Helen Torr: 1886-1967June 3, 1972 - July 9, 1972
Helen Torr’s first-ever solo show was mounted at The Heckscher in 1972 by the then-director Eva Gatling. Most of Torr’s art was never on public view until after her death in 1967, in part because the male-dominated art world dismissed her work. Gatling wrote, the “critical acclaim [for her work] has been heartbreakingly limited,” and hoped that this show would allow Torr’s paintings to “find the audience which their creator so sorely missed.” Including paintings in oil, drawings in charcoal and pencil, and sketches in oil, gouache, and watercolor, Helen Torr 1886-1967 sheds light upon her wide-ranging talent, keen-eye, and willingness to experiment in her art.
Torr instructed her sister, Mary Rehm, to destroy all her work after her death. Instead, Rehm chose to bring these pieces to The Heckscher Museum of Art, where the Eva Gatling recognized their significance and worked to restore, collect, and disseminate these pieces. It is thanks to Gatling and Rehm that we can see Torr’s pivotal place as one of America’s early modernist artists.