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Rachel Suib 

New York 

8 x 10 Inches 

Oil on wood



(Herman) Joseph Suib (1883-1956) was an American painter, sculptor and decorative artist. He was best known for his portraits, paintings of landscapes and urban life, bas-relief, and sculptures. He studied at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (1899 -1901) and at the National Academy of Design (1906 – 1908) under the tutelage of Robert Henri during 1906.

(Herman) Joseph Suib was born in Lithuania in a small village near Vilnius on April 3, 1883, the 4th child of (Rose) Rachel Polorewitz and (Reuvin) Louis Leizer.

He emigrated to the United States at the age of 7 with his mother Rachel, after his father was murdered. Rachel’s eldest son, Abram, had been sent ahead to New York first and was able to earn enough money over time to send for the rest of the family.


They settled in the lower East Side of New York City. One of the brothers, Frank, purchased a paint store on Ninth Ave and Joseph began an early career as a house painter. Joseph showed an early talent for art and later apprenticed with Bontinocle, who taught him graining, marbling, and glazing. Eventually Joe started his own successful company which was contracted by hotels, theaters, and individuals to create interiors, murals, and screens.

In 1909, When Joseph was 26, Lu Wheat Smith, artist and author of Ah Moy, and The Third Daughter, befriended and mentored him, paying his train ticket to Los Angeles, California. He took his paints, canvases, brushes and palette knife and moved there. 



Joseph Suib with  son Lenny and  wife Lilly

Lu was very influential in encouraging Joseph to read and study more broadly in topics of Eastern and Western philosophy, poetry and literature. This was of significance in the subject matter he chose to draw and paint.


Besides doing graining work while he was there to earn a living, he painted many local landscapes, harbor scenes of San Pedro, portraits of Native people, a Mexican revolutionary, and the elderly daughters of the last governor of lower California while still under Mexican rule.

Upon returning to the New York area, Joseph married (Esther) Lilly Segal on March 14,1912 and had two sons, Leonard William Suib, 1913-2001, Sidney Lincoln Suib, 1918-2010. They resided in Bronx, New York and later took residence in Yonkers, New York.



Portrait of son, wife and mother

Watercolor on paper

signed by the artist


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