MATTHEW RUTENBERG (1956 - 2019)

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  • "So sorry to hear of Matthew's passing."
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  • "Love you all so much."
    - Sylvia Fuerstenberg
Obituary

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.

Published in The New York Times on Aug. 30, 2019
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