Sigmund Abeles - Selected Biography

Sigmund Abeles was born 1934 in New York City and raised in South Carolina. His work deals with the expressive and psychological aspects of the figure; an art focused on the life cycle. Drawing informs all of his work. Abeles works in pastels, oils and the graphic media as well as sculpture. Currently Professor Emeritus from the University of New Hampshire, after 27 years of teaching, Abeles works full-time in his NYC and upstate NY studios. Recipient of numerous grants and awards, a National Academician; the work of Sigmund Abeles may be found in many public institutions including (among others) British Museum, Chicago Art Institute, Fogg Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Philadelphia Museum and Whitney Museum of American Art.


In 2000, a successful solo exhibition was held at Thomas Williams Fine Arts, Old Bond St., London, UK. In 2004, the Pastel Society of America in New York awarded him as their Hall of Fame Honoree.  In 2011, he was guest curator for An ArtistŹe, an exhibition selected from the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolinaథrmanent collection of 20th & 21st Century art. Concurrently, It Figures, a solo exhibition of his work, was held at the Columbia Museum of Art. In the same year, another solo, Drawn to the Figure, was mounted at the Kalamazoo Art Institute.  In January 2012, Mr. Abeles was prominently featured in Manfred Kirchheimerথature length documentary, Art Is㰡n style="mso-bidi-font-style:italic">The Permanent Revolution, focused on the methods of printmaking and the history of the art of protest in prints.

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Sigmund Abeles - Selected Biography

Born 1934



Columbia University, NYC, MFA in Painting, 1957

Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME, summers 1955 & 1956

Brooklyn Museum School, Brooklyn, NY, Graphics, 1956

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, BA in Fine Arts, 1955


Teaching Positions

Art Students League of New York, 1997ర

University New Hampshire, Durham, 1970笠Full Prof./tenure, elected Prof. Emeritus 1987

Boston University, School of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Associate Prof., 1969鷰

Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, Resident Artist, 1964鶹

Swain School of Design, New Bedford, MA, Instructor, 1961Ṷ4


Grants & Awards: partial list

Hall of Fame Honoree, Pastel Society of America, National Arts Club, 2004

Artist Residency Program, Chateau Rochefort-en-Terre, Brittany, France, summer 2000

Honorary Doctorate of Arts Degree and commencement speaker, Coastal Carolina U., 2000

Florsheim Foundation Grant for pastel purchase to the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC, 1992

Florsheim Foundation Grant for retrospective catalog, 1987

American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize for Spring Morning, pastel, 1982

American Jewish Committee Academic Seminar in Israel, 1981鸲

Elected National Academician, National Academy of Design, NY, 1977

Louis Comfort Tifany Foundation Grant for Graphics, 1967

National Council of Arts & Humanities Sabbatical Grant, 1966

American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for etchings, 1965


Workshops: partial list

Master Class, Drypoint From the Figure, The New York Academy, NYC, 2013

Advanced Figure Workshop, The National Academy School, NYC, 1998 & 2004

Realist Symposium & Workshops, co-directed with Jack Beal, Henry Clews Foundation, La Napoule, France, summer, 1985


Solo Exhibitions: partial list

Sigmund Abeles, A Solo Exhibition with Selected Works, LARAC튌apham Gallery, Glens Falls, NY, 2013


Drawn to the Figure, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI, 2011


Sigmund Abeles, Pastels, Prints, Drawings and Sculpture, Visual Arts Gallery, SUNY Adirondack, Queensbury, New York, 2011


It Figures, The Art of Sigmund Abeles, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC, curated by Todd Herman, 2011. This exhibition traveled to Hampton III Gallery, Greenville, SC and , The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC, 2012౳


Sigmund Abeles at 75, Celebrating Life and Art, The Culture Center, New York, NY, 2009  


Solo Exhibitions: partial list continued

Sigmund Abeles: Passionalte Lives, Passionate Lines, concurrent exhibitions, Park Row Gallery and the Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Chatham, NY, 2009


Sigmund Abeles: Prints, Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture, The Old Print Shop, NYC, catalog, 2008


Sigmund Abeles: From Whence I堃ome, The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC, catalog, with essay by Tom Johnson, 2007


An Intimate Look, Prints by Sigmund Abeles, McKissick Museum, Univ. of SC, Columbia, SC, July 16 - Sept. 17th, 2005


Sigmund Abeles, Now and Then, Hampton III Gallery, Greenville, SC, 2005


Sigmund Abeles - Pastels, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH, 2004వ


Sigmund Abeles Drawings & Prints, The Drawing Studio, Tucson, AZ, 2003


Sigmund Abeles, Of Things to Come, Burroughs/Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC, 2001


