Samuel Jafnel, Miami Beach. Oil on canvas, 16 by 20 inches, signed lower left Jafnel.


Samuel Jafnel, Miami Beach. Oil on canvas, 24 by 30 inches, signed lower right, Jafnel.

Samuel Alexander Jafnel, a native of Russia, immigrated with his family to New York City in 1891. Jafnel first worked as a newspaper cartoonist in New York. His cartoon in the New York Call in 1912, predicting World War I, showed the earth as a death’s head, pierced by a bayonet. Later he began painting portraits at Grossinger’s Resort and the Lenape Hotel in the Catskill Mountains in the summer, spending winters on Miami Beach as a portrait artist. Jafnel had his first exhibit in Miami Beach in 1925. Fifteen years later, in January 1941, his second opened at the Miami Beach Library and Art Center on Collins Avenue. When the Freedom Train, carrying the foundation documents of the United States, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, came to Miami in December 1947, Jafnel’s painting The Four Freedoms, was exhibited as part of the program. (The painting was later purchased by the Israel Museum of Art.) In 1953 Jafnel purchased a home on Miami Beach at 4214 Royal Palm Avenue and opened a studio at 630 Lincoln Road. Over his career Jafnel painted more than 1000 works. After he died in 1964, a small gallery was opened on Lincoln Road with some of his estate. The Miami Herald (September 24, 1967): “Jafnel was a realistic painter who executed excellent portraits and some symbolic paintings, such as his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. His favorite subjects were clowns, calypso performers, musicians, Jewish subjects and Miami Beach waterways and streets.” Born: Katherine Slav, Russia, November 1887. Died: October 1964, Miami Beach. Education: National Academy of Design; Lockwood School, Kalamazoo Michigan, Cooper Union in New York, with Douglas Volk. Membership: Palm Beach Art League; Miami Art League; American Artists Professional League. Exhibits: Miami Beach Library and Art Gallery, February 1941, thirty-five paintings including Old Lady (pictured Miami Herald, February 9,1941), Fish Market at Biscayne Bay, After the Rain, Apple Trees, Daybreak, Old Gray Barn; Washington Art Galleries, Miami Beach, February 1941; Palm Beach Art League, at Norton Gallery, March 1941, oil paintings; Lenape Hotel, Liberty, New York, November 1941, for American Art Week; Miami Beach Public Library and Art Gallery, March 1942; Palm Beach Biltmore Gallery, February-March 1942; Miami Beach Outdoor Art Fair, Lord Tarleton Hotel, January 1947; Miami Woman’s Club 19th Annual, Artists and Writers Breakfast, February 18, 1947, gold star; Miami Woman’s Club, Annual Exhibit, February 1948, Four Freedoms; Painter’s home, March 1964, 50 paintings, some with social significance, others Miami Beach scenes.


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