Born in 1904 on New York’s Lower East Side, Harry Sternberg grew up in Brooklyn. From 1922 to 1926 he attended the Art Students League where he worked with Geroge Bridgeman, and in 1926/27 studied privately with Harry Wickey. In 1934 Sternberg became an instructor at the League, where he continued to teach until 1967. His (Sigmud Abeles, Isabel Bishop, Minna Citron, Riva Helfond, Charles Keller, Knox Martin, Karl Schrag, and Charles White, are among his students. Will Barnet was a close colleague and printer for Sternberg and his students.) Over the years he also taught at the Museum of Modern Art, New York Unversity, the New School for Social Research, NY, and the Idyllwild School of Music and Art and the Palm Springs Desert Museum, California.

Sternberg received a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1936, and his work was included in the first Whitney Museum Invitational Annual, 1937. In this period Sternberg was friendly with Mexican artists working in New York, Diego Rivera, and his wife Frida Kahlo, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Other artist-friends were Jacob Lawrence, Philip Evergood, and John Sennhauser, and the older artists, Rockwell Kent, Marsden Hartley, and Max Weber.

Also in the 1930s he was a supervisor on the graphics division of the Works Progress Administration, and made three post office murals for the Treasury Department. Sternberg’s work was included in America in the War, organized by Artists for Victory, an exhibition that opened simultaneously in twenty-six museums across the country on October 20, 1943. From 1945 to 1967 Sternberg maintained studio at 30 East 14th Street at New York’s Union Square.

Among the numerous retrospectives of work by Sternberg are those at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1975; Wichita State University, 1975; the San Diego Museum of Art, 1994; and No Sun Without Shadow, The Art of Harry Sternberg, Museum, California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 2000. The Athenaeum, LaJolla, CA, held several exhibitions of work by Sternberg including A Life in Woodcuts, January, 1992, and most recently, Harry Sternberg 1904-2002: A Celebration of his Life, June/July, 2002.

At the Susan Teller gallery his work has been included in more than twenty exhibitions including Industrial Realism, American Paintings, 1928-1955, 1997, and A New York Triangle: Art Students League - Woodstock - Union Square, 1998. One-man shows were Harry Sternberg, From the Roaring Twenties to the Eisenhower Years, at the Susan Teller Gallery, 2002, as well as Prints 1931/991, 1992; Recent Paintings, 1993; and Harry Sternberg and His Circle, In Celebration of the Artist’s 95th Birthday, 1999.

Among the numerous exhibitions with work by Harry Sternberg are: Working America: Industrial Imagery in American Prints, 1900-1940, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, 1983; American Screenprints, The National Academy of Design, NY, 1987; A Spectrum of Innovation: Color in American Printmaking, a travelling exhibition organized by the Worcester Art Museum in 1990; Bridges and Boundaries: African American and American Jews, the Jewish Museum, 1992; L’Amerique de la Depression: Artistes Engages des Annees 30, Musee-galerie de la Seita, Paris, 1997; The American Century, Art & Culture, 1900-1950, the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1999; Industrial Pennsylvania, Allentown Art Museum, PA, 1999; and A Century on Paper; Prints by Art Students League Artists, 1901-2001, the UBS PaineWebber Art Gallery, 2002.

In addition to the Walker Art Center and Wichita State University, which hold major archives, work by Harry Sternberg is found in the following permanent collections: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New York Public Library, NY; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Syracuse University Art Collection; the Smithsonian Institution, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, and the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College; the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Allentown Art Museum; the Cleveland Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Diego Museum of Art; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, and the National Museum, Tel Aviv.

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