John Himmelfarb

      • John Himmelfarb is known for his idiosyncratic, yet modernist-based work across many media. His work is described by critics and curators as chaotically complex and tightly constructed.

        He often employs energetic, gestural line, dense patterns of accumulated shapes, and fluid movement between figuration and abstraction, using strategies of concealment and revelation to create a sense of meaning that is both playful and elusive. His work is also unified by "a circulating library" of motifs and organizing structures, such as geographic and urban mapping, abstracted natural and industrial forms, and language systems

        John’s fascination with language dates to his early Harvard days when he invented his own pictorial alphabet. In the 1990s he began two series representing his deepest exploration of language, his remarkably varied “Icons” and “Puzzles.” Utilizing hieroglyphs and characters derived from Neolithic and religious symbols, ancient earth drawings as well as his own invented languages of pictograms, John created compositions resembling sacred scrolls, tablets, fragments of temple facades and everyday documents. In 2003, John began translating “Icons” into three dimensions, fashioning small-scale cast bronze, iron and aluminum sculptures from his pictograms.

        “Trucks” (2004-) includes drawings, prints, and sculpture employing ceramics, wood, cast iron, steel and full-size drivable assemblages incorporating actual trucks, that critics have described collectively as whimsical, formally inventive.
      • A Circulating Library: John Himmelfarb, Selected Recent Works

        The H.F. Johnson Gallery of Art featured the exhibit "A Circulating Library" Sept. 15-Oct. 17, 2009. The exhibit featured selected recent works by Chicago painter, sculptor and printmaker John Himmelfarb. The following essay was written for the exhibit's catalog by Geoffrey Bates. Mr. Bates has worked over 30 years as an arts professional. Most recently, he was the director and curator of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governors State University at University Park, Illinois.

        One of the first views a visitor encounters as they step over a high threshold and enter the raw space that acts as a foyer in John Himmelfarb's Chicago studio building is of a pair of library card catalogue cabinets stacked one upon the other. The grid of 300 drawers stands a little over 10 feet in height. The face of each drawer is 4 x 5 ½ inches and displays a brushed chrome pull and knurled screw-top that signifies the end of a rod which extends back through a small hole at the bottom of the hundreds of cards contained therein. The entire effect is that of a visual matrix that subtly provides an introduction to what one will encounter as one explores this center of creativity.

        The carefully crafted cabinets, along with their cards, each of which was individually typewritten by an anonymous library worker, have been made obsolete with the advent of computer technology and the internet. Each card possesses a discrete, abstract summary of the book it represents, and a number which locates it within the three dimensional space of the library building.

        Information and imagination have been distilled through research and creativity into a collection of singular works, each represented by a card in the catalogue.
        Himmelfarb incorporates these cards into his studio practice. He honors their previous life by recycling them as support for drawings he produces in a stream of consciousness that might: pun on the title of the card's book; use the title as inspiration or, more often than not, disregard the title completely and create an "automatic drawing." They might focus on a formal concern; study another artist's approach to a subject; make a to-do list; or capture that sparkling idea that shows remarkable promise but is just as remarkably fleeting. He notes the day and often the moment they are created, providing a sort of visual diary of this thought-processes and concerns over time. Although the library card drawings do not serve as the bedrock source for his artwork, they are a valuable reference tool for him and assist the viewer in following his restless exploration of form. Occasionally they have been translated "verbatim," if you will, with stunning results (see Borrowed Time (2007), and March 2006 library card drawing Living).
        At first glance, it is perhaps surprising that all of the artwork in this exhibition was produced by a single artist. There is no prevailing polemic, no manifesto nailed to the door. The work is consistently outside mainstream approaches to abstraction and figuration. On view are paintings, sculptures, prints, ceramic vases and even tapestries. Many approaches to subject matter are in evidence, but, like volumes in a library, each piece is a carefully considered, discrete work, a distillation of thought carved from decades of experience. Upon closer examination, it is clear that these singular works are united by elements collected in a circulating library of abstraction that the artist has been building, literally, since birth.

        It is difficult to write about John Himmelfarb's approach to making art without noting the contribution which his family has played in its development. Both the artist's father, Samuel Himmelfarb (1904-1976) and mother Eleanor (1910-2009) were accomplished artists whose aesthetic was primarily abstract. Samuel attended art school in Milwaukee, then Madison, Wis., supporting himself as a musician.

