Gan Zigormas Kolski Biography

Gan Zigormas Kolski




Gan Zigormas Kolski was born in Mikolajiki Poland in 1899. He studied in Krakow with Polish graphic artist and activist Vladyslav Skoczylas and with graphic artist Stefan Mrozewski, who also came to America.

Kolski arrived in New York in 1920, listing "artist" as his profession and moving to 14th St. in Manhattan. In America Kolski had his lithograph "Courtyard" included in The American Institute of Graphic Arts 'Fifty Prints of the Year" in 1931-32 and his lithograph "Early Morning' and woodengraving "Provincetown" in the Print Makers Society of California 'Twelfth International Print Makers Exhibition' at Los Angeles Museum Exposition Park, March, 1931.' There is an impression of "Provincetown" listed in the GSA list of WPA prints, however it was not established until 1935, three years after his death.

The website of the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill comments: “The Polish-born artist Gan Kolski (1899-1932) lived in New York City on Horatio Street, near the burgeoning artistic neighborhood Greenwich Village. Kolski produced illustrations for the radical left magazine New Masses and participated in exhibitions by the John Reed Club, an organization for Marxist artists and intellectuals…. Although Kolski did not become as well-known as some of his contemporaries, in part because his career was cut short by suicide at the age of only 33, his prints are an excellent example of the social realist aesthetic of the era.”

In a review in April, 2017, in the New York Times of Jules Stewart’s book “Gotham Rising: New York in the 1930s” Gan Kolski is quoted. According to the book, before leaping to his death from the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson, Kolski wrote: “If you cannot hear the cry of starving millions, listen to the dead, brothers. Your economic system is dead.


Gan Z. Kolski died on April 18, 1932 in Manhattan, New York, USA. He is buried at Middle Village, Queens County, New York.