Cherry Jaffe Huldah

Cherry Jaffe Huldah

1901 – 2001

Few artists develop a style so readily recognized by the public as that of Huldah.  This universally popular, prize-winning American artist captured the essence of Impressionism in modern terms while recreating a time and place in history that has a particular fascination – La Belle Epoque.

Dating back to the turn of the century, it was a time when beautiful women were immortalized and charm was the personification of propriety, while the art of gracious living reached new heights of elegance.  The Edwardian influence, Sarah Bernhardt, Boldini, Sargent, the Ballet Russe all have a place in the romance of the period.  In the background hovered civil unrest, social change, revolutionary concepts in the arts and literature, along with the ferment that would shortly erupt into the First World War.  With that cataclysm, La Belle Epoque, and what it stood for, passed into history, to be revivified only through the work of an artist like Huldah.

Motivated by her travels to Europe and her belief in the influence of the past, Huldah achieved the almost impossible task of reconstructing the pictorial beauty of those idyllic days.  She did so by turning her attention to enchanting young ladies, admired in their day for their beauty, grace and femininity.  Parisian girls, ballerinas and children are part of her technique, influenced by the Impressionists, yet distinctively her own, she caught every nuance, every coquetry, every delicate line needed in the portrayal of the eternally young female.  Special attention is placed on authenticity.  Through the delightful backgrounds of period dress, historic buildings and parks, the viewer passes through a time-tunnel to an age when the art of living was indeed an art.

Huldah was born in Dallas, Texas.  She showed an early talent and began painting and studying for her own pleasure with little thought of making a serious career of it.  Sent by her prominent family to study in New York, she attended classes at the Grand Central School, graduated to the Art Student’s League and reached the pinnacle by being admitted to the private classes of Robert Brackman, one of America’s foremost portrait painters.

Huldah began her professional career in the early 1940’s.  From 1943 through 1949, she was represented by the noted New York art dealer and collector, Howard Young, who was also one of her important collectors.  In the 1950’s, the Charles Lock Galleries of New York also exhibited her work, while collectors on the west coast, in Texas, Arizona and the entire southwest were introduced to her paintings by the prominent Beverly Hills dealer, Francis Taylor.  With the first public exposure of her work, her paintings were bought almost as quickly as she could paint them.  This pattern of success followed her throughout her entire career.  The indisputable appeal of her style and her talent allowed her to work freely, but because of her success, little time was left for exhibitions.  In 1975, Wally Findlay Galleries in New York presented her first one-woman show.

Acclaimed by serious art critics here and abroad, Huldah had the distinction of having her paintings selected for the Grand Salon of the Salon des Artistes Francais in Paris.  All work for this prestigious show must be approved by a discriminating jury before it is accepted, and for five years Huldah’s paintings secured entry to it.  She won Honorable Mention awards in the Salons of 1948 and 1967.

Huldah’s distinctive style was reproduced in top magazines all over the world, on television and in motion pictures.  She also created ceramics, but perhaps her greatest triumph is that of being the single, largest selling artist for the longest period of time on the New York Graphic Society’s roster.  The Society sold more reproductions of her work than of any other artist, including Picasso and Renoir

Huldah, who combined talent, determination and an intense femininity to achieve her outstanding success, is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who is the South, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who of American Women and the World Who’s Who of Women.  Her paintings are in the collections of the Georgia Museum of Fine Arts, Columbia Museum, Norfolk Museum of Fine Arts, Sheldon Swope Museum of Arts, Cornell Medical Center and the Los Angeles Athletic Club. In 1998, The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC recognized Huldah and has included her work in their permanent collection.

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