Born Westphalia, Germany
Died London, England
Elkan studied languages in Lausanne before becoming a merchant in Antwerp. He moved to Munich to study painting at the Academy, then to Karlsruhe to study sculpture, before visiting Paris, where he encountered Rodin and Matisse, and finally Rome. Elkan married the daughter of a Rabbi, pianist Hedwig Einstein, and they later moved to Frankfurt am Main with their children. Following Hitler's accession to the Chancellorship and the introduction of anti-Semitic legislation, the couple immigrated to London in 1933.
Object type sculpture
Materials and techniques bronze (medium)
Dimensions 42 x 32 x 22 cm
Acquisition on permanent loan from Rabbi Dr Solomon Schonfeld
Accession number 1987-80
Display status not on display
Elkan’s sculpture includes both lifelike busts of well-known artists and politicians and work on religious themes. Both interests are combined in this portrait of Slovakian-born émigré Dr. Joseph Herman Hertz, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire from 1914-46, one of the foremost spiritual leaders of Jewry, and a dedicated Zionist. In 1938-39 the Ben Uri Chairman's report noted that Elkan, many of whose public monuments had been destroyed by the Nazis, had given a talk at the society on 'Conception and Style in Sculpture' in June 1939.