We are pleased to present the sculpture of Northwest artist and teacher, Frederic Littman. A native of Hungary, he studied during the 1920s in Budapest and then in Paris where he was a student of Aristide Maillol. In 1940, he left Europe as a refugee and came to Portland where he spent the rest of his art career. Littman sensitively delineated the sculpted figure, saying, “I have usually abstained from following any trends. I never intended to make anything fashionable for the sake of being up-to-date. I started out to do sculpture–the human form–with reverence and with a respect for life.” He incorporated a wide range of materials including bronze, marble, wood, hammered copper, terracotta, and stone. His optimistic character and compassionate nature, combined with an interest in themes of the mother and child, and mythological and musical images, reflected his own spirited vision. This guest exhibition of Littman’s work is a selection from the 1950s through the 1970s.
Frederic Littman taught art at Reed College, the Museum Art School, and Portland State University, where he became Art Professor Emeritus. He collaborated with the esteemed architect Pietro Belluschi, integrating bas-relief sculpture into a variety of building projects. Portland public sculptures include “Farewell to Orpheus,” in the Park Blocks, his pioneer woman at Council Crest Park, and the doors for both Zion Lutheran Church and Temple Beth Israel. Other commissions include the FDR Memorial at Grand Coulee Dam, the Marion County War Memorial in Salem, the Community Hospital in Grays Harbor, WA, and Buddha’s Universal Church in San Francisco. His work has been exhibited internationally in numerous annuals and invitationals. The Portland Art Museum honored him with retrospectives in 1945 and in 1978.