A Window to the Past

This week I have a guest blog over on Jewish Art Education’s website. The piece, “Moshe Rynecki: A Window to the Past” is a short piece – about 500 words – about the Moshe Rynecki project, with an emphasis on looking to the works as an opportunity for educators to use the pieces to broach issues of Jewish history, religious studies, art history, ethnicity, identity, and the Holocaust.  I’ll share it here too:[Read more…]

Jewish Artist or Artist Who Is Jewish?

Shemoneh Esreh, no date

[Note: I originally posted this on my blog in March 2012. In June 2014 I posted it in a Huffington Post blog with the title, “The Art of Moshe Rynecki,” along with a slideshow of several Moshe Rynecki paintings.]

The category of Jewish Art History cannot be simply subsumed into a generalized European art history. The modern artist as the author-agent of the work of art is a relatively new persona and figure for Jews, emerging only in the nineteenth century along with greater historical movements of emancipation for Jews in Europe. My great-grandfather was split between affinities:  on the one hand, he was a painter of traditional Jewish life in Poland, settling his gaze upon scenes of synagogue, teaching, labor, and leisure. In this, his paintings are an invaluable source of visual information about a world that has vanished. [Read more…]