Gallery Announcement

Photo of two men in front of a painting
Photo of two men in front of a painting

This object is an invitation to an art exhibition at the Leo Castelli gallery in Soho. It shows two people. On the right is the artist Roy Lichtenstein and on the left is his dealer (my grandfather), Leo Castelli, in front of one of Lichtenstein’s paintings. My grandfather (Leo) was born in Trieste, Italy. In 1941 he left Europe to escape the Nazis, and he came to The United States of America. He came through Ellis Island and settled on the Upper East Side, where he eventually opened his first art gallery. Even though Leo was originally from Europe, he became known as someone who promoted and discovered a lot of upcoming American artists who are today considered American masters, including Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and many others. Unlike many galleries at the time, my grandfather gave artists a monthly stipend even if they did not sell any work. Because of this practice, a lot of the artists stayed loyal to him even though other galleries would try to lure them away. This artifact is important because it celebrates the long relationship between Leo and the pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. It is important to me because it shows my grandfather in his gallery, which was a New York institution. 

Place(s): New York City
Year: 1941

– PC

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant