Jacques (Chaim Jacob) Lipchitz

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Jacques (Chaim Jacob) Lipchitz

Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Druskininkai, Grodno, Lithuania
Death: May 16, 1973 (81)
Immediate Family:

Son of Abraham Lipchitz and Rachel Leah Lipchitz
Husband of <private> Lipchitz (Halberstat)
Ex-husband of Berthe Kitrosser
Father of <private> Lipchitz
Brother of 5 children Lipchitz

Occupation: Cubic sculptor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Jacques (Chaim Jacob) Lipchitz

Jacques Lipchitz (August 22 1891 – May 16, 1973) was a Cubist sculptor. One of the most acclaimed and innovative sculptors of the twentieth century. Jacques Lipchitz was born Chaim Jacob Lipchitz, son of a building contractor in Druskininkai, Lithuania, then within the Russian Empire. At first, under the influence of his father, he studied engineering, but soon after, supported by his mother he moved to Paris (1909) to study at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian.

It was there, in the artistic communities of Montmartre and Montparnasse, that he joined a group of artists that included Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso as well as where his friend, Amedeo Modigliani, painted Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz.

Living in this environment, Lipchitz soon began to create Cubist sculpture. In 1912 he exhibited at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon d'Automne with his first solo show held at Léonce Rosenberg's Galerie L’Effort Moderne in Paris in 1920. In 1922 he was commissioned by the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania to execute five bas-reliefs.

With artistic innovation at its height, in the 1920s he experimented with abstract forms he called transparent sculptures. Later he developed a more dynamic style, which he applied with telling effect to bronze compositions of figures and animals.

With the German occupation of France during World War II, and the deportation of Jews to the Nazi death camps, Jacques Lipchitz had to flee France. With the assistance of the American journalist Varian Fry in Marseille, he escaped the Nazi regime and went to the United States. There, he eventually settled in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

He was one of 250 sculptors who exhibited in the Third Sculpture International Exhibition held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the summer of 1949. He has been identified among seventy of those sculptors in a photograph Life magazine published that was taken at the exhibition. In 1954 a Lipchitz retrospective traveled from The Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and The Cleveland Museum of Art. In 1959, his series of small bronzes To the Limit of the Possible was shown at Fine Arts Associates in New York.

Beginning in 1963 he returned to Europe for several months of each year and worked in Pietrasanta, Italy. In 1972 his autobiography was published on the occasion of an exhibition of his sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Jacques Lipchitz died in Capri, Italy. His body was flown to Jerusalem for burial.


  • 1969 Award of Merit, The Einstein Medical Center of Yeshiva University, New York, New York, United States
  • 1969 Medal of Achievement, The American Institute of Architects (AIA), New York, New York, United States
  • 1966 Gold Medal, The Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, New York, United States
  • 1965 Award for Cultural Achievement, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1965 Honorary Doctor of Laws, The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, New York, United States
  • 1958 Brandeis Creative Arts Award for Notable Achievement in the Arts, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1952 George D. Widener Memorial Gold Medal Award - Prometheus Strangling the Vulture, Pennsylvania Academy of Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1946 Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, French Republic, Paris, France
  • 1936 Gold Medal - Prometheus Strangling the Vulture, The World’s Fair, Paris, France
  • 1909 First prize - sculpture, Académie Julian, Paris, France

Selected works

  • "Sailor with Guitar" - 1914
  • "Bather" - (1916–17)
  • "Woman with Book" - (1918) at Carleton College
  • "Bather, bronze" - 1923-25
  • "Reclining Nude with Guitar" - (1928), a prime example of Cubism
  • "Dancer with Veil" - (1928)
  • "Dancer" - (1929)
  • "The Song of the Vowels" - (Le Chant des Voyelles), - (1931) cast bronze sculptures at Cornell University, Princeton University, UCLA, Stanford University, Kykuit Estate Gardens, Paris
  • "Bull and Condor" - (1932)
  • "Bust of a Woman" - (1932)
  • "David and Goliath" - (1933)
  • "Embracing Figures" - (1941)
  • "Prometheus Strangling the Vulture" - (1944) Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • "Rescue II"- (1947)
  • "Mother and Child" - (1949) at the Honolulu Academy of Arts
  • "Bellerophon Taming Pegasus: Large Version" - (1964–66) at Columbia Law School
  • "Peace on Earth" - (1967–1969) Music Center of Los Angeles County.
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Jacques (Chaim Jacob) Lipchitz's Timeline

August 22, 1891
Druskininkai, Grodno, Lithuania
May 16, 1973
Age 81