Al Held

Al Held (1928-2005) was born in Brooklyn, and grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and the East Bronx. When he was sixteen, Held joined the Navy to “get away from home.” After two years he returned to New York where he was introduced to the Art Students League. Al Held was interested, and, after auditing a class there, he became sufficiently intrigued to attend a few classes in drawing and painting. He used the GI Bill to enroll as a full-time student. In 1949, he arranged to go to Paris where he spent the next three years studying at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. He returned to New York in 1953. Al Held’s first solo show took place at a New York gallery in 1959. By the late 1960s, he was exhibiting almost every year at numerous galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe. In 1962 he was appointed to the faculty of the Yale School of Art (where he taught until 1980), and four years later he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. His paintings are on view in museums throughout the world including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Kunsthaus in Zürich, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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