The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is currently seeking volunteers for our new cohort of Volunteer Educators to give House & Studio Tours to the public. The Foundation's mission is to further the legacy of Chaim Gross through high-quality research, exhibitions, and educational activities around our historic building and art collections for audiences in New York City and beyond. We are looking for volunteers who are intellectually curious, excited to converse with a diverse group of visitors, and passionate about sharing the home, studio, and art collections of the Grosses with a larger public.
Applications are due December 2, 2022 and are available below through a Google Form.
Published in a limited run of 50 copies on the occassion of the exhibition Artists and Immigrants, this publication features the early drawings completed by Chaim Gross prior to his emigration from Europe. These drawings were carried by Gross from his hometown, Kolomyia, in what was disputed territory in 1921, now Ukraine, traveling through Vienna, Le Havre, then across the Atlantic to New York City.
This publication can be purchased through the Foundation for $125.
Of that total, $100 supports HIAS and their work for Ukrainian refugees. $25 supports the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation.
HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) assisted Chaim Gross and his brother Abraham in finding their brother Naftoli upon their arrival at Ellis Island.
Copies are available through the Foundation. Please call or email to purchase.
Chaim Gross: Early Drawings, 1919-1920 includes over 70 drawings, all reproduced at their actual sizes or slightly reduced. This limited-edition publication is made possible through the generosity of Mimi Gross and Thomas Whitridge of Ink, Inc., New York.
Design and printing by Ink, Inc., New York.
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Rachleff Burtt to the Board of Trustees. She has served on the Foundation’s Advisory Council since 2016.
“It is such a great honor to join the board of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation,” said Melissa Rachleff Burtt. “I am a longtime admirer of and frequent visitor to the Foundation. It is such a tremendous resource for American and African art scholars, students, and the museum community. I look forward to collaborating with the wonderful leadership at the Foundation on the board, advisory board, and dedicated staff on making all the stories at the Foundation accessible to all.”
Melissa Rachleff Burtt is a Clinical Professor in the Visual Arts Administration Program at NYU: Steinhardt, where she concentrates on the nonprofit sector. In 2017 she curated Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965 for NYU Grey Art Gallery and wrote/edited the accompanying book, which is co-published by the Grey and Prestel Publishing. She began her career as the assistant curator at Exit Art and co-curated exhibitions on the intersection of visual art and documentation. She also worked on exhibits about under- examined artists at mid-career. As a program officer for the New York State Council on the Arts from 1999-2007, Rachleff Burtt was an advocate in supporting contemporary art projects done in collaboration with local communities.
The year 2021 marked the centennial of the immigration of artist Chaim Gross and his wife, Renee (Nechin) Gross. The two came to the United States under very different circumstances. Accompanied by one his brothers, Chaim traveled from Eastern Europe to New York as a teenager after surviving the horrors of World War I. Renee, in contrast, emigrated with her mother and other family members at age eleven, joining her father who was already living in the U.S. Despite these differences, both Chaim and Renee settled in New York City, where they met, married, raised their children, and later established the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation.
Artists and Immigrants celebrates this milestone year and the many immigrant artists who studied, worked, and interacted with Chaim Gross. Based on the shared experience of immigration, Gross formed lasting relationships with these artists and collected their work—the origins of the Foundation’s collection. The exhibition explores the importance of six collective themes in immigrant artists’ lives and work: their personal histories; thriving communities in neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side; arts education; leisure and travel; the rise of Social Realism and New Deal art projects during the Great Depression; and the destruction, displacement, and devastation wrought by World War II.
Spanning eight decades, Artists and Immigrants includes nearly 100 works by more than 50 immigrant artists, as well as materials from the Foundation archives. Drawn from the Gross family’s personal collection, the exhibition and catalogue are not comprehensive studies. Rather, they underscore how U.S. policies both enabled and stymied immigration over the first half of the twentieth century. The artists featured in this exhibition experienced these policies firsthand.
The New York Artists Equity Association (NYAE) will honor Chaim Gross at their 75th Anniversary Fundraiser on Wednesday, May 11. The benefit will celebrate founding member Gross along with performances by cellist Sarah Song, performance artist and singer John Kelly, and poet Robyn Gibson.
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is pleased to announce a grant award of $10,500 from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to provide major support for the publication of the catalogue Artists and Immigrants.
