Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chagall, Exodus and Jewish Theater

Then the Lord sayd unto Aaron, Goe meet Moses in the Wilderness. And he went and met him in the mount of God and kissed him.

God sends Aaron to meet Moses in the desert, from The Story of Exodus, 1966. Detail, Marc Chagall (1887-1985). Gift of the Chiles Foundation.
Having any exhibition in the Bay Area of works by Chagall is always cause for celebration. The new Jewish Contemporary Museum in San Francisco is currently exhibiting Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater, 1919-1949. Along with the murals and panels painted by Chagall, are videos of the performances that represent a time and place that has vanished. In addition to the theater-related objects are some of Chagall's other works from local collections. These include prints from the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts and some wonderful paintings.

We are fortunate in the library to have this color lithograph from The Story of Exodus, showing Moses with the horns of light and Aaron. The picture hangs across from the elevator on the second floor.

If you get a chance, please see the exhibit. For additional information on the theater, along with the exhibit catalog, Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater, see Benjamin Harshav's, The Moscow Yiddish Theater. Harshav spoke at the GTU a few years ago. He is an exceptional scholar of language and culture of modern East European Yiddish culture.

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