Skip to Main Content

Art in Crossett Library: Nathan Lerner

This is a guide to works of art on display in Crossett Library.

Location - Crossett Library Upper Level Classroom


Nathan Lerner

American, 1913-1997

Light Drawings with Folded Paper


gelatin silver print

18 ½ x 12 in



"Nathan Lerner was an influential graphic designer, photographer and educator who helped transmit Bauhaus ideas in the United States during the 1940s...Consistent with the teaching and philosophy of Moholy-Nagy, Lerner's mature photographs were experimental in nature and probed the structural characteristics of light and dark. In order to study these properties of the medium more thoroughly, Lerner developed new photographic instruments and techniques. He is credited with developing the light box, a tool for studying the tonal and directional behavior of light still in use in art schools today, and Moholy-Nagy considered him the inventor of "montage without scissors," a process of distorting images by combining dissimilar objects." Lisa Hostetler

Handy et al. Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection, New York: Bulfinch Press in association with the International Center of Photography, 1999, p. 220.

Nathan Lerner

Selected Holdings

Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin, Germany

Biblioteque National, Paris

Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York

Kyoto Museum of Fine Art, Kyoto,

La Biblioteque Nationale, Paris

Le Centre Pompidou Paris, France

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Museum of Modern Art, New York

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Pentax Museum, Tokyo

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago