Mitzi Melnicoff, Children's Hour

Mitzi Melnicoff: Children's Hour (c. 1964-1965) Oil on canvas
Children's Hour
c. 1964-1965
Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Gift of Drs. Albert and Lorraine Kligman, 2008
56" x 60"

Mitzi was a painter of celebration. Her paintings echo over and over again her sense of richness, of joy, of love. . . like her master Matisse. . . she continually strove to find greater and more expressive rhythms, fuller and more telling relationships, and bolder and deeper structures. Her paintings are odes to that which she knew so very well -the most mysterious and elusive of all the many aspects of life -the everyday, the commonplace. She painted people sitting around, talking, reading, sleeping; in and out of the light, caught up in patterns which expand and illuminate them.

- Larry Day

Melnicoff was born in Philadelphia and attended classes at the Graphic Sketch Club (now the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial) and the Settlement Music School. She studied at the Temple University's Tyler School of Art from 1939 to 1943, and it was there that she first met Doris Staffel. Upon leaving Tyler she worked as a professional illustrator at N. W. Ayers, Inc., in Philadelphia. In the 1950s she worked as a freelance illustrator for Columbia Records and a number of magazines, including Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and Cosmopolitan. She was an instructor at the Philadelphia College of Art from 1962 until her death in 1972.




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  • subjects are mitzi's sister-in-law jean and 5 of the 7 daughters of jean and edward melnicoff, mitzi's brother.

    david nova
  • correction: since mitzi was born miriam goldman, it seems more likely that edward was her brother-in-law. all i know for sure is that jean and edward's first daughter sallie referred to mitzi as her aunt.

    david nova
  • further correction: mitzi was married to jean's husband's (& sallie's father's) cousin, david melnicoff. now i'm no longer sure of what i said i was sure of before, but jean is pictured at upper right, sallie at upper left. they n some of sallie's sisters also appear in a few of the woodcuts in the collection.

    david nova
  • Mitzi was married to my father's first cousin, David Melnicoff. My father was Edward. They lived near us, so members of our family often show up in her work.

    Gioconda Melnicoff Bellonci
  • Mitzi's first husband, David Melnicoff, and my father, Edward Melnicoff were first cousins. She was our cousin by marriage, but affectionately referred to as "aunt".

    Janet Melnicoff-Brown