Meta Cohen Hendel Biography

Meta Cohen Hendel




Meta C. Hendel, painter and printmaker, was born Meta Cohen (Cohn) in Berlin, Germany on July 7, 1883. Meta later adopted the name of her finance, Hendel, after he died in World War I. Meta Hendel studied painting and graphic arts at Berlin and Paris academies. She continued her studies at the Académie Moderne in Paris studying with Fernand Leger and Amédée Ozenfant.

In 1936, she left Germany and lived for brief periods in Florence, Italy and Surrey, England, before emigrating to the United States in 1941, living first in New York and eventually settling in San Francisco where her studio was on Buena Vista Hill. She became a United States citizen in 1946 or 1947.

Hendel developed a unique technique of color woodengraving in the 1920s. Her woodengravings were featured in 1930 in the International Exhibition of Alpine Art in Budapest and three years later they were included in an exhibition in Antwerp. In 1941, she exhibited her woodengravings at the New York Public Library. With the encouragement of Meier Schapiro, she started her own business of reproducing modern masters in color woodengraving. She produced works after Klee, Leger, Picasso, and Rouault. She described her techniques in How To Make A Color Wood Engraving, published in the Magazine of The San Francisco Women’s Club, National League For Woman’s Service, July 1946. Art teachers at Bennington College in Vermont, filmed Hendel at work creating a color woodengraving in her San Francisco studio.

She gave private art lessons in painting and printmaking in her studio and was also an art instructor with the San Francisco Adult Education.

Hendel was a member of the California Society of Etchers and the San Francisco Women Artists. She exhibited with these organizations, as well as the San Francisco Art Association. Her first comprehensive exhibition was mounted in San Francisco at the Legion of Honor. Hendel had solo exhibitions at the City of Paris, Raymond and Raymond Gallery, Labaudt Gallery, and the de Young Museum in San Francisco, as well as solo exhibitions in Munich, Berlin, Budapest, Florence, Milan, London, and New York.

Her work is represented in the collections of Mills College, Oakland Museum of California, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Kupferstichkabinette in Berlin, and Museo d'Arte Moderna, Gabinetto delle Stampe, and Lyceum in Milan.

Meta Cohen Hendel died in Mountain View, California on June 26, 1970