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From the Publisher
"[A] welcome addition to art history collections for the ethnic representation it offers and the questions it raises."
American Reference Books Annual
"Baskind, professor of art history at Cleveland State University, provides information on 85 artists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She includes painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, and video, conceptual, and performance artists, offering a wide range of artistic expressions. The artists were born or spent most of their lives in America. Their art may or may not contain obvious Jewish content, but it is usually influenced by Jewish values and culture….This is a good introduction to Jewish American art. Using the artists own words to explain their perspectives on art enriches the presentation. The Encyclopedia of Jewish American Artists is a useful resource for academic, Judaica, and large public libraries."
Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin
"This ambitious reference text provides short overviews of the careers of 80-plus 19th- and 20th-century Jewish American artists-e.g., painters, photographers, graphic artists, sculptors, and video-media artists. Baskind's selections vary from well-known artists, e.g., Richard Avedon and Mark Rothko, to those less well known, e.g., Minna Citron and Barbara Kruger. Each of the A-to-Z entries is approximately 1500 words long….Defining Jewish identity or a Jewish aesthetic is one of the goals of this reference book, which poses such questions as, What comprises a Jewish American aesthetic? and, Can an artist be categorized as Jewish simply because of birth?….[B]askind offers a reasoned response to these large questions. Recommended for art library collections and Judaica library collections."
"Basking provides a thoughtful preface elucidating her selection of artists (she does not claim comprehensiveness). Regarding Jewishness: some of the artists explicitly express their Jewish identity in their work; others do not. Regarding American: many were not born in the US, but they did arrive at a young age and identify as Americans. After setting context with a historical essay, Baskind profiles 80-plus artists, offering, for each, biographical information, discussion of oeuvre, a bibliography, and a selected list of public collections. Aside from providing a convenient resource, one of Baskind's aims is to support discussion about what indeed can be seen as Jewish about an artist's work."
Reference & Research Book News
"This biographical dictionary servies a very useful purpose by placing Jewish American artists in several contexts; their Jewish religious and cultural inheritance (acknowleged or otherwise); their association with the United States, whether as immigrants, ot native-born; and the extent to which Judaism is reflected--overtly, convertly, or even unconsciously--in their work."
College & Research Libraries
". . . this is a useful volume for historians of Jewish culture in America. It is surprising how many good artists of Jewish origin one can find, if one looks hard enough. Baskind's interviews with some of the artists provide interesting material. Jewish American Artists takes its place alongside similar compilations of Jews in sports, in the cinema, and so forth, and makes us feel good that we belong to such an artistic nation."
Jews and the Sporting Life