Jack Perlmutter (1920-2006)

Jack Perlmutter was one of the HMA artists who served in World War II, and as such, he was part of the series of 2014 exhibits that celebrated the Museum's 70th anniversary of its founding.

Jack Perlmutter (1920-2006) Self Portrait, 1975 oil on canvas Gift of James M. Goode in memory of Dorothy Goode and in honor of George Goode, 1997.4.22

Jack Perlmutter (1920-2006)
Self Portrait, 1975
oil on canvas
Gift of James M. Goode in memory of Dorothy Goode and in honor of George Goode, 1997.4.22

Perlmutter was born in New York City, but many of the supposed facts of his life “appear to have been embellished with a touch of artistic license.” (Obituary, Washington Post, May 13, 2006)  For instance, he did not move intimately in Andy Warhol’s painterly circle, contrary to what he claimed.

However, according to his daughters and Washington Post stories from the 1950s, Perlmutter moved to Washington D.C. no later than 1940. He found a job working in the Navy's Hydrographic Office -- now the Naval Oceanographic Office -- as a lithographer; and he learned the complicated art of lithography by drawing and printing nautical charts. He joined the Navy after the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.  After the war, Perlmutter continued to work as a civilian with the Navy until 1959; and in 1960, he started teaching at the Corcoran School of Art, where he founded the museum's printmaking department.

Below: Our Perlmutter self-portrait now attracts visitors to HMA from a billboard on Rt. 40. The re-enactment was one of several at the opening of Faces & Figures from the Permanent Collection in early 2014.

Post by Karin Borei, HMA Project Coordinator, writer and editor as needed, and HMA blogger since our blog's inception in March 2015.