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Gaugh, Harry F.

    Full Name: Gaugh, Harry F.

    Other Names:

    • Harry F. Gaugh

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1938

    Date Died: 1992

    Place Born: Indianapolis, Marion, IN, USA

    Place Died: Glens Falls, Warren, NY, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): Abstract Expressionist, American (North American), and Expressionist (style)


    Americanist, especially on Abstract Expressionism and particularly Franz Kline. Gaugh graduated from Indiana University in 1960. He initially considered a career in journalism, working as a police and court reporter in Chicago while earning an M.A. in journalism in 1963. He became interested in art history, writing a second M.A. in art history in 1966 and joining the faculty of Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. A 1972 dissertation on Franz Kline, the first ever, was granted also from Indiana University. In 1979 Gaugh organized a show for Franz Kline at the Phillips Gallery in Washgington, D. C. His first monograph from Abrams (Abbeville) Press was a 1983 short work on Willem de Kooning. In 1985, he wrote the first full-length biography of Kline as part of an exhibition on the artist he organized at the Cincinnati Art Museum. He delivered the Edwin M. Moseley Faculty Research Lecture at Skidmore College in 1986. Gaugh considered himself an art critic and throughout his career published art criticism, mostly on modern art. He contracted lymphoma at age 53 from which he died. He is buried in Indiana. Gaugh was responsible for providing the standard account of one of the most important and difficult Abstract Expressionists, Franz Kline, who, like Gaugh, died early. A painter himself, Gaugh approached the movement on formal terms connecting Kline’s work to the events of his life. Gaugh largely brought the painter back into scholarly focus.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] The Art of Franz Kline 1930-1950: Figurative to Mature Abstraction. Indiana University, 1972; The Vital Gesture, Franz Kline: Cincinnati Art Museum. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985; Willem de Kooning. New York: Abbeville Press, 1983.


    [obituaries:] “Harry F. Gaugh Dies, Art Professor Was 53.” New York Times September 16, 1992, p. D25; “Harry F. Gaugh, 53, Art Instructor.” [Albany] Times Union September 14, 1992.


    "Gaugh, Harry F.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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