Mo Lebowitz was born in Washington, DC, and earned a BA degree from the University of Maryland. He worked in the Washington area as an agency art director, and then moved to New York in 1960 where he served consecutively as art director for American Machine & Foundry, Savitt Studios, and Needham, Louis & Brorby, until he opened his own design office in 1966. In 1960 Lebowitz established the Antique Press in the basement of his home on Long Island, New York, and with an eclectic collection of letterpress equipment and fonts of metal and wood type, he produced broadsides, pamphlets, invitations, holiday cards, posters, and other ephemera that were widely collected by his friends and acquaintances in the graphic design community. In 2004 Mo Lebowitz presented the contents of his letterpress shop to the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University.
The collection consists of more than five hundred examples of Mo Lebowitz's printed work, consisting of ephemeral pieces that celebrate his interest in cigars, food, wine, bluegrass and classical music, literary characters, and acquisitions of equipment for his press. Much of the collection consists of whimsical and humorous promotion of Lebowitz's shop, travels, and personal life, in the form of announcements printed as cards, broadsides, posters, and pamphlets, as well as on paper napkins and bags, hang tags, sheets of plastic, tissue, and a wide variety of other substrates. He regularly employed display types and nineteenth-century ornaments and illustration cuts, in addition to articulated elements, die-cut papers, and applied objects including beans, wine corks, and commercial antacids. Some announcements and invitations document exhibitions of Lebowitz's work, lectures he presented, and awards that he received from professional organizations. Folders of letterhead, invitations, and announcements reveal work produced for friends and clients. Several pieces in the collection refer to The Design Organization, Lebowitz's partnership with Al Ross. A few items are dated; most are not, but were produced the 1960s and 1970s. The collection also includes two copies of Folio Ten: The Antique Press / Mo Lebowitz, Prop., an undated booklet about the press published by the Sanders Printing Corporation in New York.
View this collection's record in the RIT Libraries Catalog.