Hand colored etching, wedding scene, Judaica. Ed. 63/100
Ira Moskowitz, 1912-1985
Ira Moskowitz was born in Galicia, Poland in 1912, emigrating with his family to New York in 1927 at the age of sixteen. Within a year he received a scholarship to study at the Art Students League under such the well known instructor John Sloan and others. He studied there from 1928-31. In 1935, he traveled to Paris and then lived until 1937 in Palestine, what is now Israel. He returned in 1938 to marry artist Anna Barry in New York. The couple soon visited Taos and Santa Fe in New Mexico, returning there for extended periods until in 1944 they moved there permanently and stayed until 1949. Moskowitz became associated in the 1940s with the Taos and Sante Fe group of artists, Maynard Dixon, Walter Uffer, Bakos, Blumenchien, and John Sloan. It was at this time that Moskowitz recorded the Indians of that area in drawings and lithographs. The work from this period was shown in exhibits across the country from Los Angeles to Washington. During this time, Moskowitz received a Guggenheim fellowship (in 1943). While Moskowitz devoted much of his life to the production of Judaic art, his New Mexico period was especially productive of other work. His New Mexico art consists mostly of "Regionalist" subjects depicting both the New Mexico landscape and life within the state's three cultures. He especially focused on pueblo life. He and Anna also visited and sketched across the border in Old Mexico. While in the Southwest, Moskowitz flourished as a printmaker, yet continued to produce oils and watercolors as well.
After leaving the Southwest, printmaking remained a major part of his life and art. But his focus drastically changed as to subject. Later works of Moskowitz depict religious (Judaic) subjects primarily. These works were well received early on and Moskowitz was content to stay with them the rest of his life. Isaac Bashevis Singer once said of Moskowitz; "Ira has recaptured the religious view of God and the world in his works".
From 1963 until 1966 Moskowitz lived in Paris. He then returned in 1967 to New York City where he made his permanent home (with intermittent sojourns) until he died there in 2001. Shortly before his death, Zaplin-Lampert Gallery of Santa Fe staged a year 2000-01 exhibition of Ira's works.
In 1949, he was the author of; PATTERNS AND CEREMONIALS OF THE INDIANS OF THE SOUTHWEST;. Later in 1962, Moskowitz was responsible for putting together a four volume work ;THE GREAT DRAWINGS OF ALL TIME .
A Limited edition of original etchings in color was done in 1969 of Israel. These depict, in a very special way, the varied joyous moods of that country.
Moskowitz's work is represented in the Library of Congress, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Mexico, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Albany Institute and elsewhere.