Judith E. Stein is an art historian, independent curator, and award-winning author of Eye of the Sixties, Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art. As a contemporary art curator with a doctorate in art history, Stein organized major traveling shows of post-war American art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, including a career survey of Red Grooms, and The Figurative Fifties: New York Figurative Expressionism. Stein’s award-winning exhibition, I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin, was shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Among her honors are a Pew Fellowship in literary non-fiction and a Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant.
Stein is a longtime contributor to Art in America and a former visual arts reviewer for NPR’s Fresh Air. For the last thirty years, her features and reviews have appeared in Art in America and Art News, as well as in The New York Times Book Review, Ms., and Metropolitan Home.Download Bio
Eye of the Sixties Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A man with a preternatural ability to find emerging artists, Richard Bellamy was one of the first advocates of pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art. Bellamy's life story is a fascinating window into the transformation of art in the late twentieth century. Based on decades of research and hundreds of interviews with artists, friends, dealers, and lovers, Judith Stein recovers the elusive Bellamy and tells the story of a counterculture that became the mainstream.
From the Studio to the Museum: The Life Stories of Five Famous Art Works of the Sixties: How does innovative art get to Valhalla, and who decides its value and its worth? In this lively illustrated talk, follow five modernist masterworks from unheated studios to stylish galleries, from risk-taking collectors to the world’s great museums. Track Jasper Johns’s Painted Bronze (Ale Cans), Claus Oldenburg’s giant Soft Hamburger, Andy Warhol’s Two hundred one dollar bills, Robert Morris’s Box with the Sound of its Own Making and Yoko Ono’s Sky Machine, on their winding route from downtown to uptown, from creation to adoration.
- Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art
“We all owe a debt to Judith E. Stein. Her biography of Richard Bellamy, Eye of the Sixties, retells the story many of us know and reminds us why we set out on our journey in the first place. The book is not academic, but a readable, worldly narrative of the art world by someone who knows and loves it.”
— Dave Hickey, author of Air Guitar
“Richard Bellamy was one of a kind: a legendary art dealer who was contrary, impractical, and self-effacing, with a keen eye for the artistically vital and unexpected. The artists he showed at his transformative Green Gallery define the canonical American art movements of the sixties. In Judith E. Stein’s meticulously researched and magnetically animated biography, we see this formative moment in American art through Bellamy’s eyes. Here, it looks boundless, like some unstable nomadic family in which great artists commingled in a wildly generative swarm.”
- Michael Brenson, author of Acts of Engagement
"An intricate biography of New York art dealer Richard Bellamy (1927–1998), written with a striking level of detail . . . Stein outlines Bellamy's life and career, and then fills that outline in—painstakingly and with plenty of color—using direct quotes and anecdotes woven seamlessly into her narrative. This engrossing story immerses the reader in Bellamy's world—the 'creative chaos' of the early 1960s New York contemporary art scene."
- Publishers Weekly
"This is an endearing and illuminating work of biography. A shadowy figure of the 1960s art world is gloriously revealed."