Portrait of Mosheh Oved
Born in Warsaw in 1888, Maurice Minkowski studied at the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts between 1900 and 1904 and came to fame as a chronicler of Polish Jewish life during the last years of Czarist regime. The Jewish refugee, dislocated as a result of the political and social upheaval, is a recurring theme in his work. However, his portrait of Moshe Oved is rendered with calm realism. Oved was also Polish–born and emigrated to England c. 1902. A founding member of the Ben Uri Society, he opened the shop Cameo Corner in Museum Street near the British Museum and was recognised as an authority on cameos, antique watches and clocks.
In 1930, Minkowski was in Buenos Aires for an exhibition of his works at a local gallery. It was the first stop on a trip which included visits to Brazil, the United States, and Canada, and ultimately, Palestine. However, his life was tragically cut short when, deaf and mute, he failed to hear an oncoming tram and was killed.