Aaron Birnbaum


You Listen to Me
Oil on plywood
8″ x 12″

(1895-1998) Aaron Birnbaum lived to be one of the oldest folk “memory” painters. Birnbaum was born in the Ukraine and then immigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1913. He worked as a tailor/dressmaker for women’s sportswear for most of his life. It was not until he reached 70 that he decided to take to painting which resulted from loneliness he felt when his wife died. Birnbaum painted much in a way he did tailoring ,using patterns to design his paintings, usually large birds, dogs and houses, first using oil then acrylic, finishing with a layer of varnish. His images represent an optimistic and gleeful view of the world much different than his early life experiences. At the age of 100, Birnbaum received recognition from the New York Times and the following year was able to attend a retrospective of his work at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Birnbaum was a true folk artist with a pure expression of generations gone by.