printmaker and sculptor, Leon Bibel was born in Poland in 1913 but moved with his family to San Francisco as a child. 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. 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 ro 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 sculture
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
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.
Bibel's work from the 1930's has become widely known as fine examples of Social Realism. His work from the 1960's through his death in the 1990's, however,
is largely unknown. This web site is dedicated to presenting his later works - both paintings and wood constructions - to the public.
After his long withdrawl from art in the 1940's
through the 1960's, he spent the next 30 years in an almost constant burst of creating. During this period, he finished over 200 canvases. Becoming interested in dimensionality, he
began incorporating wood onto the surface of canvases.
Expanding this, and bringing to his art his knowledge of woodworking and carpentry, he moved exclusively into wood constructions, where he remained creating until
his death. During this period, several hundred constructions were completed.