David Margolis (artist)

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David Margolis
Archives of American Art - David Margolis - 2898.jpg
David Margolis, from the Archives of American Art
Born1911 (1911)
Died2003 (aged 91–92)
New York City
Known forPainting, murals
Notable work
Materials of Relaxation
AwardsSpecial Recognition Award for WPA murals, Public Design Commission of the City of New York

David Margolis (died October 8, 2003) was an American artist known for his WPA murals in New York City.


Margolis is best known for his fresco mural in the entrance rotunda of Bellevue Hospital Center. He worked with two other painters, earning $26.50 per week.[1]

"I was painting in a place of distress. All around me, it was like it is today. So many people, so much drama. Life, death. Crying, screaming and also laughing. And in the middle I was painting murals that told the story of human progress. Nature. Agriculture. Industry. And the central panels by the doorway representing Construction, Destruction and Reconstruction. Remember, it was the Depression."

Margolis enjoyed evenings at the Savoy Ballroom with abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning,[2] and helped Diego Rivera install his murals at Rockefeller Center.[1] He was a member of the Brooklyn Society of Artists[3] and the Federal Art Project. In 1995, Margolis received a Design Award from the Public Design Commission of New York City for his murals painted for the WPA.[4]


His brother was Boris Margo.[5] He married Ruth Margolis.[6] In 2000, he protested the demolition of the Poe house by New York University.[7]


  1. ^ a b Kaufman, Michael T. (October 29, 1994). "New York Times". ABOUT NEW YORK; A Fresh Coat of Paint on the Past. New York. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
  2. ^ "Abstract Expressionism 1932". 1932: Willem de Kooning and Nini move to Greenwich Village. Warholstars.org. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  3. ^ http://ascartists.org/history.htm
  4. ^ http://www.nyc.gov/html/artcom/html/awards/awards_archives.shtml
  5. ^ Smith, Roberta (July 13, 1995). "Boris Margo, Surrealist, 92, And Inventor". The New York Times.
  6. ^ http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?n=david-margolis&pid=1471233
  7. ^ Dwyer, Jim (September 10, 2000). "NY Daily News". Nyu Fights Rev. Billy, 'Raven'. New York. Retrieved December 28, 2011.

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