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Guide to Erika Kahn print collection Printers Mss 100
Printers Mss 100  
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Collection Details
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  • Preferred Citation
  • Use Restrictions
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Erika Kahn print collection
    Identifier/Call Number: Printers Mss 100
    Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 6.5 linear feet (26 art pieces)
    Date: circa 1980s
    Physical Location: UC Santa Barbara Library, Special Research Collections
    Abstract: The collection consists of original art pieces by local Santa Barbara artist Erika Kahn and her collection of Dietrich Varez prints.
    Creator: Kahn, Erika
    Creator: Varez, Dietrich, 1939-

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], Erika Kahn print collection, Printers Mss 100. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Use Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    The collection is open for research.

    Biographical note

    Erika Kahn was born in Berlin, Germany in 1925. Kahn’s family was Jewish and by the mid-1930s the family felt increasing hostility and persecution from the Nazi government. As a child, she was bullied and beaten by classmates in the local public school, but in 1935 Jewish children were segregated to Jewish-only schools. Kahn attended Theodore Herzl School and has noted her time there was considered a safe haven for children under an increasingly threatening regime. On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht (pogrom against Jews carried out by Sturmabteilung and German Civilians), Kahn witnessed the school and her local synagogue destroyed. Soon after Kristallnacht, Kahn’s Mother escaped to Morocco and her younger brother, Erwin, was sent on a Kindertransport to England. Through Kahn’s Stepmother, Hilde, and her US visa, Erika was able to escape Germany and live in the New York. Her grandparents, Adel and Samu Fekete, and other extend family members perished in Auschwitz on September 24, 1942.
    While acclimating to a new life in New York, Kahn discovered an appreciation and talent for design. At the age of eighteen, Kahn worked as a designer in children’s wear. She studied at the Art Students League and the Pratt Institute. During this time she also married and had three sons. Eventually her family moved to California, where she became a supervising teacher at the Lab School at California State University, Northridge. She has also served as an art instructor at both Santa Monica College and the Laguna School of Art and Design. Furthermore, Kahn received her master’s degree in art and became a full-time artist as a painter and printmaker. Her first exhibition was in 1967 at the University of California, Los Angeles and since then her works have been shown in exhibits throughout the United States, Osaka, Japan, Jerusalem, Israel, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
    "Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara." Erika Kahn | Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Accessed February 01, 2017. https://jewishsantabarbara.org/portraits-of-survival/survivor-stories/erika-kahn.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of eleven original art pieces by Erika Kahn and sixteen prints by Dietrich Varez. Erika Kahn is known for printmaking and works in a variety of mediums including paper layering, aquatint and etching in multiple colors, and blind embossing technique to create depth and pattern. Aquatint is a type of print made with a copper plate which gives a water-color like effect that is used in her works of landscapes. Kahn's works contain imagery of mountainous landscapes, lakes, and a couple with buildings and symbols. Also included in the collection is Kahn's collection of prints from Dietrich Varez. Varez is a printmaker and is well-known for his block print style of Hawaii and Hawaiian mythology.


    The collection is arranged by artist.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Art, Modern--20th century--California