Henry Pearlman, 1952

Jacques Lipchitz, French, active in the United States, 1891–1973

Henry Pearlman, 1952

The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, on long-term loan to the Princeton University Art Museum
© Estate of Jacques Lipchitz/ courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York
photo: Bruce M. White

The catalyst for Lipchitz’s portrait of Pearlman was tragedy. In early 1952, Lipchitz’s studio in New York City had burned to the ground. Although no one was hurt, the fire incinerated many of Lipchitz’s own works of art as well as works that he had collected. Alfred Barr, director of the Museum of Modern Art, immediately initiated a fund to build a new studio for him. Pearlman made a donation and also hired Lipchitz to create his portrait. He recalled:

My sittings for the bust with Lipchitz totaled twenty-nine; they were at my office and while sitting on a revolving stool, with my painting collection all around the room, and few distractions. If I had received nothing else for the money I had paid the artist, the experience would have been worth it.

Henry Pearlman in his office, Eastern Cold Storage Company, New York, NY. Image courtesy The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation

Learn more about Henry Pearlman.