"Arthur J. Krakower (1921-2009) is an Atherton resident who found success as a painter late in life.
Mr. Krakower had a life-long interest in painting, and after retiring for the second time, he went back to school and earned a bachelor's degree in fine art from San Jose State University in 1999. At the age of 80, he became the oldest graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts (now called California College of the Arts), where he earned his master's degree in 2001.
Many of his evocative paintings and monotypes drew upon memories of his childhood in New York City in the 1930s. Successful solo shows at City Picture Frame Gallery in San Francisco drew art collectors by the bus-full. The gallery manager, Andra Norris, praised the innocence and enthusiasm evident in his work. Mr. Krakower was invited to make monotypes at Smith-Andersen Editions in Palo Alto, and etchings at Crown Point Press in San Francisco. He also was invited to artists' residencies in Otranto, Italy, and San Gregorio Ranch.
Two of his monotypes are part of the Smith-Andersen permanent collection at the deSassiet Museum at Santa Clara University. He once said that one of proudest accomplishments was when one of his paintings won a coveted spot on the wall in his own house.
"I kept doing things while I was working until finally, I decided I had to learn more, had to do more. I wanted to see how far I could go," he told The Almanac in 2003. Family and friends said they will remember him for always living life to the fullest, and for his energy and good humor."