Allen L. Epstein


Died July 9, 1993

College: Davenport

Children: Lauran, 1966

Allen Epstein died July 9, 1993, of lymphatic cancer, a battle that he had been engaged in for all of his adult life. His daughter Lauran was born September 1, 1966, and survives him.

Allen prepared for Yale at the Bronx High School of Science. He entered with the Class of 1962 but advanced to 1961. In 1959 and 1960 he was a Ranking Scholar. After graduation he lived for a number of years in New York City. In the mid 1970’s he moved to Rosendale, New York, where he designed and built a living space in a former school house.

Allen’s initial commitment to the arts was through poetry, but by the end of the 1960’s he had dedicated himself to the visual arts. First in his studio on East Third Street and later in the New Paltz environment, he produced hundreds of drawings, paintings, prints, and photographs. He did extensive work with videotape and television production. In the 1985 Alumni Directory, during the infancy of our present technological communications, he illustrated his forward thinking and avant garde nature by describing his vocational pursuits as “art and electronic publisher.”

When I have spoken to others who knew Allen about writing this tribute, they have pointed out the failure to capture his larger than life essence. Phillip Periman wanted me to narrate the way we met him, picking him up as a bearded stranger hitchhiking into the middle of the city for the 1969 March on Washington. Back in Phillip’s and Judy’s apartment that night, I told one of my favorite anecdotes from college years in which my Shakespeare teacher, Mr. Young, had dramatized a point by flashing the sword from his cane. Allen yelled, “That’s where I know you from!” We had spent a semester together in the twelve man seminar.

My close friend from New Paltz, who knew Allen because everyone connected to the arts community knew him, admitted that it was unlikely that I could describe him adequately. She reminded me that he was a fabulous, an outrageous person. His ego was much too large for any interior space. I cannot do justice to Allen’s character, but I can thank him for the difference he brought to our lives.

— by Charles Deahl