Boothe is a recognized abstract painter who is also known for his accomplishments as a set designer for theater, dance and video productions and for his work as an independent filmmaker. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, received his BA from Colorado College and moved to New York in 1967 as a participant in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, where he studied both critical theory and studio art. In recognition of his mid-career accomplishments, in 1989 he received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Colorado College. He has continued his education by participating in many post graduate programs, including the University of California at Berkeley philosophy department and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.
In 1975 Boothe was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship and in 1985, a Guggenheim Fellowship for painting. His 18 solo exhibitions in New York received critical acclaim, and his work is represented in many public collections including the Guggenheim and Whitney Museums, the Museum of Modern Art and The British Museum. Boothe has designed sets for Obie-Award winning productions, collaborated as a visual artist with choreographers and musicians, and he has been the recipient of numerous NEA Inter-Arts grants, NYSCA Grants and a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Grant. In 1984 he received a Bessie Award for set design and in 1989 an Angel Award from the Film/Video Arts Foundation for film. His films have premiered at Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, The Collective for Living Cinema, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
As dean of Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford he oversaw a school with 320 undergraduate majors and a graduate program with 18, and a faculty and staff of approximately 50, as well as the Joseloff Gallery. The school offers BFA programs in ceramics, communications design, illustration, media arts/video, painting/drawing, photography, and sculpture.
Prior to his appointment at Hartford Art School he was the director of the School of Art at Ohio University (1998- 2001). He was co-director and artist-in-residence in the Maryland Institute, College of Art Graduate Program (1993-1998) where he received the Maryland Institute Trustees Award for Teaching Excellence. He was a lecturer in the Humanities at Princeton University (1988-1994) an adjunct instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York (1979-88) and has been a visiting artist and lecturer at many colleges and universities nationally.