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Berkeley receives largest ever monetary gift to acquire art


orn into a middle-class Polish Jewish family in 1894, Arthur Szyk lived a life framed by two world wars, the rise of totalitarianism in

Europe, and the birth of the State of Israel, before his death in 1951. His work as an artist and illustrator centered around these profound events. Now, thanks to a $10.1 million gift from Taube Philanthropies to The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, the voluminous Szyk collection will be available to students, scholars, and the public for the first time. The largest single contribution to acquire art in Berkeley’s history, the gift is certain to inspire renewed interest in Szyk’s work. Renamed the Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection, the artworks pair intricate

David and Saul, 1921

craftsmanship recalling medieval and

“It is significant to me to ensure that his

Renaissance traditions with insightful

remarkable works are available to today’s

commentary on Judaism, World War II, the

and future generations.”

Holocaust, and other subjects. The collection — which includes 450 Szyk lived and worked in Poland, France,

artworks, plus diaries, publications, and

the United Kingdom, and Canada before

other documentary materials — is catching

moving to New York in 1940, where he met

attention elsewhere: A selection of artworks

the parents of Tad Taube.

will be loaned to the New York Historical Society for an upcoming exhibition. ■

“Arthur Szyk’s unique contributions to contemporary art and political illustration have not yet been recognized to the extent his work deserves,” says Taube, chairman of Taube Philanthropies.


The Promise of Berkeley

Promise of Berkeley June 2017  

Promise of Berkeley June 2017

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