William Meyerowitz, 87, a painter, etcher and printmaker whose work is represented in museums in Washington, New York City, Paris and Tel Aviv, died of congestive heart failure Thursday at a hospital in New York City.

Mr. Meyerowitz, whose many awards included the 1980 Italian Academy Gold Medal, did a series of etching of justices of the United States, from Oliver Wendell Holmes to William O. Douglas.

He had lived in New York City since 1905, when he and his family came to this country from the Ukraine. He graduated from the National Academy of Design. Besides New York, he also painted in Gloucester, Mass., and in Israel.

An interpreter of the American scene, his paintings of the harbor at Gloucester and of New York City, especially Jewish life on the East Side, were exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery here and in other U.S. galleries. An exhibition of his prints can be seen at the Bethesda Art Gallery through June 17.

Mr. Meyerowitz's work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and Brooklyn Art Museum in New York City and in the collections of the National Museum of American Art, Phillips Collection and Library of Congress here, as well as in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.

Survivors include his wife, Theresa Bernstein, also an artist, of New York City, and a brother.