A talented painter and mosaicist who also innovated new methods of printmaking, Stella Drabkin believed the mark of an artist was their ability to work in any medium, guided by the needs of their art. Drabkin worked as a commercial artist before studying at the Philadelphia Graphic Sketch Club, where she created a series of prints in the 1930s called Old Philadelphia, which depicted street scenes in working-class, ethnic neighborhoods. She was known for her experiments with multitype, a variation on monotype printing—instead of inking one surface and pressing its imprint on paper, the artist superimposes multiple impressions to create layers of texture and color. She also created mosaics on biblical themes for the Philadelphia Free Library and into the 1950s and 1960s played with the combination of words and pictures through her series of nature images merged with haikus and her book Prints with Poems. She won awards throughout her career, from first prize in the Gimbel Competition in 1933 to the New Jersey State Museum Purchase Prize in 1967. In 1972, the Art Alliance established the Stella Drabkin Memorial Award Fund in her honor.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Stella Drabkin." (Viewed on November 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/drabkin-stella>.