        He found his way to New York City where he took some classes at the Art Students League and gravitated toward work with architectural firms. Eventually the deprivations of the Great Depression in Gotham forced a return to the Midwest. There, he worked through a variety of design-oriented positions before starting his own firm. His timing was good. Corporate America was beginning to realize that it was often cheaper and more efficient to farm out design problems to specialists. He saw the potential for Chicago's growth as a national business convention center at mid-century and successfully positioned his business to take advantage of the many corporate conclaves and trade shows that made the city the center of business entertainment for decades.

        The Himmelfarbs continued to paint and exhibit widely. They presented work at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Arts Club, and other exhibition venues throughout the region. They provided what must have been a fertile home life for a young man interested in exploring the arts. Himmelfarb writes, "My dad designed a beautiful house full of art, and it was full of art objects, art books, music, trips to theater, dance, museums." The house was (at the time of its construction) a very contemporary design with an open plan, dedicated studio spaces, and sited on seven heavily wooded acres in Winfield. Young John took advantage of every opportunity to explore the undeveloped region.

        Himmelfarb is not a man who "always knew" that making art was his destiny. A college professor encouraged him to commit to an independent study in drawing for a semester. "After a couple of weeks of intense drawing, self directed, the light bulb finally lit!" Once committed, he staked out a difficult position that virtually all of his associates except his parents discouraged — he wouldn't teach, he wouldn't design, he would make his living making art.
        This workmanlike approach has served the artist well as he has built an exhibition resume that spans over 87 solo presentations, numerous public and corporate commissions, many artist-in-residence positions, and inclusion in major museums' collections throughout the U.S. and overseas during the past four decades.

        Growing up among artists who have made a practical choice to make a living through design and not chosen art as a life-style furnished Himmelfarb with an unpretentious sensibility in his dealings with the world-at-large. Educated at Harvard, he has always shunned irony-laden approaches to expression in favor of an almost blue-collar work ethic whose aesthetic celebrates thought and personal investment. Absent is the affected rebelliousness and signature trademark many artists feel is critical for recognition. Citing the shock of the new as the driving force behind artistic change during the 20th Century, the artist recently commented, "My point being, I suppose, that choosing an approach to art that is firmly based in 'visual language,' refers to and builds on the past, and eschews the pursuit of 'firstness,' is the ultimate rebellion, paradoxically." He rejected a move to New York and has always approached his work with a Midwestern practicality, purchasing a dilapidated 4-story brick building in 1971 and taking a year and a half making it habitable as both work and living space. This prescient move, made to establish financial stability and escape the cycle of gentrification and escalating rents that so often accompany artists’ urban homesteading, later allowed him to buy a building where he now has his studio.
        Recently, Himmelfarb's work has moved in several different directions while maintaining contact with basic stylistic signatures.

        Many artists find comfort and creative drive through a narrow focus on subject matter or technique. Each of Giorgio Morandi's still life paintings tells a separate truth about form, light, color, paint application, and patience. Josef Albers spent a lifetime parsing the relationships of hue, value, and saturation within a square format. Other artists seek to experience the challenge of unfamiliar media, embracing awkward moments of uncertainty as they discover new truths about their personal aesthetic universe. One of the most fruitful avenues of access to develop an appreciation of John Himmelfarb's work is to concentrate on continuously circulating relationships of fundamental elements over time and across media. The artwork selected for this show represents the disparate approaches to media, yet the consistent aesthetic sensibility, the artist has explored over roughly 10 years as he has enlarged his technical palette.

        Himmelfarb has made a career of turning two-dimensional space inside-out and topsy-turvy: drawings so dense with imagery they appear to be calligraphy; calligraphic paintings that balance mark and space in an ambiguous dance of push-and-pull; colorful iconic forms that might be pictographs, could be figurative, might be pure abstraction; matrices of nervous line that are layered with residual forms/shapes from earlier paintings sometimes asserting themselves as foreground and sometimes acting as ghosts of paintings past, pentimenti offering quiet testimony to his persistent search for balance.

        Wax Eloquent (2007) provides a clear example of one approach to playing with space. Many of the shapes reflect sources from the "real" world: cannon, trees, dogs, a ship. But the space surrounding each of the forms also creates a dynamic, abstract shape. It is through his close attention to how line and space define form that Himmelfarb’s art achieves its restless movement and continuous, dynamic sense of re-invention.

