Chaim Gross Foundation Celebrates Plaque Unveiling
By Lucas Mautner
Recently, the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation unveiled a plaque to mark the historic home of Chaim Gross. The plaque was donated by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, a group dedicated to preserving the Village’s cultural history, in tandem with the Two Boots Foundation. Among the speakers present were Mimi Gross, the daughter of Chaim and an artist in her own right, having exhibited her work in places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Jewish Museum, among others. She spoke about her father’s life, legacy, and the lasting influence his career has had. Dr. Susan Fisher, Director and Chief Curator of the Foundation, spoke as well, highlighting the important work the Foundation has performed over the decades. Afterwards guests enjoyed a reception held in the studio, where they were able to eat Two Boots pizza and view Gross’ artwork in an intimate setting.
Chaim Gross was born in 1904 in Galicia, a province under the administration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Eastern Europe. Gross fled post-war Europe in 1921 and, after arriving in the United States, studied painting and sculpture in New York. His first show was in New York in 1932. Soon after, his work spread to major museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney. Gross also worked with bronze sculpture, lithography, and Judaic subjects, among other things. Today, much of his work, including sketches and finished pieces, can be seen in his original studio.
After living in the Upper West Side for two decades, Gross purchased the four-story building near Washington Square Park in 1963 and moved his family and studio there. The family lived upstairs while Gross worked in his studio on the ground level. Today, the ground level houses a permanent exhibition of Gross’ sculpture from the 1920s to the 1980s. On the second floor is a temporary exhibition space, a library and archive, while the third floor contains a dining and living area, as well as an exhibition of Gross’ European, American, African, and Pre-Columbian art collections.
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1988 by Chaim and Renee Gross. The Foundation works to preserve Gross’ legacy, as well as organizes cultural activities, encouraging visitors to fully experience the studio’s extensive collections. The Foundation also sponsors interdisciplinary programs, special events and exhibitions, all organized around topics related to Gross and his contemporaries. #