Burton Silverman

photo of Burton  Silverman

"Very early on in my life, I fell in love with the landscape of the human face, where all the emotional states of life are to be found, and the love affair has not faltered."

- Burton Silverman

Burton Silverman has been a prominent American realist for more than 35 years. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1928. While working toward a Bachelor of Art degree at Columbia University, he also studied art at the Pratt Institute and at the Art Students’ League. He later taught painting at the School of Visual Arts, New York.

Silverman had his first exhibition in 1956 and since then has had over 22 one-person shows in New York and Boston. He has also exhibited in countless galleries and museums throughout the United States. 

Silverman’s work has been featured in The New Yorker (over 125 individuals for the Profiles section), Art News, Book World, US Art, American Arts, and Artist Magazine. His two books, Painting People and Breaking the Rules of Watercolor, have inspired students as far away as Japan and Brazil.


Selected Commissions & Collections

  • The National Museum of American Art
  • The Brooklyn Museum
  • The Philadelphia Museum
  • The Butler Institute of American Art
  • The National Portrait Gallery
  • The Rutgers University Museum
  • Cornell University
  • The Dillard Collection (University of North Carolina)
  • Hofstra University Museum
  • The New Britain Museum of American Art
  • TUniversity of Chicago
  • Riggs National Bank
  • The Parrish Museum

Honors & Awards

Silverman has won more than 20 major awards from many prestigious organizations and societies, including the National Academy of Design, the Butler Institute of American Art, and the American Watercolor Society.

Most recent of these were the Joseph Isidor Memorial Medal at the 1993 Annual of the National Academy of Design and the Silver Medal from the AWS in 1995.