University of Texas at Austin

David Levine:

An Inventory of His Art Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Levine, David, 1926-2009
Title: David Levine Art Collection
Dates: 1960s-2000s (1990-1999)
Extent: 1 box (34 items)
Abstract: The collection consists of 33 original, signed pen and ink caricature drawings and one print by David Levine (American, 1926-2009).
Call Number: Art Collection AR-00352
Language: English
Access: Open for research. Please note that a minimum of 24 hours notice is required to pull art materials to the Ransom Center's Reading and Viewing Room. Some materials may be restricted from viewing. To make an appointment or to reserve Art Collection materials, please contact the Center's staff at Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Centers' Open Access and Use Policies.

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Gifts, 1995-2012 (G 10442, 12-05-006)

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

David Levine was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926, the son of a nurse and a garment shop worker. His parent's left political leanings and working-class upbringing would inform Levine's approach to depicting his subjects, who often were persons in positions of great power, wealth, or cultural and political influence, in caricature. His distinctive, incisive, and critical--but not altogether unsympathetic--caricatures would become his hallmark when he began working for Esquire in the 1960s and The New York Review of Books from its inception in 1963. For nearly fifty years, Levine contributed caricatures of artists, authors, politicians, athletes, and other public figures largely to The New York Review of Books, but also to other publications such as Time, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Washington Post. Levine was also a painter--he studied under Hans Hoffman--and his watercolor and oil subjects are noted for their marked difference in tone and subject. His method and approach is described as more gentle, full of fondness, and centering on the daily lives of ordinary citizens, in contrast to the biting edge of his caricatures of public figures. After a lifetime of creative output of drawings and paintings numbering in the thousands, Levine died in Manhattan on December 29, 2009, at the age of 83.


Carlson, Michael. David Levine obitutary. The Guardian, 31 December 2009. (accessed 19 June 2017).
Weber, Bruce. "David Levine, Biting Caricaturist, Dies at 83." The New York Times, 29 December 2009. (accessed 19 June 2017).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 33 original, signed pen and ink drawings by David Levine (American, 1926-2009) that are representative of the artist's distinctive caricatures for The New York Review of Books. A caricature of J. M. Coetzee was given by the author. An article in The New York Review of Books provides the published context for a caricature of author Vladmir Nabakov that accompanies the original drawing. Also included is one inkjet print of a caricature of J. M. Coetzee.

Related Material

Separated Material



Document Types

Inkjet prints.

Item List