Detail of “Fresh Paint” poster by Julius Friedman
Detail of “Fresh Paint” poster by Julius Friedman

Julius Friedman is one of Louisville’s most famous and prolific artists. He’s worked as a photographer, graphic designer and artist for decades, and he runs the design firm Images. Some of his most well-known pieces are the posters he created for the Louisville Ballet each year, and these — along with much more — will be featured in a 50-year retrospective at the Frazier History Museum starting Friday, June 24.

Julius Friedman | Courtesy of KET
Julius Friedman | Courtesy of KET

More than 200 pieces from Friedman’s collection will be on display, and the exhibit, titled “Julius Friedman: Fifty Year Retrospective,” will be multi-sensory, providing guests not only a visual experience but one featuring sound and touch as well.

Friedman created his notable posters and images long before there were digital photographs or computer-based programs for editing. His work has been exhibited all around the world, from 21c Museum Hotel here in town to New York, Chicago Paris, Tokyo, Denmark and many more.

"Toe on Egg" by Julius Friedman for the Louisville Ballet
“Toe on Egg” by Julius Friedman for the Louisville Ballet

And if you need more proof of his extensive and impressive catalogue, his pieces are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the National Museum of Poster Art in Warsaw, Poland; the Dansk Plakamuseum in Denmark; and locally at galleries inside Brown-Forman, Marriott Hotels and U of L’s Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library.

The Frazier exhibit also will showcase new work from Friedman as well as some of the inspirations behind his most iconic posters, like the Ballet’s “Toe on Egg” and “Fresh Paint.”

“Julius Friedman: Fifty Year Retrospective” runs June 24-Oct. 9 at the Frazier History Museum, 829 W. Main St.

To celebrate the opening, the museum is having a special event at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 24, that’ll involve 30 children, lots of ice cream and a French horn. With the help of Gelato Gilberto and Friedman, the kids will attempt to recreate one of his notable posters, “Ice Cream in French Horn,” by filling the instrument with scoops of gelato.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."