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 Samuel Himmelfarb  (1904 - 1976)

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Lived/Active: Illinois / Latvia      Known for: mod figure and genre, designer

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Latvia, Samuel Himmelfarb had an early career in Wisconsin and then in Chicago from the 1930s until his death in 1976. He was a painter and designer. Many of his painting were in early modernist style that combined realism and abstraction and depicted lower and middle class people going about their ordinary lives.

Of his work, it was written: "In the tradition of the Ashcan-school artists so important to Chicagoans, Himmelfarb celebrated the pleasures of the urban experience, emphasizing the small-town qualities of the city rather than the industrial or built environment. His rapid brush-work and the spontaneous appearance of his paint application suggest the vitality and dynamism of the modern city". (Kennedy 121)

He described himself as a "narrator developing intriguing 'thing' patterns formed by overlapping ornamentation of people shapes, thing shapes, and color shapes. Together they form an active, vibrating, coherent narrative."

He studied at the Wisconsin School of Fine Art, the University of Wisconsin, the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York.

Exhibition venues included the Chicago Arts Club, Artists Equity, Art Institute of Chicago, the Milwaukee Art Institute and the Navy Pier in Chicago. He designed several exhibits for the 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair, and building on this experience, developed a company named Three Dimensions, focused on industrial exhibits and displays.


Sources include:
Elizabeth Kennedy, "Chicago Modern 1893-1945", p. 121
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

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