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Pastel drawing of a congregation listening to their rabbi

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.295

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    Pastel drawing of a congregation listening to their rabbi

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    Brief Narrative
    Pastel drawing of a rabbi addressing his congregation inside of a synagogue created in 1907 by Jewish Latvian artist, Abel Pann, in Paris, France. Pann was born Abba Pfeffermann in Kreslava in the Empire of Russia, to Jewish parents. He studied art in the Russian cities of Vitebsk, Vilna, and Odessa before moving to Paris, for many years. During the latter part of World War I (WWI, 1914-1918), he lived in the United States, and settled in Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine, in 1920. Much of Pann’s work depicted atrocities inflicted upon Eastern European Jews during his lifetime. He created artwork that documented the Kishinev Pogrom, the destruction of Jewish towns in WWI, and the Holocaust. Pann also drew illustrations, portrait sketches, and caricatures. This drawing shows the fine line between antisemitic caricature and self-deprecating, Jewish humor. The rabbi and his audience all have beards and sidelocks, as well as large noses. Members of the congregation are all wearing black suit-style jackets, likely bekishe, with black hats. The rabbi is wearing a tallit and a kippah. Non-Jewish individuals stereotypically attribute all of these physical features and articles of clothing as ways to identify Jewish men while mocking them. Pann takes the stereotypes and twists them into a comedic and ironic mockery of himself and fellow Jews. The drawing is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Rabbi speaking to his congregation
    creation:  1907
    creation: Paris (France)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, lower left corner, pastel and pencil : A. Pfeffermann - Pann / Paris 1907
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artist: Abel Pann
    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

    Object Type
    Jews in art (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Drawing in pastel on paper depicting a rabbi speaking to his congregation. The rabbi is on the right, standing behind a raised pulpit and gesturing with outstretched hands. He has dark curled sidelocks, bushy eyebrows, a large nose, and a long gray beard, and wears a black kippah, a white tallit with 2 black stripes, and a black jacket. To the left is a room full of male congregants, leaning forward and listening with somber facial expressions. They wear dark hats and jackets and have beards. The figures on the left side are detailed and the figures on the right and in the background are indistinct. There is a Y shaped post in the background. The walls are light brown, shaded with blended blue, white, and brown. There is a rectangular sign with Hebrew characters on the wall behind the rabbi. The artist’s signature is in the lower left corner. The paper is glued to the back of a window pane carboard mat.
    overall: Height: 13.875 inches (35.243 cm) | Width: 22.750 inches (57.785 cm)
    overall : laid paper, pastel

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Paris (France)
    Personal Name
    Pann, Abel, 1883-1963.

    Administrative Notes

    The drawing 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 18:12:47
    This page:

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