Famous and Notable U.S. Immigrants in the Visual Arts
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Famous and Notable Immigrants in the Visual Arts Arena

Here we explore famous U.S. immigrants in the visual arts arena.
Kahil Gibran � Lebanon � Literature/Art
After Shakespeare and Loa Tze, Kahil Gibran was the best selling poet of the 20th century. During the 20th Century his book The Prophet was America's second best selling book, beaten only by The Bible.
John J. Audubon, Artist, ornithologist (bird watcher/studier)
John Audubon was a self-taught artist and naturalist. He was initially scorned by ornithologists, but has since become legendary for his paintings, which for the first time depicted birds in natural habitats and poses. In 1886 a bird preservation organization took his name and eventually evolved into the National Audubon Society.
Albert Bierstadt, German-born Painter
This German-born painter was best known for his idealized landscape and wildlife paintings.
Oscar de La Renta, Dominican-French Fashion Designer
de la Renta has spent much time in the US, but he was actually born in the Dominican Republic and later migrated to France.
Arshile Gorky � Armenia � Art
Arshile Gorky, a Turkish-Armenian immigrant, arrived in the United States, in 1920. Struggling with his technique and finally becoming very successful was something that took over twenty years. At the height of his career he suffered many personal tragedies that ended with him taking his own life.
Liz Claiborne, Belgian-born Fashion Designer
This famous fashion designer lived abroad until 1939 when her family fled the Nazis. She studied art in Europe and later won a Harper's Bazaar contest that brought her to New York.
Louise Nevelson, Ukraine-born Sculptor
Arriving in the US as a small child, Nevelson grew up in Maine, studied in New York and became one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century.
Saul Steinberg, Romanian-born Cartoonist
Steinberg first moved from Romania to Milan, Italy where he earned his doctorate in architecture. By the time he migrated to the US, Steinberg's work had already been appearing regularly in "The New Yorker."
Alvar Aalto, Finnish-born Architect and Furniture Designer
A highly regarded architect, Aalto also collaberated with his wife, a furniture designer, and worked throughout Europe and in the US. He was also a professor at MIT, where he designed the Baker House.
Willem De Kooning, Holland-born Artist
De Kooning was a painter, illustrator, muralist and sculptor, influenced most by cubism and surrealism. Leading museums in New York and Europe showcase his life's work.
Claes Oldenburg, Swedish-born Pop Sculptor
Oldenburg is famous for his enormous, public renditions of everyday objects, which earned him a reputation as a pop artist. His giant sculptors include models of a typewriter eraser and lipstick.
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