Frances Kornbluth was born in New York City in 1920, the oldest of three children she was the subject of a wide range of influences. Members of her extended family included a dress designer, Zigfield Follies performer, a music editor at Columbia Pictures, and a singer with the original Hammerstein quartet. After her dream of becoming a composer was discouraged she decided to follow her creative pursuits by first enrolling at Brooklyn College, then Brooklyn Museum of Art School, and continuing her education at the Pratt Institute. While at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School, her teacher Reuben Tam introduced Kornbluth to Monhegan Island and encouraged her to enter competitions and exhibit her work. Robert Richenberg, her mentor at Pratt, also greatly influenced her work.
Kornbluth has won numerous awards including several from the National Association of Women Artists, participated in exhibitions in Europe, New York and throughout New England, and is held in private collection. She regularly takes part in the open artist studio programs on Monhegan and near her permanent home in northeastern Connecticut.
The works in Overview, ranging from the late 1950s to the present, are the highlights of a vast body of work on paper and in various media, representing the artist's life-long search for meaning and order through imagination and the act of creation. The natural environment is the primary source of Frances Kornbluth's inspiration, particularly that of northeastern Connecticut and Monhegan Island in Maine, where she has summered for the last forty years. The rich stimulation of these locales has moved here beyond "scenery", to the discovery of metaphor in the landscape and order in life's experiences. Ms. Kornbluth's work was recently described as capturing "the joy and wonder of nature, the change of seasons, and the artist's moods and memories. The gentle humor and sharp observation may remind viewers of ... Paul Klee's work, but the vocabulary and feeling ... are completely her own."
“My art reflects a philosophy of openness and trust in my life. My growth as an artist has come about from being open to experience and the world around me, as well as from sharing the rich heritage of artists of the past. "OVERVIEW" presents highlights of an ongoing flow in images and ideas in all mediums. I have experimented in two and three dimensions with a variety of processes and materials.
Creating forms with a minimum of preconception has been a driving force throughout my adult life. Using criteria based on values learned through formal education and, increasingly, on intuition, I have learned to trust my judgment and honor the hidden meanings of what often appears to be accidental.
Time has been an important factor in the working process - knowing when to set a piece aside as the flow of energy and ideas diminishes and having the patience to wait for solutions to technical problems that I myself have created. I have gained the perspective to recognize what appears to be unfamiliar and new on the canvas and relate that to artistic expression of other times and places, incorporating it into a language of my own.
Though I am constantly fed by other disciplines such as music, film and literature, the natural environment has been my primary source. The rich stimulation provided by northeastern Connecticut and by Monhegan Island, Maine, where I have summered for the past four decades, has allowed me to go beyond visual "scenery" to create a broader synthesis using all my senses. Through discovering metaphors in the landscape, connecting many different aspects of experience, and bringing these perceptions to the studio, I have been able to make order of the chaos that impacts and pervades life at this time.”