        The Truck Arrives
        Himmelfarb began his considered exploration of sculpture by casting iconic pictographic forms in bronze. Echoes of these shapes had been present in his painting since the mid-1970s and are evident in works such as Tool Talk (2001) and Mop (2003).
        The resultant sculptures reflect their origin in the artist's continuing interest in calligraphic marks (see Reference, 2008). High Style (2003) appears to be pulled from a Chinese scroll with its crosstrees of bronze enlivened by gestural surface treatment. Party Line (2003) uses a broad curve to imply negative space even as it puns on telephonic history and politics. By the time he arrived at Stretch and Rock Me (both 2003) he was making figuratively abstract objects that successfully activate the space surrounding them while remaining thoroughly flat forms. Leaning in Your Direction, also from 2003, is heavier, both physically and conceptually. The figurative work evokes thoughts of an archaic Northern European figurine with its broad planes, carefully placed holes, and sensitive patina.
        Two library card drawings from 2005 seem to indicate a shift in attention toward a quintessentially American subject matter. On July 24, a tow truck appears alone inside a frame of iconic pictographs. And in Paris on July 26, 2005, on a library card for "The Mammals of North America," by E. Raymond Hall, a pencil drawing incorporates arched elements of his Inland Romance series paintings from 2003 as cargo for what may be a firetruck. On the back, the artist has written "at the restaurant near filles di cavaliers 10 PM ONZIEME/ART; 80 RUE Amelot 75011; 0143 38 8525." The definitive nature of his legend affirms the significance of the moment.

        Perseverance, a painting from 2006, reflects his blossoming interest in the subject. The wall-sized painting is an energetic accretion of jots, marks, color shapes, and a truck image that seems less of a picture than the result of flotsam coalescing at the surface.
        Trucks continue to appear with regularity on library cards throughout the period from 2005 to the present. But it was a fellowship at the Arts in Industry program in Kohler, Wisconsin, during the winter of 2007 that allowed the artist to begin seriously pursuing a three-dimensional approach to this new topic. Immersing himself in the experience, he worked twelve to fifteen-hour days throughout the three month period taking every advantage of the remarkable opportunity and exploring varied approaches to ceramics, welded steel, cast brass, and cast iron.

        Greek Opera, Reefer, Prepared and Bird in Hand (all 2007) emerged from this period of wide-ranging creativity. Greek Opera, with its six-foot length, is a hulking, militaristic amalgamation of Humvee and Mesa Verde ruins and is on long term loan to a private collector. Reefer makes reference "to a refrigerated truck, but also to a reef, like you'd find in the ocean," the artist said recently. The organic work, with its drippy, droopy, crusty forms appears to have been dredged from a South Pacific underwater graveyard for World War II relics.
        Himmelfarb quickly began to refine and apply his characteristic spatial game to the new medium. The viewer will make out the restless line threading throughout his oeuvre in both Prepared and Bird in Hand. But, Bird in Hand, in particular, announces a familiar, yet freshly articulated, voice.
        We immediately recognize the old, beaten-up truck. However, Himmelfarb has once again turned space inside out, or more correctly, abandoned space as we normally experience it and chosen to use the truck icon as a platform for experimenting with layered space and line. It's as if Irene Ryan and Georges Braque got together to design a moving van. Himmelfarb's gesture, his calligraphy, his pictographic shapes and ambiguous space are all there — but now it's 3-D.

        Recent Paintings

        A comparison of three recent paintings provides insight into Himmelfarb's general attitude toward art-making. Despite employing different approaches in each work, none are seen as more or less precious than the other.

        Much of the artist's attention in the past two years has been spent on exploring and enlarging his understanding of the truck as a subject. 2008's Inventory functions much as Wax Eloquent — a listing of approaches and images that, this time, have to do with trucks. Some are dark on a light ground, some light on a dark ground, some frontal, some side view. Himmelfarb has lifted the lumpy-bumpy surface treatment from the three-dimensional work and deftly transposed it to canvas with a sense of urgency, layering and incorporating the drips and splashes that occurred as he attacked the surface.
        Dug In (2008) is more like a blind contour drawing where the student's pencil carefully maintains contact with his page as he draws from the nude without looking at his results. Himmelfarb's line is no less engaged as it rambles across the surface creating luscious shapes and forms that at first glance seem as though they might define familiar cargo, but upon closer examination, dissolve into a loaded brushmark that’s as delicious as Welch's grape jelly.
        With Revelation (2009), he combines aspects of Inventory and Dug In to create a work that marries line, shape, and form with content — here the viewer experiences parts of the architectonic load visible in the library card drawing from 2005 and bits and pieces of other Inland Romance paintings, as well.

