Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
... one balmy spring day in 1931, in the midst of the Depression Era. Jackson Pollock, desperately in need of funds to pay the rent on his Greenwich Village studio that also served as his home, took a few of his iconoclastic paintings down several flights of stairs and set them up on the sidewalk near Washington Square Park. His friend and fellow Village artist, Willem DeKooning, in equally desperate financial straits, soon joined him.
It is not known how many works of art, whose values would soon skyrocket, they sold that day. However, their enterprise was noted by some public-spirited citizens, including such luminaries of the art world as Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, founder of the Whitney Museum of Art, and Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Director of the Museum of Modern Art.
They organized the art show that would evolve into the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, a twice-a-year happening, every Memorial Day Weekend and the weekend that follows, and every Labor Day Weekend and the weekend that follows.
Cash prizes, donated by individuals, organizations and corporations, are awarded in various categories based on selection by artist-judges.
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