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Arthur Szyk and the Art of the Haggadah

The haggadah, the ritual text for the Passover seder, evokes the story of the exodus of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt.

While myriad haggadot have been created from the tenth century to the present, the exhibition highlights the unique and powerful story of The Szyk Haggadah (1940). Arthur Szyk (1894–1951), a Polish Jew keenly aware of current events, fused his two passions—art and history—into a visual commentary on the striking parallels between the Passover narrative and the alarming developments unfolding in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Now, for the first time in over sixty years, all forty-eight original paintings from Szyk’s masterpiece will be on view together in The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s exhibition Arthur Szyk and the Art of the Haggadah. On view February 13–June 29, 2014, the exhibition features Szyk’s incredibly rendered miniatures (approx. 5 ½ x 6 ½ inches each) as well as diverse examples of important historical and contemporary haggadot.

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