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Jólan Gross-Bettelheim (1900–1972) was a Hungarian artist who lived and worked in the United States from 1925 to 1956, before returning to Hungary.

BiographyEdit

Jólan Gross-Bettelheim (1900–1972) was born in Hungary, but lived in the United States from 1925-1956.[1] She studied painting at the Budapest School of Fine Art in 1919, followed by studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna and the Akademie der Bildenden Künst in Berlin.[1] Gross-Bettelheim then studied in Paris at the Académie de Grande Chaumière between 1922-24.[1] She married a Hungarian-born radiologist,[2] Frigyes Bettelheim, and settled in Cleveland by 1925.[1] Her studies in Ohio commenced at the Cleveland School of Art with modernist painter Henry Keller.[3] She and her husband relocated to New York City in 1938.[1] As a communist, Gross-Bettelheim was a member of the John Reed Club, as well as the American Artists’ Congress.[1][4] She contributed to leftist publications such as New Masses and the Daily Worker.[1] Her work was exhibited in Chicago, New York, Ohio, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington D.C. throughout the 1930s and 40s.[1] She returned to Hungary after 1956 and died in Budapest in 1972.[1]

Cleveland and the WPAEdit

Gross-Bettelheim worked in Cleveland at a time when printmaking was flourishing.[5] It was a time when lithography was seen as a viable art form, rather than being limited to commercial use.[5] Interest in printmaking was bolstered by art organizations that were founded in the 1920s.[5] And the Cleveland Print Makers (CPM) was formed in 1930 by artist and teacher Kálmán Kubinyi.[6] It engaged in numerous activities to expand exposure for Cleveland printmakers, with the goal of increasing the sales of their works.[6] Its most ambitious activity was the Print Mart or Market during which artists opened a gallery to sell works to the general public.[6] The Print Market featured America Today in November 1936, an exhibition that was held in thirty U.S. cities simultaneously.[7] The show included 100 prints created by artists from the American Artists’ Congress, including Gross-Bettelheim.[7] Gross-Bettelheim also was commissioned to create a print for the CPM’s Print-a-Month series, a subscription for one print per month by Cleveland and some nonresident artists.[8]

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) had a graphic arts division of which printmaking was a part. A graphic arts workshop was set up in Cleveland as a part of the WPA, operating officially as Graphic Arts Project No. 8048 from December 1935 to 1943, being most productive in 1936-37.[9] Gross-Bettelheim produced prints for the WPA graphics workshop, as well.[10] The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) sponsored a traveling exhibition, Fifty Prints of the Year, which included work by Gross-Bettelheim.[11]

ThemesEdit

Gross-Bettelheim’s prints explore the darkness of the Depression, employing a cubist style that heightens the drama of cityscapes and the industrial landscape.[11][12] Sabine Kretzschmar describes Gross-Bettelheim as “the purest modernist” amongst Cleveland printmakers, reflecting the influence of German expressionism, constructivism, and cubism.[13]

Her work explored social and political issues.[14] The plight of unemployment is addressed in her print In the Employment Office (ca. 1936, lithograph) and racism in Workers Meeting (Scottsboro Boys) (ca. 1935, drypoint).[15]

The stark black and white images convey a sense of humanity being oppressed by the scale of industry. For example, Gross-Bettelheim’s ca. 1940 lithograph Assembly Line portrays a claustrophobic space filled with workers and a haunting image of lines of gas masks on a factory assembly line. Her 1936 lithograph Civilization at the Crossroads (Fascism II) depicts the rising threat of Fascism in Europe.

