Page 50 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 31

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43
AUTOBIOGRAPHIES OF AMERICAN JEWISH ARTISTS
in Poland in 1912, Moskowitz emigrated to the United
t the age of fifteen. In his essay, he recalled how, as a
bocher
in New York, he started to draw: “I loved to
much that in spite of my guilt feelings, I could not stand
ay from my materials. One day my uncle caught me
and scolded me, ‘Why are you wasting time? You’re too
uch nonsense.’ My father too berated me for drawing. He
e to study the Talmud instead. He very much wanted me
e a rabbi.”
he desire to become an artist overrode all these protesta-
d Ira enrolled at the Art Students League. He made his
an illustrator and editor, attached to a publishing firm.
k of his life was a three-year stay as a young man in
s then Palestine, though the conditions under which lie
were far from ideal.
spectively, he wrote: “Of the several cities in Israel, Jeru-
eld the most appeal for me. Here the Bible took on a
focus. I was not only able to identify more closely with
biblical cities but also with many of the inhabitants who
to possess an almost mythical mystique. Existing as I did
istarvation diet, I was occasionally fortunate to sell one
awings. I drew every day and everywhere I traveled. Since
ors dried too rapidly in the severe heat, I used pencils
els. But I was able to complete many works there.”
is, of course, not an exhaustive survey of autobiographies
sh by American-Jewish artists. Nevertheless, it covers all
nd essays that seem of any significance to this reviewer.
ontents will shed additional light on the paintings, sculp-
rawings and prints by the authors of these “self-revela-
but are no substitute for viewing the works themselves.
ever remarkable the literary talents of these men have
some instances, the visual artist’s importance for civiliza-
, unquestionably, in his non-verbal creations.