        The time at Kohler casting his fleet of trucks whet Himmelfarb's appetite for challenge. In 2008, he acquired a 1949 International Harvester model KB-1 pickup with the idea in mind that he would create one of these works in the "real world." The viewer's experience of Conversion (2009) shifts through several phases: first, there's the curiosity factor — What is this stuff? Gradually, one begins to pick out automobile grilles, two-man saw blades, farm whatchamacallits, and other obscure pieces of sculptural metal that have been welded and painted in a seemingly helter-skelter fashion. An antique typewriter and 16 mm projector imply the presence of a narrative known only to the artist. Himmelfarb addresses automotive history by making this a lil' Red Pickup.
        Finally, as if the viewer's eyes are finally getting used to the dark, the 'art' part of the piece begins to surface. Here are shapes, lines, and gently curved planes which provide subtly graduated value relationships in abstract spatial arrangement. Here are forms and shapes that have iconic meaning and identity in their other lives, lives which have been subsumed in service to the composition at hand. Here is a sculptural realization of many of his painterly ideals. Once again, he's checked out his own book, rewritten it, and presented it anew.

        Over the past four decades John Himmelfarb has built a complex and compelling set of approaches to creating abstract works that remain firmly outside mainstream stylistic impulses. While tangling and teasing out iconic images in the language of abstraction in one series, he has incorporated references to real world objects such as plants, buildings, landscapes and trucks in other series of works. His complex vision continues to unfold a rich dialogue of color and theme that, together, form a sumptuous library of recurring, yet freshly resonant, images for the viewer to ponder.


        Art Institute of Chicago
        Albrecht Art Museum, St. Joseph, Missouri
        Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock
        Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
        Baltimore Art Museum
        La Bibliothèque Nationale de France
        Blanden Museum of Art, Fort Dodge, Iowa
        Block Museum, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
        British Museum, London, England
        Boston Public Library Print Collection
        Brooklyn Museum
        Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison
        Cleveland Museum of Art
        Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, Massachusetts
        Davenport Art Museum, Iowa
        Des Moines Art Center, Iowa
        Flint Institute of Arts, Flint MI
        Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
        The Armand Hammer Museum of Art
        High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
        Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN
        Huntington Museum of Art, West Virginia
        Illinois State Museum, Springfield
        Illinois State University Museum, Normal
        Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington
        Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
        John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI
        Josyln Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
        Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, Michigan
        Madison Art Center, Madison, Wisconsin
        Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, Ohio
        Milwaukee Art Museum
        Minneapolis Institute of Art Art Gallery,
        University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

        Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul
        Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
        Mitchell Museum, Mount Vernon, Illinois
        Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama
        Museum of Art, University of Iowa, Iowa City
        Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene

        Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

        Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City, Mexico
        Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

        National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
        New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut
        New York Public Library, New York, New York
        Portland Art Museum, Oregon
        Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
        Sackner Archives of Visual & Concrete Poetry, Florida
        Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
        Sioux City Art Center, Iowa
        Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University
        Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio
        Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
        University Art Museum, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
        University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson
        University of Michigan Museum of Art
        Western Illinois University Art Gallery, Macomb
        Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, New York


        2017     Parallels John Himmelfarb, Center for Visual Arts Galley, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

        Trucks, Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, IA

        Legacy, Modern Arts Midtown, Omaha, NE

        2015 No Exit, Thirty Years of trucks, icons, and weird drawings: John Himmelfarb; Thomas McCormick Gallery, Chicago, IL

        TRUCKS, art based on the workhorse that helped deliver the American Dream, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

        King of the Road, art based on the workhorse that helped deliver the American Dream, Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo, TX

        TRUCKS, The Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso, IN

        John Himmelfarb, Modern Arts Midtown, Omaha, NE

        Thirty Years, Shifting Gears, Luise Ross Gallery, New York

        John Himmelfarb, Paintings and Sculpture, Modern Arts Midtown, Omaha, NE

        John Himmelfarb: New/Old, Large/Small, Paintings, Prints, & Drawings, Peltz Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

        Driven: New Trucks by John Himmelfarb, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago

         Made from Similar Parts, River Gallery, Chelsea, MI

         Geared Up, Luise Ross Gallery, New York

        A Circulating Library, H.F. Johnson Gallery of Art, Carthage College Kenosha, WI

        Epic Envy, Finestra Art Space, Chicago, IL

        Conversion, Vector Custom Fabricating, Chicago, IL

        John Himmelfarb, Gallery 72, Omaha, NE

        Ideographic Sequence, Luise Ross Gallery, New York, NY

        Multi-Dimensional: John Himmelfarb, FLATFILE Galleries, Chicago, IL

        Calligraphics: John Himmelfarb, Jack Olson Gallery, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL

        John Himmelfarb, Union League Club, Chicago, IL

        John Himmelfarb, River Gallery, Chelsea, MI

        Urban Legends, Ruschman Art Gallery, Indianapolis, IN

        The Borrowers Name, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY

        Illuminated, Gallery 72, Omaha, NE
                                                                                                                                               The Borrowers Name, Phyllis Stigliano, New York, NY

