Curated by James Cavello
WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC is the exclusive worldwide representative of the Estate of photographer Roy Schatt (1909-2002) in collaboration with Ron Cayen Inc. The gallery maintains an inventory of Roy Schatt photographs, both vintage and modern, available for acquisition for private collectors and institutions. A curated selection is available for travel.
In keeping with the gallery program of rediscovering forgotten artists and photographers, Curator James Cavello reviewed the archive of Schatt and organized a premiere
Schatt's legendary photos of James Dean, who was a friend of Schatt as well as his photography student, encompassed the iconic Torn Sweater series, as well as images of Dean in personal moments playing the bongos and pretending to steal candy from a newsstand. The exhibition also included photos by James Dean as he practiced the art of photography using Schatt and actor friends as his subject.
Roy Schatt stated about the actor: "He was a squinty schlump of a person all bent over. Then Dean suddenly got up and this ugly person became a dream, an Adonis who started to dance around the room. It was a transition I couldn't believe. (...) I knew James Dean from February 1954 until he died in September 1955. I knew him as a friend and as a student. He was a disrupter of norms, a bender of rules, a disquieter of calm. Through the following pictures and vignettes, I hope to transmit a glimpse of his most insistent, and perhaps eternal, presence".
The exhibition included rare photographs of actors, writers, directors and playwrights associated with The Actors Studio where Roy Schatt was the official photographer. In addition, many other images of personalities active in the New York theatrical community from the 1950's and 60's are on exhibit. The vintage photos include alumni from The Actors Studio such as Elia Kazan, Lee Strasberg, Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe, Geraldine Page, Tennessee Williams, Steve McQueen, Rod Steiger, Sidney Poitier, Joanne Woodward, Martin Landau, Arthur Miller, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Ben Gazzara, Maureen Stapleton, and many other creative individuals (John Cassavetes, Dorothy Parker, Brendan Behan, Lillian Hellman, William Saroyan, Lorne Greene, Andy Griffith, Bud Schulberg and Marlene Dietrich).
Roy Schatt was born in New York City in 1909 and pursued a lifelong passion and career in the arts. He studied under N.C. Wyeth, painted murals during the WPA and used his artistic skills in the Army while stationed in India. Post-war he returned to New York City where he worked in advertising, acting, illustration and photography and landed in the circle of many creative personalities. He was influenced by renowned photographers Erich Salomon, Edward Weston, Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams. Roy Schatt’s photographs have been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, NY, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, Art Institute of Chicago, and included in national and international gallery exhibitions.
1920's Studied Art Students League,
1934 Married Masha Arms (Roy was 25, Masha 26 years old). They bought themselves a miniature German 45 mm camera (Pupille) as a wedding present and later traded it in for a Leica.
1935-39 Illustrated books, created drawings and photographs
1940’s Painted murals under “New Deal’ programs for artists (WPA) developed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
1942-45 Served in U.S. Army,
He met José Quintero, Director, Producer and co-founder of Circle in the Square theatre in the
1955 – 1960’s Roy continued to photograph the acting community, including Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Martin Landau, Arthur Miller, Geraldine Page, Dorothy Parker, Sidney Lumet, Lorne Greene, Anne Meara, Jerry Stiller, Andy Griffith, Bud Schulberg, Ben Gazzara, Maureen Stapleton, William Saroyan, Leonard Bernstein, John Cassavetes, Eli Wallach, Vincent Price, Eva Gabor, Marlene Dietrich, Peter Falk, Susan Strasberg, Ben Gazzara, Lillian Hellman, Hal Holbrook, David Ross, Ricardo Montalban and many more talented individuals.
1957 Jazz and other musicians,
1963 Photographed JFK’s funeral
1964 Photographed Malcolm X
1982 Published his book James Dean: A Portrait, which is Roy Schatt’s account of his time with Dean and most of his legendary photographs of James Dean.
1984 Art Institute of Chicago acquired a Roy Schatt photo for their collection, a 1955 image of Marilyn Monroe without makeup, wearing a hat
1990 Limited editions prints were created by
2004 New York Public Library acquired the "Circle in the Square" archives, which include many photographs by Roy Schatt, images of Arthur Miller, José Quintero and Tennessee Williams.
2006 Exhibitions of Roy’s limited edition prints of James Dean and other photos are presented in
2009 Syracuse University organizes the Long John Nebel radio archives, gifted by John Nebel, which includes historic photos from the radio program by Roy Schatt.
2014 The Smithsonian exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in
2015 WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC becomes the exclusive representative for the Estate of Roy Schatt and views a large portion of Schatt’s archive. Many negatives still remain from the 1950’s - 90’s era of Roy Schatt’s photos, some never developed.
WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC premieres the exhibition of Roy Schatt’s photographs of James Dean and The Actors Studio, many never before seen in a first time comprehensive exhibition for Schatt.
2015 - James Dean and The Actors Studio, WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC
2006 - James DEAN, Gallery RX, Paris
2006 - JAMES DEAN - American Icon, TRESART, Miami
2004 - James Dean Collection ca. 1947-1954, 1989, Indiana Historical Society
2014 - National Portrait Gallery "American Cool"
2011 - James Dean: A Different Icon. Roy Schatt, Phil Stern, Dennis Stock, Museum THE KENNEDYS, Berlin
2010 - FACES OF OUR TIMES, Atlas Gallery, London
2007 - Portraits, Galerie RX, Paris
2006 - Jacques Lowe, Roy Schatt, Bert Stern, Museum Ludwig, Köln
2006 - The World's Most Photographed, National Portrait Gallery, London
2005 - James Dean photographed by Roy Schatt, Phil Stern, Dennis Stock, Camera Work, Berlin
Art Institute of Chicago
National Portrait Gallery
Catalog of American Portraits,