Portrait Of The Artist As An Older Man

In 2001 — after 18 years in Weston — Murray Rosenzweig and his wife Susan Hauser moved to Stamford. Their daughter, son-in-law and young grandchildren were there. When the house next door came on the market, the grandparents bought it.

Five years later, their daughter’s family moved to Westport, for the schools. Murray and Susan went back to Weston.

Around the same time — after 55 years as a radiologist — he retired.

“At great distress to my wife, I had no thought about what I’d do,” he recalls. “I read a lot, but I had no interest in ‘doing.'”

He joined the Y’s Men, and “met nice people.”

After a while, he “finally” went to Westport’s Senior Center.

Susan — “kind of an artist” — talked her husband into taking a painting class taught by Eddie Nino.

Rosenzweig had no art background whatsoever. But, he notes, “as a radiologist I knew where and how the head turns.”

Some of Murray Rosenzweig’s portraits.

He’d spent more than half a century thinking of skin as “a barrier to get through as quickly as possible, to see underneath.”

Now, he says, “I’m studying the skin.”

The results are remarkable. At 90 years old, Rosenzweig has become a very good portrait artist.

He downplays his talent.

“We’ve got a good group,” he says of his class — the 2nd one he’s taken with Nino. “We all encourage each other. It’s not competitive.”

Rosenzweig’s works are now on exhibit at the Senior Center. He never thought they’d be seen by anyone. But, he admits, “Eddie is proud of me.”

Murray Rosenzweig with his portraits, in the Westport Senior Center.

His 2nd career is full of surprises. The other day, someone asked the price of one of his portraits.

“They’re not for sale,” he says. “They’re like my children.”

2 responses to “Portrait Of The Artist As An Older Man

  1. congratulations to Dr. Rosenzweig: yes, many people who take up new pursuits after retiring from their primary careers (especially creative and artistic endeavors) rediscover feelings they haven’t experienced in years or find something inside themselves that they never knew existed

  2. My late father-in-law, a beloved Marcus Welby-type of family-practice doctor, worked til he was 80 and also worried about what he would do with his time when he retired. He too discovered his inner artist and his work was also remarkable, with wonderful landscapes–and he even surprised us with a painting of our home. I don’t know if dormant is quite the right word to describe it but I find it fascinating how people have these dormant talents that emerge many years later. So I second Jeff’s statement.

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