Built of Tiles, Bricks, and Stone: Aleksandra Kasuba’s Art Career in New York

Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis


  • Viktorija Kašubaitė-Matranga




Aleksandra Kasuba, creative career, experimental and applied creative practices, relations with clients, brick walls


A refugee from Lithuania, Aleksandra Kasuba (1923–2019) arrived in the U.S. in 1947 and built a successful career in the competitive, male-dominated post-World War II New York’s art world. Beginning with small ceramic tile artworks that evolved into multi-media mosaics, Kasuba’s artistic vision expanded to shaping architectural spaces. From 1953 to 1970, appearances in exhibitions organized by the Museum of Contemporary Craft introduced her art to American and international audiences. Her pivotal solo exhibition at an important New York gallery in 1966 led to complex collaborations with noted architects for projects in major U. S. cities. Her innovative monumental designs in marble, brick and granite were focal points of public buildings and spaces. This article examines her key commissions completed from 1970 to 1986 in Chicago, New York City, Rochester, N.Y., Buffalo, N.Y., and Washington, D.C.

Author Biography

Viktorija Kašubaitė-Matranga

design historian; has been an exhibition curator, researcher or writer for the Art Institute of Chicago, Toledo Museum of Art, Museum of Science and Industry, Kendall College, and other institutions. She wrote America at Home: A Celebration of 20th-Century Housewares and contributed to Toledo Designs for a Modern America, The Encyclopedia of Chicago, Art Deco Chicago: Making America Modern, other books, and journals. Her focus is American product design, particularly Chicago’s industrial design history. In 2004, the Industrial Designers Society of America recognized Matranga for her work in educating the public about design and for docu­ menting their profession’s history. She serves on the boards of the Chicago Design Archive and the International Museum of Dinnerware Design. For the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, she is guest curator of an exhibition about Chicago’s Lithuanian émigré artists, planned for 2024. For the National Art Museum of Art in Vilnius, she was a contributing author for the catalogue of the 2021 exhibition about artist Aleksandra Kasuba. As Design Programs Coordinator for the International Housewares Association (IHA) since 1992, she organizes industry education events, displays and awards programs, and writes articles for IHA’s online publications. She created and manages the IHA’s student design competition, now in its 28th year. Matranga, a Chicago native, has a BA in the history of architecture and art (University of Illinois/Chicago) and a master in marketing (North­ western University). She completed the Summer Intensive in Design Writing and Research at the School of Visual Arts in New York.



How to Cite

Kašubaitė-Matranga, V. . (2021). Built of Tiles, Bricks, and Stone: Aleksandra Kasuba’s Art Career in New York: Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (104), 304–344. https://doi.org/10.37522/aaav.104.2022.101