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Jerome Witkin: Art, Talent & the Aesthetic Eye of the Social Critic

Jerome Witkin: Art, Talent & the Aesthetic Eye of the Social Critic by Marc A. Cirigliano


One of my favorite and most admired artists is Jerome Witkin, painter, draftsman and printmaker. 

Jw self portraitWitkin has a technical mastery in oil, with pen and charcoal, and with the print. He is bold, addressing significant social issues and long-term historical traumas, such as the Holocaust, violations of human rights, torture and AIDS. 

With a gold-plated artistic education, Witkin more than fulfilled the promise of an art study that included The High School of Music & Art, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Cooper Union, Berlin Academy and University of Pennsylvania. He also recieved a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has been a professor of art at Syracuse University since 1971.

As Grace Gulek observes, "A virtuoso figurative painter whose work mixes elements of the old masters, social realism and Abstract Expressionism, Jerome Witkin refers to himself as a 'cornball humanist.' He doesn't shy from weighty moral and social issues." 

Vincent Van Gogh And DeathIt is no surprise, then, that he has had over 100 exhibitions or that he is in the permanent collections of the the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, and the Uffizi Galley, the crown jewel of global museums. Vincent And His Demons II







Vincent and His Demons II, 2012

Oil on Canvas






Vincent van Gogh and Death, 1987

Work on paper, Charcoal and Mixed Media Drawing 




The German Girl








The German Girl, 1997

Oil on canvas












The Two of Us, Bergen-Belsen, 1945  Israel, 1951

Diptych, oil on canvas

The Presentation of Jimmy's White Suit











The Presentation of Jimmy's White Suit, 1987

Charcoal on paper


For further explortion of Jerome Witkin's work, the following websites are enlightening:



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