Kaufman, Enit, 1908?-1961

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Artist Enit Zerner Kaufman (1908?-1961) was born outside Vienna, and she emigrated to New York City in 1939. Kaufman was responsible for the portraits of eminent Americans in American Portraits (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1946), for which Dorothy Canfield Fisher wrote the accompanying biographical texts.

From the description of American Portraits Papers, 1914-1958 (bulk 1940-1944). (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122419140

Enit Zerner Kaufman (1908?-1961) was born near Vienna, where she later studied art. Her primary interest was portraiture, and she soon created a name for herself painting prominent Europeans, including Albert Sarraut and Georges Duhamel, among others. Her work was featured in several successful exhibitions in Paris, where her skillful paintings of women and children also attracted attention. Her life and career were changed dramatically by the onset of World War II, and she fled the turbulence of Europe for an uncertain future in New York City in 1939, along with her husband Edward, a lawyer.

Kaufman worked with great determination in the United States to resume her interrupted career and achieved some success, teaching art and working to rebuild her reputation as a portraitist. As had been the case in Europe, many of her subjects were prominent figures in government, education, and the arts. She had the distinction of painting four American Presidents, including Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her work was featured in a number of exhibitions in the 1940s and 1950s, including an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and another at the New York Historical Society.

Enit Kaufman's participation in the creation of American Portraits (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1946) grew out of her experience both as a painter of the prominent figures of the time, and as a refugee from a region whose leadership had run amok. Dorothy Canfield Fisher wrote the biographical profiles which accompanied Kaufman's portraits of eminent Americans. The authors were interested in the nature of leadership, and asked many of their subjects, often leaders in their fields, to write down their thoughts on the subject. Kaufman and Canfield Fisher initially considered incorporating these responses into American Portraits; instead, these Statements of Leadership were featured in a piece in the Sunday edition of the New York Times in 1951.

Kaufman died in New York City on January 17th, 1961.

From the guide to the Enit Kaufman, American Portraits, Papers, TXRC99-A1., 1914-1958, (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Kaufman, Enit, 1908?-1961. American Portraits Papers, 1914-1958 (bulk 1940-1944). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf KAUFMAN, ENIT. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
creatorOf Enit Kaufman, American Portraits, Papers, TXRC99-A1., 1914-1958 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Florence Ellinwood, 1884-1966 person
associatedWith Anderson, Marian, 1897-1993 person
associatedWith Beard, Charles person
associatedWith Beard, Charles. person
associatedWith Cannon, Walter B. (Walter Bradford), 1871-1945 person
associatedWith Cather, Willa, 1873-1947 person
associatedWith Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947 person
associatedWith Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978 person
associatedWith Counts, George S. (George Sylvester), 1889-1974 person
associatedWith Dewey, John, 1859-1952 person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 person
associatedWith Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 person
associatedWith Fisher, Dorothy Canfield, 1879-1958 person
associatedWith Frost, Robert, 1874-1963 person
associatedWith Harris, Roy, 1898- person
associatedWith Hayes, Helen, 1900- person
associatedWith Hayes, Helen, 1900-1993. person
associatedWith Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961 person
associatedWith Johnson, Mordecai W. (Mordecai Wyatt), 1890-1976 person
associatedWith Jones, Rufus Matthew, 1863-1948 person
associatedWith Langmuir, Irving, 1881-1957 person
associatedWith Lewis, John Llewellyn, 1880-1969 person
associatedWith MacLeish, Archibald, 1892- person
associatedWith MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982. person
associatedWith Marin, John, 1870-1953 person
associatedWith Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1892-1971 person
associatedWith Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976 person
associatedWith Rockefeller, John D. (John Davison), 1874-1960 person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962 person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 person
associatedWith Sulzberger, Arthur Hays, 1891-1968 person
associatedWith Thompson, Dorothy, 1893-1961 person
associatedWith Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972. person
associatedWith Truman, Harry S., 1896-1972 person
associatedWith Whipple, George Hoyt, 1878- person
associatedWith Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 person
associatedWith Wright, Orville, 1871-1948 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States


Death 1961





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