Helen K. Siegl Biography

Helen K. Siegl




Printmaker and illustrator Helen Siegl was born in Vienna, Austria, on August 18, 1924. She studied architecture and design at the Academie Fur Angwandte Kunst in Vienna, under professor Oswald Haetel, later apprenticing in his studio after graduation in 1946. She emigrated to Montreal, Canada in 1952, and that same year she married Theodor Siegl, Conservator of Paintings for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Living in Philadelphia, she became a U.S. Citizen in 1959.
Siegl’s unusual printmaking technique— often combining various kinds of blocks and plates to create an image, including handmade plaster blocks she designed when wood was scarce in Vienna during World War II— helped garner her reputation as a widely respected printmaker. Combined with the originality of her design, her illustrations for such books as “Aesop’s Fables”, “Dancing Palm Tree” (for which she won the New York Times Book Review’s International Award), “Images From the Old Testament”, “Mother Goose”, Oscar Wilde’s “The Selfish Giant”, and others also secured international regard for her artistry as well. 
She was a regular contributor to the Philadelphia Print Club, and her work is included in various collections nationwide, among them the National Gallery and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She died at her home in Big Flats, New York, on January 26, 2009.