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Painting of two Jewish men deep in conversation

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.257

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    Painting of two Jewish men deep in conversation

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    Brief Narrative
    Oil painting of two Jewish men in conversation, likely painted by German artist, George Burgstaller, in 1928. The men have several stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men: large hooked noses, sidelocks, and long beards. They are also depicted wearing Hasidic garments. Hasidism is an Orthodox spiritual revivalist movement that emerged in the 18th century in what is now Ukraine, and spread throughout Eastern Europe. Hasidic Jews seek a direct experience of God through prayer and other rituals conducted under the spiritual direction of a rebbe. Each Hasidic sect has its own rebbe, a male who is a communal leader and spiritual authority, and often holds an almost mythical status among his followers. Male Hasidic Jews are often depicted wearing distinctive, traditional garb. The man on the left is wearing one such article, a fur hat, called a shtreimel. Men traditionally wear a shtreimel on the Sabbath, at festivals, and other significant occasions, such as weddings. The other man is wearing a black, suit-style jacket, either a "rekel" or a "bekishe." Men traditionally wear the fancier bekishe on special occasions such as Jewish holidays, weddings or on the Sabbath. The simpler rekel is worn on an everyday basis. Due to their clothing and other distinctive practices, Hasidic Jews were easy targets for the Nazis and their collaborators. A large number of Hasidic leaders and their followers were killed during the Holocaust. The painting is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Two Jews Making a Deal
    creation:  1928
    creation: Europe
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, upper right corner, light brown paint : G I Burgstaller pinx[?] / 1928
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artist: George I. Burgstaller
    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

    Oil paintings.
    Physical Description
    Painting in oil on cardboard depicting, from the waist up, 2 middle aged men, with prominent Jewish features, standing side by side. The man on the right wears Hasidic dress: a shtreimel, a round red cloth hat with wide red/brown fur trim, a red fur collared brown coat, and a white shirt. He has thick eyebrows and a large nose, with dark brown curled sidelocks, a trim mustache and a long, forked beard. He faces forward and looks at the man on the right, with an animated expression and slight smile, gesturing with raised hands. The other man listens intently, brow furrowed, eyes squinting, stroking his beard with his right hand. He wears a brown fedora, suit jacket, white shirt, and blue tie, and has a blue cloth draped over his left forearm. He is in left profile, has red sideburns, mustache, and long beard, with deepset, hooded eyes, an extremely large nose, and thick lips, parted in a slight smirk. Both men have rosy complexions and flushed cheeks. The background is mottled blue and brown. It is signed and dated by the artist.
    overall: Height: 16.625 inches (42.228 cm) | Width: 12.750 inches (32.385 cm)
    overall : oil paint, cardboard

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The painting 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 18:12:44
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