Jacob Landau was an American artist, humanist, and teacher who made significant artistic contributions that are featured at Monmouth University.

Through his artwork, Landau was deeply committed to advocacy for humans, revelation of the tragic, and hope of transcendence. Having lived through the Great Depression, Landau faced tough times and human cruelty, influences that can be seen throughout his works.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Landau relocated to Roosevelt, New Jersey—where he raised his family—because of an admiration for fellow American artist and Roosevelt resident, Ben Shahn. Landau admired the way Shahn used art as a means of communication. Landau explored breaking the barrier between fine and applied art to use art in this powerful way, to communicate the challenges of human nature.

Landau embraced the ability to use art and technology together, and he studied science to experiment with new ways of producing art. He was a curious man who believed there was no area of the world that was not open to investigation.

After a distinguished career, Landau retired as a professor emeritus from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. His works also are featured in locations including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Landau’s masterpieces have been exhibited throughout the world and won him many awards and grants.

Landau died in 2001, leaving a legacy of provocative art filled with passion and a presence that draw the viewer into the very real issues of the twentieth century.

The University is home to more than 300 prints, drawings and paintings by Landau. They were donated by the Jacob Landau Institute.


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