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The United States of America

Object | Accession Number: 2002.113.3.1

Color lithographic print from the United Nations Series, originally painted by Arthur Szyk in New Canaan, Connecticut. Each image in the series was to be highly detailed single-page piece that combined symbols, scenes, portraits, and decorative motifs to create a visual history of each member country of the United Nations. The series was commissioned by Kasimir Bileski, and the images were meant to be cover pages for an international stamp book. Szyk was to continue painting these histories as new countries joined the United Nations, but he only completed nine before his death in 1951. Born to Jewish parents in Łódź, Poland, Szyk studied and worked on projects throughout Europe, drawing on his personal experiences when creating images. When Szyk returned to Poland, he served in the Russian Army during World War I. While serving, he became an artistic director for the Polish Department of Propaganda during the Polish–Soviet War. In 1937, Szyk moved to England to escape the increasing antisemitism and rising Nazi threat. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Szyk began contributing illustrations and caricatures of Hitler and the Nazis to the war propaganda campaign. In 1940, he was able to immigrate to the United States, where he continued his career as an illustrator and contributed anti-Nazi cartoons to publications such as Life, Time, and Esquire. His widely published caricatures made him one of the most famous political satirists during World War II and he was considered one of the greatest modern practitioners of the art of illumination.

Series Title
Visual History of Nations
creation:  1945
creation: New Canaan (Conn.)
Object Type
Lithographs (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irvin Ungar
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:15:28
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