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Mortola Library Artwork

Tom Kendall

Tom Kendall is another artist who has work displayed in the library. There are nine pieces total. Five of them are displayed on the first floor along the back wall where the computers are, one of them is located across from the elevator next to the door for the circulation desk, and the last three can be found upstairs on the third floor in the writing commons. Below there is some more information about the artist. 

Tom Kendall (American, 1918-1994)

The beautiful torn-paper artworks recently installed in the Mortola library are by Tom Kendall (Thomas Holbrook Kendall), a Pace University professor of art and art history from 1963 until his retirement in 1990. Kendall was born in Athens, Greece, and his architect/engineer father brought the family to Peking (now Beijing), China when Tom was only a year old (he spoke fluent Mandarin). He also lived for a time in Turkey, and did not come to this country until 1936. He received his B.A. from Yale in 1940 and his M.A. from Columbia in 1958 (he had also studied at the Sorbonne from 1953 to 1954). While at Columbia, Kendall studied with the legendary art historian Meyer Schapiro.

From 1959 to 1963 Tom Kendall was an assistant to Louise Nevelson (1899–1988), who considerably influenced his own sculpture. In addition to teaching at Pace, Kendall founded in 1982 his own eponymous not-for-profit New York City art gallery, where he organized exhibitions, concerts and poetry readings. He left his art collection and his papers to Pace, and much of this material is housed in Pleasantville. The Tom Kendall legacy at Pace includes several paintings/assemblages by Dutch artist Karel Appel (1921–2006), four of whose colorful works are now installed in the Goldstein Academic Center, and at least two sculptures by Kendall himself (abacus-like structures in subdued colors, clearly influenced by Nevelson).