Murray Dessner

Murray Dessner, Earth, acrylic on canvas, 62 x 72 inches
Murray Dessner, Earth, acrylic on canvas, 62 x 72 inches

Exhibitions

About

One of Philadelphia’s most beloved artists and teachers, Dessner was born and raised in South Philadelphia. He began making art at the age of twenty-five in classes at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial. After graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in 1965, he traveled across Europe and visited the great museums of London, Paris, Rome, and Madrid. He returned to Philadelphia, where he worked as bartender at Dirty Frank’s, a hub of the city’s art scene. He began teaching at PAFA in 1970 and remained an instructor there until his retirement in 2011. He described being inspired by Venetian painters like Titian and Veronese, and by the light and natural beauty of the island of Patmos, Greece, which he visited frequently.

Selected Solo & Group Exhibitions

2012         Works by Murray Dessner, Somerville Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE

2012         Murray Dessner: A Retrospective, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2012         Four Visions/Four Artists, Philip and Muriel Berman Museum, Collegeville, PA

2011         Flirting with Abstraction, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2009         Artists of Accomplishment from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Somerville Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE

2009         5th Biennial Exhibition of the SAI, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2005         Selected Works on Paper, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1997         Solo Exhibition, Somerville Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE

1994         The Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

1993         Annual Juried Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1990         Annual Juried Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1988         Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

1987         Annual Juried Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1983         William Penn Museum, Harrisburg, PA

1983         Pacific University, Forest Grove, PA

1982         Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, FL

1979         Pennsylvania Invitational, General State Authority, Harrisburg, PA

1978         Artist and Teacher, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1976         Philadelphia Museum of Art at Moore College, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

1972         Annual Juried Exhibition, Cheltenham Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

1969         International Arts Festival Juried Exhibition, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1967         The Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

1964         Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

Selected Public Collections

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Cornell Fine Arts Center Museum, Winter Park, FL
Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR
Colgate University, Picker Gallery, Hamilton, NY
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Widener University Law School, Wilmington, DE
Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Co., Philadelphia, PA
Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, Philadelphia, PA
Parente Randolph, Philadelphia, PA
Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Inc., Collegeville, PA
SmithKline Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Danella Companies, Plymouth Meeting, PA
Ballard Spahr, Wilmington, DE
General Mills Corporation, Tampa, FL
Burdine’s Stores, Miami, FL
Diplomat Hotel, Hallandale, FL
NCH/Transwest, Tucson, AZ
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
Atlantic Richfield Co., Philadelphia, PA

Education

1965         The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA