Al Rosenbaum

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Al Rosenbaum (1926 – April 11, 2009) was an American artist and the co-founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, Virginia.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Rosenbaum was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926.[1] He and his wife, Sylvia Rosenbaum, moved to Richmond, Virginia in 1960.[1] He earned his living from the janitorial business before his retirement in 1989.[1]

Virginia Holocaust Museum[edit]

Rosenbaum co-founded the Virginia Holocaust Museum with Jay Ipson and Mark Fetter in 1997.[1] It was originally housed in several rooms at the Temple Beth El on Roseneath Road in Richmond between 1997 and 2003. A new, larger location within a renovated warehouse was dedicated in April 2003.[1]

Rosenbaum created the sculpture of a menorah with six candles that currently stands at the museum.[1] Each of the six candles is intended to represent one million Jews who died during the Holocaust.[1] Rosembaum's menorah sculpture also appears in the Virginia Holocaust Museum's official logo.[1]


Rosembaum's initial interest in art glass led him to enroll in courses at Virginia Commonwealth University specifically for glass blowing and casting.[1]

One of his first major sculptures, a 6-foot-tall piece which he called Shoah, was constructed of wrought iron meant to remind the viewer of concentration camp gates, glass intended to recall Kristallnacht, a rotating "searchlight," rocks and wood.[1] Rosembaum's Shoah is now on permanent display at the Virginia Holocaust Museum.[1] In an interview, Rosembaum said that he had seen a wide range of reactions to this specific sculpture, "from the little ones trying to climb inside to the tears of the elderly."[1]

Rosembaum produced his first one-man art show at the Valentine Museum in 1997.[1] His work had received awards from art shows as far from Virginia as Pennsylvania and Michigan.[1]


Al Rosenbaum died on April 11, 2009, at the age of 82. He was a resident of Richmond, Virginia, at the time.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Clarke, John D. (2009-04-07). "Al Rosenbaum, co-founder of Virginia Holocaust Museum, dies". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-05-04.