National Museum of Women in the Arts
Minna Citron
October 15 1896 - circa December 21 1991
Photograph of Minna Citron, unknown date, unknown photographer. Courtesy of Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library, Syracuse, NY, USA
Place of Birth:
Phonetic Spelling:
MEE-nah siht-ron
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Active Dates:
circa 1924 - circa 1991
Work Type/Media:
Drawings and prints, Painting
Artistic Role(s):
Graphic Artist, Muralist, Painter, Printmaker
Abstraction, Social Realism
Artist's Biography:
Minna Citron was married and had two children before she became seriously involved in art at the age of twenty-eight. A native of Newark, New Jersey she studied at the New York School of Applied Design for Women and The Art Students League of New York, among other institutions. Inspired by her teacher Kenneth Hayes Miller, she created genre scenes of Manhattan’s Union Square and became part of the 14th Street School that included Miller, Isabel Bishop and Reginald Marsh. Although Citron tried to fulfill her roles as wife, mother, and artist, she divorced in 1934 and moved to her beloved Union Square to dedicate herself to her work.

A great admirer of French political caricaturist Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), Citron’s early prints often took a satirical view of stereotypical female behavior. By the early 1940s, however, she began to cast a more sympathetic eye on women and their pursuit of independence – a perspective that continued to guide her work and led her to strongly identify with the women’s movement of the 1970s. Reflecting on the evolution of her art, Citron stated that she believed she had always been a feminist.

Although she is best known for her figurative prints, Citron also taught and executed murals under the Federal Art Project of the New Deal. After World War II and several visits to Europe, she began to work as an abstractionist in Stanley Hayter’s printmaking workshop, Atelier 17. There she pioneered three-dimensional techniques in printmaking and painting as well as the incorporation of accidental effects and assemblage elements.

Other Occupation(s):
Feminist, Instructor, Writer
Place(s) of Residence:
New York
Where Trained/Schools:
The Art Students League of New York, New York, NY, USA (1940-1942, 1928-1935) New York School of Applied Design for Women, New York, NY, USA (1925-1927) Brooklyn Institute of the Arts, New York, NY, USA (1924-1925)
Related Visual Artists:
student of Benjamin Kopman student of Kimon Nicolaides student of Kenneth Hayes Miller student and friend of William Hayter student of Harry Sternberg student of Reginald Marsh friend of Jean Arp friend of Constantin Brancusi friend of Maria Helena Vieira da Silva friend of Hans Hartung friend of Marc Chagall friend of Salvador Dalí friend of Jacques Lipchitz
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Lifetime Achievement Award, Women's Caucus for Art, New York, NY, USA (1985) Fellowship, Ford Foundation, New York, NY, USA (1965) Fellowship, Yaddo Foundation, Saratoga Springs, NY, USA (1947)
Earliest exhibition:
Feminanities, Midtown Gallery, New York, NY, USA (1935)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Preserving the Past, Securing the Future: Donations of Art, 1987-1997
The Washington Print Club Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibition: Graphic Legacy
Women Artists of the New Deal Era: A Selection of Prints and Drawings
Artist retrospective(s):
16 Years After: Minna Citron, Howard University Gallery of Art, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA (1963)
Related places
New York (died at)
Laning at Work
The Dealer