Robert De Niro Presents Catherine Murphy With the Robert De Niro Sr. Prize

Catherine Murphy and Robert De Niro
Award recipient Catherine Murphy with Robert De Niro at the Robert De Niro Sr. Prize reception. Photo Dave Allocca/Starpix.

Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro hosted a reception on February 25 honoring Catherine Murphy as the winner of this year’s Robert De Niro Sr. Prize. Based in Poughkeepsie, New York, the artist is the third recipient of the US$25,000 annual award, which recognizes outstanding mid-career American painters. 

Murphy is a graduate of Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute and has also received two National Endowment for the Arts Grants (in 1979 and 1989), a Guggenheim Fellowship (in 1982), and was elected a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 2002. The visual arts chair at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, Murphy was previously a senior critic at the Yale University School of Art for 22 years.

The prize is administered by the Tribeca Film Institute and presented in memory of Robert De Niro Sr. (1922–1993)who, in addition to bequeathing his name to his more famous son, enjoyed a successful career as an Abstract Expressionist painter. The elder De Niro exhibited in New York at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery during the 1940s, and has work in the permanent collections of institutions such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, and the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York.

Robert De Niro and Robert De Niro Sr. Prize Winners

This year’s winner, Catherine Murphy, 2012 winner Stanley Whitney, Robert De Niro, and 2013 winner Joyce Pensato at the Robert De Niro Sr. Prize reception. Photo Dave Allocca/Starpix.

In addition to his acting career, the younger De Niro owns New York’s Greenwich Hotel, which hosted the evening’s festivities and prominently displays several of his father’s paintings in the lobby. Also on hand for reception were the award’s two previous winners, Stanley Whitney (2012) and Joyce Pensato (2013), and the members of this year’s jury: Lindsay Pollock, editor-in-chief of Art in America; Susan Davidson, senior curator of collections and exhibitions at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; art critic and painter Peter Plagens; and Robert Storr, dean of Yale University’s School of Art.


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