The Irascibles
Nina Leen
November 24, 1950, Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Front row: Theodoros Stamos, Jimmy Ernst, Barnett Newman, James Brooks, Mark Rothko; middle row: Richard Pousette-Dart, William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, Bradley Walker Tomlin; back row: Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt, Hedda Sterne

Nina Leen took twelve pictures, of which one appeared in Life. Barnett Newman had insisted that the group be photographed "like bankers". The artists were allowed to position themselves. Hedda Sterne, who had arrived late, is seen in the back (standing on a table). She is the only woman in the photograph and would later describe the experience as "probably the worst thing that happened to me". Painter Lee Krasner believed Sterne was allowed at the insistence of art dealer Betty Parsons, who represented many in the group.

They all were very furious that I was in it because they all were sufficiently macho to think that the presence of a woman took away from the seriousness of it all.

— Hedda Sterne, Interview with Phyllis Tuchman, 1981


on April 3rd, 2019