BIOGRAPHY OF ANNA WALINSKA
1906 Born London, England. Daughter of labor leader Ossip Walinsky and sculptor-poet-activist Rosa Newman Walinska.
1914 Family moves to New York, where their home becomes a magnet for the Russian intelligentsia. Four years later, Walinska begins study at the Art Students League.
1926–1930 Lives on and off in Paris. Studies with André L’Hôte. Indelibly influenced by the work of emerging artists Matisse
and Picasso.
1935 Founds Guild Art Gallery on West 57th Street in New York City “to show artists of genuine merit, whether known or unknown, totally independent of commercial consideration.” Gives Arshile Gorky his first one-man show in New York. Scrapbooks of the Guild Art Gallery, along with sketchbooks and journals, eventually become part of the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian.
1937 Represented in American Artists’ Congress first annual membership exhibition. Subsequent group shows include: Artists for Victory, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1942; Paintings of the Year, 1946, National Academy of Design; Recent Drawings USA, MOMA, 1956; Baltimore Museum of Art, 1957.
1939 Serves as Assistant Creative Director of the Contemporary Art Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair.
1955 Journeys around the world. Lives four months in Burma. Attends cabinet meetings, as Prime Minister U Nu is pressed for time to sit for his portrait. U Thant, future Secretary General of the United Nations, writes letter of introduction to Nehru. Walinska becomes a renowned portrait artist, with subjects including Eleanor Roosevelt, Louise Nevelson, and Gorky.
1957 Walinska’s first retrospective opens at the Jewish Museum in New York City. She begins teaching at the Riverside Museum, where she is an artist in residence, and exhibits there through 1971, when the Riverside collection is moved to the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University.
1960 The Monede Gallery on Madison Avenue hosts The Collage & The Figure, a one-woman show including many works done with Shan paper Walinska brought home from Burma.
1979 Holocaust: Paintings & Drawings, 1953–1978 opens at the Museum of Religious Art at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, and subsequently tours the country. Works on this theme eventually become part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Religious Art, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Yad Vashem in Israel. Over the next decade, Walinska's work also becomes part of important collections in the U.S. and abroad including the National Museum of American Art and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
1997 Dies peacefully on December 19. Remembered by family and friends for her unforgettable stories, generosity in nurturing others, and spectacular hats. Her life was like the collages she worked on for the better part of her 91 years—a patchwork of the everyday and the unique, pulled together into something larger with a deeper meaning.

Posthumously: In 1999, Walinska's one-woman retrospective, Echoes of the Holocaust:Paintings, Drawings, & Collage, 1940-1989, opens Clark University's Center for Holocaust Studies, which hangs four works from this group on permanent display. In 2000, the exhibit travels to the Ghetto Museum
at the Terezin Memorial in the Czech Republic, the first time Walinska's work is shown in Eastern Europe. Three one-woman gallery shows, including two in New York, achieve critical praise. Walinska's works join the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the Johnson Museum at Cornell, the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis, the Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers, and the Magnes Museum in Berkeley.

 
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