Parsons became famous for identifying, promoting, and nurturing a new generation of American artists in the years after World War II. From her gallery on Fifty-Seventh Street, she spent more than three decades championing the work of numerous young artists, including most notably the painters of the New York School—Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, Hans Hofmann, and Ad Reinhardt. An artist herself, she was as famous for encouraging young talent to grow and experiment as she was in recruiting them to her gallery.

Before she married, her name was Betty Bierne Pierson.

Betty Parsons was also an artist. During much of her life, she devoted her attention to helping other artists and although she was always creating her own artwork, she often did not promote herself.

decades
of activity
1920-1930
1930-1940
1940-1950
1950-1960
1960-1970
1970-1980
updated 09/12/2019 15:30:53
bibliographic
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Archive Location Collection Title Links
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, circa 1920-1991, bulk 1946-1983 see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Betty Parsons interviews, 1969 June 4 - June 9 see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
American Museum of Natural History, Dept. of Anthropology correspondence with Barnett Newman and Betty Parsons, 1944-1946.
see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
David Herbert papers, 1950-1995. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Walter Murch interview, 1967 June 6. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Midtown Galleries records, 1904-1997. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
John Little papers, 1935-1978.
see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Colette Roberts interviews with artists, 1961-1971. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Joan Seeman papers, 1973-1981. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Henry Ernest Schnakenberg papers, 1905-1969. see details...
The Getty Research Institute
Research Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Lawrence Alloway papers, 1935-2003. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Norman Carton papers, 1949-1980. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Grand Central Art Galleries records, 1923-[ca. 1966]. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Colette Roberts interviews with artists, 1961-1971. see details...
National Portrait Gallery Library
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Artist file: Parsons, Betty see details...
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library
Smithsonian Institution
Artist file: Parsons, Betty see details...

see also:
Betty Parsons Gallery
Sullivan, Mary Quinn, 1877-1939