Harry Gottlieb

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Ruins Along the Hudson by Harry Gottlieb, c. 1937, oil on canvas, WPA Collection, Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Harry Gottlieb (1895 – July 4, 1992) was an American painter, screen printer, lithographer, and educator.


Gottlieb was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1895. He immigrated to America in 1907, and his family settled in Minneapolis.[1] His family was Jewish.[2]

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.


Gottlieb was one of America's first Social Realist painters, influenced by the 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.

In 1935, he joined the Federal Art Project; he was one of the first members of the WPA/FAP's Silk Screen Unit.[3] Gottlieb remained active as a painter and screen printer after the closure of the Federal Art Project, and served as the first director of the short-lived American Artists School in New York City. Gottlieb was a leader and active member of the Artists Union and the Artists Congress.

He lectured widely on art education and promoted the government support of artist and artistic projects.

His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Brooklyn Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Gottlieb married Russian born artist and sculptor Eugenie Gershoy,[6] and the couple joined the artist colony at Woodstock, New York. In 1923, Gottlieb settled in Woodstock, New York and in 1931, spent a year abroad studying under a Guggenheim Fellowship.[7]

Gottlieb was an adherent of the political theories of Karl Marx and joined the Communist Party in the 1930s, remaining a lifelong member of the party.[3]


  1. ^ "Harry Gottlieb Online". www.artcyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  2. ^ Matthew Baigell, Jewish Art in America: An Introduction, p.49. Rowman & Littlefield, 2007, ISBN 0742546411
  3. ^ a b "Harry Gottlieb Is Dead; W.P.A. Artist Was 98". The New York Times. 1992-07-08. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  4. ^ http://www.metmuseum.org/Works_of_Art/collection_database/drawings_and_prints/the_launching_harry_gottlieb/objectview.aspx?OID=90048363&collID=9&dd1=9
  5. ^ "20th Century | Highlights | Smithsonian American Art Museum". americanart.si.edu. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  6. ^ http://www.askart.com/askart/g/eugenie_gershoy/eugenie_gershoy.aspx
  7. ^ http://www.gf.org/fellows/5680-harry-gottlieb[permanent dead link]