Page 14 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 31

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
6
Lithuanian-born Jacques (Hayyim Jacob) Lipchitz, winner of
JWB’s Frank L. Weil Award in 1972, died at age 81 while va-
cationing in Capri and was buried in Jerusalem. Renowned as
one of the foremost sculptors of the 20th century, Jacques Lip-
chitz (together with Picasso before him who also died in 1973)
was one of the first to apply the cubist form to sculpture—an
art of heroic
form
rather than that of
themes.
He spoke of him-
self as “always a cubist.” From the 1930s onward he was pre-
occupied more and more with heroic subjects drawn from the
Bible and mythology. He was particularly fascinated with the
myth of Prometheus, and as far back as 1937 he created a mas-
sive sculpture, “Prometheus Strangling the Vulture,” proclaim-
ing allegorically the triumph of good over evil. He intended his
monumental cubism sculptures to speak not only for the mod-
ern age, but to transcend it as an epochal timeless voice.
After World War 2 Jacques Lipchitz came to the United States
and became a citizen in 1958, settling in Hastings-on-the-Hud-
son. Here the master continued his audaciously inventive work,
characterized by immense power and originality, and adhering
to the purity of form he had mastered in the School of Paris.
Only last year he related that his builder father had impressed
upon him that life was like building a house brick by brick,
and he commented, “I hope that by this time I ’ve gotten to the
roof.” Perhaps we may cite here the title of Isaac Loeb Peretz’s
classic story—“If Not Higher.”
Hayyim Hazaz, Abraham J. Heschel, Abraham M. Klein, Mau-
rice Samuel, Zevi Scharfstein, Jacques Lipchitz—the productive
use to which they put their lives renders viable Goethe’s
apothegm: “Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the
death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time.”
Zekher tzaddikim limakhah.
IV
With the completion of each volume of the
Jewish Book An-
nual,
we not only recite
sheheheyanu;
we also take cognizance
of those who made it possible. Our gratitude goes out to our
sponsor, the National Jewish Welfare Board whose cooperation
and encouragement we profoundly cherish. We voice our warm