June 5, 2014
Barnett Newman with Robert Murray, Model for a Synagogue, 1963. Harald Szeemann wanted to include the painter’s design in his 1983 Gesamtkunstwerk exhibition, and would have, had Annalee Newman not denied him the loan. (“tel 3-2-82 Mrs. Newman leiht endgultig nicht” reads his note.)
It’s hard to know exactly why this might have been, but there’s an interesting hint in her New York Times obituary: according to Thomas Hess, Annalee and Barnett’s first conversation (in 1934) was “a heated argument” about Wagner; she (an avid fan of opera) defended the composer while Barnett found him deplorable. Wagner held a place of honor in Szeemann’s exhibition; Annalee would have known well, and respected, her husband’s aversion.

Barnett Newman with Robert Murray, Model for a Synagogue, 1963. Harald Szeemann wanted to include the painter’s design in his 1983 Gesamtkunstwerk exhibition, and would have, had Annalee Newman not denied him the loan. (“tel 3-2-82 Mrs. Newman leiht endgultig nicht” reads his note.)

It’s hard to know exactly why this might have been, but there’s an interesting hint in her New York Times obituary: according to Thomas Hess, Annalee and Barnett’s first conversation (in 1934) was “a heated argument” about Wagner; she (an avid fan of opera) defended the composer while Barnett found him deplorable. Wagner held a place of honor in Szeemann’s exhibition; Annalee would have known well, and respected, her husband’s aversion.

(Source: cca.qc.ca)

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