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Louis Lozowick Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Dec 1992

Biographical History

Louis Lozowick (1892-1973) was a Ukrainian-American artist. Though he began his artistic career as a painter, he is best known for his lithographs of skyscrapers, constructions, and machinery.

He attended the Kiev Art School from 1904 to 1906 and emigrated to the United States at age 14 -- a tricky achievement since he came without passport or papers. Once in New York he took a series of factory jobs to pay for his art studies at the National Academy of Design (1912-1915) with Carlson, Leon Kroll, and others. In 1915 he entered Ohio State University, graduating in three years as a Phi Beta Kappa. In 1919, after a brief stint in the military, he left the United States to travel extensively throughout Europe, studying art and supporting himself by writing articles for various European publications.

Almost immediately upon his return to the United States, he began his "Machine Ornament" series, exploring the straight lines, contrasting light and shadow, and geometrical patterns of the urban landscape that would fascinate him for the next fifty years. In 1924 he had an exhibit at the New Art Circle and then another at Weyhe's; both Weyhe and Carl Zigrosser, then head of the gallery, encouraged Lozowick in his focus on the graphic arts. The young artist had a number of exhibits of his lithographs over the next few years at Weyhe's and at Whitney Studio on West 8th Street including his "Machine Age Exposition" in 1927. Throughout his career the complex architecture of the urban landscape -- bridges, scaffolding, train tracks, skyscrapers -- continued to intrigue him (though nature appears more frequently in pieces from his later years).

During the Depression Lozowick, like many of his fellow artists, created murals and prints for the WPA including a mural for the New York City General Post Office (1936). In 1931 he married Adele Turner, and in 1943 the couple moved to New Jersey where Lozowick remained for the rest of his career.

Lozowick was recognized several times during his career for the quality of his work. He received the Brewster Prize for lithography at the Chicago Art Institute (1929), first prize for lithography at the Philadelphia Art Alliance (1930), and first prize (and an award of $1,000) at the International Print Competition (1931). Hoboken, one of his lithographs, was included in the fifty best prints of the year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (1929) and his work has since been included in several annual collections of best prints. His work is in the permanent collections of several museums including the National Gallery of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, U.S. Library of Congress, and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

In addition to his accomplishments as a practicing artist, he taught at the American Art School in New York City for several years, was considered something of an authority on modern Russian art, designed stage sets for a production at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and wrote extensively on the theatre. He was a member of the American Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers, the American Artists Congress, An American Group, Inc., and American Print Makers.

Lozowick died in New Jersey in 1973.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Spanning 1922 to 1974, the Louis Lozowick Papers comprises correspondence, photographs and reproductions of his artwork, writings, and memorabilia of the Russian-American painter, lithographer, and art critic (1892-1973). While focusing on his professional career, the collection also reveals aspects of Lozowick's personal life, particularly his attachment to his ethnic origins and his political and religious philosophy as a Jewish artist and writer.

Arranged chronologically, the predominantly incoming Correspondence (Box 1) reflects Lozowick's artistic, ethnic, political, and religious associations. Correspondents include art historians and curators (Erwin O. Christensen, Karl Schwarz, Carl Zigrosser) artists (John Taylor Arms, George Biddle, David Burliuk, Marc Chagall, Howard Cook, Arthur Crisp, Stuart Davis, Katherine S. Dreier, Fritz Eichenberg, Ralph Fabri, Fernand Leger, Howard Mandel, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Lynd Ward, Max Weber, Art Young); authors (Louis Adamic, Newton Arvin, V. F. Calverton, Waldo Frank, Langston Hughes, Bernhard J. Stern) and editors (Milton A. Abernethy, Jack Conroy, Jay Du Von, Henry Hurwitz, Samuel Putnam). Organizational correspondence includes that of cultural organizations (American Federation of Arts, American Russian Institute, the Municipal Art Committee); galleries and museums (Art Association of Indianapolis, Indiana, Art Institute of Chicago, Berkshire Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Museum Tel-Aviv, New Jersey State Museum, Newark Museum, Norfolk Museum, Oakland Art Gallery, Walker Art Center); governmental agencies (Federal Art Project, U. S. Treasury Department); political groups (Ad Hoc Committee to Lift Ban on The Nation, National Committee to Aid Striking Miners Fighting Starvation); professional organizations (American Society of Painters, Sculptors and Gravers, Artists for Victory, Inc., National Academy of Design, National Society of Painters in Casein, Inc., Society of American Graphic Artists); and a number of publications (Disk, Europa, The Front, The Menorah Journal, New Masses, Opinion, Rebel Poets, Transition). A selected name index to the correspondence follows the box list.

