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Abraham Walkowitz papers, 1904-1969

Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965

Painter, Etcher, Printmaker

This site provides access to the papers of Abraham Walkowitz in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2015, and total 3,336 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation of American Art

Collection Information

Size: 2.9 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter Abraham Walkowitz date from 1904-1969, and measure 2.9 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material; letters from artists, friends, and art collectors; business records; four interview transcripts; notes and writings; exhibition announcements, catalogs, and other printed material; and photographs of Walkowitz, friends, colleagues, and artworks.
Biographical material consists of autobiographical notes, a citizenship certificate, membership and registration cards, medical records, and address books.
Letters, with scattered responses from Walkowitz, are primarily from colleagues including artists John Taylor Arms, George Biddle, Paula Eliasoph, Ivan G. Olinsky, Walter Pach, Alfred Stieglitz, Carl Van Vechten, and Max Weber, Boston art collector Louis Schapiro, publisher E. Haldeman-Julius, writer Horace Traubel, and dancers Elizabeth Duncan and Maria-Theresa Duncan, the sister and adopted daughter of Isadora Duncan respectively. Individual letters are primarily from the diverse group of notable people to whom Walkowitz had sent copies of his books. Also found are letters from art organizations and museums.
Business records consist of documents concerning the will of art collector George M. Dunaif, letters of acknowledgement of gifts of art work donated by Walkowitz to various museums, and miscellaneous financial material. Transcripts are of three interviews with Walkowitz and an interview with Walkowitz and Frank Kleinholz. Notes and writings include lists of names, addresses, and art work, miscellaneous lecture notes, and writings by Walkowitz and by others. Printed material consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, reproductions of art work, and books by Walkowitz, and by Walkowitz and E. Haldeman-Julius.
The photographs series contains the most significant material in the collection. The majority of photographs are of Abraham Walkowitz, taken by many notable photographers including Arnold Genthe, Lotte Jacobi, Arnold Newman, Alfredo Valente, Carl Van Vechten, and Clarence White. Also found are photographs of friends and colleagues, as well as photographs of art work by Walkowitz and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Abraham Walkowitz (1878-1965) was a painter in Brooklyn, New York. Walkowitz was born in Tumen in Siberian Russia, the son of Jacob and Rita Schulman Walkowitz. Following the death of his father, a lay rabbi and cantor, in the late 1880s, Walkowitz immigrated to the United States with his mother and siblings and settled in the Lower East Side of New York City.


Portions of the papers were donated in 1959 by Abraham Walkowitz; in 1966 by Dr. Rosa E. Prigosen, the artist's niece; in 1981 through a transfer of material from the National Museum of American Art/National Portrait Gallery Library; and in 1996 by Howard and Lila Schulman.

Related Materials


Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation of American Art