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Presidents Day Recognizing our leaders through Art by the Late Sullivan County icon and Holocaust Survivor Morris Katz

Presidents Day
Recognizing our leaders through Art by the Late Sullivan County icon and Holocaust Survivor Morris Katz 

Morris Katz who was an icon in Sullivan County, a Guinness Record world Famous Artist and Holocaust Survivor took enormous pride in being an American patriot. He selflessly dedicated himself to thank and contribute to America and the liberties it stands for.

Born in Galicia in 1932, Morris Katz’s once-in-a-generation artistic talent was evident at a young age. At age 13, Morris studied art in Munich under famed Dr. Hans Fokler. During the Holocaust, he suffered unspeakable horrors in Nazi concentration camps and lost most of his family. 

After arriving in New York as a refugee, Katz began working as a carpenter. Morris Katzs art career in the US would earn him global acclaim, with nicknames such as “the world’s fastest artist” and “the Albert Einstein of Art.” Morris was recognized Twice by the Guinness Book of World Records as both the fastest and most prolific artist in the world, wresting the latter world record from Picasso in his presence! 

The president Collection:

Within minutes of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Morris Katz began his longest and dearest project ever: The Presidential Collection. 

He spent six years painting meticulous masterful portraits of each president, from George Washington through, eventually, George H. W. Bush. The artist famous for completing beautiful portraits within minutes spent an average of 200 hours(!) on each Presidential Collection portrait in “Old Master” style. These were the first presidential portraits in history in which the flags featured a precise number of stars, equal to the number of states/colonies in the Union at the time.

These portraits became world famous. Millions of postcards featuring them were sold, each one featuring a tribute from the artist to the presidents and the great nation they led.

“Morris Katz’s contributions to American culture and his deep seated patriotism cannot be overstated,”

To See the Historic Presidential Collection please visit

The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce is offering a free program that will meet the educational and national goals for our upcoming Presidents’ Day commemorations. 

Key steps/actions

For details about the collection, please visit their website at: or the “Survivor Stories” section of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education Website for a Booklet about the Collection,   Collage of the Presidential Collection, which can be printed and shared for President’s Day,   Executive Summary and Information for Teachers


The Morris Katz President Collection is available through virtual and print media.  Katz is a renowned artist with work in many museums, including the Smithsonian; his background as a Holocaust survivor and ultimately a true American patriot who was amazingly appreciative of the opportunities he found when he was welcomed to our shores in 1949, led him to create this wonderful collection. 

Within minutes following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Morris Katz began a project that remained his most-prized initiative for the remainder of his life: The Presidential Collection.  For six years, Morris meticulously painted masterful portraits of each president, beginning with George Washington and concluding with the last president of his lifetime, George H.W. Bush.  Katz spent an average of 200 hours on each Presidents Collection portrait, painted in Old Master style. 

As our country faces unprecedented challenges in the spheres of inclusion, diversity, and partisanship, the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce believes that there would be no better way to make progress in the effort to unite our divided country than by doing so through the arts.   As our country celebrates Presidents’ Day, sharing the Morris Katz President Collection, created by one who treasured the importance of this country, is an easy way to accentuate the importance of this holiday.  These magnificent paintings can be the gateway to a multitude of classroom lessons, whether they focus on a specific president in terms of American history, a conversation about the artist from an art perspective, from a patriotic one that identifies his love of our country and/or the Holocaust history that led him to come here as a refugee and start his life anew.  This Collection can help to build bridges and heal the rancor and division that is so deeply permeating our society.   In the months ahead, we aim to add curriculum-based features to the Collection, which will then be available to your teachers.

Contact information

For more information, contact at

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