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Arthur Szyk lithograph of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

Object | Accession Number: 2002.113.1

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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Print of an Arthur Szyk painting and illumination of the closing words of Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address of 1865, with a portrait of Lincoln, flags of Allied nations of World War II, and US military symbols. Szyk, a Jewish emigre artist, originally from Łódź, Poland, left London for the United States in 1940. After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, his work was focused on anti-Nazi political cartoons. In the US, Szyk became a leading anti-Fascist editorial caricaturist, creating works that brought attention to the mass murder of Europe’s Jews by Nazi Germany.
    Artwork Title
    Peace on earth to men of good will
    Date
    publication/distribution:  1946
    Geography
    publication: New York (N.Y.)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irvin Ungar
    Markings
    front, center, black ink : WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE / WITH CHARITY FOR ALL, WITH / FIRMNESS IN THE RIGHT. AS / GOD GIVES US TO SEE THE / RIGHT, LET US STRIVE ON / TO FINISH THE WORK WE ARE / IN, TO BIND UP THE NATION’S / WOUNDS, TO CARE FOR HIM / WHO SHALL HAVE BORNE THE / BATTLE, AND FOR HIS WIDOW AND HIS / ORPHAN - TO DO ALL WHICH MAY / ACHIEVE AND CHERISH A JUST AND / LASTING PEACE AMONG OURSELVES AND / WITH ALL NATIONS. / ABRAHAM LINCOLN
    front, bottom left corner, blue ink : Art and Illumination by Arthur Szyk for Ever Ready Label Corp.
    front, bottom right corner, blue ink : © SIDNEY HOLLAENDER, N.Y.C. 1946.
    Contributor
    Artist: Arthur Szyk
    Subject: Arthur Szyk
    Author: Abraham Lincoln
    Publisher: Sidney Hollaender
    Printer: Ever Ready Label Corporation
    Biography
    Arthur Szyk (1894-1951) was born to Jewish parents, Solomon and Eugenia Szyk in Łódź, Poland, which at the time was part of the Russian Empire. He had his first public art exhibition at age 15, and then went to Paris, France, for formal art training at the Academie Julian. He visited Palestine in 1914 with a group of Polish-Jewish artists and studied Muslim art. Upon his return, he was conscripted into the Russian Army and served in World War I. He married Julia Liekerman in 1916, and they had a son, George, in 1917. In 1918, Poland regained independence, but continued to fight a series of regional wars to secure its boundaries. Between 1919 and 1920, during Poland's war against the Soviet Bolsheviks, Syzk served as a cavalry officer and artistic director of the Department of Propaganda for the Polish Army in Łódź. In 1921, he and his family moved to Paris where his daughter, Alexandra was born the following year.

    Szyk was well known for his illuminations and book illustrations, in a style reminiscent of Persian miniatures. He worked on several significant projects in France, including illustrating the Statute of Kalisz, the Haggadah, and a series of watercolors on the American Revolutionary War. The themes of his most admired works, democracy and Judaism, were already well established, earning him both fame and significant commissions. In 1934, Szyk traveled to the United States for exhibitions of his work and to receive the George Washington Bicentennial Medal, awarded by the US Congress. He resided in England from 1937-1940 to supervise the publication of the Haggadah. In 1939, following Germany's invasion of Poland, he focused on producing anti-Nazi editorial cartoons published in many Western newspapers and magazines. During the German occupation of Poland, his 70 year old mother, Eugenia, and her Polish companion were forced to live in the Łódź ghetto. In 1943, they were transported to Majdanek concentration camp and killed.

    In late 1940, Szyk immigrated to the United States with his family. He became a leading anti-Fascist political caricaturist as well as an advocate for Jewish rescue. In addition to his widely published satirical art, Szyk devoted a great deal of time and energy to the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, and pushed for the establishment of an independent Jewish state in Palestine. Szyk received his US citizenship in 1948. In 1951, he was investigated by the United States House Un-American Activities Committee as a suspected Communist. His son, speaking on his behalf, declared his non-affiliation with any Communist organization. Later that year, on September 13, Szyk suffered a heart attack and died at age 57.

    Physical Details

    Language
    English Latin Polish
    Classification
    Art
    Category
    Prints
    Object Type
    Illustrations (tgm)
    Physical Description
    Offset color lithograph sheet with a paragraph of English text in the center on a yellow shaded square printed over white paper with heraldic symbols. In the upper a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, with pale face, dark hair and beard, a white collared shirt, and black bow tie and jacket. Below is a vertical banner with the flags of the USA, USSR, UK, France, and China. Across the bottom, an angel holds a palm branch and a ribbon with the text: "and to all good people everywhere...", while kneeling on a banner reading: "peace on earth to men of good will." He gestures towards 4 figures on the left: a soldier on crutches, an airman, an armed GI carrying the US flag, a sailor, and a woman holding a boy. Below on the left is an illuminated V for Victory, and a bald eagle with a stars and stripes breastplate. In the corners are framed images of a dove, a white star, and the US seal.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 14.000 inches (35.56 cm) | Width: 10.500 inches (26.67 cm)
    pictorial area: Height: 8.250 inches (20.955 cm) | Width: 10.125 inches (25.718 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    Restrictions on use. Copyright belongs to the Estate of Arthur Szyk

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The lithograph was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2002 by Irvin Ungar.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-09 14:35:12
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn520124

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