Alexander Raymond Katz papers, 1927-1974

Katz, A. Raymond (Alexander Raymond), b. 1895 d. 1974
Painter, Printmaker

Collection size: 1.4 linear ft. (on 2 microfilm reels)

Collection Summary: Correspondence, notes, writings, 3 scrapbooks, printed material, and 60 photographs document Katz' career as a painter, muralist, and stained glass artist of primarily Jewish and religious subjects.

Correspondence, 1927-1973, is primarily with synagogues, Jewish community centers and groups concerning commissions for architectural decorations and religious objects, and with galleries concerning exhibitions. Included is a letter from Bob Andrews, 1965, containing a photograph of Beatrice Wood and Gandhi's confidential aide Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya. Notes consist of 4 lists of projects for synagogues. Writings by Katz include an essay about the integration of architecture, painting and sculpture, and "The Seven Names," about calligraphy. Also included are writings by others about Katz, 1952-1956. Three scrapbooks, 1932-1955, contain clippings, reproductions of work, and a few photos and prints.

Printed material includes clippings, 1930-1974, exhibition announcements and catalogs, 1941-1973, and various brochures, programs, reproductions, and books by Katz, including Prelude to a New Art for an Old Religion (1945), and Adventures in Casein (1951); books illustrated by Katz, Art Calendar for 5709 (1948-1949), and By the Waters of Babylon by Gertrude Priester (1962); and a book jacket designed by Katz for The Hungry Eye by Raymond F. Piper, ca. 1955. Photographs are of Katz (7), works of art (35), and installations of Katz's work (25).

Biographical/Historical Note: Mural painter, stained glass and mixed media artist; New York, N.Y. Born in Hungary, Katz' first name Sandor, was anglicized to Alexander upon his arrival in the United States, ca. 1909. Also known as Raymond Katz. Following his studies at the American Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Academy of Arts, he was employed by Balaban and Katz to decorate movie palaces. His mural commission, "Ten Commandments" at Chicago's Century of Progress exhibition in 1933 was based on the Hebrew alphabet. Subsequent murals and stained glass window designs commissioned by synagogues throughout America display symbolic images interpretive of Jewish traditions. Author of Black on White (1933), The Ten Commandments (1946), A New Art for an Old Religion (1952), and Adventures in Casein (1951).

Donated November and December 1974 by Katz' wife, Elsie. Microfilmed 1994 with funding from the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation.

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  • Microfilm reels 4862-4863 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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