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Grace Hartigan: March-born American artist

March is Women’s History Month in 2011. I am doing a series of brief posts about women artists who were born in March. This is the last in the series. I hope you have enjoyed the posts.

Today’s March-born American artist is Grace Hartigan. Previous artists in this series were Rosa Bonheur, from France, and Americans Diane Arbus, Melissa Miller, and Jennifer Bartlett.

Grace Hartigan was born on March 28th. She is recognized as one of the Abstract Expressionists and an early Pop Artist. Her work sold very well in New York throughout the 1950s. She was the only female artist in the Museum of Modern Art‘s exhibition, The New American Painting, which toured Europe in 1958-1959.

She married for the fourth time in 1960 and moved to Baltimore. She spent over forty years at the Maryland Institute College of Art where she was director of the graduate program at the Hoffberger School of Painting.

Hartigan was distained by the New York art world when she moved to Baltimore and dissed Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art by saying they were not painting because they lacked content and emotion. She also refused to join other feminists against male chauvinism. She is reported to have said: “I find that the subject of discrimination is only ever brought up by inferior talents to excuse their own inadequacy as artists.”.

For more information, see:

Esaak, S. (2011). Artists in 60 Seconds: Grace Hartigan.

Charles Darwent, C. (Monday, 8 December, 2008). Grace Hartigan: New York School painter who later rejected Abstract Expressionism.

Grace Hartigan 1950s
Grace Hartigan 1950s
Grace Hartigan au U Maryland
Grace Hartigan at U Maryland
New England October
Grace Hartigan (American, 1922-2008). New England October, 1957. Oil on canvas. 68 1/4 x 83 in. (173.4 x 210.8 cm). Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1958. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y.