All exhibitions

Harvey Dinnerstein: Reflections on Life and Work

June 6, 2024
July 13, 2024
Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, 2nd Fl

Harvey Dinnerstein, Past and Present.

This exhibition celebrates League artist Harvey Dinnerstein (1928–2022) by surveying his practice in the figurative tradition from his early years as a League student in the 1940s through his final years painting and teaching into the 2020s. It features dozens of rare and never-before-seen works from Dinnerstein’s estate, gifted to the League upon his passing, alongside archival materials, including photographs, letters, diaries, and related printed matter. This landmark exhibition is an intimate look into the life and work of Dinnerstein—a people’s artist, who documented humanity for nearly 80 years. On view are preparatory sketches as well as final compositions from a number of significant bodies of work representative of the artist’s oeuvre. In foregrounding his honest and raw realism, this exhibition recognizes Dinnerstein’s integral role in the history of American art and the ever-relevance of his work today.

Harvey Dinnerstein: Reflections on Life and Work marks the Estate’s invaluable gift of artworks and archival materials to the League. The gift serves as an ellipsis on Harvey’s long association with the League and offers future generations of students the opportunity to learn from one of the League’s best in perpetuity.

This exhibition is organized by Ksenia Nouril, PhD, Gallery Director with Esther V. Moerdler, Curatorial Assistant.

For over seven decades, Harvey Dinnerstein (1928-2022) painted, exhibited, and taught generations of students in the figurative tradition. Born and raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Harvey Dinnerstein graduated from the High School of Music and Art, New York and attended the Art Students League in 1946-47 before enrolling at Temple University's Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in fall 1947. In addition to being an accomplished artist, he was a beloved teacher, serving on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York from 1965 to 1980, while also teaching at the National Academy of Design from 1975 to 1992. He was Instructor at the Art Students League of New York from 1980 to his death in 2022.

In 1994, Dinnerstein was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio. In 1998, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Dinnerstein’s numerous awards include Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grants, 1948 and 1961; National Academy of Design, Ranger Purchase Award, 1976; Allied Artists Gold Medal, 1977; Audubon Artists President’s Award, 1978; American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award, 1974, 1978, 1987; and Classical America, Arthur Ross Award, 1983. In 1974, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Design.

Seminal publications on the artist include Harvey Dinnerstein: Artist at Work (1978, Watson-Guptill) with an essay by the artist, and Underground Together: The Art and Life of Harvey Dinnerstein (2008, Chronicle Books) with essays by Pete Hamill and Gabriel P. Weisberg. The artist’s estate is represented by Gerald Peters Gallery, New York. His works are in many private, corporate, and museum collections, including the Lehman Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the New Britain Museum of American Art; the Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center; the University of Texas; the Palm Springs Desert Museum; Chase Manhattan Bank; Keyspan Energy; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The Art Students League of New York would like to thank the Harvey Dinnerstein Estate for its contributions and research support for the exhibition.

Programs at the Art Students League are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Special thanks to the Art Students League Board of Control.


An Evening with Burton Silverman

Tuesday, June 11, 6pm

Join League artist Burton Silverman, a contemporary and friend of the late Harvey Dinnerstein, in a discussion of Dinnerstein’s work, their friendship, and realist art.


Curatorial Walkthrough

Tuesday, June 25, 6pm                                      

Join the League's Gallery Director and Curator Ksenia Nouril,  PhD, and visiting Harvey Dinnerstein expert Heather Coyle, PhD, for a behind the scenes look at the exhibition Harvey Dinnerstein: Reflections on Life and Work.