4/10/2017 UC Berkeley got its biggest art grant ever to buy this Jewish artist’s paintings | Jewish Telegraphic

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UC Berkeley got its biggest art grant ever to buy this Jewish
artist’s paintings
By Jose n Dolsten April 3, 2017 4:44pm 420 SHARES

(JTA) — The University of California,
Berkeley, received its biggest art grant ever
to acquire the world’s largest collection by
the Jewish-Polish artist Arthur Szyk and
display it in a public institution for the first
time.

The $10.1 million gift from the Taube
Philanthropies will be used to acquire 450
“The United States of America” (1945), left, and “The artworks — including paintings, drawings
Scribe” (1927), by Arthur Szyk. (The Magnes Collection of and sketches — according to a statement.
Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley)
The collection, which features some
of Szyk’s most valuable works, also includes some books, newspapers and magazines that
published his art.

It will be displayed at the Magnes Collection
of Jewish Art and Life, the third-largest
Jewish museum collection in the country.

Szyk was born in 1894 in Lodz, Poland, to a
middle-class Jewish family. He studied art at
a private school in Paris, lived in London and
Canada, and traveled to the Middle East and
North Africa before settling in New York in
Self-portrait (ca. 1932-1933), left, and “My People: Samson 1940 following the outbreak of World War II.
in the Ghetto (The Battle of the Warsaw Ghetto)” (1945), by In New York, Szyk met the Taube family,
Arthur Szyk. (The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life,
University of California, Berkeley) whose foundation provided the grant. Szyck
later moved to New Canaan, Connecticut,
where he died in 1951 at 57.

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4/10/2017 UC Berkeley got its biggest art grant ever to buy this Jewish artist’s paintings | Jewish Telegraphic Agency

He drew inspiration from Judaism, including
stories from the Bible, as well as the
historical events he witnessed, including both
world wars, the Holocaust and the
establishment of the State of Israel. In
addition to working as a painter, Szyk
produced political caricatures and materials,
including anti-Nazi and anti-Axis paintings,
that he considered “weapons” in the war and
urged American soldiers to use as
propaganda.

Arthur Szyk (YouTube) “Arthur Szyk’s unique contributions to
contemporary art and political illustration
have not yet been recognized to the extent his work deserves,” Tad Taube, the chairman of
Taube Philanthropies, said in a statement.

“With our shared Polish Jewish heritage, and a relationship my parents developed with Szyk
upon first arriving in the United States from Poland in the early 1940s, it is significant to me
to ensure that Szyk’s remarkable works are available to today’s and future generations.”

The collection previously belonged to art collector Rabbi Irvin Ungar, according to SF Gate.
Ungar, an expert in Szyk’s art, has co-produced documentaries about the artist and describes
himself as “the tireless force behind the Szyk renaissance.”

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4/10/2017 UC Berkeley got its biggest art grant ever to buy this Jewish artist’s paintings | Jewish Telegraphic Agency

“David and Saul” (1921), left, and “Madness” (1941), by
Arthur Szyk. (The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life,
University of California, Berkeley)

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