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Sunday News — Art and the Bible joined to defeat the Nazis by cartoonist Arthur Szyk at NY Historical Society

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Detail from Arthur Szyk (1894−1951). Arsenal of Democracy, also known as Democracy at Work, 1942. Watercolor and gouache on paper. Property of a Private Collector, New York

Today at New York Historical Society
“Arthur Szyk: Soldier in Art”

Arthur Szyk came from war-torn Europe to embolden the United States to fight the Nazis and rescue the Jews from the Holocaust. If the prophet Jeremiah had illustrated his warnings against disaster with richly illuminated illustrations, he surely would have done something like the fine art cartoons of Szyk.

His 1943 ink-and-graphite drawing titled “De Profundis” shows a slain Christ lying with a pile of murdered Jews under the question, “Cain, where is Abel thy brother?” As President Franklyn Delano Roosevelt underlined the aims of the United States in World War II, Szyk’s drawing “Arsenal of Democracy” hung as a placard in the White House.

Today at the New York Historical Society, you might be able to catch some wisdom from former pulpit rabbi Irvin Ungar, who has an extraordinary knowledge about Arthur Szyk and likely will be available to answer questions and give advice.

At Friday's Shabbat service at the  Temple Israel of the City of New York, Ungar gave a brisk, energetic talk on Szyk's use of Psalm 130, "Out of the depths, I call on you, O Lord."


Published in the Chicago Sun on February 12, 1943

More on Arthur Szyk 

Temple Israel of the City of New York

New York Historical Society


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