Faculty Hofstra University Museum

Hofstra Saddened by the Passing of Prof. Emeritus Yonia Fain

Yonia Fain, professor emeritus of art history and an internationally acclaimed artist and poet, died today. He was 100. Mr. Fain employed powerful visual imagery in his canvases and works on paper to pay tribute to the memories of those lost during the Holocaust.

Yonia Fain with Sigma’cappella at the Hofstra University Museum opening
Yonia Fain with Sigma’cappella at the Hofstra Univ. Museum opening of the 2012 exhibition in his honor

Born in the Ukraine in 1913, Mr. Fain’s family fled Bolshevik Russia. He outran Nazi troops in Poland, survived the Shanghai Ghetto of World War II, and after the war made his way to Mexico where he was befriended by the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Mr. Fain arrived in the U.S. in 1953 and was in a number of Whitney annuals and one-man shows. In 2001, the National Holocaust Museum included his work in the group show Flight and Rescue. He was the author of five books of Yiddish poetry and served as the President of the Yiddish Pen Society.

Mr. Fain served on the faculty of Hofstra University’s Department of Fine Arts, Design and Art History from 1971-1985. In 2012 he attended the opening of the Hofstra University Museum exhibition in his honor, Yonia Fain: Remembrance.

Top photo: Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs Herman Berliner and Executive Director of the Hofstra University Museum Beth Levinthal with Yonia Fain at the April 2012 opening of the exhibition Yonia Fain: Remembrance. 

About the author

Ginny Greenberg

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  • Thank you Ms. Greenberg, for your article on my Uncle Yonia. We will miss his witty comments and insights into his 100 years on this earth. My Aunt Hellen died in 2002 and I know it was difficult for him to carry on without her. Thank you again for your article. Jacquie Arends

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