About Thor Rinden

Thor Rinden

March 1985
Duck, North Carolina


Thor Rinden was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, in 1937, and graduated from the University of Iowa. After serving in the Army in Southeast Asia and Alaska, he moved to New York and married Jane Lucille Herb, an English teacher, in 1963. New York had been a magnet for him ever since reading his father’s Men’s Wear magazines as a boy. Initially, he worked at Brooks Brothers while attending graduate school at Hunter College, studying with art historians William Rubin and Leo Steinberg, and artists George Sugarman, Vincent Longo, Raymond Parker, Tony Smith, and Ralph Humphrey. After receiving his M.A. in Art, he taught art for nine years and held part-time jobs at the Guggenheim Museum and in the Garment District before making the decision to paint full time.

Thor Rinden


While geometric abstraction remained Rinden’s passion into the 1990’s, his facility with many different styles can be traced through his entire career, and he has done more figurative painting in recent years.

With his wife Rinden has traveled widely and restored and renovated his Brooklyn brownstone and shore cottage almost singlehandedly, pleasures that often became an extension of his art. In addition, writing poetry has been a lively supplement to his painting, and in 2009 he published Subway Seizures, a book of poetry and drawings from his notebooks of over forty years.