- Deborah A. Goldberg
Sobel, Janet (30 May 1894–11 November 1968), painter, was born Jennie Lechovsky in Ekaterinoslav, a village outside of Kiev, Ukraine, the daughter of Bernard Lechovsky and Fanny Kahn. Her mother was a midwife, but little is known about her father, who was killed in a pogrom. Janet’s widowed mother immigrated with her two sons and daughter to the United States in 1908. At Ellis Island, officials gave them the surname “Wilson.” In 1910, at the age of sixteen, Janet married Russian immigrant Max Sobel, an engraver and goldsmith, with whom she had five children. Until 1947, they lived for the most part in Brooklyn. Though she had little formal education, Sobel was literate in Russian, Yiddish, and English. She studied the Bible and the writings of Plato, and she spoke philosophically about her art....