Laurel Gallery    
  The earliest in this suite of biographical documents is headed "Frances Pratt: Biographical Note" and is typed on the letterhead of Laurel Gallery, in New York City, on East 57th Street just off Park Avenue. Although the typescript is undated, it can reasonably be placed in the brief period of Laurel's operations, 1946 to 1950; it is most probable that this was prepared for Pratt's one-person exhibition at the gallery in 1946.

The typescript was also altered at least as late as 1949 with handwritten amendments reflecting her participation in the Corcoran Gallery of Art Biennial in 1949 and group exhibitions sponsored by the Audubon Society (1948-1952). It is not known whether these additions were simply Pratt's notes to herself or if they were updating her participation in later group exhibitions at Laurel. The former may be more likely, as the document was not updated to reflect those other Laurel appearances. It is interesting to note that the updates do not include the publication of Encaustic Materials and Methods.

Although the history of the Laurel Gallery was relatively short, it nonetheless played a not altogether unimportant role in mid-century American modernism. It was founded in 1946 by Pratt's then-husband, Chris Ritter, also a painter. Among the first artists seen at the new gallery were Pratt and, in her first solo exhibition, Grace Borgenicht, who quickly became a Ritter's partner in gallery operations, and not merely an exhibiting artist.


 

 
     

Click here to return to main page

Click here for next page