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 Leon Bibel  (1912 - 1995)

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Lived/Active: New Jersey/California      Known for: mural, sculptor-miniature buildings

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Leon Bibel
An example of work by Leon Bibel
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following is from Debra Jan Bibel, Berkeley, California.  She is a niece of the artist:

Leon Bibel continued painting through 1941 and resumed work in both painting and especially wood sculpture by 1960.  He worked until his very last day in 1995.  His last series of large wood sculptures were modeled on spice boxes, which were miniature buildings, with towers, gates, flags, etc.  He also produced a very large series of shadow boxes and produced an extensive altar and ark to hold the Torah scrolls of a synagogue.

At the recommendation of Debra Jan Bibel, the following information was taken from the website:

Painter, printmaker and sculptor, Leon Bibel was born in San Francisco in 1913.  He trained at the California School of Fine Arts and received a scholarship to study under the German Impressionist Maria Riedelstein.  He worked in collaboration with Bernard Zackheim, a student of Diego Rivera, to create frescoes for the San Francisco Jewish Community Center and the University of California Medical School.

In 1936 Bibel moved from California to join the Federal Art Project at Harlem Art Center in New York.  He also taught at both P.S. 94 and Bronx House.

Bibel's program in the WPA ended in 1941, and he moved with his wife to South Brunswick, New Jersey.  In 1942, Bibel ceased his artistic pursuits and, in order to support his family, worked as a chicken farmer for twenty years.  Resuming his artistic work in the early 1960s, he continued to explore the mediums of painting and sculpture until his death.

Bibel's numerous exhibitions include: Newark Museum (1966, one-man); Jersey City Museum (1967); Hunterdon County Art Center, Clinton, NJ (1978); Monmouth College Art Festival (1978); Rutgers State University (1978); New Jersey State Museum (1978, one-man); Rider College, Lawrenceville, NJ (1983, one-man); Hillel Foundation of Rutgers (1985-86, one-man); Trenton State College (1985); Noyes Museum (1986); National Academy of Design (1987); Rutgers Labor Education Center (1988, one-man); Ellarslie Museum, Trenton, NJ (1990); Mercer County Community College, Trenton, NJ (1990); South Brunswick Public Library (1990-91, one-man); Hillel Foundation of Rutgers (1991); Trenton City Museum (1991); Noyes Museum (1991); Klutznick Museum, Washington, DC (1992); Joseph Gallery, Hebrew Union College (1992, one-man); National Jewish Museum (1992); and Hunterdon Art Center (1993, one-man).

His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Newark Museum, the Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers, the Amon Carter Museum, the Dade County Museum, the Klutznick Museum, the Art Collection of the Federal Reserve Board, Rutgers State University, Rider College, Ohio University, George University, and the New Brunswick State Theater as well as many corporate and private collections.

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Leon Bibel was born in Poland on May 1, 1912. Bibel was active in San Francisco in 1930-36 as an employee of the Federal Art Project. He died in Middlesex, NJ in March 1995. Works Held: State Museum Resource Center (Sacramento).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Census; Social Security Death Index (1940-2002).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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