WorksEdit

  • Assembly Line, ca. 1940, lithograph on paper, 11 1/2 x 9 7/8 in. (29.2 x 25.1 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • Beggar, ca. 1937, drypoint, 7 1/8 x 4 ¾ inches (18.1x12 cm). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.
  • Beneath the Bridge, ca. 1935, lithograph on paper, 13 7/8 x 9 7/8 in. (35.3 x 25.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • Blast Furnace, ca. 1935-39, lithograph, 14 x 10-1/4 in. Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, OH.
  • Blast Furnace with Telephone Poles, ca. 1935-39, drypoint, 8-3/4 x 7 in. Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, OH.
  • Bridge, ca. 1935, lithograph on paper,11 3/4 x 15 5/8 in. (29.8 x 39.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • Bridge #1, ca. 1940, lithograph on off-white wove paper, 359 x 265 mm (image); 435 x 300 mm (sheet), The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
  • Bridge Cables II, ca. 1940, lithograph on off-white wove paper, Image: 13 11/16 x 9 7/8 in. (34.8 x 25.1 cm), Sheet: 16 7/16 x 11 7/8 in. (41.8 x 30.2 cm) Mat: 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm), Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection.
  • Civilization at the Crossroads (Fascism II), 1936, lithograph 12¾ x 10 in (32.4 x 25.4 cm), Reba and Dave Williams Collection.
  • Dilapidated Section, 1935–39, lithograph, 9.75 x 11.75 in., Collection of Lakewood Board of Education, OH.
  • Elevator, n.d., etching, 22.5x18 cm (8 9/10 x 71/10 in), Reba and Dave Williams Collection.
  • Factory Houses, ca. 1935-39, lithograph, 13-1/4 in. x 9-5/8 in. Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland OH.
  • Fascism, lithograph, Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
  • Gates and Bridges, 1936, lithograph on paper, 11 9/16 in. x 8 9/16 in. (29.3 cm x 21.8 cm), University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Home Front, c. 1943, lithograph, 406 x 305 mm, Collection of Bette and Lyle Sarnevitz.
  • In the Employment Office, 1935–39, lithograph, 11 x 8.5 in., Collection of Case Western Reserve University, Kevin Smith Library, Cleveland, OH.
  • Industrial Scene, 1936, lithograph, 14 x 10.25 in., Collection of Lakewood Board of Education, OH.
  • Industrial Valley, ca. 1937, drypoint on paper, 13 in. x 10 in. (33.02 cm x 25.4 cm), Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH.
  • Landscape, 1929, drypoint, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.
  • New York, 1930's (under elevated tracks), photograph, gelatin silver print, 9 x 6.3 cm, Grinnell College Art Collection, Grinnell, IA.
  • New York, 1930's (view of elevator from under bridge), photograph, gelatin silver print, 9 x 6.3 cm, Grinnell College Art Collection, Grinnell, IA.
  • Power Transmission Line, n.d., lithograph, 11 1/15 x 9 3/10 in (28.5x23.5 cm), Reba and Dave Williams Collection.
  • (Railroad) Gate and Bridges, ca. 1936, lithograph, 11 7/16 x 8 11/16 in (29 x 22 cm), Ohio Art Program, long term loan to the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.
  • Smeltery, 1949, lithograph, 17 9/16 x 113 3/10 in (44.6 x 36.3 cm), Grinnell College Art Collection, Grinnell, IA.
  • Trains and Bridges,1936, 12 1/2 x 16 5/8 in. (31.8 x 42.2 cm) Hegyi 28. Lithograph on wove paper, full margins. Small unpublished edition, almost none of which were signed. Extremely rare.
  • Under the High Level Bridge, ca. 1932, drypoint, 9 7/16 x 7 in (24 x17.7 cm). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.
  • Unemployment Office, 1936, lithograph on off-white wove paper, 281 x 217 mm (image); 330 x 253 mm (sheet), The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
  • Untitled 1945, lithograph, 18 13/16 x 14 5/8 in. (47.80 x 37.20 cm), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.
  • The War Machine, n.d., lithograph, 13 4/5 x 9 4/5 in. (35 x 24.8 cm), Reba and Dave Williams Collection. Also in the collection of Grinnell College Art Collection as “Workers of the World [Flags] The War Machine.
  • Workers’ Meeting (Scottsboro Boys), ca. 1935, drypoint, 8 ½ x 6 7/8 in. (21.6 x 17.5 cm), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.
  • Yard, ca. 1935-39, lithograph, 12-3/4 x 9 in., Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, OH.
  • Yard with Poles, ca. 1935-39, lithograph, 13 x 9-1/4 in. Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, OH.
  • Young Negro Worker, 1931, drypoint, 67/8 x 5 3/8 in. (17.60 x 13.80 cm), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.

