Kenneth M. Newman, former proprietor of The Old Print Shop and an expert on American nineteenth-century prints, died on May 8 at Stony Brook Hospital. He was 90.
Following a brief service as a deckhand in the Pacific Theater during World War II and as a carpenter building houses near home in Orient, N.Y., Kenneth joined his father Harry Shaw Newman in the antiquarian business in New York City in 1949. Working up from the shipping department of The Old Print Shop, he cultivated an expertise in prints, maps, and American art—notably, the work of Currier & Ives and John James Audubon.
Kenneth had no use for an office. He stood amidst The Old Print Shop’s bustle, welcoming all and sharing his professional passions. His enthusiasm for building private and public American art collections endures in his sons Robert and Harry’s management of the family business.
After a 64-year tenure, Ken hung up his suit and tie, retiring at age 86 to return to Orient, with his wife to the house they had built when they married. A 71-year veteran of the Orient Fire Department, Kenneth always considered Orient to be his home. He was a staple at the Country Store, where he chatted over coffee and sandwiches. Summers he spent riding his mower, gardening, and fishing. Winters he enjoyed hunting and iceboating.
Kenneth was a man who always had a twinkle in his eye and a warm smile. He appreciated a good ladder, enjoyed fireworks, and loved a cherry vanilla ice cream cone. He was a hell of a storyteller and had a laugh that filled the room. Most importantly, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Kenneth is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jerie Reeves Newman; four children: Janice Caufield and her husband Ed, Robert Newman and his wife Susan, Nancy Newman, and Harry Newman and his wife Claire; 10 grandchildren; and three great-granddaughters.
A celebration of Kenneth’s life will be held on Saturday, June 23.
Donations on his behalf may be made to the Orient Fire Department, the Orient Congregational Church, or the Oysterponds Historical Society.
This is a paid notice.