Homar designed the logo of the "Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña " (Institute of Puerto Rican Culture) known as the ICP, and he also established the Institute's Graphic Arts Workshop.
|Born||September 10, 1913
San Juan, Puerto Rico
|Died||February 16, 2004
San Juan, Puerto Rico
|Awards||Puerto Rican Institute of Culture's National Medal of Honor|
Lorenzo Homar (September 10, 1913 – February 16, 2004) is considered by many to be Puerto Rico's greatest graphic artist.
Homar, born in the "Barrio" Puerta de Tierra of San Juan, Puerto Rico, inherited his love for the arts from both of his parents. His father was an arts promoter and his mother a pianist. He went to grammar school in San Juan. At a young age he moved with his family to New York. Because of the financial situation of his family, Homar quit high school and went to work for a textile factory. In 1931, he attended New York's Art Students League where he learned the art of drawing under the guidance of George Bridgman.
Homar joined the jeweler House of Cartier in 1936 in New York as an apprentice designer. This was of great significance for his artistic development because during this time he studied engraving, drawing and history of design in a traditional workshop system. Furthermore, income from his position at Cartier allowed Homar to take night classes in painting, design and typography at Pratt Institute.
World War II
When the United States entered World War II, Homar joined the Army. He saw action in the Philippines where he was wounded and for which he received the Purple Heart. Homar continued to broaden his skills during the War, in which he served in an Army Intelligence Unit. He developed a talent for cartography working for the Second Amphibious Combat Engineers Brigade, and published military sketches in numerous American journals. When he returned from the war, he enrolled in the School of the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1946. While there, he was able to meet and learn from such artists as Ben Shahn, Rufino Tamayo and Gabor Peterdi.
Early Career in Puerto Rico
Homar returned to Puerto Rico in 1950, where together with other artists, such as Rafael Tufiño, Julio Rosado del Valle and René Marqués, was the co-founder of the "Centro de Arte Puertorriqueño" (Puerto Rican Arts Center, or CAP). He was later named the director of the Graphics Studio of the Graphic Art Division of Puerto Rico's Department of Community Education (DivEdCo). This is when he created most of his greatest works of art. Homar designed the logo of the "Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña " (Institute of Puerto Rican Culture) known as the ICP, and he also established the Institute's Graphic Arts Workshop. During the decade of the 1960s Homar began to show his growing mastery of the techniques of graphic printmaking, particularly in silkscreen. In 1975, he established his own printing studio, and among his many works are the posters he designed in 1979, for the VIII Pan American Games.
The admiration that Homar felt for the masters of the graphic arts led him to distinguish himself as a designer of multiple works of art. His posters, drawings and graphics elevated Puerto Rican graphic arts to a new level of worldwide admiration.
Honors and recognitions
Among the honors and recognitions that Homar received were the exhibition of his works in the Ponce Museum of Art in 1979. The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased some of his works. The University of Puerto Rico proclaimed him a Doctorate "Honoris Causa" and the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture presented him with the National Medal of Honor in 2003.
Military awards and recognitions
Among Homar's military decorations and medals were the following:
- Purple Heart
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars
- World War II Victory Medal
- Philippine Liberation Medal
Lorenzo Homar died in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the sea. He was survived by his wife Dorothy, two daughters, Susan and Laura, and four grandchildren.
-  Brown, Michael A., "España inmortal: Lorenzo Homar's Prints for Cultural Institutions in Puerto Rico", in Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters (2001).
- Tio, Teresa, "El Cartel: Arma de resistencia cultural", in Puerto Rico: Arte e Identidad (San Juan: UPR Press, 1998), pp. 213–256.