Jewish Dimensions in Modern Visual Culture: Antisemitism, Assimilation, Affirmation

Overview

In modern western history, the cultural and social developments of modernism have long been associated with Jews. For conservative groups this has been a negative association: the perceived breakdown of traditional norms was blamed on Jewish influence in politics, society, and the arts. Throughout Europe, Jews were viewed as carriers of industrialized and cosmopolitan developments that threatened to undermine a cherished way of life.

This anthology speaks to this issue through ...

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Overview

In modern western history, the cultural and social developments of modernism have long been associated with Jews. For conservative groups this has been a negative association: the perceived breakdown of traditional norms was blamed on Jewish influence in politics, society, and the arts. Throughout Europe, Jews were viewed as carriers of industrialized and cosmopolitan developments that threatened to undermine a cherished way of life.

This anthology speaks to this issue through the lens of modernist visual production including paintings, posters, sculpture, and architecture. Essays by scholars from the U.S. and Israel confront the contradictory impulses that modernism's interaction with Jewish culture provoked. Discussing how religion, class, race, and political alignments were used to provide attacks on modern art, the scholars also comment on visual responses to anti-semitism and the mainstream success of artists in the U.S. and Israel since World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Even visual artists whose materials do not include text often signal the Jewishness of their work through their vocabularies: including images of a bearded hasid, a six-pointed star, or of Hebrew letters in paintings, sculptures, or architectural designs is the equivalent of having a character speak untrammeled mameloshn. Yet can't a Jew eschew such obvious symbols and instead somehow paint with a Jewish "accent"? Scholars tackle questions along these lines in Jewish Dimensions in Modern Visual Culture: Antisemitism, Assimilation, Affirmation, a collection of essays that attempt to explain how those strange bedfellows, Jewishness and modernism, managed to get along."—Tablet Magazine

“The collection is an ambitious undertaking in its breadth. . . which can—and hopefully will—inspire further studies and similar collaborations.”—German Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584657958
  • Publisher: Brandeis University Press
  • Publication date: 12/8/2009
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

ROSE-CAROL WASHTON LONG is professor of art history, The Graduate Center, CUNY. MATTHEW BAIGELL is emeritus professor of art history, Rutgers University. MILLY HEYD is Nicolas Landau Professor of Modern Art in the Department of the History of Art at Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
CRITICAL RESPONSES TO MODERNISM AND JUDAISM
The Jew as Anti-Artist: Georges Sorel, Antisemitism, and the Aesthetics of Class Consciousness – Mark Antliff
German Antisemitism and the Historiography of Modern Art: The Case of Julius Meier-Graefe, 1894–1905 – Janne Gallen-Kallela-Siren
The Ecole Française versus the Ecole de Paris: The Debate about the Status of Jewish Artists in Paris between the Wars – Romy Golan
Dada’s Dark Secret – Albert Boime
“Ihr müsst sein, auch wenn ihr nicht mehr seid”: The Jewish Central Museum in Prague and Historical Memory in the Third Reich – Dirk Rupnow
CODED REPRESENTATIONS
Identity and Interpretation: Reception of Toulouse-Lautrec’s Reine de joie Poster in the 1890s – Ruth Iskin
George Grosz, Otto Dix, and the Philistines: The German-Jewish Question in the Weimar Republic – Rose-Carol Washton Long
Tristan Tzara / Shmuel Rosenstock: The Hidden/Overt Jewish Agenda – Milly Heyd
Models of Freedom: The Young Yiddish Group from Lodz, 1919–1921 – Marek Bartelik
Soviet Artists, Jewish Images – Matthew Baigell
AFFIRMATION
Between Response and Responsiveness: On Michael Sgan-Cohen’s Hinneni – David Heyd
Postwar Jewish Architecture and the Memory of the Holocaust – Gavriel D. Rosenfeld
Readymade Redux: Once More the Jewish Museum – Lisa Saltzman
Contributors
Index
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