Adrienne Goldberg, artist and teacher, dies at 63


By Ed Gold

Adrienne Goldberg, 63, longtime Villager, accomplished and distinctive artist, community activist and high school teacher, died on Jan. 31 of breast cancer.

Funeral services were held Feb. 3 at Riverside Memorial Chapel in Manhattan.

Survivors include her husband, Lawrence, a member of Community Board 2, who also is board of directors member of the Hudson River Park Trust, which determines policy on the Lower West Side waterfront park, and a daughter, Alexis, who like her mother, is a teacher.

A close-knit family, all three of the Goldbergs were active members of Downtown Independent Democrats. And while Lawrence served as president of Friends of LaGuardia Place, the garden honoring one of New York’s most famous mayors, wife Adrienne was a member of the Friends board of directors, and was developing a children’s garden on the site.

As an artist for more than two decades, Adrienne Goldberg used oils, charcoals, graphite and gold leaf, among other materials, to create a distinctive collection of scenes and portraits, combining realism with the abstract.

A review of her work in the Soho Journal several years ago focused on her special approach as “painting onto a territory of realism which is particularly welcoming, while it remains slightly unsettling.”

The review stressed the special impact of her work: “So this quiet presentation as her paintings seem to be, makes us lean over and crouch down so we can hear better. Listening to her paintings, we are rewarded with a louder imperative communication which feels wholesome, heartful and timeless.”

On learning of her passing, the Soho Journal called her “a talented and innovative painter whose work was a pleasure to experience.”

Adrienne Goldberg received several awards for her work, including honors from the Noho Art Show and the Uniform Benefit Show. Her most notable painting may have been of the twin towers tragedy of 9/11.

Her collection has been frequently on exhibit, including recent showings in Old Chatham and Milbrook, N.Y., as well as in New York City. But her activities extended to other community endeavors. She was community director of the rebuilt Poe House space inside New York University’s new School of Law building and once served on the board of directors for Caring Community.

At the Riverside services, her husband noted that they had celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary only a few weeks earlier.

His admiration was overflowing: “She lit up life,” he said, “and learned the art of living and helping others.

“It was not just a marriage,” he said, “but a 40-year romance.”

The story goes that he proposed on their second date.

Adrienne had degrees from Pace University and New York University. She majored in English and taught English at Washington Irving High School.

For the past 30 years, the Goldbergs have lived in Washington Square Village.

Other survivors include Adrienne’s father, Hyman Rosen, and her sister, Linda Prince.

Those wishing to honor her memory may send contributions to Friends of LaGuardia Children’s Garden Fund, 532 LaGuardia Place #260, New York, N.Y. 10012.