A Finding Aid to the Louis Lozowick papers,
1898-1974, in the Archives of American Art, by Catherine S. Gaines
Funding for the digitization of the microfilm of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Table of Contents:
- Biographical Information
- Overview of the Collection
- How to Use the Collection
- Detailed Description and Container Inventory
Louis Lozowick (1892-1973) is known for his lithographs of New York City, many in the Precisionist mode. As a very young boy in the Ukraine, Lozowick showed an aptitude for drawing. At age eleven, with an older brother, he moved from his rural hometown to Kiev, where he received training at the Kiev Art Institute. In 1906, Lozowick came to the United States, joining a brother in New Jersey. While in high school, and for several years afterwards, Lozowick studied at the National Academy of Design under Leon Kroll, George Willloughby Maynard, Ivan Olinsky, and Douglas Volk. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1918 with a degree in art.
After a year's stint in the medical corps of the U.S. Army, Lozowick headed to Paris in the fall of 1920, where he studied French at the Sorbonne. By early 1922, he had settled in Berlin and was enrolled at the Friedrick Wilhelms Universität. During this time, Lozowick began painting seriously, made his first lithographs, and established friendships with many Russian artists in Germany, including El Lissitsky; he also made a trip to Moscow, where he met a number of leading Russian artists. While living in Berlin, Lozowick had his first solo show at K. E. Twardy Book Shop in 1922, and a second at the Gallerie Alfred Heller in the following year.
Lozowick worked mainly as a graphic artist and supplemented his income with commercial work. In addition, he taught art history and lithography classes, lectured, and wrote about art. During the Depression he worked with the Public Works of Art Project, New York City, for a brief time in 1934. Between 1935 and 1940, he was employed by the Graphic Arts Division of the Works Progress Administration.
Lozowick taught art history at the Educational Alliance Art School, New York City, for a semester prior to going to Europe, and for extended periods afterwards. He was a lithography instructor at the John Reed Club School of Art and the American Artists School, and over the years taught a number of private pupils. In 1924, Lozowick delivered lectures on modern Russian art for the Société Anonyme, and lectured regularly on a variety of art topics to a many other groups. Eventually he was represented by a speakers' bureau that arranged several lecture tours.
Russian art, art and artists in the Soviet Union, and Jewish art were among the topics that particularly interested Lozowick. He wrote extensively on these subjects and others, publishing many articles and reviews. While living in Berlin, he wrote for Broom and contributed translations to that periodical. Two major manuscripts, a book about William Gropper and a memoir titled Survivor From a Dead Age, appeared posthumously. In addition, he was a founder of the New Masses, a contributing editor, and eventually its art editor.
One of the organizers of the John Reed Club in 1929 and a charter member, Lozowick became its Executive Secretary in 1931 and remained active throughout the club's five-year existence. In 1935, Lozowick participated in organizing the first American Artists' Congress, became the group's Executive Secretary, and for several years was an extremely active member of the New York chapter.
Throughout his long career, Louis Lozowick exhibited widely in local and national exhibitions. He won a number of awards and was invited to spend several summers in residence at the Yaddo artists' colony.
Overview of the Collection
Scope and Contents
The Louis Lozowick Papers measure 6.0 linear feet and are dated 1898-1974. Correspondence, writings, business records, printed material and photographs document Lozowick's career. Also included are biographical documents, sketches, and records relating to organizations that interested him.
Correspondence with colleagues, commercial clients, organizations, museums and galleries, family and friends, concerns business and personal affairs. A small number of letters are in Russian, Yiddish, German, and French. Writings include manuscripts, drafts, and notes for articles, books, reviews, and talks on art related subjects and other topics. Among Lozowick's notes are seven notebooks relating to published and unpublished writings.
Business records consist of an extensive alphabetical file recording sales and consignments, loans for exhibitions, and other financial transactions, accompanied by related printed material. Originally housed in loose leaf notebooks, these files are arranged by name of gallery, museum, organization, or event. In addition, there are a small number of loose receipts.
Lozowick retained printed matter, unpublished notes and writings, and miscellaneous items relating to organizations and groups of interest to him. The American Artists' Congress and the John Reed Club files are of particular interest; because he served as an officer in these organizations, his papers include copies of minutes, reports, and official correspondence.
Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, invitations and announcements. Material by Lozowick consists of articles, reviews, illustrations and reproductions. In addition, there are articles and miscellaneous items about Lozowick including announcements of his lectures, a course syllabus, and brochure about a tour of the U.S.S.R. led by him. Miscellaneous printed material includes research materials collected by Lozowick for his writing; illustrations of artists at work, in their studios, galleries, etc., and a 1922 broadside in French and Russian announcing a lecture.
