Art show celebrates life of a true North Fork local

Bob Rothman was a real North Fork local. He was born at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, where he died last month at age 84.

A second-generation shopkeeper, Mr. Rothman was also an artist, pilot and photographer. On Saturday, Jan. 28, his aerial photographs and oil paintings will be on display at ART in Southold, the family-owned gallery located next to Rothman’s Department store on Main Street in Southold.

Son Ron Rothman said his father did most of his painting in the 1960s. In recent years, he said, the senior Mr. Rothman painted “from time to time, when inspired,” usually in the winter.

“But his painting was not something he flaunted,” Ron Rothman said. He said his father “always took photographs, going back to high school.” In the 1990s, Mr. Rothman took aerial photographs of the North Fork from aircraft he rented from Mattituck airbase, the same place he’d earned his private pilot’s license decades earlier, while attending Southold High School. Some of these photographs will be for sale, along with other photographs he took over the course of his life.

Ron Rothman described his father as “limitless. He rode his bike up to the week before he died and, like all good fathers, he could do anything and fix anything.”

Bob Rothman took full control of the family store in the late 1970s after the death his father, David Rothman.

“It was a good way to make a living on the North Fork,” Ron Rothman said. The department store has been in operation for 93 years. The opening reception for Mr. Rothman’s works begins at 5 p.m. The show will include Ron Rothman’s hand-colored photo prints and paintings by artist Stacy Brandfon, a gallery assistant.

Music will be provided by Crazy Helen, Southold Slim and the Park Ave. Gypsies.

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