|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Jacob A. Ornstein (1907-1977)|
Jack Ornstein made up his mind to be an artist when, as a
7-year-old, he won a medal for a crayon sketch. Following his
initial training in the public schools of New York City, he worked as a
draftsman for an architectural firm, as he attended night classes at
New York University. He received his bachelor's and master's
degrees from New York University while studying art at the Parsons
School of Design*, the Art Students League*, and Cooper Union*.
year spent in Paris in the late 1920s, studying at the Paris branch of
Parsons, and working as a cartoonist for Paris' various magazines, was
particularly important for his development as a painter.
early days of his career, Ornstein exhibited widely -- both in New York
and in many shows around the country -- but the difficulty of earning a
living as a full-time artist in the Depression led to a decision to
enter teaching. He began as a high school art teacher in 1936,
became the chairman of the art department of Andrew Jackson High School
in 1946, and a principal in 1954.
Ornstein was associated with
the New York City Schools until his retirement in 1971, but his work as
a practicing artist continued, especially on weekends and during summer
vacations. Upon retirement and a move to Florida, he returned to
full-time painting and exhibiting in both solo and group shows.
his career, Ornstein worked in many media -- from pencil and
pen-and-ink drawings, to watercolors, to oils and acrylics -- but the
sense of line that characterized his early cartoons in Paris was always
in evidence. The watercolors are both representational and
semi-abstract, whereas the oils and acrylics are more abstract* and
geometric* in form. Ornstein's subjects included landscapes, seascapes,
still life, portraits, and nudes.
Jacob A. Ornstein: Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings. Rosenzweig Gallery, North Carolina, June 19 to August 21, 2008
Information from the artist's son, Peter Ornstein
Written and submitted by Ralph Maitland, Collector of 19th and 20th
Century art from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/list /Art_Definition.aspx
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