Posts Tagged ‘de Kooning in NYC’

When everybody dropped by the Cedar Tavern

October 13, 2010

“You had painters coming in there, and poets,” wrote artist Larry Rivers in a November 5, 1979 New York piece about the Cedar Tavern.

The legendary beat-abstract expressionist hangout hit its stride in the 1950s and early 1960s, when it was located at 24 University Place.

Writers like Jack Kerouac (supposedly banned from the premises for peeing in a sink), Frank O’Hara, and Gregory Corso were some of the regulars.

But it was really more of an artist’s establishment, as Rivers explained:

“When you went to the bar, de Kooning was there and Franz Kline and Milton Resnick, and every writer who wrote about art . . . everybody would come down. That was the place to go—it was a scene.

“Women came in; parties emanated from there. It had a certain kind of exuberance, and every day and every night you could just drop in before you went home.

“It was your neighborhood bar, but the neighborhood was really the art community, the downtown art community.”

Photos by Fred McDarrah, chronicler of the Village in the 1950s and 1960s.