Photographs include images of Lozowick and his family. Of particular interest is a photograph of Lozowick at a 1934 demonstration sponsored by the John Reed Club and Artists' Union. Photographs of works of art include works by Lozowick, as well as by American, European, and Russian artists; many of these, including lantern slides, may have been used to illustrate his lectures and writings. Among the miscellaneous subjects are Lozowick's studio, the Soviet Pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair, and an unidentified Soviet exhibition installation.
Also included are small number of biographical documents and sketches in pen and ink.
Arrangement and Series Description
The collection is arranged into 8 series:
- Series 1: Biographical Information, 1923-1973 (Box 1; 10 folders; Reel 5893)
- Series 2: Correspondence, 1916-1974 (Boxes 1-2; 1.25 linear ft.; Reels 5893-5895)
- Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1917-circa 1970 (Boxes 2-3; 1.5 linear ft.; Reels 5895-5897)
- Series 4: Business Records, 1929-1973 (Box 3; 0.25 linear ft.; Reel 5897-5898)
- Series 5: Organizations, 1930-1972 (Box 4; 0.4 linear ft.; Reel 5898)
- Series 6: Printed Material, 1920-1974 (Boxes 4-5 and OV 7; 1.25 linear ft.; Reels 5898-5899)
- Series 7: Sketches, n.d. (Box 5; 1 folder; Reel 5899)
- Series 8: Photographs, 1898-1973 (Boxes 6-7; 1.25 linear ft.; Reel 5899)
Subjects and Names
This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following index terms. People, families and organizations are listed under "Names" when they are creators or contributors and under "Subjects" when they are the topic of collection contents.
- American Artists' Congress
- John Reed Club
- Lithographers -- New York (State) -- New York
- Types of Materials:
Gift of Louis and Adele Lozowick, 1966-1980. Various portions were microfilmed on reels D254-D254A, and 1333-1337. In 2004, all portions of the gift were merged, reprocessed, and remicrofilmed.
How the Collection was Processed
The collection was processed by Catherine S. Gaines in 2004 and was subsequently microfilmed on reels 5893-5899. The microfilm was digitized in 2007 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
How to Use the Collection
Restrictions on Use
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not microfilmed or digitized requires an appointment.
Ownership & Literary Rights
The Louis Lozowick Papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
The microfilm of this collection was digitized in 2007 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.
How to Cite this Collection
Louis Lozowick Papers, 1898-1974. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Detailed Description and Container Inventory
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1923-1973 (Box 1; 10 folders; Reel 5893)
|1||5893 (11-25)||Autobiographical Notes, 1943, 1973, n.d.|
|1||5893 (26-37)||Awards, 1965-1973, n.d.|
|1||5893 (38-59)||Biographical Notes, 1936-1960s, n.d.|
|1||5893 (60-61)||Certificate of Naturalization (copy of original issued October 21, 1919), 1944|
|1||5893 (62-63)||European Correspondent Credentials, Union Bulletin, Cincinnati, 1923|
|1||5893 (64-65)||List of WPA Prints by Lozowick Owned by New York Public Library, 1943|
|1||5893 (66-82)||Membership Cards, 1932-1973, n.d.|
|1||5893 (83-91)||Miscellaneous Items (business cards; travel itineraries), 1959-1962, n.d.|
|1||5893 (92-116)||Questionnaires (Artists for Victory; Who's Who in the Jewish Social Registry; Federal Support for the Visual Arts), 1943-1968|
Series 2: Correspondence, 1916-1974 (Boxes 1-2; 1.25 linear ft.; Reels 5893-5895)
This series consists mainly of incoming letters, though a smaller number of replies and outgoing letters have survived among the papers. Correspondence with colleagues, commercial clients, organizations, museums and galleries, family and friends documents Lozowick's business and personal affairs including: Lozowick's writings, exhibitions, loans and sales of artwork, requests and arrangements for lectures, the Works Progress Administration, news of friends, and the activities of artists' and political organizations of interest to Lozowick. A small number of letters are in Russian, Yiddish, German, and French.
Among Lozowick's correspondents are Peter Blume, Paul Burlin, Marc Chagall, Malcolm Crowley, Mrs. Chester Dale, Theodore Dreiser, Lewis Mumford, Richard Neutra, Man Ray, Meyer Schapiro, and Art Young. Letters to his wife and son include a number of illustrations.
