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Rabin and Krueger Gallery Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MG 3
The Rabin and Krueger Collection is comprised of the contents of the files from the two galleries operated by Bernard Rabin and Nathan Krueger. These contents include correspondence,photographs and negatives, both of artists, their works, and their installations, gallery notices, gallery brochures, clippings, artist book project materials, and holiday cards. The gallery represented contemporary artists, and most of them were painters. The artists were from both the United States, mostly New Jersey, and Europe, mostly Italy, and included Bernard Gussow, Henry Gasser, Raphael Soyer, and Joseph Stella.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1935 - 1961
  • 1903 - 2003

Creator

Physical Description

Brochures, clippings, drawings, letters, negatives, photographs, watercolors.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection. Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied or photographed without permission from library staff.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

Extent

6.17 Linear Feet (2 file drawers & 1 oversize flat box))

Overview

Collection of papers, photographs, etc. pertaining to artists represented by the Cooperative Gallery and later the Rabin and Krueger Gallery in Newark, New Jersey.

Biographical / Historical

Nathan Krueger – born 1916; died October 29, 1961, Newark, NJ.

Krueger was known for his assistance to and encouragement of young artists, but also as a strong promoter and supporter of the Newark Museum. In 1938 he was instrumental in their acquisition of Joseph Stella's five panel New York Interpreted (1922), which the Museum owns to this day. Krueger was a patron of Rafael Soyer, about whom Krueger edited and published a book called: Raphael Soyer Paintings and Drawings. In addition to his work with Bernard Rabin, Krueger was a leader in establishing the American Arts Congress in New Jersey, as well as sponsoring several art groups in New York.

Bernard Rabin – born November 1, 1916, Bronx, NY; died March 24, 2003, Boynton Beach, FL.

Mr. Rabin studied at Newark State Teachers College (now, Kean University) but was expelled for exhibiting a nude painting. He was later awarded an honorary degree by the university. In addition to his work with Nathan Krueger and their gallery he was renowned for his work in art restoration.

He studied with Brooklyn Museum conservators Sheldon and Caroline Keck. He was credited with developing a method for removing a painting from its original canvas and transferring it intact to a new support.

Mr. Rabin led the American team of restoration experts at the Uffizi Galleries in Florence after the floods of November 1966. He also was credited with saving a waterlogged collection of early musical instruments at Florence's Bardini museum.

He refurbished the Brumidi fresco inside the Capital dome in Washington, D.C. and restored the ceiling at the U.S. Library of Congress. He restored a portrait of Andrew Jackson in the White House. He worked on many works at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, including Monet's Water Lillies.

He was a Fellow of the American Institute of Conservation and the International Institute of Conservation. He taught conservation and restoration at Princeton, where he was conservator of the university's art collection.

Together they established the Rabin and Krueger American Drawing Fund at the Newark Museum.

Historical Note

Bernard Rabin and Nathan Krueger met in 1927 at an art class at Fawcett School (later the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts). They began what would be a 26 year partnership as Newark art dealers on November 1, 1935. They established their first gallery, The Cooperative Gallery, May 1, 1936, at 120 Washington Street, to reflect the "American scene as local artists portrayed it." The gallery also offered framing and restoration services.

Their first show included works by John R. Grabach, Bernard Gussow, Raphel Soyer, Diego Rivera, Joseph Stella, and Bertram Hartman. In 1937 they showed the works of six photographers, including Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White and Irving Rusinow. In 1937 they also sponsored, with the American Artists Congress, the "First Annual New Jersey Competitive Exhibition."

In 1939 they changed the name to the Rabin and Krueger Gallery and relocated to 95 Halsey Street. The gallery moved for the last time in 1946 to 47 Halsey Street, Newark, where they continued exhibitions and the framing and restoration business. In 1947 they hired James Nutile, a young artist who started as a part-time framer. He moved to full-time and helped Krueger design special frame moldings.

After their 20th anniversary in 1956 Rabin began to focus on art conservation. This interest took him on a work–study program at the Uffizi Galleries. Krueger began work on a monograph on Raphael Soyer entitled Raphael Soyer Paintings and Drawings that was published in 1961.

On October 29, 1961 Nathan Krueger died. Rabin was deeply involved in his conservation but decided to keep the gallery open and offered gallery partnership to James Nutile who accepted. After the riots in the summer of 1967 Newark fell on severely hard times, with business and home-owners fleeing the city. Nutile considered moving the gallery but decided, instead, with Rabin, to close its doors in 1974.

Bernard Rabin continued with his conservation and restoration work until his death March 24, 2003.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Bernard Rabin, ca. 1974.

Related Materials

Bernard Rabin's papers concerning his conservation work, beginning ca. 1957, are held by The Winterthur Library.

"Bernard Rabin, 86, Restorer of Artwork in U.S. and Italy," New York Times,, March 30, 2003.
  • "Bernard Rabin of Cranbury, well-known art restorer, 86," Star-Ledger [Newark, N.J.] , April 10, 2003.
  • De Salvo, Donna M. and Rizzo, Nicholas F., Jr. Rabin & Krueger Gallery 1935-1974: Reconstructed. Union, NJ: Kean College of New Jersey, 1981.
  • "Krueger Death Cost N.J. Art a Staunch Advocate," New Jersey Music and Arts, December, 1961.
  • "N. Krueger, Art Dealer," Newark Evening News, October 30,1961.
  • "Nathan Krueger, 45, Newark Art Dealer," New York Times, October 30, 1961.

Physical Description

Brochures, clippings, drawings, letters, negatives, photographs, watercolors.

Processing Information

Processed by Whit Waterbury, November 2010 – February 2011. With the exception of some material concerning a 1981 exhibit about Rabin and Krueger, materials dated after the gallery closing were presumed to be added by library staff and were removed to the artists' information files.
Author
Whit Waterbury
Date
2011

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, Newark Public Library Repository

Contact:
5 Washington Street
PO Box 630
Newark NJ 07102 USA
973-733-7745