KALISH, MAX (1 Mar. 1891-18 Mar. 1945), sculptor, was born Max Kalichik in Valozin, Lithuania, son of Joel and Hannah (Levinson) Kalichik. He immigrated with his family to Cleveland in 1898 and was given an Orthodox Jewish education. He won a scholarship to the CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF ART, graduating at 19 and winning first prize for life modeling. Kalish created Rebecca and Judas Maccabeus, judged the best piece of sculpture ever exhibited in the annual student show, a copy of which was purchased by Rabbi LOUIS WOLSEY. In 1910, Kalish studied at the Natl. Academy of Design in New York with roommate ALEX WARSHAWSKY. In 1912, he went to Europe to study, exhibiting at the Paris Salon of 1913. Kalish returned to the U.S. via San Francisco, where he was a sculptor for the Pan-Pacific Exposition. Returning to Cleveland in 1915, he tried and abandoned dental school, yet there gained a mastery of body structure. From 1916-19, he was in the Army, assisting reconstructive work on war-mutilated soldiers.
Kalish traveled to Europe, exhibited at Korner & Wood Gallery, won first prizes at MAY SHOWS, and received excellent press for his labor figures. In 1923, Cleveland schoolchildren funded a statue of Abraham Lincoln which Kalish executed, and which was installed at the School Admin. Bldg. Commissions came from across the country for statues of famous personalities. Upon his death, CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL enacted a tribute and the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART gave a memorial exhibition of his work jointly with the paintings of Alex Warshawsky.
Married to Alice Neuman on 20 Nov. 1927, Kalish had two children, Richard and James. Kalish died in New York City and was buried in Cleveland's Mayfield Cemetery.
Kalish, Alice. Max Kalish—As I Knew Him (1969).