Martin Barooshian Biography

Martin Barooshian




Martin B. Barooshian, painter, printmaker, and educator, was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts on 18 December 1929. His parents were Armenian immigrants who survived the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Their history, combined with the knowledge of his deceased uncle Mihran's own artistic ambition, remained influential to Barooshian throughout his career.

Barooshian was awarded a full scholarship to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston [SMFA], and through a joint program with Tufts University, he earned a four-year undergraduate diploma in Studio Arts with highest honors in 1952. Two years later, in 1954, he received his Bachelor of Science in Education degree and, in 1955, he earned his fifth-year graduate certificate from SMFA. Barooshian continued his education at Boston University and received his Master of Arts in Art History degree in 1958 with highest honors.

Though often considered primarily a painter, Barooshian learned the basics of printmaking under the guidance of Ture Bengtz at the SMFA. In post-war Paris, he studied intaglio processes at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17 and lithography at the ateliers of Gaston Dorfinant and Jean Pons. His work is influenced by the Surrealists, as well as Paul Gauguin, William Blake, and Arshile Gorky. In 1954, he was represented in the exhibition Young American Printmakers at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

During his thirty-five-year career, Barooshian taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Pratt Institute, and the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as in the public school systems in Somerville and Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Barooshian was a member of the Print club of Albany, the American Color Print Society, the Armenian Artists Association of America, the Boston Printmakers, the Long Island Printmakers Society, and the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA) and served as president for this organization from 1972 to 1974. For a time, he was also president of the U.S. Committee of the International Association of Art for UNESCO. In addition to teaching and membership activities, Barooshian was a collector, curator, and dealer, and is credited with encouraging once-pioneering artists to revive their stalled careers, among them Armin Landeck, Doel Reed, and Gerald Geerlings. In 1977, he co-curated with Louis Freedenberg the Pratt Institute’s traveling exhibition Forerunners of the American Print Renaissance 1920­–1950. In 1997, Barooshian was awarded the Dorothy Lathrop Award for Outstanding Service by the Print Club of Albany.

Barooshian's work was been in included in numerous group exhibitions and had at least fifty solo exhibitions. A retrospective exhibition of his work was mounted in May 2006 at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts. His work is represented in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts; the Museum of  Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Indianapolis Museum, Indiana; the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the New York Public Library, New York; the Portland Museum of Art, Oregon; the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Quebec, Canada; the Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Armenian Museum of American, Watertown, Massachusetts.

Martin Barooshian died at his home in North Reading, Massachusetts on 25 January 2022.