Martin Barooshian Biography

Martin Barooshian




Martin B. Barooshian, painter, printmaker and educator, was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts on December 18, 1929, to immigrant Armenian parents who had survived the genocide of 1915. Their history, and the knowledge of his deceased uncle Mihran's own artistic ambition, remained influential to Barooshian throughout his career. Indeed, his parents encouraged him from an early age to pursue the art he showed an interest in, and he began his studies at age 16, enrolling in introductory watercolor and life drawing courses Art Institute of Boston. With his friends, he would travel to New York in his spare time to study the works of Old Masters at major museums; as well, he would spend hours at the local library in Chelsea, Boston, poring over books on science, science fiction, art and more. His first job, as an usher at a nearby movie theater, exposed him to films of all kinds, which he quickly gained a love of and would credit as inspiring his fantastical landscapes and imagined scenarios on paper and canvas.

Barooshian earned a full scholarship to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, from which he graduated with highest honors in 1952 and again in 1955. In 1952, he received the Albert H. Whitlin Traveling Fellowship which allowed him to travel to Europe to study. Barooshian received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Tufts University in 1953 and his Master of Arts degree in Art History from Boston University in 1958.

Though often considered primarily a painter, Barooshian's exposure to printmaking in post-war Paris altered his path permanently. He studied with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris and with Gaston Dorfinant and Jean pons at their respective studios, learning all forms of printmaking availble to him: lithography, intaglio, woodcut. His work is influenced by the Surrealists, as well as Paul Gauguin, William Blake, and Arshile Gorky.

Barooshian taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and printmaking workshops at Pratt Institute in New York. He also chairman of the department of art at Burr's Lane Junior High School in Dix Hills, New York. He is a member of the Boston Printmakers, Long Island Printmakers Society, and the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA) and served as the President of the U.S. Committee of the International Association of Art for UNESCO. In addition to teaching and membership activities, Barooshian is a collector, curator, and dealer, and is credited with encouraging once-pioneering artists to revive their stalled careers, among them Armin Landeck, Doel Reed, Gerald Geerlings, and others. In 1997 he 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 has 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 Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Canada; National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts; Brooklyn Museum; Library of Congress; Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the New York Public Library.

More detailed information on the life of Martin Barooshian can be found in Michael J. Russo's 2019 catalogue raisonné, Martin Barooshian: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Prints, 1948 - 1970.


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