Unidentified photographer, Sylvia Wald, ca. 1970. Courtesy The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery.
Sylvia Wald, Cold Wind, 1956. Screenprint and collage, sheet: 22 1/16 × 28 1/8 in. (56 × 71.4 cm). Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., James N. Heald II, 2008.220.22. Courtesy The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery.

89. Sylvia Wald

Life Dates1915-2011
Place of BirthPhiladelphia, PA, USA
Place of DeathNew York, NY, USA
Birth NameSylvia Wald

The noted abstract painter and printmaker, Sylvia Wald, is known primarily in the field of printmaking for her expressive, colorful, and tactile screenprints of the 1940s and 1950s, and later for her large-scale woodcuts of the 1960s.1 According to Peter Grippe’s student ledger book, Wald was at Atelier 17 in May and June of 1952, where she experimented with engraving on the three metal plates she purchased (one small zinc plate, 5 ½ x 7 in., and two copper plates both measuring 14 x 8 in.).2 It appears that Wald never exhibited any of these intaglio plates in the period’s many group printmaking exhibitions and, quite unfortunately, no impressions are known to exist today.3 Further research could help uncover why Wald sought out instruction for engraving and what impact, if any, the experience of working at Atelier 17 had on her later career and her professional network.


The Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Gallery, New York, NY


  1. For an extensive survey of Wald’s printmaking career, see David Acton, Sylvia Wald: Abstract Expressionist Works on Paper (New York: Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., 1993).
  2. Student ledger book, p. 40, Allentown Art Museum/Grippe Collection, Allentown, Penn.
  3. The catalogue raisonné of Wald’s prints in Acton, 40-46, only accounts for screenprints and woodcuts. The Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Gallery, a foundation set up by Wald and her husband, also has no record of any intaglio prints. Christina Weyl, telephone conversation with Ann Thurmond, Assistant Director, The Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Gallery, October 23, 2018.