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Arthur Szyk: The Art of Illumination

Arthur Szyk: The Art of Illumination
February 7 – May 15, 2016

1931. Paris. Img 2. Washington and His Times. George Washington [Waist-Length Portrait--Original Art]

1946. Ink and Blood


“I do not say that art is my aim; art is my means.” So said illustrator Arthur Szyk (1894-1951), in regards to his vast output of often polemical cartoons and artworks.

Considered the greatest 20th century illuminator working in the style of 16th century miniature art  painters, in the originally curated exhibit, Arthur Szyk: The Art of Illumination, Jewish Museum Milwaukee will explore Szyk’s career as a leading political caricaturist in America during World War ll – when he emerged as a figure of provocation and an advocate for liberty vilifying the Axis Powers and earning the title ‘Franklin Roosevelt’s soldier in art’ – his unique relationship to the State of Israel, and his interpretations of many Jewish motifs such as ‘The Book of Esther’ and his world renowned ‘Haggadah’. Through this survey of Szyk’s impressive and eclectic body of work, JMM will address aspects of important Jewish historical events while demonstrating the capacity of art to make a difference by encouraging engagement and discussion of social, political, religious and cultural issues.


Educational Programs:

JMM is partnering with the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center to explore Szyk’s propaganda work and the role propaganda played during World War II. If your school or organization is interested in this program, please contact Ellie Gettinger.

More information available here>>


  • The Brico Fund
  • Marianne & Sheldon B. Lubar
  • Audrey Laufman