Born in Lithuania in 1923, Aronson immigrated to the United States at the age of seven and lived and worked in the Boston area for his entire career. While earning his diploma at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Aronson studied with the innovative artist Karl Zerbe.
Figuration was key for Aronson and other Boston Expressionists, who steered away from abstraction to represent moral, spiritual, and psychological conundrums in their paintings. The son of a rabbi, Mr. Aronson struggled with the tension between his Orthodox Jewish upbringing and his artistic aspirations, as his work often explored biblical themes.
His work is included in the permanent collections of over 40 museums worldwide including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He received both the Judges Prize and Popular Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston in 1944 and was one of the youngest artists included in the “14 Americans” exhibition of 1946 curated by Dorothy Canning Miller of MoMA. In 1979 the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, The Jewish Museum, and the National Academy of Design in New York all hosted retrospectives of his painting and sculpture. Later in his career Boston University also hosted a comprehensive retrospective of his work in 2005, and the Danforth Museum featured a solo exhibition of Aronson’s work in 2009.
David Aronson passed away in 2015.
Art Institute of Chicago
DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Mass.
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Keene State College, Keene, N.H.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut
National Academy Museum and School, New York
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
University of New Hampshire Museum of Art, Durham
Guggenheim Fellowship - List of Guggenheim Fellowships awarded in 1960
Election as Academician at the National Academy of Design, New York in 1967
Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hebrew College, Newton, Massachusetts.
David Aronson: The Paradox - Danforth Museum of Art