1885 - 1939
Media Oils, watercolors,
graphite, pen and ink, charcoal
Artistic Focus A skilled painter and draftsman, Meripol had a particular affinity for the painting of miniature portraits on ivory, and sought to increase the public’s appreciation of this art form. His works on paper include exquisite, tightly rendered botanicals.
• Born Abraham Meripolski in Kiev, Russia in 1885, Meripol immigrated as a child with his family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There Meripol worked as a newsboy for the Milwaukee Journal.
• After recovering from a burn injury, Meripol turned his full attention to drawing, making time each evening to practice and saving money from newspaper sales to pay for lessons from Robert Heule, a local artist.
• In the early 1900s, with the money he saved from selling his work to friends, Meripol moved to Chicago and while selling newspapers during the day attended night classes at Smith’s Art Academy. He was a member of the Chicago Art Students’ League, where he exhibited and won two prizes.
• In 1907 Meripol moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, to begin his career as a portrait painter. He soon became engaged to a young woman from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
• By 1910 Meripolski had shortened his name to Meripol and was living with his wife and daughter in San Francisco. After a trip through Europe, Meripol moved to Los Angeles in 1919, where he hoped not only to paint on canvas but to more fully pursue his miniature painting on ivory.
• During the 1920s he was a member of Los Angeles’ Professional Artists Club, where he exhibited in 1924, and the International Artists Club. By this time, Meripol had a thriving career painting both full-size portraits and miniatures for members of the movie industry and other prominent citizens of Los Angeles.
• Meripol exhibited with Painters & Sculptors of Los Angeles in 1935, and that same year he was commissioned by the State Emergency Relief Administration (later taken over by the WPA) to create a mural for the Hermosa Beach City Council chamber.
• Abraham Meripol passed away in 1939 while on a portrait commission in Salt Lake City.
Additional biographical material and full bibliographic
references are available upon request.
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