Merton D. Simpson

arch_2Merton D. Simpson

With a world-renowned eye and more than fifty years in business, Merton D. Simpson was one of the most respected African and traditional art dealers in the world.  He was instrumental in helping individuals and institutions build comprehensive, culturally significant collections.

Probably best known as an African art expert and gallerist, he was also an accomplished artist.  He was one of few African-American painters to receive recognition in the 1950s; his works were included in shows at the Guggenheim and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  A prolific painter, Simpson attended New York University and Cooper Union and experimented with several signature styles.  His works are included in important museum and private collections and have been shown in galleries worldwide.

Today, the Merton D. Simpson Gallery collection is comprised of outstanding tribal art pieces.  Past clients of Merton Simpson Gallery include The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York),  The Menil Collection (Houston), Helena Rubinstein Collection (New York),  The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (Washington, D.C.),  The United Nations (New York), Fowler Museum at UCLA (Los Angeles), Allan Stone Collection (New York),  Studio Museum of Harlem (New York),  The Whitney Museum of Art (New York) among many other notable public and private collection around the world.   Merton Simpson Gallery continues to house museum quality Traditional African art and important works of contemporary art, by artists such as Norman Lewis, Arman, Beauford Delaney, Romare Bearden and Merton D. Simpson to name a few.

Audio: Oral history interview with Merton D. Simpson, 1968 November with the Smithsonian American Art Museum

FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT