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Isac Friedlander papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS183

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

Personal papers documenting the career of the Latvian-born printmaker and illustrator, Isac Friedlander. The surviving papers include copies of exhibit catalogs in which his works were included (and frequently illustrated); news cuttings concerning his work and prizes he won; and correspondence with fellow artists, groups, and institutions. Of particular note among his correspondents are John Taylor Arms and Arthur Heintzelman. A prolific etcher and wood engraver, Friedlander came to the United States in 1929. See also the Friedlander collection, the largest available collection of his artwork in this country, includes some 150 prints, drawings, and other works of art. Friedlander's work emphasizes the imagery of his native Riga, the urban spectacle of New York during the Depression, and the sufferings of his fellow Jews in the Holocaust. ca. 1928-1982 / 2.5 linear feet.


  • 1928-1982
  • Majority of material found within 1928-1968

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical note

Isac Friedlander was born in Mitau, Latvia on April 22, 1890. Between 1906 and 1912, he was arrested and imprisoned by Russian authorities for anti-czarist political activities. From 1913 to 1917 he studied art at the Academy of Rome, Italy, where he befriended Russian writer Maxim Gorky. In 1915 he began a printing career, and in 1917 he repatriated to Russia during the Kerensky regime.

In 1929, Friedlander emigrated to the US with the encouragement of his cousin, Joseph Hirshhorn. In the USA, he designed the dustjacket for Black Manhattan by James Weldon Johnson, and in 1934 he was awarded first prize for print 'Revival' at the 8th Annual Print Club of Philadelphia Exhibition. In 1943, Friedlander was awarded first prize for print 'Spiritual' at the 17th Annual Print Club of Philadelphia Exhibition, and in 1947 he was elected as outstanding etcher in the Britannica Book of the Year. In 1960 he was awarded the Lilienthal Purchase Prize by the California Society of Etchers for 'Ecclesiastes.' He died on August 23rd, 1960, in New York City.


3.13 Linear Feet (7 Hollinger Document Cases, 1 Slim Document Case)

Language of Materials



Gift of Marga Friedlander

Isac Friedlander papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
Description rules
Local Practice
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057