Scenic Art

From 1946 until the early 1960's Lehman lived in a loft on West 21st Street in New York. In 1950, he met Leona (Lee) Koutras who had come to the studio for art lessons. Two years later they married

When his daughter Lisa was born, he agreed to get an apartment with Leona in Fort Lee, NJ as she did not want to raise a child in a loft in New York City.  The family spent most weekends in the New York studio.   When his son, Harold was born, they moved to a house in Leonia, New Jersey. By then, he no longer had his New York studio. 

In addition to continuing with his own art, Lehman worked as a Scenic Artist and Art Director for large scale theme parks, as well as for television and film. In the early '60's he worked for Asbury Park and Freedom Land and in 1964-65 directed exhibits for the Coca-Cola Pavilion at the New York World's Fair. In 1967 he traveled to Montreal, Canada to be Exhibit Consultant to the Canadian Government's exhibits in Expo '67.

During the 70's he was the principle Scenic Artist at CBS Television for Search for Tomorrow and other daytime dramas and television specials. 

His interest in politics never waned and he took inspiration from current events.  During the Watergate hearings, live right off the television, he drew portraits of Committee Chairman Sam Ervin, as well as the aides to Richard Nixon who were eventually indicted for obstruction of justice and other crimes.  

He was involved in the Leonia Players Guild creating sets and often created and donated art for various fundraisers. He exhibited locally and also taught art lessons. 

Lehman lived and breathed art into everything - even household objects, which would be transformed into sculpture. It was not unusual to be eating with him when he would say, "Stop, look at that XXX you just created by biting into that cookie!" 

He loved painting, drawing, and creating sculptures of his family and friends and life in Leonia.  He received endless inspiration from Lee for the many still-lifes he drew of flowers from her garden.   

Throughout the rest of his life, Lehman continued to experiment with various mediums, including polaroid film. At the age of 85, he got his first computer and taught himself how to use Illustrator and Photoshop, creating computer art.


Cartoons of Sam Irvin and former White House Counsel, John Ehrlichman, among many others sketched by Harold Lehman while watching the Watergate Hearings live on television. 1972.  

Next chapter - Exhibits & Lectures

Lehman was Senior Scenic Designer for the Coca Cola Pavilion at the 1964-65 World's Fair in New York. 


Harold Lehman working on an exhibit for the Forestry Museum. 1970's.  Location unknown.

Harold Lehman working on a sculpture in his Leonia, NJ studio.