Considered one of America’s most important living figurative artists, Witkin is revered for his penetrating psychological portraits and haunting political narratives.
Born in 1939 in Brooklyn, New York he attended Cooper Union from 1957 to 1960. Both an artist and teacher, his first job was at Maryland Institute’s College of Art in Baltimore in 1961. Since then has held several teaching positions and been appointed as visiting artist at many universities including Manchester College of Art, Manchester, England; American College of Switzerland, Leysin; Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; University of Delaware, Wilmington, DE; National Academy of Design, New York, NY and Syracuse University School of Art, NY where he has taught since 1971.
His work can be found in many public collections including: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, MN; National Academy of Design, NY and Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT among others.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Cooper Union President’s Citation Award, 2004; Cooper Union Lifetime Achievement Award, 1996; Fund Purchase Prize, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1981; Paul Puzinas Award, National Academy of Design, 1980; Ford Foundation Grant, 1976 and 1978; Julius Hallgarten Prize, 148th Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, 1973 and Guggenheim Fellowship, 1961.
The monograph Life Lessons: The Art of Jerome Witkin by Sherry Chayet, published by Syracuse University Press is now in its 2nd printing.