Thursday, March 9, 2017

Arthur Szyk

As a kid, I always saw these Polish circus posters
in doctors' offices.
I would stare at the text, not understanding
that Polish word with certainty.
I thought the word for "circus" was the 
name of the poster artist, not realizing there
were various artists.
By Arthur Szyk (1894-1951) - The Arthur Szyk Society, Burlingame, CA 94070
CC BY-SA 4.0,

The grandeur of this print was emphasized with gilded accents!

When I was nine, I discovered the work of Arthur Szyk via an edition of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales. I pored over these images and tried to understand how someone could accomplish such feats. How could I focus love to come out of MY hands and onto paper?
I couldn't remember Arthur Szyk's last name because it was not a word or arrangement of letters that I was used to understanding.
Tonight, after years of intermittent attempts to rediscover him (and accidentally searching for variations on the words "Cyrk" or "Czyk") I succeeded after searching for illustrated Andersen editions on abebooks! And I learned that Szyk was an activist!

Do Not Forgive Them, O Lord, For They Do Know What They Do (1949)

He made A LOT of anti- Nazi images, but I can't bring myself to post anything with a swastika on this blog (but here are some klan monsters?!) I'm so thankful to find these images, and so disheartened to find how timely they are. 

1 comment:

  1. I had that fairy tale volume as a child - still do. and i still cringe at the illustration for 'the girl who trod on a loaf'. scared me as a child. still does. amazing illustrations.


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