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Chaim Koppelman


“. . .an innovator, not only technically, but in the scope of his subject matter and the depth of his seeing.” - Sylvan Cole

Koppelman is known particularly as a printmaker, and his prints are in the collections of major museums in the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, Whitney, Brooklyn and Metropolitan Museums in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery in Washington, DC, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Chaim Koppelman was born in Brooklyn in 1920. He studied art in WPA classes, lithography and painting with Eugene Morley and Carl Holty at the American Artists School, sculpture with Jose de Creeft, and etching with Will Barnet and Martin Lewis at the Art Students League.   In the early 1940’s Koppelman was introduced to Aesthetic Realism with the poet and founder Eli Siegel.  The philosophy of Aesthetic Realism offered a lasting influence and structure to Koppelman’s life and work. 

In 1943 he married painter, Dorothy Myers, shortly before going overseas with the Army. He was proud to have been part of the Normandy invasion and was awarded the Bronze Star. Returning to New York, he enrolled under the GI Bill at the Amédée Ozenfant School and became Ozenfant’s assistant. Koppelman later started the Broome Street Etching Workshop.  In 1955 the Terrain Gallery opened with Dorothy Koppelman as director and Chaim Koppelman as print curator. Koppelman was loved as a teacher and known for his ability to bring out sincere and original expression in his students. He founded the Printmaking Division at the School of Visual Arts in 1959 and taught there until 2007.  He also taught at New York University and SUNY, New Paltz.  Chaim Koppelman has work in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Whitney Museum, New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY;  the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; the National Gallery, Washington, DC; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK, among others.

“I am grateful to Eli Siegel for teaching me and the world the enduring criterion for judging what is beautiful in art and good in life: ‘All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.’ Continuing to study and teach this mighty principle is an honor and a pleasure; it has given coherence to my life, made me more imaginative, deeper, and a kinder person."