“The mission of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation is to promote the advancement of regional history,” said Kathryn Curran, Executive Director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. “The history of New York and Long Island must be inclusive, telling of shared experiences. RDLGF sees its support of this exhibition and another recent award to The Tenement Museum as models for our historic sites to engage and serve the new demographics of their community. Both projects are focused on sharing personal, yet universal, stories of immigration and its immediate role in building local history.”
The exhibition Artists and Immigrants stems from the centennial of Chaim Gross’s immigration to the United States and related virtual public programming that explored the stories of immigrant artists in the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation’s historic collection in 2021. Opening April 7, 2022 and continuing until the end of the year, Artists and Immigrants includes 80 works by 50 artists spanning eight decades as well as materials from the Foundation’s archives.
“We are extremely honored to be working with the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation,” said Mimi Gross, President of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation. “Their generous grant funds the catalogue for our upcoming exhibition Artists and Immigrants in our temporary exhibition space. The catalogue includes four original essays and color images of related artworks and archival materials from the Foundation’s collection. There will be biographies of the mid-century artists represented, many of whom are recently receiving belated or renewed attention. This timely exhibition is drawn from our educational public programming that celebrated the centennial of my parents’ immigration to the United States in 1921.”
Essay authors include Executive Director Sasha Davis, Collections and Programs Manager Brittany Cassandra, and the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation’s NYU Public Humanities Initiative Fellows Clare Richfield and Emma Young. Both Richfield and Young are doctoral candidates in the department of History at NYU. A catalogue launch party is scheduled for Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 pm onsite at 526 LaGuardia Place, the historic home and studio of Chaim Gross.
For more information on the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation click here.
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is pleased to announce the award of an Archival Needs Assessment from the Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services of New York.
Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services of New York (DHPSNY), a joint program of the New York State Archives and the New York State Library, just announced the first round of sites in 2022 to be awarded Planning & Assessment Services. This group of 12 includes the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation. DHPSNY Planning & Assessment Services are designed to support organizations in improving and advancing collections-related program efforts and are offered comprehensively to eligible historical collecting institutions throughout New York.
These services are an important tool in future fundraising and have led to the following outcomes: improved adherence to the standards and best practices for preservation and accessibility; increased dissemination of New York’s historical records and library research materials through accessible channels; and increased use of the records and research materials at New York collecting institutions by policymakers, educators, students, researchers, and the general public.
“The award of an Archival Needs Assessment from DHPSNY will allow the Foundation to better serve our public,” said Mimi Gross, President of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation. “Through their close examination of our current systems and programs we will be better able to plan for the future restoration, housing, and accessibility of our archives by outside researchers. Together with the sculpture studio, library, and preserved living spaces, the archive will complete the historical narrative of American art from a particularly curious and educated individual artist’s perspective.”
From a competitive pool of applicants, the program’s independent advisory committee and field reviewers selected 12 organizations to receive virtual Archival Needs Assessments, Preservation Surveys, Strategic Planning Assistance, and Foundational Planning Assistance.
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is pleased to announce a grant award of $49,500 from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to support the recovery of the nonprofit arts and culture sector. Following New York State’s $105 million investment in the arts for FY2022, NYSCA has awarded more than $80 million since June 2021.
“The arts have long been a critical sector in our economy, and as we continue to rebuild a stronger New York, it's essential we do all we can help this industry thrive once again,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. "These awardees represent the best of what New York's vibrant communities have to offer and with this funding in hand, they will be able to not only continue their creative and inspiring work, but help spur revitalization in their own backyard as well."
“Council congratulates the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation, Inc. on their grant award! New York State arts and culture organizations inspire New Yorkers and cultivate community in every region,” said Katherine Nicholls, Chair, NYSCA. “Arts and culture are crucial to our state’s health, and Council recognizes the dynamic impact of NYSCA grantees on the well-being of all New Yorkers.”
“The funding from NYSCA in support of the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation is momentous,” said Mimi Gross, President of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation. “We are grateful to NYSCA, Governor Kathy Hochul, and the New York State Legislature for their continued support of the nonprofit and arts sector during this difficult time. This generous grant will go towards our educational mission: virtual and in-person programs, exhibitions, and tours of the historic home and studio of my parents, now preserved for the public.”
