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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Julian Levi (1900-1982)

Julian Levi was born in 1900 in New York City and grew up in Philadelphia. His formal art training took place at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and he also studied with artists Arthur Carles and Henry McCarter. In 1919 he was awarded the Cresson Traveling Scholarship, which allowed him to travel to France and Italy to contuine his studies.

During the 1930s he worked as an artist for the Works Progress Administration. His first one-man show came in 1940. During World War II Abbott Laboratories commissioned him to document the training of Navy hospital corpsmen and doctors at Camp Lejeune, N.C. before they left for action in Europe and the Pacific.

At the end of the war, Levi began what would be a long career as an art educator. He taught at the Art Students League in New York from 1946 to 1964, The New School of Social Research from 1945-1966, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1964-77. He continued to paint during this time and became known for his landscapes, both representational and abstract. Among his favorite subjects were maritime themes.

Julian Levi died in 1982.


Handle With Care
Julian Levi #14
Pastel, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GV

Enlisted men in the Navy Hospital Corps tenderly place a wounded shipmate in ambulance for the trip to the Norfolk Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia. He is strapped in a Stokes litter.

 

X-Rays Lighten the Dark Hours
Julian Levi #11
Gouache, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GS

 

The effect of x-rays has shortened the illness of many patients at Norfolk Naval Hospital treatment many of the men could not have obtained in civilian life to the extant it is employed by the Navy. This enlisted man is being given his regular treatment under the skilled direction of a Navy physician.

 

Dental Scene
Julian Levi #9
Pastel, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GQ

 

Waiting seamen look forward to the dental chair with more terror than they did to the menace of submarines.

 

WAVE Corpsman
Julian Levi #6
Conte crayon drawing, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GJ

 

Though she isn't a nurse or physician, this pharmacist's mate third class of the Women's Naval Reserve is following in the tradition of the great women in medical history as she goes about her tasks in the laboratory of the Naval Hospital as the Norfolk Naval Operating Base. Her deft hands move with sure and certain grace among the glistening array of bottles and tubes in the laboratory.

 

Man Made Fever
Julian Levi #13
Pastel, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GU

In a "flank attack" on certain infections, artificially induced fever is used. Pictured here is a Navy nurse carefully checking the condition of a patient in the "fever chamber" at the Norfolk Naval Hospital.

 

Operating Room
Julian Levi #8
Ink, pencil, and white pastel drawing, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GP

 

Surgeons and assistants search out an offending growth in the body of a Navy patient. No civilian hospital is better equipped.

 

Hydro-Therapy (Healing Waters)
Julian Levi #4
Pastel, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GL

 

Their ailing members immersed in the flowing water of the therapeutic tanks, these U.S. Navy convalescents relax as the normal processes of blood circulation are gradually restored.

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Online Exhibits that feature Julian Levi's work
Navy Medical Art of the Abbott Collection

 

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6 December 1999