Arnold Theodore Schifrin Biography

Arnold Theodore Schifrin




Painter, printmaker, and educator Arnold Theodore Schifrin was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 13, 1926. He attended the Black Mountain Fine Arts School in Black Mountain, North Carolina, studying painting, drawing, and printmaking. In 1940 he moved to Los Angeles, settling in Topanga Canyon - which would become his permanent home - and began teaching at the UCLA Extension.

In addition to working as both an artist and a teacher, Schifrin became a champion for artists in Los Angeles, fighting for exhibitions of local work at the Los Angeles County Museum of art when it and other major LA-based venues were focused on New York and San Francisco Abstract, Modernist, and Beat artists. In 1954 he won the Western Division Tupperware art fund scholarship of $2,800, for his painting "Fiesta", presenting the funds to the county of Los Angeles, and in 1963 his work was highlighted in the July edition of ArtForum magazine. Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown, in his first stint as governor of California, appointed him the first "maestro of painting" for California; Schifrin later founded California Federation of the Arts and Artists for Economic Action.

Schifrin taught at UCLA for 33 years, and continued to exhibit. Solo shows included Felix Landau Gallery, the Fleisher-Anhalt Gallery, the Sam Francis Gallery and the Oxnard Fine Arts Museum, among others. He also exhibited regularly with the California Watercolor Society.

Arnold T. Schifrin died in Sherman Oaks, California on March 14, 1994, survived by his wife and his children, one of whom - Franceska Schifrin - is herself a painter.