“A major example of our educational offerings will be a unique temporary exhibition Artists and Immigrants (April–December 2022) celebrating artists who were immigrants whose works are represented in our permanent collection,” continued Mimi Gross. “My father, a sculptor, who was an immigrant from Ukraine 100 years ago, had many peers with whom he exchanged art works which now frame a unique moment in 20th-century art history. The collection exemplifies works evolving from a visual to social commentary generation to abstraction. We will exhibit a variety of works, hold lectures, conduct tours, and publish a catalogue. This unique exhibition will be possible thanks to NYSCA’s supporting generosity.”
In acknowledgment of 30 years since the passing of Chaim Gross, we would like to share a post from our friends at The Allen Ginsberg Project. The post shares a transcription of Ginsberg's tribute to his friend presented at the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in December 1991. An audio version can be accessed through Stanford University's Department of Special Collections and University Archives.
The Foundation has made a selection of their in-house publications available online to view or download as part of the response to the COVID-19 closure. The Foundation continues ongoing efforts to provide educational materials digitally during this time.
The new Guide to Artists' Homes & Studios includes the Foundation amongst the 44 sites in the Historic Artists' Homes & Studios (HAHS) program, part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The book is by Valerie Balint, Program Manager for the HAHS program. The guidebook is published by Princetown Architectural Press and was supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.
256 pages, softcover
To purchase the guidebook, please consider these vendors (click to visit):
The Foundation welcomed 1,000 visitors during Open House New York Weekend, October 19-20, 2019. Open House New York Weekend is a citywide celebration of architecture, urban design, and New York CIty. More than 250 buildings and projects across five boroughs participated this year in opening to the public.
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is pleased to announce expanded House & Studio Tour times from Wednesday through Saturday of the historic home, studio, and art collections of American sculptor Chaim Gross and his wife Renee in Greenwich Village. The increased availability will allow a broader audience to visit the Foundation by increasing evening and weekend hours.
New tour times are:
Wednesdays, 3 and 6 pm
Thursdays, 3 and 6 pm
Fridays, 1 and 3 pm
Saturdays, 1 and 3 pm
House & Studio Tours at the Foundation are approximately one hour long and explore three floors of the historic LaGuardia Place building. Admission is $15 per person. Tours cover Gross's first-floor sculpture studio and gallery, renovated in 1963 by the artist and later restored in 2017-18, as well as the Foundation’s special exhibition space on the second floor. The third floor houses the Grosses' living and dining space featuring hundreds of works from their extensive private art collection, including important American paintings by Marsden Hartley, Willem de Kooning, Milton Avery, Jacob Lawrence, and others, installed by the artist with his African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and decorative arts and preserved as it was during his lifetime. The Foundation has been called a hidden treasure of New York City and is featured in the acclaimed guidebooks 111 Places in New York That You Must Not Miss (Emons, 2015) and111 Museums in New York That You Must Not Miss (Emons, 2018).
Public tours are limited to eight people. Online reservations are requested through Eventbrite. Tours are scheduled from the week after Labor Day through the end of June. The Foundation is closed for scheduled tours in July and August.
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) discussed Chaim Gross's sculpture The Family in Bleecker Street Playground as well as the Foundation's history and current activities to celebrate Gross's birthday on March 17. The sculpture was donated in honor of former New York City mayor Edward Koch.
This photograph of Renee Gross was taken at the sculpture's unveiling on December 3, 1991 by Richard Alan Fox.
The Foundation is excited to announce the return of Sylvia Carewe’s Untitled (Dutra Taxi) to LaGuardia Place following conservation treatment. The conservation of this painting was made possible by the NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Treatment Grant Program administered by Greater Hudson Heritage Network with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.
Untitled (Dutra Taxi) will travel this summer to the Provincetown Art Association & Museum for the loan exhibition Circa 1945: Abstract Art in the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation Collection, July 19 – September 15, 2019.
The Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington, West Virginia installed Chaim Gross's 1942 sculpture In Memorium of Captain Colin Kelly in one of their central galleries in honor of Veterans Day.
Gross created the plaster maquette to honor the sacrifice of Captain Colin Kelly, a World War II pilot who was celebrated for his heroism after ordering his crew to bail shortly before his B-17 bomber was destroyed near Clark Air Base in 1941. Gross showed the sculpture in the Sculptors Guild's Fourth Annual Outdoor Show from September 15 - October 15, 1942 on the roof of Rockefeller Center. The Hungtington Museum of Art recently acquired the work and completed extensive conservation work.
