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Manual Arts High School

 
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Manual Arts H.S.
Otis Art Institute
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1950 to 2000
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Manual Arts Logo

Manual Arts Logo by Harold Lehman.
Carved plaster logo photographed
for illustration used in
Manual Arts year book
The Artisan Summer 1931
See more illustrations from The Artisan

In February 1930, at the age of sixteen years old, Harold Lehman left his home in New York City to join his father in Los Angeles, CA. He began attending Manual Arts High School in South Los Angeles because of its excellent art department. It was there that Lehman met fellow students Philip Guston (then Philip Goldstein), and Jackson Pollock. They all became close friends, sharing the same interest in art, politics, and other youthful ideals.

Lehman soon moved to his own apartment in South Los Angeles in order to be closer to the school. Jackson Pollock steered Lehman to this new address. Lehman recalls, "Pollock was always coming around since his girl friend was the landlady's sister".

In the national best seller, Jackson Pollock, An American Saga (c1989), Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith write that: "Lehman was everything that Pollock wasn't: self-confident, erudite, articulate, and extraordinarily talented...Of all the artists Jackson had encountered, and perhaps ever would encounter, Lehman came closest to that ideal of effortless accomplishment expressed in the term 'gifted'. There was no doubt: Harold Lehman was extravagantly gifted."

During these early years, Lehman's main interest was in sculpture. Just prior to coming to Los Angeles he had already had experience with clay and plaster-casting in a large professional sculpture studio in New York City. As Lehman recalls, "I took with me a full set of modeling and plaster tools - which I put to good use in Manual Arts High School."

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Frederick Schwankovsky
Schwany, 1931
Harold Lehman
Portrait of
Frederick Schwankovsky,
Art Director of Manual Arts
Los Angeles, Ca
Harold age 16
Harold Lehman
with sculptures
he created at age 16


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