The New School Archives Digital Collections

New School Art Center audio recordings of public programs ➔ The Collector's Role in Art and Society

Digital Audio

Related people/organizations

Paul Mocsanyi (moderator)
New School Art Center (New York, N.Y.) (producer)


February 1967


Paul Mocsanyi, director of New School Art Center and originator of this series of seven lectures, describes scope of series and discusses the event's topic, the "Collector's Role in Art and Society." Mocsanyi expresses gratitude for attendees, then reminisces about his first lecture at The New School. This is described as being the first in the Collectors and Collecting Series. He describes “vanguard artists” and “vanguard galleries,” and the difficulty in selling avant-garde work and the subsequent use of barter by East Village and abstract expressionist artists. Mocsanyi presents an overview of forthcoming lecture hosts and subjects, including: Samuel M. Koontz, James Johnson Sweeney, Peregrine Pollen, Dr. Richard Rush, Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, and Dr. Warner Muensterberger. Mocsanyi examines the ways in which various kinds of collectors can impact the art market and society, including: museums, galleries, and individual collectors themselves. He also discusses the popular view that art is for the elite, that “there is no Beethoven for the millions,” and the shift to a more accessible movement within art. Mocsanyi details his involvement with and support of abstract expressionist artists, and emphasizes a populist view of art that emphasizes accessibility to all. In support of this position, Mocsanyi examines statistics of museum attendance and original art collection in American homes. He also discusses different strategies for collecting art, as well as artists’ logic in creating “difficult” or “boring” art. Mocsanyi offers an overview of works he has seen for sale in various galleries and bookstores. Mocsanyi also discusses his upbringing and childhood in Hungary. During the question and answer portion of this lecture, Mocsanyi relates anecdotes about Picasso, Cezanne, and Van Gogh.





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