        New Work, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Large Paintings, Salena Gallery, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY

        Recent Paintings & Prints, College of Lake County, Grays Lake, IL

        Inland Romance: Theme and Variation, Cook County Administration Building, Chicago, IL

        The Card Catalog Drawings, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

        John Himmelfarb: Icon Paintings, Gallery 72, Omaha, NE

        Wall to Wall, John Himmelfarb, Indiana University Northwest, Gary, IN

        A Decade of Prints, Northern Indiana Arts Association Cultural Center, Munster, IN

         A Visual Language: John Himmelfarb Prints, Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, IL

        Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

        John Himmelfarb, Inland Romance, Koehnline Gallery, Oakton College, Des Plaines, IL

        John Himmelfarb Lukacs Gallery, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

        American Graffiti,Centre of Contemporary Art, Christchurch, New Zealand

        Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago

         Riverside Arts Center,Riverside, IL

         Floor to Ceiling, Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, Iowa

        Chicago Breaks, Galerie d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France

        John Himmelfarb University Club, Chicago, IL

        John Himmelfarb Spaightwood Gallery, Madison, WI

        John Himmelfarb Gallery 72, Omaha, NE

        Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

        John Himmelfarb Gallery 72, Omaha, NE

        John Himmelfarb Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Inland Romance: Paintings By John Himmelfarb, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL

        Recent Drawings, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL

        Recent Work, Spaightwood Gallery, Madison, WI

        Letters, Documents, and Suspicious Characters, Gallery 1756, Chicago, IL

        John Himmelfarb: Images, Graven and Otherwise,Spaightwood Gallery, Madison, WI

        Gallery 72, Omaha, NE

         The Letters, Kamrick Art Center Gallery, University of Northern Iowa

        John Himmelfarb, Anchor Graphics, Chicago, IL

        John Himmelfarb, Gallery 72, Omaha, NE

        The Non Objective Paintings, Terry Dintenfass, New York, NY

        Paintings & Prints, Cissie Peltz Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

        John Himmelfarb Gallery 72, Omaha, NE

        Meetings in the Garden, Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

        Focus 6, Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, OH

        Meetings in the Garden
        Madison Art Center, WI

        John Himmelfarb, Huntington Museum of Art, WV

        About Faces: Paintings & Works on Paper, Brody's Gallery, Washington, D.C.

        Gallery van Vliet, New Buffalo, MI

        Meetings in the Garden, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI

        Terry Dintenfass, New York, NY

        Tallers Josep Llorens Artigas, Gallifa, Spain

        Contemporaries V, Ball State University Art Gallery, Muncie, IN

        Blanden Museum of Art, Fort Dodge, IA

        Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL

        Gallery 72, Omaha, NE

        Southwest State University, Marshall, MN 

        Terry Dintenfass, New York, NY

        Monumental Meetings, John Nichols, New York, NY

        Davenport Art Museum, Davenport, IA

        Paintings, Drawings, & Large Lithographs, Southwest State University, Marshall, MN

        Gallery 72, Omaha, NE
        Area X Gallery, New York, NY
        Brody's Gallery, Washington, D.C.
        Sioux City Art Center, Iowa

        1.    Terry Dintenfass, New York, NY

                     Gallery 72, Omaha, NE
        1982     Barbara Balkin Gallery, Chicago, IL

        1980     Fountain Gallery, Portland, OR

        Hull Gallery, Washington, D.C.

        1. Terry Dintenfass, New York, NY

        Gallery 72, Omaha, NE

        Barbara Balkin Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Merwin Gallery, Illinois Wesleyan University, IL

        1. Ball State University Art Gallery, Muncie, IN

        Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, NE

        Albrecht Art Museum, St. Joseph, MO

        1. Dorothy Rosenthal Gallery, Chicago, IL

        The Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, NE

        1. Illinois Arts Council Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Graphics I and Graphics II, Boston, MA

        Paintings & Prints by John Himmelfarb, Don Roth’s Blackhawk Restaurant, Chicago, IL

        Park River Forest High School, Oak Park, IL

        1. Studio Exhibit, 1825 S. Halsted, Chicago, IL


        1969     Gallery Commave, Boston, MA

        1968      An Exhibition of Drawings, Adams House, Harvard, Cambridge, MA

        Pen and Ink Drawings, Millis Public Library, Millis, MA



        40 Years New: Forty Years of Prints from Normal Editions Workshop, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL

        Rewind: Art of the 1980s, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL

        Circumstances, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY

        New York Eden, Luise Ross Gallery, New York, NY

        At and After the Factory arts/industry, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan WI

