Discovering Rose Fried’s Nephew

By Alice Neel

September 10, 2021 – January 23, 2022

On the heels of Alice Neel’s major retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Neel’s painting Rose Fried’s Nephew (1963) merits a close look. With its elusive title, the painting seems to ask, “Who was Rose Fried and who was her nephew?” Rose Fried was a pioneering female gallery owner in New York beginning in the 1940s who showed Neel’s work in 1944. The identity of her nephew— the sitter—was a more challenging puzzle. In the end, with the knowledge of his name, a complex story emerges about the interconnectedness of the contemporary art scene in New York.

Alice Neel, Rose Fried’s Nephew, 1963. Oil on canvas. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund. Dedicated to Susan A. Rottner in gratitude for her devoted service as President of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art Board of Trustees (2008–11)

Sustaining support for the Wadsworth Atheneum provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts.