Jeremiah Goodman, Portraitist of Gilded Homes, Dies at 94

“In a digital age, Jeremiah reminded us what the hand could achieve before it was replaced by the eye of photography,” said Dean Rhys Morgan, Mr. Goodman’s curator and friend.

In its online obituary, Architectural Digest quoted Bunny Williams, the interior decorator, as saying, “No one captured the magic of the great interiors of the past like Jeremiah Goodman.”

Mr. Goodman’s luminous watercolors and gouache (an opaque watercolor) contrasted strikingly with architectural renderings and computer-assisted designs.

“A ‘room painting’ differs from a rendering in that it is a portrait made after the job has been completed,” according to “The Illustrated Room: 20th Century Interior Design Rendering” (1997), edited by Virma Barr. “In a sense, it is superior in preserving the essential mood of an interior once it has been dismantled or revamped, even if there is a photographic record.”

Photo

Mr. Goodman’s 2011 painting of an East Hampton sitting room.

Credit
via Dean Rhys Morgan

Architectural Digest described Mr. Goodman’s interior portraits as “swoonily cinematic: atmospheric, overripe with mood and drama, all slashings of light, dramatic shadows, lush textures and lip-smacking palettes.”

“He made four-poster beds seem Everest-high,” the magazine added, “chinoiserie wallpapers look like savage jungles, and spacious rooms appear absolutely cavernous.”

Irving Jeremiah Goodman was born on Oct. 22, 1922, in Niagara Falls, N.Y., to Louis Goodman and the former Anna Cohen, Jewish immigrants from Russia who owned a general store.

No immediate family members survive.

Photo

Mr. Goodman earlier this year.

Credit
Thomas Dang Vu

Mr. Goodman signed his works with only his middle name; it sounded more artistic than either his first name or his full name, he later explained.

When he was about 5, he broke his right arm rolling down a hill after falling out of the back seat of his parents’ car while it was moving. While he was convalescing, he was given a box of crayons and taught himself to draw with his left hand, which he did for the rest of his life.

He graduated from the Franklin School of Professional Art in New York City and took courses in interior decoration and commercial illustration at the New…

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