Suzy Frelinghuysen

  (Redirected from Suzy Morris)

Suzy Frelinghuysen (May 7, 1911 – March 19, 1988), also known as Suzy Morris, was an American abstract painter and opera singer.[1]

Suzy Frelinghuysen
George L. K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen.jpg
Suzy Frelinghuysen and George L. K. Morris
Estelle Condit Frelinghuysen

(1911-05-07)May 7, 1911
Newark, New Jersey
DiedMarch 19, 1988(1988-03-19) (aged 76)
Lenox, Massachusetts
Known forPainting, Music
MovementModernism, Abstraction, Cubism
(m. 1935)

Early personal lifeEdit

Born to a prominent family in Newark, New Jersey, Suzy was a daughter of Frederick Frelinghuysen (1848–1936) and his wife Estelle B. Kinney, who were married in 1902. She descended from various politicians, including her grandfather, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen (Secretary of State under Chester A. Arthur), and her great-great-uncle, Theodore Frelinghuysen (Senator from New Jersey). She was educated at Miss Fine's school in Princeton, and later studied voice.[2] She displayed an early interest in painting and drawing but never undertook formal art studies.[3] She attended Miss Fines in Princeton and was separately tutored in art and music all the time making childhood trips to Europe. On January 30, 1935 she married Morris who was encouraging to her artistic career.

Artistic careerEdit


Her paintings were done in a realist style until the time of her marriage to abstract painter and collector George L.K. Morris in 1935. Morris introduced her to the work of European modernists like Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris, which inspired her to explore a more abstract Cubist manner.[3]

In April (1937) she joined the American Abstract Artists (AAA) which was an organization concerned with the Museum of Modern Art focusing mainly on American Scene Artists.

In 1938 she became the first woman to have a painting placed in the permanent collection of A.E. Gallatin's Museum of Living Art. She and Morris were founding members of the American Abstract Artists. She took part, in Paris, at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, and exhibited also in Rome and Amsterdam.

From 1938 to 1946, Suzy was most successful exhibiting her artwork in Gallitan's Museum of Living Art, exhibition of the Park Avenue Artists which traveled to Chicago, San Francisco, and Honolulu, a show created by Peggy Guggenheim, and Philadelphia Museum of Art in the show Eight by Eight: American Abstract Painting since 1940. By 1947, that can be marked as the end of her painting career as she moved onto her singing career.

In 1943, Frelinghuysen's work was included in Peggy Guggenheim's show Exhibition by 31 Women at the Art of This Century gallery in New York.[4]


As Suzy Morris, the dramatic soprano appeared with the New York City Opera from 1947 to 1950, in Ariadne auf Naxos (in the title role, opposite Virginia MacWatters as Zerbinetta), Cavalleria rusticana (as Santuzza, conducted by Julius Rudel), Tosca (as Floria Tosca), Aïda (as Amneris, with Camilla Williams, Ramón Vinay, and Lawrence Winters, directed by Theodore Komisarjevsky), and Les contes d'Hoffmann (as Giulietta).

Following that last appearance with the City Opera, she debuted in 1950 with the New Orleans Opera Association, as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera. That performance, which was broadcast, also featured Jussi Björling, Marko Rothmüller, Martha Larrimore, the young Norman Treigle (as Samuele), as well as Audrey Schuh (as Oscar, her first major role). In 1998, VAI released this performance on compact disc.

After a 1951 bout of bronchitis, the soprano retired from the stage, and once more became a full-time painter.


Suzy Frelinghuysen died[5] of a stroke in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at age 76.

Her work can be viewed in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Carnegie Art Institute, and her home and studio museum in Lenox, Massachusetts.[6]


1937-1947 American Abstract Artists Annual Exhibitions

1937 Park Avenue Cubist Show at Paul Reinhardt Galleries with Morris, A.E. Gallatin, and Charles G. Shaw

1940 Park Avenue Cubist Show: Tours Chicago, San Francisco, Honolulu

1940 Peggy Guggenheim show: 31 contemporary women artists

1944 Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art

1945 Eight by Eight: American Abstract Painting since 1940, Philadelphia Museum of Art

1986 American Abstract Artists 50th Anniversary Exhibition


Carnegie Art Institute

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museum of Living Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art


  • The New York City Opera: An American Adventure, by Martin L. Sokol, Macmillan Publishing Co, Inc, 1981. ISBN 0-02-612280-4


  1. ^ Victoria Etnier Villamil (2004). From Johnson's Kids to Lemonade Opera: The American Classical Singer Comes of Age. UPNE. p. 273. ISBN 978-1-55553-635-0.
  2. ^ "Suzy Frelinghuysen, Artist, Is Dead at 76". New York Times. March 23, 1988. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Suzy Frelinghuysen - Artist Biography". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  4. ^ Butler, Cornelia H.; Schwartz, Alexandra (2010). Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art. New York: Museum of Modern Art. p. 45. ISBN 9780870707711.
  5. ^ "Suzy Frelinghuysen, Artist, Is Dead at 76". The New York Times. 1988-03-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  6. ^ "About". Frelinghuysen Morris House and Studio. Retrieved 2015-07-05.
  7. ^ "SUZY FRELINGHUYSEN (1911-1988) - CUBIST". Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  8. ^ "SUZY FRELINGHUYSEN (1911-1988) - CUBIST". Retrieved 2018-04-22.

External linksEdit