For Herbert Mandel every creation was a discovery, his art germinating from written words, hidden thoughts, memories and imagination.  In essence he was a story teller.  He painted and illustrated in a manner meant to provide a pictorial path to the stories he told, stories that reflected the tenets which he leaned on from time to time to explain and illuminate life.  In his creations he liked to show people, casting himself as each character portrayed.  He identified with their character in terms of what they were doing, responding appropriately for them as to how they play their role in an unfolding drama. Like the way a Hermann Rorschach inkblot becomes a dancer or a dragon depending on the musings of the observer, Mandel believed viewers of paintings also want to identify with what they see, in an act of their own discovery.


Born to German immigrants, raised and artistically educated in Philadelphia, Mandel obtained a BFA in Illustration from Philadelphia Museum School of the Arts (now University of the Arts), a BFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, and an MS of Education from the University of Pennsylvania.  He worked as an illustrator for the US Army Signal Corps as well as freelancing commercially, eventually enjoying a life long career as a commercial arts teacher in Pennsylvania’s Bucks County school system.  In the later decades before his death, Mandel dedicated himself to the exploration of biblical verses through his art and developing a stream of consciousness drawing technique he named Spiroleander.  

Over the years he has exhibited work at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Philadelphia Print Club (now the Print Center), the Academy of Fine Art, the Society of American Etchers (now Society of American Graphic Artists), sculptures at the Philadelphia Flower Show in addition to other shows around the tri-state area. 



Born in Philadelphia, PA 1925

Resided in Levittown, PA until his passing in 2016


  • 1964 MS in Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1954 BFA in Sculpture, Tyler School of Art, Phildelphia, PA
  • 1954 BS in Education, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1948 BFA in Illustration, Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (Now University of the Arts) Philadelphia, PA
  • 1950 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA (Painting)
  • 1950 Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA (Art History)


  • 2011 Pennsylvania Historical Society
  • 2006 Phillips Mill, Painting Award
  • 1964 Phi Delta Kappa Membership
  • 1950 Levittown Artist Association, Local Artist Award
  • 1948 Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art, Joseph Pennell Award for Graphics
  • 1948 Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art, Henry Perry Leland Fund Award for Etching
  • 1947 Print Club (Now The Print Center), Honorable Mention for Wood Engraving


  • 2012 Pebble Hill Church, Doyesltown, PA
  • 2001-11 First Presbyterian Church, Levittown, PA
  • 2003-06 Phillips Mill, New Hope, PA, Juried Shows
  • 2003 Bensalem Artist Association, Bensalem, PA
  • 2002 Gallery 125, Trenton, NJ
  • 2002 Doylestown Presbyterian Church, Doyesltown, PA
  • 2001 National Research and Counseling Inc., Jamison, PA
  • 2001 Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bristol, PA
  • 2000 The Great Passion, Borders Book Store, Langhorne, PA
  • 2000 Birth of Jesus, Borders Book Store, Langhorne, PA
  • 2000 The Spiroleander Art, Borders Book Store, Langhorne, PA
  • 1993 Art in City Hall, Mayor’s Art Show, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1953-58 Levittown Artists Association, Levittown, PA
  • 1953-56 Philadelphia Flower Show, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1953 Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1952 Red Door Gallery, Elkins Park, PA
  • 1948 Society of American Etchers (Now Society of American Graphic Artists), New York, NY
  • 1947 Philadelphia Print Club (Now The Print Center), Philadelphia, PA
  • 1947 Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA


  • Rhein Maidens, Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System, Harrisburg, PA


  • Stu Bykofsky, “Times Were Tough, Better, Too”, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 1, 2011. http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/stu_bykofsky/20110801_Stu_Bykofsky__TIMES_WERE_TOUGH__BETTER__TOO.html
  • Gwen Shrift, “Sighting Scripture”, Bucks County Courier Times, November 23, 2008. D2
  • Laurel Johnson, “Featured Poet & Artwork Highlight”, Shadow Poetry Quill Quarterly Magazine, Fall 2006, Vol 12. p12-17
  • Unknown, “Greatest Story Ever Told – On Canvas”, Bucks County Courier Times, December 23, 2003. 6E
  • Bill Newill, “Artist Relates Christ’s Triumph”, Bucks County Courier Times, April 14, 1974.


  • A Philadelphia Story, My Name is Herbert: The Original Philadelphia Hat-Trick” 2011
  • “Catch a Butterfly” 2006
  • Crisis in the Garden” 1989
  • The Greatest Story” 1977
  • The Revelations to John” 1975
  • The Great Passion” 1972
  • Slowly Through Limbo” 1971


  • 1962-99 Supervisor of Instruction, Bucks County Technical High School, Levittown, PA
  • 1958-62 Commercial Art Teacher, Bucks County Technical High School, Levittown, PA
  • 1964-68 Art Teacher, Florence Township Schools, Florence Township, NJ
  • 1948-50 Technical Illustrator, US Army Signal Corps, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1948-50 Crafts Instructor, Phildelphia Central YMCA, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1945 Saturday Program Instructor, Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (Now Univeristy of the Arts), Philadelphia, PA