Romanian-American, 1895 – 1992
Cutting Ice, Trestle Bridge, Rondout Creek, Port Ewan, New York, c. 1930s
Oil on canvas
22 ½ H. x 32 W. inches
Signed lower right: Harry Gottlieb
Harry Gottlieb, painter, screenprinter, educator, and lithographer, was born in Bucharest, Rumania. He emigrated to America in 1907, and his family settled in Minneapolis. From 1915 to 1917, Gottlieb attended the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. After a short stint as an illustrator for the U.S. Navy, Gottlieb moved to New York City; he became a scenic and costume designer for Eugene O’Neill’s Provincetown Theater Group. He also studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and the National Academy of Design.
He was one of America’s first Social Realist painters, influenced by that Robert Henri-led movement in New York City where Gottlieb settled in 1918. He was also a pioneer in screen printing, which he learned while working for the WPA. He married Eugenie Gershoy, and the couple joined the artist colony at Woodstock, New York. He lectured widely on art education.
In 1923, Gottlieb settled in Woodstock, New York and in 1931, spent a year abroad studying under a Guggenheim Fellowship.
In 1935, he joined the Federal Art Project; he was one of the first members of the WPA/FAP’s Silk Screen Unit. Gottlieb remained active as a painter and screen printer after the closure of the Federal Art Project.