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Kestleman, Morris


KESTLEMAN, MORRIS (often spelled Kestelman ; 1905–1998), painter. Born in the East End of London, he became head of the Fine Art Department of the Central School of Art. He was influenced by his teacher Bernard *Meninsky, and also by Van Gogh and Gauguin. Two Anglo-Jewish artists also influenced his career, the painter and illustrator Barnett *Freedman and the print-maker Michael Rothenstein. He developed an interest in theater design and made a distinguished contribution in this field. He became a member, and secretary, of the London Group, was later vice chairman of the United Kingdom branch of the International Association of Art, and was a fellow of the Royal Academy. His mature work was influenced by Matisse, Braque, and Picasso, and his emotional character was thus tempered by controlled and elegant design; the English critic Bryan Robertson once remarked, "Kestleman cannot be judged as an English painter; he is a Continental artist who happens to reside here." He belonged to the "second generation" of Anglo-Jewish artists, following the major figures of David *Bomberg, Mark *Gertler, etc. His daughter Sarah Kestelman is a well-known actress, painter, and poet in London.

[Charles Samuel Spencer]

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