Suzy Frelinghuysen

Suzy Frelinghuysen, along with her husband George K. L. Morris, was one of the “Park Avenue Cubists,” so-called because of their elite social status, considerable wealth, and commitment to the Cubist style of painting. Frelinghuysen was born into a wealthy and prominent New Jersey family, and growing up, she was tutored in both art and music. While she showed an early talent for art, it was not her primary interest; as a child, she nurtured an ambition to become a professional singer. In 1935, she married George Morris, who came from an equally wealthy and distinguished New York family and had already established himself as an art collector, artist, and critic.

Morris encouraged Frelinghuysen to paint and introduced her to a circle of affluent abstract artists, including the artist and collector Albert Gallatin. Gallatin owned a small but influential gallery, known as the Gallery of Living Art (renamed in 1936 the Museum of Living Art) where he showcased his personal collection of abstract art and also curated exhibitions of contemporary American artists. By 1937, Frelinghuysen was elected a member of the American Abstract Artists (AAA) and was exhibiting alongside Morris, Gallatin, and Charles Shaw at the Reinhardt Gallery in New York. Known collectively as the “Park Avenue Cubists,” this group was committed to an American expression of the Cubist style pioneered by Pablo Picasso and George Braque. Frelinghuysen exhibited frequently with the AAA, participating in almost all of their annual exhibitions, as well as at Gallatin’s “museum.”