Samuel Rothbort

born Wolkovisk, Russia 1882-died New York City 1971
Media - portrait_image_113693.jpg - 90390
Wolkovisk, Russia
New York, New York, United States
  • American

Samuel Rothbort began sculpting at an early age, making animals from bread dough in his mother’s kitchen. As a young man, he worked in a glassware store while also painting fifty-cent charcoal portraits and training to be a leather worker. He immigrated to New York in 1904 and took a variety of unskilled jobs, including night watchman on a construction site. The master builder on the site noticed Rothbort drawing on unfinished plaster and decided he was too talented to be a watchman. As a result, Rothbort became a decorator, creating designs in paint and plaster for the homes of wealthy Manhattanites. For most of his life he ran a farm on Long Island with his wife, Rose, and created many paintings, sculptures, and mosaics that captured, as he described, “a little bit of truth from nature.”