Joseph Hecht

Born in Lodz, Poland (1891 -1951)

Joseph Hecht studied at the Art Academy of Cracow from 1909 to 1914, and then left for Norway where he worked and exhibited until 1919. He arrived in Paris in 1920 and mostly made engravings of animal figures, which were published in Paris in a number of collections between 1926 and 1938. Hecht exhibited his work in the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants, and won two gold medals at the 1937 Paris World's Fair. He also exhibited in major American cities, England, Poland, and South Africa.

There are two entirely different versions as to how and when Joseph Hecht died. According to some of the sources, Joseph Hecht perished in a death camp and soon after the end of the War, in 1945, the Salon de Mai in Paris exhibited his work as a special tribute. However, according to a publication of the Jewish Artists' Association of France, Joseph Hecht died in Paris in 1951 with no mention of his whereabouts during the war. Until recently no other sources were found to confirm or disprove either of these versions.

Based on information from Marie-Catherine Gunet in an e-mail to the Hecht Museum in September of 2006, Joseph Hecht did not die in a death camp. Ms. Gunet remembers him coming to visit her parent's home in the1950s.

An update regarding Joseph Hecht, sent to the Hecht Museum (January 2011)from Mr. Geoff Chambers (who wrote the biography of Joseph Hecht for Wikipedia) based on different sources, including International Fine Print Dealers Association ( :

As World War II approached, there was a diminution in Hecht’s production and as he was of Jewish descent, France offered him little protection or safety. He left Paris and traveled to the Savoy region near the Swiss- Italian border, spending the duration of the war working as an agricultural laborer.

According to all accounts Mr. Geoff Chambers has seen, Hecht returned to Paris after the war and died in his studio there of a heart attack in 1951.

Joseph Hecht
Joseph Hecht
Noisy Street
oil on canvas, 80x100 cm.