Aaron Berkman 1900 – 1991
“The Opening (Portrait of Walter Pach)” by Aaron Berkman
oil on board ca.1930′s, signed, titled, and dated.Aaron Berkman was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1900 and died in 1991 in New York City. From 1916-1918 he attended the Connecticut League of Art Students with support and encouragement from his parents; then later the Hartford Art School from 1919-1921 alongside his fellow student and lifelong friend, Milton Avery. He studied on scholarship at the Museum Art School of Boston from 1921-1924, then traveled through Europe for two years.
After exhibiting in numerous one-man shows, some of which include the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford; the Babcock Galleries, New York; and Grace Home Galleries, Boston, and moving to New York City in 1929, he accepted the position of Director at the WPA Arts Center at the 92nd Street Y. He was in charge of 17 members of the WPA Artist Faculty, while providing hundreds of students a free education.
Soon after, Berkman and fellow artists opened ACA Gallery, an artists run gallery in New York. While Director at the Y, Berkman continued to travel during his summers, to Monhegan Island, Maine, Gloucester and Rockport, Mass. the Adirondacks, in New York State, Vermont and many other painting destinations.
After retiring from the Y Arts Center in 1965, he established the Bercone Gallery, in New York City, where he continued to teach, paint, and exhibit. Received fellowships to Yaddo in 1956, and the Huntington Hartford Foundation in 1958.
Aaron Berkman is very well listed in publications where American artists’ names appear, and his work is represented in many, many museum collections. His work continues in exhibitions, currently at the Nassau County Museum, New York, Monhegan, and Maine Museum and at the New York 92nd St. Y recent exhibit. His paintings also grace magazine articles, most recently in the Constance Schwartz article in American Art Review. Berkman has written The Functional Line in Painting and Art and Space, which are still being used in art schools today.
His work is represented in the gallery of Jeanette Hendler Fine Art, 55 East 87th St., New York, NY 10128, Apt. 15E (phone number: 212 860-2555).