Lillian Rose Vorhaus Kruskal Oppenheimer (October 24, 1898 in New York City – July 24, 1992) was an American origami pioneer. She popularized origami in the West starting in the 1950s, and is credited 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[update] it is the largest origami organization in the United States.
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. Oppenheimer is the mother of William, Molly, Rosaly, Martin, and Joseph. The three sons were all prominent mathematicians.
- Lewis, Shari; Oppenheimer, Lillian (1962). Folding Paper Puppets. New York: Stein and Day. ASIN B000NWKJ24.
- Lewis, Shari; Oppenheimer, Lillian (1993). Folding Paper Toys. Lanham, Md.: Scarborough House. ISBN 0-812819-53-5.
- Lewis, Shari; Oppenheimer, Lillian (1962). Folding Paper Masks. New York: E. P. Dutton. ASIN B000K6G2BK.
- Oppenheimer, Lillian; Epstein, Natalie (1980). Decorative Napkin Folding for Beginners. Mineaola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486237-97-4.
- David Lister on Lillian Oppenheimer and Her Friends
- Two Miscellaneous Collections of Jottings on the History of Origami: Part One
- Robinson, Nick (2004). The Origami Bible. North Light Books. p. 19.
- History of OrigamiUSA
- American Jewish Archives: "Two Baltic Families Who Came to America The Jacobsons and the Kruskals, 1870-1970" by RICHARD D. BROWN January 24, 1972
- Photo of Lillian Oppenheimer at the Wayback Machine (archived September 28, 2007)
- Photo of Lillian Oppenheimer on Origami USA website
- Photo of Florence Temko and Lillian Oppenheimer
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