Mo Lebowitz collection
Scope and Contents
The Mo Lebowitz contains examples of Lebowitz’s printed work, consisting of ephemeral pieces that celebrate his interest in cigars, food, wine, bluegrass and classical music (Mozart in particular), literary characters (Sherlock Holmes in particular), and acquisitions of equipment for his press. Much of the collection consists of whimsical and humorous promotion of Lebowitz’s shop, travels, and personal life, in the form of announcements printed as cards, broadsides, posters, and pamphlets, as well as on paper napkins and bags, hang tags, sheets of plastic, tissue, and a wide variety of other substrates. He regularly employed display types and nineteenth-century ornaments and illustration cuts, in addition to articulated elements, die-cut papers, and applied objects including beans, wine corks, and commercial antacids. Some announcements and invitations document exhibitions of Lebowitz’s work, lectures that he presented, and awards that he received from professional organizations. Folders of letterhead, invitations, and announcements reveal work produced for friends and clients. Several pieces in the collection refer to The Design Organization, Lebowitz’s partnership with Al Ross. A few items are dated; most are not, but were produced the 1960s and 1970s.
- Creation: 1960-1980
- Lebowitz, Mo (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to researchers.
Biographical / Historical
Mo Lebowitz was born in Washington, DC, and earned a BA degree from the University of Maryland. He worked in the Washington area as an agency art director, and then moved to New York in 1960 where he served consecutively as art director for American Machine & Foundry, Savitt Studios, and Needham, Louis & Brorby, until he opened his own design office in 1966. In 1960 Lebowitz established the Antique Press in the basement of his home on Long Island, New York, and with an eclectic collection of letterpress equipment and fonts of metal and wood type, he produced broadsides, pamphlets, invitations, holiday cards, posters, and other ephemera that were widely collected by his friends and acquaintances in the graphic design community. In 2004 Mo Lebowitz presented the contents of his letterpress shop to the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University.
1.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
The Mo Lebowitz Collection contains more than five hundred examples of his printed work, consisting of ephemeral pieces that celebrate his interests, including cigars, food, wine, bluegrass and classical music, literary characters, and acquisitions of equipment for his press.
The collection is organized into two series: Small Format Ephemera, and Large Format Ephemera. Each is arranged alphabetically by genre or theme: Announcements and cards for other clients; Cigars; Equipment; Food; Holiday cards; Lectures, exhibitions, and awards; Literary characters; Music, bluegrass; Music, classical; Stationery; Wine; and Miscellaneous.
Other Finding Aids
In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the Cary Graphic Arts Collection.
Mo Lebowitz collection
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Mo Lebowitz, 1982. Accession number(s): 2010:002
Collection processed by Sandra Markham.
Finding aid encoded by Lisa Witt, October 2015.
- Mo Lebowitz collection
- Cary Graphic Design Archives
- Lisa Witt
- 14 October 2015
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note