Lillian Oppenheimer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Lillian Rose Vorhaus Kruskal Oppenheimer (October 24, 1898 in New York City – July 24, 1992) was an American origami pioneer.[1] She popularized origami in the West starting in the 1950s, and is credited[2] with popularizing the Japanese term origami in English-speaking circles, which gradually supplanted the literal translation paper folding that had been used earlier. In the 1960s she co-wrote several popular books on origami with Shari Lewis.

Lillian Oppenheimer ran an informal group of dedicated folders in the New York City area, and in 1978 she co-founded, with Alice Gray and Michael Shall, the non-profit Friends of the Origami Center. After Oppenheimer's death, it was renamed OrigamiUSA. As of 2016 it is the largest origami organization in the United States.[3][4]

Oppenheimer was born to a Jewish family of Austrian, Hungarian, and Czech origin, the daughter of Bernard Vorhaus, an attorney who made a living importing furs.[5] Oppenheimer is the mother of William, Molly, Rosaly, Martin, and Joseph.[5] The three sons were all prominent mathematicians.



  1. ^ David Lister on Lillian Oppenheimer and Her Friends
  2. ^ Two Miscellaneous Collections of Jottings on the History of Origami: Part One
  3. ^ Robinson, Nick (2004). The Origami Bible. North Light Books. p. 19. 
  4. ^ History of OrigamiUSA
  5. ^ a b American Jewish Archives: "Two Baltic Families Who Came to America The Jacobsons and the Kruskals, 1870-1970" by RICHARD D. BROWN January 24, 1972

External links[edit]