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Abram Lerner papers, circa 1930-2006

Biographical Note

Abram Lerner (1913-2007) was an art historian, curator, and painter in Washington, DC. Born to Russian immigrants in New York City, Lerner received a bachelor's degree in art history from New York University in 1934. Lerner worked as an apprentice muralist in the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and after pursued a career as an exhibiting artist through the 1950s. In 1955 while working as a director at an art gallery he met Joseph Hirshhorn, who he came to work for on his art collection. Eventually this relationship led to Lerner becoming the founding director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Park, Smithsonian Institution, in 1974. After ten years as director Lerner retired to his seasonal home in Southampton, NY in 1984. He lived there with his wife Pauline, who he was married to from 1943, until she passed away in 2003. Lerner passed away from heart failure in his home in Canaan, CT in 2007.