Barbara Rothenberg of Westport, noted artist and teacher, died today (June 26) of peritoneal cancer, her family said. She was 80.
Barbara Rothenberg: noted artist. Contributed photo
She lived in Westport for more than 45 years with her husband Abraham Rothenberg, a well-known local architect, who died in August 2011. Her children, David and Daniel Rothenberg, went to Westport public schools from elementary through high school.
Born Barbara Henkin June 21, 1933 in Queens, N.Y., she was the daughter of Belle Israel Henkin and Maxwell Henkin, a dentist and photographer. She graduated from the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, class of 1951, and attended Bennington College, and graduated from the University of Michigan. She later received an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University.
For more than 50 years, she was a creative, spirited and influential educator who touched the lives of generations of students. She taught at a variety of institutions, including the New York City Public School system, the School of Visual Arts, Housatonic Community College, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield University, and the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan where she was teaching until this year.
She was an accomplished painter, collagist and print-maker whose work linked a deep appreciation for nature, an emotionally sensitive use of color and a continually shifting exploration of abstract forms. She had major retrospective exhibitions at ARC Fine Art in Fairfield in 2012 ,and at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich in 2007.
She has also exhibited at the Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon, N.Y.; the Marina Gallery, Cold Spring, N.Y.; Hebrew Union College Museum, New York, the Art Gallery at Sacred Heart University and the Discovery Museum, Bridgeport; Rosenfeld Gallery, Westport Arts Center; Manchester Community College; William Benton Museum of Art; many Art of Northeast Annuals, Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT; Commission on the Arts Gallery, Hartford; Gallery Brocken, Koganel, Japan; Krasdale Gallery, Kohn, Pedersen, Fox Gallery and the Ingber Gallery in New York, Connecticut; the Katonah Museum, and at the United Nations.
Her awards include first prize in painting, Barnum Festival in Bridgeport, various prizes at the Northeast Annual, an Indo-American Fulbright Fellowship, which allowed her to spend several months living and working in India; individual artists grant from the State of Connecticut, and a listing in Outstanding Women of Connecticut.
She is survived by sons, daughters-in-law Ilissa Lazar and Jaanika Peerna, and grandson Umru Rothenberg, along with many generations of devoted students and friends.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, June 30 at 10 a.m. at the Abraham L. Green Funeral Home, 88 Beach Road, Fairfield.