In addition, small amount of official correspondence of the American Artists' Congress and the John Reed Club is filed with Series 5: Organizations.
|1||5893 (118-385)||Correspondence, 1916-1931 (17 folders)|
|1||5893 (386-779)||Correspondence, 1932-1935 (17 folders)|
|2||5893 (780-1149)||Correspondence, 1936-1939 (17 folders)|
|2||5893 (1150-1427)||Correspondence, 1940-1945 (17 folders)|
|2||5894 (13-310)||Correspondence, 1946-1950 (12 folders)|
|2||5894 (311-596)||Correspondence, 1951-1955 (12 folders)|
|2||5894 (597-906)||Correspondence, 1956-1959 (12 folders)|
|2||5894 (908-1160)||Correspondence, 1960-1962 (8 folders)|
|2||5894 (1161-1458)||Correspondence, 1963-1967 (8 folders)|
|2||5895 (12-540)||Correspondence, 1968-1973 (6 folders)|
|2||5895 (541-615)||Condolence Letters, 1973-1974|
|2||5895 (616-901)||A-Z, and Unidentified, n.d. (3 folders)|
Series 3: Writings, 1917-circa 1970 (Boxes 2-3; 1.5 linear ft.; Reels 5895-5897)
Lozowick published many articles, book and exhibition reviews, and a book, Modern Russian Art. Two major works -- a book on William Gropper and a memoir titled Survivor From a Dead Age -- were published posthumously. In addition, there is evidence of a few unpublished books about art (probably unfinished). Russian art and art and artists in the Soviet Union are the focus of many articles.
This series includes manuscripts, drafts, and notes for a wide range of writings. They are arranged by record type: articles, books, notes, and miscellaneous writings. Among the manuscripts identified as "articles" are several pieces that could be chapters for planned books or texts of classroom lectures, i.e., articles titled with names of art schools, periods, or movements, such as "Cubism," "Futurism," and "Renaissance," or places like "Greece," and "The Orient".
Seven notebooks and loose notes relate mainly to his published and unpublished writings. Also among his notes are names, addresses and phone numbers, reminders and lists; notes on specific topics include lithography, Soviet and Russian art and artists, India and Japan. Series 6: Printed Material, includes some research materials for Lozowick's writings.
This series is arranged into 2 subseries:
3.1: By Lozowick, 1917-circa 1970
3.2: By Other Authors, 1911-1949
Series 4: Business Records, 1929-1973 (Box 3; 0.25 linear ft.; Reel 5897-5898)
Among the Lozowick's business records is an extensive file (originally maintained in loose leaf binders) arranged by name of museum, gallery, institution, or event. These record names of paintings and prints loaned for exhibition or consigned for sale, with sales and return dates noted. Filed along with Lozowick's handwritten lists are miscellaneous printed items relating to various exhibitions and benefit auctions/sales. Additional business records consist of receipts for expenses and income derived from commercial work, lectures, and writing.
|3||5897 (1103-1455)||Business Records, A-Z (removed from loose leaf binders), 1930s-1973 (4 folders)|
|3||5898 (13-39)||Receipts for Business Expenses, 1931-1973, n.d.|
|3||5898 (40-67)||Receipts for Commercial Art Work, Lectures, Writings, and Reproduction Fees, 1929-1962, n.d.|
|3||5898 (69-78)||Receipts for Personal Expenses, 1933-1968, n.d.|
|3||5898 (79-81)||WPA Arts Program, Daily Report, September 17, 1940|
Series 5: Organizations, 1930-1972 (Box 4; 0.4 linear ft.; Reel 5898)
This series consists mainly of printed material, unpublished notes and writings, and miscellaneous items relating to organizations and groups of interest to Lozowick. Of particular interest his files relating to the American Artists' Congress and the John Reed Club. Lozowick served as an officer of each organization and among his papers are some of their minutes, reports, and official correspondence. Among the American Artists' Congress Correspondence, 1936-1940, are letters from Ralton Crawford, Peppino Mangravite, and Max Weber. The John Reed Club's correspondence, 1931-1935, includes letters from John Steuart Curry and Walter Quirt.
Series 6: Printed Material, 1920-1974 (Boxes 4-5 and OV 7; 1.25 linear ft.; Reel 5898-5899)
Miscellaneous items include research materials collected by Lozowick for his writings, along with a variety of clippings and articles on art-related and other subjects probably used for the same purpose. Illustrations of artists at work, in their studios, galleries, etc. include photographs, reproductions, and clippings. Also of interest is a 1922 broadside in French and Russian announcing a lecture.
In addition to the exhibition catalogs, announcements, and invitations housed here, Series 4: Business Records includes a smaller number of checklists, announcements, etc. filed with Lozowick's alphabetical record of works exhibited and consigned.
