New York, New York, United States
|Died||2011 (aged 92-93)
Coconut Creek, Florida
Irving Amen is often referenced as one of the most important printmakers in the United States.
Born in New York City in 1918, he began drawing at the age of four. A scholarship to the Pratt Institute was awarded to him when he was fourteen years old. With Michelangelo as his idol, he spent seven years in life classes perfecting his drawing.
From 1942 to 1945 he served with the Armed Forces. He headed a mural project and executed murals in the United States and Belgium.
His first exhibition in woodcut was held at the New School for Social Research and his second at the Smithsonian Institution in 1949 and also exhibited at the Artists House in Jerusalem, the Library of Congress, and the National Academy of Design.
Amen studied in Paris in 1950. Upon his return to the United States, he had one man shows in New York and Washington DC.
In 1953, Amen traveled throughout Italy. This resulted in a series of eleven woodcuts, eight etchings and a number of oil paintings. One of these woodcuts, “Piazza San Marco #4” and its four woodblocks constitute a permanent exhibit of block printing in color at the Smithsonian Institution.
Travel in Israel, Greece and Turkey in 1960 led to a retrospective show at the Artist's House in Jerusalem. His art is widely owned and loved. Irving Amen has taught at Pratt Institute and at the University of Notre Dame. He had a show of woodcuts at the Artists Studio in NYC.
In 1974 he illustrated The Epic of Gilgamesh in linocuts and woodcuts for the Limited Editions Club. He designed a set of stained glass windows depicting the Twelve Tribes of Israel for Agudas Achim Synagogue in Bexley, Ohio. His work often depicts themes of Judaism, chess, people, music, Italy and Don Quixote. In his later years he lived and worked in Boca Raton, Florida.
Commissions include a Peace Medal in honor of the Vietnam War. He created designs for 12 stained glass windows 16 feet high depicting the Twelve Tribes of Israel, commissioned by Agudas Achim Synagogue in Columbus, Ohio.
He is listed in Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers and the Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists by Paul Cummings. He was elected member of Accademia Fiorentina Delle Arti Del Disegno, an organization to which Michelangelo belonged.
Notable collections - U.S.
- Museum of Modern Art, New York
- National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.
- University of South Alabama - Mobile, Alabama
- Arizona State University - Tempe, Arizona
- Tucson Museum of Art - Tucson, Arizona
- Arkansas Art Center Foundation - Little Rock, Arkansas
- Arkansas State University - State University, Arkansas
- Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum - Berkeley, California
- Skirball Museum Hebrew Union College - Los Angeles, California'
- Mills College - Oakland, California
- Stanford University Museum of Art - Stanford, California
- Hausatonic Museum - Bridgeport, Connecticut
- Yale University - New Haven, Connecticut
- University of Georgia - Athens, Georgia
- Honolulu Academy of Arts - Honolulu, Hawaii
- Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago, Illinois
- Quincy College Art Gallery - Quincy, Illinois
- Rosary College - River Forest, Illinois
- Illinois State Museum - Springfield, Illinois
- Lafayette Art Center - Lafayette, Indiana
- Art Gallery, University of Notre Dame - Notre Dame, Indiana
- Davenport Municipal Art Gallery - Davenport, Iowa
- Des Moines Art Center - Des Moines, Iowa
- University of Maine Art Gallery - Orono, Maine
- Baltimore Museum of Art - Baltimore, Maryland
- Boston Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, Massachusetts
- Town of Brookline Public Library - Brookline, Massachusetts
- Fogg Art Museum - Cambridge, Massachusetts
- De Cordova and Dana Museum - Lincoln, Massachusetts
- Art Museum Mount Holyoke College - South Hadley, Massachusetts
- Museum of Fine Arts - Springfield, Massachusetts
- Albion College - Albion, Michigan
- University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Central Missouri State University - Warrensburg, Missouri
- Art Gallery University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Nebraska
- The Art Museum Princeton University - Princeton, N.J.
- Dartmouth College - Hanover, New Hampshire
- Rutgers University - New Brunswick, New Jersey
- Museum of New Mexico - Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Jewish Museum - New York City, N.Y.
- Metropolitan Museum - New York City, N.Y.
- New York Public Library - New York City, N.Y.
- State University of New York - New Paltz, N.Y.
- University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery - Rochester, N.Y.
- Syracuse University Art Collection - Syracuse, N.Y.
- Salem College - Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- Cincinnati Art Museum - Cincinnati, Ohio
- Dayton Art Institute - Dayton, Ohio
- Butler Institute of American Art - Youngstown, Ohio
- Oklahoma Museum of Art - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Coos Art Museum - Coos Bay, Oregon
- Oregon State University - Corvallis, Oregon
- Lehigh University - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
- City of Philadelphia Public Library - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia Museum of Art - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Museum of Art - Carnegie Institute - Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
- The Charleston Museum - Charleston, South Carolina
- Colombia Museum of Art - Columbia, South Carolina
- Brooks Memorial Art Gallery - Memphis, Tennessee
- Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - Richmond, Virginia
- Corcoran Gallery of Art - Washington, D.C.
- Library of Congress - Washington, D.C.
- Smithsonian Institution - Washington, D.C.
- Huntington Galleries - Huntington, West Virginia
- Madison Art Center - Madison, Wisconsin
- Neville Public Museum - Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Milwaukee Public Library - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Notable collections - International
Albertina Museum - Vienna, Austria Bibliothèque Royal - Brussels, Belgium University Art Museum - Edmonton, Canada Fitzwilliam Museum - Cambridge, England Usher Gallery - Lincolnshire, England Victoria and Albert Museum - London, England Biblioteheque Nationale - Paris, France Bezalel National Museum - Jerusalem, Israel Auckland City Art Gallery - Auckland, New Zealand Statische Museum - Elberfeld, Germany
- Designed a Peace Medal to commemorate the end of the Viet Nam War.
- Illustrated the classic, GILGAMESH, for the Limited Editions Club.
- Created Designs for twelve stained glass windows sixteen feet high depicting the twelve tribes of israil, commissioned by Agudas Achim Synagogue at Columbus, Ohio.
- Irving Amen: Obituary, Paid death notice, The New York Times November 30–December 1, 2011.
- Murray Polner, American Jewish Biographies, New York: Facts on File, 1982, ISBN 9780871964625, p. 8.
- "Irving Amen papers, 1960-1964". Research Collections. Archives of American Art. 2011. Retrieved 16 Jun 2011.