1891 – 1950
Bernard Meninsky held his first solo show at the Goupil Gallery in 1919 along with The London Group and the New English Art Club (NEAC). In 1920 he was appointed as a tutor of life drawing at the Westminster School of Art, where he was renowned as a superb figure draughtsman.
In this period he was also associated with the bohemian Bloomsbury Group and the Garman sisters. He published Mother and Child: 28 Drawings in 1928 and illustrated the 1946 volume of Milton’s poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso. In 1935 he designed sets for the ballet ‘David’ for the Markova-Dolin Company. In 1940 he moved to Oxford City School of Art, and returned to the Central School in 1945.
In February 1949 he was featured on the cover of the first ever issue of ArtReview, then titled Art News and Review. The profile noted “Using a palette which owes something to the Fauves, and through them to the Expressionists, he has created a world of classical dignity and plastic form.”
Meninsky suffered from mental illness for much of his life and committed suicide in 1950.
A Meninsky memorial exhibition was organised by the Arts Council in 1951–52, and a retrospective show was staged at the Adams Gallery in 1958. His works are on show at the Arts Council, British Museum, Imperial War Museum, National Gallery of Ireland, Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, and galleries in Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield.