Mikveh Israel Portrait Gallery
Mikveh Israel currently holds over twenty original paintings and portraits of historical and influential members of our Congregation. While many of portrait remain unsigned, and thus the artist unknown, many are the works of celebrated artists such as David Benjamin Bechtel, and William Thurston Black and range from the 1750s until the present day.
William Thurston Black was born in New Jersey in 1815. Black's early life and art training remain unknown; however he may have studied at the National Academy of Design and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts since he exhibited at these institutions. By 1866 he was in Detroit where he was successful as a portrait painter and was active there until 1884 when he headed west. Settling in San Diego, by July of 1885 he had established a portrait studio. He died in San Diego.
Please begin the exhibit by clicking on the image to the left to view the paintings and short biographies of the subjects.