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Oral history interview with Lillian Orlowsky, 1996 Aug. 5-26

Oral history interview with Lillian Orlowsky, 1996 Aug. 5-26

Orlowsky, Lillian, 1914-2004

Art teacher, Painter


Collection Information

Size: 2 sound cassettes (2 hr., 30 min.)

Format: Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 12 min.

Summary: An interview of Lillian Orlowsky conducted 1996 Aug. 5 and 26, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Orlowsky's home, in Provincetown, Mass.

Orlowsky talks about her childhood in Manhattan, N.Y., including her interest in modern dance, attending art classes at the Educational Alliance in the Lower East Side where she met classmate Louise Nevelson (1932-33); her studies at the American Artists School with Raphael and Moses Soyer and Anton Refregier; creating watercolors with William Freed; her work in the mural and easel divisions of the WPA; Hans Hofmann's classes and her classmates, including Lee Krasner (1937); her return to Provincetown, Mass., in 1944, with husband William Freed; and Forum 49 in Provincetown. Orlowsky also recalls David Alfaro Siqueiros' method of painting.

Biographical/Historical Note

Lillian Orlowsky (1914- 2004) was a painter in New York, N.Y. and Provincetown, Mass. Orlowsky was a WPA artist who studied under Hans Hofmann.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Use requires an appointment.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Lillian Orlowsky, 1996 Aug. 5-26. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.