Questions for Courtroom Artist Jane Rosenberg
Since the 1980s, the Brooklynborn courtroom artist Jane Rosenberg has won attention for her trial portraits of Bernard Madoff, Woody Allen, Leona Helmsley, Anthony Weiner and others, broadcast over all major TV networks. Most recently, her sketches from the prosecution of Harvey Weinstein in downtown Manhattan for rape and other crimes went viral for their batrachian images of the movie producer. Trained at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Art Students League, Rosenberg is also a painter of cityscapes. Recently, Rosenberg spoke with the Forward’s Benjamin Ivry about the trials of being a courtroom artist.
BENJAMIN IVRY: Your artwork from the Harvey Weinstein trial focused on the producer’s belly as the salient point: Al Hirschfeld said that in his quick drawings from life inspired by performances, he tried to capture one main feature of any subject. Is courtroom art like that?
JANE ROSENBERG: I can’t say I just went after that one main feature. I had to try to get his face in there, too, in just a few seconds as I saw him walk by. His belly was thrust forward, and it was very difficult, very challenging. His whole appearance was 10 minutes, and I did two sketches in that time and I didn’t see him all that time. [Weinstein] was so dazed and confused, he walked right towards where I was. I guess I was looking down at that belly. Then he went back and sat on a bench. I tried to capture it all the best I could, in the quick moment I had.