Herbert B. Russin was born in Pinsk, most likely June 14, 1892. He immigrated to the United States in 1912 as a young man and settled in New York City. He moved frequently, though he seemed to live primarily in the Bronx. During WWI Russin lived at 124 East 92nd Street. His draft registration card described him as an “artist” with brown hair, blue eyes, of medium height and slender build.
Russin’s wife, Anna, emigrated from Russia to New York in 1912. In 1918 the Russins had a daughter, Jeanette.
Russin’s oil paintings tended toward portraits. In 1925 Russin, living at 2275 Bassford Avenue, exhibited with the Society of Independent Artists and showed two paintings: Fruit Peddler and Self Portrait. He exhibited with them again in 1926, this time residing at 1495 East 32nd Street, Brooklyn. His two works in 1926 were a portrait of Dr. S. Winick and another of Daniel Scherer. In 1929 Russin had a one-man show of 19 watercolors at the Civic Club in Manhattan.
During the Depression Russin worked for a time for the Federal Art Program of the WPA.
In WWII Russin was living on Ft. Washington Avenue and described himself as “self-employed”.
The New York Public Library holds an oil painting by Russin, a portrait of John Bigelow likely created in 1937. The National gallery of Art attributes 6 silver pieces to Herbert Russin.
Russin died in July, 1970 in Mamaroneck, New York.
Falk, Peter Hastings, Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975, 1999, Soundview Press.
Smithsonian, National Portrait Gallery from npgportraits.si.edu.
Information courtesy of Steven Wasser www.americanjewishart.com