Harry Gottlieb Biography

Harry Gottlieb




Harry Gottlieb was born in Bucharest, Romania on September 25, 1895. His family immigrated to America in 1907, and settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

From 1915 to 1917, Gottlieb attended the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. After a short stint as an illustrator for the U.S. Navy, Gottlieb moved to New York City; he became a scenic and costume designer for Eugene O'Neill’s Provincetown Theater Group. He also studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and the National Academy of Design. Gottlieb moved to New York in 1918, and settled in the artist's colony at Woodstock, N.Y., in 1923. He worked there for 12 years, until a Guggenheim Fellowship enabled him to study in Europe.

He worked with the Federal Art Project (FAP/WPA) from 1935 to 1940. Working in the graphics division of the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration, Mr. Gottlieb participated in a pilot endeavor to develop silk-screen printing as a fine-art medium. The prints he made by this process in the 1930's and 40's are among his best-known works. Gottlieb became a leader and active member of the Artists Union and the Artists Congress, and joined the Communist Party, remaining a lifelong member.

In 1977, Mr. Gottlieb helped organize a show of W.P.A. artists at the Parsons School of Design. In 1983 his contributions to the W.P.A. and the silk-screen method were seen in a solo exhibition at at Rutgers University. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan, Brooklyn and Whitney museums.

Harry Gottlieb died on the Fourth of July, 1992 at age 98.