Robert Kirschbaum received his M.F.A. degree from Yale University in 1974, and undergraduate degrees from the University of Rochester and the Boston Museum School. The recipient of numerous grants and awards, including three Fulbright awards and an Artist’s Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, he has exhibited and lectured throughout the United States and abroad. His artwork is in permanent collections, including the New Britain Museum of American Art, William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut, Yale University Art Gallery, the U.S. State Department, and the Pennell Print Collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
In his paintings and prints, Kirschbaum explores Judaic concepts of sacred space derived from ancient Jewish art and the Kabbalah, and fuses them with forms and colors inspired by South Asian art and craft traditions. Accordingly, he has visited India as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, and mounted a solo exhibition of his prints at the Jerusalem Artists’ House in Israel, which was followed by a tour of significant archaeological sites. Kirschbaum’s art is discussed and reproduced in the recent book, “Jewish Art in America,” and in journals, newspapers and magazines as diverse as Ars Judaica, Tikkun magazine, the New York Times, the Deccan Herald, The Statesman (Calcutta) and SPAN magazine (New Delhi). Writing in Tikkun, critic Matthew Baigell said that Kirschbaum’s images, “might be considered intellectual exercises in exploring the various mystical states of mind evoked by contemplating the Temple in Jerusalem. Kirschbaum suggests that reflecting upon the Temple and entry into it symbolizes transformation, revelation, rebirth, and, not least, hope.”
Kirschbaum has been teaching in universities for more than thirty years. He has held full time positions at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and Montclair State University in New Jersey. A native of New York, where he maintains a studio, Kirschbaum is currently Professor of Fine Arts at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. At Trinity, he served as Director of Studio Arts from 1990 to 1998, and as Chair of the Department of Fine Arts from 1992 to 1995.