Gary RosenthalI began sculpting when he dropped out of college over a girl in 1974. Many said Gary Rosenthal had no natural talent but with a lot of hard work, he earning a living melting metal together and he could say he was independently poor by the 1980's. Gary Rosenthal's artistic mission was to create contemporary Judaica that would be beautiful enough to leave out on display even when it was not being used. When he started it was difficult to find shops to display and sell something Jewish (another story) but by the 1990's Gery Rosenthal had 50+ employees creating Judaica and after a visit for a nationally syndicated story the Associated Press writer called his studio "Santa’s workshop for Jewish people". He was ahead of the curve and rode the wave to become one of the most successful Judaica artists in the world. Gary Rosenthal's work is presented to presidents and prime ministers and it has been sold in finer shops from the Corning Museum of Glass to the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery of American Crafts.
For gary Rosenthal crafting Judaica was much more than creating the function and the aesthetics. He saw art as a way to empower people through work and was honored by Jewish Vocational Services many years ago as the outstanding employer in the Washington area for hiring and training a dozen Russians when jobs were hard to find in that community. Classic Glass have several autistic associates on staff--and they are important to the operation and great to have as part of the team. Art is also a way to engage people and with our Hiddur Mitzvah project we use community arts programming to create opportunities for mitzvah.
Today the Gary Rosenthal Collection continues to create new work that is their best ever and they believe that their best designs are still to come. Classic Glass are also developing new mitzvah program based on art and Gary Rosenthal is getting ready to launch the International Hiddur Mitzvah Center -- a center that will combine art, education and social action.
Connect with Gary Rosenthal on LinkedIn.
See his work at Classic Glass.