Burton Silverman

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Burton Silverman (born 1928) is an American painter.

A 1949 graduate of Columbia University, Silverman's work has concentrated on, as he says, "the landscape of the human face." As a portrait artist, he has completed commissions for hundreds of noteworthy patrons. Commercially, his work has appeared in Time Magazine and The New Yorker as well as the cover art for the rock album Aqualung by Jethro Tull. Working in watercolor, oil on linen, or pastel, Silverman's style is contemporary American realism. His technique in any media seems to evoke textile-like textures on the surface of the work.

His work has been included in numerous gallery exhibitions, including over 30 solo shows, in New York, Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, Washington DC and Taos NM.He has appeared in close to 40 national and international exhibitions including the National Portrait Gallery, the National Academy of Design Annual, the Mexico City Museum of Art, the Royal Academy of Art in London and the Butler Midyear Annual. He has won 32 major prizes and awards from some of these annual exhibitions. His paintings are represented in more than two dozen public collections including the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the New Britain Museum, the Mint Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the National Museum of American Art, the Delaware Art Museum, the Columbus Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.

In the spring of 1995 he conducted a seminar at the National Academy entitled “the Realist Alternative” that probed the possible reemergence of realism as a viable alternative to modernist art. It included Tom Wolfe, Sidney Goodman and Harvey Dinnerstein.

In 1999 he received the John Singer Sargent Medal from the American Society of Portrait Artists for a similar career of distinction. In January and February 1999, the Butler Institute of American Art held a 25-year retrospective exhibition of his work titled Sight and Insight; the Art of Burton Silverman. The exhibit also traveled to the Brigham Young Museum in Utah (May, 1999.) A full monograph and catalog accompanied this exhibition.

In May and June 2004 the Delaware Art Museum hosted the exhibition "Glorious Dignity:" Drawings of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman and a sequential loan exhibit of these works has been shown in a 50th Anniversary Exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Art in 2006. In 2001 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco.

In 2004 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Portrait Society of America for lifetime achievement.

In 2005 he was awarded the Annual Excellence in the Arts Award from the Newington Cropsey Cultural Foundation.

In 2006 a retrospective exhibit of the Intimate Eye ;the Drawings of Burton Silverman opened at the Brigham Young Museum of Art and traveled to the Butler Institute of American Art and the Lyme Academy College of Art in 2007

In 1954 Burton Silverman became a friend of Soviet intelligence agent Wiliam Fisher (better known as Rudolf Abel) who lived in New York City as Emil Goldfus and was arrested in 1957.[1]


  1. ^ "The Spy of Cadman Plaza" by NATHAN WARD

External links[edit]

Burton Silverman's Official Website: http://www.burtonsilverman.com/