About the Exhibition

This exhibition will feature over 60 works by the acclaimed Polish Jewish miniaturist and political cartoonist Arthur Szyk (1899-1951), including political cartoons, illustrations of critical texts of the Jewish tradition, and stamps and seals that honor the power and importance of democratic ideals.

The exhibition is organized around the theme of human rights, a vital through-line in Szyk's prolific career. A witness to the rise of totalitarianism in Europe, Szyk emigrated to the United States from Poland in 1940. His political cartoons animated the covers of magazines such as Time Magazine, Collier's and The Saturday Evening Post, raising awareness of the plight of European Jews and helping to sway public opinion toward support for American participation in the Second World War. Arthur Szyk, a self-described “soldier in art,” was famous for using his pen and brush to advocate for religious tolerance, racial equality, and human dignity. Active in the years leading up to World War II and during the Holocaust, Szyk became one of America’s most celebrated political artists for his powerful artistic and social contributions against Nazism and fascism. As our communities continue to face global unrest and confront issues of structural racism and social upheaval, this exhibition provides a platform for conversations on the urgent topic of human rights.

Expanding on the power of the main exhibition, FUAM will also host an immersive digital Szyk experience featuring two interactive workstations in the Walsh Gallery (opening on Nov. 2nd, 2023) which will enable visitors to explore Szyk’s miniatures in high resolution, reconstructing the artist’s gaze through a “digital magnifying glass.” The digital experience will encourage visitors to remix and repurpose individual elements, characters, and motifs drawn from the works in the exhibition, to create new cartoons. These works will be instantly published as digital projections on large wall surfaces in the gallery itself and online, giving the contemporary exploration and reinterpretations of Szyk’s art a broad audience in real-time.

Organized by the University of California, Berkeley, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, where it opened in May 2021, this exhibition is on view at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans from September 1, 2022 - May 7, 2023, before coming to the Fairfield University Art Museum, which is its only stop in the Northeast.

Image caption: Arthur Szyk, Madness, 1941, Watercolor, gouache, ink and graphite on paper, Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley

Explore the Exhibition

Browse Selected Artworks

In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (2020)

Video: "The Cartoon Crusader" (Universal Pictures, 1946)

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Programs

Opening Night Lecture: Arthur Szyk – Artist/Soldier for Social Justice.

September 28, 2023

Philip Eliasoph, PhD, Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Fairfield University. Curator of the Exhibition at the Fairfield University Art Museum.
Presented as part of the Edwin L. Weisl, Jr. Lectureships in Art History, funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation.

Opening Night Reception

TBD

Join us to celebrate the opening of this landmark exhibition!

Academic Symposium: Arthur Szyk – Artist & Soldier for Human Rights

October 4-5, 2023

Join leading scholars and curators from across the country to country to hear their perspectives on Szyk’s impact on art, politics, and culture.

Film Screening and Panel Discussion: “A Night at the Garden” with Director Marshall Curry

Date TBD

Crafted entirely from archival footage, this film recounts a night in 1939 when 20,000 Americans filled Madison Square Garde for a Nazi rally. Directed and edited by Marshall Curry, the film was nominated for the 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short, and was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

Artist’s Talk: Political Cartoons – An Artist’s Perspective with Sean Kelly

Date TBD

Sean Kelly is known for his award-winning illustration, visual journalism and political commentary as seen on the arts, business, features and op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe.

Additional Information

Bellarmine Hall Galleries and Walsh Gallery Hours:

Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. We are closed for national and university holidays and during inclement weather.

Location:

The FUAM's main galleries are located on the lower level of Bellarmine Hall. For GPS please use the following address: 200 Barlow Road, Fairfield, CT 06824 (or click the map at right for directions).

Parking:

Free parking is available in front of Bellarmine Hall. Handicap parking is available next to the museum’s service and classroom entrance on the lower level of Bellarmine Hall.

Admission:

The museum is open to the public and admission is free.

Tours:

Private tours with a curator are available for a fee; please contact museum@fairfield.edu or 203-254-4046.

Reach Us By train:

Take Metro-North, New Haven Line, to Fairfield Station (approximately 70 minutes from Grand Central Station).
www.mta.info/mnr
800-638-7646

For further information or to schedule a visit or tour, please contact

Fairfield University Art Museum
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 254-4046
museum@fairfield.edu

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