Horace Mann School, 231 W 246th St, Bronx, NY 10471
The Art Students League of New York, 215 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019
200 E 57th St, New York, NY 10022
Joseph B. Martinson (June 24, 1911 - October 30, 1970) was a leader in New York city's cultural activities and former head of Martinson's Coffee, Inc. In 1965, Martinson received the city's Handel Medallion for distinguished service to the arts. He was founder, chief sponsor and president emeritus of the Museum of American Folk Art, chairman of the board of the New York City Shake speare Festival and president of the Ballet Society, Inc. He was among the Cherry Grove's upper crust in the 1940s and 1950s.
A chairman of the New York City Ballet Production Fund, he also served on the boards of the New York City Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Theater Development Fund and Dance Theater of Harlem.
Martinson was born in New York City on June 24, 1911, and studied at the Horace Mann School, the Sorbonne in Paris and the Art Students League here. From 1936 to 1960, he was with Martinson's Coffee, which was founded by his grandfather in 1899. He served as chairman of the board from 1950 to 1960, after which the concern was sold to Beech‐Nut Life Savers, Inc., in 1961.
Martinson said he had “retired from trade to apprentice himself to the arts.” He also was active in conservation and botany. The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University has done extensive research on his property in Puerto Rico, which adjoins the National Rain Forest. Just before his death, he was preparing a showing of his botanical watercolors for the arboretum, which named a newly discovered plant for him.
His personal collection of American folk art was exhibited in the American Pavilion at Expo ’67 in Montreal and Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan.
He died on October 30, 1970, of a leg infection in Singapore while on a trip. He was 59 years old and lived at 200 East 57th Street. He also had homes in Croton‐on‐Hudson, N.Y., and in Puerto Rico.
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