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Janet Ruttenberg's Central Park Paintings on Display at City Museum

By Victoria Bekiempis | September 17, 2013 8:47am
 Janet Ruttenberg's paintings of Central Park are now on Display at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. at East 103rd Street.
Museum of the City of New York Paintings
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UPPER EAST SIDE — An artist known for her massive paintings of Central Park is putting her works on display for the first time.

"Picturing Central Park," an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York that opened late last week, showcases 17 of New York artist Janet Ruttenberg's portrayals of the iconic green space.

Some of these works include paintings measuring up to 15 feet wide, with other, smaller pieces and photographs by the artist also on display, MCNY representatives said.

Ruttenberg uses oil and acrylic paints, and even video "to capture the natural and human beauty of this iconic New York landscape," the museum said in a statement.

Though Ruttenberg is known in insider art circles as having completed "some of the finest family portraits by any American painter since Sargent," she remains widely unknown — in large part because of her reported aversion to attention.

But Ruttenberg, and her artist daughter Kathy Ruttenberg, were described by New York magazine to be "having a moment," as both have well-publicized solo shows in 2013. 

Asked about her reaction to the MCNY retrospective at the show's opening reception last week, Ruttenberg was quick to correct.

"Well, it's not a retrospective, it's just a bit of my work," she said in a brief interview with DNAinfo New York, noting she's "never shown anywhere" prominently.

"It's just a soupçon. This is just a little bit of what I've done at the park."

The artist — who has also been described by New York as "as private as an artist can be, except that she can be found on any nice day out in Manhattan" — added that she can't wait to get back to her ongoing watercolor projects.

"I have four in the works right now, which I had to stop doing yesterday and today, because of the show, which I wasn't so happy about," she said, laughing.

"Picturing Central Park" is on display at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. at East 103rd Street, until Jan. 5, 2013.