Fritz Eichenberg


Illustration, wood engraving. Jewish. Born 24 October 1901 in Cologne. First worked in advertising studio of the department store Tietz, then for the publisher DuMont-Schauberg, Cologne. 1921-3: studied at the Cologne Kunstgewerbeschule, then at the Leipzig Akademie für graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe: a teacher was Hugo Steiner-Prag. 1923: moved to Berlin to work as an ‘artist-reporter’ for the publisher Ullstein. 1932/3: sent on an assignment to Central America as an artist-correspondent, he travelled back to Europe via Chicago and New York which he liked so much that he returned to Germany only to get his family. From 1933: in the USA he quickly established a reputation as a fine illustrator while working for publishers such as the Limited Editions Club and Heritage Books. 1935-45: taught book illustration at the New School for Social Research. 1940: joined the Quakers. 1944: awarded Joseph Pennell Medal. From 1947: taught at the Pratt Institute (from 1956: chairman of the graphic arts department). Founded the Pratt Graphic Center. Later founded the Adlib Press and the annual journal for printmakers and collectors Artists’ Proof in which he wrote numerous articles. 1949-84: drew illustrations for Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker. 1966-71: chairman of the art department, University of Rhode Island. Served on boards of the AIGA and the Society of American Graphic Arts. His publishing clients included Random House, the Limited Editions Club, the Heritage Club. Received numerous honorary degrees. Died 30 November 1990 in Peace Dale, Rhode Island.

Writings by

  • ‘Michael McCurdy – ein weiterer Pionier der amerikanischen Buchkunst’, Illustration 63, Aug. 1975, pp. 62-4
  • 1941-75: ‘A Lesson in Book Illustration’, Print, Summer 1941, pp. 1-12, 75
  • Comments on a 1942 Grolier Club exhibition of illustrations, Print, v. III, no. 3, 1943, pp. 37-8
  • Art and Faith, Pendle Hill, 1952/62
  • Dancing in the Moon, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1955
  • ‘American Institute of Graphic Arts’, Graphis, 1955, 60, pp. 316-21, 363-5
  • ‘American Artist-Printmakers’, Penrose Annual, 1959, pp. 14-21
  • ‘Lamentations of a graphic arts chairman’, Motif 6, Spring 1961, pp. 2-3
  • ‘Selbstporträt eines engagierten Illustrators’, Illustration 63, Aug. 1969, pp. 34-40 (includes brief biography by Curt Visel and list of Eichenberg’s illustrated books)
  • editor: Artist’s proof. A collector’s edition of the first eight issues, New York: Pratt Graphics Center and New York Graphic Society, 1972
  • ‘Die Buchkunst in Amerika, eine Jeremiade’, Illustration 63, Nov. 1973
  • Ape in a Cape, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1973
  • ‘Ein junger Pionier der Buchkunst in den USA – David R. Godine’, Illustration 63, Aug. 1975, pp. 59-62
  • ‘Domenico Gnoli: Poesie der Zeichenfeder’, Graphische Kunst, v. 4/1, 1975, pp. 13-16
  • Dancing in the Moon, New York/London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975
  • 1976-present: The Art of the Print, New York: Harry Abrams, London: Thames and Hudson, 1976
  • The Wood and the Graver, The Work of Fritz Eichenberg, New York: Potter, 1977
  • ‘Maurice Sendaks wilde Märchenwelt’, Illustration 63, Nov. 1977, pp. 97-9
  • ‘Antonio Frasconi, Meister des Holzschnitts’, Illustration 63, April 1978, pp. 8-11
  • Lithography and Silkscreen, art and technique, London: Thames and Hudson, 1978
  • Endangered Species, Owings Mills, MD: Stemmer House, 1980
  • ‘Barry Moser – Ein amerikanischer Holzstecher und Pressendrucker’, Illustration 63, Nov. 1982, pp. 74-8
  • ‘Sturm- und Wanderjahre’, Illustration 63, 4, 1983
  • Dance of Death, New York: Abbeville, 1983.
  • Walter Amstutz (ed.), Who’s Who in Graphic Art, Zurich: Amstutz & Herdeg Graphis Press, 1962. , 1962