        Metro Fair, Luise Ross, New York, NY

        Impressions: Selections from Stewart & Stewart, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI

        Face to Face: ArtistsSelf-Portraits from the Collection of Jackye and Curtis Finch, Jr., Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

         Farm Art Dtour, Reedsburg, WI

         TURF, an IDADA installation Super Bowl event, Indianapolis, IN

        Sculpture for the Home, Northern Illinois University Art Museum, DeKalb, IL

        Fall Prints, IPCNY,New York, NY

        Multiple Propositions, Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, IN

        Small Show, Luise Ross Gallery, New York, NY

        Graphic Masters III,Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

        Prints 2009/ Spring: Curated by Polly Apfelbaum, April/May, International Print Center New York, New York, NY

        Eleanor and John Himmelfarb: Two Generations of Chicago Artists, John Almquist Gallery, North Shore Country Day School, Winnetka, IL

        Illiterature,Arena 1, 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, CA (traveling exhibition)

        Illiterature,LIMN Gallery, 292 Townsend St., San Francisco, CA

        Nuances of Printmaking, Oakton Community College, William A. Koehnline Gallery, Des Plaines, IL

        New Now: Recent Gifts From Arts/Industry Artists, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI

        Visions: Selections from the James T. Dyke Collection of Contemporary Drawings, TRAVELING SHOW
        Naples Museum of Art, Naples, Florida (Dec. 2007 - Mar. 2008)
        Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas (Sept. 2008 - Nov. 2008)

        New Prints 2007/Winter, International Print Center New York, New York, NY

        New Prints 2007/Summer: Curated by James Siena, International Print Center New York, New York, NY

        Marks From the Matrix: Normal Editions Workshop, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

        Ink, Tallgrass Arts Center, Park Forest, IL

        Lines of Discovery: 225 Years of American Drawing, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR

        Bridge Art Fair Chicago, Flatfile Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Lines of Discovery: 225 Years of American Drawing, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa OK

        Lines of Discovery: 225 Years of American Drawing, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI

        Black & White, Flatfile Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Conjeturas, Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City, Mexico

        New Prints 2005/Summer, International Print Center New York, New York, NY

        The Art of Screenprint, Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI

        Art in the Abstract, Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery, Chicago, IL

        On the Mark: Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL

        Currents: 25 Years of Collecting Modern and Contemporary Prints, Block Museum,  Evanston, IL

        New Prints 2005/Summer: Etchings, IPCNY, New York

        Information In Formation, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

        Normal Editions Workshops: Selected Works, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

        Chopmark II, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI

        New Prints 2004/Summer, International Print Center New York, New York, NY

         Wet Paint, William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO

         Group Show - Part 2, Phyllis Stigliano Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

         Variations on a Theme: Rivers & Other Bodies of Water, River Gallery, Chelsea MI

        New Prints 2003/Autumn, International Print Center New York, New York, NY

        January White Sale, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Himmelfarb, Himmelfarb, Himmelfarb, Haydon Gallery, Lincoln, NE

        Board Art,Centre of Contemporary Art, Christchurch, New Zealand

        Sound and Vision: John Himmelfarb and Philip Trusttum, Centre of Contemporary Art, Christchurch, NZ
        Paper 5, John Woodward Gallery, New York, NY
        Art Chicago, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
        Reflections: 15th Anniversary Show, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, Abstract Art in the New Century,Crosman Art Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI
        Black and White, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
        Chicago Collectors Select,Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Large Drawings from Arkansas Art Foundation Collection, Butler Institute of American Art, OH

        Columbus Museum, GA

        Hunter Museum, Chatanooga, TN

        Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS

        Art Chicago, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

        Minnesota National Print Biennial, of M., Minneapolis, MN

        Communicazioni Visive Tramite Connessioni Globari, Museum of Contemporary Art, Pal. Massari, Ferrara, Italy

        Juno Moneta, Mindy Oh, New York, NY
        Cultured Pearl, Metropolitan Museum of Seoul, Seoul, Korea

        Second Sight: Printmaking in Chicago 1935-95, Block Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

        Large Drawings & Objects, Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

        7thAnnual Davidson National Print Exhibition, Davidson, NC

        Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Mail Art Project, 10thContemporary Art Ankara-Turkiye, Selvin Art Gallery, Ankara, Turkey
        Catalyst 95,
        Oak Park Art League, Oak Park, IL

        Diverse Attractions, College of Lake County, Grays Lake, IL

        Plats D'Artists, Fundacio Tallers Josep Llorens Artigas, Gallifa, Spain

        Tandem Press: 5 Years Of Collaboration-Experimentation, Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, WI

        Three Painters, Quincy Art Center, Quincy, IL

        Cultured Pearl, Mindy Oh, New York, NY

        20thCentury Prints: The Last 50 Years, Jane Haslem Gallery, Washington D.C.

