PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Walter S. Feldman passed away May 20 surrounded by his wife of 67 years, Barbara, and his family. He was the son of the late Hyman and Fannie (Gordon) Feldman. Feldman, who retired from the Brown University art department in 2007, was a Visual Art Professor Emeritus at Brown who remained devoted to his students and the Brown community. In 1953, he was appointed to the art faculty at Brown, where he served for more than 50 years. In 1957, he was awarded a senior Fulbright fellowship and worked in painting and mosaics in Rome.
Feldman received numerous awards and critical praise spanning a lifetime of achievement over seven decades. His paintings were shown in numerous one-man and group exhibitions in New York, Mexico City, London, Milan and Boston. Since 1985, he had designed and published books under the Ziggurat Press imprint he created. His books are in more than 150 public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Brown University dedicated the Walter Feldman Book Arts Studio at the John Hay Library in 2005, where more than 300 books created by Feldman’s students are housed.
Profoundly shaped by his experiences and his injuries as a WWII soldier, which influenced his art throughout his life, Feldman was a constant source of strength, inspiration and courage to all who knew him. He was born in 1925 in Lynn, Massachusetts. After high school, he became a student at the Yale School of Fine Arts in 1942. After one semester, he joined the Army and served for two years, which included serving in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded a Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge for that service.
In 2014, Feldman established the Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists, a fellowship administered by the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston that exhibits recipients’ works in the Walter Feldman Gallery in Boston.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons Steven and Mark; his daughter-in-law, Gloria Barone Rosanio; his granddaughter, Kaitlyn Pettit; two great-granddaughters, Payton and Avery Pettit; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904.