Art Creative 04

Barbara (Bodner) Bernstein

May 10, 1935 ~ June 27, 2021 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Barbara Bernstein Obituary

On June 27, 2021, Barbara Bernstein, loving wife and mother of three children passed away at the age of 86 from chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.


Barbara was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1935 to Andy and Hattie (Kruger) Bodner, and grew up in Linden, New Jersey.  She married Joseph Bernstein on December 18, 1954.   She raised two sons, Eric and David, and a daughter, Sara.


Barbara was a well-known local artist.  A colorist whose work evokes the legacy of the French Impressionists, she produced countless landscapes and interiors in both oils and watercolors and was a founding member of Art/Place Gallery.


In her rich life Barbara participated in more than 200 group and national juried shows such as the prestigious Allied Artists of America, the Salmagundi, and Art of the Northeast.  She won more than 40 awards including the Grumbacher Gold Medallion for outstanding achievement in oil painting from the New Haven Paint and Clay Club.  She was a juried artists member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society, Connecticut Women Artists and the New Haven Paint and Clay Club.  Her works are in the collections of General Electric Corp. the town of Westport and many others. 


Passionate about art and education, she received two graduate degrees, in teaching and education and went on to teach art in the Westport, Connecticut school system for many years.


She was also known for her commitment to social justice.  She participated in the March on Washington (1963) where Martin Luther King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  She protested the wars in Vietnam and Iraq in weekly vigils and was arrested for civil disobedience while protesting the mining of Haiphong Harbor and escalation of the war in Vietnam. 


Barbara was also passionate about travel, often bringing her sketch books and watercolors on her diverse treks.  She traveled extensively throughout Europe, as well as to such far-flung destinations as China, Thailand, Vietnam, India, South Africa, Costa Rica and New Zealand.


Barbara was preceded in death by her father Andy, her mother Hattie, her brother Albert and her sister Alice.  She is survived by her husband Joseph, her three children, Eric, Sara and David, two nephews and many cousins.  Services are private.  In lieu of flowers donate to Planned Parenthood or the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

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