Theresa Ferber Bernstein

Biography

Theresa Bernstein (1890 - 2002) was a Polish-born American artist, painter, and writer.  Bernstein was born in Kraków, the only child of Jewish parents, Isidore and Anne (née Ferber) Bernstein, who emigrated to the United States. She studied with Harriet Sartain, Elliott Daingerfield, Henry Snell, Daniel Garber and others at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women now Moore College of Art & Design. She graduated in 1911 with an award for general achievement (the college awarded her an honorary doctorate in 1992). After enrolling at the Art Students League in New York City, where she took life and portraiture classes with William Merritt Chase, she traveled for a second time to Europe with her mother, her first trip abroad having been made in 1905. She admired Robert Henri's style of depicting the city's everyday drama.

In 1912 she settled in Manhattan. Her studio near Bryant Park and Times Square allowed her to paint a cross-section of New Yorkers; she also painted harbors, beaches, fish, and still-life. Bernstein was a member of the National Association of Women Artists and the North Shore Art Association. Her works were exhibited extensively with the National Academy of Design and the Society of Independent Artists (which she co-founded with John Sloan). Her work includes the oil on canvas mural titled "The First Orchestra in America" in the Manheim, Pennsylvania post office, commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts, and completed in 1938.

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