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Alexander Liberman papers, circa 1912-2003

Biographical Note

Alexander S. Liberman (1912-1999) was a sculptor, painter, photographer, graphic designer, writer, and publishing executive who worked primarily in New York City. He held senior positions at Condé Nast Publications for 32 years.
Alexander Semeonovitch Liberman was born in 1912 in Kiev Russia. He was educated in London and the École des Beaux Art in Paris. He began his journalistic career in Paris at VU magazine owned by Lucien Vogel and there he befriended photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Robert Capa, and André Kértesz. He served in the French army for a short time in 1940, but he and his family fled Paris in 1941 to New York City. Condé Nast hired Liberman in 1941 as an assistant to the art director of Vogue magazine. Liberman became art director in 1943 and editorial director of Condé Nast Publications in 1962, a position he held until his retirement in 1994.
Liberman was also a photographer whose subjects included Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Marlene Dietrich, among others, many represented in his 1960 book entitled The Artist in his Studio and Marlene: An Intimate Photographic Memoir (1992). He was also the subject of the work of noted photographers Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gordon Parks, Lord Snowden, Jill Krementz, Henri Lartique, Annie Leibovitz, and Hans Namuth.
Liberman took up painting and sculpting in the 1950s. Although his first exhibition was at the Betty Parsons Gallery, he was primarily associated with the André Emmerich Gallery in New York City. His monumental sculptures were mostly assembled from industrial parts and painted and can be seen in museums and public sites worldwide.
Liberman was briefly married to Hildegarde Sturm. He married his second wife Tatiana Yacovleff du Plessix in 1942. Before their marriage, they fled occupied France together. She was a noted hat designer, working for Henri Bendel and Saks, where she became known as Tatiania of Saks. She died in 1991 and, in 1992, Liberman married Melinda Pechangco, a nurse who had earlier cared for Tatiania. Alexander Liberman died in 1999 in Miami, Florida.