A major Manhattan gallery noted for shaping tastes and the market for American art for 165 years has announced that it is closing permanently.
The sudden shuttering of Knoedler & Co., on the Upper East Side, leaves behind an American art institution and a valuable repository in the form of an archive of letters, photographs, sale records, stock books and catalogs dating back to 1863.
On the gallery's website since Wednesday, a statement reads: "It is with profound regret that the owners of Knoedler Gallery announce its closing, effective today. This was a business decision made after careful consideration over the course of an extended period of time. Gallery staff will assist with an orderly winding down of Knoedler Gallery.”
Founded by Michael Knoedler in 1846, the gallery is known for championing seminal American artists, such as Frederic E. Church, Winslow Homer, George Bellows, John Singer Sargent, Jackson Pollock, Milton Avery, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, and many others.
In recent years, changes came with the recession, the sale of the gallery's landmark townhouse location for $31 million, and an ongoing civil lawsuit involving allegedly fake Robert Motherwell works.
Commented Lucy Mitchell-Innes, president of the Art Dealers Association of America, to the New York Times: “My reaction is one of tremendous sadness. This is a very venerable institution that provided great art to a number of the great collections and great institutions in this country.”