Sigmund Abeles, Pastels, Dwgs, and Prints (1966-2000), Thomas Williams Fine Arts,

London, UK, catalog, 2000


Sigmund Abeles, The Artist and His Prints 1954-1999, Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME, catalog w/complete print listing, 1999


Sigmund Abeles: Paintings, Pastels, Prints & Dwgs., Hudson River Gallery, Dobbs Ferry, NY, 1999


Paintings and Pastels, The Century Association, The Presidentүom, NYC, 1999


Sigmund Abeles, concurrent solo exhibitions in Lowell MA: The New York Years, Recent Paintings, Drawings, and Earlier Sculpture, The Brush Art Gallery and Sigmund Abeles (1970鹴), The Whistler Museum of Art, 1998


The Observant Hand, 40 Years of Drawing by Sigmund Abeles, Pollock Gallery,

Southern Methodist U., Dallas TX, 1998, catalog


A 30 Year Retrospective of Drawings & Prints From the Collection of the Boston Public Library, 1993


Sigmund Abeles, Pastels, Oils, Prints & Drawings, curated by Robert Doty, catalog preface by Charles Simic, traveling retrospective: The Manchester Institute of Arts, Manchester, NH;

New England College Gallery, Henniker, NH; McKissick Museum of Art, U. of SC, Columbia, SC; The Fine Arts Center/Cheekwood, Nashville, TN; Wellington B. Gray Gallery, East Carolina U., Greenville, NC; Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA, catalog 1992鹳


The Max Drawings, An Artist/Father Draws His Premature Son to Health: 1985鹲,

13 sites including:  The Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH, The Trition Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, The Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC, Yeshiva Univ. Museum of Art, NYC, Univ. of West Virginia, Morgantown, WV, The Shere Zadik Hospital Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel


Sigmund Abeles, Retrospective, Drawings, Sculpture, Pastels & Prints, University Art Gallery,


UNH, Durham, NH, 1988



Solo Exhibitions: partial list continued

Sigmund Abeles Pastels, Recent Works, Barridoff Galleries, Portland, ME, 1984


Sigmund Abeles, Pastels, Mary Ryan Gallery, NYC, 1983


Sigmund Abeles, Recent Pastels, Impressions Gallery, Boston, 1981


Abeles: The First 20 Years, Prints & Drawings, traveling exhibition, 1979鸱,

five sites including: Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, U. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NB;

University Art Galleries, U. of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK; Weatherspoon Art Gallery, U. of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC; Albrecht Art Museum, St. Joseph, MO, catalog


Recent Drawings, traveling exhibition: U. of NH, Durham, NH; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswich, ME; De Cordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA, 1971鷲, catalog


Prints and Drawings, Jewett Art Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley MA 1966



Two Person Exhibitions: partial list

Uncommon Expressions: The Drawings of Sigmund Abeles and Jerome Witkin, Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, NC, 2008


The Figure Drawn: Works on Paper by Sigmund Abeles and Philip Grausman, Union College, Schenectady, New York, 2004


Between Life and Death, Sigmund Abeles: The Max Drawings & Deidre Scherer: The Last Year, Newton Free Library, Newton, MA, 1988


Sigmund Abeles and Lotte Jacobi, AVA Gallery, Hanover, NH, 1983



Group Exhibitions: partial list

Take Home a Nude, New York Academy of Art benefit auction, SothebyΥw York, 2013


The Art of Influence, Asian Propganda, British Museum, London, UK, 2013


Unadored: Drawings of the Nude from the Pollock Works on Paper Study Collection by Four Artists: Sigmund Abeles, Lois Dodd, Nathan Oliveira, and John Lincoln, Pollack Gallery, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, 2012


The Figure in Contemporary Art, Cypress Colledge Art Gallery, Cypress CA, 2012


War and Remembrance, Univeristy of New Hampshire Museum of Art, Durham, NH, 2010


Humanity: 100 Years of Figurative Art, ACA Galleries, NYC, 2009


Drawing Today, New Arts Gallery, Litchfield CT, 2005


Memorials of War, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, 2004


100 Years/100 Artists, South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC, 2004



Group Exhibitions: partial list continued

The Art of Aging, Artists from Israel, England and North America, Hebrew Union College, NYC, curated by Laura Kruger, catalog, 2003ఴ. Traveled to: Atlanta Jewish Community Center, Dunwoody, GA; Rubin Gallery, Boca Raton, FL, 2004


Recent Aquitions of American Prints, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK, 1999