With the help of Open House New York volunteers, the Foundation welcomed 1,000 visitors during the weekend of October 13-14, 2018. Visitors were able to visit the first floor gallery and studio, the temporary exhibition Teaching Through Touch: Works by Chaim Gross, and the historic living spaces on the third floor.
Open House New York Weekend is a citywide celebration of architecture, urban design, and New York City. Every October, more than 250 buildings and projects across New York's five boroughs open their doors to the public for tours and talks with architects, urban designers, historians, preservationists, and city leaders.
The Foundation's Salon-style installation of works on paper in the third floor dining room inspired designers to create the teal rectangle pattern on the lower righthand corner of the 2018 OHNY Weekend Event Guide.
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is currently seeking volunteers for our new Volunteer Educator Program. The Foundation's mission is to further the legacy of Chaim Gross through high-quality research, exhibitions, and educational activities around our historic building and art collections for audiences in New York City and beyond. We are looking for volunteers who are intellectually curious, excited to converse with a diverse group of visitors, and passionate about sharing the home, studio, and art collections of the Grosses with a larger public.
The aim of the Volunteer Educator Program is to increase our hours and availability to better serve our visitors. We request a time commitment of two years with one to two tours given per month after the conclusion of educational training. The educational program features guest lecturers and highlights multiple aspects of the collection, biographies of Renee and Chaim Gross, and historical context. The series takes place Wednesday evenings, 6-8 pm from January to March 2019. Volunteers must be able to use email and Google Docs when communicating with Foundation staff and other volunteers.
We are excited to reach new visitors through this program. If you have interest in becoming a Volunteer Educator, please join us at our initial reception on October 10 at the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation. Applications are due November 8, 2018 and are available below.
The Board and staff of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Susan Fisher to the Board of Directors. Dr. Fisher is the Acting Chief Curator and Director of Collections at the Brooklyn Museum, and served as the Foundation’s Executive Director and Chief Curator from 2009 to 2017. In sharing her thoughts about the appointment, President Mimi Gross wrote, "A serious worker, a shining light, a loyal and close friend, charming and intelligent, Susan has given us a gift for the sustainability of our modest Foundation."
The Foundation hosted a reading by Dr. Barry Zaret, whose 2017 book of poetry, When You Can't Do Any More, includes four poems in memory of Chaim Gross.
Dr. Zaret is a renowned cardiologist who holds the title of Robert W. Berliner Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Senior Research Scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is a painter, and published his first volume of poetry, Journeys, in 2012. His poetry is drawn from his life experiences as a doctor, interest in the natural world, and his personal relationships. His friendship with Gross is exemplified in a poem about the studio and his contemplations of Gross's fantasy drawings. The poem "Wedding Day", a response to one of the fantasy drawings, can be read on Dr. Zaret's website.
In addition to reading his poetry at the event, Dr. Zaret also shared his eulogy given for Gross in the summer of 1991. A link is provided below.
The Foundation welcomed over 100 visitors on Thursday, May 10 for a special reception to celebrate the reopening of Chaim Gross's historic sculpture studio. The Foundation also had free open hours on Saturday, May 12 for those visitors unable to attend the reception. The studio had been partially closed since summer 2017 when water infiltration at the base of the skylight threatened to damage the sculptures, tools, and materials housed below.
The Grosses purchased the 526 LaGuardia Place building in 1962, renovating the space to accomodate Gross's dream of combining his home and studio in one building; the dramatic, modernist skylight was one of the features put in at the time. This unique space has been returned to its original appearance, and the space is now available for tours.
The restoration project is generously supported by The New York Landmarks Conservancy and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.
East Side Girl, a prominently displayed early wood sculpture by Chaim Gross at the Metrpolitan Museun of Art, was hightlighted in a special conversation with 30 Metropolitan Museum of Art volunteer educators on April 18, 2018. The discussion was led by Dr. Randall Griffey, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Gross Foundation advisory board member. Board President Mimi Gross shared her memories of her father and information on his technique, style, and content. Executive Director Sasha Davis provided information about the Foundation and Gross's biography.
