Arnold Mesches

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Arnold Mesches (August 11, 1923 – November 5, 2016) was an American visual artist.


Arnold Mesches was born in 1923[1] in the Bronx, New York and was raised in Buffalo, New York. Mesches moved to Los Angeles in 1943 on a scholarship at the Art Center School. In 1945, the FBI opened a file on him targeting him as a subversive communist. He was inspired to create works during the Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy era of the 1950s.[2] He created many series of "provocative, layered collages composed from his personal FBI file plus news clippings, 1950s magazine cutouts, personal photographs, and hand written scripts."[3] Mesches has explored contemporary social and historical issues, informed by world history and his life during the Depression, which also reflect his art.

In 1970 he married, Jill Ciment, his seventeen-year-old student, who was thirty years his junior. Ciment went to become an accomplished novelist and memoirist. They remained happily married until his death.[4]

In 1984, he moved to New York City and taught at New York University. He also taught at Parsons College and Rutgers University. He eventually ended up teaching at University of Florida in Gainesville. He has had over 125 solo exhibitions and is represented in places such as the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in Sydney, Australia, among others.[5] He died on November 5, 2016 in Gainesville, Florida at the age of 93.[6]


  • National Endowment of the Arts, 1982
  • Pollock-Krasner award, 2002 and 2008
  • Art Critics of America, 2004
  • Florida State Individual Grant 2007


  1. ^ "United States Public Records1970-2009". familysearch. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Arnold Mesches".
  3. ^ " - CBSi".
  4. ^ "Revision Quest". This American Life. 2019-12-07. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  5. ^ "Going National » Features » Valdosta Daily Times". 5 February 2013. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013.
  6. ^ Grimes, William (9 November 2016). "Arnold Mesches, Artist Who Was Recorded by the F.B.I., Dies at 93" – via

External links[edit]