Nikola Tesla

(1856 – 1943)

Portrait of Nikola Tesla by Jack Kamen

Jack Kamen Artwork

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor and engineer. His work made strides in the production, transmission and application of electric power and contributed to modern technologies including cell phones. He designed the alternating-current (AC) electric system which then became the predominant system used throughout the world.

The American Dream

Tesla moved from Budapest to New York City in 1884. He came with just four cents in his pocket, a letter of recommendation from a former employer and many ideas. Tesla overcame a challenging and competitive business climate before achieving success by partnering with George Westinghouse and establishing his own laboratory.

Explore Additional Portraits in the Collection

Barbara McClintock
Edwin Herbert Land
Rowland W. Redington

These portraits were commissioned by Dean Kamen for the SEE Science Center.  The artist is Jack Kamen (1920-2008), an American graphic artist and Dean’s father. The series was created to inspire children through the stories of scientists and engineers whose work changed the world.  While many of the pieces represent men, the duo worked hard to identify female scientists.  Had Jack not passed, their goal was to continue to increase representation within the collection.  The original artwork is on display at the SEE Science Center in the Jack Kamen Portrait Gallery.