Bread and Potatoes, 1938
6” x 18”, Oil on canvas
This letter was the first of many which lead to a lasting relationship and meaningful exchange of ideas between Forrest Bess and Meyer Schapiro. From Meyer Schapiro Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
1701 Ave. EBay City, Texas
Dear Mr. Schapiro,
I liked some of your statements recently published in Life and for that reason would like to know you better. I was wondering why in your statements concerning “private symbols”—you didn’t bring to mind C.G. Jung’s “psychological and visionary” theory from his modern man in search of a soul—his chapter on psychology and literature.
I’d like to introduce myself—my name is Forrest Bess. I am a painter-fisherman. I live on Chinquapin Bay on East Matagorda Bay on the Gulf Coast of Texas. I am fairly unknown and desire to remain so but like most painters—when I hear or meet a person with a viewpoint similar in some ways to mine I have the natural inclination to desire to further that acquaintance.
My gallery is Parsons at 15 E. 57th in N.Y. My gallery would have been Willard if I had sent my work there. I also know Miller (Dorothy) a the M. of M. Art. The classification of my work is “abstract primitive” and “visionary painter.”
Sometimes when you’re in town go by and look at it and drop me a note.