Born Lili Elisabeth Benedick in Landau, Germany, in 1899, the multi-talented Picard worked as a cabaret actress, accessories designer, and writer in the heady, avant-garde scene of Berlin between the wars. In the 1930s, she focused on writing and criticism, working as a cultural reporter for Berliner Tageblatt, and as a fashion editor for Zeitschrift für Deutsche Konfektion. Best known there as a journalist and critic, she emigrated to the U.S. in 1937, following the rise of Nazi Germany and the revocation of her press credentials due to her Jewish heritage. In New York, she opened a custom millinery shop on Madison Avenue, selling her designs to Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s. After studying at the Art Students League and with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, she began painting in earnest in 1939; less than a decade later, she was exhibiting in Greenwich Village’s Tenth Street galleries.
Books about Lil Picard Edit
- Lil Picard and Counterculture in New York, from the University of Iowa Museum of Art
- Grey Art Gallery Press Release - about the 2010 retrospective of Picard's work
- First Retrospective of Artist & Critic Lil Picard Debuts at Grey Art Gallery via ArtKnowledgeNews.com
- Lil Picard: Mother Dada, a biographical article via Artopia
- New York Times Obituary