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News Release

Date: November 9, 2005
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

Montgomery College Publishes Book on Sculptor and Lifelong Student, Sarah Silberman
Book Signing by 96-Year-Old Silver Spring Artist at Rockville Campus, Nov. 15

PHOTO EDITORS: For high-resolution images to accompany this release, go to:

Montgomery College has just published “The Genius of Sarah Silberman: A Lifetime Student of Sculpture,” a book that explores the ageless artistry of 96-year-old Sarah Silberman.  Silberman took classes at the College’s Rockville Campus up until her 95th year and goes down in MC history as its oldest student.
“The Genius of Sarah Silberman” was written by John Beshoar, a Montgomery College art professor and friend of Silberman for many years, and designed by Jane Knaus, the College’s creative director in the Office of Communications.

Piecing together more than 75 years of Silberman’s creative life and artistic evolution, as she remembers it, Beshoar traces her progress from early emigrant years to her student years in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. to her studio in the woods of Silver Spring, Md. Accompanying photographs of her works show Silberman’s mastery of clay, plaster, alabaster, wood, and metal, from classical to abstract.

Silberman studied sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1928–1933) under Albert Laessle and Walker Hancock, and at the Corcoran (1930s– 1940s) under Robert Laurent and Heinz Warneke. As a student she won several prestigious awards, including the Stimson and Stewardson prizes and a Cresson traveling fellowship in recognition of her high quality work. She exhibited her work in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., until 1950, when she began building a studio and house on a wooded lot in Silver Spring.

For the next 30 years, Silberman cut herself off completely from the Washington art scene and worked privately in her studio. In 1981, she enrolled in art classes at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus, where she became “resident artist,” friend, and mentor to students and teachers in more than 170 courses. She does not sell her work, but at age 96, she hopes they are exhibited so that people can enjoy them.

In October, Silberman received the Montgomery College Arts Stars Lifetime Achievement Award for her enduring contributions to Montgomery College students, faculty, and the community. In 2004, an exhibit of her artwork, co-curated by Professor Beshoar, was held at the Rockville Campus, the first time an MC student was ever honored with a solo exhibit.

The book, which is being sold for $40 by the Montgomery College Foundation, is available for purchase by calling 301-251-7491. Proceeds from the sale of “The Genius of Sarah Silberman,” will directly support art students through the Montgomery College Arts Institute.


Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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