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 Chaim Koppelman  (1920 - 2009)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: aesthetic realist painting, printmaking, teaching

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Chaim Koppelman
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Chaim Koppelman (1920-2009)

A noted American artist and educator, he was admired for the originality, power, and humanity of his work.

Chaim Koppelman was born in Brooklyn in 1920.  He studied art in WPA classes, and studied lithography and painting with Eugene Morley and Carl Holty at the American Artists School, sculpture with Jose de Creeft, and etching with Will Barnet and Martin Lewis at the Art Students League.

In 1943 he married painter Dorothy Myers shortly before going overseas with the Army.  He was proud to have been part of the Normandy invasion, and was awarded the Bronze Star.

Returning to New York, he enrolled, under the GI Bill, at the Amédée Ozenfant School and became Ozenfant’s assistant.  Koppelman later started the Broome Street Etching Workshop.

In 1955 the Terrain Gallery opened, with Dorothy Koppelman as director and Chaim Koppelman as print curator.

He founded the Printmaking Division at the School of Visual Arts in 1959, and taught there until 2007.  Earlier, he taught at NYU and at SUNY, New Paltz.  On the faculty of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, he taught artists what he had learned: how to have the art purpose in everyday life as well as in the studio.  He also taught there the popular course “The Art of Drawing: Surface and Depth.”

A member of the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts since 1971, Chaim Koppelman was also a Past President of the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), which presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

He represented the US in Documenta II, in Kassel, Germany, was awarded two Tiffany Grants, and received numerous awards for his drawings and prints.  In 1992 Chaim Koppelman, Robert Blackburn, and Will Barnet received a New York Artists Equity Award for their dedicated service to the printmaking community.

Chaim Koppelman died on December 6, 2009 at age 89 in New York City.

His prints are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Guggenheim Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery, and others. He is a member of the National Academy of Design.

Exhibitions and Awards:
2005 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Terrain Gallery, NY, NY
2003 Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minn.
International Print Center, New York, NY
Library of Congress, Wash.D.C.
Robert Blackburn, “Celebration of Life” at Cooper Union, NY, NY
2002 Bronze Memorial of Eli Siegel, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
2001 Etching, “Wings of the Dove,” acquired by Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
2000 One-man show, Beatrice Conde Gallery, New York, NY

Addititional Awards and Honors:
2005 Purchase Prize, Annual SAGA exhibition, Art Students League, New York
2004 Lifetime Achievement Award, Society of American Graphic Artists
1992 NYArtists Equity Annual Awards Honoring Will Barnet, Robert Blackburn, Chaim Koppelman

Lectures and Publications:
2005 “Artists Talk on Art” series at School of Visual Arts, NY, NY
2004 “Four Essays on the Art of the Print,” Orange Angle Press
2003 “Sculpture Gives Meaning to Our Lives," Southampton Press

Mr. Koppelman's' works are in the Following Public Collections, and more:
 Museum of Modern Art
 Metropolitan Museum
 Yale University Art Gallery
 United States Embassies in Europe
 Pennell Collection, Library of Congress
 Los Angeles County Museum
 Museum of Fine Arts, Caracas
 Victoria and Albert Museum, London
 National Gallery, Washington, DC
 Brooks Memorial Gallery, Memphis
 Walker Art Center
 Anchorage Museum
 Syracuse University
 California State College at Long Beach
 Guggenheim Museum
 Peabody Museum
 Whitney Museum
 Minneapolis Institute of Arts
 Brooklyn Museum
 Fifth Avenue Library, NYC
 Joseph Hirschhorn Collection
 Hampton Institute
 University of Wisconsin, Green Bay |
 Philadelphia Museum of Art

