Discovering Rose Fried’s Nephew by Alice Neel
On the heels of Alice Neel’s major retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Neel’s painting Rose Fried’s Nephew (1963) merits a close look. With its elusive title, the painting seems to ask, “Who was Rose Fried and who was her nephew?” Rose Fried was a pioneering female gallery owner in New York beginning in the 1940s who showed Neel’s work in 1944. The identity of her nephew— the sitter—was a more challenging puzzle. In the end, with the knowledge of his name, a complex story emerges about the interconnectedness of the contemporary art scene in New York.