Harold Jacob Bruder (born August 31, 1930) is an American realist painter. In 1984, he was honored with a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He is a former professor of art, working with the Kansas City Art Institute, Pratt Institute, National Academy of Design, Aspen Art Museum, and Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY). He served as the Chairman of the Art Department at CUNY, where he taught painting and drawing for 30 years, retiring in 1995, as Professor Emeritus.
Bruder was born in 1930 in Bronx, New York. He studied at High School of Music and Art and Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. He studied singing privately during this period and those experiences later influenced his writings and lectures on early opera singers. He graduated from Cooper Union in 1951.
After graduating from college, Bruder worked as a graphic designer and art director in Manhattan for 12 years, while painting privately and occasionally exhibiting. During this time, he studied printmaking at the Pratt Graphic Art Center.
In 1962, Bruder's first one-person show of genre paintings, derived from family photographs at the Robert Isaacson Gallery drew considerable attention in the press and art magazines. In 1963, his work was included in the Corcoran Gallery of Art biennial art exhibition in Washington, D.C., and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts annual art exhibition in Philadelphia.
In 1963, Bruder moved to Kansas City, Missouri with his family, and became Chairman of the Graphic Design Department at the Kansas City Art Institute. He taught painting the second year and exhibited at the Art Institute in 1964, as well as the prestigious Durlacher Bros. Gallery (owned by Robert Isaacson) in New York City.
In 1965, Bruder returned to New York from Kansas City. He subsequently joined the faculty of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, and Queens College of the City University of New York, teaching in the art departments. While he left the Fashion Institute and Pratt Institute after one year, he continued working with CUNY for over 30 years.
In the summer of 1967, Bruder taught at the Aspen School of Contemporary Art in Aspen, Colorado.
Bruder's work was featured in numerous exhibits over the next few years that focused on "New Realism". In 1970, he was one of the original group of realist painters in the Whitney Museum of American Art's "22 Realists", along with Chuck Close, Audrey Flack, and Philip Pearlstein.
In the late 1970s, he began "The Vault Series", a group of six large paintings of draperies stretched across a wall that were exhibited at the Queens Museum of Art in 1982, and later at the Armstrong Gallery in New York in 1984. The reviews commented on Bruder's concern with renaissance-like tactility, air, and light, comparing Bruder with Titian and Michelangelo.
Over the next decade, Bruder continued exhibiting regularly at Durlacher Bros., Armstrong Gallery, and Forum Gallery, as well as in numerous museum and gallery group exhibitions throughout the United States.
In 1965, he returned to New York from Kansas City. He joined the faculty of Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY). He taught painting and drawing there for 30 years, serving as Chairman of the Art Department in the early 1980s, retiring in 1995, as Professor Emeritus.
After retirement from CUNY, Bruder briefly joined the staff at the National Academy of Design in New York City.
Hirshhorn Museum of the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.