Joseph Margulies Information and Inventory

Joseph Margulies

(1896 - 1984)

Joseph Margulies 


There are very few artist biographies as rich with museum representations, portraits of famous people, magazine covers, and a variety of awards as the Cape Ann painter Joseph Margulies. Examples of his work that I saw during his lifetime and shortly after his death did not excite me and certainly left me puzzled about his string of accolades. I had not yet learned that one should not judge an artist’s work by the last 20–25 percent of his life’s output. The difficulty is finding—or at least seeing—the earlier work. In the case of Joseph Margulies, an estate of paintings from the 1920s to the 1940s ended up with a small Massachusetts gallery. I had the opportunity to see many of these earlier works, and I better understood the artist’s accomplishments. This was in 1987, and I selected two examples, the first a Lane’s Cove scene depicting an old, perhaps derelict boat resting near a lobsterman’s shack. I responded to the rich, thick layers of paint and its sense of spontaneity. My second choice reflects Margulies’ exposure to New York City and paintings by the Ash Can artists, with a touch of Bellows and Kroll. City bridges are simply irresistible, and the Brooklyn Bridge is an icon. A good lesson learned: judge an artist’s work by the efforts of his whole career, not just a portion of it.

Joseph Margulies Gallery

No paintings by this author