ROTHENSTEIN, Michael

Michael Rothenstein [British 1908-1993]

Michael Rothenstein, painter, print maker, teacher and writer. His father was William Rothenstein, also a painter and a lithographer who was the Principal of the Royal College of Art. Michael studied at Chelsea School of Art in 1923, and at the Central School 1924-27, under Meninsky and Hartrick.

After an early career as a landscape watercolourist, Rothenstein became a print maker and he experimented with lithography, monotypes, etching, linocut, woodcut, screen prints and revolutionised the process. In 1957 he worked with the printer Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17, a pivotal moment in Rothenstein’s career.

Michael Rothenstein held his first full solo exhibition at the Warren Gallery in 1930 and showed regularly in London galleries. He worked for the prestigious wartime Recording Britain scheme during 1940-43.

From the early 1960s, Rothenstein became a major influence in both Britain and the United States. He was an active lecturer and important writer, producing such standard texts as Linocuts and Woodcuts (1962), Frontiers of Printmaking: A New Age of Relief Printing (1966) and Relief Printing, (1970). From 1971, he taught at Camberwell School of Art and Hornsey College of Art. During the 1970s he had exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1974) and the Flowers Gallery (from 1984), and in Bradford (1972), Norway (1972, 1980), Montreal (1971, 1974) and Ottawa (1978). He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1977, a full academician six years later, and an Honorary RE in 1985. Late in his career, he returned to painting and more basic forms of printmaking.

His work is represented in numerous public collections, including the British Museum, the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Fry Art Gallery (Safforn Walden), the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the New York Public Library.

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