People / Abraham Rogatnick

Architect, educator, actor, set designer, philanthropist, curator. Abraham Rogatnick received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in architecture from Harvard University, where he studied under Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus. Upon arrival in Vancouver, the arts community warmly embraced Rogatnick. Along with Alvin Balkind, Rogatnick co-established the New Design Gallery, the first commercial gallery of contemporary art in Vancouver. The New Design Gallery was critical in exhibiting and encouraging Vancouver’s fledgling arts community. He was also involved with the founding of what would become the Arts Club Theatre, which carried out an important series of dramatic presentations, lectures, and concerts, and was the interim director of the Vancouver Art Gallery (1974-1975). He then accepted a teaching position at the School of Architecture at the University of British Columbia, where he would work until 1985. There he initiated the study abroad program and profoundly influenced a whole generation of young architects with his innovative teaching methods and expansive breadth and depth of architectural knowledge. Shortly after retiring from the University of British Columbia, Rogatnick began a career as a character actor on stage and screen. Through his philanthropic work, Rogatnick has supported institutions such as Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. He passed away in Vancouver in August 2009.

  1. 02. Festival of the Contemporary Arts 1965
    Abraham Rogatnick (Ephemera)