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Landmark Work of Arthur Szyk Comes to the CJM

Opening this Thursday at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco (the CJM), is an exhibition that celebrates what is considered to be a ritual for the Passover holiday.

Titled Arthur Szyk and the Art of the Haggadah, it is a highlight of the artist’s work the Szyk Haggadah (1940), featuring all of the forty-eight original illustrations, as well as historical illuminated haggadot from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and other contemporary versions. Szyk’s landmark work tells the story of the haggadah, which is evoked from the story of exodus of the ancient from slavery in Egypt, with the myriad haggadot is created from the tenth century, up to the present.

In a little information about Arthur Szyk, he originated from a part of Poland that at the time, was under Russian rule. Although mainly working in France and Poland, he would eventually move to the United Kingdom, and then the United States. Szyk was renowned for his graphic arts and book illustration, gaining popularity with his war caricatures, and was devoted to political issues, including the support from the creation of Isreal. In addition to the Haggadah, some of the notable works also included Statute of Kalisz (1932) and Battle of the Warsaw Ghetto (1945). He died in 1951, and his popularity of his works have waned until the 1990s, when it would picked up again, especially in the U.S.

Arthur Szyk and the Art of the Haggadah is on view until June 29th.