An Inside Look: Gottlieb's Painted Postcards


1963, acrylic on postcard, 3 1/2 x 5”

acrylic on postcard, 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 “


In the winter of 1962, while Adolph and Esther Gottlieb were at their home in East Hampton, Adolph suffered a heart attack. The two stayed in East Hampton for the rest of the winter while Gottlieb recovered. It wasn't until the Spring that Gottlieb was able to return to painting with the help of his wife. As Esther Gottlieb recounts in an 1975 interview,

"On the one trip I made to New York in the Spring of ’63, I returned with some post cards. These were reproductions of paintings in various museums. He was feeling somewhat better, but he couldn’t go up and down the stairs at that point. He was going down only once a day. Then we decided to make a studio out of the guest room which faces north. We asked Adolph which easels he wanted and which brushes. He gave me a list of the material, but he hadn’t done any work yet. I brought the postcards—I thought he might enjoy looking at them, so he said, “Oh, that’s fine.” He looked at them and said, “I think I’ll do some painting.” I went to the market, and when I came back he had these postcards tacked up all over the studio. He had been painting over them—painting his image over the ones he particularly liked. Then he began working with acrylic on paper."


FRANCOIS CLOVET “CHARLES IX - ROI DE FRANCE”, 1963, acrylic on postcard, no dims.

GAINSBOROUGH- “MRS ELLIOT”, 1963, acrylic on postcard, no dims

WATTEAU - “LA FINETTE”, 1963, acrylic on postcard, no dims.


All artwork ©Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/Licensed by ARS, NY, NY

Through the years, Gottlieb gave away several of his painted postcards to friends and family. Three above, originally gifted to Joe and Olga Hirshhorn, are now part of the permanent collection at the Baker Museum, in Florida.

To see more selected works by Adolph Gottlieb, click here.

Gottlieb Foundation