Self-Portrait 1967 Observation in Echo Park Mother and Child Kalman Marching in the Camp Portrait of Maestro Andre Previn Sleeping Next to the Rock



Born in Riga, Latvia in 1924, Kalman Aron began drawing as a young child and had his first gallery show at age seven. By age 13, Aron was commissioned to paint the official portrait of the Latvian President and began attending Riga’s Academy of Fine Arts.

Aron’s life was turned upside-down in 1941, when the Germans invaded Latvia, killing his parents. Aron was moved to the Riga ghetto and later deported to a series of concentration camps, including Buchenwald and Theresienstadt. Aron occasionally drew portraits of concentration camp guards in exchange for food.

After the war, Aron drew portraits in a displaced persons camp, earning a full scholarship to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna where he received his Masters in Fine Arts. He immigrated to America, settling in Los Angeles in 1949. Aron began his career in Los Angeles painting pastels of children, and later became known for his portraits, vibrant landscapes and intriguing studies of people in his unique style, “psychological realism.”

Throughout his long career, Aron has been commissioned to paint hundreds of portraits, including Ronald Reagan, Henry Miller and Andre Previn. His art can be found in public and private collections throughout the United States, Europe and Israel, and has been widely exhibited, with domestic exhibits at such museums as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, the Frey Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Seattle Art Museum. His iconic Mother and Child greets visitors in the atrium of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.

Copies of Aron's memoir, INTO THE LIGHT: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron by Susan Beilby Magee, will be available for purchase at the Museum.