Beatrice Mandelman

American , 1912 -

Beatrice Mandelman was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1912. She studied at the Newark School for Fine and Industrial Art and the Art Students League. From 1930 to 1932, she attended the New Jersey College for Women at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Mandelman worked in the Work Progress Administration from 1935 to 1942, when it was disbanded.

During Mandelman’s association with the Graphic Division of the New York Project, she was required to produce one lithograph each month. Her first effort was a thirty-two color print. She proved to be instrumental in the revival of color lithography as an artistic medium and in the use of serigraphy (or silk-screening) as a previously un-used artistic medium. In the serigraph, “Street”, which depicts a quiet, middle-class neighborhood, Mandelman used 37 colors. During the 1950s, she explored the use of American Indian pictographs. Mandelman was one of the original eight members of the Silk Screen unit under Anthony Velonis.

Due to health problems, Mandelman left Manhattan in 1944 for Taos, New Mexico. By this time she had already established herself in New York to a considerable degree. Mandelman and her husband, Louis Ribak, founded the Taos Valley Art School and co-founded the Taos Art Association and in the early 1950s, the Stables Gallery. In 1948, Mandelman went to Paris to spend a year studying with Fernand Léger, subsequently her forms owe some of their boldness to the aforementioned artist. In 1953, she spent an extended visit in Mexico.

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