Reuben Nakian
Abstraction,  1979
terra cotta plaque
13-1/4 x 16 x 7-1/2 inches

About the Gallery

In 1954, Virginia Marshall Zabriskie paid one dollar to assume the lease of a small gallery space on the second floor of 835 Madison Avenue established by Marvin Korman, a fellow graduate student at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Aided by a $1,000 inheritance from her grandmother, she began Zabriskie Gallery showing several young artists, including Pat Adams, Clinton Hill, and Lester Johnson. During her first year, the business grossed $6,000. For several years beginning in 1957, she gallery-partnered with Robert Schoelkopf, who subsequently established his own gallery. In 1966, the gallery relocated to 699 Madison Ave., and after five years to 29 West 57th Street. By the early eighties, Zabriskie Gallery expanded into three spaces, two in New York, and one in Paris. The space at 724 Fifth Avenue specialized in painting, while sculpture highlighted the 521 West 57th Street location. In addition to contemporary and modernist American painters, Zabriskie exhibited the sculptural works of Mary Frank, Saul Baizerman, George Rickey, Kenneth Snelson, Theodore Roszak, and Richard Stankiewicz.

In 1977, Galerie Zabriskie opened in Paris at 29 rue Aubry le Boucher and became the first gallery of its kind to conjoin an exhibition space for photographic works with a bookstore devoted entirely to selling photo-related literature. Mrs. Zabriskie not only showed individual American and French photographers, but also originated numerous landmark group exhibitions. She exhibited 19th century artists such as Felice Beato, Edouard Baldus, Eadweard Muybridge, and held the first public exhibition of Eugene Atget's photographs of Paris. Through this trans-Atlantic exchange, Zabriskie also introduced many modern and contemporary European photographers to America, and vice-versa, among those are; Harry Callahan, Alfred Stieglitz, Weegee, Paul Strand, Lee Friedlander, Walker Evans, Brassai, Man Ray, Charles Sheeler, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Claude Cahun, Aaron Siskind, Richard Pousette-Dart, Constantin Brancusi, Robert Frank, Nicholas Nixon, Patrick Tosani, Jorge Ribalta, Ben Vautier, and Joan Fontcuberta. Via Zabriskie Editions, the gallery published over twenty photographic posters of work by Ansel Adams, Atget, Callahan, Strand, and others.

The Paris space closed in 1998 with Au Revoir Paris, a group show highlighting all the American photographers whose first European exposure came at Galerie Zabriskie. Today, Zabriskie Gallery occupies a single exhibition space in the Fuller Building in New York City. The gallery currently represents the estates of Abraham Walkowitz, Eugenie Baizerman, William Zorach, Shirley Goldfarb, and Richard Stankiewicz. For her cultural contributions, Virginia Zabriskie received the Médaille de la Ville de Paris in 1999, presented to her at the Hotel de Ville in Paris. Zabriskie continues to curate prominent group and solo exhibitions of modern and contemporary work in all media, with an emphasis on American Modernism, Surrealism and Dada, and French and American photography. The International Association of Art Critics (AICA) recognized Zabriskie Gallery with a Second Place award for "Best Show at an Art Gallery" in 1998 for The Hansa Gallery, and a Third Place award in the same category in 1995 for the exhibit Man Ray: Conspiratorial Laughter.