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Simchath Torah

Object | Accession Number: 2018.380.1

Color lithographic print of the Simchat Torah celebration, created by Arthur Szyk in New Canaan, Connecticut. The image was originally printed in the book, Six paintings of Jewish holidays, in 1948. The print depicts the male members of a Jewish congregation traditionally celebrating the religious holiday, Simchat Torah (Rejoicing with the Torah) by carrying the Torah scrolls (handwritten copy of the Torah, the five books of Moses) around the bimah (podium where the Torah and Prophets are read) and the synagogue while singing, dancing, and reciting chants. The Simchat Torah marks and celebrates completion of the annual Torah readings. 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
Holiday Series
publication/distribution:  1948
creation: New Canaan (Conn.)
Object Type
Prints (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of Robert Levitt
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:25:22
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