Daisy Aldan (1923-2001) was born in New York City, received a B.A. degree from Hunter College and an M.A. degree from Brooklyn College in 1948, and did further graduate study at New York University. She was primarily known as a poet, editor, and translator.

Daisy Aldan photo

John Ashbery (b. 1927) was born in Rochester, New York, and was educated at Harvard and Columbia. He has published more than twenty collections of poetry, written extensively on art, and received numerous prizes and awards. He left New York City for France in 1955 on a Fulbright grant and lived in Europe until the mid-1960s, when he returned to the United States.

John Ashbery photo 1John Ashbery photo 2

Helen Frankenthaler (b. 1928) was born in New York City. She was educated at Bennington College and studied with Hans Hoffmann. Like Jackson Pollock, she worked on raw canvas that was then stained with color ("stained painting" or the "color-field style").

Grace Hartigan with Helen Frankenthaler photo 1Grace Hartigan with Helen Frankenthaler photo 2
Grace Hartigan with Helen Frankenthaler (standing)

Barbara Guest (1920-2006) was born in North Carolina and educated at the University of California at Berkeley. She published many volumes of poetry and was a critic and biographer. She was awarded the Frost Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 1999 by the Poetry Society of America.

Grace Hartigan (b. 1922) was born in Newark, New Jersey, and moved to New York City in 1947. She spent most of 1949 painting in Mexico and returned to New York in 1950. At her third show at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, she sold The Persian Jacket to the Museum of Modern Art, and her career was firmly established. She moved to Baltimore in 1960, and has directed the graduate program in painting at the Hoffberger School of the Maryland Institute College of Art since 1965. Her most recent show was in April 2006 at the C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore.

Grace Hartigan photo 1Grace Hartigan photo 2Grace Hartigan photo 3
Grace Hartigan photo 4

Kenneth Koch (1925-2002) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended Harvard at the same time that Frank O'Hara and John Ashbery did. He completed a doctorate at Columbia, where he taught for many years. He began publishing poetry in the early 1950s and won many prizes, including Guggenheim and Fulbright awards.

Kenneth Koch photo

Willem de Kooning (1904-97) was educated in Rotterdam (his birthplace), came to the United States in 1927, and settled in New York City the next year. In the late 1930s and 1940s, his abstract paintings helped define the New York School and the Abstract Expressionist movement in American art.

Willem de Kooning artwork

Happy Birthday Grace artwork
Happy Birthday Grace

John Bernard Myers (1919 or 1920-87) was born in Buffalo, New York, and moved to New York City in 1944 to become managing editor of View magazine. After View ceased publication, Myers opened the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1950 in partnership with Tibor de Nagy, with Myers serving as gallery director. The gallery was home to many artists of the New York School, and published books of poetry and prints, as well as literary magazines. Myers wrote many articles of criticism as well as a book on the New York School poets. He and de Nagy dissolved their partnership in 1970.

John Bernard Myers photo 1John Bernard Myers photo 2

Alfred Leslie (b. 1927) was born in Bronx, New York, and studied at New York University. He was included in art critic Clement Greenburg's New Talent exhibition at the Kootz Gallery in 1949. His early work was abstract, but after 1960 he turned to a more narrative form. He has also made several films and published a literary magazine, The Hasty Papers.

Joan Mitchell (1926-92) was born in Chicago and attended Smith College and the Art Institute of Chicago. She moved to New York City in 1947 and was included in the "Second Generation" of Abstract Expressionists, along with Grace Hartigan, Larry Rivers, and others. She moved permanently to France in 1959.

Tibor de Nagy (1909-94) was born in Debrecen, Hungary, and educated in England, Germany, and Switzerland. He was a banker in Hungary before immigrating to America at the end of World War II. He opened the Tibor de Nagy Gallery with John Bernard Myers in 1950, with de Nagy serving as business manager. "Tibor's" showed the work of many of the New York School artists in the 1950s, as well as publishing poetry, prints, and plays.

Frank O'Hara (1926-66) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in Grafton, Massachusetts. He served in the navy during World War II and earned degrees from Harvard and the University of Michigan. He moved to New York City in 1951. His work at the Museum of Modern Art, as well as his poetry and art criticism, made him central to the New York School. He died after being struck by a motor vehicle in 1966.

Frank O'Hara photo 1Frank O'Hara photo 2

Frank O'Hara photo 3Frank O'Hara photo 4

Grace Hartigan with Frank O'Hara photo
Grace Hartigan with Frank O'Hara

Larry Rivers (1925-2002) was born Yitzoch Loiza Grossberg in Bronx, New York, and changed his name in 1940 when he began work as a jazz saxophonist. After service in World War II, he studied at the Julliard School and New York University, earning a B.A. degree in art education in 1951. His first one-man show was in 1949, and he exhibited annually at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery from 1951 to 1962. He worked in video, film, and sculpture, as well as in painting and lithography.

Larry Rivers photo

Larry Rivers with Grace Hartigan and John Myers photo 1Larry Rivers with Grace Hartigan and John Myers photo 2Larry Rivers with Grace Hartigan and John Myers photo 3
Larry Rivers with Grace Hartigan and John Myers (right image)

Barnet Lee Rosset (b. 1922) was the publisher of Grove Press from 1951 to 1985. Grove published many of the New York School poets, as well as Henry Miller, Samuel Becket, the French avant-garde, and the American "Beat" writers.

James Schuyler (1923-91) was born in Chicago and served in the navy in World War II. After the war, he lived in Italy and was W. H. Auden's secretary. Moving to New York City, he roomed with John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara for a time. He worked at the Museum of Modern Art, and as an art critic and editor. He published many volumes of poetry for which he received numerous prizes, but he also wrote novels and plays.

Floriano Vecchi (1921-2005) was born near Bologna, Italy, and came to New York City in 1952. He and Richard Miller opened the Tiber Press in 1953, with Miller as the business manager and Vecchi in charge of design and printing. Vecchi was a pioneer in silkscreening, and taught the technique to many artists, including Grace Hartigan and Andy Warhol.