The Worlds of Arthur Szyk | The Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection

Auditorium installation of enlarged reproductions of select collection items
On View: 
Aug 28, 2018 to Jun 28, 2019

Acquired by The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life in 2017 thanks to an unprecedented gift from Taube Philanthropies, the most significant collection of works by Arthur Szyk (Łódź, Poland, 1894 – New Canaan, Connecticut, 1951) is now available to the world in a public institution for the first time as the Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection.

Born into a middle-class Polish Jewish family, Szyk lived a life framed by two world wars and the rise of totalitarianism in Europe. A refugee, he ultimately settled in the United States in 1940. Much of his work centered on these experiences. As a miniature artist and political caricaturist, he used motifs drawn from the Bible, history, politics, and culture to pair extraordinary craftsmanship with searing commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the American War of Independence, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel.

The hundreds of artworks, sketches, and painstakingly assembled illustrated books, journals, archival documents, photographs, exhibition catalogs, and memorabilia that comprise this multi-faceted collection are in the process of being examined and catalogued so that they can be made available for research, exhibition, loan, and publication. The current display of high-resolution images of select collection items in the Auditorium of The Magnes presents the public with an unprecedented insight in the many worlds of Arthur Szyk.

~Francesco Spagnolo, Curator


The Worlds of Arhur Szyk | Spring 2017 (Exhibition Design Materials) by magnesmuseum on Scribd

Partners

Major funding ($100,000+) for The Magnes Collection comes from Karen and Franklin Dabby, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the Helzel Family Foundation, the Koret Foundation,  Peachy and Mark (Z’l) Levy, Magnes Leadership Circle, Magnes Museum Foundation, the Office of the Chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, Barbro and Bernard Osher, and Taube Philanthropies.

Exhibitions Information
Location: 
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
Opening Hours: 
Tuesday-Friday 11am-4pm
2121 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA
United States
Exhibition Resources
Media Galleries

Videos

Arthur Szyk in the Digital World | A UC Berkeley Research Project at The Magnes

Arthur Szyk in the Digital World | A UC Berkeley Research Project at The Magnes

Arthur Szyk in the Digital World | A UC Berkeley Research Project at The Magnes

Since its acquisition by The Magnes in 2017, the circa 450 works of art that are part of the Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection have been the object of intense digital scrutiny by a team of scholars, curators, and students. Digitally investigating Szyk’s work leads to a closer understanding of the artist’s gaze, and of his methodologies. Decorative elements, frames, and a host of “characters” that populate Szyk’s painted images have been isolated, described, and digitally cropped. Some of these works have been digitally animated for this exhibition.

This video, created by Tamara Berkover (UCB Economics, 2020) using Adobe software (Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere), showcases our process and methodologies in revisiting Szyk’s art in the 21st century. It focuses on two artworks. Madness, created in 1941 for the cover of Collier’s magazine, centers on a series of haunting caricatures of Nazi leaders and their collaborators. The illustration of Szyk’s own poem, Love for Man and Nature has been My Guide (1940), celebrated Canadian involvement in the Second World War, including a host of characters representing Canada’s heritage and military might. Among these characters, Szyk added a portrait of himself as a militant artist-worker.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition, In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (2020).

More at http://bit.ly/inrealtimes

Images

Arthur Szyk, Madness (1941), 2017.15.1.70

Arthur Szyk, Madness (1941), 2017.15.1.70

Arthur Szyk, Madness (1941), 2017.15.1.70

Arthur Szyk (1894-1951, Poland, France, UK, Canada, and United States)
Madness
United States, New York, 1941,
Watercolor, gouache, ink, and graphite on paper
Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley

Szyk Self Portrait 1932-1933

A. Szyk, Institute for the Publication of the Works of Arthur Szyk in Lwow (Self-Portrait), ca. 1932-1933, 2017.5.1.36

Szyk Self Portrait 1932-1933

Arthur Szyk (1894-1951)
Institute for the Publication of the Works of Arthur Szyk in Lwow (Self-Portrait)
ca. 1932-1933
pen and ink on paper
Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley, Accession No. 2017.5.1.36