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Murray Zimiles

Professor Emeritus of Art+Design

Murray Zimiles, who began teaching at Purchase College in 1977, was born in New York in 1941. He received his BFA in painting and printmaking from the University of Illinois in 1963 and his MFA from Cornell University in 1965, then continued his advanced training in printmaking in 1965–66 at the Atelier Clot-Bramson and the École Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. In the 1970s, Zimiles co-wrote The Technique of Fine Art Lithography and The Contemporary Lithographic Workshop Around The World (Van Nostrand Reinhold Company).

Zimiles has exhibited extensively since 1965 in both solo and group shows, including a major retrospective of his work at the Neuberger Museum of Art in 2003. His work is held widely within private and museum collections throughout the world, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the National Academy Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, Haifa, Israel; the Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. His emotionally charged artwork The Book of Fire—a large-format work depicting the destruction of spectacular Polish wooden synagogues during World War II—is among 120 works donated in 2014 to the Florida Holocaust Museum’s permanent collection.

After the birth of his son in the 1980s, Zimiles “became determined to connect the dots between Jewish visual culture in Europe and America, a topic that had been largely ignored.” This long exploration culminated in a major 2007–08 exhibition, Gilded Lions and Jeweled Horses: The Synagogue to the Carousel, which he curated at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. The exhibition was reviewed by more than 20 publications worldwide, including the New York Times. His book-length catalog for that exhibition won the 2007 National Jewish Book Award in the Visual Arts Category.

Murray Zimiles lives and works at his home in Millerton, N.Y.