The Foundation is thrilled to join the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Artists' Homes & Studios (HAHS) program along with three other sites.
Welcome to our first UA intern, Cynthia Bergello!
Over 20 interns from the 16 non-profit arts organizations in the SoHo Arts Network were welcomed by Ken Soehner, Chief Librarian of the Watson Library and other staff at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a behind-the-scenes look at this renowned research library. They were also introduced to new acquisitions, including modern and contemporary artists' books.
In partnership with the SoHo Arts Network, the Foundation hosted a free and interactive public program with the SoHo Memory Project to learn about the history of SoHo as a New York City neighborhood. SoHo historian Yukie Ohta presented the SoHo Memory Project Portable Historical Society, a mobile museum featuring the sights, sounds, and smells of SoHo in the 1970s through such unconventional media as Viewmaster viewers, 3-D printed miniatures, and a smell station. For the first session, Ohta gave a lecture and presentation, and for the second session, the Foundation hosted the SMP's mobile museum outside on LaGuardia Place for special Saturday hours. The program was generously supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities.
The Foundation's Curator of Collections Sasha Davis has been accepted into the prestigious Attingham Summer School for 2016. Sasha will travel to Britain in early July to study historic houses and collections with other Attingham fellows. We look forward to learning from her as we continue to research, preserve, and share Chaim Gross's historic home, sculpture studio and art collections with our public.
The Foundation offered a free and interactive public program with the SoHo Memory Project to learn about the history of SoHo as a New York City neighborhood. SoHo historian Yukie Ohta presented the SoHo Memory Project Portable Historical Society, a mobile museum featuring the sights, sounds, and smells of SoHo in the 1970s through such unconventional media as Viewmaster viewers, 3-D printed miniatures, and a smell station.
This program is generously supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities.
In partnership with the SoHo Arts Network, the program will travel to sites throughout SoHo through July 2016. Further information is available here: http://www.sohoarts.org/
Elsie Smith gave a talk featuring the Visual Arts of Chaim Gross and photography from the New England Center for Circus Arts, and explored the circus-themed sculpture and drawings of Chaim Gross currently featured in the Foundation's 2016 special exhibit, Circus & Vaudeville. She used photographs from performances and classes at the premiere circus arts training school in the United States, as well as the real bodies that inspired the art, through the eyes of a world-traveled performer who has been featured with Cirque du Soleil and other companies. A live circus performance was also featured.
Students use Chaim Gross's sculpture and extensive collection of American, European and African art as inspiration.
The Foundation and Center hosted a cocktail reception to celebrate the tremendous contribution both of these remarkable individuals have made to the creative arts. They responded to their Jewish heritage from distinct yet intersecting historical periods with a voice and vision that is both unique yet universal.
A specially curated tour of Chaim Gross's astounding private art collection was led by Dr. Susan Fisher, art historian and Executive Director of the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation, with opening remarks by New York painter Mimi Gross, daughter of the artist.
Pettet reads his own work along with poems by Pablo Picasso, Louis Michel Eilshemius, and Marsden Hartley, and others featured in the Foundation's exhibition.
"The Foundation more than merits recognition and support for its contribution to the Greenwich Village community and its artistic heritage, and GVSHP is proud to recognize an inspiring institution which has preserved and made available to the public an unparalleled collection of paintings, sculpture, and photography that speaks to the incredible and inspiring artistic tradition of Greenwich Village."
Dodge is also currently a Conservation Intern at the Hispanic Society of America.
“Wordstruck: American Artists as Readers, Writers & Literati,” at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University
May 13–16, 2015
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
For many American artists—as diverse as Washington Allston, Marsden Hartley, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Motherwell, and John Cage—writing was an essential art-making procedure, connected to other creative practices. By considering both artistic and utilitarian writings of American painters, this three-day symposium offers a literary perspective on the contribution of artists’ philosophical and aesthetic thought to the development of American culture and society. Organizers aim to challenge one stereotype that artists do not create new ideas but merely interpret, in visual form, those of others.
The entire symposium includes 13 sessions: six keynote lectures and 26 shorter presentations by scholars from Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.
Exhibit includes two major works by Chaim Gross from the Smithsonian's permanent collection.
Video of this event coming soon!
This year's interns are Noah Margulis and Elizabeth Akant.