Gallery Talk Arthur Dion and Gerry Bergstein speak on Henry Schwartz: The Eternal Footman
January 24, 2010
Henry Schwartz, who was born in Winthrop, Massachusetts in 1927, is arguably the most important of the second generation of Boston Expressionist painters, those who succeeded and studied with the great post-World War II figures Hyman Bloom, Jack Levine, and Karl Zerbe. Those figures had the greatest influence on Schwartz during his years of study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 1948 to 1953 before attending Yale University Summer School in 1953, and Akademie fur Bilende Kunst, Salzburg in 1954. Schwartz produced a large and philosophically ambitious body of work of great painterly invention and dash. His two primary forms have been, first, narrative history paintings and portraits in which figures from cultural and political history are arrayed and examined; and second, autobiographical works examining his own, personal world. At times, these strains have merged. Schwartz's exhibitions career is marked by his 1991 retrospective at the Fuller Museum of Art, in Brockton, Massachusetts, which brought together four decades worth of paintings. His work can be found in the collections of the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and the Boston Public Library, among others. The artist lived and worked in Newton, MA until his death in 2009, at the age of 81.