Painter, stage designer, muralist, book illustrator and teacher, born in London, where he settled, of parents emigrated recently from eastern Europe. He studied at Central School of Art, 1922–5, with Bernard Meninsky, then at Royal College of Art, 1926–9, where he developed an interest in theatre design. Among his theatrical work was Sadler’s Wells production of Carmen, for Tyrone Guthrie, 1940, and Laurence Olivier’s Richard III and The Alchemist at The Old Vic in the following years. Kestelman did murals for Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition in 1946 and was included in Mural Art To-Day there in 1960. From 1951–71 Kestelman was Central School’s head of fine art. Was elected LG, and Senior RA, 1996. Had a solo show at Upper Grosvenor Gallery, 1961, later ones including Sally Hunter Fine Art, 1987, and Boundary Gallery from 1989.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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