Twenty years ago, when I first became familiar with Arthur Szyk’s art, he was under-appreciated by museums and the marketplace. While generations of Jewish families at Passover routinely read from his internationally popular illuminated version of The Haggadah, and rare book connoisseurs coveted his lushly illustrated and elegantly bound special editions, the details of his life and body of work were largely overlooked outside a small community of collectors, curators and scholars in the field of Judaica.
This is pre-eminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
When two planes destroyed the World Trade Center, another shattered the Pentagon, and one more crashed into a Shanksville, Pennsylvania field fifteen years ago I wasn’t a first responder, a member of the military or a family which had lost a loved one; I had no close connection with any of the more than three thousand people who died that day. Like so many others around the nation and the globe, I sat stunned and transfixed as the events played out on television, my heart and mind reeled from the attacks and my life changed dramatically.
Nineteenth-century French artist and political activist Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) never set foot in the United States but his influence has been pervasive. The rabble-rousing caricatures and political illustrations he created during the 1830s defended republican virtues and attacked the compromise king Louis-Phillipe, his court cronies and legislative louts. Following decades of Revolutionary and Imperial rule, The July Uprising in 1830 brought the French monarchy back to power.
Harry L. Katz, former head curator of prints and photographs for the Library of Congress, joins the show to talk about his new project on David Levine, his love for Herblock, how his work on the Civil War and baseball differs from Ken Burns' work on same, what it was like to assemble the LoC's archive of 9/11 photography and pictures (and his untold story of 9/11), the process of learning how to see images critically, the tragic story of Arthur Szyk, the terrifying experience of seeing Feiffer's "Munro" cartoon as a little kid, and more!