Jimmy Ernst, Abstract-Surrealist Painter and second-generation member of the New York School of Abstraction, arrived in New York in 1938 on the S.S. Manhattan. He was the only son of Surrealist, Max Ernst and Journalist, Louise Straus-Ernst; who perished in Auschwitz in 1944.

His book, “ A Not So-Still Life”. Is a wonderful memoir of his life.

Jimmy Ernst was considered as an artists’ artist. His sensitivity and honesty with his work, life and with his friends set him apart from just being a painter. His paintings and influence came from within, from his experiences and love of jazz.

His work were varied, oil on canvas, ink and gouache on paper, collage elements and painted sculpture. In his early years in New York, he worked with Rudy Blesh for Circle Records and designed covers for the jazz musician, Baby Dodds.

Lou Strauss-Ernst as "Rosa Bonheur of Dada".
Collage by Max Ernst, 1922

Jimmy Ernst: "Dadafax minimus".
Collage by Max Ernst, 1922

Lou and Jimmy, 1928; photo by August
Sander, part of the great photographer's
life project, a photo portrait of Germany

The" irascibles", New York, 1951.
Top row, left to right: William de Kooning, Adolf Gottlieb, Ad Reinhart, Hedda Sterne. Middle row: Richard Pousette-Dart, William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Clifford Still, Robert Motherwell, Bradley WalkerTomlin. Seated: Theodoros Stamos, Jimmy Ernst, Barnett Newman, James Brooks, Mark Rothko.

At work on the Continental Bank mural,
Lincoln, Nebraska, 1961.

Jimmy with Dallas and children, Eric and Amy,
with CAPRICORN, Sedona, Arizona, 1961.


Born Hans-Ulrich Ernst in Cologne, Germany, on June 24. His father is the prominent Dada/Surrealist artist Max Ernst, his mother, Louise Straus-Ernst, a well-known art historian and journalist.

His parents are divorced. Max travels to Paris and Louise stays in Cologne with their son.

Spends his spring school holiday in Paris with Max and his second wife, Marie-Berthe Aurenche.
Meets many of the Surrealists, including Giacometti, Man Ray, Miro, Andre Masson, Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel.

Adolph Hitler is installed as Chancellor of Germany on January 30.
On February 30, the SS searches the Ernst apartment - as a noted intellectual and a Jew, Louise is doubly suspect by the new regime.
Jimmy is sent to live with Louise's father, while Louise moves to Paris to find work.

Sails for New York by way of Paris and Le Havre, on the S.S.. Manhattan, arriving in New York on June 9.

Allied powers declare war against the Axis powers on September 3.
In the winter, Jimmy begins to work in oils, makes prints from linoleum tiles.

Meets members of the New York avant-garde and European artists in exile.
Petitions Emergency Rescue Committee (ERC) to help Max and Lou escape from France.

ERC succeeds in securing Max's release from internment. Max arrives in New York with Peggy Guggenheim on July 14.

Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery opens, October 20, with Jimmy as director.
German troops occupy Vichy, France.

Has first one-person exhibition.

Unknown to him, his mother is transported to Auschwitz concentration camp on June 30 from Drancy, a detention camp near Paris.
She does not survive the war.

Allied victory in Europe declared on May 8.
Spends part of the summer in Amagansett with Max and other "Surrealists in Exile".

Marries Edith Dallas Bauman Brody, January 3.

Joins so-called "IrascibleEighteen" in protesting the anti-abstractionist bias of the MetropolitanMuseum of Art, New York.

Instructor, Department of Design, Brooklyn College.

Becomes U.S. citizen.

Daughter, Amy Louise, born on April 26.

Son, Eric Max, born on April 16.

Awarded John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.

Moves to East Hampton, Long Island.

Builds a winter home and studio in NoKomis, Florida, and begins Sea of Grass series oased on marshscapes.

Awarded an honorary Doctorate by Southampton College of Long Island University.

Elected to membership of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York.

Publication of his memoir, A Not-So-Still Life, dealing with his youth and early years in America.
Dies in New York City on February 6.