Cynthia Whitman was intrigued by contour lines and color at an early age.  One of her earliest memories is that of outlining one of her brother’s enlarged baby photographs, going over all of the contours that were visible in the image with a crayon, and getting into a heap of trouble.  In addition, it became clear to her that attempting to memorize color and creating pleasing color combinations was difficult but worthwhile. 

     While at the International School of Geneva she produced handmade urns and paintings of dancers on ceramic plates.  During the 1980’s, she relocated to the east coast of the United States and studied oil painting under Mel Leipzig, a former Rhodes Scholar, whose vast attention to detail was a major influence that became a vital part of her surrealistic cityscapes.  At the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, she earned an MFA while studying under Robert Cooke, Hanniline Rogeberg, Mel Edwards, Phil Orenstein, and Judith Brodsky.  At this time, she also held the position of seminar instructor at Princeton University, which led to her early paintings becoming part of the permanent collection of Wilson College, Princeton University.

     At the turn of the century, she relocated to upstate New York.  She credits her husband’s guidance for a change in direction that led to her devoting more of her time on painting.  Other important influences were the works of Milton Avery, whose use of flat space has been a model for her surrealism, and Picasso. Venues at which she has had exhibitions are:  Rutgers University, Princeton University, and galleries in Manchester Vermont, and Kingston, New York.

     Through her work she aspires to continue some part of her father’s surrealistic vision.  Her father, Robert Whitman is one of the cofounders of Experiments in Art and Technology, EAT, along with Robert Rauschenberg, Billy Kluver, and Fred Waldhauer.  Furthermore, he has been a pioneer in the field of performance art.  She was one of a number of reporters who participated in her father’s performance piece, “Local Report,” which opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2005.  In addition, her stepmother, Sylvia Palacios Whitman, is a recognized artist in her own right.  When Cynthia complained that she could not produce realistic renderings of any kind, her stepmother said, “Thank God,” and the seeds of encouragement were born! Of course we know that realism is an important part of the art world.

     Finally, she is proud to come from a family heritage filled with creativity, which includes ancestors who were instrumental in the founding of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and who served as presidents of the museum.