        Query & Vehemance: Works By Eleanor & John Himmelfarb, Arts Council Gallery, Iowa City, IA

        Prints From Normal Editions Workshop, Carlsten Art Gallery, U. of Wisconsin, WI
        Artists & Designers Alumi Show, Carpenter Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
        Society Of American Graphic Artists 65th Exhibition, New York, NY

        Abstract: Chicago, Klein Artworks, Chicago, IL

        Eleanor Himmelfarb, Sam Himmelfarb, and John Himmelfarb, Fermilab, Batavia, IL

        Cast in Carbondale, Evansville Museum of Art, Evansville, IN

        Alechinsky, Miro, & Himmelfarb, Spaightwood Gallery, Madison, WI

        Recent Prints from Stewart and Stewart, Arnold Klein Gallery, Royal Oak, MI

        , Brody's Gallery, Washington D.C.
        Drawing On Experience,Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, OH
        56th Annual Nat. Midyear Ex.,Butler Inst. Of American Art Youngstown, OH

        Watercolor USA 1992, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO

        Prints from Stewart and Stewart, Images Gallery, Toledo, OH

        Mailbox Auction, Smithsonian Institute, Detroit, MI

        Recent Acquisitions In Graphic Art, National Museum of American Art

      • Cobra and Friends, Spaightwood Gallery, Madison, WI

        A Matter of Scale, Spaightwood Gallery, Madison, WI


        1. Diversity of Line: A Selection from the Permanent Collection, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa
          Echo Press, A Decade Of Printmaking, Indiana University Art Museum, IN
          Two Generations Chicago: The Influence Of Family,Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL

        Coming Attractions, Terry Dintenfass, New York, NY

        Tandem Press, Pace Gallery, New York, NY

        Works on Paper, Terry Dintenfass, New York, NY
        Prints From Landfall Press, San Antonio Art Institute, TX
        Drawing Conclusions, Southwest Texas State University, TX
        July Prints, Brody's Gallery, Washington, D.C.


        1. The Face, Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

        National Drawing Invitational,Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

        New Editions, Landfall Press, New York, NY

        International Prints II,Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan CT

        Boston Printmakers 40thNorth American Print Exhibition, Brockton Art Museum,  Boston, MA

        Prints from 3 Continents,Brody's Gallery, Washington, D.C

        Eleanor Himmelfarb, John Himmelfarb, Vera Klement, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois

        Brought Up On Asphaltum, Natl Litho Invitational, Oregon School Arts & Crafts, Portland, OR

        V.E.S. Graduates, Carpenter Center For The Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

        Recent Graphics/American Print Shops, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA

        Recent Fine Prints,Brody's Gallery, Washington, D.C.

        Monumental Drawings: 20 Contemporary Americans, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

        Contemporary Works on Paper, Struve Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Contemporary Prints, Brody's Gallery, Washington, D.C.

        Blockbusters, The Big Impression, John Nichols, New York, NY

        Faces,Area X Gallery, New York, NY

        Chicago International Art Exposition, Chicago, IL

        Prints from Soho, Fujii Salon, Tokyo, Japan

        81stChicago and Vicinity Show, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

        Jungle Fever,Harcus Gallery, Boston, MA

        John Nichols, New York, NY

        Too Hot for New York, Area X Gallery, New York, NY

        Summer Exhibit, Brody's Gallery, Washington D.C.

        Original Lithographs from Plucked Chicken Press, Fairweather Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Ways of Drawing,Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago, IL

        Hassam and Speicher Fund Purchase Exhibition, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY

        Contemporary Chicago Lithographers, Illinois State Museum, IL (and traveling)

        Directors Choice, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA

        El Paso National Painting Exhibit,El Paso Art Museum, TX

        Chicago International Art Exposition, Chicago, IL

        Barbara Balkin Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Invitational Print Exhibition,Sykes Gallery, Millersville State College, PA

        Chicago International Art Exposition, Chicago, IL

        Prints and Multiples, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

        Permanent Collection: Artists’ Books, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

        American Drawings in Black and White, 1970-80, Brooklyn Museum, NY

        Selections from George M. Irwin Collection, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL

