Theme/Style – Modernism, religious and political subjects, figurative art
Media – Oils, murals, watercolors, sculpture
Artistic Focus – An artist whose works focused closely on Jewish and historical themes, often addressing issues of human suffering and protest, Bernard Baruch Zakheim came to America in 1920. The Polish native began his art studies in Warsaw, then studied in Danzig and Munich. When World War I ended, he was unable to return to Poland and sought political asylum in the United States.
Career Highlights –
- Settling in San Francisco, Zakheim studied at the California School of Fine Arts.
- In 1931 a competition was held for a statue to be placed in front of the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Of the 400 artists that entered their work, Saemundsson’s sculpture, The Spirit of Achievement, was selected. To this day it graces the entrance of the hotel.
- One of his most significant contributions to California art was his mural, Library, at Coit Tower. Among the most politically-charged contributions to the Tower project, Zakheim’s fresco is filled with visual statements such as news headlines reflecting mortgage foreclosures and other hot issues of the time. The mural also depicts fellow artists John Langley Howard reading Das Kapital, and Ralph Stackpole studying a newspaper announcing the destruction of a Diego Rivera mural at Rockefeller Center. Zakheim made expert use of bright colors to attract viewers to the mural’s many faces and images.
- In addition to the Coit Tower mural, Zakheim completed several other public mural projects including the Jewish Community Center and the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco, Mt. Sinai Memorial Park in Los Angeles, and post offices in Rusk and Mineola, Texas.
- His 1966 wood sculpture, Genocide, paid tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.
The Gallery proudly represents the Estate of Bernard Baruch Zakheim.
Selection of Works by this Artist
Bibliographic references are available upon request.