Christopher Burke, photograph of Judith Rothschild, 1946. Reproduced in Judith Rothschild: An Artist’s Search (1998), p. 12.
Judith Rothschild, Composition, ca. 1945. Etching, plate: 2 15/16 x 3 15/16 in. Courtesy Dolan/Maxwell, Philadelphia, PA.

79. Judith Rothschild

Life Dates1921-1993
Place of BirthNew York, NY, USA
Place of DeathNew York, NY, USA
Birth NameJudith Rothschild

Judith Rothschild was born in 1921 in New York City, the middle child of Nanette and Herbert Rothschild.1 Her artistic inclinations manifested early. In high school, she studied art under the direction of Victor D’Amico, the head of the art department at the Fieldston School who later went on to run the art education program at the Museum of Modern Art, and she traveled to Europe in the summer of 1937 at the age of sixteen. For college, she enrolled at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, a compromise with her parents since she had wanted a college with a studio art program. After graduating Wellesley in 1943, Rothschild moved back to New York City where she studied at the Art Students League with Reginald Marsh and eventually with Hans Hofmann at his own studio-school downtown. Her paintings, at this point, had grown more abstract, a shift from her earlier, more representational work. Perhaps through the network of artist she met at the League or Hofmann’s school, Rothschild became affiliated with Atelier 17 in 1945, making a handful of intaglio plates. In one of her more fully developed ones, Composition, biomorphic shapes and lines swirl around a disembodied head. She also completed a suite of screenprints in 1946, which mirror the geometric shapes she worked on in her canvases. 1945 also brought Rothschild her first opportunity for a solo show at the Jane Street Gallery, which led to her election into the prestigious American Abstract Artists. She married the novelist Anton Myrer in 1947 (they would divorce in 1970), and they couple lived variously in California, New York, and on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She continued to work abstractly throughout her career, making paintings—some in high relief—and collages.

Selected Bibliography

Axsom, Richard H. Beyond the Plane: The Relief Paintings of Judith Rothschild. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1992.

Flam, Jack. Judith Rothschild: An Artist’s Search. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1998.


  1. The source for this bio comes from Jack Flam, Judith Rothschild: An Artist’s Search (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1998).