Viewing page 19 of 51

9 IX 1963

Dear Jan:

Here is my statement for the catalogue:

Some years ago - it was in the spring of 1956, the last week of June precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and no particular interest in the wave of abstract expressionism that had inundated the middle part of Manhattan, I came to the tip end of the island where the hard edge of the city confronts the watery part.

There in that fringe of derelict warehouses that have stood since the Fire of 1835, facing the harbor between [[underline]] Whitehall [[/underline]] and [[underline]] Corlears Hook [[/underline]], I rented a top-floor loft on [[underline]] Coenties Slip [[/underline]]. Out of necessity it was a cheap accommodation and it was necessary to put in the windows myself before it was habitable, but there were six of them and they overlooked the East River, Brooklyn Heights, the abandoned piers [[underline]] 5 [[/underline]], 6, 7 and [[underline]] 8 [[/underline]], the sycamores (as Hoosier as a tree can be) and ginkgoes of the small park called Jeannette, and the far side of the Brookly Bridge, through whose antique cables the sun rises each morning, while at night the Titanic memorial light house of the nearby seamen's hostel illuminates the skylights of my studio whether the moon shines or not.

Coenties, of the dozen or so slips of Manhattan, is the oldest, largest and busiest of the lot, and the last to be filled in (circa 1880), all of which are relics of the wooden ship days of sail and mast. Its origin goes back directly to
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact