Photo © Tabitha Barnard

Photo © Tabitha Barnard





The Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation has opened its new national headquarters at 13 Brown Street in Portland, Maine. It is an artist-endowed charitable foundation created in 1999 to preserve and share the work of Leo Rabkin and administer grant programs in the visual arts.

The Rabkin Foundation headquarters at 13 Brown Street features an exhibition space to show Leo’s work. He is known for his color-saturated watercolors and innovative box constructions in plastic, wood and found materials. The display will change throughout the year.  We are also charged with the care of our art collection, sharing it with students and the general public and creating an archive of data on the Rabkins’ life for use by scholars and researchers.  

Our grant program will commence in 2017 and will focus upon the contributions of visual art journalists to the cultural life of our nation. Writers play an essential role in any vibrant arts community but are too seldom acknowledged and often poorly paid. The intellectual and creative contributions of visual arts journalists help sustain and shape artists’ careers. Reviews, articles, blogs, narrative videos and other forms of critical writing provide the first historical record of living art communities. Awards will be given by nomination with the input of a panel of art world experts.

The new space at 13 Brown Street is a place to share and enjoy art, to support the foundation’s grant programs and to celebrate artists and writers. You are welcome to visit when you come to Portland, Maine.





The Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation was created in 1999 with a mission to promote the visual arts through exhibitions, publications and other means of dissemination of information.  The Foundation has received a significant bequest from the estate of Leo Rabkin (1919-2015) including most of the artistic works he created during his lifetime.  The Foundation intends to use this bequest to carry out the following objectives:


  • The Foundation will advance the public understanding and appreciation of the artistic work of Leo Rabkin, conserve his art works and preserve his legacy by distributing art by Leo Rabkin through donations to museums and through sales to museums and others.


  • The Foundation will develop a national grant program for visual art journalists honoring Leo Rabkin’s keen interest in art criticism, artists and writers.  


  • The Foundation also intends to donate to cultural organizations that address underserved areas in visual arts philanthropy, especially regarding folk and outsider art which Dorothea and Leo Rabkin greatly admired and collected.  






Nancy Karlins Thoman, Ph.D.

Art Historian, Critic, New York City


Executive Director:

Susan C. Larsen, Ph.D.

Art Historian, Archivist, Curator, Portland, Maine



Edgar Allen Beem

Author, Critic, Columnist, Brunswick, Maine



Deborah Irmas

Author, Critic, Curator, Los Angeles, California