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Nicky Imber
Portrait of a Rabbi Israeli judaica Oil Painting

c.1960

$2,000

About

Nicky Imber (Vienna, Austria, 1920 -1996) was a multidisciplinary Jewish artist best known for his sculptures on Jewish themes. Grand nephew of Naftali Herz Imber, author of the Israeli national anthem 'Hatikva'. After escaping the Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, he pledged to dedicate his art to perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust. Among his more famous works are "The Hope" and "The Love of Torah". His work can be seen around the world, in Northern Israel, the United States, and the Venezuelan Museum of Natural History in Caracas. Nicky Imber was born in Vienna, Austria. During his studies at the Academy of Arts in Vienna, he drew anti-Nazi caricatures for Jewish student publications. After several thwarted attempts by the family to leave Vienna, in 1938, in the wake of the 'Anschluss', Imber was deported to Dachau. Witnessing the murders of family and friends, he plotted his escape. Using skills he had learned in art school, he made a face mask out of bread and sand, stole a Nazi soldier's uniform and walked out the front gate unnoticed. In 1940, he boarded a ship headed to Haifa. The ship's passengers were refused entry by the British mandatory authorities and imprisoned in a detention camp in Mauritius. In 1943, Imber worked out a deal with the authorities for his release by joining the British Army, serving as a war artist and a dental assistant in East Africa. After the war, he opened an art school in Nairobi, Kenya, and worked as a photographer and a safari guide. In 1949 to 1954, he lived in Venezuela, where he was contracted to do an East African Diorama series. The National Museum added an entire wing to display it. During this period he got married and had a daughter Raquel, who accompanied and assisted him. In 1959, Imber was commissioned to create sculptures and dioramas for the Haifa Prehistory Museum at Gan Ha-em in Haifa, Israel. In 1960 he returned to Venezuela to restaured the Phelps series of Dioramas for the Museum in Caracas. Between 1961 and 1971 he travelled extensively around Europe and after establishing an international name for himself, returned to the United States. In New York he became famous for his realistic oil paintings of portraits of Aga Khan, Tyrone Power, Ava Gardner, David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Sir Richard Burton and Simon Bolivar. Returning to Venezuela in 1976, Imber created huge sculptures of prehistoric animals, forming one of the world's largest historical animal parks. During this period he also created realistic sculptures of famous Venezuelans for the country's National Hall of Fame. In 1978, Imber spent three years designing and building a Holocaust memorial park at the entrance to the city of Karmiel located in the Galilee, entitled 'From Holocaust to Resurrection.' Imber also established animal theme playgrounds around the city. In the 1980s, Imber established residence in Karmiel, Israel. In Israel he was inspired to create highly emotional, life like collections. Nicky Imber died in 1996 in Vienna, Austria.

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