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Julius Friedman and the Art of Seeing

By Jenny Zeller

Julius Friedman

1943 – 2017

Artist. Visionary. Collaborator. Innovator. Educator.

Louisville native Julius Friedman, was a graphic designer, photographer, and one of Kentucky’s most influential artists.  He was a key component in helping to shape the local visual arts scene and one who continued to create new work through-out his entire life.  Friedman was an artist that worked with causes he believed in and had a strong passion for arts, the natural environment, music, literacy and historical preservation.

His commercial work, most notably the posters that made him famous in the 1970’s, made lasting marks on the cultural landscape.   His design vocabulary was the photographic image; always beautifully composed and meticulously documented.  Friedman had a deep reverence for the natural world, which was a constant source of inspiration in his both his personal and commercial work.  Bernheim was the subject of five unique posters created during this prolific time.  Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Forest Floor highlighted the unique and diverse beauty of the Kentucky landscape and were offered as Bernheim member incentives; which helped further connect people to nature through the lens of art.

Friedman’s eye for detail earned praise in the art world and he was featured in numerous prestigious exhibits; most notably at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  His posters are part of permanent exhibits at museums around the world.   In 2016, Louisville’s Frazier Museum hosted Julius Friedman: Fifty Year Retrospective, a multi-media exhibit that featured over 200 of his iconic posters as well as new work inspired by the natural environment.



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