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Julius Friedman collection

Identifier: 2018_111

The Julius Friedman Collection includes personal and professional papers, photographs, slides, and transparencies and graphic design work including posters, books, annual reports, catalogs, and stationery. Handmade book assemblages created by Friedman are also in the collection. Friedman often collaborated with other graphic designers and photographers on his professional projects. Graphic designers and photographers whose work is included in the collection are John Beckman, Michael Brohm, Charles Byrne, Geoffrey Carr, Barbara Crawford, Dan Dry, Nathan Felde, Alexandra Howell, Carol Eberhart Johnson, Warren Lynch, Walter McCord, and Joyce Morgan, as well as others that have yet to be identified. Most of the photographs, transparencies, and slides are unlabeled, so it is difficult to know everyone whose work is included in the collection.

Materials in this collection were gathered by archivists from Friedman's home after his death. Most items were not organized or labeled, so there is little to no original order to this collection. The collection is not comprehensive as there are known materials designed by Friedman that are not included. However, the collection provides a representative sample of Friedman’s work that covers the entirety of his professional career from 1965 through 2017.


  • 1943-2017


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers, with restrictions as noted.


139.32 linear feet (37 record center boxes, 2 manuscript boxes, 4 telescoping boxes, and 28 flat boxes of various sizes. )

7100 Gigabytes (6 external hard drives)

Biographical / Historical

Julius Friedman (1943-2017) was a well-known and beloved Louisville artist and designer. Friedman was the co-founder of the design firm Images, which focused primarily on book and poster design. Known internationally for his posters, Friedman’s work has been displayed in galleries and museums throughout the United States and world. Friedman’s iconic posters include “Toe on Egg” for the Louisville Ballet, “Fresh Paint” for the Kentucky Arts Commission, and “Ice Cream in French Horn” for the Louisville Orchestra. He often designed posters for non-profit and cultural organizations pro bono. Friedman’s work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Poster House in New York City, and the National Museum of Poster Art in Poland. In addition to graphic design, Friedman worked in photography – often printing on unique surfaces like metals and fabrics, as well as sculpture, furniture design, collage art and collaborative video. After studying graphic design at the University of Louisville, Julius Friedman began his career as a graphic designer in the mid-1960s. From the late 1960s through the early 1980s, he ran the design studio Images with his business partner Nathan Felde. Together they collaborated on design work for commercial and non-profit clients including Liberty National Bank, the Speed Art Museum, and the Urban Renewal and Community Development Agency of Louisville. In 1980, Public Works, a book of poster work by Friedman and Felde, was published. In the late 1970s, Friedman and Felde formed a partnership with Franklin J. Ross in the design business Implement, Ltd. After his partnerships with Felde and Ross ended in the early 1980s, Friedman owned and operated his design studio Images independently. From 1993-2000, he partnered with Mike Slone, and they collaborated on many design projects together during this time including the Brown-Forman annual reports for which they won several awards. In 1985, Friedman became involved with the University & College Designers Association (UCDA) and maintained a relationship with the organization for the rest of his life. He spoke or judged at several UCDA Design Competitions. In 1991, Friedman along with 3 other UCDA members came up with the concept for UCDA’s “Hot and Now” workshops. In 2013, Friedman was awarded the UCDA award which is presented by the UCDA Board to Directors to a person who donated their time, service, and support to further UCDA’s goals. In 1993, Friedman opened Images Friedman Gallery at 833 W. Main Street in Louisville and exhibited art from regional, national, and international artists. In 2001, Friedman opened the Chapman Friedman Gallery at 624 W. Main Street in Louisville with his then-wife Cheryl Chapman after closing his other gallery. In 2004, Friedman received the Kentucky Governor’s Awards in the Arts Business Award. In the later years of Friedman’s career, he experimented in several different mediums. This included stacking rocks on his farm, printing photos on aluminum, and creating ceramics. After being gifted some discarded books by his friend Gail Gilbert, former art librarian at the University of Louisville, he began deconstructing books and turning them into pieces of art. This work culminated in the publication of The Book, a collection of photographs of his book collages and assemblages. In 2016, the Frazier Museum had a fifty-year retrospective of Friedman’s career which included over 200 posters, 3-D photography, and a multimedia exhibit. Friedman died on July 16, 2017, after a brief battle with cancer. After his death, his sister Carol Abrams donated his collection to the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections and created the Julius Friedman Foundation to continue his legacy.

Related Materials

-Interview with Carol Seifer (Abrams), August 16th, 2018 at the Oral History Center at the University of Louisville -Interview with Carol Seifer (Abrams), September 6th, 2018 at the Oral History Center at the University of Louisville -Julius Friedman (1943-2017) collection at the Bridwell Art Library at the University of Louisville -The Julius Friedman Collection at the Filson Historical Society -A collection of posters designed by Julius Friedman is part of the Public Art Collection of the City of Louisville and is on display at the Edison Center. -The Poster House in New York City has a collection of Julius Friedman posters.



Julius Friedman Collection
In Progress
Haley-Marie Ellegood
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752