Stuart Pivar

Stuart Pivar

American chemist, art collector and writer
Country: USA

Biography of Stewart Pivar

Stewart Pivar was an American chemist, art collector, and writer. He was born in 1930 and received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Hofstra University. Pivar made a fortune as an inventor and entrepreneur, founding "Chem-Tainer Industries" in 1959, a company specializing in manufacturing plastic containers.

Art Collector and Friend of Andy Warhol
Pivar was a passionate collector of 19th-century academic art, which was considered unfashionable at the time. He extensively studied the works of French animalist sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye and wrote "The Barye Bronzes: A Catalogue Raisonne" in 1974, compiling critical notes on all of the sculptor's known works.

After meeting Andy Warhol, Pivar became one of his closest friends and maintained their relationship until Warhol's death. Together, they would regularly go on shopping trips to acquire new artworks, ranging from high-end auction houses to flea markets. Pivar fondly remembered Warhol's love for art and how they would spend hours shopping together almost every day.

Founding the New York Academy of Art
Pivar intended to reintroduce traditional skills in art education, including the study of human and animal anatomy. With Warhol's support, he helped establish the New York Academy of Art in 1979 and became a member of its Board of Directors. The academy opposed abstract art and advocated for traditional techniques.

Pivar generously donated over $1.2 million to the academy while actively engaging in its activities. He facilitated the acquisition of an comparative anatomical collection, including illustrative material, anatomical models, and schemes. He also emphasized the use of dissections as part of the curriculum.

Legal Battles and Controversies
In 1994, Pivar distanced himself from the academy, claiming that other leaders had deceived and outsmarted him, attributing much of his "destructive, angry, and offensive" behavior to the academy's problems. He attempted to sue the academy for $50 million, alleging emotional and mental distress, as well as being ostracized for exposing financial fraud and the hiring of illegal immigrants.

The academy's representative dismissed the lawsuit as baseless, pointing to a previous lawsuit filed by Pivar that was also dismissed, suggesting that the same fate would befall the new lawsuit.

Lifecode and Evolutionary Ideas
Starting with his book "Lifecode" in 2004, Pivar published his ideas on evolutionary biology, explaining it through the self-organization of living organisms. He posited the existence of a proto-form, a blueprint for all life, and argued that the future body form is encoded not in DNA, but in ideoplasm. Critics, however, dismissed Pivar's ideas as disconnected from reality.

Pivar filed a lawsuit against one of his critics, biologist and blogger PZ Myers, seeking $15 million for defamation and slander. However, the lawsuit did not last more than two weeks and was ultimately dismissed.

Despite the controversies surrounding his personal and scientific endeavors, Stewart Pivar left behind a legacy as both an accomplished chemist and a passionate art collector.