|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|A great New York artist of the Depression era, Hyman Katz studied
etching under William Auerbach Levy, in Manhattan, and under Miller at
the National Academy of Design. Katz's first etchings date from
the early 1920's. During the following twenty years he created
many extraordinary views of his native city and elsewhere.
However, coming from somewhat impoverished surroundings, Katz was
mainly ignored by Manhattan's art critics and societies. Help
came from the New York branch of the W. P. A. -- the now famous Works
Progress Administration. Founded by President Roosevelt in 1935,
the W. P. A. actively assisted artists during the bleak years of the
Great Depression. Without its aid, most of the many masterpieces
created by this generation of artists would not have been made.
The W. P. A. commissioned a|
number of original etchings from Hyman Katz, publishing them in editions of twenty-five impressions or less.
Recognition of Katz's genius came to him late in life. Social realism
was the clarion call of American art during the 1930's and 1940's and
the unique, highly decorative genius of Katz's etched art was simply
beyond most artistic institutions. Much more akin to our modern eyes,
collectors today recognize the wonderful simplicity and vision in
A note should here be made about Katz's somewhat confusing methods of
signing his etchings. In the past I have had etchings by Hyman Katz
signed, 'William H. Katz', 'Hyman William Katz' and 'Hyman Jeff
Katz'. I can offer no speculation concerning why he changed his
given names but examination of both the etchings and the handwriting
verifies that it is one and the same artist. Katz did not number his
original etchings. Most of his art, however, was printed by him and appeared only in very small editions.
Submitted March, 2007 by Scott Wilder, Art Researcher from Olathe, Kansas
website of Greg & Connie Peters, Art of the Print
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