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Art Gallery Hosts Exhibition of the Works of Norman Rubington

The Widener University Art Gallery will host From the Studio: The World of Norman Rubington, an exhibition of the visual and literary works of the expatriate artist and author from August 23 through October 19.
Brunch with Rasputin
Rubington (1921-1991) was born in New Haven, Conn. and enrolled in the Yale School of Fine Arts in 1939. Rubington left for France in 1946 to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. In 1948, he had his first one-man show in Paris, followed by one-man shows in New York, Boston and San Francisco. His work earned him the Prix de Rome, a grant from the Tiffany Foundation, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

In later years, Rubington devoted time to book illustrations and experimental films. Writing under the pseudonym Akbar del Piombo, and using collages of 19th-century engravings for the illustrations, he produced a series of satirical works on socially and politically relevant subjects. In 1965, he illustrated "The Olympia Reader" for Grove Press, working with literary greats such as William Burroughs.

Dr. Janine Utell, associate professor of English at Widener and curator of the exhibition, said the exhibition will offer a unique perspective on Rubington, who was part of the artistic and literary circle in post-World War II Paris that included Maurice Girodias, Henry Miller and Samuel Beckett.

"Our exhibit at Widener is going to take a different approach by focusing on the conversation between Rubington's literary output, his painting and his multimedia productions, all within a post-war, American-in-Paris cultural context," Utell said.

Selected paintings in the exhibition will offer a cross-section of Rubington's varied output, including nude figures, cityscapes, still lifes and work that shows his humor and exuberance with form and color. In addition, artifacts on display will include editions of his books, literary magazines, letters, video of Rubington at work and paraphernalia from his years in the studio.

The gallery will host a reception for the exhibition from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, including a talk by John de St. Jorre, author of "Venus Bound: The Erotic Voyage of the Olympia Press and its Writers." Jorre's talk, titled "Norman Rubington: Graphic Pioneer, Sometime Pornographer, Lifelong Artist," will focus on Rubington's work for Olympia Press. The talk will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the University Center Webb Room.

For more information on the artist and the exhibition, visit The Rubington estate is managed by executor Ann May Greene of Wyncote, Pa.

The Widener University Art Gallery is free and open to the public. The gallery is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and. The gallery will be closed Saturday, August 31 in recognition of Labor Day.

The gallery is located in University Center on the Chester Campus of Widener University, on 14th Street between Walnut Street and Melrose Avenue. For more information, contact the Widener University Art Gallery at 610-499-1189 or visit the gallery website at

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate's, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,500 students. Visit the university's website,




Image:  Brunch with Rasputin by Norman Rubington