Rosenblum, Robert H. 1927-2006

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Rosenblum, Robert H. 1927-2006

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born July 24, 1927, in New York, NY; died of complications from colon cancer, December 6, 2006, in New York, NY. Historian, educator, and author. A New York University professor of fine arts, Rosenblum was noted for helping redefine Modernism and was remembered for organizing sometimes quirky art exhibitions. A 1948 graduate of Queens College, he attended Yale for his master’s degree in 1948 and completed a Ph.D. at New York University in 1956. He was an associate professor of art and archeology at Princeton University from 1956 until 1966. After a year at Yale, he joined the New York University faculty in 1967. That year, Rosenblum published what is considered to be his most important work, Transformations in Late Eighteenth-Century Art (1967). Here he argued that the roots of Modernism could be traced back well before the turn of the twentieth century, which had been the benchmark previously espoused by art historians. Rosenblum thought that the stirrings of Modernism could be found as far back as eighteenth-century France, and he also broadened the movement’s scope to include artists from such countries as Denmark and Germany. Having eclectic tastes for an art historian, Rosenblum was just as interested in minor artists as he was in the masters; at times, this caused him to be criticized for low-brow tastes, especially when he included such artists as Norman Rockwell in his organized exhibitions. Also a dog lover, Rosenblum published a book all about canines featured in art titled The Dog in Art from Rococo to Post-Modernism (1988). Among his other notable works are Modern Painting and the Romantic Tradition: Friedrich to Rothko (1975), which was nominated for the National Book Award, and On Modern American Art: Selected Essays (1999), which received a PEN Award nomination. His last book was Introducing Gilbert & George (2004). Rosenblum was named a Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters and was inducted into the Legion of Honor in 2003 for his contributions to French art history. Learning of his cancer in 2004, he continued to write and teach until a few weeks before his passing. He had been a favorite professor at New York University, where he was presented with the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005.



New York Times, December 9, 2006, p. A16. Times (London, England), December 29, 2006, p. 57.

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Rosenblum, Robert H. 1927-2006

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