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Jackson Pollack 1912-1956, A New Yorker at Heart (until Long Island).


Like many creative people, New York became Jackson Pollack's adopted home. He was born in Cody, Wyoming, dropped out of high school in California and came to New York and studied at the Art Student's League on West 57th Street. I wonder what he would think if he were alive today to see the world's tallest residential building cantilevered over the Art Student's League next door?

In 1935 Pollock settled into a Greenwich Village apartment at 46 East 8th Street with his Brother Sande, with whom he would live until 1942 when his love, later to become his spouse Lee Krasner moved in. This floor-through studio, located between Greene and Mercer Streets, was only $35/month. Unfortunately, the building Pollock lived in has since been demolished and replaced.

In 1931, Jackson Pollock, in need of money for food and rent, decided to set up his artwork on the sidewalk near Washington Square Park (this would become known as the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit). Willem de Kooning soon joined him. This public display attracted the attention of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Alfred H. Barr Jr, Director at MoMa. 82 years later and this outdoor art exhibit is still going strong. (Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation).

The Cedar Tavern on University Place in Greenwich Village was a favorite hangout for Pollack and other like-minded artists including de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, and Franz Kline.

In 1945 Pollack and Krasner moved out of the city to the Springs area of East Hampton on the south shore of Long Island. With the help of a down-payment loan from Peggy Guggenheim, they bought a wood-frame house and barn at 830 Springs Fireplace Road. Pollock converted the barn into a studio. In that space, he perfected his big "drip" technique of working with paint, with which he would become permanently identified. When the couple found themselves free from work they enjoyed spending their time together cooking and baking, working on the house and garden, and entertaining friends (wikipedia).


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