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Brooding at the Waldorf Cafeteria
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Of all the cafes that have nurtured the careers of artists and enabled the exchanging of their ideas, the Waldorf Cafeteria must have been one of the most reluctant. The artists who frequented it in post-world-war-II-New York remembered it as a a gloomy place, but one that came to serve as the...

downloadDescription:

Of all the cafes that have nurtured the careers of artists and enabled the exchanging of their ideas, the Waldorf Cafeteria must have been one of the most reluctant. The artists who frequented it in post-world-war-II-New York remembered it as a a gloomy place, but one that came to serve as the unofficial office of abstract expressionism, in spite of itself. With no friendly bar man sympathetic to long running tabs of intellectuals, the staff resented the artists who came in with their own tea bags to fill up on free hot water and who were known to mix their own tomato soup with the complimentary ketchup. When whether permitted the artists, many of them west village-based, preferred to meet in Washington Square Park, but through rain and cold, the Cafeteria hosted all the greats of the day including Rothko, de Kooning, Gorky, Pollock, and Guston. This circle of artists of about fifty in total, called themselves simply, The Club. When in 1949 the Cafeteria raised the price of coffee to a dime, The Club was forced to move to the sculptor Ibram Lassaw’s loft on West 12th Street, where it established itself as an official society.

390 Sixth Avenue, New York