In a 2010 interview with the Banner-Herald, Art Rosenbaum said his favorite artists were "the ones whose creative works demand some time." Though he didn't include himself in the same category, time with Rosenbaum's work felt like a warm invitation rather than a demand.
Rosenbaum's wife, Margo, recently announced via Facebook that Rosenbaum had passed away from cancer on Sunday. Messages with kind words and fond remembrances from family and friends poured in through social media posts throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The following day, Margo Rosenbaum shared a photo of R.E.M. lead vocalist Michael Stipe seated for a portrait by her husband, which ended up being his last completed painting.
Born in Ogdensburg, N.Y. in 1938, Rosenbaum earned his degrees in art history and painting at Columbia University. Rosenbaum's works are in collections at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Columbus (Ga.) Museum, the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens and the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art.
Rosenbaum taught studio art at the University of Georgia's Lamar Dodd School of Art from 1976 to 2006.
Outside the world of visual art, Rosenbaum's "Art of Field Recording Vol.I: Fifty Years of American Traditional Music," a four-disc collection of American folk music compiled with Lance Ledbetter and illustrated with photos by Margo, won a 2008 Grammy award for Best Documentary Recording.
Also an accomplished folk musician, Rosenbaum performed at festivals as a solo artist and with groups like Skillet Lickers, recorded three banjo and vocal albums and has written and illustrated three instructional books about traditional banjo styles. Rosenbaum was in the inaugural group of inductees to receive an honorary plaque on the Athens Music Walk of Fame in 2020.
Rosenbaum's commissioned murals can be seen on the UGA campus at the Wilson Center for Humanities & Arts, the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library and the Hugh Hodson School of Music. Works by Rosenbaum are currently on view at the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art at Piedmont University in Demorest, Georgia through Oct.13.
"Art Rosenbaum was such a huge part of our cultural landscape as a painter, educator, musician and historian," Athens-Clarke County Public Art Coordinator Tatiana Veneruso told the Banner-Herald. "His contributions were endless and he leaves a legacy in all those he taught and lives he touched."
This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: UGA art professor, folk musician Art Rosenbaum dies after cancer battle