“A One-Man Army: The Art of Arthur Szyk”

Just don’t call them comics!

As millions of fellow Jews in his homeland of Poland were being sent to the death camps, Arthur Szyk fought fascism from afar the best way he knew how: through his art. The Polish-born Szyk (pronounced “shik”) emigrated to the United States in 1940 and began producing political propaganda for the masses, much of which is on display in the new exhibition “A One-Man Army: The Art of Arthur Szyk” at the Holocaust Museum. You can check out selections from his illustrated books, as well as magazine covers, commercial art and cartoons.

Perhaps most intriguing are his richly detailed illuminated manuscripts, whose tiny images might have well have been crafted by the masters of the 15th century. In much of his other work, he had a wildly cartoonish style, depicting villains as grossly distorted, skull-crushing caricatures. But for all their flair, they were mostly humor-free, and his renderings of Jews as a heroic, proud, fighting people were certainly serious. His two main objectives were convincing the public of Hitler’s villainy and the establishment of a Jewish state — both dreams he saw fulfilled before his death in 1951. See “A One-Man Army: The Art of Arthur Szyk” 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through February 8. 5401 Caroline. For information, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org. Free.
Oct. 20-Feb. 8, 2008

 
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