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Notable New     Yorkers
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Moe FonerMoe Foner
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 592

excited. He wants to purchase our photo folios that I have there with Louis Stettner's pictures of workers. He assures me there's no problem, “Go ahead. Everything's going to be all right.”

I start thinking about a task force. For the humanities you have to have humanists, so I figure it's a task force for Bread and Roses. So I talk to Ossie Davis first, “What do you think we should do?” We start throwing names together. Then I start calling up people. I get Ossie and Ruby, obviously. Walter Rosenblum, who had been in that exhibition on Hine. Herb Gutman, Irving Howe, Michael Harrington, Stanley Levison, Eve Merriam, Alice Childress, Pat Hills -- I remember calling her from Holiday Hills. She was at Boston University. Of course she had done some exhibition -- she had been at the Whitney Museum and had been interested in the painting, “The Strike” and used the painting “The Strike,” so that's how I got to know her. Micki Grant, Hal Lewis was on a sabbatical -- he's the dean at Hunter College Social Work. He's an old friend of mine. Stanley Levison, Madeline Gilford, Jack Golodner, Johnny Schultz -- all of my stand-bys. I put in the request, and it's to start -- the planning grant is to start January 1, 1978. Golodner's on the task force. I go back to Golodner and Nina all the time. Nina arranges for me to meet with Bob Peck, who is at the NEA and a friend of hers. He becomes an advisor on the side, of who to see, what to do to take me through the ropes.

I talk to Harvey Dinerstein, who had done paintings for us, and his wife Lois Dinerstein, who's an art historian. The idea of an exhibition on the Working American, a serious exhibition of collecting, had been broached by Harvey and Max Ginsburg, another artist, some time ago. I say, “Maybe we can do it now. We'll include it in the exhibitions sections” -- that's to take paintings of American workers from 1850 to 1950 and do an exhibition in the gallery. Of original paintings! With a catalogue and all that kind of stuff. Now I go back to Carol Groneman at the New York Council for the Humanities and I say, “I'm now going into Bread and Roses and I would like to come to you to the humanities thing for assistance, for a grant.” I go to Alden Whitman and his wife Joan, who are friends of mine who are at the Times. Joe Cadden, Betsy Wade at the Times -- anyone I can stop long enough to listen. I tell them about what I'm doing on Bread and Roses and ask them, what do they think? “What is it that you think is valid?” Everybody is very excited about it.

The planning period was extremely valuable and important for us. Because we had six months in which to plan everything, so that what we could do is set everything in motion with the idea that the project would begin in January of 1978. It's now going to be a two-year

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