Volume 79, Number 6 | July 15 - 21, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Saul Lambert, 81, artist/illustrator

Saul Lambert, an illustrator and artist whose work appeared in Life magazine, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Playboy, Esquire, the Washington Post and The New York Times, died June 30 at his home on E. 13th St. at the age of 81.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year but continued working at home as a hospice patient of Visiting Nurse Service of New York until shortly before his death, said Joanna Underwood, his wife of 26 years.

He designed the covers of Elie Wiesel’s first two books, “Night” and “The Accident,” and his illustrations appeared on hundreds of other book covers published by New American Library, Simon & Schuster, Dell Doubleday and Harper & Row, and on Columbia Records covers.

Saul Lambert was born in the Bronx of Polish Jewish immigrants and attended Brooklyn College, where he studied art with Ad Reinhardt, Burgoyne Diller and Robert Wolfe. After graduation he moved to Israel where he worked on a kibbutz for two years. On his return to the U.S. he served in the Army and his artwork was displayed at Ft. Jackson, S.C., along with art by his fellow soldier and friend Jasper Johns.

Lambert returned to New York after the Army, painted and wrote a pair of children’s books, “Mrs. Poggi’s Holiday” and “The Man that Drew Cats.” From 1962 to 1985 he lived in Princeton, N.J., where his career as an illustrator flourished. On his return to New York he concentrated on painting. His work has been shown in New Jersey and New York galleries, including Albert Shahinian Fine Arts in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. His paintings were also on long-term loan to the National Endowment for the Arts during the Clinton administration. His most recent show was at Gallery 225 on W. 14th St. in 2007.

In addition to his wife, a daughter and son from a previous marriage to Emily Whitty — Katharine Aviva, of New York City, and Jonathan Whitty, of Princeton — also survive.

A memorial is planned for July 30 at a location to be announced later.

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