FFRF Lifetime Member Judith Grunberg died on Aug. 30 in Albany. N.Y., at age 86.
Born and raised in Manhattan, N.Y., she attended the Dalton school and was an amateur flutist and choral singer, and loved the Broadway theatre. She studied art at Bennington College (class of 1955), and, after college, drawing and painting in Rome. She married Paul Grunberg in 1960, and they moved to Chatham, N.Y., in 1965, where they raised four sons. She created an extensive garden of vegetables and flowers for her family and became involved in the local art scene, becoming the first artistic director of the Columbia County Council on the Arts in 1965, a role she held for two decades.
In 1996, Grunberg and her husband acquired the Blue Plate restaurant in
Chatham, and she had owned and operated it since then. Among her many contributions, she was a prolific designer of logos for local businesses and nonprofits, including The Chatham Bookstore, Handcrafters Art Supplies, Columbia County Council on the Arts, Options clothing store in Albany, Chatham Real Food Market, and Rewraps clothing store. In 1999, Grunberg founded PS21 (Performance Spaces for the 21st Century), a nonprofit in Chatham that recently completed the realization of her three- decade-long dream — the construction of a 300-seat open air pavilion and 99-seat black box theatre on the grounds of an apple orchard with sweeping views. She founded the Rewraps clothing store on Main Street to benefit PS21, and served as the president of PS21 until her death.
Grunberg had a number of shows of her work, including “Close But Not Art” (sculpture and found objects, receiving 3rd place in Metroland’s Top Ten Shows of the Year 1998), and retrospective “Judy Grunberg: Past and Present,” at Time & Space Limited in Hudson; “Across the Table” (line drawings) at Ralph’s Cafe, Necessary Lines gallery and other venues; and most recently, “At the Feeder & On the Street” (photography), at TSL in 2019.