Archive for July, 2009

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit – Fall 1960

July 24, 2009
Fall 1960 WSOAE Catalog; Ripp Still Life on Top

Fall 1960 WSOAE Catalog; Ripp Still Life on Top

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Memories of Past WSOAE Shows

July 23, 2009
Toni Ripp Still Life, 1960
Toni Ripp Still Life, Fall 1960 WSOAE Catalog

As we approach 2010, the 80th Anniversary Year of the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, Inc., we are mindful of the many wonderful stories and anecdotes attached to our history. As many of these as are drawn to our attention will be posted on this Blog.

One letter that came in not too long ago was from Babette J. Kiesel. It related to the Fall 1960 Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit catalog. She wrote:

I’m looking for old archives for WSOAE. Do you have any? [Answer: “yes,” ed.]

In 1960 I won the NYU Art Scholarship at Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit. A large monochromatic still life painting I used as my entry piece was reprinted in the Fall catalog along with other winners from the Spring Exhibit.

I remember walking past the venerable Nell Boardman whose sole discretion it was to admit or exclude artists from the show. She placed me directly outside the door of the dean of NYU who was immediately accosted by my enthusiastic work (done as a student at Cooper Union) and evidently appreciated Ms. Boardman’s eye. It was a distinct honor and I have significant memories of my time under a leading New York painter to whom I was assigned in the NYU Mews studio.

I always cherished that catalog with the photograph of my work and had it in my scrapbook for many years. It disappeared when a Westchester reporter borrowed some things to write up an article on me.

My name in the catalog was Toni Ripp (my nickname and maiden name) which may be why she (the reporter) was confused, not equating that name with Babette Kiesel (my given name and married name). I would love to have a photocopy of that catalog if one exists. [We sent the image shown, ed.]

I have fond memories of my time on the corner of University Place opposite the park where I was given such a wonderful opportunity. A talent scout for Merv Griffin’s TV show “Play Your Hunch” even snagged me for two appearances on his show.  So I thank you. (And yes, I did make at least one sale which helped a lot in those days.)

Best to you in the upcoming show! What a tradition…it meant so much to me for years before I entered.

Sincerely yours, Babette J. Kiesel (aka Toni Ripp)

Late Registration for Fall WSOAE Show

July 14, 2009

Although the official deadline for registering for the Fall WSOAE show has passed,  the organization will continue to consider late applications through July and early August. The sooner applications come in the better. Those seeking to exhibit with WSOAE for the first time have to go through the jury process.  The registration form is available here.