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250 × 190 × 20 mm
312 pages
149 illustrations, 98 in colour
01 Jun 2011

Jewish Art A Modern History Samantha Baskind

Covering nearly two millennia, Jewish Art: A Modern History examines the art made by Jews across Europe, America and Israel. Written by two leading scholars in the field, this is the first broadly accessible book to address the subject in both an introductory and a critical manner. Samantha Baskind and Larry Silver provide a chronological, geographic and thematic framework, to examine Jewish artists against the background of an emerging modernity. The shifting Jewish identities are discussed, as well as the effects of the diaspora and anti-Semitism, which are woven directly into analyses of specific works of art.

The authors ask ‘what is Jewish art?’ and examine the ambiguities of the Jewish experience, both religious and cultural. Rather than providing reductive classifications of the subject, they consider the variety of ways Jewish artists have defined themselves and their works. Looking at the work of European artists including Moritz Daniel Oppenheim and Maurycy Gottlieb, Camille Pissarro and Marc Chagall, to those in the USA such as Miriam Schapiro and Eva Hesse, Barnett Newman and Archie Rand, as well as contemporary Israeli artists, Jewish Art provides a comprehensive and lucid account of a complex subject. It is ideal for all general readers interested in the subject, and invaluable to students of Jewish art and history, as well as scholars in the field.

This lavishly illustrated volume, featuring numerous works published for the first time, offers a coherent discussion of the vexed question of what constitutes Jewish art today.

‘a useful primer . . . thorough, balanced and sympathetic in approach.’ — Anthony Julius, New Statesman

‘This beautiful book has no fewer than 179 illustrations, 98 of them in vivid colour. It is a remarkable achievement . . . It will appeal to an exceptionally wide range of readers for it succeeds in being a readable review for the general reader, a concise overview for the student, a theoretical critique for the art historian and Jewish Studies specialist and it is modestly priced. It is unquestionably the most complete study of Jewish art ever published, and it ranges from early times to the conflicts and confluences between Israeli and Diaspora Jewish culture.’ — History

‘this book gives a good overview of the lives and careers of a number of Jewish artists and introduces a number of less well-known artists, particularly from the USA, to British readers.’ — Jewish Renaissance

Jewish Art is a lavishly illustrated, comprehensive survey of the work of artists of the past two centuries who have, whether they so identified or not, been designated as Jewish artists . . . The authors have brought together material that is otherwise inaccessible to most readers and have done so in a very readable style.’ — Jewish Book World Magazine

‘This informative, handsomely illustrated book is the latest effort to chronicle the history of Jewish art . . . Recommended.’ — Choice

‘this wide-ranging book serves as a useful new survey of the subject, which, by raising as many questions as it answers, reveals this fascinating cultural terrain to be as fraught with ambiguities, ambivalences and contradictions as ever.’ — Art and Christianity

‘a beautiful book and an impressive achievement. Addressing what it means to make, or to witness, Jewish art, Baskind and Silver have compiled this most complete overview of those factors which bind a historical trajectory to contemporary developments. It is both an accessible academic resource and a rich introduction for the interested reader, offering a history of both the social and personal conditions which have continued to generate art objects that reflect on Jewishness. The generous arc of balance, in its erudition and analysis, is bracing, making Jewish Art an important contribution to studies in art history.’ — Archie Rand

‘Samantha Baskind and Larry Silvers Jewish Art accomplishes the impossible. A readable survey (for the general reader) a concise overview (perfect for class use), a theoretical critique (for the art historian as well as the Jewish Studies specialist). This volume makes the question of Jewish Art and the Jewish Artist central to its history, beginning with the questions of who and what and ending with the conflicts and confluences between Israeli and Diaspora Jewish culture. A must buy.’ — Sander L. Gilman, Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor of Psychiatry, Emory University

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Samantha Baskind is Associate Professor of Art History at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio. Her other books include Encyclopedia of Jewish American Artists (2007) and Raphael Soyer and the Search for Modern Jewish Art (2004).

1. A Prequel to Modernity
2. Inventing the Jewish Artist in Europe
3. Revolutions in Art and Politics
4. Art, America and Acculturation
5. Art and the Holocaust, Survival and Remembrance
6. Home to Israel
Conclusions: Diaspora and Homeland(s)

Selected Bibliography
Photo Acknowledgements