Artwork (Box 1) includes cover art, photographs and reproductions. Cover art consists of a cover for Der Hammer (in Yiddish). Arranged alphabetically by the titles supplied by Lozowick, the photographs range in subject from still-lifes to city-scapes, and from depictions of the laboring class to his hard-edged precisionist work, reflective of the 1920s fascination with machine-age technology. Also included in the collection are a number of photographs of Lozowick's work in the theatre, for which he designed both stage sets and costumes. Among the reproductions of Lozowick's work are those which appeared from 1926 through 1973 in publications as diverse as Creative Art, Harpers Magazine, The London Studio, The Menorah Journal, The Print Collector's Quarterly, and Theatre Arts Monthly.

Among the Writings (Box 2) are both manuscript and published materials. Manuscript writings include "Glossolalia" and several chapters of "Survivor From a Dead Age," autobiographical selections which illuminate Lozowick's childhood in Russia and early education. Published writings include Lozowick's essays on art and the theatre, poetry, and book reviews for Art News, The Menorah Journal, and The Nation.

Memorabilia (Box 2-5) encompasses articles about Lozowick, awards and membership cards, exhibition materials, lecture invitations, and a letter of introduction and photograph identifying Lozowick as a Russian correspondent for the periodical Broom.

The four boxes of exhibition materials (Boxes 2-5) constitute the largest portion of the collection and spans more than fifty years, including announcements, invitations, catalogs, and posters.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Artwork is subdivided by type; within that, photographs are arranged alphabetically, using the titles supplied by Lozowick. Writings is divided into manuscript and published items; published items are arranged chronologically. Memorabilia is arranged alphabetically by type and (where possible) chronologically within each type.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Abernethy, M. A. (Milton A.)
Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951.
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953.
Arvin, Newton, 1900-1963.
Broadd, Harry A.
Burliuk, David, 1882-1967.
Calverton, V. F. (Victor Francis), 1900-1940.
Chagall, Marc, 1887-1985.
Christensen, Erwin O. (Erwin Ottomar), 1890-1976.
Conroy, Jack, 1898-1990.
Cook, Howard Norton, 1901-1980.
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964.
Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952.
Fabri, Ralph, 1894-
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967.
Hurwitz, Henry, 1886-1961.
Jourdan, Albert.
Kunitz, Joshua, 1896-1980.
La Guardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947.
Lozowick, Louis, 1892-1973.
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955.
Mechlin, Leila.
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946.
Neumann, J. B.
Ostrowsky, Abbo.
Picken, George.
Putnam, Samuel, 1892-1950.
Reed, Alma M.
Schoolman, Regina.
Schwarz, Karl, 1885-1962.
Stern, Bernhard Joseph, 1894-1956.
Waite, Marjorie Peabody.
Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985.
Weber, Max, 1881-1961.
Wilson, Sol.
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-1975.

Corporate Bodies

American Federation of Arts.
American Russian Institute.
Artists for Victory, Inc.
Federal Art Project.
Municipal Art Committee (New York, N.Y.)
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
National Academy of Design (U.S.)
National Society of Painters in Casein, Inc.
Society of American Graphic Artists, Inc.
United States. -- Dept. of the Treasury.

Associated Titles

Menorah journal.


Art critics -- United States.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Jewish artists -- United States.
Jews, American.
Lithographers -- United States.
Lithography -- United States -- 20th century.
Painters -- United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.
Russian Americans.

Genres and Forms

Autobiographies (literary works)
Exhibition catalogs.


Art critics.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Louis Lozowick Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Louis Lozowick, 1963, 1967, 1974.

Table of Contents

Biographical material





Selected index to correspondence


Selected index to correspondence