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Louis Lozowick papers, 1898-1974

Louis Lozowick papers, 1898-1974

Lozowick, Louis, 1892-1973

Painter, Lithographer

Representative image for Louis Lozowick papers, 1898-1974

The papers of Louis Lozowick in the Archives of American Art were digitized from 7 reels of microfilm in 2007. The bulk of the papers have been scanned, and total 10,024 images.

Collection Information

Size: 5.8 linear feet

Summary: The Louis Lozowick Papers measure 5.8 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.

Biographical/Historical Note

Louis Lozowick (1892-1973) was a lithographer from New York, N.Y. Born in Kiev, Russia and came to the U.S. at the age of 14. He was primarily known for his lithographs of New York City.


Donated 1966-1971 by Louis Lozowick, and after his death by his widow Adele, 1974-1988.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the Louis Lozowick papers,
, in the Archives of American Art
Finding aid prepared by Catherine S. Gaines
Biographical Note
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
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.
The collection is arranged into 8 series. Glass plate negatives and lantern slides are housed separately and closed to researchers.
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 5-6, 8; 1.05 linear ft.; Reel 5899)
Scope and Content Note
The Louis Lozowick Papers measure 5.8 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.
Donated 1966-1971 by Louis Lozowick, and after his death by his widow Adele, 1974-1988.
Processing Information
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. Glass plate negatives and lantern slides were re-housed in 2015 with a grant provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

Additional Forms Available

The microfilm of this collection was digitized in 2007 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Louis Lozowick papers, 1898-1974. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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