The Allentown Art Museum has received one of its largest gifts ever — about 500 works and the Long Island home and studio and New York City apartment of the modernist artist Peter Grippe.

Grippe (1912-2002) was a Cubist-inspired sculptor and printmaker who worked and exhibited with the major artists of the mid-20th century, including those from the New York School.

“Peter Grippe was one of an important group of American sculptors, including such artists as David Smith, who emerged during the 1930s and 1940s and came to maturity in subsequent decades,” said Bob Mattison, curator-at-large, modern and contemporary art, and the Marshall R. Metzgar professor of art history at Lafayette College. “Moving away from simply realist depictions in public monuments, Grippe and his colleagues embraced Cubism with its openwork multidimensional view of the world and Surrealist imagery drawn from the subconscious thus bringing American sculpture into the modern era.”

Greg Perry, the Allentown Art Museum’s Priscilla Payne Hurd executive director, said, “The collection will be a boon to our 20th-century holdings, and will allow the museum to more fully represent the wave of abstraction that followed and reinterpreted Cubism from the first decades of the century.”


Jodi Duckett
The Morning Call