Robert Kirschbaum

Hartford CT and New York City, NY USA

Robert Kirschbaum received his MFA degree from Yale University in 1974, undergraduate degrees from the University of Rochester and the Boston Museum School.  He is the recipient of three Fulbright awards and an Artist’s Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts; and he has exhibited and lectured about his work throughout the United States, India, and Israel.  His artwork is represented in permanent collections, including the Albright Knox Gallery of Art, New Britain Museum of American Art, William Benton Museum, The Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York, the Montclair Art Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, the U.S. State Department, and the Pennell Print Collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. 

In his art, Kirschbaum explores Judaic concepts of sacred space derived from ancient Jewish art and the Kabbalah, often expressing them with forms and colors inspired by South Asian art and craft traditions. His work is discussed and reproduced in a chapter devoted to his art in Matthew Baigell’s recent book, “Jewish Identity in American Art,” and in journals, newspapers, and magazines as diverse as Ars Judaica, Tikkun magazine, the New York Times, The Jewish Press, the Deccan Herald, The Statesman (Calcutta) and SPAN magazine (New Delhi). 

Three pieces of his recent sculpture are currently on exhibit at ANU – The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv.  Kirschbaum divides his time between New York City and Hartford, Connecticut, where he is Professor of Fine Arts at Trinity College. 

Fabric Wall Hangings

Portal Series – Sculpture

From The 42-Letter Name Series

Robert Kirschbaum has explored the Jerusalem Temple in his art since 1978. Inspired by the image of Solomon’s Temple at Dura Europa, he is particularly struck by the Dura image’s representation of the stonework on the facade of the Temple, which, says Kirschbaum, “evokes my own experience in visiting the Kotel.” His “Ashlar Series” of paintings and prints echoes masonry — an ashlar is a rectangular block of hewn stone – in that they are formed from interlocking panels, each “cut” from a nine-square grid, the universal symbol of sacred space and the underlying plan of Ezekiel’s Temple vision.