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Bronze figurine mocking a pompous Jewish man with an accent

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.146

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    Bronze figurine mocking a pompous Jewish man with an accent

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Bronze figurine of a caricatured Jewish businessman with the caption: “Now! Vot about it?” He has several stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men: a large, hooked nose, large ears, thick eyebrows, hooded eyes, and bowed legs. Many of these traits were common elements developed by European artists and illustrators in previous centuries. The caption presents a phrase spoken in what is often referred to as a stereotypical Jewish accent where “what” is pronounced as “vot,” and the first letter of each word is capitalized to show the pitch and tonality is higher at the beginning than at the end of each word. This accent has a strong association with New York City (NYC) and the Northeastern region of the United States. NYC was a focal point for Eastern European Jewish immigrants fleeing antisemitic pogroms between approximately 1880 and 1920. This figurine is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Date
    creation:  approximately 1850-approximately 1920
    Geography
    creation: United States
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Markings
    front, base, engraved : Now! VotAboutIt?
    back, base, engraved : PILOT
    Contributor
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Biography
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Language
    English
    Classification
    Decorative Arts
    Category
    Metalwork
    Genre/Form
    Figurines.
    Physical Description
    Patinated, heavy, cast bronze figurine of a rotund bald man in a 3 piece suit. He stands, sightly bowlegged, with his thumbs in his vest armholes, fingers over the wide lapels of his kneelength jacket. He has heavy jowls, and his face is creased by a look of smug disapproval. His facial features are stereotypically Jewish: large flaplike ears, thick eyebrows, deepset, hooded eyes, a very large, curved nose, and a thick, protruding lower lip. He stands on a short, smooth, rectangular base with angled sides, and an engraved caption: Now! VotAboutIt?
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 4.750 inches (12.065 cm) | Width: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm) | Depth: 1.500 inches (3.81 cm)
    Materials
    overall : bronze

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    United States.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The figurine was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:30:18
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn538242

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