Artifact of the Month: June
Painting and graphic printing
Josef Hecht (1891 – 1951)
Josef Hecht (also known as Joseph Hecht) was a Polish-Jewish painter, graphic artist and sculptor. He was born in Lodz, Poland, and was a student at the art academy in Krakow between 1909 and 1914. At the outbreak of World War I he was in Berlin. In order to avoid getting drafted, Hecht decided to travel to neutral Norway. Here he stayed until 1919. During this time he produced many paintings and graphic prints with landscape motifs, both from Oslo and Asker-Bærum. In November 1915, he held his first solo exhibition in Norway, at the Blomquist gallery in Oslo. He lived in Odin’s gate 1 at Frogner. Later exhibitions also in Bergen Kunstforening.
From the beginning of the 1920’s Hecht lived in Paris. Here he worked with Stanley William Hayter in the Atelier 17 graphics workshop, which they founded in 1927.
After the Nazis entered Paris in 1940, Joseph Hecht fled to Savoie at the Swiss-Italian border. Here he stayed until the fall of 1944 when he could return to Paris.
Josef Hecht died of a heart attack in his Paris studio on 19 June 1951. His works can be found at the Hecht Museum (Haifa University), Bibliothèque Doucet, Bibliothèque Nationale, British Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Chalcographie du Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Public Library, Philadelphia Museum of Art, University of Warsaw and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.