"Extraordinary pioneer in the Color Field"

- Walter Hopps, Founding Director, Menil Collection, Texas; Senior Curator of 20th Century Art, Guggenheim Museum, New York, Former Director Corcoran Gallery of Art

Hopps, W., Treisman, D., & Doran, A. (2017). The Dream Colony: A Life in Art. Bloomsbury.

Benjamin Abramowitz, 1917-2011

Benjamin Abramowitz was an American painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose works span almost 70 years. First recognized for his contributions at age 19 as senior artist with the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in New York City, he was among the most respected Washington, D.C. artists of the past century.

By the age of 35 his work was featured in 13 solo exhibitions in museums and galleries, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, as well as scores of group shows. His paintings, sculptures and works on paper are, among others, in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, The Phillips Collection, St. Louis Art Museum, Newark Art Museum, Georgetown University, the U.S. Department of State, the District of Columbia Art Bank, the Montgomery County Maryland Art Trust, and the Archives of American Art. Numerous works are in private collections.

Since 2004, his daughter, Susan Abramowitz Rosenbaum, took over the documentation, preservation, and exhibitions of his collection of artworks. In recent years, his work has been featured in four solo exhibitions, in U.S. embassies of the Republic of Congo and Sarajevo, and in a national touring exhibition. His lifework experiences have also been celebrated in a recording on the BBC Radio in 2017.

"Art Movements splintered into a

thousand shards in the decades of the

1940's onward. In its complexities I

created an individual order, a body of

work, of paintings, sculptures, and

drawings, evolving into the next century, inspired by its own inferences."

- Benjamin Abramowitz, 1988

Professional Experience

Select Exhibitions 

Solo

1940-2011

Professional Artist

Washington, D.C.

1935-1940

Senior Artist 

WPA Federal Art Project

New York City

Teaching Experience

1990-1995

Faculty

The Berkshire School of Contemporary Art

Massachusetts

1960-1970

Instructor

Graduate School of the Department of Agriculture

Washington, D.C.

1965

Artist in Residence, Brownsville Art League

Ford Foundation Awardee

Brownsville, Texas

1951-1960

Founding Instructor

Abramowitz School of Painting

Washington, D.C.

1949-1952

Instructor

Washington Workshop of the Arts

Washington, D.C.

1933-1941

Instructor

New York Community Centers

New York City

2019

Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, Virginia

2016

Decades, Montgomery College King Street Gallery

Takoma Park, Maryland

2013

Undiscovered Color: The Paintings of Benjamin Abramowitz (1960-1970)

Archer Modern, Washington, D.C.

2012

Out of the Vault, Woman's National Democratic Club, Washington, D.C.

2006

Benjamin Abramowitz Works on Paper, Hemphill Fine Arts, Washington, D.C.

1982

Benjamin Abramowitz: Painting, Sculpture, Drawing

Middendorf/Lane Downtown Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1971

Benjamin Abramowitz, Jefferson Place Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1970

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1965

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1964

Abramowitz, R Street Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1963

Washington Artists Exhibition No. 20: Benjamin Abramowitz

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1959

The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland

1955

Abramowitz: Paintings and Drawings

Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington, D.C.

1952

The Whyte Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1951

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1951

The Whyte Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1951

The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland

1950

The Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington, D.C.

1950

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

1949

The Corcoran Gallery of  Art, Washington, D.C.

1949

The DuPont Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1948

Abramowitz Paintings, The Barnett Aden Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1946

Howard University Art Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Group

2013

Washington Art Matters, 1940's-1980's

American University Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

2008

WPA Graphic Works from the Amity Art Foundation Collection

Juniata College Museum of Art, Huntington, Pennsylvania

2007

From Maryland to the Republic of Congo, Art in Embassies Exhibition

United States Embassy, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

2007

Heart of DC, John A. Wilson Building

City Hall Art Collection, Washington, D.C.

2006

Art in Embassies Program, United States Embassy

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

1989

30 Years Later: A Group Show of Current Works by Selected Washington Artists of the 50's and 60's, Gallery K, Washington, D.C.

1980

Eminent Washington Artists, Washington Project for the Arts

Washington, D.C.

1980

Pioneers of Sculpture, International Sculpture Exhibition, Washington, D.C.

1972

Jefferson Place Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1970

Washington: Twenty Years, The Baltimore Museum of Art

1958

3 Maryland Artists: Benjamin Abramowitz, Jane Frank & Lowell Nesbitt

The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland

1955

Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington, D.C.

1953

Eighteen Washington Artists, The Barnett Aden Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1953

The Eighth Annual Area Exhibition, The Corcoran Gallery of Art

Washington, D.C.

1953

Trio: One-man Shows by Prominent Washington Artists, Watkins Gallery

American University, Washington, D.C.

1952

Trends in American Drawing, Howard University Department of Fine Art

Washington, D.C.

1952

Maryland Artists 20th Annual Exhibition, The Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore, Maryland

1952

Painters of Expressionistic Abstraction, The Phillips Gallery

The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

1948

Third Annual Exhibition of Work by Artists of Washington & Vicinity

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1947

The Barnett Aden Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1947

Fifteenth Annual Exhibition of Maryland Artists, The Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore, Maryland

1946

Artists of Washington and Vicinity, The Corcoran Gallery of Art

Washington, D.C.

1945

The Eighth Metropolitan State Art Contest, The National Collection of Fine Arts

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

1945

Exhibition of Paintings by Artists of Washington, Baltimore, and Vicinity

The Phillips Memorial Gallery (The Phillips Collection) , Washington, D.C.

1945

National Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

1945

The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland

1944

The Phillips Memorial Gallery (The Phillips Collection), Washington, D.C.

1941

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hearn Permanent Collection

New York, New York

1940

American Artists' Congress Fifth Annual Competitive Exhibition

ACA Gallery, New York, New York

1940

The National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

1939

New School for Social Research, New York, New York

1939

Rockefeller Center, New York, New York

1938

ACA Gallery, New York, New York

1933

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York

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Photography by, Chan Chao, Archer Modern, Kyle Samperton, Daniel Swartz, 

George Hemphill