This series is arranged into 4 subseries:
- 6.1: Exhibition Catalogs, Announcements, Invitations
- 6.2: By Lozowick
- 6.3: About Lozowick
- 6.4: Miscellaneous Items
6.1: Exhibition Catalogs, Announcements, Invitations, 1922-1973
|4||5898 (786-829)||Announcements and Invitations, Lozowick Exhibitions, 1939-1974, n.d.|
|4||5898 (830-1185)||Catalogs of Lozowick Exhibitions, 1922-1973, n.d. (13 folders)|
|4||5898 (1186-1221)||Catalogs of Other Exhibitions, 1926-1974, n.d.|
|4||5898 (1222-1240)||Prospectuses, 1936-1973|
6.2: By Lozowick, 1922-1947
|5||5898 (1243-1292)||Articles, 1922-1930, n.d. (2 folders)|
|5||5898 (1293-1328)||Book, Modern Russian Art, Museum of Modern Art, Société Anonyme, Inc., 1925|
|5||5898 (1329-1343)||Book Reviews, 1927-1947|
|5||5898 (1344-1350)||Illustrations, 1925-1929|
|5||5898 (1351-1353)||Reproductions, n.d.|
6.3: About Lozowick, 1923-1974
|5||5898 (1355-1386)||Announcements of Lectures; Course Syllabus; Brochure about Summer Tour, 1920-1936, n.d.|
|5||5898 (1387-1450)||Articles, 1923-1973 (3 folders)|
|5||5899 (12-40)||Clippings, 1924-1973, n.d.|
|5||5899 (41-50)||Miscellaneous, 1947-1974, n.d.|
6.4: Miscellaneous Items, 1922-1971
|OV 7||5899 (1100-1112)||Research Material for "Solomon Nunes Carvalho," 1952|
Series 7: Sketches, n.d. (Box 5; 1 folder; Reel 5899)
Ink and pencil sketches include figures, geometric abstractions, landscapes, side view of Solomon's Temple, and a scale drawing of a panel elevation. Three items are mere doodles.
|5||5899 (1113-1137)||Sketches, n.d.|
Series 8: Photographs, 1898-1973 (Boxes 5-6; 1.25 linear ft.; Reel 5899)
Images of Lozowick include a photograph of him as a young child, along with pictures of his father, wife Adele and son Lee, and a portrait thought to be of David Burliuk. Of particular interest is a photograph of Lozowick participating in a demonstration organized by the John Reed Club and Artists' Union, 1934.
Photographs of works of art consist of drawings, lithographs, paintings, machine ornaments, set designs, and a costume by Lozowick. Also included is work by various American, European, and Russian artists. Negatives (both acetate and glass) and lantern slides of works of art were most likely used to illustrate writings and lectures.
Miscellaneous subjects include Lozowick's studio, the Soviet Pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, and an unidentified Soviet exhibition installation.
A few photographs are among the illustrations of artists at work, in their studios, galleries, etc., filed with Series 6, Printed Material.
Negatives and lantern slides have not been scanned.
This series is organized into 4 subseries:
8.1: People, 1892-1971
|5||5899 (1140-1165)||Louis Lozowick, 1898-1971, n.d.|
|5||5899 (1166-1174)||Louis Lozowick and Family Members (father, wife Adele, son Lee), 1904-1945, n.d.|
|5||5899 (1175-1194)||Louis Lozowick with Others, 1918-1966, n.d.|
|5||5899 (1195-1199)||David Burliuk (?); Unidentified, 1920s, n.d.|
8.2: Works of Art, 1920s-1964
|5||5899 (1201-1209)||Drawings, 1924-1948, n.d.|
|5||5899 (1210-1234)||Lithographs, 1926-1964, n.d.|
|5||5899 (1235-1253)||Paintings, 1926-1963, n.d.|
|5||5899 (1254-1267)||Machine Ornaments, circa 1929|
|5||5899 (1268-1272)||Set Designs for "Gas" by George Kaiser, Goodman Theatre, Chicago (drawing); Stage Set, 1926|
|5||5899 (1273-1277)||Stage Set for Fashion Show; Costume Designed for Gilda Gray, Lord & Taylor Centennial, 1930|
|5||5899||By Other Artists|
|5||5899 (1278-1342)||American, European, and Asian Art (A-Z, and Unidentified), n.d.|
|5||5899 (1343-1423)||Russian Art (A-Z, and Unidentified), 1920s-1940s|
8.3: Miscellaneous Subjects, 1932-1962
|5||5899 (1425-1427)||Exhibition Installation, Soviet Union; Invitation to Opening of Lithograph Exhibition at Harry Isaacson Studio Fine Arts Gallery, 1932, 1962|
|5||5899 (1428-1430)||Lozowick Studio, n.d.|
|5||5899 (1431-1443)||Soviet Pavilion, World's Fair, 1939|
|5||5899 (1444-1448)||Unidentified Landscape, n.d.|
8.4: Negatives and Lantern Slides, n.d. (Unfilmed)
|6||unfilmed||Acetate Negatives: American, European, and Russian Art; Jewish Interest, n.d.|
|6||unfilmed||Glass Negatives: American, European, and Russian Art; Russian Architecture; Jewish Interest, n.d. (33 glass negatives in 4x6 card file)|
|6||unfilmed||Lantern Slides: American, European, and Russian Art; Russian Architecture; Jewish Interest, n.d. (76 lantern slides in 4x6 card file)|