Arnold A. Saltzman of Sands Point passed away at home with his family beside him on Jan. 2.
Arnold was a diplomat, art collector and a businessman. He was also a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. In keeping with the way he embraced life, he was at work until two weeks ago at his Manhattan office.
Among his proudest accomplishments was assuming direction and revitalizing the Nassau County Museum of Fine Arts in Roslyn. “I always enjoyed working with Arnold as a trustee on the museum’s board,” said Angela Anton, publisher of Anton Newspapers. “He always had such great insight.
“One of my fondest memories was dancing with him at the museum’s ball,” Angela said. “He was a great man who did a lot with his philanthropic endeavors. He will be missed.”
Clarence F. Michalis, President of the Nassau County Museum of Fine Arts Board of Trustees, issued the following statement: “The Nassau County Museum of Art mourns the passing of its Founding President, Amb. Arnold A. Saltzman. He was central to the Museum’s governance from its founding in 1989. We will greatly miss his guiding wisdom and outstanding generosity.”
Arnold undertook diplomatic assignments for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. In 1967, he marched in a Washington, DC, demonstration holding his hand-made sign, “Businessmen Against the Vietnam War.”
In 1968, he received a Presidential Commendation for his work on the Atomic Weapons Non-proliferation Treaty. He was a close friend and senior adviser to Senator Hubert Humphrey during his run for President, and was chairman of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and worked on US relations with the USSR, and later with the new republics after it broke up.
Reciprocating at Columbia College, which he attended, Arnold served as chairman of the Board of Trustees. He established the much-admired Double Discovery program, pairing college and Harlem students. He received the Columbia University Medal, and the Institute for War and Peace Studies, founded by President Eisenhower, was later named for Arnold.
Grateful for his own opportunity, Arnold has given scores of scholarships both through university programs, and directly to young people eager to learn and in need of a financial leg up. At the 2012 Columbia College commencement, he walked behind the Class of 1936 banner, its sole representative, to the cheers of the new graduates.
An art history class he took kindled a lifelong love of art. Arnold collected throughout his life, astutely studying and chasing paintings and sculpture—in New York and Europe, at artists’ studios, auction houses and art dealers buying, trading, and selling.
He made a major gift of his German Expressionist paintings to the National Gallery of Art in Washington. He was a Trustee of the Baltimore Museum of Art.
He and wife Joan established the Joan and Arnold Saltzman Center for Community Services at Hofstra University, and a group home in Glen Cove with the YAI Network. Arnold was a Trustee of North Shore University Hospital and Maimonides Hospital and a major donor to the New York Public Library. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Hofstra and Adelphi Universities. He adored his five grandchildren—Xylon Saltzman; Chloe Saltzman, Gabriel Saltzman; Ian Gottschalk; Michael Saltzman; and two great-grandchildren, Theo and Saskia Saltzman and they loved and admired him.
He was devoted to his granddaughter, Chloe, who was born with disabilities. Arnold was like a father to his nephew and nieces, Rick Salwen, Laura Salwen, Barbara Dash and Muriel Wolf. The love of Arnold’s life was, and remained to his last day, his remarkable wife, Joan, who survives him. Everyone recognized this, as in this toast at his 80th birthday, “To the best thing about Arnold—Joan.” To which Arnold promptly assented. Services were held at Temple Beth-El, Great Neck, Monday, Jan. 6. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Joan and Arnold Saltzman Center for Community Services at Hofstra University.