Exhibitions and Honors:
1942      Guggenheim Museum, NYC, Group Show
             Whitney Museum, Spirit of Aviation, Sculpture
1943      Outlines Gallery, Pittsburgh, One Man Show
1944      Art Centre, Ilfracombe, Devon, England, Two Man Show
1945      67 Gallery, NYC, One Man Show
             Wakefield Gallery, NYC, Group Show
1947      Weyhe Gallery, NYC, Three Man Show
1948      Whitney Museum, NYC, Sculpture and Drawing Annual
             Yale University Gallery, Drawings of Modern Masters
1950      Whitney Museum, NYC, Sculpture and Drawing Annual
             Pennsylvania Academy, Watercolor and Print Annual
1954      Society of American Graphic Artists Annual Markel Prize
             Boston Museum, Boston Printmakers Annual
1955      Royal Ontario Museum, Print Annual, Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers
             Brooklyn Museum, National Print Exhibition
1956      Brooklyn Museum, National Print Exhibition
             Art Building, Pamona, California, Contemporary Arts, USA
             Terrain Gallery, NYC, One Man Show
             Brooklyn Museum, Golden Years of American Drawings, 1905-1956
1957      Oakland Museum, California, Bay Printmakers Exhibit
             Tiffany Grant for Printmaking
1958      Terrain Gallery, NYC, Three Man Show with Vincent Longo & Gerson Leiber
             Philadelphia Art Alliance, One Man Show of Drawings and Prints
1959      Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Recent Print Acquisitions
             Kassel, West Germany, DOCUMENTA II
             Tiffany Grant for Printmaking
             Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn & L.I. Artists Invitational, Honorable Mention
             Library of Congress, National Print Exhibit, Purchase Award
             Whitney Museum, NYC, American Prints Today
             AAA Gallery, NYC, 25th Anniversary Print Competition, Purchase Prize
1960      Whitney Museum, NYC, Sculpture and Drawing Annual
             Audubon Annual, NYC, Medal of Honor, Graphics
             Brooklyn Museum National Print Exhibit
             Yale University Art Gallery, American Prints 1950-1960
             Free Library of Philadelphia, Print Fair, Honorable Mention
             Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, Connecticut, National Print Exhibition
             United States Information Agency, Travelling Show Latin America, 75 US Printmakers
             Library of Congress, Print Exhibit
1961      Brooks Memorial Gallery, Memphis, Tennessee, Print Invitational
             Mexico City, 2nd Inter-American Biennial
             Free Library of Philadelphia, The Fabulous Decade, Prints of the 1950s
             University of Kentucky, Graphics '61
             De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, Fifty American Printmakers
1962      AAA Gallery, NYC, 100 Prints of the Year
             Whitney Museum, NYC, American Prints Today
             New School, NYC, Recent Drawings by New York Artists
             AAA Gallery, SAGA Annual, Harburg Prize
1962      Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Recent Paintings USA:   The Figure
             Lincoln Gallery, NYC, Invitational Print Show, Best in Show Prize
             Syracuse University, American Printmakers, Purchase Award
             Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, 1st Print Annual, Purchase Award
1963      AAA Gallery, NYC, SAGA Annual, Turner Prize
             Graphics USA, USLA Exhibit Travelling through Eastern Europe  
             Otis Art Institute, LA, Print Invitational
             Pennsylvania Academy Annual
             Terrain Gallery, NYC, Two Man Show with Dorothy Koppelman
             Library of Congress National Print Exhibition
1964      Kornbluth Gallery, Paterson, NJ, One Man Show
             New Forms Gallery, Athens, Greece, Contemporary American Printmakers
             Syracuse University, American Printmakers Invitational
             Brooklyn Museum Print Exhibition
             DePaul University, Contemporary American Printmakers
             California State College, Long Beach, Print Invitational, Purchase Award
             Award of Distinctive Merit, Fourth Annual Exhibition of the
                 Communication Arts, CA Magazine
1965      Nice, France, Cote D'Azur International
             Roko Gallery, NYC, One Man Show
             Visual Arts Gallery, NYC, 2nd Print Invitational
1966      SAGA Annual, NYC, Hirschhorn Foundation Prize
             College Museum, Hampton Institute, VA, New York '66 Exhibit
             Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City, American Graphics
             Saint Paul Art Center, Drawings, USA
             Brooklyn Museum, Print Biennial, Purchase Prize
             Print Collection, 5th Avenue Public Library, NYC
1967      Hinckley & Brohel Galleries, Washington, DC, Two Man Show
             Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, Vancouver Print International Exhibit
             SAGA, AAA Gallery, List Prize ($1,000)
             De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, Art Expo Exhibition
1968      AAA Gallery, 49th Annual SAGA Exhibition
             AAA Gallery, Photography in Printmaking
             TV, Channel 31, NYC, work shown & discussed
             IBM Gallery, Third International Miniature Print Exhibition, Prize
             Brooklyn Museum, 16th National Print Exhibition, Purchase Award
1969      Terrain Gallery, NYC, Two Man Show with Dorothy Koppelman
             Hofstra University, New Directions in American Printmaking
             AAA Gallery, 50th Annual SAGA Exhibition
             Brooklyn Museum, 16th National Print Exhibition, Purchase Award
             Library of Congress, 21st National Print Exhibition
             University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, National Print Invitational
             West New Mexico University, McGray Gallery, Graphics '69 Exhibition, Purchase Prize
             Cranbrook Academy, 6th Biennial National Religious Art Exhibition
1969      California State College at Long Beach, National Invitational Print Exhibition, Purchase Prize
1970      Brooklyn Museum, 17th National Print Exhibition
             Bar Association, NYC, Law and Justice Graphics
             Brooklyn Museum, Thirty years of Collecting Prints and Drawings
1971     The Indignant Eye Print Exhibition, circulated by the American Federation of Arts
             San Diego Fine Arts Gallery, Second National Invitational Print Show
            Terrain Gallery, NYC, The Kindest Art, Three Man Show of Aesthetic Realism Consultation Trio
1972      Purdue University, Invitational Print Show
            Utah State University Art Gallery, Logan, UT, 3rd Annual National Print Exhibition
            Anchorage Museum of Fine Arts, Anchorage, AK, Print Invitational
1973      Associated American Artists Gallery, NYC, One Man Show, Selection of prints covering 20 years
             AFS Gallery, Binghamton, NY, One Man Show
1974      Terrain Gallery, NYC, One Man Show
             Associated American Artists, NYC
             National Academy of Design Annual, NYC
1976      Warwick Gallery, Warwick, England, Two Man Show
1977      National Academy Annual, NYC
1978      P.S.1, NYC
             Arte Fiera, Bologna
             National Academy of Design, NYC
1979      Green Mountain Gallery
             National Academy of Design, NYC
1980      National Academy of Design Annual, NYC
1981      Prints of New York, Museum of City of New York
             National Academy Annual, NYC
1983      Terrain Gallery, NYC, One Man Show
1985      Hudson Guild Gallery, NYC
             Merida Rapp Graphics, Louisville, KY, One Man Show
             National Academy of Design Annual, NYC
1986      National Academy Annual, Cannon Prize
             International Small Works Show, NYU, Second Prize
1987      Hudson Guild Gallery, NYC
             Print Club, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum Purchase Award
             National Academy Annual, NYC
1988      Print Club, Philadelphia, PA
             Alternative Museum, NYC
1989      Brooklyn Museum, Innovative Printmaking
             National Academy Annual, Cannon Prize
1993      Swiss Institute, NYC, Exquisite Corpse
             Drawing Center, NYC
1995      Susan Teller Gallery, NYC, Contemplating Cubism
1996      Chuck Levitan Gallery, NYC, The Invented Figure-Drawing
             Audubon Annual, Silver Medal
             Museum of Fine Arts, Bogota, Columbia
1997      National Academy, Laufman Award for a Drawing
1998      National Academy, Cook Award for Drawing, Work reproduced in New York Times
1999      Treasures Revealed: 19th and 20th Century Works on Paper
             National Academy, Dessie Greer Prize for a Drawing
2000      Beatrice Conde Gallery, NYC, One Man Show
             45th Anniversary Exhibition, Terrain Gallery, NYC
2001      The Opposites--2001: The Print, Terrain Gallery, NYC
             Prints & Prints, Denise Bibro Fine Art, NYC  

