Peter Lipman-Wulf Biography

Peter Lipman-Wulf




Sculptor and printmaker Peter Lipman-Wulf was born on April 27, 1905 in Berlin, Germany.  His father was a lawyer father and his mother a sculptor, and as such, Peter was surrounded by an academic and creative environment as a youth. He was enrolled in the Odenwaldschule, a progressive school that used a holisitic approach to learning, including submersion in the liberal arts and a large portion of class time spent outdoors. He then apprenticed for two years, starting at age sixteen, as a woodworker for the theater in Oberammergau before enrolling at the Berlin Academy. There, he studied sculpture under Ludwig Gies.

Before age twenty-seven Lipman-Wulf had been won a Prussian State Competition for his sculpture and was then commissioned to create two large-scale marble fountains for the city of Berlin. Soon thereafter, he was nominated to take the place of Prof. Fritz Diederich as Master Stone Carver after the latter's retirement; however, the rise of Nazi Germany and the anti-Semitic sentiment of the government disallowed this opportunity, as Lipman-Wulf's family, while practicing Protestant, was reformed-Jewish. He was dismissed from the school entirely in 1933.

Not long after this setback Lipman-Wulf moved to France, where he settled in Paris for a time and exhibited throughout the city as well as the South of France. Though he found success in the Parisian art world, he was nevertheless interned at Les Milles near Aix-en-Provence in 1939 along with several other artists and intellectuals, including Max Ernst. In 1942 he was able to escape, finding asylum in Switzerland.

In 1947 he left Basel for the United States, settling in New York.  He became an American citizen and taught for many years at Adelphi University on Long Island. A sculptor and poet, Lipman-Wulf would have come in contact with fellow immigrant artists in New York in the 1940’s, including those working at Atelier 17 and the Art Students League. He began printmaking seriously in the late 1950’s in all media, primarily working in series for portfolios. He exhibited extensively and his work is represented in numerous museum and collections throughout the world.  He had a retrospective of his work at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1961.

Peter Lipman-Wulf died in Hamburg, Germany on September 26, 1993, just before the opening of an exhibition of his internment works; these were later shown in Hamburg in a retrospective titled "Camp des Milles: Memorial for the Future".

1928: Prussian State Prize
1937: Gold medal, World Exhibition, Paris
1949-1950: Guggenheim Fellowship
1960: Olivetti Prize, Silvermine, Connecticut
1979: Yaddo Residency (Summer)
1980: Alfred Deshong Gold Medal, Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania