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Press Releases Archive 

Press Release | Exhibition of Political Art by WWII-Era Human Rights Advocate Arthur Szyk Opens at UC Berkeley Magnes Collection (1.21.2020)

Exhibition of Political Art by WWII-Era Human Rights Advocate Arthur Szyk
Opens at UC Berkeley Magnes Collection

Students help to bring artist’s historic calls to action to contemporary audiences 

Berkeley, Calif. (January 21, 2020)—Arthur Szyk’s compelling political cartoons placed Nazi genocide, tyranny and racism on the covers of America’s most popular magazines during World War II. Today, his pioneering examples of graphic storytelling have renewed relevance as a new exhibition and University of California, Berkeley students bring Szyk’s works to contemporary audiences.

In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951) will be open to the public January 28—May 29 and September 1—December 18, 2020 at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at UC Berkeley. Uniquely through art, Szyk was one of the first public figures to take immediate, direct action in bringing attention to the Holocaust as it was being perpetrated. The miniature size of his artwork stands in striking juxtaposition to the magnitude of the themes it confronted and the human rights violations it exposed.

Made possible by a generous gift of the Szyk collection from Bay Area-based Taube Philanthropies, the new exhibition includes more than 50 original artworks by Szyk and features two interactive workstations created by UC Berkeley students and Francesco Spagnolo, The Magnes curator.

Spagnolo has supervised nearly 100 students working at The Magnes over the past three years through UC Berkeley’s Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. “It’s a diverse group of students—some with Jewish backgrounds and some with no connection to Judaism. Szyk’s work speaks to their shared concerns about human rights.”

In Global Transit: Forced Migration of Jews and other Refugees (1940s-1960s)

May 19-22, 2019

Conference at GHI West and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley 

Conveners: Wolf Gruner (USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Los Angeles), Simone Lässig (German Historical Institute Washington/GHI West, UC Berkeley), Francesco Spagnolo (The Magnes, UC Berkeley), Swen Steinberg (University of Dresden) 

In cooperation with India Branch Office of the Max Weber Foundation, New Delhi (Indra Sengupta, Razak Khan) and China Branch Office of the Max Weber Foundation, Beijing (Max Jacob Fölster

Victoria Hanna | Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist at The Magnes (Fall 2017)

Jerusalem based artist, Victoria Hanna, is a world-renowned composer, creator, performer, researcher, and teacher of voice and language. The daughter of an ultra-orthodox rabbi, she has been greatly influenced by her childhood environment. In her work, she deploys a variety of vocal techniques in the performance of ancient and modern Hebrew texts, among them Sefer Yetzirah ("Book of Creation"), an early Kabbalistic treatise.

Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection at The Magnes

Largest single monetary gift to acquire art in UC Berkeley history brings work of major 20th  century artist to campus

BERKELEY -- The extensive body of work of an artist and illustrator whose subjects spanned some of the most profound events of the 20th century will be available to the world in a public institution for the first time, thanks to a $10.1 million gift from Bay Area-based Taube Philanthropies to The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the University of California, Berkeley. The Taube grant is the largest single monetary gift to acquire art in the history of the campus. 

This gift provides students, scholars, and the public access to the most significant collection of works by Arthur Szyk, a Polish Jewish artist and political caricaturist who ultimately settled in the United States in 1940. Szyk used motifs drawn from the Bible, history, politics, and culture to pair extraordinary craftsmanship with insightful commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the founding of the State of Israel, the American War of Independence, World War II, and the Holocaust.

What is The Magnes? Launch Campaign 2012

The staff of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life collaborated with The Hive Advertising in San Francisco to create an ad campaign for the launch of its new facility in 2012.

Many images of the holdings of The Magnes Collection were included in the ads, in thought-provoking juxtapositions that accompany newly created taglines which highlight the innovative elements of the new Magnes facility and program at UC Berkeley.

Acting Out: Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore – 04.05.2005

Berkeley, CA – Acting Out: Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore is the first exhibition to examine the work of Claude Cahun (born Lucy Schwob) in the context of her lifelong partnership and collaboration with Marcel Moore (born Suzanne Malherbe). The philosophical, political, and aesthetic implications of these artists' partnership permeate everything produced by the couple.

The People and the Book – 01.03.2005

Paintings and rare books from the Magnes collections on view January 24 through July 3, 2005 

Berkeley, CA – As part of the Judah L. Magnes' effort to highlight the encyclopedic nature of the museum's holdings, the Magnes is please to announce the opening on January 24 of The People and The Book: Paintings and Rare Books from the Museum's Collection. Works dating from the 19th to the 20th century depict scholars and common folk, traditional and secular figures, solemn and humorous characters, men, women and children. All are people of the book.