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Adolph Gottlieb and the "Irascible Eighteen"

In 1950, The Metropolitan Museum of Art held an exhibition titled American Painting Today. A core group of Abstract Expressionists, led by Adolph Gottlieb and including Mark Rothko, Louise Bourgeois, Jackson Pollock, and others, protested the exhibition selection committee's decision to exclude "advanced art," writing a now-famous letter to the director of the museum as a statement of their position.

Here's the story of that fabled letter and a resulting photograph of “The Irascibles,” as told by Sanford Hirsch, Executive Director of the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation, and Dr. Kent Minturn.

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