Albert Wasserman was born in 1920 and grew up during the Roaring 20s and Great Depression in Bronx, New York. By his early teens, he was feeding a blossoming art talent with flurries of sketches and paintings, a practice he continued throughout his prolific career. He was educated at the Art Students League of New York and the Art School of the National Academy. He won the Obrig Prize from the National Academy of Design, and was also awarded a Pulitzer Scholarship to travel Europe for art. However, he ended up shipping off to Europe to fight WW2 with the 115th anti-aircraft artillery gun battalion. He was known as the “mad artist,” and captured scenes of army life in charcoal. As the war ended, he was even able to enroll in an art program in France. He met his wife in Marseille and traveled back home to start a family. Though Wasserman was hired by an ad agency, his passion for fine art continued — he carried his sketchbook even on the subway to draw and paint en plein air, and loved to study natural environments and individual characters in a realist-impressionist style. Starting in his mid-30s, he taught portrait, oil and still life at the Jackson Heights Art Club, and for 16 years he taught painting at the Sirovich Senior Center. Gerry McGann, a former student, said that “he was very encouraging and he had a way of understanding each individual [artist] and their temperament”.
Wasserman never sought prestige in the gallery scene; he painted and taught quietly for love of the art. He did win prizes at the Salmagungi Club, and two of his paintings are displayed in their permanent collection. However, most of his canvasses were piled in his house when he died in January 2017, and many were distributed to charitable organizations.
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