Born in New York City in 1907, printmaker and painter Joseph Leboit graduated from College of the City of New York, receiving the school’s Ward Medal in art. He went on to study at the Arts Student League, beginning in 1928, with Thomas Hart Benton and Kimon Nicholaedes, and, in 1938, was selected by the WPA for its Graphics division. In this program he mastered a variety of printmaking techniques, including lithography, woodcut, etching, and silkscreen; he also continued his studies oil and tempera painting.
At this time, near the onset of American participation in World War II, he became a director for Artists for Victory. With fellow directors, he organized a national exhibit entitled America in the War, which toured throughout the U.S.; Leboit contributed a series of Holocaust woodcuts for the exhibit, one of which now resides in the Library of Congress.
His work expanded to the New York publication PM, for which he created political cartoons, illustrations, and charts and maps. This work led him to commissions creating maps for the Russian War Relief and the Junior Red Cross. Meanwhile, Leboit participated in a variety art exhibitions, including his first one-man show in 1946 at the ACA Gallery in New York.
Following the war and the closing of the PM, Leboit undertook advanced studies in psychology, this in addition to continuing to paint. He became a certified psychologist and for 25 years was the director of the Advanced Center for Psychotherapy, a non-profit mental health clinic, which he co-founded. He wrote a variety of monographs on the subject of psychology and co-wrote a text still used in the field of psychotherapy today. In the 1970’s, Leboit traveled to California to paint. He eventually moved there, following a stroke in 1989. Though the stroke left his right hand slightly impaired, Leboit simply took over painting with his left, and continued exhibiting his art until his death in 2002, in Walnut Creek, California.
His work has shown at ACA Gallery in New York, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress, among others. He work resides in numerous museum collections, including the Smithsonian, Metropolitan, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Detroit, Pennsylvania, and Oregon Art Museums. Solo exhibitions include the ACA Gallery in New York, and the Sunrise Fine Arts and Commonwealth Club of California galleries in San Francisco.