Michael Rothenstein Biography

Michael Rothenstein




Michael Rothenstein RE, son of the celebrated artist Sir William Rothenstein, was born in Hampstead, London on March 19, 1908. He studied at the Chelsea Polytechnic and the Central School of Arts and Crafts. At age sixteen, he received his first commission as an illustrator and he had his first solo exhibition at London’s Warren Gallery in 1931.

Rothenstein began his career as a painter but turned more and more toward printmaking in the mid 1940s. Rothenstein work briefly with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris after World War II. When he returned to England he set up his printmaking studio in Great Bardfield, Essex, a burgeoning artists village. He won first prize in the Giles Bequest Competition for color woodcuts and linocuts in 1954 and 1956.

During the 1960s Rothenstein developed his style of abstraction using “found” objects and produced prints in lithography, linocut, etching and screenprint. In 1966, he published Frontiers of Printmaking: New Aspects of Relief Printing. During this time he also began lecturing internationally. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1977 and a Royal Academician in 1984. His work is represented in the collections of  the Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Michael Rothenstein died on July 5, 1993 in Stisted, Essex, England.