Harvey Dinnerstein graduated from the High School of Music and Art and attended the Art Students League before enrolling in 1947 at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Returning to New York in the early fifties, he was one of a group of recent Tyler graduates who rebelled against the prevalent modernist and Abstract Expressionist styles by painting realistic pictures of still lifes and interiors that seemed deliberately unfashionable.
Throughout his long career, Dinnerstein’s pastels, paintings, and drawings have documented what he calls “the powerful visual language of this cultural legacy” in images that “combine aspects of naturalism, or incidental observation, with classical elements of form and structure.”
Dinnerstein was on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York from 1965 to 1980, while also teaching at the National Academy of Design from 1975 to 1992. In 1980 he moved to the Art Students League.
National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)
Harvey Dinnerstein grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He studied art in New York and Philadelphia, and was an instructor at the Art Students League for many years. Dinnerstein started his career just as abstract expressionism was beginning to take hold in America. He rejected this new style, however, and focused on emphasizing the “traditions of the past” in his realistic, detailed images (Harvey Dinnerstein, A Retrospective Exhibition, The Butler Institute of American Art, 1994). Dinnerstein paints from life, and many of his images show intimate, poignant views of the people and buildings of New York and Brooklyn, where he has lived for most of his life. (Harvey Dinnerstein: Artist at Work, 1978)