        Annual International Competition, Philadelphia Print Club, Philadelphia, PA

        Chicago Prospective, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

        Prizewinners Revisited, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

        National Small Painting Exhibition, Western Illinois University, IL

        Rockford International Print Exhibition, Rockford College, Rockford, IL

        Narrative Imagery, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL

        Works on Paper, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

        Works on Paper, Moon Gallery, Berry College, Mt. Berry, GA

        Sculptors Who Paint and Painters Who Sculpt, Paul Wagoneer Gallery, Chicago, IL

         19thAnnual Exhibition of Prints & Drawings, Oklahoma Art Center, OK

        National Drawing Exhibition, Edinboro State College, Edinboro, PA

        19thNational Print Exhibition, Brooklyn, NY

        Ball State National Drawing & Sculpture Exhibition, Ball State University Art Gallery, Muncie, IN

        Davidson National Prints & Drawings Exhibition, Davidson College, NC

        New Horizons in Art, North Shore Art League, Chicago, IL

        Chicago Area Show, Union League Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL

        Three Lithographers, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE                                                

        Third Hawaii National Print Exhibition, Honolulu HI

        Paintings by Sam, Eleanor, and John Himmelfarb, Bradley Galleries, Milwaukee, WI

         Paintings by Sam, Eleanor, and John Himmelfarb, Rosary College Gallery, River Forest, IL

         Paintings by Sam, Eleanor, and John Himmelfarb, Two Illinois Center, Chicago, IL

        Print & Drawing Show, Artist Guild of Chicago, Chicago, IL

        Art for Young Collectors, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
        Ceramic & Other Sculpture, Nancy Lurie Art, Chicago, IL

         27thIllinois Invitational, Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL

        Printmakers: Midwest Invitational
        , Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN

        New Horizons in Art, North Shore Art League, Chicago, IL

        Drawings USA, Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, MN

        Color Print U.S.A., Texas Technical Institute, Lubbock, TX


        Drawing Mid-USA III,
        Spiva Art Center, Joplin, MO

        Del-Mar National Sixth Annual Drawing Show, Del-Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX

        Images of Artistry, Molloy Center, Morton Grove, IL

        Drawings in St. Paul, Minnesota Museum, St. Paul, MN

        Prints from Landfall Press
        , Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibit

        Old Town Art Fair, Chicago, IL

        Drawings USA, Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, MN

        Drawings on Canvas & Paintings, Old Town Triangle Association Arts Center, Chicago, IL

        Brooklyn Museum Fence Show, Brooklyn, NY

        Drawing Mid-USA II, Spiva Art Center, Joplin, MO

        Del-Mar National Fifth Annual Drawing Show, Del-Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX

        Drawings USA, Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, MN

        Leverett Festival, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA

        Leverett Festival, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA


        Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE),
        One 6.5’ x 18’ mural installed in main building

        Bucktown/Wicker Park Library, Installation of library catalog card drawings

        Delta Terminal, Boston Logan Airport,
        Two paintings installed in satellite terminal.

        Chicago Transit Authority, One ceramic tile mural at Kedzie Station, Douglas Branch, Blue Line.

        University of Nebraska, Graduate School of Education, Two ceramic tile murals.

        Art Omaha, Two ceramic tile murals for Omaha Public Schools.




        The Herron School of Art, Indianapolis, IN

        The Annual Combined Associates Lecture, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Dept. of Museum ,Education Lecture Series,
        University of Florida, Gainesville
        University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, Indiana

        Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois
        Arts in Industry Program, Kohler, Wisconsin                                              

        Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, New Plymouth, New Zealand

        Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand

        University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

        Illinois State University, Normal

        University of Nebraska at Omaha

        Center for Contemporary Art, Christchurch, New Zealand

         Buena Vista University

         Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

         University of South Dakota, Vermillion

        Sioux City Art Center

        Indiana University, Northwest, Gary

        Illinois State University, Normal

        New Masters Workshop, Huntington Museum of Art, West Virginia

        Kalamazoo Institute of Art

        Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

        University of Wisconsin, Madison

        Ball State University

        Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

        Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

        Blanden Art Museum, Fort Dodge, Iowa

        Southern Illinois Univerity, Carbondale

        Midway Studios, University of Chicago

        Illinois State University, Normal

        Augustana & Sioux Falls Colleges, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

        Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Chicago, Illinois

        Briar Cliff College, Sioux City, Iowa

        Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa

        Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa    

        Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City , Iowa

        University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa

        University of South Dakota, Vermillion

        University of Wisconsin, River Falls

        1978    Albrecht Art Museum, St. Joseph, Missouri

        1976    Joslyn Museum, Omaha


        2007     Kohler Arts & Industry Residency

        2003     Illinois Arts Council Grant

        2002     Pollack-Krasner Foundation

        1989     Chicago Artists Abroad

        1986     Illinois Arts Council Fellowship

        1986     Pollock-Krasner Foundation

        1985     National Endowment For The Arts

        1982     National Endowment For The Arts