Artist and teacher Morris Kestelman was born in Whitechapel in the East End of London on 5 October 1905. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia. He won a scholarship to the Central School of Art and Design in 1922, where his teachers included Bernard Meninsky. Meninsky introduced Kestelman, who became a life-long friend, to the London Group and Kestelman helped organise the Group's 1926 exhibition. After graduating from the Central School in 1925, Kestelman enrolled at the Royal College of Art where he studied until 1929, working as a stage designer for Sadler's Wells and the Old Vic. During the Second World War Kestelman served as an air-raid warden. A drawing by him at an aircraft factory was purchased by the War Artists Advisory Committee and is now held by the Imperial War Museum (IWM). In 1943, when reports of the Holocaust first reached Britain, Kestelman created the painting Lama Sabachthami ('Why have you forsaken me?'), now part of the IWM collection. The painting was first exhibited at the 1943 For Liberty exhibition organised by the Artists' International Association in the shelter constructed on the bomb site of the John Lewis department store on Oxford Street in central London. After teaching at Wimbledon School of Art, in 1951 Kestelman became Head of the Painting and Sculpture School at the Central School of Art and Design, a post he held until 1971. Kestelman married Dorothy Mary Creagh, a dress designer, in 1936 and the couple had one child, the actress Sara Kestelman. Morris Kestelman died in London, England on 15 June 1998.