Bernard Meninsky was born in Karotopin in the Ukraine but was raised in Liverpool where he attended the Liverpool School of Art in 1906. Winning several scholarships and the King’s Medal, he went on to study at the Royal College of Art, the Académie Julian in Paris and finally the Slade School of Fine Art between 1912 and 1913. He worked for Edward Gordon Craig’s theatre school in Florence in 1913 before returning to England to teach drawing at the Central School in 1914. That same year, he started exhibiting with the New English Art Club, eventually becoming a member in 1923. From 1916 he exhibited with the London Group and three years later he became a member and had his first solo exhibition at the Goupil Gallery. From 1920, he taught life drawing at Westminster School of Art and during this time he became associated with the Bloomsbury Set. He taught at the City of Oxford Art School for five years from 1940 before returning to the Central School. In 1946 he illustrated a volume of Milton’s poems L’Allegro and Il Penseros. He committed suicide in 1950.
Meninsky was a painter of figures and landscapes in oils, watercolours and gouache, as well as being a renowned and accomplished draughtsman. This is attested to by the Arts Council’s memorial exhibition of 1951 and a retrospective exhibition in 1958 at the Adams Gallery. His works are represented in many public collections such as the British Museum, the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Gallery of Ireland.