Frances S. Kornbluth

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1920 - 2014
Frances Schachter Kornbluth of North Grosvenordale, Connecticut, and Monhegan Island, Maine, died on May 26, 2014, in Dayville, Connecticut. Born in New York City on July 26, 1920, she would have turned 94 on her birthday in July. She was the oldest of three children. Her younger brother, Arlan, and her husband, Marvin "Bud" Kornbluth, predeceased her.
Frances graduated from Brooklyn College in 1940 with a degree in music. During World War II, she worked in Washington D.C. for the Office of Strategic Services, and in 1942, she married Buddy Kornbluth, who fought with the U.S. Army in Europe. After the war, they had two children together and lived in Merrick, New York. She taught kindergarten and, later in her life, worked with creatively gifted children. She also taught classes in art and/or education at a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Connecticut, Adelphi University, and Hofstra University, along with Annhurst, Dowling and Mills colleges.
When she enrolled in a local art workshop near her home on Long Island, she began what was to become a long and distinguished career as a visual artist. From 1955 – 1959, she attended the Brooklyn Museum Art School where she studied with William Kienbusch and Rueben Tam. In 1962, she earned her Masters Degree at Pratt Institute. Tam, whom she credited with defining her as an artist, introduced her to Monhegan Island, where she painted and maintained a studio every summer from the late 1950's until the present.
Over the course of her lengthy career, she exhibited her work in solo shows and juried exhibitions too numerous to mention. She was a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and belonged to the National Association of Women Artists from whom she received more than half a dozen prizes and medals of honor. She received a number of other awards and medals, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from Brooklyn College. Her paintings are held in collections worldwide and have been exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art, the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich CT, and the University of Connecticut at Storrs, to name but a few. She served as a powerful role model for other female artists, mentoring many of them, and actively maintained a large and ever-growing network of friends and admirers. She lived independently and continued to work in her studios in Connecticut and Maine, and also to exhibit her work, until the end of her life.
She is survived by her sister, Yvette Sisselman of Silver Springs, MD; her daughter and daughter-in-law, Jane Kornbluth and Arlene Chapman of New York, NY; her son and daughter-in-law, Bruce and Jan Kornbluth of Portland, ME; her grandson and wife, Ian Kornbluth and Nicole Cannon of Los Angeles, CA; her great-grandson, Wyatt Cannon Kornbluth, also of Los Angeles; and hundreds of fine artworks.
Published on NYTimes.com from June 5 to June 6, 2014
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