Irving Amen Biography

Irving Amen

American

1918-2011

Biography

Born in New York City in 1918, Irving Amen drawing at the age of four. A scholarship to the Pratt Institute was awarded to him when he was fourteen years old. With Michelangelo as his idol, he spent seven years in life classes perfecting his drawing.

From 1942 to 1945 he served with the Armed Forces. He headed a mural project and executed murals in the United States and Belgium. His first exhibition in woodcut was held at the New School for Social Research and his second at the Smithsonian Institute in 1949, and in 1949 he traveled to Paris to study for a year. Upon his return to the United States, he had one man shows in New York and Washington DC.

In 1953, Amen traveled throughout Italy. This resulted in a series of eleven woodcuts, eight etchings and a number of oil paintings. One of these woodcuts, Piazza San Marco #4 and its four woodblocks constitute a permanent exhibit of block printing in color at the Smithsonian Institution. He also traveled in Israel, Greece and Turkey in 1960, which led to a retrospective show at the Artist's House in Jerusalem.

Irving Amen has taught at Pratt Institute and at the University of Notre Dame. He had a show of woodcuts at the Artists Studio in NYC. Commissions include a Peace Medal in honor of the Vietnam War. He created designs for 12 stained glass windows 16 feet high depicting the Twelve Tribes of Israel, commissioned by Agudas Achim Synagogue in Columbus, Ohio. He is listed in Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers and the Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists by Paul Cummings. He was elected member of Accademia Fiorentina Delle Arti Del Disegno, an organization to which Michelangelo belonged.

Amen Irving died in 2011 in Florida.