Moses Bagel (Moshe Bahelfer aka) - Vilnius - 1908 - Paris - 1995
Bagel is interested in paiting very early and follows evening classes at the School of Arts Décoratifs of Vilno. He gets involved with the Yungvilno group, componed with young artists, writers, yiddish poets of Vilno and takes part in exhibitions organised by the group.
In 1927, he leaves for Germany where he studies at the Bauhaus Arts and Architecture school of Dessau. From 1928 to 1932, he attends Paul Klee's, Wassily Kandinsky's and Lyonel Feininger's classes. At this moment his painting was almost abstract. He'll keep good relations with Bauhaus' ex-pupils living in Paris: Joseph Weinfeld, Jean Leppien and Gitel Gold whom he'll marry in 1932 leading to the birth of hisson, Amos.
Bagel settles in Paris in 1933, he illustrates children's books edited by NRF (Nouvelle Revue Française) and makes photographic reports for the VU Agency.
In 1939, he volunteers to the French Army. He spends the years of Occupation in Toulouse and works for an architect. Member of a French resistance group, he makes false identity cards. At the Liberation, Bagel comes back to Paris, works as an illustrator for jewish newspapers: Presse nouvelle, Droit et Liberté, La Semaine juive, A Nouveau.. and other books including Montre by Shalom Aleïchem. He also creates stage settings and costumes for the Compagnie Théâtrale d'Art Yiddish : YIKUM . (Yiddish Arts Theatrical Company).
From 1947 to 1968 he controls the Twenty Century Fox's design workshop and on the side he also gives conferences on painting. On Shalom Aleïchem's 100th birthday, the UNESCO orders in 1959 a serie of 15
large paintings inspired by the yiddish writer's works.
After his exhibition at the UNESCO, Bagel gave as a gift his work to the Shalom Aleïchem's foundation located in Tel-Aviv.
Nadine Nieszawer, Marie Boyé, Paul Fogel
"Peintres Juifs à Paris 1905-1939 Ecole de Paris"
Editons Denoel 2000