Colette Roberts

Colette Roberts helped shape our understanding of modern art both through her art criticism and through her unconventional teaching methods, bringing students into artists’ studios to talk with them about their work. Roberts graduated from the University of Paris, but also studied at the Louvre and other art schools. During WWII she immigrated to New York, where she lectured and wrote for French journals. In the 1940s she helped organize Franco-American cultural exchanges and became director of the National Association of Women Artists while serving as secretary to a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She wrote art criticism and monographs on modern artists in America and exhibited her own art in France. From 1952–1968 she directed the Grand Central Moderns gallery, bringing attention to previously unfashionable artists like Louise Nevelson. In 1957 she began teaching at NYU, personally introducing her students to Nevelson, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, and other artists. In 1969 she also became director of the Hofstra University Art Gallery. To help further popular understanding of art, she published Pocket Museum in 1964.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Colette Roberts." (Viewed on April 19, 2021) <>.


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