Painter Clara (née Chaje Esther) Klinghoffer was born into a Jewish family in Szerzezec, Polish Galicia (now Lemberg, Ukraine) on 18 May 1900. She moved to England with her family at the age of three, settling first in Manchester, before moving to London’s East End. She drew from a young age, briefly taking classes at the John Cass Institute in Aldgate in 1914, before moving to the Central School of Arts and Crafts. She quickly established a reputation as the new ‘girl genius’, gaining a bursary to the Slade School of Fine Art (1918–20). While still a student, recommended by Alfred Wolmark, she held her first exhibition at the Hampstead Art Gallery in 1920. Further solo exhibitions at prestigious London galleries followed, with the Goupil Gallery salons among them – where her drawings, especially studies of women and children (often based on her six sisters) were frequently likened to Raphael. She was exhibitor with the New English Art Club (NEAC), the London Group, the Women’s International Club, the Royal Academy and the Carnegie International. In 1923 and 1927 her work was included in exhibitions of ‘Jewish art’ at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (although she disliked this label). In 1926 she married Dutch journalist Joop Stoppelman and moved with him to Paris in 1928. Following her solo exhibition in Amsterdam in 1928, they moved to Holland with their children in 1930. She continued to show at the NEAC in London, becoming a member in 1933. In 1939, aware of the imminent threat of German invasion, the family moved again, this time to America, settling in New York, where Klinghoffer held futher solo exhibitions. In her later years, however, her work suffered from the decline in demand for figurative painting. Clara Klinghoffer died in London, England on 18 April 1970. A private exhibition was held in London in 1972, with retrospectives at the Belgrave Gallery, London in 1976 and Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle in 1977. More recently, her work was included in two 2018 exhibitions rediscovering neglected female artists: 'Prize and Prejudice' (UCL) and '50 50: Fifty Works by Fifty British Women Artists 1900-1915 (Mercer's Hall, London; and University of Leeds). She is represented in UK collections including Aberdeen Art Gallery, the British Museum, Kettle's Yard, the National Portrait Gallery and Tate.
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