Thursday, December 29, 2011

Memories of bohemian New York - I

Willard Bond and Jean Steubing Maggrett share memories of bohemian New York • photo © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
Last week, I spent a wonderful afternoon with Jean Steubing Maggrett, whom I've known for something over nine years, and Willard Bond, the father of my friend Gretchen. They met for the first time last week,  but both of them lived and painted in the heady creative days of Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side in the 1940s, 50s, and early 60s, and Gretchen and I got to listen to them share their memories.

From Jean's memories of Hans Hofmann, the Art Club, and the Abstract Expressionists, to Willard's memories of his studio in an old synagogue in the Lower East Side and playing drums with jazz musicians, to what they've done in the interim, it was a warm and lively conversation. 


  1. Loved reading the whole story!!! Thanks for sharing. Wonder what the rabbi thought of his art in the synagogue? LOL

  2. I'm glad you like it! There's more to the story than I wrote.... There were apparently quite a few old synagogues in the Lower East Side that were no longer in use as synagogues at that time. This one was actually owned by... hmmm... how shall I put this?... some underworld characters. At a certain point, they happened to drop by and visit, and decided they'd rather use it as their... umm... social club. So they moved into the synagogue, and he wound up moving into their old social club. I'd hate to think what the rabbi(s) would have thought of that!