William S. Schwartz

American, 1896 - 1977


William S. Schwartz’s emigrated from Smorgen, Russia to New York city at the age of 16. He had already studied at the Vilna Art School from 1908-1912. At the age of 19, he won a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. During his Art Institute tenure, Schwartz supported himself as a tenor, singing in vaudeville, radio and operatic venues. Proficient in both figurative and abstract forms of painting, his important "Symphonic Forms” series is among his most notable. The "Symphonic Forms" series was inspired from the artist's spiritual interpretations of classical music and poetry. Fourteen of his first “Symphonic Forms” paintings were exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in the acclaimed one-man show dedicated to William Schwartz in 1935. The show was even favorably reviewed by “Time Magazine”. Schwartz completed sixty-six canvases in his "Symphonic Forms" series during the years 1924 to 1967. According to the artist's log book, a document carefully compiled by Schwartz and his wife, Mona, each of these paintings were numbered consecutively and were never shown publicly until Schwartz's 1935 one-man Art Institute exhibition.

His works have been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy among others. His works are included in many major museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, The Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Tel Aviv Museum and the Library of Congress among others. Schwartz died in Chicago in 1977.

  • Schwartz 7390

    Outskirts of Michigan City, ca. 1930
    Oil on canvas
    30 x 40 inches

    Signed William S. Schwartz lower right; signed and titled on reverse.

    #7390
  • 5247 schwartz 5247 trans

    The Old Stone Crusher, ca. 1943
    Oil on canvas, in original frame
    30 x 40 inches

    Signed William S. Schwartz lower right; signed, titled and numbered on stretcher.

    #5247
  • 4053 schwartz 4053

    Symphonic Forms #2, 1932
    Oil on canvas
    12 x 24 inches

    Signed William S. Schwartz lower left; signed and titled on reverse.

    #4053
  • Schwartz 1420

    Impression from the West #20
    Oil on board
    18 x 14 inches

    Signed William S. Schwartz lower left; signed, titled and numbered on reverse.

    #1420
  • Schwartz 1419

    Impression from the West #7
    Oil on canvas laid down on Masonite
    13 x 13 inches

    Signed William S. Schwartz lower right; signed, titled and numbered 635 on reverse.

    #1419

William S. Schwartz’s emigrated from Smorgen, Russia to New York city at the age of 16. He had already studied at the Vilna Art School from 1908-1912. At the age of 19, he won a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. During his Art Institute tenure, Schwartz supported himself as a tenor, singing in vaudeville, radio and operatic venues. Proficient in both figurative and abstract forms of painting, his important "Symphonic Forms” series is among his most notable. The "Symphonic Forms" series was inspired from the artist's spiritual interpretations of classical music and poetry. Fourteen of his first “Symphonic Forms” paintings were exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in the acclaimed one-man show dedicated to William Schwartz in 1935. The show was even favorably reviewed by “Time Magazine”. Schwartz completed sixty-six canvases in his "Symphonic Forms" series during the years 1924 to 1967. According to the artist's log book, a document carefully compiled by Schwartz and his wife, Mona, each of these paintings were numbered consecutively and were never shown publicly until Schwartz's 1935 one-man Art Institute exhibition.

His works have been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy among others. His works are included in many major museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, The Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Tel Aviv Museum and the Library of Congress among others. Schwartz died in Chicago in 1977.

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