MATTHEW RUTENBERG
1956 - 2019
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RUTENBERG--Matthew, died at home in New York City on August 22, 2019, aged 62. He was a consultant to dealers, collectors and curators, advising on acquisition and exhibition of Old Master, 19th and 20th Century Art, and a mentor to many. Briefly hospitalized at age nine, he received a gift of reproductions of famous paintings, which led to a lifelong passion for art history. He had a B.A. in History and Ideas from Harvard University and studied at the Warburg Institute, University of London. Matthew had an outsize role in the art world, particularly for someone with no "public" position apart from his early days at the MFA in Boston. His legacy lives on in the many acquisitions and exhibitions he steered to numerous museums over the years and in the next generation of professionals who learned from him. He wrote for The New York Times and The New York Review of Books and served on the Board of Directors of the Westbeth Artists Housing. A voracious reader, movie goer, and food lover, he traveled extensively in the USA, Europe and beyond for business and pleasure. Other interests were opera and retail politics, even canvassing door-to-door for his favorite candidates. He was well known for his wry sense of humor, his intelligence, great curiosity and appetite for many subjects. Despite serious medical challenges, he lived a life of courage and inexhaustible energy and shared his intellect, humor, patience, compassion and joy with his family and multitudes of friends and colleagues. He is survived by his parents, Daniel and Joan Rutenberg; brother, Jeremy Rutenberg (Tonya Ray Rutenberg); sister, Naomi Rutenberg (Robert Burn) and nephews Jordan Rutenberg and Nathaniel Burn. Memorial contributions may be directed to Westbeth Artists Housing or the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL.


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Published in New York Times on Aug. 30, 2019.
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6 entries
September 6, 2019
We were shocked at the news. What an outstanding human being! I remember him in my office in Clearwater. Our thoughts and prayers to our treasured long time friends, Joan & Dan. Jan/Gwen
Jan Hirschfield
September 6, 2019
The death of an adult child is especially dreadful. I can sympathize, having lost my son. My prayers are for you to find peace.
(You likely do not remember me; I am Larry Reis' daughter.)
carol dunn
September 6, 2019
Perhaps no one understands the loss of an adult child without having gone through that grief. I am sad to say I have done so, and I express my sympathy to you both.
(You probably do not remember me; I am Larry Reis' daughter.)
carol dunn
August 31, 2019
So sorry to hear of Matthew's passing.
Carin Stemer Chadow
August 31, 2019
Love you all so much.
Sylvia Fuerstenberg
August 25, 2019
I'm so very sorry to hear of Matthew's passing we were friends in high school and I visited him in college in London and I always had such a high respect for Matthew friendship. my deepest condolences to his family.
Janice (Harvey) Pace
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