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Water Colors and Illuminated Manuscripts by Arthur Szyk

DATES November 26, 1933 through December 10, 1933
ORGANIZING DEPARTMENT European Painting and Sculpture
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  • November 26, 1933 An Exhibition of Modern Illuminated Manuscripts by Arthur Szyk will open at the Brooklyn Museum, November 26th to continue through the first half of December. One of the few present day artists working in the tradition of the great medieval miniature painters is Arthur Szyk, Polish Jew. He is already familiar through his illustrations for Ludwig Lewisohn’s novel "The Last Days of Shylock" and for the monumental portfolio, “Washington and His Times”, issued in America for the Bicentennial celebration. Although thoroughly a European and never having been a visitor to America, this Polish Artist succeeded in capturing an uncanny representation of revolutionary America.

    Probably his greatest work, however, is the illustrations for the “Statue of Kalisz", the privileges granted to the Jews by Boleslaw, Grand Duke of Poland in the year 1264. The illustrative miniatures for this text, as well as the enrichment for the printed page is close to the characteristics of medieval art.

    Other manuscripts to be shown include those of “The Epic of Simon Bolivar", “The Chanson de Roland” and the partly completed "Covenant of the League of Nations”. The latter is of such importance that although still incomplete it has been reserved for the National Library of Paris.

    Arthur Szyk was born in Poland, June 3, 1894., the son of a minor manufacturer of textiles. He suffered extreme opposition to an artistic career, but nevertheless pursued his studies in Paris in the Academie Julian under Bachot and Royer and he also studied under Axentovich in Cracow. His first public exhibition occurred in 1924, when his "Book of Esther" was first shown in Paris. He was decorated by the French Government in 1925 and by Poland in 1931.

    This Exhibition is presented under the auspices of' the Federation of Polish Jews in America and the Brooklyn Museum.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 10-12_1933, 095.
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