Painter and printmaker; Lived in Roosevelt, N.J.; Born in Philadelphia, PA in 1917; Studied at Philadelphia College of Art; New School for Social Research, N.Y.; Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, Designer, illustrator; In 1966 chairman of Department of Graphic Arts, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Jacob Landau was born December 17, 1917, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By the age of three he began drawing everything around him. When he was 12, he began studying at the Graphic Sketch Club, now the Samuel Fleisher Memorial. At the age of 17, Landau’s illustrations for Kipling’s Jungle Book won a competition in Scholastic Magazine. He won the competition the following year as well. In 1935, Landau received a scholarship from the Museum School of Industrial Art (today the University of the Arts) to study illustration, printmaking and painting. After his graduation in 1939, Landau moved to New York City where he experimented with a variety of styles, treatments and media. His first phase as a professional artist included illustrating books and magazines. In 1943, Landau was drafted into the armed forces, serving two years overseas in the Mediterranean Theater. In the army, Landau served in a number of capacities which utilized his artistic talents. His service in Italy included work as the art editor, photographer, and reporter of At Ease, a special services magazine. After his discharge in 1946, Landau used the G.I. Bill to further study art. Landau spent a year (1948-1949) at New York's New School for Social Research before moving to Paris with his wife, Frances, and young son to study at the Academie Julian and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. While in Paris, Landau met printmaker Leonard Baskin, who taught him the medium of woodcuts. From 1954-1957 Landau taught at the Philadelphia College of Art before moving to Pratt Institute where he would teach for over 20 years. During his time at Pratt, Landau helped to establish the University Without Walls program, in which students worked closely with instructors to gain hands-on experience. In 1975, Landau became a faculty member of the Artist Teacher Institute, a 10 day summer residency program sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. In addition to his art and teaching, Landau was very involved in the community. He was active in many different organizations including: Alliance for Arts Education, American Humanist Association, Association for Humanistic Psychology, Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament, International Arts Association, Jewish Federation, Linkage Project, New Jersey School for the Arts, Printmaking Council, and World Futures Society. Landau and his wife Frances lived in Roosevelt, New Jersey as part of a small community of artists. There he built a geodesic dome which was created as an art studio. Jacob Landau died on November 24, 2001, at the age of 85, and is buried in the Roosevelt Cemetery near his friends Ben Shahn and Gregorio Prestopino.[ After his death, the Jacob Landau Institute was formed to preserve his legacy, share his unique philosophy of education, and nurture individual artists.
Art © Jacob Landau Institute/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY