WILLIAMSBURG, VA.- Jay Robinson (Detroit; 1 August 1915 9 Jan. 2019) graduated from Yale University in 1937, and later attended Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where he studied painting under Zoltan Sepeshy, sculpture with Marshall Fredericks and metal work with Harry Bertoia. During World War II Robinson worked in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with architect Eero Saarinen.
Robinson had his first one-man show in 1947 at the Guggenheim Museum of Non-Objective Painting in NYC. He is represented in the permanent collections of museums, corporations, universities and private collections here and abroad.
Overseas travel to make sketches for later paintings in the studio began with a Tiffany fellowship to the old Belgian Congo in 1950. He returned in 1954 to the Congo and countries along the West African coast, East Africa and South Africa. In 1959 he traveled at length in India and Nepal; and in 1965 Malaysia, Thailand, Borneo, and Ceylon. Exhibitions resulted from all of these trips, and time spent on ocean Liners and freighters inspired paintings on just The Ocean itself.
Work here in the U. S. was on the theme of Kentucky (52 and 53). A life-long lover of Jazz, Robinson did many paintings of bands and specific players. American paintings also included landscapes, industrial scenes, commissioned portraits, and non-objective work. Interspersed were commercial assignments for murals, book illustrations, textile and ceramic design.
Robinsons painting style ranged from the non-objective (abstract) through semi-abstraction to representational, using all painting media (oil, acrylic, watercolor, India ink) and mixed media with gold leaf and aluminum leaf, sheet metal and wood.