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Wood panel painting of 2 Jewish men with fire sale sandwich boards

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.290

Painting on plywood of two stereotypical Jewish schnorrers carrying sandwich boards advertising a fire sale at a Jewish clothing store. Sales advertised as fire sales were used by merchants to recover something from a loss and to get rid of damaged goods at low prices. As more Jewish immigrants arrived in the US in the late 19th century, they took up traditional professions as peddlers and merchants and were met with antisemitic attitudes similar to those in Europe. Jewish tradesmen were often accused of being shifty and dishonest. Cartoons suggesting that Jews staged fake or continuous fire sales were popular images in the casual antisemitism expressed in popular culture at the time. Schnorrers, a sort of beggar or freeloader, were stock figures from Yiddish folklore carried over into antisemitic lore as examples of the burdens Jews placed on society. The painting is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Artwork Title
Big Blaze Sale
creation:  approximately 1900
creation: United States
Decorative Arts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2020-09-17 10:43:04
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