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Lithograph of Israel from Arthur Szyk’s visual history series of the United Nations

Object | Accession Number: 2003.188.1

Postwar lithograph by artist Arthur Szyk depicting a visual representation of the history of Israel. Arthur Szyk was a Polish-Jewish artist who fled Nazi-controlled Europe for London in 1937, and eventually immigrated to the United States in 1940. He started his career in book illustration and was considered one of the greatest modern practitioners of the art of illumination. His widely published caricatures made him one of the most famous political satirists during World War II. In 1945, he was commissioned by Canadian philatelist Kasimir Bileski to create illustrations for a series of stamps depicting the Visual History of Nations (United Nations). Szyk designed the stamp album frontispieces for nine countries, including one for Israel, but died in 1951 before the project could be completed. This frontispiece for Israel intricately weaves together biblical and historical figures, symbols, and Hebrew script to visually tell the story of 4,000 years of Jewish history including the organization of the 12 tribes of Israel, The Exodus, the Bar-Kokhba Revolt, the prophecies of Ezekiel, and the creation of the State of Israel.

Artwork Title
Title Page for the Plate of Israel
Series Title
Visual History of Nations
creation:  1948
publication:  1949
depiction: Israel
manufacture: Winnipeg Region (Man.)
creation: New Canaan (Conn.)
Object Type
Lithographs (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of William Hallam Webber
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:16:44
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