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Harriet Greif (1924-1988), Hampton Shores, 1987; oil on paper, 29 x 37 inches; Bequest of Annette M. Cravens, 2017

Harriet Greif (1924-1988), Hampton Shores, 1987; oil on paper, 29 x 37 inches; Bequest of Annette M. Cravens, 2017

Harriet Greif was both a prominent artist and revered teacher known for her lyrical color abstractions. Hampton Shores represents a level of sophistication and complexity that reflects her final achievements. She carefully balanced geometric planes and linear patterns with diffused, organic forms filled with environmental colors to represent an experiential understanding of landscape from both intellectual and intuitive perspectives. Greif stated, “My paintings relate to the natural world—space, sea, sky, land and light. They are a fusion of elements seen and sensed in nature.”

Born in New York City, Harriet Grief studied at Columbia University and graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture in 1946. She came to Buffalo in 1947 with her husband, Seymour Drumlevitch. Both painters became essential participants in the city’s artistic community, joining the Patteran Society that embraced contemporary expression. From 1948 to 1954, she taught painting, drawing and design at the Albright Art School. Later, she gave private lessons and from 1968-69 she taught at Buffalo State College. Her paintings won numerous awards and were shown in museum exhibitions including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in Rome, Italy; Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Burchfield Penney Art Center. —NW