Ben Uri collection

The Negress

Artist information

Name Albert Abramovitz (1879-1963)

Born Riga, Latvia (Russia)

Died East Meadow, New York, USA

Find more work in the collection by this artist

Painter and printmaker Albert Abramovitz was born in Riga in Latvia and studied art at the Imperial Art School in Odessa, before moving to Paris to study at l’Académie de la Grande Chaumière. He became a member of the Salon de Paris in 1911, part of the jury in 1913, and a member of the Salon d’Automne, winning widespread recognition and acclaim with prizes including the Grand Prix at the Universal exposition of 1911 in Rome and Turin. In 1916 Abramovitz emigrated to the United States, holding his first solo exhibition at the Civic Club in Manhattan in 1921, prior to moving to Los Angeles in the late 1920s, then finally settling in Brooklyn. His work was widely exhibited across the United States, and renowned for his unusual technique and his radical socio-political point of view. He worked for the Federal Arts Project Works Progress Administration in New York between 1935 and 1939. His work is in the collections of the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Smithsonian, among others.

Object Details

Object type print

Medium woodcut on paper

Materials and techniques woodcut (technique) paper (support)

Unframed 18.5 x 13.5 cm

Signed bottom left: The Negress; signed, bottom right: Abramovitz

Acquisition purchased 1933

Accession number 1987-1

Display status not on display

After his emigration to the United States, Abramovitz’s graphic work was included in both the 1938 and the 1939 International Exhibition of Lithographs and Wood Engraving at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1940, a solo exhibition of his work was mounted at the Bonestell Gallery and Abramovitz was included in exhibitions sponsored by the Union of American Artists, the American Artists Congress, the ACA Gallery, the New-Age Gallery, the National Academy of Design, and the American Association of University Women. Abramovitz’s graphic work often draws on social or political issues and this depiction of a Black woman was made during an era of racial inequality and segregation in the United States. Abramovitz went on to produce a number of prints for the Federal Arts Project Works Progress Administration in New York between 1935 and 1939.


portrait | print

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© Albert Abramovitz estate