Writings about

    note on FE’s The Wood and the Graver, in Graphis 202, 1979, p. 182 Steve Heller, ‘Fritz Eichenberg’, Graphis 208, 1980, pp. 174-83 1952-85: George Amberg, ‘Fritz Eichenberg’, Graphis 43, 1952, pp. 422-6, 442 note on FE’s Artist’s proof, in Graphis 162, 1973, p. 343 review of The Art of the Print, in Graphische Kunst, 8/1, 1977, p. 34
  • The Artist and the Book (exh. cat.), New Haven, 1979
  • C. Visel, ‘Fritz Eichenbergs Simplicissimus-Illustrationen’, Illustration 63, Aug. 1983, pp. 42-7 (includes bibliography, 1922-82)
  • Hubert Wegner, ‘Besuch bei Fritz Eichenberg in Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA’, Illustration 63, April 1985, pp. 9-13
  • Fritz Eichenberg: Drawings, New Haven: Yale University Library, 1985
  • 1986-present: A. Theroux, ‘Fritz Eichenberg. Humanist, Holzschneider und Illustrator’, Illustration 63, Sonderheft, Aug. 1986
  • D. Maslyn and H. Nägele, Fritz Eichenberg, Werkkatalog der Illustrieterten Bücher 1922-87, Memingen: Visel, 1987 (catalogue raisonné, in German and English)
  • Ronald Salter, ‘Fritz Eichenberg im Kontext der Simplicissimus-Illustration’, Illustration 63, Aug. 1988, pp. 42-7
  • Ilse Unruh, ‘Schwarz und Weiss, Gut und Böse. Der Holzstichkünstler Fritz Eichenberg in einer Ausstellung’, Aus dem Antiquariat, 1988, 12, pp. A494-5 Ilse Unruh, ‘Vier Meister des Holzschnitts’ (Eichenberg, Johannes Lebek, Hans Alexander Müller, Hellmuth Weissenborn), Aus dem Antiquariat, 1989, 3, pp. A100-102
  • JH/PP, 1989
  • Steven Heller, ‘A Celebration of Fritz Eichenberg’, Fine Print, Spring 1990, pp. 42-5
  • Hans Peter Willberg, ‘Ein deutscher Illustrator in Amerika’ (obituary of FE), Imprimatur, Band XIV, 1991, pp. 285-92
  • Robert Ellsberg, Works of Mercy, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, c1992
  • C. Visel, ‘Remembering Fritz Eichenberg. Friendship celebrated’, Illustration 63, H. 4, 1993
  • Herbert Kirmse, ‘Goethes Reineke Fuchs’, Imprimatur, 1994, pp. 43-79, esp. pp. 65-6
  • Ronald Salter, ‘Deutsche Emigranten in der amerikanischen Buchkunst’, Marginalien, 1997/3, pp. 6-24
  • R. Salter, ‘Fritz Eichenberg’, Illustration 63, Nov. 2001, pp. 82-9
  • In addition: Simon Cooke, ‘Eichenberg’s illustrations for the Brontes’ Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre’, Studies in Illustration (formerly the IBIS Newsletter), London: Imaginative Book Illustration Society, Winter 2002, pp. 8-16 (The author suggests several web-sites for further details:
  • Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, Munich/Leipzig: K.G. Saur Verlag, 1990-., 2002
  • Ernst Fischer and others, Buchgestaltung im Exil 1933-1950. Eine Ausstellung des Deutschen Exilarchivs 1933-1945 Der Deutschen Bibliothek. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003. Very comprehensive. , 2003, p. 125, 126, and biog. pp. 154-5


  • New York Public Library
  • Philadelphia Art Alliance
  • AIGA, New York
  • New School for Social Research, New York
  • Klingspor Museum, Offenbach a.M., 1974
  • Yale University Library, 1985
  • New York, 1987
  • Stadtbücherei, Cologne, Bibliothèque Nationale, Luxemburg, Deutsche Bibliothek, Frankfurt a.M., Berlin, Mainz, Leipzig, 1988
  • Karlsruhe, Berlin, 1990.


  • Carnegie Art Institute
  • New York Public Library
  • Chicago Art Institute
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Library of the University of Minnesota
  • University of Iowa Library
  • Yale University Library, New Haven.