Daniel Altman. (Photo/Berkeleyside-Courtesy Altman family)
Daniel Altman. (Photo/Berkeleyside-Courtesy Altman family)

Remembering Daniel Altman, Israel-born architect who painted Bay Area scenes

This article first appeared in Berkeleyside and is reprinted with permission.

Daniel Altman, an architect who developed a great passion for painting, passed away peacefully on April 4, surrounded by his family in Glendale, Arizona.

Daniel was born on Aug. 8, 1936, to his mother, Hella, and his father, Helmut, in Israel. He grew up on Kibbutz Mizra. At age 18 he went to the Israeli army. After he returned from the army he went to a university in Israel called the Technion where he studied to be an architect.

He then transferred to UC Berkeley and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the College of Environmental Design in 1966. Later, Daniel studied construction and earned a master’s degree in construction management from the University of Florida. He became a land developer, builder and architect.

In his later years, he took up painting. For his paintings he used the mediums of oil, acrylic and watercolor. He mainly painted landscapes, cityscapes, still life, wildlife, and figures.

Cafe Strada in Berkeley, watercolor by Daniel Altman.
Cafe Strada in Berkeley, watercolor by Daniel Altman.

He would paint at his home in Berkeley, in the Elmwood area, near the UC Berkeley campus. He would also paint at his studio at the Firehouse Art Studio in the Gilman District. He would take classes with local art teachers and travel all over the world to paint. Some of his favorite places to paint were the Bay Area, New York City, Italy, France and Israel. He has an online art gallery created by him and his daughter Sharon Davis where you can check out his artwork and buy limited edition prints.

Daniel lived a very full life. His energy and love for life always lit up any room. One could not be with Danny and not have a smile on their face. His optimism and positivity was magnetic, and he touched the lives of so many.

Golden Gate Bridge, watercolor by Daniel Altman.
Golden Gate Bridge, watercolor by Daniel Altman.

Daniel is survived by his wife, Nancy Altman. They were married for almost 58 years. He is also survived by his two daughters from his marriage with Nancy — Sharon Davis and Michelle (Joshua) Smithey, who both live in Arizona — and by his son, Ziv Resnik who he had with his first wife, Ora, who lives in Israel. His half brother Joram (Barbara) Altman and half sister Maya Altman both currently live in the Bay Area. Daniel leaves behind seven grandchildren: Megan and Lizzie, Olivia and Joshua Jr., Chen, Shir and Nir. He also leaves behind four great grandchildren.

Daniel loved supporting the art community here in Berkeley and if you would like to donate in his memory, donations can be made to the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Megan Davis

Megan Davis is the granddaughter of Daniel Altman

Sharon Davis

Sharon Davis is the daughter of Daniel Altman.