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Zakheim (Bernard) Collection
MSS.2014.15  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains material regarding the life and work of artist Bernard Zakheim. Much of the collection relates to the creation and restoration of Zakheim’s Toland Hall and Cole Hall murals at the University of California, San Francisco. Included are writings, biographical material, audiovisual material, correspondence, works of art, and printed material created by Zakheim and members of his family.
Background
Bernard Baruch Zakheim (circa 1898-1985) was a Polish-born artist who worked in San Francisco, California as a sculptor and muralist. He fought in World War I and immigrated to San Francisco in 1920. He first worked as a master upholsterer and later became a custom furniture manufacturer. Continuing the art studies he had begun in Poland, Zakheim visited Diego Rivera in Mexico in 1930 and studied in France, Italy, and Hungary. During the Great Depression in the United States, Zakheim worked on federally funded art projects in San Francisco through the Works Progress Administration (WPA). He completed murals for the Jewish Community Center, the Alemany Health Center, and Coit Tower. In 1935, with the support of Chauncey Leake and Isabella Perry, Zakheim and his assistant Phyllis Wrightson began work on two frescoes at UCSF. Originally located in Cole Hall and Toland Hall, the murals depicted the history of medicine and major figures in UCSF’s history. The university murals project, which was partially funded by the WPA Federal Art Project and also sponsored by the university, was a collaborative effort between Zakheim’s team and UCSF faculty, including UCSF doctors George Lyman, Langley Porter, Salvatore P. Lucia, W. E. Carter, and F. W Lynch. These murals were wallpapered over in the 1950s and eventually restored with the help of two of Zakheim’s children, Masha Zakheim and Nathan Zakheim. During World War II, many of Zakheim’s family members were killed during the Nazi Holocaust. This trauma influenced Zakheim’s later work, including his Warsaw Ghetto Uprising project. Zakheim married Eda Spiegelman in 1920 and Phyllis Wrightson in 1940. Two of Zakheim's children, Masha and Nathan Zakheim, helped preserve the legacy of Zakheim’s work through restoration efforts. Masha Zakheim (1931-2014) was an art historian who published work on Bernard Zakheim, New Deal art, and Diego Rivera. Nathan Zakheim became an art conservator and helped manage his father’s art collection.
Extent
7 Linear Feet (6 boxes, 4 oversize boxes)
Restrictions
Copyright for some materials has not been assigned to the UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management. All requests for permission to publish material must be submitted in writing to the UCSF Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Library and Center for Knowledge Management as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Availability
Collection is open for research. Confidential personal material has been restricted at the folder level.