Lloyd Goodrich


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Museum director, curator, and art writer. His discerning support for American art of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries was exceptional in a period when European art was more highly regarded. Born in Nutley, New Jersey, at fifteen he paid several visits to the 1913 Armory Show. The next year he began three years of study at the Art Students League, where he worked with Kenneth Hayes Miller. After subsequently continuing his training for a year at the National Academy of Design, in 1918 he gave up painting and entered business. However, in 1924 he began writing for The Arts and the following year took a full-time editorial job there. Late in 1929, he accepted a staff position at the nascent Whitney Museum of American Art, where he remained for the rest of his career, rising through curatorial and administrative positions to become director in 1958. After stepping down from that post in 1968, he continued to serve in an advisory capacity until 1971 when he retired. The most visible achievement of his tenure as director was construction of the Whitney Museum's present Madison Avenue building, which opened in 1966. Intellectually, he was instrumental in establishing American art as a field of scholarly inquiry, while also identifying a solid usable heritage of achievement for artists of his day. Goodrich's Thomas Eakins: His Life and Work (1933; revised and expanded, 1982) ranks as the first significant study of this preeminent American artist. Other major works among his numerous publications (many served also as exhibition catalogues) include Pioneers of Modern Art (1963) and monographs on Winslow Homer (1944), Ralph Blakelock (1947), Max Weber (1949), John Sloan (1952), Albert P. Ryder (1959), Edwin Dickinson (1966), Georgia O'Keeffe (1970), and Edward Hopper (1971). As an advocate for artists, he served the art community in many capacities, including an important post for a federal art project in the 1930s. He also contributed to the founding of the National Endowment for the Arts. He died at his New York residence.

Subjects: Art.

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