Artists/Mentors, Denise Bibro Gallery, NYC, 1999


Psychologically Charged: Sigmund Abeles, Gregory Gillespie, Paul Matthews, Jerome Witkin, U. of VT, Burlington, VT, 1996 & SUNY Plattsburg, NY, 1997


Collecting For a College, Gifts From David P. Becker, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME, 1995


Self-aMUSED: The Contemporary Artist as Observer and Observed, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA, 1993


Figure Drawings: Sigmund Abeles, Sidney Goodman & Jody Mussoff, Atrium Gallery, U. of CT, Storrs, CT, 1992


With Nothing On, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, 1990


Fools For Love: Contemporary Erotic Art, Weir Gallery, Berkeley, CA, 1989


Man-Woman-Child, John Szoke Gallery, NYC, 1989


Works on Paper: Abeles, Basilitz, Chia, Dine, Harris & Mazur, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,

MA, 1988


The Animal Kingdom, Associated American Artists Galleries, NYC, 1986


Prints USA, Pratt Graphic Center, NYC, 1982


Exhibition of Works by Newly Elected Members and Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYC, purchase prize, 1982


Contemporary American Realism: Drawings, Boston Atheneum Gallery, Boston, MA, 1982


The Figure Observed Contemporary Life Drawings, College of Fine Arts, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL, 1982


Contemporary American Realism on Paper from the Collection of Jalane & Richard Davidson, Penn. Academy of Fine Arts & Chicago Art Institute, 1982


American Portrait Drawings, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, 1980


A Selection of American Art, The Skowhegan School, 1946鷶, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, 1976


Living American Artists & The Figure, Penn. State U. Museum of Art, Univ. Park, PA, 1974


16 American Artists of Protest, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, 1971  


Group Exhibitions: partial list continued

American Contemporary Prints, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK, 1970


Human Concerns/Personal Torment, Whitney Museum, NYC, 1969


Drawings by Young Americans, Ogunquit Museum of Art, Ogunquit, ME, 1969


28 American Printmakers, Rijksacademie, Amsterdam, Holland, 1968


Protest & Hope, New School for Social Research, NYC, 1967


Whitney Annual, Sculpture & Prints, NYC, 1966


New Talent in Printmaking, AAA Galleries, NYC, 1965


Exhibition of Works by Newly Elected Members and Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYC, (award), 1965



Abeles was prominently featured as 襠etcher鮠Manfred Kirchheimerথature length documentary, Art Is㰡n style="mso-bidi-font-style:italic">The Permanent Revolution, focused on the methods of print making and the history of the art of protest in prints. Premiered at the Quad Theater, NYC, 2012


Permanent Collections; partial list

Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, CA

Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME

Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

British Museum, London, UK

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Butler Art Institute, Youngstown, OH

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME

Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH

Fitzwilliams Museum, Oxford, UK

Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA

Harvard Semitic Museum, Cambridge, MA

Honolulu Academy of Art, Honolulu, HI

Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN

Judah Magnes Museum, Berkeley, CA

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN

Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY

Museo de Arte, Ponce, PR

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Museum of Modern Art, NYC

National Academy of Design, NYC


Permanent Collections; partial list cont.

Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence, RI

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

New York Public Library, NYC

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philidelphia, PA

Philidelphia Museum of Art, Philidelphia, PA

Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA

Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT


Private Collections: partial list

Albert and Kate Merck, MA

Alfred Brendel, London, UK

Anna Kate and Hayne Hipp, SC

Anne Cohen Esq., NYC

Bill & Doborah Binnell, NYC & CT

Clare Henry & Philip Bruno, NYC

Curtis & Jackeye Finch, AR

David Henderson, SC

Dr. Alfonso Pluchinotta, Italy

Edwin & Thayer Hockberg, NYC

Eric Greenleaf, NYC

George Dean Johnson, SC

Hal & Barbara Laeger, NJ

Joe & Bernice Tanenbaum, NY

Joe Yohlin, PA

John & Lisa Hall, NYC

Joseph Fuery & Lee Grant, NYC

Ken Pollard, NY

Kit & Geraldine Laybourne, NY

Linda & Douglas Honnold, IL

Mrs. Frank H. Pearl, DC & NYC

Neil Feitag, Paris, France

Nora Lavori, NYC

Richard Davidson, IL

Robert Henry and Nancy Wu, NY

Ron Ruble, WI

Thomas Williams, UK

Udo and Iris Bensch, Switzerland

Walter and Sanra Wilkie, NYC

Wende Caporale & Daniel Greene, CT

William Carl, NC

Yasuteru Miyamoto, Japan



The Old Print Shop, NYC

Hampton III Gallery, SC

Davidson Galleries, WA