Two Recent Acquisitions

The Donohue Rare Book Room is pleased to exhibit two recent acquisitions:  Moth and Bonelight and a facsimile edition of the Szyk Haggadah.

Moth and Bonelight with poems by Steven Brown and photographs by Jerry Uelsmann, is an important addition to the Rare Book Room’s growing collection of fine press books with an emphasis on photography. Uelsmann is an American photographer and master printer whose work is known for its surrealistic imagery that he creates from multiple negatives and extensive darkroom production.  On exhibition are the complete platinum prints included in the portfolio, with corresponding poems by Steven Brown. The volume complements additional photographica held in the Donohue Rare Book Room.

The Haggadah is a text about the freeing of the Israelites from ancient Egypt that is read aloud during the Passover Seder. The copy on display is a facsimile of the 1940 edition, considered to be Arthur Szyk’s magnum opus. Arthur Szyk (1894-1951) was born in Poland under Russian rule. In 1940 he emigrated to England and then the United States.  He was a renowned graphic artist and book illustrator during the interwar period and gained popularity through his war caricatures, especially those of the leaders of the Axis powers. After the war, he continued to devote himself to justice issues, including supporting the creation of Israel. Szyk’s work is characterized by its social and political commitment, and by its adoption of the tradition of illuminated manuscript production.

On April 14 at noon in the Rare Book Room, Irvin Ungar, proprietor of Historicana and authority on the work of Arthur Szyk will give an illustrated lecture on the Szyk Haggadah. The program is free and open to the public.

John Hawk
Head Librarian, Donohue Rare Book Room

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