Visu­al Arts

50 Jew­ish Artists You Should Know

Edward van Voolen
  • Review
By – March 1, 2012

Art has always been a part of Jew­ish life. Despite the admo­ni­tion against graven images, Jews have used art and craft to cre­ate rit­u­al objects and beau­ti­fy their sur­round­ings. This book by a rab­bi who is also an art his­to­ri­an and cura­tor of the Jew­ish His­tor­i­cal Muse­um in Ams­ter­dam presents fifty promi­nent Jew­ish artists from the past two cen­turies. The entries are chrono­log­i­cal, begin­ning with Moritz Daniel Oppen­heim, a nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry Ger­man Jew­ish painter. Each entry has a time­line at the top of the page, so that read­ers will be able to place the artist in the con­text of his­to­ry. A brief biog­ra­phy, infor­ma­tion about his/​her work, and sev­er­al col­or repro­duc­tions pro­vide an overview of the artist. There is also a ref­er­ence work cit­ed for fur­ther infor­ma­tion. A gen­er­al time­line of Jew­ish his­to­ry appears at the end of the book. Oth­er artists cov­ered include Marc Cha­gall, Ossip Zad­kine, Louise Nevel­son, Michal Naa­man, and Sigalit Lan­dau, rep­re­sent­ing a wide vari­ety of media and style. This is a use­ful resource for those begin­ning to learn about Jew­ish art and artists.

Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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