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"Art should be in the service of mankind. It is a privilege to work with one's hands, as sculptors do. In such work lies the secret of man's strength and fortitude: the balance of a confident mind and a stout heart. To work, to dream, to hope, to learn; to live deep instead of fast, to take root and to have borne fruit: this harmony: this is what man must live for" - Abram Belskie
Abram Belskie
(March 24, 1907 - November 7, 1988)

Born in London, England and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Abram Belskie was apprenticed at the age of fifteen to a painter and started classes at the Glasgow School of Art, from which he graduated in 1926. Prize money allowed him to study on the Continent. Upon his return to Glasgow, he opened his own studio. He also worked as an assistant to other sculptors and taught at the Glasgow School of Art.

On November 11, 1929, Abram Belskie arrived in New York City where he was able to secure employment in the studio of the London-born sculptor John Gregory. For the next three years he assisted Gregory in the fabrication of bas-reliefs for the façade of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. In 1931, Abram Belskie moved to Closter, where he would remain for the next fifty-seven years. Here he worked at the studio of the master-carver Robert Alexander Baillie.

In 1938 Abram Belskie's friend, the renown sculptor Malvina Hoffman, introduced him to the eminent physician Dr. Robert Latou Dickinson. Dr. Dickinson had been a pioneer in the creation of medical models, which are used to teach students anatomy, procedure and diagnosis. The doctor knew that the effectiveness of such models relied on the interpretation of a sensitive sculptor. The doctor prevailed upon the artist, and the first fruits of their collaboration were displayed in the exhibit of the Whole of Man Pavilion from the 1939 to 1940 New York's world fare., located in the World's Fair of 1939. Dickinson and Belskie together created thousands of medical models until Dr. Dickinson's death in l950.

Belskie also worked with other physicians. Though never a doctor himself, he was a full faculty member of the New York Medical College, where he taught several generations of physicians. Abram Belskie was also the first forensic artist, pioneering the field of reconstructing features post-mortum.

Abram Belskie began his career as a medallic artist in 1952. For years thereafter he created medallions, many of them medical in nature. In the last decades of his life, he was engaged in the creation of reliefs depicting the sign of the zodiac, which allowed him to treat the subjects of Greek mythology.

He undertook projects for many organizations. His work can be found in the Museum of Natural History, New York City, and the Cleveland Museum of Health, as well as various teaching institutions. He won many awards for his efforts and left a legacy celebrated here in the town which he loved.

Memberships:
National Sculpture Society, fellow; National Academy of Design, fellow; The American Numismatic Society, fellow and member of Allied Artists of America.

Awards:
John Keppie Traveling Scholarship, Scotland, 1926;
Sir John Edward Burnett Prize, Scotland, l928;
Lindsay Morris Memorial Award, 1951;
J. Sanford Saltus Medal, American Numismatic Society, 1953:
Mrs. Louis Bennett Award, 1956; Golden Anniversary Prize, Allied Artists of America, 1963

Collections:
Museum of Natural History; The Field Museum, Chicago, Ill; Mariner's Museum, Newport News, Va.; Brookgreen Gardens, Pawley Island, S.C.; Cleveland Health Museum, Cleveland, OH;
Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick and Sommerville, N.J.; Jewish Theological Seminary, N.Y; Park Avenue Synagogue, New York; New York Academy of Medicine, N.Y. and private collections.

Co-author:
Birth Atlas, 1940 with Dr. Robert Latou Dickinson

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