A polymath whose brilliance spanned graphic arts to engineering, photography to ballet, typography to food – and beyond – died unexpectedly on June 23, 2020 at age 73 of natural causes.
Marvin was raised in the Bronx, New York by parents who, as U.S. citizens, had been interned in a camp in Colorado during WWII. He attended New York City public schools and graduated from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1967 with a degree in chemical engineering
But the arts beckoned: Marvin studied photography under Henry Holmes Smith at the University of Indiana, where he earned an MFA. He taught photography at Pratt Institute, design at Parsons School of Design, and then became a professor at Queens College, City University of New York, where he launched the graphic arts program and was a chair of the Art Department. His background in photography and graphic arts is reflected in his work as the designer of numerous books, including those by his close friend, Helen Levitt, for whom he was curatorial assistant.
His background in photography and graphic arts is reflected in his work as the designer of numerous books, including those by his close friend, Helen Levitt, for whom he was curatorial assistant.
Marvin was a life-long devotee of dance, and his contributions to the dance world were immense, if largely unknown. He designed Ballet Review, “The Premier Dance Journal,” for nearly four decades, becoming its editor in 2009. In 2013, he transformed the journal by introducing color photography. The result: issues filled with photos that popped off the page, a combination of his technical knowledge, astute eye, and masterful manipulation of color and tone.
With keen intellect, Marvin delighted in expressing his informed views and unique perspectives on the arts and their institutions, always given in their proper context, both artistic and historical, enlightening all of us with deep insights. We mourn Marvin Hoshino, our dear friend and colleague. His loss is irreparable.
Marvin is survived by his sister, Winnie (Joe), nephews David and Marc, and friends throughout the world whose lives are far richer for having been touched by his.