ExhibitionsEdit

  • May Shows at the Cleveland Museum of Art 1927-1937 (annual exhibition) [except for 1933][1][16]
  • Kokoon Club, 1932, first solo exhibition[1]
  • American Today, 1936
  • American Artists’ Conference Exhibition, 1938[17]
  • Artists for Victory, 1942, at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York[18]
  • Artists for Victory, 1943 [show held in 36 museums simultaneously][19]
  • America in the War, 1943
  • Library of Congress annual print shows, Washington, DC 1943-1950[17]
  • Annual Exhibition of Northwest Printmakers, Seattle Art Museum, 1944-1953[17]
  • Durand-Ruel Galleries in Manhattan, 1945
  • Art Institute of Chicago, 2 watercolor shows[3]
  • Modernist Abstraction in American Prints, Laguna Art Museum, 1992
  • Jolán Gross-Bettelheim: The American Prints, Print and Drawing Study Room of the Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa April 27-May 21, 2001
  • Jolán Gross-Bettelheim: An American Printmaker in an Age of Progress” Eisenberg Gallery in the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick., NJ Mar 19, 2011 - Jul 31, 2011

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Cleveland Museum of Art (1996). Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. p. 230.
  2. ^ Williams, Dave; Williams, Reba (September 1990). "Jolan Gross-Bettelheim: A Hidden Life". Print Quarterly. 7: Williams & Williams refer to him as a psychiatrist in their article, 307.
  3. ^ a b Stamey, Emily (2001). Jolán Gross-Bettelheim: the American Prints. Grinnell, IA: Faulconer Gallery. p. 3.
  4. ^ Kretzschmar, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. pp. 188, 189.
  5. ^ a b c Kretzschmar,, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. p. 177.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  6. ^ a b c Kretzschmar, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. p. 178.
  7. ^ a b Kretzschmar, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. p. 180.
  8. ^ Kretzschmar,, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. pp. 180–181.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  9. ^ Kretzschmar, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. p. 183.
  10. ^ Kretzschmar, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. p. 185.
  11. ^ a b Kainen, Jacob (1972). "The Graphic Arts Division of the WPA Federal Art Project". In O’Connor, Francis (ed.). The New Deal Art Projects. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 156.
  12. ^ Cleveland Artists Foundation (2006). Covering History: Revisiting Federal Art in Cleveland 1933-1943. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Artists Foundation. p. 31.
  13. ^ Kretzschmar, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. p. 187.
  14. ^ Kretzschmar, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. p. 188.
  15. ^ Kretzschmar, Sabine (1996). "Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA". Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland, OH: Distributed by Ohio University Press. p. 190.
  16. ^ Williams, Dave; Williams, Reba (September 1990). "Jolan Gross-Bettelheim: A Hidden Life". Print Quarterly. 7: 303.
  17. ^ a b c Stamey, Emily (2001). Jolán Gross-Bettelheim: the American Prints. Grinnell, IA: Faulconer Gallery. p. 6.
  18. ^ Taylor, Francis Henrty (1942). Artists for Victory: an Exhibition of Contemporary American Art: Paintings, Sculpture, Prints/sponsored by Artists for Victory, Inc. New York, NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 34.
  19. ^ Williams, Dave; Williams, Reba (September 1990). "Jolan Gross-Bettelheim: A Hidden Life". Print Quarterly. 7: 304.
  • Cleveland Artists Foundation. Covering History: Revisiting Federal Art in Cleveland 1933-1943. Cleveland: Cleveland Artists Foundation, 2006.
  • Kainen, Jacob. “The Graphic Arts Division of the WPA Federal Art Project” in The New Deal Art Projects ed. Francis V. O’Connor. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972: 155-176.
  • Kretzschmar, Sabine. “Art for Everyone: Cleveland Print Makers and the WPA” in Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art: Distributed by Ohio University Press, 1996: 176-197.
  • Stamey, Emily. Jolán Gross-Bettelheim: the American Prints. Grinnell, Iowa: Faulconer Gallery, 2001. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Print and Drawing Study Room of the Faulconer Gallery April 27-May 21, 2001.
  • Transformations in Cleveland Art, 1796-1946: Community and Diversity in Early Modern America. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art: Distributed by Ohio University Press, 1996.
  • Williams, Dave and Reba. “Jolan Gross-Bettelheim: A Hidden Life.” Print Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 3 (September 1990): 303-7.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit