Jules Heller Biography

Jules Heller




Jules Heller, printmaker, educator, administrator, author, and jazz pianist, was born on November 16, 1919, in Bronx, New York and raised in Brooklyn. He learned printmaking at the Townsend Harris High School in Flushing, New York. Over his long career, he experimented with all the traditional printmaking techniques, including etching, lithography, woodcut and linocut, serigraphy, and monotype. He authored Printmaking Today in 1958 and Papermaking in 1978.

Heller received his B.A. in 1939 from Arizona State University, Tempe, and his M.A. in 1940 from Columbia University. He served in the military during World War II and after his discharge he enrolled in the University of Southern California where he earned his PhD in 1948. He became head of the University of Southern California's Fine Arts Department and remained there until 1963 when he accepted the position of dean of the College of Arts and Architecture at Pennsylvania State University. In 1968, Heller moved to Toronto and joined the staff at York University where he headed a team who developed an interdisciplinary curriculum of fine arts. He moved to Tempe, Arizona in 1976 and became Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Arizona State University where the print room was named the Jules Heller Print Room in his honor.

He received the College Art Association's Distinguished Teaching of Art Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the Printmaker Emeritus Award from the Southern Graphics Council. Heller had numerous solo and group exhibitions during his long career. In 2016, the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State mounted a retrospective exhibition entitled The Prints of Jules Heller. His work is represented in the collections of the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe; the Free Library of Philadelphia; the Allen R. Hite Art Institute, Louisville, KY; the Library of Congress; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the York University, Toronto; the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers.

Jules Heller died in Phoenix, Arizona on December 28, 2007.