"...fresh and provocative survey of an important, hitherto neglected subject: Jewish-American artists..." -- Linda Nochlin, NYU Institute of Fine Arts
"Mathew Baigell reclaims for us an important subject in contemporary art ..." -- Norman Kleeblatt, the Jewish Museum, New York
A fresh and provocative survey of an important, hitherto neglected subject: Jewish-American artists and their reaction to the Holocaust. Matthew Baigell clarifies and makes vivid the crucial issues surrounding this difficult subject, and reveals important work relating to the Holocaust by well-known artists as well as new material by less famous ones. All in all, an eye-opening and heartwarming book. -- Linda Nochlin, Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Modern Art, New York University Institute of Fine Arts
Mathew Baigell reclaims for us an important subject in contemporary art of the last twenty years. His text synthesizes Holocaust writing and American art history. Long awaited, this survey extracts the personal issues that have compelled Jewish artists to plumb an undeniably profound subject. -- Norman Kleeblatt, Susan and Elihu Rose Curator of Fine Arts, the Jewish Museum, New York
From the Back Cover
Jewish themes in American art were not very visible until the last two decades, although many famous twentieth-century artists and critics were and are Jewish. Few artists responded openly the Holocaust until the 1960s, when it finally began to act as a galvanizing force, allowing Jewish-American artists to express their Jewish identity in their work. Baigell describes how artists initially deflected their responses by using abstract forms or by invoking biblical and traditional figures and then in more recent decades confronted directly Holocaust imagery and memory. He traces the development of artistic work from the late 1930s to the present in a moving study of a long overlooked topic in the history of American art.