Additional Awards and Honors:
1969      Co-Author, We Have Been There: Six Artists on the Siegel Theory of Opposites, Definition Press
1969      Included in The Indignant Eye, The Artist as Social Critic, by Ralph Shikes, Beacon Press
1970      Nominated for American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters
1976      Creative Artists Public Service Grant for suite of lithographs Closeness and Clash in Couples and Domestic Life
2000      Paper Trails: Prints, Drawings, and Watercolors in the National Academy of Design, by Trudie A. Grace

Sources include:

website of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted November 2005, is from Carrie Wilson, representative of the artist.

Chaim Koppelman is dedicated to what he perceives as the truth and value of the philosophy of Aesthetic Realism for art and life. He began the study of this subject in the 1940's with its founder Eli Siegel, American poet and critic.

Mr. Koppelman, a member of the National Academy of Design and former President of the Society of American Graphic Artists, represented the US in Documenta II, in Kassel, Germany.

His prints are in the collections of the National Academy, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Chaim Koppelman teaches printmaking at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and is a Consultant on the faculty of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation where he teaches the class "The Art of Drawing, Surface and Depth".  He also teaches artists in Aesthetic Realism consultations with the trio, the Kindest Art.

Biography from Butler Institute of American Art:
Printmaker; Educator

Born New York November 17, 1920.

Education: American Artists School; Art College of Western England in Bristol; Ecole Boulle in France.

Holdings: Gannett Corporation; Scovill Corporation; Anne and Ronald Abramson in Washington, DC; Walda and Sydney Gestoff in New Orleans.

Craft work for Steinway & Sons in New York.

Exhibits : Wisteriaburst Museum in Holyoke, Ma; Workbecnch Gallery in New York; A C E Crafts at the Armory in New York; Artful Objects : Recent American Craft in Fort Wayne, In; Gallery Henoch; Conservation by Design (National Touring Exhibit).

Awards : Craftsman's Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; New England Foundation Arts Fellowship

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