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Art Environments

Collection Series

Stella Waitzkin, NY

 

Stella Waitzkin

untitled

(1920–2003)
n.d. resin and wood
John Michael Kohler Arts Center Collection, gift of Kohler Foundation Inc.

Stella Waitzkin

The Wreck of the UPS (site detail, Hotel Chelsea, New York, N.Y.)

c. 1993–2003
© Waitzkin Memorial Library Trust. photo: 2006, John Michael Kohler Arts Center Artist Archives.
 

Stella Waitzkin was an artist whose saga includes a privileged New York upbringing, a suburban marriage and family life, and years of mingling with American Abstract Expressionist painters, Beat writers, and jazz musicians, primarily while living in Manhattan’s eccentric Chelsea Hotel. As a girl, Waitzkin imagined that she might become a writer of books, yet in the end, she was best known as a sculptor of books. Waitzkin eventually defined and created her own world—a unique apartment environment brimming with replicated contents, most of them wordless books cast from colored resin. With the help of the Waitzkin family and the trust the artist established before her death, the Arts Center is now home to an elaborate three-wall section of the artist’s former environment. This conserved collection also makes its debut in SUBLIME SPACES & VISIONARY WORLDS: Built Environment of Vernacular Artists.