Schaffner, Ingrid 1961(?)-
SCHAFFNER, Ingrid 1961(?)-
Home—20 Clinton St., No. 6E, New York, NY 10002.
Curator and author. Independent curator based in New York NY; University of Pennsylvania Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, adjunct curator, 2001—.
Whitney Museum Helena Rubinstein curatorial fellow.
(Editor, with Matthias Winzen) Deep Storage: Collecting, Storing, and Archiving in Art, Prestel (New York, NY), 1998.
(Editor, with Lisa Jacobs) Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1998.
The Essential Henri Matisse, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 1998.
The Essential Vincent Van Gogh, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 1998.
The Essential Andy Warhol, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 1999.
The Essential Pablo Picasso, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 1999.
Salvador Dalí's Dream of Venus: The Surrealist Funhouse from the 1939 World's Fair, photographs by Eric Schaal, Princeton Architectural Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Hannelore Baron: Works from 1969 to 1987, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (Washington, DC), 2001.
The Essential Joseph Cornell, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor of essays to exhibition catalogues.
Ingrid Schaffner prepared for her career as a curator by participating in the Whitney Museum of American Art's independent study program. Her writings have explored the work of curators, detailed the history of an art gallery, described an example of surrealist architecture, and provided introductions to several important artists.
As coeditor of Deep Storage: Collecting, Storing, and Archiving in Art, Schaffner reflects on the commonalities between the work of curators and the work of artists: while the museum makes choices about what to collect and retain, each individual piece of artwork itself involves choices by the artist from among collected materials and experiences.
While the importance of curators in art history has been acknowledged and documented, the contributions of art dealers largely has not, according to Francis M. Naumann in an Artforum International review of Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery. Naumann pointed out that the book, coedited by Schaffner, works to redress this omission in art history scholarship. Schaffner's own essay, included in the collection, "provides the most complete account yet of Levy's activities during the years in which his gallery was open," according to Naumann. Levy began his career selling photographs in a Madison Avenue storefront gallery he opened in 1931. Several months later he held New York's first exhibition dedicated to surrealism, and over the next seventeen years he showed the work of, among others, Jean Cocteau, Joseph Cornell, Salvador Dalí, Paul Delvaux, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, and Yves Tanguy. Julien Levy was intended to serve as a catalogue to the art exhibition of the same title organized by Schaffner and co-curator Lisa Jacobs at New York City's Equitable Gallery; the book, like the exhibit, loosely follows the thematic organization Levy employed in his own writings on surrealism.
Schaffner returns to the topic of surrealism in her next work, Salvador Dalí's Dream of Venus: The Surrealist Funhouse from the 1939 World's Fair. Here Schaffner centers her text on a series of photographs taken of the structure designed by Salvador Dalí and erected in New York for the 1939 World's Fair. The "funhouse"—long since torn down—featured a two-story reproduction of Botticelli's painting "Birth of Venus" and various sculptures of female torsos and legs protruding from the building's pink-and-white exterior. Inside were the "living liquid ladies," topless women wearing mermaid costumes and swimming in tanks. This display created much controversy, some of it captured by Schaffner in quotes taken from newspaper articles of the time. Eugene Burt, in a review of Salvador Dalí's Dream of Venus for Library Journal, noted that Schaffner's is "the only book to document this little-known creation."
In addition to her work on overlooked areas in art, Schaffner has produced a number of guides to the artworld's best-known figures. Her books on Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and others for the "Essential …" series present readable, colorful texts on these major artists.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Artforum International, February, 1999, Francis M. Naumann, review of Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery, pp. 19-21.
Library Journal, February 15, 2003, Eugene C. Burt, review of Salvador Dalí's Dream of Venus: The Surrealist Funhouse from the 1939 World's Fair, p. 135.
School Arts, December, 1999, Ken Marantz, review of "Essential …" series, p. 48.